The pure artist who works for the love of his work is sometimes more firmly planted on the right road than the occultist, who fancies he has removed his interest from self, but who has in reality only enlarged the limits of experience and desire, and transferred his interest to the things which concern his larger span of life.
LIGHT ON THE PATH, Chapter One, First Footnote.
By B.P. Wadia
[From THUS HAVE I HEARD, pages 277-279.]
Wakefulness is the path of immortality, heedlessness the path of death. Those who are awake do not die. Those who are heedless are dead already.
Such are the words uttered by the Enlightened One. They are recorded in the Second Chapter of THE DHAMMAPADA.
It is one of the striking phenomena of the age that modern man, steeped in the ocean of worldly existence, fears the death of the body. Certain that death will come eventually, instead of inquiring about it, trying to understand it and prepare for it, the modern man only fears it. His education and civilization have so glamored him that he takes it for granted that no reliable instruction is available.
While he fears the death of his body and wipes it out of his reflections by a mental gesture of bravado, or runs superstitiously to priest, ritual, and propitiation, he has not asked if HE is dead already. Emphasis on the body and sense-life is so powerful, the Soul has been looked upon as a myth or a vague unintelligible something for such a long time now, that the state of his Soul is not at all a matter of concern to the ordinary man. He looks upon those who are so concerned as a bit cranky and somewhat peculiar persons.
Man's pain and suffering, including the ill health of the body, should awaken any intelligent man to seek for explanations. Diseases of body or mind are taken as unrelated to Soul, to consciousness, the causal aspect of all human phenomena. Pains and suffering, aches and anguish, are treated only on the plane of effects. Superficially, and in truth unscientifically, the modern man accepts the diagnosis of his doctor, who, if he is really a great doctor, knows within his own conscience that his ignorance overpowers his knowledge. His theories and his treatments, his present-day knowledge and the advances that it has made, certainly deserve respect. It is not wholly his fault that the patient has blind belief in the miraculous power of the doctor.
Modern civilization is so founded upon soullessness that neither the patient nor the doctor bothers about the most vital factor whose functions or the lack of them cause health and disease, knowledge and ignorance, contentment and faultfinding, and the varied factors which are named advantages and disadvantages of life.
Death of the body, the mind, and even the Soul contain not only clues but also infallible keys to the problem of human happiness. Who is there who does not wish for happiness? Often the means are mistaken for the end. Money is supposed to confer happiness. At another period of human evolution knowledge is supposed to contain its own reward of happiness. Still at other times, character, with courage and kindliness and contentment, is supposed to ensure happiness, in spite of poverty and ignorance. Our possessions and the power to secure and retain them are themselves only means to happiness and they change, be they in the form of money or in the shape of knowledge.
That which endures as a means to the real end of unchanging and unchangeable happiness is the Power of the Soul; both the Soul and its power are immortal. The Soul possesses the power to create and, when left to its own devices, strategy, and tactics, it sweetly and wisely ordered all things. It is attentiveness, heedfulness, wakefulness, which guards us from unconscious errors and mistakes as from conscious crimes and sins. Rightly, therefore, Gautama and His Illustrious Predecessors emphasized this faculty of CHITTA-mind consciousness as all-important.
Sanat Kumar imparts the same teaching to Dhritarashtra. In Chapter Two of SANATSUJATIYA, we find the great Sage answering the King's inquiry -- "Which is correct -- that death exists not or that freedom from death can be obtained by Brahmacharya?"
Here is the reply:
Some say, that freedom from death results from action; and others that death exists not. Hear me explain this, O King! Have no misgiving about it. Both truths, O Kshatriya, have been current from the beginning. The wise maintain that what is called delusion is death. I verily call heedlessness death, and likewise I call freedom from heedlessness immortality. Through heedlessness, verily, were the demons vanquished. Through freedom from heedlessness, the gods attained to the Brahman. Death, verily, does not devour living creatures like a tiger; for, indeed, his form is not to be perceived.
By Gerald Schueler
As presented by H.P. Blavatsky, Theosophy offers a vast worldview of our universe with an evolutionary model of how living beings therein undergo manvantaric manifestation. THE SECRET DOCTRINE describes this model in some detail.
As with any model, the theosophical begins with initial unprovable assumptions. There are three. Blavatsky calls them the three fundamental propositions in her proem to THE SECRET DOCTRINE. We will look at them and compare with Dzogchen Buddhism. We quote Blavatsky from her Proem to THE SECRET DOCTRINE. The Dzogchen quotes are from the great Dzogchen Master, Longchen Rabjam (1308-1363).
An Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable PRINCIPLE on which all speculation is impossible ... It is beyond the range and reach of thought. ... [Then she says that this Principle] is one absolute Reality which antecedes all manifested, conditioned, being ... It is "Be-ness" rather than Being (in Sanskrit, Sat), and is beyond all thought or speculation.
-- H.P. Blavatsky, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, I, page 14
Great Perfection, naturally occurring timeless awareness, has never existed as anything, but abides as supreme spontaneous presence, empty yet lucid. Since it abides as supreme original purity, primordial basic space, it is called "the enlightened intent that is Dharmakaya in its own natural place of rest."
The ineffable nature of things is that they are empty by virtue of their very essence. In the vast expanse of awakened mind, equal to space, however, things appear, they are at the same time ineffable by nature.
-- Rabjam, THE WAY OF ABIDING
Blavatsky's be-ness is equivalent to Rabjam's primordial basic space (Dharmadhatu). Rabjam also calls it Dzogchen, Tibetan for Great Perfection. Both are non-dual and ineffable. He says this non-dual state is the "universal ground, the foundation of all karmas and traces of Samsara and Nirvana." (Tib. Kun-gZhi)
Be-ness, Dharmadhatu, or Universal Ground is outside of our Manvantara, which manifests on seven cosmic planes in a universe of duality. While remaining one with our dualistic universe, it somehow causes it.
I have called this proposition the Law of Duality and said,
This law states that an omnipresent, eternal, boundless, and immutable Principle splits into two aspects of itself as an act of creation in order to form the manifested worlds. This First Principle or Infinite and Eternal Cause is called be-ness and it splits into space and motion. All manifestation is therefore dualistic ... A connecting force exists between the polarities of manifested existence. This force is called Fohat and it is defined as "the dynamic energy of Cosmic Ideation."
-- Schueler, ENOCHIAN PHYSICS
One of the chief dualities of our universe is that of matter and spirit. It tends to separate the seven cosmic planes into two parts. One part includes the lower four cosmic planes and is equivalent to Samsara. The higher part includes the upper three planes and is equivalent to Nirvana.
Spirit (or Consciousness) and Matter are, however, to be regarded, not as independent realities, but as the two facets or aspects of the Absolute (Parabrahm), which constitute the basis of conditioned Being whether subjective or objective.
-- H.P. Blavatsky, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, I, page 15
HPB does not say Parabrahm is God or some entity, which would be converting an abstraction into a thing. She tells us that "Parabrahm is, in short, the collective aggregate of Kosmos in its infinity and eternity."
This essential oneness of things, this oneness of matter, spirit, and be-ness, we also find in Dzogchen:
Although sensory appearances do not exist, they manifest in all their variety. Although emptiness does not exist, it extends infinitely, reaching everywhere. Although dualistic perception does not exist, there is still fixation on things having individual identity. Although they have no basis, a continual succession of lifetimes manifests. Although nothing exists that can be refuted or proved, pleasure is accepted and pain is rejected.
-- Rabjam, A TREASURE TROVE OF SCRIPTURAL TRANSMISSION
The Eternity of the Universe IN TOTO as a boundless plane; periodically "the playground of numberless Universes incessantly manifesting and disappearing" ... "The Eternity of the Pilgrim" is like a wink of the Eye of Self-Existence ... This second assertion of the Secret Doctrine is the absolute universality of that law of periodicity, of flux and reflux, ebb and flow.
-- H.P. Blavatsky, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, I, pages 16-17
How confused are those who experience phenomena in an ordinary way, as sensory appearances perceived in confusion. They are like children who fight and make a lot of effort -- building playhouses, imitating people explaining or listening to spiritual teachings, and so forth -- taking it all to be self-evidently true. Though confusion does not exist, these people invest things with identity and so exhaust themselves in their individual states of confusion, playing out the farce of reifying their sense of "I." This comes down to investing ultimately meaningless sensory appearances with identity.
-- Rabjam, A TREASURE TROVE OF SCRIPTURAL TRANSMISSION
Notice Blavatsky's use of playground and Rabjam's building playhouses. Manifestation is circular, with inner spirals and wheels within wheels, but as Shakespeare once said, it signifies nothing. All manifest life is game-like. It has busy periods of confusing, mayavic self-manifestation with joyous creativity followed by periods of rest.
I have called this proposition the Law of Periodicity and said:
This law states that the universe is a boundless plane of periodic manifestation. Everything in the universe is subject to periodic flux and reflux, ebb and flow, day and night, life and death and so on. This continuous oscillation is an expression of the Great Breath.
-- Schueler, ENOCHIAN PHYSICS
Elsewhere Blavatsky identifies the mayavic nature of periodic manifestation, as does Rabjam who writes,
All phenomenon of the world of appearances and possibilities, whether of Samsara or Nirvana, are none other than natural manifestations as the display, dynamic energy, and adornment of naturally occurring timeless awareness.
-- Rabjam, THE WAY OF ABIDING
The fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-Soul, the latter being itself an aspect of the Unknown Root; and the obligatory pilgrimage for every Soul -- a spark of the former -- through the Cycle of Incarnation (or "Necessity") in accordance with Cyclic and Karmic law, during the whole term.
-- H.P. Blavatsky
The Buddha-essence pervades all living beings.
-- Rabjam, THE PRACTICE OF DZOGCHEN
Blavatsky equates Soul with Buddhi, Sanskrit for intelligence but used in Theosophy differently and with multiple meanings. Here it implies an individual spiritual being or entity. Blavatsky often emphasizes this meaning by uniting Buddhi with Atma to form the Atma-Buddhi Monad, the Higher Self.
In our everyday material world, we are fundamentally different and unique beings. Even so, our inner spiritual Self, although relatively monadic or indivisible, is identical with every other Self. This is not evident on the material plane of living beings where we humans are inherently different. This difference is substantially less on spiritual planes and in Nirvana. There is no difference at all in be-ness, which has a fundamental identity.
I have called this proposition the Law of Identity and said:
This law states that there is a fundamental identity between all manifested things. The differences we observe in the universe are due to time and space: the geometry of the space-time-consciousness continuum. Although this law may be difficult to comprehend, it means that if we choose any two objects and negate those differences due to time and space, the two objects will be observed as one single object. The primary fallout of this law is that man is inherently a star; that the only difference between any two objects is their evolutionary development in time and space. An important corollary of this law is the Law of Karma -- the Cycle of Necessity -- that defines the specific nature of each object's evolutionary progress. According to H.P. Blavatsky, "The Secret Doctrine teaches the progressive development of everything, of worlds as well as atoms; and this stupendous development has neither conceivable beginning nor imaginable end." This "progressive development" is through the continuum of space, time and consciousness, or more properly, through the duality of space, time, and consciousness. Outside of this continuum, no differences can be measured between any two things whatsoever."
-- Schueler, ENOCHIAN PHYSICS
This proposition implies the existence of the law of karma. It also implies liberation or freedom from the bonds of karma. As Rabjam says,
Karmas are produced by the unenlightened mind-consciousness.
-- Rabjam, THE PRACTICE OF DZOGCHEN
He also says,
Since there is no karma in the essence of awareness, the limitation of positive and negative action are transcended. If there were karma, this would entail the flaw of there being no naturally occurring timeless awareness. The All-Creating Monarch states: "The label 'karma' is applied to any specific pattern of correspondence. What does this imply? If karma held mastery, there would be no naturally occurring timeless awareness."
You might object, "We know that there is karma because it manifests as suffering," but although this manifestation occurs because of the way in which the display of awakened mind arises yet is unborn, it does not exist in naturally occurring timeless awareness. Similarly, although gathering clouds appear, they are merely the display or dynamic energy of space; in the essence of space, they do not exist.
-- Rabjam, THE WAY OF ABIDING
Rabjam's timeless awareness is Blavatsky's be-ness as experienced by the non-dual Monad.
Karma, which means "action," applies throughout our manifested Manvantara, which is Maya, but not to be-ness or to the non-dual Monad. Karma applies only to individuals moving through time and space. Blavatsky suggests,
Apart from Cosmic Substance, Cosmic Ideation could not manifest as individual consciousness, since it is only through a vehicle of matter that consciousness wells up as "I am I," a physical basis being necessary to focus a ray of the Universal Mind at a certain stage of complexity.
-- H.P. Blavatsky, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, I, page 15
Here she is at one with Buddhism, saying that matter and therefore Maya are required for a sense of self or of "I." Outside of matter-spirit, no individual or perception of self can exist. This allows the law of identity to hold throughout any manvantaric manifestation.
In conclusion, the three propositions of Blavatsky's THE SECRET DOCTRINE are that (1) our entire manifested universe of duality has a non-dualistic background or Source, (2) this Source periodically self-expresses, and (3) all living beings are fundamentally identical. The teachings of Dzogchen agree. All of the teachings of Theosophy can be concluded by logical deduction from these three propositions.
By Hazel Boyer Braun
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, December 1947, pages 727-36.]
Most of us began questioning when we were children about the people who lived before the time of Christ. We felt sure they must have had a Savior, but we could not find a word about it. We were told in those days that those people did not count, but we knew better. Finally we noted the effect of perspective -- that the figure in the foreground always looms the largest; but as we proceed along a road each one is seen in its true stature. This is the way it is in finding the Great Ones who came to bring the teachings to humanity through the ages.
The Madonna and child is one of the most universal themes in the world of art, as it is in the world of tradition and legend. In some fourteen different lands the same tale has been found; often attached to the life of great initiates and sun deities. About these type figures are woven with few variations the theme of the virgin-birth, the stable or cave, the wise men, and always coming on the birthday of the sun; while the art records of many ages reveal a wealth of information concerning them.
For instance we know that the story about Krishna of India, 3102 B.C., strongly resembles that of the coming of Jesus; even in his Mother's name, the Annunciation by the angel, the birth in a stable, and the three wise men. The Persians called their Savior Mithras, the "Unconquered," just as the Romans made festivals at the solstice time to the Sol Invictus or Unconquered Sun. Mithras was mystically said to have been born in a cave or grotto. Apollonius of Tyana said that he was born in a meadow where the animals were at home among the flowers. Sochiquetzal of old Mexico, called the "Flower of Heaven" was the mother of the Savior, Quetzalcoatl, and she was informed of her destiny by an angel carrying a lily.
There is definite reason why the mythos concerning any of the four seasons tells of an event that really happened and yet at the same time suggests so much that refers to cosmic events. The Madonnas served as a beautiful blind for teachings of the Mystery Schools, teachings which today are just beginning to be touched upon in our scientific and philosophical research.
Isis of Egypt is a particularly remarkable example of this veiled knowledge; for we learn from Plutarch and from Proclus that there was written over the portal of a temple dedicated to her in the city of Sais in Egypt these lines:
Isis am I: All that ever was, is, or will be; and no human has ever lifted my veil. The fruit which I brought forth became the Sun.
In the Louvre in France there is a bronze figure of Isis holding her child Horus, who typifies the Morning Sun. In low relief she is thus shown on many temple walls in Egypt. There are in fact a number of Madonna figures in Egyptian lore. Such a legend is woven around Mut-em-ua, the so called virgin-mother of Amenhotep III, and there are fascinating drawings of this queen mother receiving the divine message of her motherhood, and of the child in the arms of the midwife.
If we follow the symbolism here we find as always that the inner meaning may refer to the Madonna as the manifested universe, the plane of individualized consciousness -- or we could say the brooding spiritual guardian, Mother Nature. Dr. de Purucker clarifies the cosmic significance when he writes:
The immaculate Virgin-Mother of Space, the Soul-Spirit of Space, brought forth the Logos or "Word," the Interpreter of the Light, the intermediary between the Unspeakable, and conscious beings and all things; and this Logos or Intermediary is the Divine Sun. Here then is the germ of the Christian idea -- indeed, more than the mere germ, almost the identical thoughts: the Cosmic Virgin-Mother and the God-child.
-- G. de Purucker, THE ESOTERIC TRADITION, II, 1104
The mother, cosmically speaking, as an old Celtic Rune has it, is the spiritual mother love on all planes: the very womb of being from which worlds are born, to the mother love that we all know and revere.
Time was, ere came the Son of God, The world was a black morass Void of star, of sun, of moon, Void of body, heart or form.
'Twas Mary Mother lowly kneeled. The Inmost Being brought to birth; Darkness and the dule were driven afar, The guiding star rose over the earth.
Illumined the land, illumined the deep From the sullen gloom to streaming sea; Grief was laid and joy was raised With praise and hail and harping free.
Illumined hills, illumined plains, Illumined the ocean, sea and firth; Illumined the whole wide world as one, The hour God's Son came down to Earth.
-- Carmina Gadelica, translated after Alexander Carmichael, ORTHA NAN GAEDHEAD
Always the type figures of the ancient Mystery Schools had a cosmic significance as well as a human one. We find the Trinity in every land. It represents the divine life at the root of each hierarchy whether it is a planet, a solar system, a galaxy, or a universe, each having its cyclic periods of life and rest. The mother quality was always space out of whose womb the worlds were born, and the fruit that she brought forth was the morning sun. Humanly speaking she is the spiritual nature which steps down to us the divine love and brings forth her son -- the Savior born.
Herodotus tells us that Egypt gave the mysteries to Greece, and when we look there we find these beautiful thoughts woven into song and legend. There is no doubt that the Greeks built much of their symbolism and poetry upon this theme. The mother goddess, representing the spiritual principle in nature, the sky, the spaces of space, might be Demeter, and the solar deity in the heavens was known by many names: sometimes as Apollo or Dionysus. Even Hercules suggested many solar qualities. The Praxiteles Hermes is seen holding a babe, the newly born Dionysus, on his arm.
In Egypt the trinity is very clearly defined in Osiris, Isis, and Horus; as it is in northern Europe where we find Odin, Frega, and Balder. In ancient Peru at Cuzco there prevailed the tale of the Sun God (who as in many extremely archaic legends remains the Unnameable), Mama Ocollo Huaco, and the son Manco Capac; while in Central America we find the trinity was Sun God, Sochiquetzal or "Flower of Heaven," and Quetzacoatl. In each case we may focus our thought on the cosmic processes or on the spiritual revelation which occurs in the human sphere.
In Chapter XXV of Lao Tzu's Tao Teh Ching we read:
There was something formless yet complete that existed before heaven and earth, without sound, without substance, dependent on nothing, unchanging, all-pervading, unfailing. One may think of it as the mother of all things under heaven. Its true name we do not know. Tao is the by-name that we give it.
With becoming simplicity and utmost reverence the Sage of ancient China leaves no doubt in our minds of his complete understanding of this universally acclaimed Mother of All. We do find in archaic Chinese legend the name of a Mother deity: Shin Mu, just as the Tibetan mother is Lha-Mo. Buddhism brought to China a trinity of which it was the Mother figure who became one of the most dearly beloved of China's many beneficial spirits. The trinity was the Sun God (if ever mentioned at all), Kuan Yin, and the son Kuan Sha Yin.
Kuan Yin appears with many variations. Sometimes she suggests the unmanifest realms of divinity when she appears as neither female nor male but both. Then she can be the very feminine Goddess ad Mercy and only very occasionally is she found with the infant child in her arms. Often she is associated more with the Third Logos than with her own realm, but there is no doubt that hers is the higher plane of spiritual understanding, the semi-divine Hierarchy from which the Great Ones come to teach in this world below: Great Ones born of the virgin mother, and twice-born at Christmas time.
All these stories serve to convince us that love is the keynote of Christmas. We are all children of the Great Mother, striving, loving, and gaining through suffering, sympathy, and understanding. At the Christmas time we forget ourselves a bit and know what it is to get a glimpse of real happiness. Just to think away from ourselves out to the grandeur of the real meaning of the Sacred Season lifts us and prepares us to be instruments of this love divine which shines through so many beings into our hearts.
By Geoffrey West
[From THE ARYAN PATH, April 1934, pages 214-18.]
In the sixteenth century, there was Paracelsus, the Seed! Two hundred years later, we had the Flowering!
In the eighteenth century, Europe was the credulous playground of wonder-workers. Skepticism breeds credulity. He who begins by believing nothing may well end by believing everything. There were many charlatans, now mostly forgotten. A few records such as the cynical confessions of Casanova survive to show how men and women might become the dupes of their religious hunger -- and how there were always men and women waiting to take advantage of them. Certain other names remain, of individuals who CLAIMED no more than the charlatans did, yet perhaps DID more. What more easy for a West which since then has rather systematized and deepened its skepticism than reduced it, to set the Saint-Germains, the Cagliostros, and their like beside the Casanovas and THEIR like? WHAT MORE EASY, AND YET ...
The Comte de Saint-Germain is, it must be confessed, less than any of his contemporaries a subject for the "sober" historian. He conforms to none of the rules. He is neither here nor there. Not only does mystery hide his beginning and his end, but also there are stories relating to both, seemingly all of equal authenticity, which are definitely contradictory.
There can be no doubt of his existence, or of his movements about Europe over a period of approximately forty years, of his friendships in high places, and of the general high regard in which he was held in many lands. The fact remains that we possess scarcely any statement regarding him, whatever its degree of authority, that does not very quickly pass over into what most readers today will deem the realm of the fantastic.
His actual appearance and personality are in no dispute. Every account of him proclaims a single identity. He is a man of middle age, well preserved, of medium height and built, simply and tastefully dressed, his only jewelry magnificent diamond buckles. His complexion is dark. He has black hair, wide-set fine eyes, and white teeth. His chin is rounded, almost feminine, but saved from weakness by the intellectual cast of the regular features, the intelligent expression of the mobile penetrating glance. His manners are of the most admirable. All accorded him charm, grace, courtliness, a true refinement.
Though he has his enemies, all men respect him. He is received everywhere as a welcome guest. In the palaces of kings -- at Versailles, at the court of Frederick the Great -- he appears as no humble sycophant but as a man to whom all ranks are one. With Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour, he is on terms of intimacy, spending hours at Versailles with the Royal Family. Among his friends are Prince Ferdinand Lobkowit (first minister of the Austrian Emperor), the Comte de Belle-Isle (French Minister of War), the Orlov brothers (officers and favorites of Catherine the Great), Prince Kaunitz, and Prince Charles of Hesse. For a while, he and the great Duc de Choiseul are on visiting terms, though later political exigencies force the Duc to denounce him in Louis's name!
Adventurer he has been called, but history gives no substance to the term, for it has to tell of gifts given by Saint-Germain, but of none received in return. It was a peculiarity of the Comte, often remarked that he neither ate nor drank in public. He was said not to eat meat or drink wine. When he attended his friends's dinner-parties, it was not to eat but to talk, as he did brilliantly, with an effortless infinite variety.
This was a man of gifts! He was reputed to speak not only German, French, Italian, English, Portuguese, and Spanish "perfectly" (but some said his French betrayed a Piedmontese accent), but Greek and Latin in a manner to astound scholars. His facility in Sanskrit, Chinese, and Arabic gave weight to reports of his Eastern travels. He played many musical instruments. As a violinist, he was compared to Paganini -- or rather, Paganini to him! He painted "beautifully."
These were his more ordinary accomplishments, for he was also credited with the ability to charm snakes and bees and with a knowledge of physics and chemistry that extended beyond such primary experiments as the production of imitation silk from flax to the perfecting of flawed gems and the transmutation of inferior metals into a substance indistinguishable from gold. Many testified to his powers of prophecy, of passing into trances wherein he saw distant places and events and held converse with spiritual beings. It was said that he held the secret of an elixir of perpetual youth, of which he himself had drunk.
Here we approach the most startling of all the allegations concerning him. We need not take too seriously the popular rumors of his personal acquaintance with Jesus and the Apostles, and of his servant who had been with him "only" a few hundred years. He was certainly commonly regarded by those who knew him well as of more than ordinary age.
Both the Baron de Gleichen and Madame d'Adhemar (intimate of Marie Antoinette) testified to hearing others declare in their -- and his -- hearing that they had known him in Venice fifty years before, about 1710, and that he had seemed even then of the same apparent age. In 1760, an acquaintance wrote of him that he was said to be over a hundred and ten years of age though he looked no more than forty-five. The accounts however are bafflingly contradictory. Twenty years later he told Prince Charles of Hesse that he was eighty-eight, while an eyewitness a little earlier judged him as between sixty and seventy.
Must we despair then of assigning him either a birth date or parentage? It seems so. Some writers have sought to prove the truth of his statement to Prince Charles that he was the third son of a Prince Ragoczy of Transylvania whose estates were confiscated about the beginning of the eighteenth century for his anti-Austrian conspiracies. He was married in 1694 and died in 1736, leaving legacies in the hands of the French Crown for his youngest son. Certainly, this might help to account for Louis's friendliness towards Saint-Germain, as well as for the statement that in France the King alone knew his identity. We do know that he frequently used the titles of Prince Ragoczy and Prince Tzarogy (the latter an anagram of the former). Yet if this were the truth, clearly we must discount many not only of his friends's but his own recorded statements!
We have no certain knowledge of him until nearly the mid-century, when in 1745 he was arrested in London as a Jacobite spy, then instantly released. Evidently, he had already a European reputation, but it is only possible to record without comment the reports of his five years at the Court of the Shah of Persia (1737-42) and of his presentation at Versailles almost immediately upon his return.
In 1746, he is living in Vienna "as a prince," and here he seems to have met Belle-Isle. Ten years later, he is with Clive in India. This was his second visit, it is said, and an occasion of initiation into yet deeper "secrets of nature" than his earlier Eastern pilgrimages had afforded him. In 1748, and more certainly in 1757, we find him in high favor at Versailles.
In 1758, he was taking up residence in a suite of rooms at the royal Chateau de Chambord assigned to him by the King himself, who, to those inquiring how he should be received, replied that he must have "all the consideration due to a man of his position," and be permitted to live in his own fashion. At Chambord, he drew together a group of students in his laboratory, among them the Baron de Gleichen, the Marquise d'Urfe (Casanova's unhappy dupe), and the Princess of Anhalt-Zerbst, mother of Catherine the Great.
Followed the episode of the Hague, Louis XV, it is said, had used the Comte before as a diplomatic agent. Early in 1760, he sent him to Holland. The Seven Years War was at its height. France was in peril, all Europe distressed, longing for peace. The ghost of an empty treasury haunted Versailles. The Comte's mission was twofold: to approach the Dutch bankers, and to learn the English peace-terms.
Louis, always fearful, had not informed his Foreign Minister, the Duc de Choiseul, for the latter upheld the Austrian Treaty that England and Prussia strongly opposed. When the news of Saint-Germain's negotiations came to the Duc, he forced the King, in a dramatic scene, to denounce his agent as an impostor and adventurer. The move deceived none. Its why and wherefore were plain to all. Saint-Germain's passport, signed by Louis himself, made mention of his mission, but he was forced to fly to England to evade arrest. More, the name stuck. The terms "adventurer" and "spy" were applied to him repeatedly for no better reason than the false charges of 1745 and 1760, and want of a better label!
His later career was not that of the exposed impostor. From London, he traveled to St. Petersburg, where he was concerned in the conspiracy to set Catherine on the Russian throne. We hear of him in Berlin, Holland again, Italy, always honorably received. It may have been at this period that he visited the young Mesmer in Vienna and had at least one long talk with him.
As early as 1768, he was again at Versailles and on friendly terms with the King. He was much in Paris between 1770 and 1774, the dates respectively of the fall from power of the Duc de Choiseul and the King's death. In the next few years, he was at many German cities and courts, until towards 1780 he settled with Prince Charles of Hesse in Schleswig-Holstein. There, at Eckernforde, on February 27, 1784, the church register records his death.
Again, we are plunged into contradiction. For a year later, he is invited to a conference of Freemasons at Wilhelmsbad, and is said to have attended it! Madame d'Adhemar not only records his visit to her in 1788 or so, to warn the King (Louis XVI) of the coming Revolution, but also mentions his being seen in Venice about the same time. A Rosicrucian student dates their "never-to-be-forgotten" meeting in the years 1788-90.
The record of his subsequent tragic appearances to Madame d'Adhemar (up to 1822) in any case enters the realm of the supernormal, but even lacking that we have, at the end as at the beginning, a story that must transcend, or at least evade, the orthodox student's judgment. He is left simply with the spectacle of a mysterious, not unattractive figure, credited with the most remarkable gifts, haunting the Europe of the eighteenth century.
To what end? Again, the historian must confess defeat. Simply, there are no documents. Saint-Germain left no writings, save one "sonnet philosophique" only "attributed" to him. It is interesting if only as showing the sort of thing he might have been expected to write -- a profoundly mystical declaration to be understood exactly in the degree of the reader's own illumination.
All indications point to the mystical cast of Saint-Germain's mind and thought. His travels were not the mere wanderings of a man of leisure. Wherever he journeyed, he was associated with Masonic bodies and students of occult knowledge. He is said to have been a Rosicrucian of high rank, though his interests took a wider sweep than that of any single organization. The foundation of Freemasonry in Germany is set to his credit, and Cagliostro is named as one of his most eminent initiates, though this may be rather an addition to the Cagliostro LEGEND than the Saint-Germain FACT.
Mesmer he seemingly did know, and Lavater sent him promising pupils, while his mission at least would appear to have been identical with Cagliostro's -- the illumination of Western darkness with the knowledge of the Eastern seers. He was, some would say, supervisor of the Theosophical attempt to enlighten the Western world in the eighteenth century, and Madame Blavatsky declared him "certainly the greatest Oriental Adept Europe has seen during the last centuries. But Europe knew him not." There are many things, the Theosophist would say, that Europe does not know.
Certainly, regarding the extraordinary career of the Comte de Saint-Germain, the good European, bound within the narrow circle of his assured knowledge, cannot evade the impression that here indeed IS something that he does NOT know.
By Christmas Humphreys
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, March 1949, pages 166-77.]
Asked, "What is Zen," there is only one truthful answer. "That is it!" Zen is beyond description. It is the life within form and only a form can be described. It refuses to commit itself to any specified pattern of thinking, to conform to the rules of man's imagining, to fill any mold. "It is a world-power, for in so far as men live at all, they live by Zen." (Blyth, ZEN IN ENGLISH LITERATURE, page vii)
If this were vague, it is not the fault of Zen, but the fault of the mind's persistent refusal to focus on truth, preferring the forms of truth. Yet Zen, "though far from indefinite, is by itself indefinable because it is the active principle of life itself." (Blyth, page 2) Nor is its teaching vague. Coal is black, says Zen. Coal is not black, says Zen. This is clear enough, and both are equally true -- or untrue.
Zen slips from the grasp out of affirmation or denial. Either of these traps limits the boundless and cages the illimitable. Below sense is nonsense, where understanding has not reached the plane of formulated truth. Beyond sense lies non-sense, when the limits of all formulation have been transcended, and only a smile or the lifting of a flower can reveal a shared experience.
Zen is a way of looking at life, a rather unusual way. For it is the direct way, whereby all things are seen just as themselves, and not otherwise, and yet at the same time seen as the interfused aspects of a whole. In Zen, all things are ends in themselves, while having no end. To the pure, all things are pure. To the Essence of Mind, all things just are. The nearer we are to the Essence of Mind the nearer we are to the things about us that are and yet are not the Essence of Mind.
"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow," said Jesus.
"Consider the flower in the crannied wall," said Tennyson.
Consider anything you please, but just consider it, not as a symbol of eternity, as God in miniature, as a moral lesson or a Great White Hope, but just consider it.
"Mysticism uses the object, the finite, as a telescope to look into the infinite. Zen looks at the telescope." (Blyth, page 216)
As the Master Jimyo said, "As soon as one particle of dust is raised, the great earth manifests itself there in its entirety."
It is there, all of it, not symbolically, but actually.
There is no need to do more than just to consider it, whatever it may be. The flower is enjoyed for what it is, not otherwise, and he who can rightly look at a flower, without a shadow of aught else intervening, is looking at Zen.
Thereafter he is in direct communion with all living things, and who shall hate these toes and fingers of his larger self that lie on the mind's periphery? They are God, if you care to call them so, or Reality. They therefore deserve the gesture that a lover of Zen may pay with the raised hands of respect to a landscape, a noble picture, or even his bowl of tea. They are brothers, born of the same father, life, out of the same mother, illusion; or they just are.
For those who prefer the language of modern psychology, he who has achieved this power of direct and therefore:
[Illumined vision] is no longer preoccupied with the images of things but merely contains them. The fullness of the world, which heretofore pressed upon it [his consciousness], loses none of its richness and beauty, no longer ruling consciousness. The magical claim of things has ceased because the primordial interweaving of consciousness with the world has finally been disentangled. The unconscious is not projected any more, and so the primal PARTICIPATION MYSTIQUE with things is abolished. Therefore, consciousness is no longer preoccupied with compulsive motives, but becomes vision.
-- C.G. Jung, SECRET OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER, pages 121-2
Zen is therefore a matter of experience, and if this has been said many times before, there is little else to be said. It has a subject but no object. It is impersonal, undirected, and purposeless. There is no reference in the vast literature of recorded satori to union with the Beloved, or of union at all. Zen is a zip-fastener between the opposites. It passes, and they are no more. Yet they are, as none shall deny that once more opens the fastener. Zen is dynamic; it moves and will not wait to be expressed or fastened by the ankle with a phrase. Like Tao,
When one looks at it, one cannot see it; When one listens to it, one cannot hear it; But when one uses it, it is inexhaustible.
-- TAO TE CHING, Chapter 35
Still less can it be the subject of chatter, still less possessed.
Speaking to a pupil who talked about Zen, a Master said, "You have one trivial fault. You have too much Zen."
"But is it not natural for a student of Zen to talk about Zen," asked the puzzled student.
"Why do you hate talking about Zen," intervened a fellow student.
"Because it turns my stomach," said the Master.
Zen has no form, and therefore it has no religion or philosophy of its own. It flowers on a hundred stems, and may use any man-made system to climb to its own integrity. Yet whatever it uses is a substitute for Zen, a mere finger pointing to the moon. No thing, no compound of matter or thought or feeling, must be thought to be the moon when it is but the finger. Or is it the moon?
Zen is a state of consciousness beyond the opposites. It is also the way to such a condition. It has no form and destroys the forms that are made for it. "Coal is black" may be true. So, says Zen, is the opposite, that coal is not black. Both statements limit the truth by an intellectual equation between two things of relative existence. Do we KNOW the coal any more by sticking upon it the label "black?"
Yet the mind is partial to clothing for truth, being prudish-minded about her essential nakedness. Even Bodhidharma is said to have laid down the four fundamental principles already set out. Let us consider them.
A SPECIAL TRANSMISSION OUTSIDE THE SCRIPTURES
Is Zen, then, esoteric? Some say yes, that in fact it never had an exoteric form. The Robe was handed down from Patriarch to Patriarch and for a long time nothing of this "transmission" was written down.
In the Samyutta Nijaya of the Pali Canon is the famous story of the simsapa leaves. Taking up a handful of leaves, the Buddha asked his disciples, "What think ye, Brethren, which are the more, these leaves that I hold in my hand or those in the grove above?"
The inevitable answer being given, he made his point. "Just so, those things that I know but have not revealed are greater by far than those that I have revealed ... And why have I not revealed them? ... Because they do not conduce to profit, are not concerned with the holy life."
To those who have need of words to communicate experience, there is a limit to what may be taught with profit. Yet those who have opened the "third eye" of the intuition may speak with the Master on his own exalted plane.
A Confucian came to a Master to be initiated into Zen. The Master quoted Confucius, "Do you think I am holding something back from you? Indeed, I have held nothing back!"
The Confucian was about to answer, when the Master thundered, "No!"
The enquirer was troubled in his mind, but later, when walking in the mountains with the Master, they passed the wild laurel in bloom, and the air was redolent.
"Do you smell it," asked the Master.
"There," he said, when the Confucian agreed, "I have kept back nothing from you!"
There is, therefore, a transmission outside the Scriptures, yet these Scriptures form a remarkable body of literature. All alike must be read with the intuition.
They are direct expressions of spiritual experience, they contain intuitions gained by digging down deeply into the abyss of the Unconscious, and they make no pretension of presenting them through the medium of the intellect.
-- Suzuki, ESSAYS IN ZEN BUDDHISM, III, page 7
None is canonical in the sense that it is authoritative, for Buddhism knows no authority. The most used Scriptures are the Lankavatara Sutra, bequeathed to the fold of Zen by Bodhidharma; the Diamond Sutra, the hearing of which converted the Sixth Patriarch, Hui-neng; the Sutra of Hui-neng (Wei-lang) himself, and perhaps the Huang-Po Doctrine of Universal Mind. All these are available in English.
Portions of the Avatamsaka Sutra, described by Dr. Suzuki as the consummation of Buddhist thought and Buddhist experience, appear in Mrs. Suzuki's MAHAYANA BUDDHISM. In Zen monasteries in Japan, the Prajnaparamita-hridaya Sutra (the Shingyo), being short, is recited on all occasions, and the Kwannon Sutra, the Japanese name for the Samantamukha-parivarta, appears very frequently.
All these are, as Kaiten Nukariya calls them, "religious currency representing spiritual wealth." They are substitutes, at the best, for actual experience. Indeed, the scorn of the Zen practitioner for the printed word has at times been carried too far. Even the ability to read and write has been frowned upon, and the utmost ignorance of normal affairs been praised as a virtue.
This is the folly of extremes, like the burning of books. Though the finger points to the moon and is not the moon, it is foolish to cut off the finger until the way to the moon is clear. Even if as Mr. Nukariya insists, "the Universe is the Scripture of Zen," there are volumes in which its learning is made more immediately available. Yet "the man who talks much of the Teaching but does not practice it, is like a cowman counting another's cattle; he is no disciple of the Blessed One" (DHAMMAPADA, verse 19); or, in the later words of Hui-neng,
Whether Sutra-reciting will enlighten you or not depends on yourself. He who recites the Sutra with the tongue and puts its teaching into actual practice with the mind "turns round" the Sutra. He who recites it without putting it into practice is "turned round" by the Sutra.
-- SUTRA OF WEI LANG, pages 70-1
NO RELIANCE UPON WORDS OR LETTERS
This seems but an extension of the first, almost the antiphonal principle of the Psalms. Yet it rubs the lesson in. Words are but marks on paper or noises in the air. At the best, they are symbols for the truth, substitutes, and poor ones, for another's experience.
"Those who know do not speak; those who speak do not know," says the TAO TE CHING, yet words are needed to transcend words, and intellection is needed to rise above the intellect, except that this rising must not be made in a dualistic or "escapist" sense, for no such escape is here possible.
-- Suzuki, THE ESSENCE OF BUDDHISM, page 26
Words are the pins on which the butterflies of life are stuck to a board. They may look pretty, but their raison d'etre has gone. Words exist for their meaning, of which they are but the shadow, and if they enshrine some part of the meaning, they probably obscure still more. Hence, in Zen, one searches for other and better ways to convey experience. These methods might include a shout, blow, joke, paradox, or gesture. Even silence itself is more direct as a medium.
This medium functions "directly" and "at once" as if it were the experience itself -- as when deep calls to deep. This direct functioning is compared to one brightly burnished mirror reflecting another which stands facing the first with nothing in between.
-- Suzuki, PHILOSOPHY, EAST AND WEST, page 113
Zen frowns upon some "devices." Images have their value as a focus point for concentration and for the paying of respect to the memory of the Teacher whose Enlightenment is Zen, but not otherwise.
When the Master Tanka was bitterly cold, he took a wooden image from the shrine of the temple where he was staying and put it in the fire. The keeper of the shrine was naturally horrified. Tanka was poking about in the ashes with his stick.
"What are you looking for," asked the keeper.
"The holy Shariras," said the Master, referring to the relics said to be found in the ashes of a saint.
"But there aren't any in a wooden Buddha," said the keeper.
"Then give me the other two images," said Tanka.
Zen is indeed iconoclastic.
"Do not linger where the Buddha is, and where he is not, pass on."
When Joshu found a monk in the temple worshiping the image of the Buddha, he struck him with his staff.
"Is there not anything good in the worship of the Buddha," asked the monk.
"Nothing is better than anything good," was the famous reply.
DIRECT POINTING TO THE SOUL OF MAN
Zen points, and is that at which we point. This "soul" or HSIN, the Chinese word that covers inmost heart or mind, is the Tao of the Taoist. To the Buddhist, it is the Buddha within. All that points to it points truly, and according to Zen, all things are fingers pointing to the same experience. The way is clear enough. We drop the veils that we hold in front of us. We drop all of them and not a carefully selected few. "Straightforwardness is the holy place, the Pure Land," said Hui-neng, quoting the Vimalakirti Nirdesha Sutra. Between the two ends of straightforwardness, nothing at all must intervene.
Speaking of the folly of definition, a monk asked a Master, "Am I right when I have no idea?"
The Master, answered, "Throw away that idea of yours."
"What can I throw away," asked the monk.
"You are free, of course, to carry about that useless idea of no idea."
The monk, it is said, was enlightened. Then why, if this be true, do we need a library of books wherewith to find ourselves? For fifteen hundred years, Zen Masters have "pointed" without them. As Suzuki asks:
When a syllable or a wink is enough, why spend one's life in writing huge books, or building a grandiose cathedral?
-- THE EASTERN BUDDHIST, VI, page 121
(All right, I know! This is my way of LEARNING Zen.)
By George William Russell
[From THE CANDLE OF VISION, Chapter VII, pages 48-55.]
To move a single step, we must have power. To see, we must be exalted. Not to be lost in vision, we must learn the geography of the spirit and the many mansions in the being of the Father. If we concentrate, we shall have power. If we meditate, we shall lift ourselves above the dark environment of the brain. The inner shall become richer and more magical to us than the outer that has held us so long.
How may I allure to this meditation those whom see only by the light of day? How might I attract those whom are as cave dwellers living in blackness beneath the hills when they shut their eyes? The cave of the body can be lit up. If we explore it, we shall there find light by which the light of day is made dim.
Perhaps I brought with me into the world a little gift of imagination that I build upon. I know others who had no natural vision but acquired this. By sustained meditation and by focusing the will to a burning-point, they raised themselves above the narrow life of the body.
Being an artist and a lover of visible beauty, I was often tempted from the highest meditation. I would contemplate the mirage of forms instead of the divine being. Yet because I was so bewitched and was curious about all I saw, I became certain that the images that populate the brain have not always been there. They do not come from things seen that have been refashioned.
The pictures that come to us mingle with the pictures of memory. They are sometimes from the minds of others, sometimes glimpses of distant countries, and sometimes reflections of happenings in regions invisible to the outer eyes. As meditation grows more exalted, the forms traceable to memory tend to disappear. We have access to a memory greater than our own then. We access the treasure house of august memories in the innumerable being of Earth.
In beginning this quest, we make a minute analysis of images in the brain. Those foolish fables about memory and imagination no longer affect us. We see how many streams are tributary to our life.
Anyone who is as curious about things of the mind as I was may prove all I have said. They may do so if they but light the candle on their forehead and examine the denizens in the brain. They will find that their sphere is populous with the innermost thoughts of others. Led by wonder and awe, they will increasingly believe that all swims in an ether of deity. The least motion of our minds is incomprehensible except remembering, "In Him we live and move and have our being." Analysis of the simplest mental apparition will lead us to stay on that thought often.
Once in an idle interval in my work, I sat with my face pressed in my hands. In that dimness, pictures began flickering in my brain. I saw a little dark shop. The counter was before me. Behind it was an old man fumbling with some papers. He was a man so old that his motions had lost swiftness and precision. Deeper in the store was a girl, red-haired, with grey watchful eyes fixed on the old man. I saw that to enter the shop one must take two steps downwards from the cobbled pavement.
My office companion was writing a letter then. I questioned the young man and found that what I had seen was his father's shop. I had imagined the old man with his yellow-white beard and his fumbling movements, the watchful girl with her color, and the steps from the cobbled pavement. None of this was my imagination in a true sense. While I was in a vacant mood, my companion had been thinking of his home. His brain was populous with quickened memories. They invaded my mind. When I made question, I found their origin.
How many thousand times do such images invade us and there is no speculation over them? Possibly, I might have made use of such things in my art. I might have made a tale about the old man and girl. I had done so and other characters had appeared in my tale that seemed just as living, where would they have come from? Would I have again been drawing upon the reservoir of my companion's memories?
In reality, the vision of the girl and old man may have been but part of the images with which my brain was flooded. Did I then see all? Perhaps other images in the same series may emerge later.
Say that I had written a tale and had imagined an inner room, an old mother, an absent son, and family trouble. All the while, might I not be still adventuring in another's life? So marvelous are the hidden ways that while we think we imagine a character we may really be interpreting a being that actually exists. Some affinity of sentiment or soul might have brought that being into psychic contact with us.
Not knowing where he was then, I brooded once upon a friend. Soon I seemed to myself to be walking in the night. Near me was the Sphinx. More remotely was a dim pyramid.
Months later, my friend came to Ireland. I found that he had been in Egypt at the time I had thought of him. He could not recollect the precise day. While there, he spent a night beside the great monuments. I did not see him in vision, but I seemed to be walking there in the night. Why did the angle of vision change as with one moving about? Did I see through his eyes or did I see images reflected from his sphere to my own as in the other incident?
Where does this vision end? What are its limitations? Fully come to ourselves, would we be full of eyes within and without like those beings in the Apocalypse? In the fullness of power, would we act through many men and speak through many voices? Were the great masters like Shakespeare unconscious magi or blind visionaries? Did they feel and comprehend a life that they could not see? If they saw it, did they think it was their own creation?
We must ask ourselves these questions. With lit lamp, we find the house of our being has many chambers. There are creatures living there that come and go. We must ask whether they have the right to be in our house. There are corridors there leading into the hearts of others, and windows that open into eternity. We hardly can tell where our own being ends and another begins or tell if there is any end to our being.
Follow the meditation ordained by Buddha for the brothers of his order. Let our minds pervade the entire world with a heart of love. Upon this myriad unity, brood lovingly. We come increasingly to permeate the lives of others as they increasingly pervaded our lives.
Unknown comrades haunt us in many moods. Their naked souls pass through ours, revealing themselves to us in an unforgettable instant. We know them as we hardly know those who are the daily comrades of our heart. However intimate those comrades may be, the husks of their bodies hide them from us.
As the inner life grows richer, we beget more of these affinities. We wonder what relation to them is ours. Do they move us by a revelation more intimate than could be uttered by word? Do we affect them by sympathy unknown to them?
We discover a new sense in ourselves. By touch with the soul, we understand. We realize how profound that ancient wisdom was. It told us that when we perfected our concentration we could gain full comprehension of anything we wished by intent brooding.
I never attained that perfection of concentration, but I saw the possibilities in moments of electric intensity of will when I summoned out of the past a knowledge I desired.
How is this knowledge possible? Is there a center within us through which all the threads of the universe are drawn, a spiritual atom that mirrors the spiritual infinitudes even as the eye is a mirror of the external heavens?
Every pinpoint in visible space contains a microcosm of heaven and earth. We know that. Everywhere we might move the eyes receive their vision of infinity.
Does the infinite only condense in the visible world? Might it also be in the soul and again in the spirit? What would the soul in its perfection mirror? Would it reflect within itself the myriad life of humanity?
Would the spirit mirror the heaven? Would mystic and transcendental ideations well up within the imaginations of the Divine Mind? Is all knowledge already within us? In our need for wisdom, do we create links between portions of a single being, dramatically sundered by illusion as the soul is in dream?
Is not the gathering of the will and the fiery brooding to this end? Are the glimpses we get of supernature caused but by the momentary uplifting of an eye? When it fully awakens, shall it raise we dead?
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.]
WITH THE MAGI
The King was offering sacrifice in the presence of the Magi when the news of Apollonius's arrival was brought to him. He immediately recalled a dream he had dreamed the day before, that he was Artaxerxes the son of Xerxes, and that his face became like that of the latter. The interpretation was plain. For Themistocles had come from Greece to Artaxerxes and by his conversation had made him estimable, as his father had been; also he had justified his own reputation as a Greek philosopher. Obviously, Apollonius would benefit him as Themistocles had benefited Artaxerxes, and would prove to be as great a philosopher as his reputation declared.
Apollonius passed throughout the gorgeous palace in amiable discussion with Damis as to various questions of Greek mystic, without paying the slightest attention to the sumptuous splendor of the building. The palace court was large, and the King called aloud to him from a distance and bade him join in the sacrifice to the sun of a white horse from the Nisean plains.
"Do you, O King, sacrifice after your manner," said Apollonius, "but allow me to sacrifice after my own fashion." So saying, he took the incense in his hand and said, "O Sun, conduct me to whatever part of the world may seem good to you and me; and grant me to know only the virtuous; as to the wicked, I wish neither to know them nor be known by them." Then he cast the incense on the fire, observing the smoke, how it rose and curled and shot into spiral forms. Afterwards he touched the fire as though the omens were favorable and said, "O King, do you continue to sacrifice after the ceremonies of your own country; for my part, I have observed what belongs to mine."
He then withdrew from the sacrifice lest he should be made an accomplice in the shedding of blood.
Apollonius was glad to find the king spoke Greek as though it were his mother tongue, so that they could converse the more freely. The faculty that Apollonius possessed of speaking all languages was not always drawn upon. He told the king of his intended visit to the Indians and that he was anxious to know the wisdom of the Magi at the court, whether they were really wise in religious matters or not. He declared his own system of philosophy to be that of Pythagoras the Samian, who taught him to worship the gods in the way he had demonstrated, "to discern their several natures, and respect them accordingly, to converse with them and dress myself in garments made from the genuine fleece of the earth, not torn from the sheep, but from what grows pure from the pure, from linen, the simple produce of earth and water. I let my hair grow, and abstain from all animal food, in obedience to the doctrine of Pythagoras. With you or any other man, I can never indulge in the gratifications of the table. I promise to free you from perplexing and vexatious cares, for I not only know, but foreknow what is to be."
Realizing the absolute sincerity of Apollonius, the king declared that he was more pleased at his arrival than if he had the wealth of India and Persia added to his own. The Greek should be the royal guest and have apartments in the royal palace.
"If you should visit Tyana, my birthplace," asked Apollonius, "and if I should offer you lodging in my house, would you accept?"
"Hardly that," said the king, "unless your house were large enough to receive me and my attendants and in a way becoming my rank and consequence."
"Then," said Apollonius, "I would be no more comfortable than you are should I live in a house above my condition of life. All excess is troublesome to the wise, as the want of it is to the great ones of the earth, such as you. Therefore I would prefer to lodge with some private individual, of like fortune with myself. But as for conversation, I will converse with you as much as you please."
The king respected his feelings and assented. Apollonius lodged with a Babylonian who was a man of good family and character.
While they were at supper, a eunuch arrived from the king with a message. "The king gives you the choice of ten boons, and permission to choose them yourself. He insists that you should ask nothing of mean value or little worth, but he is anxious to impress you and ourselves with a sense of his great bounty."
"When is the choice to be made," asked Apollonius.
"Tomorrow," replied the messenger, as he went off to summon the king's relatives and friends to witness the respect paid to so honor a supplicant.
Apollonius appeared to be considering the things he might ask, which was somewhat puzzling to Damis, who, knowing his friend and teacher, almost expected him to ask for nothing. A man whose prayers to the gods were usually after the formula, "YE GODS, I ASK THAT YOU GRANT ME FEW POSSESSIONS AND NO WANTS!" would surely ask little of the king.
While in this state of curiosity, Apollonius took the opportunity of pointing out that before a day was past they would have an example of the fact that the forcible destruction of the means of sinning physically had no effect on the mind, and that such practices were worse than useless. He was thinking of the king's messenger. As a master-philosopher often does, he pretended to be a little ignorant of life as it is in reality, and let Damis pulverize his theories with blunt statements of 'fact,' such as that when deprived of the means of sinning by physical means a man could not sin. By so doing, Damis only succeeded in being caught by the admission that he needed the lesson when it came. His hasty remark that a child would know what he said to be true, as though he wondered at his master's ignorance of practical life, recoiled on his own head next day. The conversation led to a consideration of the banishment of desire from the mind, which is just what Apollonius was quietly leading up to.
"The virtue of temperance," declared Apollonius "consists in not yielding to passion though you feel all the incentives to it, but in abstaining from it and showing yourself superior to all its allurements."
Damis missed the point altogether, not realizing that the desire of the body and the desire of money are really only different facets of the same quality of desire.
"Let us talk about that later on," he said. "Meanwhile you have to think of the royal message so nobly given. I think personally you will ask for nothing, but the question is how to do so without seeming to slight the king's offer. Remember where we are in the king's power, and how we must avoid even the appearance of treating the king with disrespect. Besides, we have enough money to get to India, but not enough to return, so it is necessary to consider carefully what to do."
The tone of the disciple who 'knows better' is plainly discernible. Was it ever otherwise? Apollonius was enjoying the joke, which was serious enough, for he had to teach Damis without appearing to do more than "draw him out." This is precisely the meaning of the word "education."
With the serious face of an unpractical theorist, he did just the last thing Damis expected him to do. He almost pleaded for the right to take money from anyone in his character of a philosopher. Why, the very test of a true teacher is that he will accept never a penny for his teachings and despises money that comes in a personal guise. He quoted philosopher after philosopher who had sought money, until Damis began to wonder what had happened to him. Then to drive the lesson home by sudden contrast, Apollonius told him that nothing was as unpardonable to a wise man as the love of money. All other things may be forgiven him of men, but not this, since the display of a love of money will naturally cause it to be supposed that he is already overcome by the love of good living, fine clothes, wine, etc.
"If you think that committing a fault at Babylon is not the same as committing one at Athens, Damis, remember that EVERY PLACE IS GREECE TO A WISE MAN. He esteems no place desert or barbarous whilst he lives under the eyes of virtue, whose regards are extended to very few men, and looks on such with a hundred eyes. Surely an athlete who has to contend at Olynthos, or in Macedonia, or in Egypt, will train himself just as much as he would when contending among the Greeks, and in their most celebrated places of exercise?"
Damis was ashamed of his hasty arguments and asked pardon for having presumed to give such advice.
"Be not troubled, Damis," said his teacher. "I have not spoken for the sake of rebuke, but for the purpose of illustration."
The eunuch came to summon Apollonius to the king for the ceremony of the granting of the boons. The latter stayed to perform his accustomed religious duties and then went to the king. All the court was amazed at his singular and venerable appearance. The king promptly offered him ten great boons to be chosen by himself.
"I will not refuse," said Apollonius, "but there is one above all that I value more than many tens." He then told the unhappy history of the exiled Eretrians, and pleaded that they might remain in possession of the hill granted them by Darius.
The king declared that they had been enemies. They had taken up arms against their rulers and had been almost exterminated. But now they should be considered friends and given a just governor over them. "But why not accept the remaining nine boons," asked the king in some little surprise that this was all Apollonius required of him.
"Because I have not had time to make more friends," said the philosopher, ever thinking of the welfare of the others and indifferent to his own.
"But surely you have needs of your own," asked the king. "Is there nothing you require for yourself?"
"Nothing but a little fruit and bread," replied Apollonius. "They make an excellent meal!"
During this extraordinary scene, very conclusive evidence indeed arrived that a man physically deprived of the power of sinning could and did retain the same power mentally with undiminished force. One of the eunuchs was discovered in the king's chamber where he had been expressly forbidden to go, as he had been forbidden to join the others of his class when they were dressing the king's wives.
So great was the offense that the king appealed to Apollonius to declare a fitting sentence for the wretch. Death many times over was a mild punishment according to the notions of the time.
"Let him go free," said Apollonius. "That is my sentence."
The king and court were overwhelmed with amazement at this strange decision.
"It is not a pardon, but a punishment," said Apollonius. "Let him live, and he will suffer from his diseased mind, gaining no pleasure from eating, or drinking, or amusements, or sleeping; spending his life in imagining impossibilities; he will be so miserable that he will wish you had put him to death now. He will plead for death, and if you do not give it he will put an end to his own existence."
In this manner Apollonius demonstrated the power of the law which is more just than all the laws of men, and unerring in its power to balance cause and effect. At the same time, the king, by remitting the death penalty, himself escaped the operation of the same law which would have held him accountable for taking the life of another. This is the philosophical law known as Karma, the law of action and reaction, which are equal and inevitable.
Invited to go hunting, Apollonius declined, since it was no more pleasing to give pain and suffering to animals and confine them in captivity than it was to sacrifice them.
Asked the best way of reigning in security, he replied, "By honoring many and trusting few."
He pointed out the folly of engaging in wars of small matters which, if evil or unjust, were infinitely less so than the evils and injustices of war against so great a power as that of the Romans.
The king, being sick to death, was visited by Apollonius, who discoursed on the nature of the soul so eloquently that the king revived.
"Apollonius not only made me despise my kingdom, but death itself," he declared.
The king one day boasted of having spent two whole days in hearing one cause in his administration of justice, so great was his desire to do right.
"I am sorry you took so long to find out what is just," was all the satisfaction he received from the philosopher.
Displaying his enormous wealth, the king was told by Apollonius, "You look upon it as so much wealth, but I regard it as so much straw."
"How then am I to deal with it," asked the King.
"By making a proper use of it, for you are a king," said Apollonius. In this he declared his doctrine of wealth being but a trust held for the account of all.
Privately to Damis, Apollonius remarked one day that the king was a courteous prince, too good to reign over barbarians. Evidently the little surprising replies he sometimes made to the king were not regarded nor meant as rebukes but, as Damis himself had been told, as "illustrations." The time for departure arrived according to the omen which had declared they should be twenty months at Babylon. Apollonius prepared to leave his willing host. He recalled the nine boons that had not been granted, and asked the king if he might not now claim one more.
"Thou best of princes, I have shown no mark whatever of favor to my host with whom I have been living, and I am also under many obligations to the Magi. I beg of you to respect them for my sake, for they are wise men, greatly devoted to your service."
The king was delighted with this unselfish request.
"Tomorrow," he said, "you shall see these men made objects of emulation, and highly rewarded. And more than that, though you yourself will take nothing, at least let some of those men with Damis accept some part of my wealth, as much as ever they wish."
As soon as they heard this, they all turned away, and Apollonius said to the king as he pointed to them, "You see my hands. Although many, they are all alike!" This is the true philosophical symbol of the teacher and his disciples, and shows a quiet way Apollonius had of inculcating his philosophy.
But the way to India over the Caucasus is through a three days' desert, and the king provided camels and water and provisions. The inhabitants of the Caucasus-country, he declared, were hospitable and would receive him well.
"But what present will you bring me when you return," asked the king.
"A most acceptable gift," said Apollonius. "If I become wiser by the conversation of the men of that country, I shall return to you better than I leave you."
The king embraced him. "Go thy way," he said, "for the gift will be great."
By Walter E. Kent
The lights dim. The curtain rises. And before the hushed crowd the dance begins. Running out onto the stage, the dancers begin, giving life to the dream. So much energy has been put into creating and learning this dance! It simply has to be done with excellence. The whole world depends on it. Losing herself in the dance, the lovely young woman forgets the audience. They are no longer the tired mass of people awaiting their entertainment. Rather are they seen as the eyes of the universe studying her art. She is standing before the judgement of life itself and is truly naked. Doing a fine show is simply not enough, for far higher standards are in force. Worship is being done to the very nature of beauty, of Venus herself. No sacrifice is too great as she pours out her heart before the world. This poor sad lump of clay, the body, must move faster, cleaner, smoother. Yet behind all this frenzied intensity is a quieter sort of passion. In a calm place in the center of her heart is a gentle sweet love. And this love is the true power behind the swirl of motion and passion. It is for this inner love that the body is put through such tormenting demands. There are people that are good with words and can touch powerful themes. They can point out the majesty and wonder of life in a lasting way. Still others work directly with the minds and hearts of people. They help put others in touch with their true selves and put them at peace. For a dancer, though, life is more concentrated, more intense. These next ten minutes on the stage represent the whole universe. She must move still faster, still smoother, still more genuinely. This is her chance at making a gift to the world; it cannot be lost. Now the curtain draws for intermission and her pounding heart begins to slow. Why did she almost trip? How could she have forgotten that one move? But there is no time for regret and reflection; time is too short. There's just enough time now to put on costume and rush to place on the stage. Before she knows it, the dance concert is over and the audience is leaving. She is too tired to regret the fact that there was only two curtain calls. Then her two-year-old boy runs up, hugs her leg, and says "I love you." And she realizes that she is dancing in a much bigger show than she had thought.
By Boris de Zirkoff
[This talk comes from the first part of a tape recording on "Chapter XII of FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY, Part I," made of a private class held on May 19, 1954.]
Chapter 12 of FUNDAMENTALS OF ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY opens discussing passages from THE SECRET DOCTRINE. As a work, FUNDAMENTALS is more than a commentary since it both elucidates and offers further installments of the Teachings.
In this chapter, we deal with three or four propositions from one of the most important chapters of the first volume of THE SECRET DOCTRINE. Among other things, HPB says that the Secret Doctrine is the accumulated wisdom of the ages.
There is a fundamental law in our system. It is the central point from which all emerges and towards which all gravitates. Upon it hangs the rest of the philosophy. What is it? There is the one, homogeneous, divine substance-principle, the one radical cause. From this, the theosophical student realizes the impersonal conception of the divine. It involves none of the limitations of the lower mind. It involves none of the emotional attitude found in many schools regarding deity.
To Theosophist, divinity is the central abstract point from which everything has emerged. All gravitates around this homogeneous center, ultimately returning to it only to reissue forth again. It involves substance and principle, matter and consciousness, or substance and energy.
HPB says the universe is the periodic manifestation of this unknown, absolute essence. She does not use "universe" to mean the totality of all that is. That totality is incomprehensible and not subject to periodic manifestation. She means a particular hierarchy, one universe out of millions. That could be the solar system. If that is not vast enough to satisfy, let it be a million solar systems, perhaps a galaxy. It can refer to any aggregate of evolving systems.
Such an aggregate has its beginning, evolutionary unfoldment, and relative ending. It has its periodical manifestation. Just like a man, it has manifested before. Just as we will have another embodiment on earth, it will manifest again as well. However grand a universe may be as a particular system, it is the periodical manifestation of this unknown, absolute essence.
HPB says that the field of consciousness, the field of the All, has a constant succession of manifesting universes like sparks of eternity. At a particular time, there are always some universes arising, others in full bloom, and others going out. In the endless field of infinity and eternity, there is the appearance and disappearance of individual universes. It is like the ebb and flow of the tides of the sea. Not only can we see this on inner planes of consciousness, but also on the physical.
The universe with everything in it we call "Maya." All is temporary therein, from the ephemeral life of a firefly to that of the sun. What difference is there between the lifespan of a firefly and that of a sun? From our small, human standpoint, the firefly is puny and insignificant and the sun is tremendous, majestic, and almost endures forever.
The life of the sun is as ephemeral as the life of a firefly, when compared with something vastly greater. There are things so far beyond our conception that they dwarf all we know into a mere atom by comparison. At the same time, the lifespan of a firefly is long when compared to the cycles of an atom or of an electron. How relative are these conceptions!
In THE SECRET DOCTRINE is a passage with a wealth of basic propositions of the Esoteric Philosophy, packed with Teachings and meaning. HPB says:
The Universe is worked and GUIDED from WITHIN OUTWARDS. As above so it is below, as in heaven so on earth; and man -- the microcosm and miniature copy of the macrocosm -- is the living witness to this Universal Law and to the mode of its action. We see that every EXTERNAL motion, act, gesture, whether voluntary or mechanical, organic or mental, is produced and preceded by INTERNAL feeling or emotion, will or volition, and thought or mind. As no outward motion or change, when normal, in man's external body can take place unless provoked by an inward impulse, given through one of the three functions named, so with the external or manifested Universe. The whole Kosmos is guided, controlled, and animated by almost endless series of Hierarchies of sentient Beings, each having a mission to perform, and who -- whether we give to them one name or another, and call them Dhyani-Chohans or Angels -- are "messengers" in the sense only that they are the agents of Karmic and Cosmic Laws.
-- H.P. Blavatsky, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, I, page 274.
Everything in the universe works and guides itself from within outwards through evolutional unfoldment. Everything has its roots or impelling urges within its constitution. Everything organizes from within, being a manifestation or embodiment of an internal energy.
All that we know ourselves to be and all that we see outside ourselves are but partial expression of something higher, symbol of something greater. This is true whether we consider our lives, the lives of atoms, or the life stories of universes. As HPB says, an almost endless series of hierarchies of sentient beings guides, controls, and animates the Kosmos. On whatever level, plane, or scale, they carry a force, power, pattern, or blueprint. They are messengers of a higher force, transmitters of a higher power, or distributors of a certain message. Eventually when embodied in the lower worlds, they manifest powers from within.
The old Greeks and early Christians called the spiritual motivating powers of the hidden universe "angeloi." In a mystical sense, they meant messengers, not what the word "angel" has come to mean in later theology. They were messengers in the sense of being agents of cosmic and karmic law.
HPB continues by saying:
They vary infinitely in their respective degrees of consciousness and intelligence; and to call them all pure Spirits without any of the earthly alloy "which time is wont to prey upon" is only to indulge in poetical fancy. For each of these Beings either WAS, or prepares to become, a man, if not in the present, then in a past or a coming cycle (Manvantara). They are PERFECTED, when not INCIPIENT, men; and differ morally from the terrestrial human beings, on their higher (less material) spheres, only in that they are devoid of the feeling of personality and of the HUMAN emotional nature -- two purely earthly characteristics.
-- H.P. Blavatsky, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, I, pages 274-75.
Carefully consider and remember this exceedingly important Teaching. Students have taken it out of context, twisting and misunderstanding it. This is not out of ill will, but due to ignorance. From this unfortunately, false Teachings now exist in part of the Theosophical Movement. Remember what the Esoteric Philosophy teaches. From where we are as human beings, we look upon other hierarchies. There are grades of evolving beings low and high, below us and above us.
Below are myriads of entities that will become men in due course of time. These incipient or potential men will evolve into human beings in the future. The myriad above us have graduated from human life. They were men, perfected themselves, and finally entered higher schools of learning far above our condition. They are spiritual beings now. Looking higher, we see those that are past men, perfected men, and beyond. Looking in the other direction, there are those that are incipient, potential men. Rising from the depths of the lower degrees, this stream of evolutionary growth passes through the stage of manhood sometime and forges ahead into greater realms of spirit.
Remember this. It is important. In part of the Theosophical Movement and in certain books that pass for theosophical, there is the idea that there are kingdoms parallel with the human race. They are composed of Devas (Sanskrit for angels). The claim is that certain Monads evolve through them without ever meeting our human kingdom.
This wishful idea is unfortunate. It is a crossbreed of partial truth, exoteric legends, and religious folklore, mostly Hindu. It is not the Teaching of the Esoteric Philosophy. Nothing in THE SECRET DOCTRINE supports it. Other installments of the Esoteric Philosophy from high sources offer no support. We cannot show it to hang together with the other Teachings.
The beauty of the Esoteric Philosophy is that every Teaching hangs together with the rest harmoniously, blending perfectly. We may find one that does not blend, clashing and producing impossible gaps. It can be shown to be an alteration based on ignorance, wishful thought, or misunderstanding. We blame no one, for there is no evil motive behind the changes. We simply point out that some Teachings are genuine and others perverted.
The kingdoms of life are great schools of evolutionary unfoldment. They blend with each other and pass one into the next. Without ultimate beginning or end, there is an endless line, a pilgrimage of evolutionary unfoldment through them. It is a golden thread upon which all the myriad forms of life hang. Along it, each kingdom helps the one below it. In a certain peculiar, mystical way, each kingdom pushes forward the one after it. The help goes both ways.
The Esoteric Philosophy teaches that there is an endless progression with the kingdoms of life interrelated and hanging together. At every stage of life, one always has hope of becoming greater. If the evolutionary pathways divided into parallel lines never meeting nor crossing, the entire beautiful symmetry would fall apart.
... the differentiation of the "Germ" of the Universe into the septenary hierarchy of conscious Divine Powers, who are the active manifestations of the One Supreme Energy. They are the framers, shapers and ultimately the creators of all the manifested Universe, in the only sense in which the name "Creator" is intelligible; they inform and guide it; they are the intelligent Beings who adjust and control evolution, embodying in themselves those manifestations of the ONE LAW, which we know as the "Laws of Nature."
-- H.P. Blavatsky, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, I, pages 21-22.
Here again, the thought is clearly brought out. Throughout the structure of the universe, there runs a uniform pattern or overall blueprint that the hierarchies of beings follow. Some cosmic, personal divinity did not draw this outline. The law upon which it operates is a fact of being. It is impossible to define its essential nature. We can only observe its workings. The pattern transcends the limits of our finite minds now and forever.
Medieval theologies misunderstood the word "creator" awfully. To the Theosophist, it means the power within man or universal to manifest an already-existing spiritual reality. It is not the bringing of something out of nothing. Creation does not happen by one making or fashioning something out of nothing.
In the theosophical sense, every human being is a creator. He cannot do otherwise. A man cannot even write a letter without creating as he manifests a sequence of thoughts upon a piece of paper. He creates. He did not bring something out of nothing upon the paper.
Consider again the claim that the angels have a different evolution, parallel and apart from our humanity. Why call that wishful thought? Some people love to worship and adore something outside of them. The exoteric religions of the world encourage that. Unfortunately, some theosophical students have not understood the Teachings and do the same.
In the hearts and minds of some is a desire to imagine entities they might worship, leaning upon them and invoking them for help without having an actual relation to them. That is wishful thought. We realize that these entities were like us once. In some time in the future, we men of today will be as they are now and ever greater. This realization cuts at the root of personal worship. We certainly revere these higher ones without worshipping them.
We feel justice running through the entire cosmic structure as a thread. There are no gaps between the kingdoms of life. Life weighs all of us in the same cosmic scale.
We should try to bring out in ourselves that which these higher ones have. We do so without using them as a crutch. All of us has within ourselves in potential those centers of power that have made those higher beings what they are today.
Outside our kingdom, some beings have been men. Others will wait for later Manvantaras to become men. These latter ones comprise the kingdoms below us. They form the elementals, minerals, vegetables, and most of the animals. In due course, these monads will evolve out of the lower kingdoms and become human, having reached the stage of human self-consciousness. It will not be in this Manvantara. We call them incipient or potential men. They form the humanity of future cycles.
Those above us have gone far beyond being perfected men. They were human beings in the distant past. We should not lean upon them. Our attitude toward these greater beings should be reverence. In revering them, we but revere our spiritual part. Inwardly, we have the nucleus of a Mahatma. We have the nucleus of a demigod. We have a center of consciousness that will blossom forth into full-fledged godhood eventually. We have those centers. If not, we would never evolve to those higher stages. The seeds of those future attainments are within us today.
By analogy, the seeds of humanity are in the animal, vegetable, mineral, and elemental. The seeds of the type of consciousness of the higher kingdoms are in them. If not, they would never become anything higher.
Reverence consists of recognition of greatness and the desire to emulate. We desire to grow and become like someone greater. There is a great difference between reverence and a worshipful attitude. We do not adopt an adoring attitude, praying for unearned favors and advantages.
Most religions teach worship. That is why the dear, lovely people in them live in a fool's paradise. They live in a delusion, a world of unreality. We cannot blame them. In spite of their religion, many live beautiful lives and are constructive elements in the community. Why live decently, grow, and better yourself? Why try if you could put your sins on the shoulders of Jesus or the Virgin Mary, or put them on the corresponding Mohammedan or Hindu gods? Why be better?
Millions try to better themselves in spite of the pernicious, dangerous, and delusive doctrines that their religions have taught them from childhood. That proves the existence of the inner man in every human being. Even though brought up on wrong teachings, they yearn to better their lives.
Do we call the human kingdom the midway point of evolution because at that stage an entity becomes self-conscious? No. We call it a midpoint simply because we are human and we have human teachers. In whatever kingdom we may be in, we are in the middle of infinity. In both directions, there is infinity. Infinity is indefinable. We are in its paradoxical middle. There are stretches into illimitable distances of time and consciousness in both directions.
A god already knows the Teachings. Imagine one reviewing what we now study. He considers his relative place in the path of evolution. From the standpoint of his particular state of consciousness, he would see himself in the middle of a procession with infinity in both directions. The same would seem true if observed from the standpoint of any kingdom. Our vantage point is no more special than that of other kingdoms. The human state of self-consciousness is by no means the most important state of consciousness in a hierarchy.
Below the human, one is conscious but not self-conscious. One's conditions of consciousness do not reflect on themselves. One does not mirror nor recognize oneself consciously. One has not yet unfolded the power to choose. In a sense, the human consciousness is the middle point. It is the bridge between non-self-consciousness and a condition of consciousness above the human. It embodies the beginning of freedom of choice. This develops through the various stages of humanity into full-fledged freedom of choice among perfected men, the Teachers, the Masters, or the Adepts.
When you jump into the hierarchy next above ours, your self-consciousness would not be human. It would be that of demigods. You enter kingdoms devoid of human personality and emotion. We cannot define these things. They are beyond us.
There is an analogy between the principles and the kingdoms. It exists and is perfect, whether you talk of seven, ten, or twelve of each. I will try to make this clear. It gets confusing when you make inappropriate comparisons. You might introduce the problem when dealing with different systems of numeration. This is something that you should not do. Do not mix seven principles with ten classes of monads or kingdoms, twelve signs of the zodiac, and maybe some other sevenfold division.
We may speak of the manifested universe, that portion of a universal hierarchy that fully manifests. Doing so, we should confine ourselves to a sevenfold division. Of an entire hierarchy, some is unmanifest, some forms the link between the unmanifest and manifest, and the rest fully manifests. Speaking of the entire hierarchy, we bring in all twelve element-principles. There are twelve classes of monads (or ten classes with two links that bind them to other hierarchies). There are twelve signs of the zodiac. Keeping to this twelve-fold division, it all hangs together. Then we talk about the chain having twelve rather than seven globes.
Why did HPB outline her Teachings in THE SECRET DOCTRINE using a sevenfold division? It was in latter part of the nineteenth century. She and probably her teachers felt that a sevenfold scheme was as much as a student could possibly understand at that time. She hinted that when it comes to the unmanifested part of a hierarchy, the Teachings are too abstruse upon which to touch. She did not elucidate anything about the higher element-principles, those above the seven. She did not speak of the higher globes above the seven and only inferred things like the twelve gods of the ancients at places. Only by hints and allusion did she show that there is a twelve-fold division.
Since HPB's day, we find many Teachings not only explained but also elaborated further. The writings and work of Dr. de Purucker have given further installments from the same source. Some brother students of Theosophy will not agree. They will question it, showing considerable suspicion that anyone since HPB's day could bring a further installment from the same source of occult information. As good students, they have crystallized their minds in a mold that says that HPB is the last word. They think that until another Messenger turns up in the latter part of the twentieth century, nobody can show us anything more than HPB left in THE SECRET DOCTRINE. That is a lot of nonsense!
We have great reverence for HPB as a Teacher. THE SECRET DOCTRINE will stand as a profound source of occult information for centuries to come. Even so, HPB says there that in the twentieth century we may see another who will give irrefutable proofs. Here a wide difference of views is possible. As far as I am concerned, that individual has already turned up. It was Dr. de Purucker. His work was the next installment of the Teachings.
Do not mix up numerations. It would take time, a blackboard, and perhaps a booklet of material to make this plain, if even possible. How are the twelve element-principles, the twelve globes of the chain, and the ten classes of monads with their two links on each side related? We do not fully know, although we know many individual points.
There is perfect concordance between the Rounds, Races, Globes, monadic classes, principles, and elements. In coordination, they compose all, including us. Cosmic spiritual engineers fashioned the blueprint of our planetary chain or even of the solar system beautifully. The general pattern reflects itself on all scales throughout the system. It is remarkable. Consider an illustration of this vast subject. The pattern goes so far that the numerals of various cosmic cycles are present in the beating of a human heart.