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THEOSOPHY WORLD --------------------------------------- May, 2003
An Internet Magazine Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy
And its Practical Application in the Modern World
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(Please note that the materials presented in THEOSOPHY WORLD are
the intellectual property of their respective authors and may not
be reposted or otherwise republished without prior permission.)
"The Kingdom of the True," by B.P. Wadia
"Introduction to the Talk," by Jan H. Venema
"Portraits of Theosophists," Part III, by John M. Prentice
"Dark Forces: Blind Forces," by Josephine Ransom
"The Eternal Pilgrim and the Voice Divine," Part II, by W.Q. Judge
"The Architecture of Dream," by George William Russell
"Apollonius of Tyanna, Part IX, by Phillip A Malpas
"Edgar Allen Poe As Seer," Part III, by Henry T. Edge
"The Roar of the Great Silence," by Walter Eugene Kent
"A Study in Fundamentals," Part VII, by Boris de Zirkoff
> Hestitation, anxiety, dissatisfaction are to the Taoist what sin
> is to the Christian. To dispel them and clear the mind and heart
> the I Ching is devoutly, ceremoniously cast.
> -- Sam Reifler, I CHING: A NEW INTERPRETATION FOR MODERN
> TIMES, page 4.
THE KINGDOM OF THE TRUE
By B.P. Wadia
[From THUS HAVE I HEARD, pages 289-91.]
Everywhere people are feeling depressed, caught up in the routine
of living. Life seems to revolve like a ruthless machine.
Rich and poor alike desire contentment. The prince as well as
the peasant looks for some peace of mind; all wish for a steadier
beat of the heart emotions. Many ask, "What's the matter with
Someone throws out a feeler. "Man does not live by bread alone."
"The Kingdom of God is within you. The secure Refuge is your own
heart. The Peace born of understanding can unfold in your own
Such an answer puzzles some. The great majority dismisses it
with a good-natured shrug. A few listen, pause, gaze quietly
ahead, begin to reflect, and then turn to inquire. Who says that
the kingdom of peace and prosperity, of repose and rest, of
contentment and understanding are within man? It sounds familiar,
sounds authoritative, but whence this idea and what does it mean?
This inquiry is the beginning of wisdom. Press the search for
the first answer and its meaning. Ere long, one comes upon the
truth. Not a single Teacher only but the Sages of all times have
asserted this answer to be true.
> Look inward, thou art Buddha.
> -- THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE, page 29
> The Kingdom of God is within you.
> -- Luke 17:21
> The Kingdom of God is Righteousness and Peace.
> -- Romans 14:17
> Self is the Lord of self; what higher Lord could there be?
> -- THE DHAMMAPADA, V, 160
> The spirit in the body is called Maheswara, the Great Lord, the
> spectator, the admonisher, the sustainer, the enjoyer, and also
> the Paramatma, the highest soul.
> -- THE BHAGAVAD-GITA, XIII, 22
> This Soul of mine within the heart is smaller than a grain of
> rice, or a barley corn, or a mustard seed, or a grain of millet,
> or the kernel of a grain of millet. This Soul of mine within the
> heart is greater than the earth, vaster than the atmosphere,
> higher than the sky, encompasses the entire firmament.
> Containing all works, all desires, all odors, all tastes, the
> whole universe is this Soul in the heart.
> -- CHANDOGYA UPANISHAD, III, 14, 2
And in another Upanishad, the Soul is compared to a tree in which
birds nest -- our thoughts and feelings, our words and voices,
our impressions and expressions.
Our Soul in the heart is a Being within our being. Our heart is
a living entity and an intelligent one; but within its innermost
recess is another Person, another Being with its own life and its
own intelligence. That Being is divine in its powers. We do not
know the true nature of our heart, for priest or teacher has not
taught us about it. The bodily heart is a symbol of life, every
throb of which tells us that we are alive; the throb stops and
others say that we are no more. Modern knowledge tells us of the
valves and chambers of flesh, of the pumping of the blood in and
out by the heart.
Sages spoke of the Heart as the seven-petal lotus, the
Saptaparna, the Cave of the Buddha. They have further said that
the Heart has seven brains. The physical heart is the King of
the physical body and it is said that in that heart is a spot
that is the last to die. But the Heart of the heart is the
Kingdom Divine of the Thinker, the Compassionate One, the Inner
Being, the Shining Ruler, the Raja whose Power is Peace, whose
Strength is Sacrifice. The body can live on "by bread alone,"
but Man cannot. The body lives in a city, a country, an Empire
-- an earthly kingdom that fatigues us and wears us out -- and in
the progress of time the heart of the body dies. Righteousness
and Peace, Lordliness and Strength, Enlightenment and Glory are
of the Kingdom of the Spirit in the body.
The first lesson is to learn and to feel that there are two
Kingdoms. One is without. One is within. In Earth's Kingdom,
we toil for bread and often fail. The inner Kingdom can provide
us with Righteousness and give us light where we now see but
darkness. It can bring us intimations of immortality when here
we are certain only of death. Here we see only the unreal while
we aspire to see the True revealed. We live surrounded by
shadows cast by myriad men and feel the darkness enveloping us,
fold after fold. What did Jesus mean when He said to His Chelas,
"Ye are the light of the world?" What did the Enlightened Buddha
mean when He said to His Apostles, "Be ye lamps unto yourselves?"
What do these statements mean to us? Are they meant for us?
INTRODUCTION TO THE TALK
By Jan H. Venema
(In 1937, Dr. G. de Purucker gave a radio talk in The
Netherlands. The talk was preceded by an introduction by Jan H.
Venema given in Dutch. Both the talk and its introduction were
recorded and can be read or listened to at
http://www.theosophy.com. We base the following upon a
translation of Venema's Introduction by Katinka Hesselink.)
The theosophical doctrines relating to the existence of inner and
outer worlds in our universe throw a special light on the
important question of human existence, the existence after death.
In relation to these Teachings, there is already a dogma, says
Dr. de Purucker. It calls upon the intellect and intuition.
The last scientific deductions of the greatest scientists of our
time approach the occult, theosophical teachings remarkably. Dr.
de Purucker calls the whole universe around us one, an
interrelated organism in which there are many worlds visible and
invisible to us. He points out that the seers and wise men of
most ancient times had the same doctrines relating to the
universe, although expressed in different language.
We can see human life in the great Cosmos as a pilgrimage through
these many planes. One lifetime or incarnation in these worlds
visible to us resembles merely a day in eternal existence. The
theosophical Leader depicts how one can view this pilgrimage.
It is not right to think and it goes against all scientific lore
that our physical world would be different or superior to the
inner worlds. It is merely a matter of different vibrations. As
he says, Theosophy is the biggest friend of true religion when
properly understood and explained. It is the original source of
all schools of philosophy.
No theosophist preaches a dogma, because the theosophical
teachings assert that nobody should accept anything contrary to
their conscience, their intuition, or their penetrating
The eminent founders of the old philosophies and Mystery Schools
were the flowers of the human race. We call them Masters or
Teachers. Their teachings were fundamentally the same.
Therefore, it pays off, Dr. de Purucker says, to study these
all-inclusive teachings of life and death. We can in truth call
it a philosophy of life. What philosophy can we call greater
than the one that informs on the vital aspects of life: life and
Dr. de Purucker thanks all those who spread these noble
teachings and hopes that they will penetrate in these hard times,
because they are so necessary.
PORTRAITS OF THEOSOPHISTS, Part III
By John M. Prentice
[This is a true sketch of a Theosophist written by the President
of the Australian Section of the Theosophical Society (Pasadena),
from THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, March 1945, pages 130-32.]
Inspired by a sense of duty dimly perceived and never quite
understood, the subject of this portrait enlisted soon after the
outbreak of the First World War. He heard the call that involved
him in great self-sacrifice and ended a brilliant career. He
answered it without cavil or delay, without any hesitation or
pause for a single backward glance into his past.
He was twenty-two years old and as fair of a specimen of young
manhood as could be found in a long day's march. Born of a young
mother some months after his father's death, circumstances saved
him from any possibility of life in his wealthy grandfather's
home spoiling him. He grew up in the company of an uncle only
three years older than he was. To this uncle, he was tied by
bonds of affection such as presuppose associations in other
He was the Sir Galahad of a group of young Theosophists, most
sharing in the supreme sacrifice he also made. A brilliant
athlete, starring at tennis and lacrosse with equal success, he
was also a dreamer, artist, and musician. The violin came to him
almost by instinct. Playing by ear, he possessed natural
intonation and a sense of perfect pitch. He was never off note.
His music gave great joy to many people.
At the summer seaside camp that he attended for four seasons, his
slim body aroused admiration (of which he was unconscious) as he
paused poised on the crest of the surf before vanishing,
laughing, in the smother of boiling foam.
An inner fastidiousness surrounded him like an aura. Nothing
that was coarse and little that was flippant passed his lips. He
was a happy, healthy specimen of clean young manhood, eager for
life and with a zest for adventure. The offer of love came to
him. For the greater cause of war, he had to bypass it.
Once, his closest friend jocularly quoted to him the lines of
> So dear to Heaven is peerless chastity
> That when a soul is found supremely so
> A thousand liveried angels lackey her
The friend then asked when the sound of wings might be expected.
A startled look crossed his face. His eyes went blank with that
indrawn vision of one who realizes the opening of unexpected
inner worlds suddenly.
The ebb and flow of great tides of war swept him apart from his
friend for the time. Then he met his friend again in Cairo.
They explored that strangest of cities together. The Pyramids,
indigo blue against the burning disc of gold and then turning to
rose pink in the sunset, welcomed him as an old friend. In the
moonlight, the Sphinx seemed to reveal to him her most mystical
Then France came with the hideousness of the mud of the Somme
battlefields. His friend, in London and later in Picardy,
received many letters until circumstances that made further
correspondence impossible. Neither of them had any part in the
shadow that darkened their subtle relationship for a time.
Finally, a bullet found its billet. His fellows buried his fair
young body in a wartime cemetery that was later the scene of some
of the fiercest fighting ere the war ended. They returned his
physical body to Mother Earth.
Those who saw him wrote that death had erased the weariness and
fatigue that had drawn and lined his face in his last bitter
months of fighting. He looked in death as he had in earlier,
happier days. His dust slowly mingled with the dust of earlier
generations. His blood served to give added richness to the
poppies that were to grace the coming summer. A few weeks later,
his beloved uncle made the same sacrifice, not knowing that his
nephew had already traveled the same road.
His friend received the news a few days after the event, on
Christmas Eve. There was a great party planned in the old city
of Rouen. His friend took no part, although the suggestion had
come from him originally. Instead, he spent the vigil of the
Birth of the Savior in the Cathedral. The sun faded from the
great rose window of exquisite stained glass. The candles shone
like stars in the hushed sanctuary. (Being wartime, there was no
celebration of Midnight Mass.)
In the vast stillness, all sense of personal loss faded. Only
the magnitude of the sacrifice remained. In some mysterious way,
it revealed that the young Theosophist had entered the Path of
Sacrifice. He died for an ideal that he had only vaguely
understood, because he had never paused to work out the details.
That death had joined him to the lower ranks of those Great Ones
who are "slain from the foundations of the world." They resurrect
to form the Guardian Wall that protects Humanity from much
misery, cruelty, and sin. We see him and others like him as
future World Saviors, learning the lesson that "he who loseth his
life shall find it."
In war, we pay many accounts in full, impersonally and without
the creation of fresh karma. Otherwise, war would be a horror of
useless and unavailing cruelty and hideousness. Perhaps without
any conscious knowledge at this stage, those who ready on what
ultimately becomes the Via Crucis take the first steps.
Abraham Lincoln once said, "To live in the hearts of those we
leave behind us is not to die." His own generation will never
forget this companion of many adventures. It is certain that all
of the band will gather anew in some better generation. Death
for him has been the gateway into a larger life. Of those who
journeyed down the pathway of the Sun with him, we might say:
> For Life, their names are faint forgotten things;
> But now, within the larger book of Death,
> Their names are written with the names of kings.
> -- Eugene Lee-Hamilton, MIMMA BELLA
DARK FORCES: BLIND FORCES
By Josephine Ransom
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, September 1945, pages 400-4,
reprinted there from THEOSOPHICAL NEWS AND NOTES, England,
"Dark Forces," "Blind Forces" -- these two phrases are often met
with in books, journals, and newspapers. They are used to
describe conditions that are not easily comprehended. Both are
invested with fear. Such phrases come most readily into use when
there is an eruption from the unknown into the familiar and
It is alarming to be compelled suddenly to face and have to deal
with forces, the existence of which most of us refuse to
acknowledge, though we are instinctively aware that they are
there lurking in the shadows, ready to rush out and threaten, if
not overthrow, our material and psychic stability.
Some suggest that blind forces are the welling up of part, at
least, of a mass of "memories" of our long physical past, which
has not been sufficiently sublimated or are inadequately locked
up until the process of inattention starves such memories into
extinction. Like some startling Jack-in-the-box, out they
spring, but, unlike Jack, they are not static once sprung. They
spread and spread through thought and feeling, touching
everything with an odd slime of "evil." What are these ruthless
"dark forces," these devastating "blind forces?"
One explanation is that such forces are the outcome of "original
sin" -- usually thought of as Adam's yielding to the temptation
"to know" and that sin has beset mankind ever since. Another
suggestion is that this world, since the episode of Adam is
"under the dominion of the prince of evil" and there is not
sufficient spiritual power available to rout him for the last
time. He has periodic outbursts when he tempts the unregenerate
man to cruel fury. He is always there in myriad disguises,
whispering enticements to a man to launch upon the risky tides of
wrongdoing, only to find him in the end abandoned to wreckage.
Others suggest there are abysses of low and sordid life yawning
at our feet, fascinations that lure the beast in us to
indulgences, and if we yield, we are sunk in the slime, to be
rescued with great difficulty. Others, again, think of dark
forces as being but the ignorance that is still our sad portion,
our lack of ability to illumine the surrounding darkness with the
light of our real Selves, abiding in the inner recess of our
It would seem that we should distinguish between the two phrases.
They do not mean the same thing. "Blind forces" appear to be the
stream of matter pouring without resistance through time and
space, whirling, battling for experience, utterly regardless of
the quality of the experience. This stream of "matter" is
unaware that anything is of any consequence that does not slake
its own thirst for "sensation" -- good or bad.
Anger, pain, hatred, love, misery, sorrow, joy, happiness, fear,
repulsions and attractions, passions and ecstasies, actions,
feeling, thought, pride and humility, courage and despair, and
all other categories of experience, of contact, are conditions
into which "matter" rushes and "enjoys" itself. It does not
possess the quality of discrimination, therefore exercises no
choice. If this notion is correct, then we can grasp a little
the meaning of material evolution and begin to emphasize only
those conditions that lend themselves to chosen and cultivated
harmony, or "good."
It has also been suggested that there is a directive something in
nature that drives these forces along the stream of time -- an
indigested stream of matter, as it were, until self-conscious
creatures, like man, deliberately set the modes into and around
which matter will congregate.
Primeval man, not yet master of his destiny, needs protection
from these surging forces -- he senses his ineffectiveness
against the terrifying massive powers of nature. He sets up
protections against them, hence his many fetishes and taboos, his
incantations, his talismans, and his propitiations of all sorts.
Average man, even in "civilized" countries, is uneasily aware of
forces about him against which he tries to protect himself by
blindly ignoring them, being skeptical about them, or
propitiating them in small ways. Spiritual man is courageously
aware of such forces and does what he can to sublimate and thus
compel their obedience, their submission to his trained will and
Leaving aside the magical practices of primitive man for
self-protection from the pressures of fearsome dark and blind
forces, we may consider profitably how the average civilized
person faces and deals with them. By "civilized" one means
persons adhering to any one of the real religions of the world or
who are members of a nation or community which has a high social
ideal, and moves to expression of that ideal in practical welfare
Tibet, for instance, considers its religious life to be highly
advanced, especially among the Buddhists. Most Tibetan Buddhists
observe and to some extent practice the high benign directions of
the Lord Buddha. The Buddha paced his swift way to the control
of natural forces and brought them into obedience to His Will.
The Christ did the same, and His demonstrations of His powers are
called "miracles" -- which is a misleading word.
Both these World Teachers did more. They could change men.
Which means They could so attune the few and the many near enough
to Their own exalted states of consciousness that for the time
being and often permanently the few or the multitudes were
changed in their powers of response to all about them, inwardly
and outwardly. In a measure, they became "pure." Therefore, the
quality of matter associated with them became more pure.
This is the purpose of all right ritual and ceremonial. The
quality of matter is improved, little or much, according to the
potency of the performance. Yet in both Buddhist Tibet and in
many Christian lands there are deep-seated fears of "blind
forces" threatening the security of human life and needing
propitiations to keep them at bay. "Nature" is not regarded as
being always kind or mild, but as a subtle menace operating in
strange ways. It is not thought well to disturb Nature by
thoughtless and disregarding attitudes. She knows her own way to
As distinguished from the "blind forces" that can be invested in
objects or directed against creatures, since such forces are
obedient to strong wills, we should be clear that "dark forces"
are evilly intentioned humans. The mind of such humans is
concerned with dominating or destroying the good in other human
They direct their dire and evil will towards either exploiting
the good in others to their own bad ends, or destroying the good
in them by forcing upon them degrading ideas. They range in
capacity from the simple desire to "boss" at all costs to the
terrible thirst for blind obedience to their dark wills. They
corrupt youth, and fasten helpless dread upon the aged. They
paralyze the will in others and bind them to nefarious ends
clothed in the semblance of fairness. They deride spiritual
values as being absurd, and give reign to naked selfishness.
They forego their humaneness to be without compunction to act.
They equally corrupt "matter" by all these and other means. They
imbue it with gross feelings to match their own, they stain it
with injurious thoughts to sustain their ugly designs, and they
act in accordance with the laws of the crudest ranges of matter.
The Scriptures of the world reveal that those who gave them were
well aware of all these things and warned humanity to arm itself
with "righteousness" if it was to be competent to deal with the
situation. A "right thinking" person is a center of "light" --
feeble or brilliant. Large enough numbers of right thinkers
create a luminous quality in the mental atmosphere of a country,
which in its measure automatically dispels some at least of the
dark, murky quality of the sordid minds that exist in every
country. If there is a preponderance of such in any nation, then
that nation is a "dark force," a menace to the world. It
attracts to itself the unevolved types of men and matter and
eventually exercises all this combination to conquer and
tyrannize over others.
Every reader will recall how any worthwhile arcane school,
ancient and modern, stresses the value of meditation -- a word
that bothers all but students that are intent upon cultivating
the "inner life." That is, they are stressing the harmonies of
consciousness instead of yielding to the clamor of matter. They
are "redeemers" of matter -- following the idea expressed in a
Hindu philosophy, where it is suggested that by dwelling upon
those things which are subtler and more spiritual, matter, in
contact with such an effort, responds and thereby is improved.
Individuals or nations thus striving towards the "Light" are a
A study of the "dark" and "blind" forces along these lines will
soon reveal the true value of having in our midst those who are
called Saints, Yogis (of the best kind), elsewhere Arhats,
sometimes called Devotees or again Mystics, and some Dervishes
too. They are the "opposites" of the dark forces. They
"illumine" their contacts.
Through selfishness, fear, hatred, anger, tyranny, persecution,
torture, poverty, illiteracy, the dark forces may the more
readily play upon mankind and try to corrupt it. Through
unselfishness, love, security, helpfulness, non-killing,
non-covetousness, education and culture, and idealism, the forces
of light advance. Dark forces demand slavish obedience. The
forces of light render service. "Sacrifice yourself to me" has
always been the demand of all-devouring Molochs. Through
self-sacrifice, the lovers and saviors of the world draw mankind
to the feet of God. Domination is the watchword of Darkness.
Brotherhood is the watchword of Light.
THE ETERNAL PILGRIM AND THE VOICE DIVINE, Part II
By William Q. Judge
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, April 1947, pages 248-56.]
Voice Divine, teach me how to reach the POINT whence radiates the
Kosmic effulgence, the one White Ray of variegated colors.
First and foremost, if thou art ready to revisit thy native
shores, hear what the "Voice of the Silence" constantly whispers
in the ears of man: "Empty thyself, and I will fill thee."
Earthbound and spell-bound, thou Temple of the Invisible Deity,
thy mortal walls are under the battering-ram of Time. The
Shrine, the heirloom of Mother Earth who reared it, is truly
hers, but the God within -- who art thyself -- is above and
beyond decay. Therefore if thou wishest to be one with the
Universal, cast off thy limitations that thy coming Progress may
be commensurate with thy present living. With thoughts of the
world thou art finite, above them thou art infinite.
The Supreme Point cannot be conceived by what mortals call
Thought, the product of the brain loom. But to you is given the
Key which unlocks the "Gates of Gold," it is not found in mere
cerebration. To make myself clear to thee, I shall call that
which is beyond thought -- the key which ushers man into the
regions of the One Pure Life -- META-THOUGHT, or Intuition. Free
from man-made blending, it gives an insight into that
supernatural knowledge which is the Quintessence of Life.
To gain this META-THOUGHT thy mind should be wholly free from
those ties which bind it to the Earth. When the Ocean, attracted
by the hot Sun, becomes transformed into humid atmosphere, it
leaves its saltiness behind and sails to the skies in buoyant
clouds. Shorn of thy earthly impediments, Oh Wanderer! Thy
flight will be both easy and speedy. When thy mind ceases to get
its nourishment from the outer world, SAMADHI is at hand, and
this state is accomplished when thy senses whose slave so long
thou wast, are in their turn brought under subjection.
The next point upon which thou cannot be warned too much is the
paramount importance to Humanity of that Law of Nature which no
aspirant can safely overrule, and which requires him to be at one
with her methods in all his longings after the Divine. This
means that thou, in wishing thy Bliss, must not only do thy
utmost for the removal of that mass of evil under which thy
brethren groan, but must ever study without the least thought of
self, to seek their salvation in thine own. A real Savior thou,
if but a single vice fall to thy moral sword.
This Space which thou seest as vacant has within it that
Ineffable Principle of the ONE which is to Space what that is to
thy physical eye. This inscrutable Principle is Space permeable
through Space. It is both Within-without and Without-within.
From time immemorial man's thoughts have been brooding in Space.
Humanities after humanities have come and gone, and they have
left therein undying shadows of their thoughts.
In this Earth man is a Farmer sowing seeds of his deeds after the
plough of his Thoughts. Pilgrim in mortal coils! Know that
Thought is the beginning and end of this world. Tenuous as
Tenuity itself, this wielder of the fate of worlds and their
contents gives birth to all Upadhis that ever spring up in the
passing phantasmagoria. Therefore, to free thy back from its
heavy load, Oh thou self in search of Self, try to attune thy
thoughts with Nature's Harmony. To THINK IS TO BE.
Thou art now in sad trouble because of the mad crowd of past
thoughts that deceived thee like so many mirages on the horizon
of Maya. Misdirected thoughts and a thirst after things as
perishable as the hands that made them are at the bottom of all
thy irksome pilgrimages.
Thought is the father of deeds; hence, every day, every hour,
every minute, need I say every second, sit thou in judgment over
thyself, and concentrate thy mind upon the one POINT from which
thou hast wandered. By evil thoughts came the troubles of Life.
With the Single Thought of the Highest their end is near at hand.
If the mind is to be retrieved from its wild and aimless rush
after short-lived emotions, it should be made to center upon its
Pivot by a process akin to that by which a schoolboy flying his
kite winds up its thread upon the reel.
The owner of a mind absorbed in useless passing concerns of the
world, finds himself in the same state as the wealthy man who,
having staked his all in great speculations, is unable,
notwithstanding all his riches, to meet an unexpected heavy call.
Like the burning-glass, all the movements of the mind should be
focused upon the Primordial Law, so that its love of vanities may
be consumed by its spiritual rays.
The Universe from one end to the other is a chained whole, and
the Waves of Life which pulsate through its length and breadth
from the Sun, the central source of mortal life, the faint
reflection of the spiritual one which energizes it, are fraught
with psychic power, the vehicle of human thoughts which do good
or evil as the varied circumstances of daily existence may
dictate, producing births which end in death as soon as their
mission of Life is accomplished.
Now imagine such waves circling round each Upadhi, and think that
Life as such is from the Eternal Fount whence proceeds everything
that to mankind is Absolute Truth and Absolute Knowledge, which
latter means that CALM SERENE in which the knower, knowledge, and
the thing known are unified. This is TRIPITI, the supreme Bliss
gained by the seeker after many processes of purification.
If the slightest effort is made by one Upadhi either in thought,
word or deed to upset its neighbor -- for the all are in ONE, and
the ONE is in all -- the whole organization of the Man is thrown
into confusion. Thus, if the Upadhi A runs counter to the
psychic and life-giving currents undulating round H, the
necessary result is that these two will not only throw themselves
into confusion, but even the union prevailing between the
intermediate ones will be equally disturbed.
Nature and Nature's laws sweep along with these Upadhis in Space,
and when one of them aids her original Design, which is constant
upward Progress -- on psychic and spiritual planes -- it is no
longer subject to limitations, and feels the Essence within,
which had first quickened it into Life. On this basis, those
great readers of Nature, Souls sublime, who in past lives have
gained all human experiences and make it their felicity to work
for men, as undying oracles of God, proclaim the everlasting
truth that the mischief done to one is mischief done to all, and
that the good of one is the good of all. A stone thrown into
still water with its ever increasing circles will show thee the
force of what I mean.
The Wise Ones of Earth send forth their good wishes to Humanity
by their all-powerful magnetic will. Beware of evil thoughts,
for their record is everlasting in Heaven. No man while pursuing
his own way of life should by his thoughts do wrong to another.
A fervent thought sent round for the well-being of Humanity is
worth more than kingdoms. The Great Souls rule the world by
their holy thoughts and aspirations, while the edicts of kings
are in force but for a day. In all ages and in all climes the
keynote of the Sage has been, "Do good and be good."
Remember that the Universe exists in two planes, the physical and
the spiritual, both being strictly complementary; the one to the
other, as fire produces heat, and heat, fire. What tongue can
tell the smallest Secret of Physical Nature? There is Soul in a
blade of grass, and even in a dumb stone. Listen to what
Pushpadanta the Hindu poet, said of God, in his Maimana:
> For one Brahma Kalpa, Saraswati (Minerva) sang thy glories, Oh
> Shambhu! (God of Heavens) on a paper of the size of the Earth's
> dimensions, with the pen of Kalpatan dipped in the ink-horn of
> the Ocean, and yet but a few of thy virtues were done justice to.
The immovable rock, the ever-flowing river, the busy ant are the
dwelling adyta of the Holy One. Everything that exists has its
own spiritual hiding-place to which it retires day and night. If
this be the physical view of the Universe, its spiritual is past
human speech. Here the Universe is an equilateral triangle, one
of its sides being Universal Justice, another Universal Love,
joined together with the basic line of Universal Harmony.
The equipoise of the scales of Nature's justice makes manifest
the millionth part of a grain of unrighteousness. Far from
having favorites, her loyal sons are chastened with the same
impartiality as those who disobey her. Justice is the axis upon
which unceasingly turns the spiritual Universe governed by the
sun benign of Universal Love.
In Justice, Love, and Harmony there is a Life that knows no
Death; in injustice, hatred and discord there is that which
induces Death in Life. There is no sin greater than that of
ill-will toward others, and no virtue higher than good-will
toward all. These are the watchwords of Salvation by self, a
Salvation which says as long as there is a single soul writhing
in pain, the wise man's mind shall strive to relieve it.
True Salvation is collective, it is never for one. It covers
humanity with its blissful folds. The Salvation which is for one
is but an inn, a momentary resting-place before the journey is
resumed. Pray therefore, nay, ardently desire that thou mayest
rise with all, and that Humanity's rise may be thine own.
Aspire! Aspire! Aspire! Thy message is Peace, and as such I give
it thee. So help thee thy Higher Self. Thine be the Deathless
Blessed be Humanity, doubly blessed those who bless it by noble
As the Voice ceased, the heavy load fell from the Pilgrim's back
to the ground. A sudden flash and the Eternal Pilgrim knew that
the Voice he had heard had come to him from the HOLY OF THE
HOLIES of his own Heart -- the lotus throne of Narayana, wherein
Being, Thought, and Bliss are indissolubly one.
THE ARCHITECTURE OF DREAM
By George William Russell
[From THE CANDLE OF VISION, pages 89-101]
I have failed in my purpose if I have not made it clear that in
the actual architecture of dream and vision there is a mystery
which is not explained by speaking of suppressed desire or sex or
any of those springs which modern psychologists surmise are
released in dream.
A mood may attract its affinities but it does not create what it
attracts. Between anger and a definite vision of conflict, there
is a gulf as mysterious as there was between Aladdin's desire and
the building of his marvelous palace. I desire a house. Desire
does not build it. I design a house. Every line is drawn with
full consciousness. When I give the plan to the builder, every
brick is placed with full consciousness by the masons.
No coherent architecture in city or dream arises magically by
some unreason which translates bodiless desire into organic form.
Between desire and its visionary embodiment or fulfillment may be
but a second of time. However swift that succession, there must
be space for intellectual labor, construction of forms or the
choice of forms, and endowing them with motion.
A second to my brain is too brief a fragment of time for more
than sight. To a more intense consciousness that is coworker
with mine, I believe that second suffices for a glimpse into a
fullness or plenitude of form. It allows for the selection of
these and the unrolling of a vast pageantry. There is something,
a creature within me, behind whose swiftness I falter a hopeless
laggard. It may be a traveler through the Archaeus and back
again with the merchandise of its travel before my pulse has
As an artist who has labored slowly at the creation of pictures,
I assert that the forms of dream or vision if self-created
require a conscious artist to arrange them, a magician to endow
them with life. The process is intellectual. That is, it is
conscious on some plane of being, though that self who sits in
the gate of the body does not know what powers or dignitaries
meet in the inner palace chambers of the soul.
When we have dreams of flying and see all things from an angle of
vision of which we never could have experience in waking, we know
that to speak of the moving pictures of dream as memories or
unconscious recombination of things seen when waking is to speak
without subtlety or intellectual comprehension.
I criticize the figures I see in dream or vision exactly as I
would the figures in a painting. Even if I see a figure in dream
I have seen when waking, if the figure acts in a manner differing
from its action when seen with the physical eye, if it now walks
when it then sat, or looks down where before it looked up, and if
these motions in dream appear authentic so that face and form
have the proper light and shade and the anatomies are
undistorted, that dream change in the figure of memory is itself
a most perplexing thing.
We must suppose that memory as memory is as fixed in its way as a
picture is fixed or as the attitude of a statue is fixed. If it
fades, it should be by loss of precision and not into other
equally precise but differing forms and gestures. Now we could
not without cracks or distorting of anatomies or complete
remodeling change the pose of a statue even if it was modeled in
some easily malleable substance the plastic changes from
stillness to motion in a figure, which we presume to be a memory.
This is wonderful when we think of it, as wonderful as if the
little clay terra cotta statuette upon my shelf should change
from its cast solidity and walk up and down before me.
For myself, I think man is a protean being, within whose unity
there is diversity. There are creatures in the soul that can
inform the images of our memory, or the eternal memory, aye, and
speak through them to us in dream, so that we hear their voices.
It is with us in our minute microcosmic fashion even as it was
said of the universe that it is a soliloquy of Deity wherein
Ain-Soph talks to Ain-Soph.
We can make such general speculations about all pictures moving
before the inner eye. It is worthwhile investigating the anatomy
of vision and to be intent on what appears to us. If we have
intentness, we have memory. A mental picture which at first had
yielded nothing to us may be followed by others which indicate a
relation to the earliest in the series so that they seem like
pages read at different times from the same book.
When young, I haunted the mountains. I found that vision became
richer and more luminous in the high air. For hours, I have
watched shining landscape and figures in endless procession,
trying to discover in these some significance other than mere
Once on the hillside, I seemed to slip from today into some
remote yesterday of earth. There was the same valley below me,
but now it was deepening into evening and the skies were towering
up through one blue heaven to another.
There was a battle in the valley and men reeled darkly hither and
thither. I remember one warrior about whom the battle was
thickest. A silver star flickered above his helmet through the
dusk. But this I soon forgot. I was impelled to look upwards.
There above me was an airship glittering with light. It halted
above the valley while a grey-bearded, majestic man, with robes
all starred and jeweled, bent over and looked down upon the
battle. The pause was but for an instant. Then the lights
flashed more brilliantly. Some luminous mist was jetted upon the
air from many tubes below the boat. It soared and passed beyond
the mountain. It was followed by another and yet others, all
glittering with lights. They climbed the air over the hill and
were soon lost amid the other lights of heaven.
It must be a quarter of a century ago since I saw this vision,
which I remember clearly because I painted the ship. It must, I
think, be about five or six years after that a second vision in
the same series startled me. I was again on the high places, and
this time the apparition in the mystical air was so close that if
I could have stretched out a hand from this world to that I could
have clutched the aerial voyager as it swept by me.
A young man was steering the boat. His black hair was blown back
from his brows, his face pale and resolute, his head bent, and
his eyes intent on his wheel. Beside him sat a woman, a
rose-colored shawl speckled with golden threads drawn over her
head, around her shoulders, and across her bosom and folded arms.
Her face was proud as a queen's. I long remembered that face for
its pride, stillness, and beauty.
At the moment, I thought it was some image in the eternal memory
of a civilization more remote than Atlantis. I cried out in my
heart in a passion of regret for romance passed away from the
world, not knowing that the world's great age was again returning
and soon we were to swim once more beneath the epic skies.
After that at different times and places, I saw other such aerial
wanderers. I noted that all such visions had a character in
keeping with each other. They were never mixed up with
modernity. They had the peculiarities by which we recognize
civilizations as distinct from each other, Chinese from Greek or
Egyptian from Hindu. They were the stuff out of which romance is
If I had been a storyteller like our great Standish O'Grady, I
might have made without questioning a wonder tale of the air,
legendary or futurist. I have always had as much of the
philosophic as the artistic interest in what people call
imagination. I have thought that many artists and poets gave to
art or romance what would have had an equal if not a greater
interest as psychology.
I began to ask myself where in the three times or in what realm
of space these ships were launched. Was it ages ago in some
actual workshop in an extinct civilization? Were these but images
in the eternal memory? Or were they launched by my own spirit
from some magical arsenal of being? If so, with what intent where
they launched? Or were they images of things yet to be in the
world, begotten in that eternal mind where past, present, and
future coexist, and from which they stray into the imagination of
scientist, engineer, or poet to be realized in discovery,
mechanism, or song? I find it impossible to decide.
Sometimes I even speculate on a world interpenetrating ours where
another sun is glowing and other stars are shining over its own
woods, mountains, rivers, and race of beings. I do not know why
not. We are forced into such speculation when we become certain
that no power in us of which we are conscious is concerned in the
creation of such visionary forms.
If these ships were launched so marvelously upon the visionary
air by some transcendent artisan of the spirit, they must have
been built for some purpose, but for what? I was not an engineer
intent on aerial flight. This is, I think, notable that at the
moment of vision, I seemed to myself to understand the mechanism
of these airships. I felt that if I could have stepped out of
this century into that visionary sailing vessel or gallant bark,
I could have taken the wheel and steered it confidently on to its
I knew that the closing of a tube at one side of the bow would
force the ship to steer in that direction, because the force
jetted from the parallel tube on the other side, no longer
balanced by an equal emission of power, operated to bring about
There is an interest in speculating about this impression of
knowledge. It might indicate some complicity of the subconscious
mind with the vision which startled the eye. That knowledge may
have been poured on the one while seeing was granted to the
If the vision was imagination, that is if the airship was
launched from my own spirit, I must have been in council with the
architect, perhaps in deep sleep. If I suppose it was
imagination, I am justified in trying by every means to reach
with full consciousness to the arsenal where such wonders are
wrought. I cannot be content to accept it as imagination and not
try to meet the architect.
As for these visions of airships and for many others, I have been
unable to place them even speculatively in any world or any
century. It must be so with the imaginations of many other
people. But I think that when we begin speculation about these
things, it is the beginning of our wakening from the dream of
I have suggested that images of things to be may come into our
sphere out of a being where time does not exist. I have had
myself no definite proof as yet that any vision I saw was
prophetic. Only one which suggested itself as such to me and
this was so remarkable that I put it on record. If it was
prophetic, its significance may become apparent later on.
I was meditating about twenty-one years ago in a little room. My
meditation was suddenly broken by a series of pictures which
flashed before me with the swiftness of moving pictures in a
theater. They had no relation I could discover to the subject of
my meditation, and were perhaps interpolated into it then. In a
tense state of concentration when the brain becomes luminous, it
is easier to bring to consciousness what has to be brought.
I was at the time much more interested in the politics of
eternity than in the politics of my own country, and would not
have missed an hour of my passionate meditation on the spirit to
have witnessed the most dramatic spectacle in any of our national
In this meditation, I was brought to a wooded valley beyond which
was a mountain. Between heaven and earth over the valley was a
vast figure surrounded with a golden disk of light. It descended
from that circle of light, assumed human shape, stood before me,
and looked at me. The face of this figure was broad and noble in
type, beardless, and dark-haired. It was in its breadth akin to
the face of the young Napoleon. I would refer both to a common
archetype. The being looked at me and then it vanished.
It was instantly replaced by another vision. This second vision
was of a woman with a blue cloak around her shoulders. She came
into a room and lifted a young child upon her lap. Rays of light
converged on that child from all Ireland.
Then this disappeared and was on the instant followed by another
picture in the series. Here I was brought from Ireland to look
on the coronation throne at Westminster. There sat on it a
figure of empire which grew weary and let fall the scepter from
its fingers and itself then drooped and fell and disappeared from
the famous seat.
In swift succession came another scene. A gigantic figure, wild
and distraught, was beating a drum and stalking up and down.
Wherever its feet fell, there were sparks and the swirling of
flame and black smoke upward as from burning cities. It was like
the Red Swineherd of legend which beat men into an insane frenzy.
When that distraught figure vanished, I saw the whole of Ireland
lit up from mountain to sea, spreading its rays to the heavens as
in the vision which Brigid the seeress saw and told to Patrick.
All I could make of that sequence was that some child of destiny
was born then or to be born. Around that child, the future of
Ireland was to pivot. It was to be an Avatar, as symbolized by
the descent of the first figure from the sky. Before that high
destiny was to be accomplished, the power of empire was to be
weakened. There was to be one more tragic episode in Irish
Time alone can tell whether this is truth or fantasy. No drums
that have since beaten in this land seem to me to be mad enough
to be foretold of in that wild drumming. What can I say of such
a vision but that it impressed me to forgetfulness of analysis?
What it said was more important than any philosophy of its
I have tried to reason over it with myself. I did this as I
would with a sequence of another character, to deduce from a
sequence better than could be done from a single vision, valid
reasons for believing that there must be a conscious intellect
somewhere behind the sequence. But I cannot reason over it. I
only know that I look everywhere in the face of youth, in the
aspect of every new notability, hoping before I die to recognize
the broad-browed Avatar of my vision.
APOLLONIUS OF TYANNA, Part IX
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.]
APOLLONIUS -- IARCHAS
The discourse between Iarchas and Apollonius sometimes fell upon
foreknowledge, a subject which, as the latter was greatly
addicted to it, often gave rise to much conversation. Iarchas
praised him for it, and said, "They who take pleasure in the art
of divination, most excellent Apollonius, become by it divine and
useful to mankind. He who possesses within himself the power of
foreknowledge, and is capable by it of instructing the ignorant
in what can only be acquired by having recourse to the oracle
itself, I consider to be most happy, and equal to the Delphic
God. You know the art of divination enjoins all who consult the
oracle to approach it with pure hearts, otherwise to depart from
"For my part, I think that he that wishes to learn the secrets of
the future should keep himself pure and free from all mental
strain and turpitude whatever. And it is my opinion that a man
of this character will utter predictions which he himself and the
tripod within his own breast will clearly understand; and that
the oracles which he delivers will, on account of the purity of
his life, be the more to be relied upon. Hence it is not
surprising you, whose soul is filled with such a portion of the
divine ether, should possess this kind of knowledge."
They were no dull sophists, these divine philosophers, but had a
lively sense of humor, as all true philosophers have, for use in
its right place. To relieve the conversation, they asked Damis
what knowledge he had of futurity after having been so long a
disciple of Apollonius, and there was some quiet fun over his
claim that he knew about as much as the old women fortune-tellers
who uttered predictions as to stray cattle and the like; enough
for himself, though not enough to help others. They all laughed
heartily at the quaint manner in which he said this, which need
not have prevented him from seeing that there was also a
concealed hint in the question that he might learn a good deal
from Apollonius if he chose.
DIVINATION AND MEDICINE
Divination is not a science to be despised, though it is utterly
misunderstood and degraded in so-called learned circles and
universities. Iarchas goes on to show that it is responsible for
the whole science of our medicine. Nor does this refer alone to
ancient times, for much of our most efficacious modern medicine
has been so discovered, as history shows. Divination, declared
Iarchas, had rendered great benefit to mankind, of which the
greatest was the knowledge of medicine.
"For the learned sons of Aesculapius could never have known their
profession so well, had not Aesculapius, who was the son of
Apollo, in obedience to his father's sayings and predictions,
prepared the medicines most proper for curing each disease.
These remedies he showed to his children, and taught his scholars
what simples were best to be applied to every species of ulcer,
whether new or old. Who will deprive divination of the discovery
of the exact proportions of medical potions for every kind of
disease and the fittest medicines to be applied in the case of
persons poisoned, and the manner of converting poisons themselves
into remedies? I do not think that mortals without some knowledge
of futurity would have had the courage enough to use the most
dangerous poisons in the curing of disease."
MYSTERIES OF NATURE
Discussing the strange mysteries of nature and of science with
Iarchas, Apollonius had many erroneous notions of the Greeks
corrected, and others deemed fabulous confirmed. Philostratus
considers that of such accounts "full credit is not to be given
to, nor withheld from them." A wise conclusion, seeing that
though many absurdities are held in the popular mind as to the
wonders of strange countries, not a few of the most absurd are
symbols covering in an unforgettable way most important and
far-reaching truths of science.
The fountain of golden water to which such wonderful properties
are ascribed is declared by Iarchas to have been unheard of in
his country. Possibly he used other symbolism for the same
thing. The magnet he possessed, and showed its properties; but
the pantarba (mentioned by Roger Bacon in later years) does not
appear to be popularly identifiable. It seems to be a
combination of the magnet and the diamond, with properties
superior to those of both. Described as a small stone, the
largest of which is about the size of a man's thumbnail, it is
generated in the cavities of the earth about four paces below the
surface. It possesses the hidden virtue of causing the ground to
swell, and sometimes to open, in the place where it is produced.
But search for it is not permitted, because it is acquired only
by art, the performance of certain words. By night it gives a
light like that of fire of a radiant shining quality, but when
seen by day it dazzles the eyes with a thousand glittering rays.
This light contains within it "a subtle spirit of ineffable
power," which attracts whatever is near it, or even at some
little distance. If many stones are cast into the sea or any
running stream haphazard, this stone or gem, if immersed where
they lie, will draw all to itself by the influence of the spirit,
and make them form a cluster like a swarm of bees. When Iarchas
said this, he showed the stone and demonstrated its powers. It
appears to have been either electrical or alchemical, or both.
SYMBOLISM OF GRIFFONS, THE PHOENIX, AND SWANS
Griffons are described as actual beasts with membranous wings,
slow of flight, but formidable. The account is detailed, but
appears to be as symbolical as that of the phoenix, which is just
as detailed and yet is all symbolical. The latter visits Egypt
every five hundred years and during that time is said to fly all
over India. There is never more than one. It emits rays of the
color of gold and resembles the eagle in shape and size. It sits
on its nest, which it makes for itself with spices, near the
fountains of the Nile. What the Egyptians say of its coming into
their country, is said also by the Indians, with the addition
that while burning itself in its nest, it sings a farewell dirge,
as swans are said to do.
The symbolism is very beautiful and ingenious, and the mention of
the Swan has the significance that the bird is employed in Indian
symbolism to express much the same thing on a larger or smaller
scale. Possibly the real old Rosicrucian pelican is the same,
and the duck of the Kalevala may be related.
JOURNEYS IN ASIA MINOR, GREECE, AND ITALY
On coming into Ionia, Apollonius visited Ephesus, where the
artisans and tradesmen immediately left their work and followed
him; some admiring his wisdom, others his beauty; some his way of
living, others his singular dress; and many admiring him in every
way. Prophesies of the Oracle of Colophon were quoted,
announcing him as a man possessing some of Apollo's wisdom, being
a man truly wise, and the like. The oracles in the temples of
Didyme and Pergamus said the same, and all who needed assistance
were commanded by Apollo to go to Apollonius, for such was his
will and the decree of the Fates. Ambassadors came from several
cities offering him hospitality, since they considered him the
best guide of their lives and the fittest person to advise them
in erecting altars and statues. These things he attended to by
letters and by word of mouth, saying he would visit them. Smyrna
sent ambassadors urging his presence, but without giving a
reason. He asked them their business, and they replied, "To see
you and to be seen by you!"
"I will come," said the Sage, "and may the Muses grant a mutual
affection between us!"
His first speech to the Ephesians was from the porch of the
temple; not in the argumentative manner of Socrates, but as one
having authority. He advised them earnestly to study philosophy
and to turn away from their present manner of living in
dissipation, occupied with cruel sports, extravagant shows,
pantomimes, dances, noise, and debauchery. "Though by
remonstrance, he alienated from him the minds of the Ephesians,
yet he would not wink at their depravity, which he tore up by the
roots, and made odious to the people."
He utilized the love of omens and prodigies in an effective way
to illustrate a speech on the community of goods. While he was
talking, a flock of sparrows sat silently on a tree near by.
Suddenly one sparrow seemed to be telling the rest of something
and they all flew away in the same direction. Apollonius noted
that many of his audience watched them to see the cause of the
prodigy. Without pausing, he went on to tell how there was once
a sparrow which saw a boy let fall some corn in a lane. The bird
immediately went off to tell its companions, and they all went
together to share the banquet. The Ephesian crowd saw the drift
of his tale and ran to see if what he had said was really the
case. Meanwhile he went on with his speech about community of
goods, as he had begun. When the men who had gone to verify the
tale had returned, shouting with joy and amazement because they
had found it correct, Apollonius proceeded to emphasize the
lesson of his talk.
"You see," said he, "what care these sparrows take of each other,
and with what satisfaction they divide their goods -- a doctrine
which is despised by you: for if you see a man who relieves the
wants of others, you consider him idle and extravagant; and those
who are fed by his bounty as little better than flatterers and
parasites. What else, then, have you to do but shut yourselves
up at home, like birds to be fattened for the table, and indulge
your appetites in darkness till you burst with fat?"
That was the way with Apollonius. His work was to teach, and
teach he did -- even though the lessons might be unpopular or
alienate people of selfish and idle habits. The little homely
incidents of daily life were text enough for his discourse.
REBUKES THE EPHESIANS
Soon the confirmation of his urgency in preaching against the
worldly ways and idle dissipation of the Ephesians came. They
had not liked the rebuke; they liked less the result of their
manner of living. For that is precisely what he was trying to
demonstrate: that the law of cause and effect is immutable; and
the plague was upon them. Apollonius saw it coming, and again
and again spoke as though forbidding some monster to enter the
land or to pass.
The Ephesians, probably much the same as any modern crowd,
treated lightly these exclamations in his discourses, as though
they were the effect of fear and superstition. When they saw him
visiting the temples and attempting to avert or deprecate the
evil, they were confirmed in their careless idea. Apollonius saw
that there was no change in their conduct, and thought he was no
longer of any use among such a people. Therefore he resumed his
travels though Ionia, redressing what was wrong, and always
speaking on topics most useful to his hearers.
At Smyrna he took the cup of the city council and made libation
of part of the contents, making supplication to the gods that
Aegeon, the shaker of the earth, might not destroy the cities of
the Ionians. In after days it was supposed that he foresaw the
calamity that was going to befall Smyrna, Miletus, Chios, Samos,
and many other Ionian cities.
The Smyrniotes took much pride in the magnificence of their city,
its wealth and buildings, its treasures of art, and its natural
beauty of landscape. All this Apollonius compared to a statue of
Jupiter by Phidias, very beautiful but merely an immovable
statue; while a city of good and great men may be compared to
Jupiter himself who is not on earth in one place like a statue,
but everywhere in the heavens.
Understanding that the people of Smyrna were given to idle
disputes, Apollonius declared that a well constituted state
should have a "discordant concord." The phrase aroused curiosity
and discussion which he satisfied by saying that there should not
be rivalry but emulation for the common good; not striving for
excellence in one thing alone like the militarism of the
Lacedemonians, but the variety of effort to make all professions
honored and all share in their contribution to the general good
of the state. Using a homely simile, he pointed to a ship
getting under way in the harbor: as each of the crew did his work
in his place to the best of his ability, so the ship prospered.
The plague now raged at Ephesus, and at last the people saw what
Apollonius had tried to do. They sent an ambassador to him and
he agreed to go to Ephesus, which he did instantly by one of
those methods of personal transport he sometimes used. He
gathered the Ephesians together and assured them. "Be not
dejected, for I will this day put a stop to the disease." Leading
the way to the theater he pointed out an old beggar, with a
wallet in his hand begging for crusts. This object was in a
filthy state and constantly blinked his eyes.
Apollonius called upon the Ephesians to stone him, as being the
enemy of the Gods. This amazing order shocked them, especially
as the old man was then doing all he could to excite pity and
seeking alms. Apollonius demanded instant compliance with his
order, and when it was carried out he made them remove the
stones. The old man had seemingly turned into a furious maniac
immediately he saw they were going to attack him. But under the
heap of stones they found no man at all, but a huge mad dog,
foaming at the mouth. With the disappearance of this foul
monster the plague was stayed, and the city erected a statue on
the spot to Hercules, as being the god who had wrought through
EDGAR ALLEN POE AS SEER, PART III
By Henry T. Edge
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, September 1945, pages 404-8.]
In THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM for October 1937, I wrote an article
under the above heading, giving an appreciation of Poe together
with a number of quotations from his writings, showing how close
these come in many cases to the teachings of Theosophy. One
purpose of that article was to show that there exists in men a
power of direct vision that can bring them into contact with
truth. This can happen when we find no contact with Oriental or
other channels wherefrom the seer might have derived his vision.
The present writing is a continuation of the same theme.
We begin with a quotation from "Mesmeric Revelation," published
in the COLUMBIAN MAGAZINE, August 1844, and included in
collections of the author's Tales. It shows remarkable agreement
with what Theosophy teaches as to the primordial principle
wherefrom spring the universes. The Revelation is from the lips
of a moribund invalid, who has been put into the clairvoyant
state by the mesmeric operator and questioned by him.
> Operator: "Where is the beginning?"
> Subject: "You know that the beginning is GOD," said in a low,
> fluctuating tone, with every sign of the most profound
> Operator: "What, then, is God?"
> Subject: Hesitating for many minutes, "I cannot tell."
> Operator: "Is not God spirit?"
> Subject: "While I was awake, I knew what you meant by 'spirit,'
> but now it seems only a word -- such, for instance, as truth,
> beauty -- a quality, I mean."
> Operator: "Is not God immaterial?"
> Subject: "There is no immateriality; it is a mere word. That
> which is not matter, is not at all -- unless qualities are
> Operator: "Is God, then, material?"
> Subject: "No!"
> Operator: Startled very much, "what, then, is he?"
> Subject: After a long pause, and muttering, "I see, but it is a
> thing difficult to tell." Another long pause, "he is not spirit,
> for he exists. Nor is he matter, AS YOU UNDERSTAND IT. There
> are GRADATIONS of matter of which man knows nothing. The grosser
> impels the finer and the finer pervades the grosser. The
> atmosphere, for example, impels the electric principle, while the
> electric principle permeates the atmosphere. These gradations of
> matter increase in rarity or fineness until we arrive at a matter
> UNPARTICLED -- without particles -- indivisible -- - ONE; and
> here the law of impulsion and permeation is modified. The
> ultimate or unparticled matter not only permeates all things, but
> also impels all things; and thus IS all things within it. This
> matter is God. What men attempt to embody in the word 'thought,'
> is this matter in motion."
On this question of Matter, see what is said by K.H. in THE
MAHATMA LETTERS, page 52, from which long letter we can quote
only brief extracts:
> When we speak of our One Life, we also say that it penetrates,
> nay is the very essence of every atom of matter; and that
> therefore it not only has correspondence with matter but also has
> all its properties likewise, etc. -- hence IS material, is
> MATTER itself...
> Matter we know to be eternal, i.e., having had no beginning (a)
> because matter is Nature herself (b) because that which cannot
> annihilate itself and is indestructible exists necessarily -- and
> therefore it could not begin to be, nor can it cease to be (c)
> because the accumulated experience of countless ages, and that of
> exact science, show to us matter (or nature) acting by her own
> peculiar energy, of which not an atom is ever in an absolute
> state of rest, and therefore it must have always existed, i.e.,
> its materials ever changing form, combinations, and properties,
> but its principles or elements being absolutely indestructible.
In "William Wilson," we find a theme which has been treated by
others, as, for instance, by Bulwer Lytton in A STRANGE STORY;
and which is told by Poe in his usual manner of gradually
increasing intensity culminating in a climax of horror, and in a
setting portraying fond reminiscences of his own early school
years in England.
The story is told in the first person. It is that of a man who
murders his own Soul. William Wilson is haunted throughout life
by another individual of the same likeness and the same name, who
is wont to appear suddenly at critical moments when his original
is on the point of committing some deed of iniquity or crime, and
to whisper in his ear words of warning, while at the same time
frustrating the evil deed.
Wilson continues in his career of vice and violence, until a time
is reached when, as he is about to seduce the daughter of his
noble host, his double again appears. Stung to madness and
inflamed by wine, he resolves to slay the double and rid himself
forever of the hated interference. Accomplishing his purpose, he
is addressed by the other William Wilson:
> You have conquered, and I yield. Yet henceforth art thou also
> dead -- dead to the World, to Heaven, and to Hope! In me didst
> thou exist -- and, in my death, see by this image, which is thine
> own, how utterly thou hast murdered thyself.
Is not this the teaching of the "soulless man," one of those
fortunately very rare cases wherein a man persists in evil to the
point where his Spiritual Soul abandons the attempt to redeem its
lower vehicles, and in sorrow breaks away, to begin anew its task
in later cycles, while the relic pursues a headlong course to
Theosophists are aware of the distinction drawn between Eternity
and Time, or between Duration and Time, or between undivided Time
and divided Time. The latter pertains to our terrestrial
consciousness; the former pertains to that which lies beyond. In
"The Colloquy of Moons and Una," two disembodied spirits
converse, and Monos describes to Una his sensations while dying.
Even when supposed by all to be dead, yet he was conscious; his
faculties die out slowly one by one -- until at last only one
sense remains, the sense of Time.
> Motion in the animal frame had fully ceased. No muscle quivered;
> no nerve thrilled; no artery throbbed. There seemed to have
> sprung up in the brain, THAT of which no words could convey to
> the merely human intelligence even an indistinct conception. Let
> me term it a mental pendulous pulsation. It was the moral
> embodiment of man's abstract idea of Time ... This -- this keen,
> perfect, self-existing sentiment of DURATION -- this sentiment
> existing (as man could not possibly have conceived it to exist)
> independently of any succession of events -- this idea -- this
> sixth sense, upspringing from the ashes of the rest, was the
> first obvious and certain step of the intemporal soul upon the
> threshold of the temporal Eternity.
Theosophists are familiar with the idea that nothing in Nature is
independent, but that all things are linked. Yet Nature, as
presented to our mind by our physical senses, seems to contradict
this idea, for we thus get an ATOMIC picture, composed of
apparently separate parts without any visible connection. This
error strays into our reasoning, so that we are prone to study
things separately, as if each had an independent existence; thus
finding ourselves often confronted with what we sometimes call a
"paradox." Poe, in the following quotation from "The Mystery of
Marie Poget," illustrates the errors arising from this habit of
considering the details apart from the whole. He also refers to
the laws of chance and probability.
> Nothing is more difficult than to convince the merely general
> reader that the fact of sixes having been thrown twice in
> succession by a player at dice is sufficient cause for betting
> the largest odds that sixes will not be thrown in the third
> attempt. A suggestion to this effect is usually rejected by the
> intellect at once. It does not appear that the two throws
> completed and now absolutely in the Past can have any influence
> upon the throw that exists only in the Future. The chance for
> throwing sixes seems to be precisely as it was at any ordinary
> time -- that is to say, subject only to the influence of the
> various other throws which may be made by the dice ... The error
> here involved -- a gross error redolent of mischief -- I cannot
> attempt to expose within the limits assigned me at present; and
> with the philosophical it needs no exposure. It forms one of an
> infinite series of mistakes that arise in the path of Reason
> through her propensity for seeking truth IN DETAIL.
To know a thing, we must BE that thing; we must see it from the
inside, not merely from the outside; object and subject must be
united in ONE. This thought is familiar enough to Theosophical
students. It points to a higher kind of Knowledge, whereby we
unite our mind with the object to be known, instead of getting a
mere picture of its illusory form. The word "sympathy" has much
to do with this topic, especially as concerns our understanding
of our fellowman. The following is from "Eureka: a Prose Poem,"
quoted several times in our first article.
> "Nous ne connaissons rien," says the Baron de Bielefeld, "de la
> nature ou de l'essence de Dieu: -- pour savoir ce qu'il est, il
> faut être Dieu même." -- "We know absolutely NOTHING of the
> nature or essence of God: -- in order to comprehend what he is,
> we should have to be God ourselves …" I nevertheless venture to
> demand if this, our present ignorance of the Deity is an
> ignorance to which the soul is EVERLASTINGLY condemned.
The Path to Wisdom, as understood in Theosophy, consists in a
progressive self-identification with one's Inner God; the
culminating step of which progress is full Self-realization,
complete union of the disciple with that Divinity which is his
own true Self. All this is implied in the above quotation from
Poe. All that he predicates of this original Matter is Oneness.
> I propose to show that this Oneness is a principle abundantly
> sufficient to account for the constitution, the existing
> phenomena, and the plainly inevitable annihilation of at least
> the material Universe.
He then shows how the notion of unity implies divisibility, the
One implies the Many. He thus proceeds systematically to outline
the expansion of the One into the manifold Universe, and its
return process to material "annihilation," which is what we call
Pralaya. This was described in our previous article.
With this, we conclude our quotations from Poe, a genius who
soared very high without having the stamina to deal with the
reaction. His own writings show clearly enough this tragedy of
the soul. His culminating work "Eureka" was published the year
before that "lonesome" October, of which he speaks so
prophetically in his poem, "Ulalume," and which witnessed the
gloomy end of his short and troubled life-drama.
THE ROAR OF THE GREAT SILENCE
By Walter Eugene Kent
Dancing with friends, the secret of brotherly love again becomes
Holding hands with a smiling group of people, I cannot help
It becomes so easy to forget myself when giving myself to the
There is just the step, just the music, just the sea of warm
The challenge of the dance captures my attention as I do it will
Doing each step with reverence, I do worship to sacred
I discover both a lightness and a deep commitment to the passing
And passing deeper, the dance dances me as I look up and smile at
Walking along an empty beach at sunset, I can sense the majesty
The roar of the surf, the fresh breeze, the brilliant sky all
shout their wonders.
Without anyone to remind me of my place in life, of my
I feel the grandeur of existence, of life, of being manifest, so
But when that annoying woman with the short temper comes around,
I quickly fill with her rage and have forgotten this beauty.
Or when another is telling his friend how terrible that I am,
It is so easy to see him as enemy instead of a living human
It is different, though, in dancing here tonight; there is an
People of all sizes, all ages, all skills, both sexes, all
No one is great. No one is inferior. All are one unity: the
And amidst the good cheer, something deeper is happening.
Behind all manifest life is a spiritual presence, vast beyond
It can only be called dark because the brightest of lights does
And it can only be spoken of as silence as the sweetest of music
For want of a better term, it has been called the Void by many a
No matter what I may do, it is there giving life and meaning.
Regardless of how aware I may be of this treasure, I possess it.
As much in my deepest shame as in my greatest triumph, it stands
And it brings so much unspeakable joy when I remember that it is
As the dance continues and the smiling, sometimes stumbling
people plod along,
I become lost in it, the dance takes me over, and I watch it
Looking at the others in amazement, I fly in a higher space
And the roar of the great Silence behind manifest things is so
A STUDY IN FUNDAMENTALS, Part VII
By Boris de Zirkoff
[This talk comes from the first part of the tape recording on
"Chapter XII of FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY, Part
III," made of a private class held on June 16, 1954.]
Tonight we continue our study of the latter part of Chapter XII.
It deals with many important subjects. Practically every
sentence is pregnant with profound meaning upon which we could
elaborate at length. The chapter involves a large number of
Teachings of the Esoteric Philosophy.
Before we go on, three of us have written short explanations of
the Teachings in the early part of the chapter. Each has taken a
few paragraphs and put it into his or her own words.
> The chapter opens defending the truthfulness of the subsequent
> quotes from THE SECRET DOCTRINE. The author briefly sets forth
> the tradition of the perception and recording of the ancient
> teachings by initiated prophets and seers throughout the ages.
> These teachings are the cumulative contributions of generations
> of wise men. With a spiritual eye, they have penetrated deep
> into the reality that lies beyond the veil of matter.
> The Teachings are not the vision of a few, but rather those of an
> army of Knowers that attained their knowledge through the
> perfection and exaltation of their entire being. Some have the
> duty to pave the way for a future Teacher. Others support a
> Teaching previously unrevealed. Yet others explain and
> elaborate. For those who will see, listen, and learn, they
> pierce that thin veil, impenetrable to the profane.
> The Teachings are windows into the soul of matter. The endless
> stream of evolving entities goes past them. Some do not look.
> Others see but are not aware. Yet others come to see that this
> vast network of apparently unrelated facts and doctrines
> inextricably interwoven into the fabric of the cosmos. Each is a
> thread properly placed, revealing the pattern of the unknowable
> substance principle.
> This One exists in every atom of the universe on the manifested
> plane. Neither spirit nor matter, it is both. During its
> periodic manifestation, it is reality to the conscious beings
> within it. It is the totality of matter. When pursued beyond
> energy and impulse, matter leads back to the divine essence.
> Upon this concept is based the doctrine of Maya. It holds that
> the manifested universe is not an illusion, but rather is a
> temporary expression of the divine.
> During periods of manifestation, every atom in the universe
> imbues itself with consciousness relative to its own plane. In
> the lower kingdoms, it is but an impulse. On a more grandiose
> scale, the entire universe is but an impulse of unfoldment. The
> external universe emanates itself through itself. In this
> process, beings vitalize and control its physical functions.
> These beings are conscious, feeling entities at various stages of
> becoming. Some are perfected men of past and present cycles.
> Others are incipient men. Both groups are devoid of attachment
> to personality, the former group having won freedom and the
> latter only approaching addiction to it.
> The guides and controllers of the manifested universe are angels
> or Dhyani-Chohans. These cosmic divine powers are agents of
> karmic law. They are the framers, shapers, and ultimately
> creators of the manifested universe. They are of various degrees
> of attainment.
> -- Audrey
There are many types of planetary spirits, many degrees of
attainment, and many subdivisions in the hierarchical structure.
HPB uses "Dhyani-Chohans" in THE SECRET DOCTRINE in a generic
sense. She speaks of that kingdom of spiritual-divine entities
in the same way we speak of human beings. When we say men and
women, we mean a large variety of degrees of humanhood. This
ranges from half animals to saintly individualities standing on
the verge of becoming something higher.
As a term, "Dhyani-Chohans" is complex, covering three kingdoms
with a considerable variety of stages. It refers to the three
upper ranges of the tenfold structure of the hierarchy. Students
find different passages about them difficult to compare and
understand because they refer to beings at vastly different
degrees of attainment all of whom HPB calls indiscriminately
> We learn from Dr. de Purucker's FUNDAMENTALS of the importance
> of the psychological study of man. If man knows himself, he also
> knows from where he came. Knowing that, he knows whence he goes.
> It is important to consider the law of hierarchies. It is also
> important to consider the law of the inner nature of things,
> Swabhava. This is the law of the essential nature of things,
> meaning self-evolution, self-formation, self-development, and
> self-becoming. With these two, one may gain entrance into the
> knowledge of the psychological nature of man. Their study aids
> the development of one's spirit and mind along with his or her
> other faculties.
> Nothing can come out of anything but what the thing is in itself.
> That law of self-becoming is an inner impulse, current, or
> catalytic sequence following an already established pattern.
> From it, we deduct the relation between this principle of
> Swabhava, the law of hierarchies, and the realization of cycles.
> From previous Manvantaras, the pneuma or spirit releases its
> tension. It extrudes a vehicle of a certain nature and stage of
> evolution, the only thing its new form could become. It is the
> spermatic or seed Logoi, the impulse to concretion forming and
> evolving itself. It is the inner essence resulting from previous
> periods of evolution. Nothing can come out of latency from it
> but that which it is itself. A seed of a rose always forms a
> rose tree. An egg of a scorpion always becomes a scorpion.
> What chaos it would be if Swabhava failed and a scorpion
> manifested out of the seed of a rose! Unfortunately, in our
> illusory world, this most deceiving thing happens. It is not
> rare when out of a beautiful face scorpion-like actions appear.
> Concealed within the beautiful words of promise and hope may lay
> a snake.
> It is not clear what makes an average person become an Initiate
> or Mahatma. Does one's Swabhavic condition allow him that
> tremendous change? If it permits him to grow, it must be of
> another kind of Swabhava, because his vehicle remains the same
> physically. The impulse that makes a man become a man and
> nothing else is a spiritual impulse. It is capable of making a
> gradual change in part of the man's constitution. Our book says
> that after death man is not to meet his creator. He meets his
> creation, his creature, the result of his efforts in life, his
> astral part.
> Consider that at the man's death his cells do not stop their
> evolution as in the case of infusoria (protozoa found in decaying
> animal or vegetable matter). They continue their divisions and
> sub-divisions in a way characteristic of the human race. This,
> as in life, is according to his Swabhavic condition. What subtle
> failure takes place in the formation of monsters? The difficult
> and profound subject and has not been thought out by science yet.
> Swabhava needs a proper field of action into which it can
> manifest. A seed would not germinate without fertile soil. An
> Ego unchains its power of evolution into an opposing ground of
> action. There is tremendous energy of growth.
> -- Antonio
This fine contribution shows much original thought. It contains
questions I do not know how to answer. I might speculate.
Together with us here, some of the best, the most-seasoned
students of the Movement know little of the intricacies of
Swabhava. From when THE SECRET DOCTRINE was out in 1888 to the
teaching period of Dr. de Purucker in 1929, students did not
understand it at all. They did not discuss it. It had not
become impressed upon their minds. Other aspects of THE SECRET
DOCTRINE conveyed meaning, holding their interest. Only in the
years when Dr. de Purucker taught did interest in Swabhava
arise. Students have grasped some of the doctrine, but not
nearly enough to answer the many questions popping up its study.
In due course, everyone is going to become an Initiate, Adept,
Mahatma. This unfoldment is a natural stage in the development
of consciousness. The mystical Christian speaks of the Adept as
a Christos or illumined man. In his terminology, it is a stage
of consciousness. Some appear to reach and enter that stage
easily. Others appear greatly delayed in attaining it. This
apparent ease or delay is illusory. Seeing back of the illusion,
we find that the timing is natural. One may have passed through
Initiation successfully and entered Mahatmaship after a long,
cumulative effort spanning many lifetimes. In doing so, he has
not become anything but what his inner Swabhavic urge motivated
or impelled him to become.
We can run through the evolutionary race, journey, or pilgrimage
at various speeds. In one case at a certain degree of tension,
we may utilize the impelling forces in a better way. In another
case, we utilize them in a lesser way. The competing runners
succeed in rounding out certain grooves or traveling certain
spirals of the evolutionary pilgrimage at different speeds. In
due course, each brings out his individual Swabhava.
I am not prepared to elaborate upon other points raised by this
paper such as exceptional cases like monstrosities. Of
necessity, they must receive adequate explanation in due time.
> The chapter gives us hope that we will evolve ever higher and
> Swabhava is the habit of the essential nature of things. It only
> works in that which is it. Only its own vehicle or self is
> appropriate for its manifestation. Apply this to the evolution
> of man. We know that each incarnation brings forth a physical
> body. The spiritual nature does not descend into and become that
> body. It throws off part of itself. In its turn, that part
> throws off something lower. The physical body is the lowest such
> manifestation of the spiritual nature or the God within.
> The spiritual nature retains its highest sphere during our
> sojourn through the depths of materiality. There is no death for
> the God within. Swabhava is a habit. By it, the physical body
> gradually manifests its spiritual nature, becoming that which is
> within. The seed germinates and grows, manifesting our inner
> -- Marge Bonnell
This is another aspect of the same thought. It is interesting
how many viewpoints we can present, all of value and originality.
If we had hundreds, no two would be alike, no more than two
leaves of a tree.
We have covered the current phase of the subject. We can now
proceed, taking a few more steps into the chapter. Dwell a
moment on how occultism sees psychology. The author says it
means the study of the inner economy of man, the interconnection
of his principles, of his centers of energy or force, of what the
man really is inwardly.
See the tremendous scope of the study of genuine esoteric
psychology. In psychology, modern science is so far from this!
Naturally, it has progressed. Moving ahead, it has made valuable
There is much that psychology still needs. It must first
understand that there exist internal principles, more ethereal
substances, and non-physical energies and forces. It needs to
realize that there is an interconnection between them all, from
the spiritual-divine down to the physical. It has to uncover the
existence and function of at least some of these forces and
energies of the inner man. Until then, psychology will remain a
sublimated physiology at best.
The Occidental psychology may never cross the bridge, becoming a
genuine esoteric science. To do so, it must blend its pursuits
and research with aspects of genuine spiritual yoga. This is not
Hatha Yoga, but rather is what we might call Brahma Yoga, Raja
Yoga, or the Yoga of Union. It is the science of the
spiritual-divine, the intellectual-intuitive part of man. It
deals with the soul, the Ego, and the spirit of the human entity.
The number ten forms the skeleton or numerical framework of being
for man as well as for everything else in the universe. Three of
the ten elements, planes, or principles belong to the Arupa or
formless world. Seven belong to the world of form. The seven
produce each other on a downward scale in the process of
manifestation. They do this exactly as the hierarchies do. Each
emanates or evolves a lower. This lower evolves or emanates a
still lower one. This continues down to the seventh or lowest.
The process whereby the inner principles of man and the universe
manifest themselves in the outer worlds has no equivalent in our
laboratories. The process partly represents the unwrapping of
that which is within, making it manifest outwardly. There is
more to it. In the Esoteric Philosophy, the outer not only
manifestations the inner, the inner also permeates the outer
through and through.
In illustration, speak of the mind not in opposition to the body.
The body is not the mind, obviously. The mind is certainly not
the body. In every cell of our physical and astral structure --
call it the body -- certain aspects of the mind are present. To
the last little cell of the physical structure, there is some of
our mind. There is even more. Some of everything else that we
are is there too.
Many energies run up and down the human constitution, including
the Atman, Buddhi, Manas, Kama, and Prana. On the physical
plane, they exist in potentiality in every cell and even in every
atom. All of what the body builds itself as well as the astral
structure is only an exteriorization of the internal principles.
They are a reflection thereof, a manifestation of those energies.
There is no break of continuity anywhere.
The inner becomes the outer. The inner unfolds and unwraps
itself. It rolls out, which is the actual meaning of the word
"evolution." "Evolvare" means to roll out. It rolls itself out
into the entire hierarchy that man is (or the cosmic hierarchy if
we speak of a world). It touches bottom, as it were, in its
rolling out process. That bottommost point, center, or nucleus
is our physical body in its grossest part.
Eventually, everything that has rolled out begins to roll back,
withdrawing itself inwardly, a process that we call dying. The
scroll has unrolled itself and now rolls itself in again. It
wraps itself in, withdrawing from the world of manifestation back
into its source temporarily.
It the same with man as it is with the universe. Compare it to
the breath. We breathe out and breathe in, with the process
reversing between the two actions. On a larger scale, there is
the same universal breathing action. There is the universal
cadence of things, manifesting on all levels of consciousness, in
every aspect of the universe. This rhythmic dance or pulsation
of life moves from the inner to the outer then from the outer
back to the inner again. Some folklore offers the suggestive
symbol of the winking of the eye. It winks, opens, sees,
cognizes, takes in, closes, and opens yet again.
The author continues, saying man is composed of three essential
bases. The Sanskrit term is "Upadhi." It is what stands forth.
It follows a model or pattern, like a canvas upon which the light
from a projecting lantern plays. When we show some slides, the
canvas is the Upadhi, the basis upon which a model, picture, or
pattern finds expression. Compared to the ultimate reality, it
is a play of shadow and form.
A being is composed of three essential bases, three Upadhis.
First is the monadic or spiritual. Second is that which the laws
of light supply, the so-called Manasa-Dhyanis. It is the
intellectual and intuitive side of man. This element principle
gives man his humanity. Third is the vital-astral-physical.
Do not confuse this division with that of the seven principles.
The principles are contained in the three Upadhis, but are not
the same. Whether of man or universe, they are the seven types
of material. Dr. de Purucker calls them the stuff with which
the universe constructs itself, its building blocks. Formed in
replica of the universal structure, man has within himself the
various materials of the universe, which we call the principles.
Principal elements would be another term for the same thing.
The Upadhis are composed of these principles. They represent a
threefold division of man. From a certain standpoint, it helps
us to realize that man or universe has this subdivision. First,
there is the spiritual level or center. Call it the monadic.
Next, there is the intellectual-intuitive division. Third is the
purely physical-astral-vital, the grossest in which the
intermediate and the highest part function.
Each of these is a base that springs from a different line of
evolution. Each hierarchy possesses in embryo everything of the
entire universe from the least as the greatest of that period of
manifestation. (For who can say what would be least and greatest
of that which is endless?) Formed from three separate hierarchies
of being, man is composite.
Man is a composite entity. He is not one soul, an unmixed
entity. Various elements build him up. Hence, his principles
are separable to a certain extent. Here is an important point.
Any one of the Upadhis can separate from the other two
temporarily without bringing about the physical death of the man.
The elements forming any one of the Upadhis cannot separate
without causing physical death. The human entity can separate
according to the three cleavage lines: the monadic or spiritual,
the intellectual-intuitive, and the vital-astral-physical. We
can separate him into these three without a final dissolution
ensuing. Bringing the Upadhis together again, the man can
reconstitute himself again.
Death is the dissolution of the sevenfold compound constitution
into its component elements and principles. It coheres no
longer. It falls apart. With training in the higher degrees of
Yoga and in the initiatory rites, one can divide into the three
bases without undergoing death. If necessary, the three can
function apart from one another for a time.
Only someone extraordinary could exist in one Upadhi for a time,
apart from the other two. That separation happens in high
degrees of Initiation. In the initiatory rites, one divides
himself to partake of other states of consciousness,
experimentally investigating and coming to know other spheres of
being. This is not possible for an ordinary person, for the
psychically inclined, nor even the mildly spiritual. It pertains
to those involved with high degrees of spiritual yoga.
I do not know much about this. Advanced individuals seeking
higher attainment achieve further illumination by the subdivision
of consciousness into its three main bases. This is conscious,
first-hand experimentation with the dynamics of one's own
A golden thread runs through the three Upadhis. It cannot be
broken. Even if temporarily separated, the three parts still
connect in a subtle way by way of that tread. The three Upadhis
belong to the same individual hierarchy of a being. They can
only gather and reconstitute the full-fledged individual by
having something binding them together. That fundamental stream
of consciousness runs through the entire being from Atman to
physical. It is the individual divine ray of the person
undergoing this experience. We have our own fundamental
consciousness, a ray from the spiritual sun. Strung upon it, our
entire constitution hangs as a pendant from the Monad.
There are three Upadhis and seven principles. How do they
correlate? I do not know if I can explain. It is quite
metaphysical and complex. Obviously, from a numerical
standpoint, three and seven are numbers not divisible one by the
other. Something with seven links cannot correlate with
something having three links without overlap. It is a difficult
problem of consciousness. It is something for which we do not
have adequate words. Our knowledge is limited. I find it
difficult to explain the correlation between the seven element
principles and the three Upadhis.
Subba Row was a great initiate of the early days of the
Theosophical Movement. To a certain point, he collaborated with
HPB. He wrote quite a bit on our subject. In fact, there was a
controversy over it. In 1885 to 1887, Subba Row wrote articles
presenting the fourfold constitution of man in THE THEOSOPHIST.
He definitely opposed articles by HPB on our sevenfold
constitution. They had quite a controversy, which proved finally
to have been a put-up job. These two chelas of the same Master
presented two ways of looking at the human being, each from a
different angle, so intuitive students would search and think on
their own. It is metaphysical. The articles are some of the
most difficult ones in the early magazine. I am not prepared to
go into that material. It involves too many things that I am not
clear about myself.
On what planes do the separations of the Upadhis take place? The
lowest basis is the physical-vital-astral, on the physical and
lower aspects of the astral plane. Next is the internal man, the
real individual, the part that makes us human. It is the higher
mental, intellectual, spiritual-intellectual, or intuitive. It
pertains to the Manasic or spiritual-mental plane. Our real
individual Ego functions on the plane. On this plane, the human
entity dwells apart from its lower vehicles.
The foremost and highest basis is the monadic or spiritual. It
exists in spiritual realms completely outside the consciousness
of the human part of us. The monadic or spiritual is on the
plane of the inner God, the plane on which our inner divinity,
the ray from the planetary spirit, dwells.
Note here that there are intermediate planes between the three
that I have mentioned. I have just indicated the three main
This separation is not possible for the average person because he
would not know how to function self-consciously on any of the
other planes. He could not function in the other parts of his
Going through the separation of the Upadhis, you would not die.
Unprepared, if your constitution could rip apart into these three
bases prior to your being ready to do so on your own, you would
lose consciousness. You would not be able to function
consciously with any purpose or objective. Such a separation is
impossible. A man of adequate spiritual attainment must do it
consciously. He would know how to reconstitute himself.
These three lines of evolution, the three aspects or qualities of
man, come from three different hierarchies or states. We often
speak of them as three different planes of being. The lowest
base comes from the Earth, ultimately from the moon. The middle,
Manasic, or intellectual-intuitional comes from the sun. The
Monadic, the highest, comes from the Monad of Monads, the supreme
flower or acme, the supreme seed of the universal hierarchy that
forms our cosmic universe.
We must correctly understand how these three separate parts of
the economy of the inner man work together. This is essential to
our future studies. If we follow our studies properly, we meet
new ideas and thoughts at every step. These are new links with
the universal light and being around us, of which we also are
We are composite entities. We should look upon ourselves as
aggregates, composites, the three main parts of which come from
different realms. We are a coming together of three different
centers of consciousness by means of the old and ancient
It is correct to some extent to say that we have three creators
within ourselves. The lowest part of us is from the moon. It is
lunar. The intermediate part, the real man, the spiritual
intellect, the intellectual-intuitional part, the Manas, is a
solar entity. It is from the sun. The highest spiritual part,
the monadic, has its roots in the spiritual Hierarch of the
system in which we live and evolve.
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application