He who would be an occultist must not separate either himself or anything else from the rest of creation or non-creation. For, the moment he distinguishes himself from even a vessel of dishonour, he will not be able to join himself to any vessel of honour. He must think of himself as an infinitesimal something, not even as an individual atom, but as a part of the world-atoms as a whole, or become an illusion, a nobody, and vanish like a breath, leaving no trace behind. As illusions, we are separate distinct bodies, living in masks furnished by Maya. Can we claim one single atom in our body as distinctly our own? Everything, from spirit to the tiniest particle, is part of the whole, at best a link. Break a single link and all passes into annihilation; but this is impossible. There is a series of vehicles becoming more and more gross, from spirit to the densest matter, so that with each step downward and outward we get more and more the sense of separateness developed in us. Yet this is illusory, for if there were a real and complete separation between any two human beings, they could not communicate with, or understand each other in any way.1
He who does not practise altruism; He who is not prepared to share his last morsel with a weaker or a poorer than himself;
He who neglects to help his brother man, of whatever race, nation, or creed, whenever and wherever he meets suffering, and who turns a deaf ear to the cry of human misery;
He who hears an innocent person slandered, whether a brother Theosophist or not, and does not undertake his defence as he would undertake his own; [He] is no Theosophist.2
Action, Renunciation, and their endless variants
• The Path of Action is the path of attachment to, of engagement in and pursuit of the material life, or arc of a monad’s descent to objectivity.
• The Path of Renunciation is the path of detachment from, of disengagement from and renunciation of the material life, or arc of a monad’s ascent to subjectivity.
The whole of the ancient Indian theory and practice of Life is embodied in these two words, Action and Renunciation, and their endless variants:
Bhagavad Gita Raga Sa-kama Shakti Vairagya Nish-kama A-shakti
Buddhism Tanha Nirvana
Christianity Sin Salvation
Jaina Sanchara Prati-sanchara
Mimansa Karman Nais-karmya
Modern Science Disintegration Evolution Integration Involution
Narada Bhakti Sutra Worldly Love Devotional Love
Nyaya Sarga Apavarga
Sankhya Iha Upa-rama
Smritis and Puranas Pravritti Nivritti 1
Solar Bird of Life Hamsa (a-ham-sa) (I) am He Soham (sah-aham) He (is) I
(In and out of time)
Vaisheshika Duhkha Nis-shreyas
Vedanta Bandha Moksha
Yoga Vyutthana Nirodha
The underlying idea of all these pairs is the same. Each pair expresses only a somewhat different aspect or shade of the same fact. Indeed, it may be said, all pairs of opposites whatsoever are but expressions of the infinite shades of that same fact.
Parabrahman: aspects, epithets, synonyms 1
Absolute Consciousness contains the cogniser, the thing cognised, and the cognition, all three in Itself and all three one. No man is conscious of more than that portion of his knowledge that happens to have been recalled to his mind at any particular time, yet such is the poverty of language that we have no term to distinguish the knowledge not actively thought of, from knowledge we are unable to recall to memory. To forget is synonymous with not to remember. How much greater must be the difficulty of finding terms to describe, and to distinguish between, abstract metaphysical facts or differences? It must not be forgotten, also, that we give names to things according to the appearances they assume for ourselves. We call Absolute consciousness “unconsciousness,” because it seems to us that it must necessarily be so, just as we call the Absolute, “Darkness,” because to our finite understanding it appears quite impenetrable, yet we recognise fully that our perception of such things does not do them justice. We involuntarily distinguish in our minds, for instance, between unconscious absolute consciousness, and unconsciousness, by secretly endowing the former with some indefinite quality that corresponds, on a higher plane than our thoughts can reach, with what we know as consciousness in ourselves. But this is not any kind of consciousness that we can manage to distinguish from what appears to us as unconsciousness.2
[Absolute Darkness is self-existent, uncaused, free from conditions, limits, or restrictions.]
The essence of darkness being absolute light, Darkness is taken as the appropriate allegorical representation of the condition of the universe during Pralaya, or the term of absolute rest, or non-being, as it appears to our finite minds.3 . . . According to the Rosicrucian tenets . . . “Light and Darkness are identical in themselves, being only divisible in the human mind”; and according to Robert Fludd, “Darkness adopted illumination in order to make itself visible.” According to the tenets of Eastern Occultism, DARKNESS is the one true actuality, the basis and the root of light, without which the latter could never manifest itself, nor even exist. Light is matter, and DARKNESS pure Spirit. Darkness, in its radical, metaphysical basis, is subjective and absolute light; while the latter in all its seeming effulgence and glory, is merely a mass of shadows, as it can never be eternal, and is simply an illusion, or Maya.4
Adi-Budha, the one (or the First) and “Supreme Wisdom” is a term used by Aryasangha in his Secret treatises, and now by all the mystic Northern Buddhists. . . . an appellation given by the earliest Aryans to the Unknown Deity; the word “Brahma” not being found in the Vedas and the early works. It means the absolute Wisdom, and “Adi-Bhuta” is translated “the primeval uncreated cause of all worlds.” 1
A “Amida” is the Senzar form of “Adi”; “Adi-Buddhi” and “AdiBuddha,” as already shown, existed ages ago as a Sanskrit term for “Primeval Soul” and “Wisdom”; and (b) the name was applied to Gautama Shakyamuni, the last Buddha in India, from the seventh century, when Buddhism was introduced into Tibet. “Amitabha” (in Chinese, “Wu-liang-sheu”) means literally “Boundless Age,” a synonym of “Ain-Soph,” the “Ancient of Days,” and is an epithet that connects Him directly with the Boundless Adi-Buddhi (primeval and Universal Soul) of the Hindus, as well as with the Anima Mundi of all the ancient nations of Europe and the Boundless and Infinite of the Kabbalists. 2
Brahma (neuter) . . . is the impersonal, supreme and incognizable Principle of the Universe from the essence of which all emanates, and into which all returns, which is incorporeal, immaterial, unborn, eternal, beginningless and endless. It is all-pervading, animating the highest god as well as the smallest mineral atom.3
To our European readers: Deceived by the phonetic similarity, it must not be thought that the name “Brahman” is identical in this connection with Brahma [male] or Ishvara — the personal God. The Upanishads — the Vedanta Scriptures — mention no such God and, one would vainly seek in them any allusions to a conscious deity. The Brahman, or Parabrahm, the ABSOLUTE of the Vedantins, is neuter and unconscious, and has no connection with the masculine Brahma of the Hindu Triad, or Trimurti. Some Orientalists rightly believe the name derived from the verb “brih,” to grow or increase, and to be, in this sense, the universal expansive force of nature, the vivifying and spiritual principle, or power, spread throughout the universe and which in its collectivity is the one Absoluteness, the one Life and the only Reality. 4
[Nirguna is an epithet of Parabrahman: unconditioned, without gunas or qualities, That which is devoid of all qualities, distinctionless: the opposite of saguna,1 that which has attributes and is, therefore, conditioned, i.e., Brahma (neuter) is Nirguna, Brahma (male) is saguna.]
[No-Number] The expression “All is One Number, issued from NoNumber” relates again to that universal and philosophical tenet . . . That which is absolute is of course No Number, but in its later significance it has an application in Space as in Time. It means that not only every increment of time is part of a larger increment, up to the most indefinitely prolonged duration conceivable by the human intellect, but also that no manifested thing can be thought of except as part of a larger whole: the total aggregate being the One manifested Universe that issues from the unmanifested or Absolute — called Non-Being or “No-Number,” to distinguish it from BEING or the “One Number.” 2
“Paramarthasatya” is self-consciousness in Sanskrit, Svasamvedana, or the “self-analysing reflection” — from two words, parama (above everything) and artha (comprehension), satya meaning absolute true being, or esse. In Tibetan Paramarthasatya is Dondampai-denpa. The opposite of this absolute reality, or actuality, in Samvriti satya — the relative truth only — “Samvriti” meaning “false conception” and being the origin of illusion, Maya; in Tibetan Kundzobchi-denpa, “illusioncreating appearance.” 3
[Paramatman is the supreme Atman, the supreme Self.] This idea of self first comes into existence with the Logos, and not before; hence Parabrahman ought not to be called Paramatma or any kind of Atma . . . Paramatma is, however, a term also applied to Parabrahman as distinguished from Pratyagatma. When thus applied it is used in a strictly technical sense. Whenever Pratyagatma is used, you will find Paramatma used as expressing something distinct from it.4
Parinishpanna is . . . the summum bonum, the Absolute, hence the same as Parinirvana. Besides being the final state, it is that condition of subjectivity that has no relation to anything but the one absolute truth (Paramarthasatya) on its plane. It is that state which leads one to appreciate correctly the full meaning of Non-Being, which, as explained, is absolute Being. Sooner or later, all that now seemingly exists, will be in reality and actually in the state of Parinishpanna. But there is a great difference between conscious and unconscious “being.” The condition of Parinishpanna, without Paramartha, the Selfanalysing consciousness (Svasamvedana), is no bliss, but simply ex- tinction (for Seven Eternities).1 Thus, an iron ball placed under the scorching rays of the sun will get heated through, but will not feel or appreciate the warmth, while a man will. It is only “with a mind clear and undarkened by personality, and an assimilation of the merit of manifold existences devoted to being in its collectivity (the whole living and sentient Universe),” that one gets rid of personal existence, merging into, becoming One with, the Absolute,2 and continuing in full possession of Paramartha.3
Sat [is] the one ever-present Reality in the infinite world; the divine essence which is, but cannot be said to exist, as it is Absoluteness, Beness itself.4 . . . The “Divine thought” does not imply the idea of a Divine thinker. The Universe, not only past, present, and future — which is a human and finite idea expressed by finite thought — but in its totality, the Sat (an untranslatable term), the absolute being, with the Past and Future crystallised in an eternal Present, is that Thought itself, reflected in a secondary or manifest cause. Brahma (neuter) as the Mysterium Magnum of Paracelsus is an absolute mystery to the human mind. Brahma, the male-female, its aspect and anthropomorphic reflection, is conceivable to the perceptions of blind faith, though rejected by human intellect when it attains its majority.5
Mulaprakriti: aspects, epithets, synonyms
Abstract, Ever present Space. . . . “Be-ness” [or Parabrahman] is symbolised . . . under two aspects. On the one hand, absolute abstract Space, representing bare subjectivity, the one thing which no human mind can either exclude from any conception, or conceive of by itself. On the other, absolute abstract [Ceaseless] Motion 2 representing Unconditioned Consciousness. . . . This latter aspect of the one Reality, is also symbolised by the term “The Great Breath,” . . . [the Eternal Breath] 3 . . . The appearance and disappearance of the Universe are pictured as an outbreathing and inbreathing of the “Great Breath,” which is eternal, and which, being Motion, is one of the three aspects of the Absolute — Abstract Space and Duration being the other two. When the “Great Breath” is projected, it is called the Divine Breath, and is regarded as the breathing of the Unknowable Deity — the One Existence — which breathes out a thought, as it were, which becomes the Kosmos. So also is it when the Divine Breath is inspired again, the Universe disappears into the bosom of the “Great Mother,” who then sleeps “wrapped in her invisible robes.”. . . [The Great Breath is] “that which is and yet is not” . . . which we can only speak of as absolute existence, but cannot picture to our imagination as any form of existence that we can distinguish from Nonexistence.4
Akasha . . . is Pradhana in another form, and as such cannot be Ether, the ever-invisible agent . . . Nor is it Astral light. It is . . . the noumenon of the sevenfold differentiated Prakriti — the-ever immaculate “Mother” of the fatherless Son, who becomes “Father” on the lower manifested plane.5
Alaya is literally the “Soul of the world” or Anima Mundi, the “Over Soul” of Emerson, and according to esoteric teaching it changes periodically its nature. Alaya, though eternal and changeless in its inner essence on the planes which are unreachable by either men or Cosmic Gods (Dhyani-Buddhas), alters during the active life-period with respect to the lower planes, ours included.6
In the Yogachara system of the contemplative Mahayana school, Alaya is both the Universal Soul (Anima Mundi) and the Self of a progressed Adept. “He who is strong in the Yoga can introduce at will his Alaya by means of meditation into the true Nature of Existence.” The “Alaya has an absolute eternal existence,” says Aryasangha. . . . In one sense it is Pradhana; which is explained in Vishnu-Purana as
That which is the unevolved cause is emphatically called, by the most eminent sages, Pradhana, original base, which is subtile Prakriti, viz., that which is eternal, and which at once is [or comprehends what is] and [what] is not, or is mere process
The “Breath” of the One Existence is used in its application only to the spiritual aspect of Cosmogony by Archaic esotericism; otherwise it is replaced by its equivalent in the material plane — Motion. The One Eternal Element, or element-containing Vehicle, is Space, dimensionless in every sense; coexistent with which are — endless duration, primordial (hence indestructible) matter, and motion — absolute “perpetual motion” which is the “breath” of the “One” Element. This breath . . . can never cease, not even during the Pralayic eternities.2 The ONE LIFE [is] eternal, invisible, yet Omnipresent, without beginning or end, yet periodical in its regular manifestations, between which periods reigns the dark mystery of non-Being; unconscious, yet absolute Consciousness; unrealizable, yet the one self-existing reality; truly, “a chaos to the sense, a Kosmos to the reason.” It’s one absolute attribute, which is ITSELF, eternal, ceaseless Motion, is called in esoteric parlance the “Great Breath,” which is the perpetual motion of the universe, in the sense of limitless, ever-present SPACE. That which is motionless cannot be Divine. But then there is nothing in fact and reality absolutely motionless within the universal soul.3
[Chaos] . . . the Orphic triad shows an identical doctrine [with the Phœnician Cosmogony]: for there Phanes (or Eros), Chaos, containing crude undifferentiated Cosmic matter, and Chronos (time), are the three co-operating principles emanating from the Unknowable and concealed point, which produce the work of “Creation.” And they are the Hindu Purusha (Phanes), Pradhana (chaos), and Kala (Chronos) or time.4
[Deep], Great deep,5 primordial deep.
Maha-Buddhi [Mahat] is the intelligent soul of the world.6
[Mother], Virgin mother.7
Motion, is one of the three aspects of the Absolute — Abstract Space and Duration being the other two.1 . . . [Space] is the one eternal thing in the universe independent of everything other thing.2
Pradhana even in the Puranas is an aspect of Parabrahman, not an evolution. . . . “Prakriti in its primary state is Akasha” . . . It is almost abstract Nature.3
“Prakriti,” however, is an incorrect word, and Alaya would explain it better; for Prakriti is not the “incognizable Brahma.” 4
To comprehend my answers you will have first of all to view the eternal Essence, the Svabhava, not as a compound element you call spirit-matter, but as the one element for which the English has no name. It is both passive and active, pure Spirit Essence in its absoluteness and repose, pure matter in its finite and conditioned state — even as an imponderable gas or that great unknown which science has pleased to call Force. 5 . . . The force there is not transformed into something else, as I have already shown in my letter, but with each development of a new centre of activity from within itself multiplies ad infinitum without ever losing a particle of its nature in quantity or quality. Yet acquiring as it progresses something plus in its differentiation. This “force” so-called, shows itself truly indestructible but does not correlate and is not convertible in the sense accepted by the Fellows of the R.S., but rather may be said to grow and expand into “something else” while neither its own potentiality nor being are in the least affected by the transformation. Nor can it well be called force since the latter is but the attribute of Yin-sin (Yin-sin or the one “Form of existence,” also Adi-Buddhi or Dharmakaya, the mystic, universally diffused essence) when manifesting in the phenomenal world of senses, namely, only your old acquaintance Fohat. . . . The initiated Brahmin calls it (Yin-sin and Fohat) Brahman and Shakti when manifesting as the force. We will perhaps be near correct to call it infinite life and the source of all life visible and invisible, an essence inexhaustible, ever present, in short Svabhava. (S. in its universal application, Fohat when manifesting throughout our phenomenal world, or rather the visible universe, hence in its limitations).6
Lao Tzu on Svabhava-Tao The Tao which can be expressed in words is not the eternal Tao; the name which can be uttered is not its eternal name. Without a name, it is the Beginning of Heaven and Earth; with a name, it is the Mother of all things. Only one who is ever free from desire can apprehend its spiritual essence; he who is ever a slave to desire can see no more than its outer fringe. These two things, the spiritual and the material, though we call them by different names, in their origin are one and the same. This sameness is a mystery — the mystery of mysteries. It is the gate of all wonders.
How unfathomable is Tao! It seems to be the ancestral progenitor of all things. How pure and clear is Tao! It would seem to be everlasting. I know not of whom it is the offspring. It appears to have been anterior to any Sovereign Power.1
Tao eludes the sense of sight, and is therefore called colourless. It eludes the sense of hearing, and is therefore called soundless. It eludes the sense of touch, and is therefore called incorporeal. These three qualities cannot be apprehended, and hence they may be blended into unity.
Its upper part is not bright, and its lower part is not obscure. Ceaseless in action, it cannot be named, but returns again to nothingness.2 We may call it the form of the formless, the image of the imageless, the fleeting and the indeterminable. Would you go before it, you cannot see its face; would you go behind it, you cannot see its back.
The mightiest manifestations of active force flow solely from Tao.
Tao in itself is vague, impalpable — how impalpable, how vague! Yet within it there is Form. How vague, how impalpable! Yet within it there is Substance. How profound, how obscure! Yet within it there is a Vital Principle. This principle is the Quintessence of Reality, and out of it comes Truth.
From of old until now, its name has never passed away. It watches over the beginning of all things. How do I know this about the beginning of things? Through Tao.
There is something, chaotic yet complete, which existed before Heaven and Earth. Oh, how still it is, and formless, standing alone without changing, reaching everywhere without suffering harm! It must be regarded as the Mother of the Universe. Its name I know not. To designate it, I call it Tao. Endeavouring to describe it, I call it Great. Being great, it passes on; passing on, it becomes remote; having become remote, it returns.3
Logos: aspects, epithets, synonyms 1
Ain-Soph, the ABSOLUTE ENDLESS NO-THING, uses also the form of the ONE, the manifested “Heavenly Man” (the FIRST CAUSE), as its chariot (Merkabah, in Hebrew; Vahana, in Sanskrit) or vehicle to descend into, and manifest through, in the phenomenal world.2 . . . The Occult doctrine teaches that while the monad is cycling on downward into matter, these very Elohim — or Pitris, the lower Dhyani-Chohans — are evolving pari passu with it on a higher and more spiritual plane, descending also relatively into matter, on their own plane of consciousness, when, after having reached a certain point, they will meet the incarnating senseless monad, encased in the lowest matter, and blending the two potencies, Spirit and Matter, the union will produce that terrestrial symbol of the “Heavenly Man” in space — PERFECT MAN. 3 . . . [In the Rig-Vedic Hymns] the “Heavenly Man” is called purusha, “the Man,” from whom Viraj was born; and from Viraj, the (mortal) man.4 . . . The “Heavenly Man” is Adam-Kadmon — the synthesis of the Sephiroth, as “Manu Svayambhuva” is the synthesis of the Prajapatis.5
[Avalokiteshvara of the Buddhists, synonymous with Chenrezi, Kuanshih-yin and Padmapani. Avalokiteshvara is manifested Ishvara] . . . it means “the Lord that is seen,” and in one sense, “the divine SELF perceived by Self ” (the human) — the Atman or seventh principle merged in the Universal, perceived by, or the object of perception to, Buddhi, the sixth principle or divine Soul in man. In a still higher sense, Avalokiteshvara = Kuan-shih-yin, referred to as the seventh Universal principle, is the Logos perceived by the Universal Buddhi — or Soul, as the synthetic aggregate of the Dhyani-Buddhas; and is not the “Spirit of Buddhas present in the Church,” but the omnipresent universal Spirit manifested in the temple of Kosmos or Nature. 6 . . . there are two Avalokiteshvaras in Esotericism; the first and the second Logos. 7
Brahma [or Viraj, the real Kalahamsa]. The student must distinguish between Brahma the neuter, and Brahma, the male creator of the Indian Pantheon. The former, Brahma or Brahman, is the impersonal, supreme and incognizable Principle of the Universe from the essence of which all emanates, and into which all returns, which is incorpore- al, immaterial, unborn, eternal, beginningless and endless. It is allpervading, animating the highest god as well as the smallest mineral atom. Brahma, on the other hand, the male and alleged Creator, exists periodically in his manifestation only, and then again goes into pralaya, i.e., disappears and is annihilated. 1
[Christos of the Christians] . . . “Christos” with the Gnostics meant the impersonal principle, the Atman of the Universe, and the Atman within every man’s soul — not Jesus.2 . . . The esoteric Christos in the gnosis is, of course, sexless, but in exoteric theology, he is male and female.3 . . . [Christos is] . . . Yajna-Purusha.4
The Good of the Platonists.] Agathon (Gr.) Plato’s Supreme Deity, lit. “the good.” Our ALAYA or the Soul of the World.5
Heavenly or Celestial Man of the Hermetic philosopher.6 Genesis begins its anthropology at the wrong end (and evidently for a blind) and lands nowhere. Had it begun as it ought, one would have found in it, first, the celestial Logos, the “Heavenly Man,” which evolves as a Compound Unit of Logoi, out of whom after their pralayic sleep — a sleep that gathers the ciphers scattered on the Mayavic plane into One, as the separate globules of quicksilver on a plate blend into one mass — the Logoi appear in their totality as the first “male and female” or Adam-Kadmon, the “Fiat Lux” of the Bible . . . 7
Ineffable Name of the Masons and the Kabbalists. 8
Ishvara is the “Lord” god of the Vedantins.9
Kalahamsa. Brahma (neuter) is called Kalahamsa . . . [by Western Orientalists], the Eternal Swan or goose, and so is Brahma, the Creator. A great mistake is thus brought under notice; it is Brahma (neuter) who ought to be referred to as Hamsa-vahana (He who uses the swan as his Vehicle) and not Brahma the Creator, who is the real Kalahamsa, while Brahma (neuter) is hamsa, and “a-hamsa.” 10. . . Some Sanskrit mystics locate seven planes of being, the seven spiritual lokas or worlds, within the body of Kala Hamsa, the Swan out of Time and Space, convertible into the Swan in Time, when it becomes Brahma [male] instead of Brahma (neuter): 1 [Cf. Osiris, the God of Egypt or Horus, the son of Osiris and Isis].
Kan-yin-T’ien means the “melodious heaven of Sound,” the abode of Kuan-yin, or the “Divine Voice” literally. This “Voice” is a synonym of the Verbum or the Word: “Speech,” as the expression of thought.2
Kuan-shih-yin . . . means “the Lord that is seen” 3 . . . “the Son identical with his Father” mystically, or the Logos 4 . . . . Kuan-shih-yin and Kuan-yin are the two aspects (male and female) of the same principle in Kosmos, Nature and Man, of divine wisdom and intelligence. They are the “Christos-Sophia” of the mystic Gnostics — the Logos and its Shakti.5 . . . The Mother of Mercy and Knowledge is called “the triple” of Kuan-Shih-Yin because in her correlations, metaphysical and cosmical, she is the “Mother, the Wife and the Daughter” of the Logos 6 . . . Kuan-shih-yin is Avalokiteshvara, and both are forms of the seventh Universal Principle; while in its highest metaphysical character this deity is the synthetic aggregation of all the planetary Spirits, Dhyani-Chohans. He is the “Self-manifested”; in short, the “Son of the Father.” Crowned with seven dragons, above his statue there appears the inscription P’u-chi-ch’ü-ling, “the universal Saviour of all living beings.” 7
In the Esoteric Philosophy the First [Logos] is the unmanifested, and the Second the manifested Logos. Ishvara stands for that Second, and Narayana for the unmanifested Logos. . . . In The Secret Doctrine, that form which the manifested Logos is born is translated by the “Eternal Mother-Father”; while in the Vishnu-Purana it is described as the Egg of the World, surrounded by seven skins, layers or zones. It is in this Golden Egg that Brahma, the male, is born and that Brahma is in reality the Second Logos or even the Third, according to the enumeration adopted; for a certainty he is not the First or highest, the point which is everywhere and nowhere. Mahat, in the Esoteric interpretations, is in reality the Third Logos or the Synthesis of the Seven creative rays, the Seven Logoi. Out of the seven so-called Creations, Mahat is the third [Logos], for it is the Universal and Intelligent Soul, Divine Ideation, combining the ideal plans and prototypes of all things in the manifested objective as well as subjective world. In the Sankhya and Puranic doctrines Mahat is the first product of Pradhana, informed by Kshetrajna, “Spirit-Substance.” In Esoteric Philosophy Kshetrajna is the name given to our informing EGOS. 1
MAHAT [of the Puranas] is the first product of Pradhana, or Akasha, and MAHAT — Universal intelligence “whose characteristic property is Buddhi” — is no other than the Logos, for he is called “Ishvara,” Brahma, Bhava, etc.2
Padmapani, or Avalokiteshvara in Sanskrit, is, in Tibetan, Chenrezi. Now, Avalokiteshvara is the great Logos in its higher aspect and in the divine regions. But in the manifested planes, he is, like Daksha, the progenitor (in a spiritual sense) of men. Padmapani-Avalokiteshvara is called esoterically Bodhisattva (or Dhyani-Chohan) Chenrezi Jangchub, “the powerful and all-seeing.”. . . A popular legend has it that whenever faith begins to die out in the world, Padmapani Chenrezi, the “lotus-bearer,” emits a brilliant ray of light, and forthwith incarnates himself in one of the two great Lamas — the Talay and Tashi Lamas; . . . Padmapani, however, is the “lotus bearer” symbolically only for the profane; esoterically, it means the supporter of the Kalpas, the last [subdivision] of the present Maha-Kalpa (the Varaha) is called Padma, and [the Varaha] represents one half of the life of Brahma. Though a minor Kalpa, it is called Maha, “great,” because it comprises the age in which Brahma sprang from a lotus.3
[Pratyagatman] “It is that LIGHT which condenses into the forms of the ‘Lords of Being’ — the first and the highest of which are, collectively, JIVATMAN, or Pratyagatman.” 4
Purusha [the Ideal] “Man,” heavenly man. . . . “The Spiritual Self.” 5 . . . [In the conditioned universe, Purusha and Prakriti are dual aspects of the One Reality. In the Rig-Vedic Hymns] the “Heavenly Man,” is called purusha, “the Man,” from whom Viraj was born; and from Viraj, the (mortal) man.6 . . . “the Divine Essence (Purusha) like a luminous arc” proceeds to form a circle — the mahamanvantaric chain.7 . . . The Purush [is the] . . . 7th principle of the universe.8
Shabda Brahman 9 is the Logos of the Hindus.10 . . . “The Unmanifested Logos,” “Eternal Vibrations diffused through Space.” 11. . . It is the God Shabda Brahma called also Kala Brahma Gouri — one of the mystic names for AKASHA, which gives rise to occult sound.1 . . . SHABDA BRAHMA’s vehicle is called Shadja, and the latter is the basic tone in the Hindu musical scale.
[Sutratman or Thread-Soul] The Atman or Spirit (the Spiritual SELF) passing like a thread through the five subtle bodies (or principles, Koshas) is called “thread soul,” or Sutratman in Vedantic philosophy.3 . . . “Pilgrim” is the appellation given to our Monad (the two in one) during its cycle of incarnations. It is the only immortal and eternal principle in us, being an indivisible part of the integral whole — the Universal Spirit, from which it emanates, and into which it is absorbed at the end of the cycle. . . . The Vedantins call it Sutratman (Thread-Soul), but their explanation, too, differs somewhat from that of the occultists.4
Universal Mind. . . . is the Demiurgos or the creative Logos of the Western Kabbalists, and the four-faced Brahma of the Hindu religion. In its totality, viewed from the standpoint of manifested Divine Thought in the esoteric doctrine, represents the Hosts of the higher creative Dhyani-Chohans.5 Simultaneously with the evolution of the Universal Mind, the concealed Wisdom of Adi-Budha — the One Supreme and eternal — manifests itself as Avalokiteshvara (or manifested Ishvara), which is the Osiris of the Egyptians, the Ahura-Mazda of the Zoroastrians, the Heavenly Man of the Hermetic philosopher, the Logos of the Platonists, and the Atman of the Vedantins.6 . . . [Philosophy’s First Cause or Plato’s Logos 7 is the self-created being to which every chain of causes must ultimately go back.]
“With the ancient WISE, there was no name and no idea, and no symbol, of A FIRST CAUSE.” 8 . . . Because it was too sacred. It is referred to as THAT in the Vedas. It is the “Eternal Cause,” and cannot, therefore, be spoken of as a “First Cause,” a term implying the absence of any cause, at one time.9 . . . Thus, while Gods or Dhyani-Chohans (Devas) proceed from the First Cause — which is not Parabrahman, for the latter is the ALL CAUSE, and cannot be referred to as the “First Cause” — which First Cause is called in the Brahmanical Books Jagad-Yoni, “the womb of the world,” mankind emanates from these active agents in Kosmos.1 . . . [Herbert Spencer] asserts that the nature of the “First Cause,” which the Occultist more logically derives from the “Causeless Cause,” the “Eternal,” and the “Unknowable,” may be essentially the same as that of the Consciousness which wells up within us: in short, that the impersonal reality pervading the Kosmos is the pure noumenon of thought. . . . The “first” presupposes necessarily something which is the “first brought forth,” “the first in time, space, and rank” — and therefore finite and conditioned. The “first” cannot be the absolute, for it is a manifestation. Therefore, Eastern Occultism calls the Abstract All the “Causeless One Cause,” the “Rootless Root,” and limits the “First Cause” to the Logos, in the sense that Plato gives to this term.2
Vach, Shekhinah, or the “music of the spheres” of Pythagoras, are one 3 . . . In one sense, the Greek Logos is the equivalent of the Sanskrit Vach, “the immortal (intellectual) ray of spirit.” 4 . . . in company with Kuan-yin, with Isis . . . and other goddesses, [Vach is] the female Logos, so to speak, the goddess of the active forces in Nature, the Word, Voice or Sound, and Speech. If Kuan-yin is the “melodious Voice,” so is Vach; “the melodious cow who milked forth sustenance and water” (the female principle) — “who yields us nourishment and sustenance,” as Mother-Nature. She is associated in the work of creation with the Prajapatis. She is male and female ad libitum, as Eve is with Adam. And she is a form of Aditi — the principle higher than Ether — in Akasha, the synthesis of all the forces in Nature; thus Vach and Kuan-yin are both the magic potency of Occult sound in Nature and Ether — which “Voice” calls forth Hsien-chan, the illusive form of the Universe out of Chaos and the Seven Elements.5
[Verbum or Word of the Christians.] 6
Viraj and Horus are both male symbols, emanating from androgyne Nature, one from Brahma and his female counterpart Vach, the other, from Osiris and Isis — never from the One infinite God.7
Difference between Logos and Demiurgos
. . . there is a great difference between the LOGOS and the Demiurgos, for one is Spirit and the other is Soul; or as Dr. Wilder has it: “Dianoia and Logos are synonymous, Nous being superior and closely in affinity with το αγαθον,1 one being the superior apprehending, the other the comprehending — one noetic and the other phrenic.” 2
Difference between Logos and Ishvara
In its general sense, Ishvara means “Lord”; but the Ishvara of the mystic philosophers of India was understood precisely as the union and communion of men with the Deity of the Greek mystics.3 . . . The Logos, or both the unmanifested and the manifested WORD, is called by the Hindus, Ishvara, “the Lord,” though the Occultists give it another name. Ishvara, say the Vedantins, is the highest consciousness in Nature. “This highest consciousness,” answer the Occultists, “is only a synthetic unit in the world of the manifested Logos — or on the plane of illusion; for it is the sum total of Dhyani-Chohanic consciousness.” “Oh, wise man, remove the conception that non Spirit is Spirit,” says Shankaracharya. Atman is not-Spirit in its final Parabrahmic state, Ishvara or Logos is Spirit; or, as Occultism explains, it is a compound unity of manifested living Spirits, the parent-source and nursery of all the mundane and terrestrial monads, plus their divine reflection, which emanate from, and return into, the Logos, each in the culmination of its time.4
Logos in Science, Philosophy, and Religion
Just as the different schools of psychology are positing one fundamental and primary psychic energy at the bottom of all psychic activity, we find also that the biologists are stressing on a fundamental and primary evolutionary activity at the bottom of all biological phenomena whether considered merely as mechanical, or a vital, or even as mental. Darwin has recognised it as a blind, mechanical struggle for existence giving rise to a progressive evolution of the species. Amongst recent scientists it is considered as a special force or energy comparable to the other recognised forms called Biotic Energy (Benjamin Moore); or as a developing principle or tendency in and behind all organised matter (John Burrows); or as some originative impulse within the organism which expresses itself as variation and mutation and in all kinds of creative effort and endeavour (Geddes and Thompson); or as the inherent growth force (Goethe); or as life-force (Bernard Shaw); or as an internal factor tending towards perfection (Nagelli); or as the struggle of the spirit within to be superior to matter, to escape from the trammels of matter, to secure a fuller individual life and a larger freedom (Albert P Mathews) . . . Philosophical enquiry also has arrived at a single principle called Cosmic Intelligence or Life designated as Hiranyagarbha or Prana in the Upanishads, Primum Mobile by Aristotle, Demiurgos by Plato, Nous by Anaximander, Natura Naturans by Bruno and Spinoza, the Will to Power by Nietzsche, the Unconscious Will by von Hartman and Wundt, the Absolute Will by Schopenhauer, the Pure Creative Energy by Schelling, “Spiritual Life” by Eucken, and the Power that makes for Righteousness by Matthew Arnold. The Unknowable of Spencer, the Thing-in-Itself of Kant, the Absolute Ego of Fichte, the Absolute Idea of Hegel, The Absolute Self of Idealists, the Absolute Experience of Bradley and Royce, and the Oversoul of Emerson are still higher philosophical concepts of the same Reality. . . . It is the same Reality that we are to recognise in the God of the theists, the Bare Pure One of Plotinus, the Perfect Beauty of St Augustine, the Divine Wilderness of Eckhart, the Father of Spirits of Berkeley, the Love that gives all things described by Jacopone Da Todi, the Wayless Abyss of Fathomless Beatitude of Ruysbroeck, the Heart of the Universe of Jacob Boehme, the Heavenly Bridegroom of Mechthild, the Matchless Chalice and Sovereign Wine of the Sufis, the Jehovah of the Jews, the Zeus of the Greeks, the Providence of the Stoics, the Jupiter of the Romans, the Ineffable One of the Neoplatonists, the Father in Heaven of the Christians, the Dharmakaya or the Shunya of the Buddhists, the Allah of the Moslems, the Ahur[a] Mazda of the Parsees, and the Brahman, Paramatman, Ishvara, Purushottama, Bhagavan, and Ekam Sat of the Hindus.
Logos in Gnostic Systems
Epinoia [the Divine Thought] is a Power of many names. She is called the Mother, or All-Mother, Mother of the Living or Shining Mother, the Celestial Eve; the Power Above; the Holy Spirit, for the Spiritus in some systems is a feminine power (in a symbolical sense, of course), pre-eminently in the Codex Nazaræus, the scripture of the Mandaites. Again she is called the She of the Left-hand, as opposed to the Christos, He of the Right-hand; the Man-woman; Prouneikos; Matrix; Paradise; Eden; Akhamoth; the Virgin; Barbelo; Daughter of Light; Merciful Mother; Consort of the Masculine One; Revelant of the Perfect Mysteries; Perfect Mercy; Revelant of the Mysteries of the Whole Magnitude; Hidden Mother; She who knows the Mysteries of the Elect; the Holy Dove, who has given birth to the two Twins; Ennoia; and by many other name varying according to the terminology of the different systems, but ever preserving the root idea of the World-Soul in the Macrocosm and the Soul in Man.1
Epithets of Isis
In Cupid and Psyche, Isis is clearly moved by Lucius’ entreaties. She admits that “the whole world worships my single godhead in a thousand shapes, with diverse rites, and under many a different name”:
The Phrygians, first-born of mankind, call me the Pessinuntian Mother of the gods; the native Athenians the Cecropian Minerva; the islanddwelling Cypriots Paphian Venus; the archer Cretans Dictynnan Diana; the triple-tongued Sicilians Stygian Proserpine; the ancient Eleusinians Actæan Ceres; some call me Juno, some Bellona, others Hecate, others Rhamnusia; but both races of Ethiopians, those on whom the rising and those on whom the setting sun shines, and the Egyptians who excel in ancient learning, honour me with the worship which is truly mine and call me by my true name: Queen Isis. 2
A lesser known title of Isis gives away the clue that God’s Love for Man is none other than the eternal desire for self-conscious reflection (eros-agape) throbbing at the heart of the universe:
[Isis is the] Love of Gods (Αγαπη Θεων, Agape Theon).3
Appendix G Fohat:
aspects, epithets, synonyms 1
Apam-Napat [is] the Vedic and Avestian name of Fohat. In the Avesta he stands between the fire-yazatas and the water-yazatas. The literal meaning is “Son of the Waters,” but these “waters” are not the liquid we know, but Æther — the fiery waters of space. Fohat is the “Son of Æther” in its highest aspect, Akasha, the Mother-Father of the primitive Seven, and of Sound or Logos. Fohat is the light of the latter.2
Daiviprakriti [is] the conscious energy of Logos, which is power and light.3 . . . In fact there are two contending forces in the cosmos. The one is Prakriti. . . . The other is Daiviprakriti, the light that comes down, reflection after reflection, to the plane of the lowest organisms. In all those religions, in which the fight between the good and the bad impulses of this cosmos is spoken of, the real reference is always of this light, which is constantly attempting to raise men from the lowest level to the highest plane of spiritual life, and that other force, which has its place in Prakriti, and is constantly leading the spirit into material existence.4
Eros 5 . . . Cupid or Love in his primitive sense is Eros, the Divine Will, or Desire of manifesting itself through visible creation. 6 . . . Eros is the third person in the primeval trinity: Chaos, Gaea, Eros; answering to the Kabbalistic Ain-Soph (for Chaos is SPACE, χαινω, “void”), the Boundless ALL, Shekhinah and the Ancient of Days, or the Holy Ghost.7
It is through Fohat that the ideas of the Universal Mind are impressed upon matter.8 . . . By the action of the manifested Wisdom, or Mahat, represented by . . . innumerable centres of spiritual Energy in the Kosmos, the reflection of the Universal Mind, which is Cosmic Ideation and the intellectual Force accompanying such ideation, becomes objectively the Fohat of the Buddhist esoteric philosopher. Fohat, running along the seven principles of AKASHA, acts upon manifested substance or the One Element . . . and by differentiating it into various centres of Energy, sets in motion the law of Cosmic Evolution, which, in obedi- ence to the Ideation of the Universal Mind, brings into existence all the various states of being in the manifested Solar System.1
[Gayatri] The Light that emanates from [Logos] has three phases, or three aspects. First, it is the Life, or the Mahachaitanyam of the cosmos; . . . secondly, it is force, and in this aspect, it is the Fohat of the Buddhist philosophy; lastly, it is Wisdom, in the sense that it is the Chichhakti of the Hindu philosophers. All these three aspects are . . . combined in the conception of Gayatri. 2 . . . Gayatri is the Daiviprakriti of the first Ray — the combined influence of both the elements in that Ray.3
[Holy Ghost of the Christians] . . . with the early Christians . . . the Holy Spirit was feminine, as Sophia was with the Gnostics.4
Kama . . . is in the Rig-Veda the personification of that feeling which leads and propels to creation. He was the first movement that stirred the ONE, after its manifestation from the purely abstract principle, to create, “Desire first arose in It, which was the primal germ of mind; and which sages, searching with their intellect, have discovered to be the bond which connects Entity with Non-Entity.” 5 A hymn in the Atharva-Veda exalts Kama into a supreme God and Creator, and says: “Kama was born the first. Him, neither gods nor fathers [Pitris], nor men have equalled.”. . . Elsewhere Kama is born from the heart of Brahma; therefore he is Atma-Bhu, “Self-Existent,” and Aja, the “unborn.”. . . As Eros was connected in early Greek mythology with the world’s creation, and only afterwards became the sexual Cupid, so was Kama in his original Vedic character.6
The Occultists call this light Daiviprakriti in the East, and light of Christos in the West. It is the Light of the LOGOS, the direct reflection of the ever-Unknowable on the plane of Universal manifestation.7
Parashakti: — Literally the great or supreme force or power. It means and includes the powers of light and heat. 8
Phanes. In the orphic hymns, the Eros-Phanes evolves from the Spiritual Egg, which the æthereal winds impregnate, wind being “the Spirit of God,” who is said to move in æther, “brooding over the Chaos” — the Divine “Idea.” 9
Solar Chnouphis, or Agathodaimon, is the Christos of the Gnostics. . . . the spiritual Sun of Enlightenment, of Wisdom, hence the patron of all the Egyptian initiates, as Bel-Merodach (or Bel-Belitanus) became later with the Chaldeans.1
[Sophia of the Gnostics] . . . The “Mind” of the Demiurgic Creator . . . was called the “Mother,” Sophia with the Gnostics (or the female Wisdom), the Sephirah with the Jews, Sarasvati or Vach, with the Hindus, the Holy Ghost being a female Principle. 2
Pythagoras on our Beautiful World
Pythagoras was the first philosopher that called the world κοσμος [kosmos] from the order and beauty of it; for so that word signifies. Thales and his followers say the world is one. Democritus, Epicurus, and their scholar Metrodorus affirm that there are infinite worlds in an infinite space, for that infinite vacuum in its whole extent contains them. Empedocles, that the circle which the sun makes in its motion circumscribes the world, and that circle is the utmost bound of the world. Seleucus, that the world knows no limits. Diogenes, that the universe is infinite, but this world is finite. The Stoics make a difference between that which is called the universe, and that which is called the whole world; — the universe is the infinite space considered with the vacuum, the vacuity being removed gives the right conception of the world; so that the universe and the world are not the same thing.3
Appendix H AUM:
definitions, derivatives, parallels
• A word of solemn affirmation, sometimes translated by “yes,” “verily,” “So be it.” 1
• “An invocation, a benediction, an affirmation and a promise.” 2
• AUM, also written as OM 3 (and pronounced om as in home), is “a mystic syllable, the most solemn of all words in India.” 4
• It is so sacred, as to be indeed the word at low breath of occult, primitive masonry. No one must be near when the syllable is pronounced for a purpose.5
• Placed at the beginning of most Hindu spiritual treatises.6
• Symbol of both Saguna Brahman, or the Creator God, and Nirguna Brahman, or the Attributeless Absolute.7
• [Symbol] of Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer.8
• Symbol of Gayatri mantra, the essence of the Vedas.9
• [Symbol] of the states of waking, dreaming, and dreamless sleep.10
• The extant Tantra-books, dealing with Shakti in a personal aspect, give to [AUM] a hidden name consisting of the single letter “i,” even as they call various other Gods by single letters.11 This letter stands naturally between “a” and “u,” as should also “m” being only the outer sheath of the “i,” though it is thrown to the end because of the fact that it appears as negation after affirmation. But this “i” placed between “a” and “u” coalesces with and disappears entirely into the “a,” in the conjunction which brings out of the joined vowel-sounds, “a” and “u,” the vowel-sound “o,” for Aum is pronounced as Om. . . . That this coalescence and disappearance is just, is plain from all that has been said as to the nature of Shakti, which ever hides in the Self, and disappears into the Not-Self whenever the Self acts upon that Not-Self, as goes back again to the Self through and after the Negation.
• The three letters A, U, and M are symbols of creation, preservation and destruction.2 . . . [they] are typical of the three Vedas, also of three gods — A (Agni) V (Varuna) and M (Maruts) or Fire, Water and Air. In esoteric philosophy these are the three sacred fires, or the “triple fire” in the Universe and Man, besides many other things. Occultly, this “triple fire” represents the highest Tetraktys also, as it is typified by the Agni named Abhimanin and his transformation into his three sons, Pavana, Pavamana and Suchi, “who drinks up water,” i.e., destroys material desires.3
• The undifferentiated sound m-m-m that follows the utterance of the three letters is the symbol of Turiya, or transcendental consciousness [the fourth state]. 4
• The word Om is held in high respect by the Buddhists and Jainas as well as by the Hindus.5
• This monosyllable is called Udgitta, and is sacred with both Brahmins and Buddhists.6
• Uttered as a sacred exclamation at the beginning and end of a recital of the Vedas, or at the beginning of a prayer.7
Conscience and Consciousness
Conscience is “the sense of moral correctness that governs or influences a person’s actions or thoughts.” 1 Its authority stems from Shakespeare’s “Innermost Thought” or Consciousness. The latter is “the knowledge which the mind has of everything that is actually being experienced.” 2 HP Blavatsky uses Conscience and Consciousness likewise but with a different twist:
. . . the only God man comes in contact with is his own God, called Spirit, Soul and Mind, or Consciousness, and these three are one.3
Elijah found God neither in the wind, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire,
. . . he found Him in the “still small voice” — the voice of his own CONSCIENCE, the true tabernacle of man.4
Blavatsky likens the Voice of Conscience to a “faithful sentry,” or “God’s vicegerent in the soul,” that is so often muffled by sin and apathy:
. . . those who resign themselves to a materialistic existence, shutting out the divine radiance shed by their spirit, at the beginning of the earthly pilgrimage, and stifling the warning voice of that faithful sentry, the conscience, which serves as a focus for the light in the soul — such beings as these, having left behind conscience and spirit, and crossed the boundaries of matter, will of necessity have to follow its laws.5
Conscience, “God’s vicegerent in the soul,” speaks no longer in man; for the whispers of the still small voice within are stifled by the everincreasing din and roar of Selfishness.6
And tracing the senses that act in dreams, she defines Conscience as
. . . impressions projected into the physical man by his [Higher] Ego which constitute what we call “conscience”; and in proportion as the Personality, the lower Soul (or Manas), unites itself to its higher consciousness, or EGO, 7 does the action of the latter upon the life of mortal man become more marked.8
Fortunate are those who “live the life,” as they are guided by the promptings of their own consciousness:
It is true that the first conditions required to reach it [the “straight gate” and the “thorny path”] are absolute disinterestedness, a boundless devotion to the welfare of others, and a complete indifference to the world and its opinions. In order to make the first step on that ideal path, the motive must be absolutely pure; not an unworthy thought must attract the eyes from the end in view, not a doubt or hesitation shackle the feet.1 There do exist men and women thoroughly qualified for this, whose only aim is to dwell under the Aegis of their Divine Nature. Let them, at least, take courage to live the life and not conceal it from the eyes of others! No one else’s opinion should be considered superior to the voice of one’s own conscience. Let that conscience, therefore, developed to its highest degree, guide us in all the ordinary acts of life. As to the conduct of our inner life, let us concentrate our entire attention on the ideal we have set ourselves, and look beyond, without paying the slightest attention to the mud upon our feet . . . Those who are capable of making this effort are the true Theosophists; all others are but members, more or less indifferent, and very often useless.2
Finally, commenting on Brahmachari Bawa’s life, Blavatsky brings Deity, Morality, Conscience, and Intuition together: 3
His god is Brahma, the eternal and universal essence which pervades everything and everywhere, and which in man is the divine essence which is his moral guide, is recognised in the instincts of conscience, makes him aspire to immortality and leads him to it. This divine spirit in man is designated Ishvar and corresponds to the name Adonai — Lord, of the Kabbalists, i.e., the Lord within man.4
These subtle distinctions between Conscience and Intuition are relevant only to those who are shielded by their own purity. Otherwise, few can discern the whispers of the “prisoner” within from other sounds. Its murmurs are often drowned by “the roaring voice of the great illusion” 5 and other “sweettongued voices” 6 masquerading as the voice of the Inner Self. In a remarka- ble letter to AO Hume, Master KH explains the difference between Intuition and Conscience:
“But my conscience my intuition!” you may argue. Poor help in such a case as mine. Your intuition would make you feel but that which really was — for the time being; and as to your conscience — you then accept Kant’s definition of it? You, perhaps, believe with him that under all circumstances, and even with the full absence of definite religious notions, and occasionally even with no firm notions about right and wrong at all, MAN has ever a sure guide in his own inner moral perceptions or — conscience? The greatest of mistakes! With all the formidable importance of this moral factor, it has one radical defect. Conscience as it was already remarked may be well compared to that demon,1 whose dictates were so zealously listened to and so promptly obeyed by Socrates. Like that demon, conscience, may perchance, tell us what we must not do; yet, it never guides us as to what we ought to perform, nor gives any definite object to our activity. And — nothing can be more easily lulled to sleep and even completely paralysed, as this same conscience by a trained will stronger than that of its possessor. Your conscience will NEVER show you whether the mesmeriser is a true adept or a very clever juggler, if he once has passed your threshold and got control of the aura surrounding your person. You speak of abstaining from any but an innocent work like birdcollecting, lest there be danger of creating another Frankenstein’s monster. . . . Imagination as well as will — creates. Suspicion is the most powerful provocative agent of imagination. . . . Beware! You have already begotten in you the germ of a future hideous monster, and instead of the realisation of your purest and highest ideals you may one day evoke a phantom, which, barring every passage of light will leave you in worse darkness than before, and, will harass you to the end of your days.2
As with the other twin Forces of Nature perpetually opposing each other, there is Higher and there is Lower Conscience. The former is spiritual intelligence and wisdom, always infallible; the latter is personal judgment, therefore, axiomatically fallible. Many a thinker’s musings have been captured in the defining selections below. A third type, on Remorse, has been placed at the end for the benefit of those who might be haunted by a guilty conscience.
What does your conscience say? 1`
“You must become who it is that you are.”
— Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche 1
Conscience is that instantaneous perception between right and wrong. Allied to the physical half of man’s nature is reason, which enables him to maintain his supremacy over the lower animals, and to subjugate nature to his uses. Allied to his spiritual part is his conscience, which will serve as his unerring guide through the besetments 2 of the senses; for conscience is that instantaneous perception between right and wrong, which can only be exercised by the spirit, which, being a portion of the Divine Wisdom and Purity, is absolutely pure and wise. Its promptings are independent of reason, and it can only manifest itself clearly, when unhampered by the baser attractions of our dual nature.3
Morality is the outcome of reasoning; Spirituality is the superior power due to the manifestation of self-consciousness on a higher plane of existence, the illumination of the mind and body of man by the power and light of the spirit filling the soul.4
Conscience tells us that we ought to do right, . . . but it does not tell us what right is — that we are taught by God’s word.5
Conscience is God’s presence in man.6
But Love’s way of dealing with us is different from conscience’s way. . . . Conscience commands; love inspires. What we do out of love, we do because we want to do it. Love is, indeed, one kind of desire; but it is a kind that takes us out of ourselves and carries us beyond ourselves, in contrast to the kind that is self-seeking — a kind that includes the desire for the “extin- guishedness” of Nirvana. Love is freedom; conscience is constraint; yet, in two points, our relation to love is the same as our relation to conscience. We are free to reject love’s appeal, as we are free to reject conscience’s command; yet love, like conscience, cannot be rebuffed with impunity. Rebuffed, love will continue to importune us; and this for the reason for which a violated conscience does. Love’s authority, like conscience’s, is absolute. Like conscience, too, love needs no authentication or validation by any authority outside itself. Speculations about love’s credentials, or lack of credentials, cannot either enhance or diminish love’s absoluteness.1
I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions.
— Lillian Hellman 2
Our conscience is not the vessel of eternal verities. . . . It grows with our social life, and a new social condition means a radical change in conscience.3
Conscience is merely our own judgment. . . . of the right or wrong of our action, and so can never be a safe guide unless enlightened by the word of God.4
Conscience is, in most men, an anticipation of the opinions of others.5
A man’s conscience and his judgement is the same thing; and as the judgment, so also the conscience, may be erroneous.6
Conviction is the conscience of the mind. 1 One who breaks an unjust law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.2
Conviction is the conscience of intellect.3
Wild liberty develops iron conscience. . . . Want of liberty, by strengthening law and decorum, stupefies conscience.4
For why should my liberty be subject to the judgment of someone else’s conscience? 6
O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me! 7 Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,8 And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pith and moment With this regard their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action. . . . 9
Conscience makes egotists of us all.10
In a remarkable letter to AP Sinnett, Master KH connects the enduring oppression of guilt with self-reproach:
Remember, every feeling is relative. There is neither good nor evil, happiness nor misery per se. The transcendent, evanescent bliss of an adulterer, who by his act murders the happiness of a husband, is no less spiritually born for its criminal nature. If a remorse of conscience (the latter proceeding always from the Sixth Principle) has only once been felt during the period of bliss and really spiritual love, born in the sixth and fifth, however polluted by the desires of the fourth, or Kamarupa — then this remorse must survive and will accompany incessantly the scenes of pure love. I need not enter into details, since a physiological expert, as I take you to be, need hardly have his imagination and intuitions prompted by a psychological observer of my sort. Search in the depths of your conscience and memory, and try to see what are the scenes that are likely to take their firm hold upon you; when once more in their presence you find yourself living them over again; and that, ensnared, you will have forgotten all the rest — this letter among other things, since in the course of events it will come far later on in the panorama of your resurrected life. I have no right to look into your past life.1
Remorse is the whisper of the soul. Every man, however good, has a yet better man within him. When the outer man is unfaithful to his deeper convictions, the hidden man whispers a protest. The name of this whisper in the soul is conscience.3
Yet still there whispers the small voice within, Heard through Gain’s silence, and o’er Glory’s din; Whatever creed be taught or land be trod, Man’s conscience is the oracle of God.4
Pangs of conscience are the sadistic stirrings of Christianity. 1 A quiet conscience makes one so serene! Christians have burnt each other, quite persuaded That all the Apostles would have done as they did.2
Blushing, palpitations, a bad conscience — this is what you get if you haven’t sinned.3
Churches come and go, but there has ever been one religion. The only religion is conscience in action.4
The bite of conscience, like a dog biting a stone, is a stupidity. 5 My conscience hath a thousand several tongues, And every tongue brings in a several tale, And every tale condemns me for a villain.6
Conscious of truth, the mind can smile at lies But we’re a race too prone t’ imagine vice.7
O Conscience! into what abyss of fears And horrors has thou driven me; out of which I find no way, from deep to deeper plunged!8
A Marriage 1 made in Heaven
“ . . . man and woman are verily soul and body, inseparable ever. Then shall they realise, in the words of the Vishnu-Purana [i, 8] and the Vishnu-Bhagavata [vi, 19] that:
He is Vishnu,
She is Shri.
She is language,
He is thought.
She is prudence,
He is law.
He is reason, She is sense.
She is duty, He is right.
He is author, She is work.
He is patience, She is peace.
He is will, and She is wish.
He is pity, She is gift.
He is chant and She is note.
She is fuel, He is fire.
She is glory, He is sun.
She is orbs, He is space.
She is motion, He is wind.
He is ocean, She is shore.
He is owner, She is wealth.
He is battle, She is might.
He is lamp, and She is light.
He is day, and She is night.
He is tree, and She is vine.
He is music, She is words.
He is justice, She is truth.
He is channel, She is stream.
He is flag-staff, She is flag.
She is beauty, He is strength.
She is body, He is soul.
[She is soil, He is seed.] 2
Then shall they see that both are equally important and indispensable and inseparable; that each has distinct psycho-physical attributes and functions which supplement each other; that both are present in each individualised life; but that, in certain epochs, one, with its set of characteristics, is more prominent in one set of forms, and the other, with its differentia and propria, in another set of forms.” 1
Endless are the pairs of opposites.
Here are Simon’s three Syzygies, or dual Logoic emanations, expressed in Gnostic terms after Heracleitus’ Universal Principle (των απαντων αρχη), or Intellectual Fire (πυρ νοερον): 2
He is Mind (Nous), She is Thought (Epinoia).
He is Voice (Phone), She is Name (Onoma).
He is Reason (Logismos), She is Reflection (Enthumesis).
Alaya: aspects, epithets, synonyms
Excerpted from ch. 3, § “Compassion is the Divine Law of Universal Sympathy and Sacrifice,” p. 104ff
• Akasha on the Spiritual Plane as opposed to Prakriti (Mother, Matter, Nature), the Astral Light of the Kabbalists, or Serpent on the Psychic Plane.
• Brahma’s aura of transformation of the Hindus.
• Borne from the union of Purusha, or divine spirit, with Mulaprakriti, or primordial matter. Kathakopanishad
• “Divine Compassion,” which is “no attribute” but verily “the LAW of LAWS — eternal Harmony or Alaya’s Self.”
• Divine and spiritual in its three higher planes; of igneous and ethereal nature in the objective world in its four lower planes.
• Divine Grace par excellence.
• Divine Thought, or Logos, the male aspect of the Anima Mundi.
• Eternal and changeless, or Absolute, in its inner essence on the planes which are unreachable by either men, or Cosmic Gods (Dhyani-Buddhas).
• Love, i.e., Homogenous Sympathy, which is Harmony, or “Music of the Spheres.”
• Mahat Akasha.
• Nirvana in its highest aspect; Astral Light in its lowest.
• Our higher Selves; the source from which the “God” in each one of us has emanated, are of an essence identical with It.
• The Anima Mundi, or the “Soul of the World” of Antiquity.
• The “bosom of the Mother.”
• “The divine Soul of thought and compassion” of the Northern Buddhists and trans-Himalayan mystics.
• The “Egg of Darkness.”
• The “Fire” of the mediæval Alchemists.
• The One Eternal Truth, and one infinite changeless Spirit of Love, Truth and Wisdom in the Universe.
• The One Light for all, in which we live and move and have our Being.
• The “Over-Soul” of Emerson.
• The “perpetually reasoning Divinity,” the divine “Idea, who is said to move Æther,” The Good (το αγαθον), or Supreme Deity of Plato.
• The Self of a progressed adept in the Yogachara system of the contemplative Mahayana school.
• “The seven-skinned Mother” of The Secret Doctrine’s stanzas, or essence of the seven planes of sentiency, consciousness, and differentiation, both moral and physical.
• Universal Mind.
Providence rules the Power of the Will and the Necessity of Destiny
This is Fabre D’Olivet’s unabridged commentary upon Pythagoras’ Golden Verse 12, translated by Nayan Louise Redfield. From D’Olivet F. (Tr. & Com.). The Golden Verses of Pythagoras. First publ. in French, 1813; tr. into English by NL Redfield, 1916. New York & London: GP Putnam’s Sons, 1917; pp. 167-74.
The following are selections from the Translator’s Foreword about the life and profound learning of this leading Pythagorean commentator:
Saint Yves d’Alveydre, writing of him in La France vraie, says, that it was in 1790, while in Germany, he received his Pythagorean initiation, the profound imprint of which marked all his later productions. After returning to Paris he applied himself to philological and philosophical studies undisturbed by the terrible revolutionary storm. In obscure seclusion he amassed, to quote Sédir, “a disconcerting erudition.” He became familiar with all the Semitic tongues and dialects, the Aryan languages, and even penetrated the secrets of the Chinese hieroglyphics.
It was during these ten years of retirement that he wrote his Examinations of the Golden Verses which were not published until 1813, with its dedication to the Section of Literature of the Imperial Institute of France. It is known that the Golden Verses of Pythagoras were originally transcribed by Lysis and that it is to Hierocles we owe the version which has come down to us. Fabre d’Olivet has translated them into French verse, the style of which he calls eumolpique, that is, subject to measure and harmonious cadence but free from rhyme, with alternate masculine and feminine terminations. In the Essence and Form of Poetry which precedes the Golden Verses, he illustrates this melodious style, in applying it to the opening lines of some of the well-known classics, and to others not so well-known. These Golden Verses, so remarkable for their moral elevation, present the most beautiful monument of antiquity raised in honour of Wisdom. They formed the credo of the adepts and initiates. In his recondite Examinations, Fabre d’Olivet has drawn the metaphysical correlation of Providence, Destiny, and the Will of Man, in which combined action Destiny reigns over the past, the Will of Man over the future, and Providence over the present, which, always existing, may be called Eternal. One will find this given at greater length in his Hermeneutic Interpretation of the Origin of the Social State of Man and the Destiny of the Adamic Race: admirable work of this little known theosophist, “to give him the name he loved best to hold” says Pierre Leroux in De l’Humanité.
As to the evils which Destiny involves,
Judge them what they are; endure them all and strive,
As much as thou art able, to modify the traits.
The Gods, to the most cruel, have not exposed the Sage.
I have said that Pythagoras acknowledged two motives of human actions, the power of the Will and the necessity of Destiny, and that he subjected both to one fundamental law called Providence from which they emanated alike. The first of these motives was free, and the second constrained: so that man found himself placed between two opposed, but not injurious natures, indifferently good or bad, according as he understood the use of them. The power of the Will was exercised upon the things to be done,  or upon the future; the necessity of Destiny, upon the things done, or upon the past: and the one nourished the other unceasingly, by working upon the materials which they reciprocally furnished each other; for according to this admirable philosopher, it is of the past that the future is born, of the future that the past is formed, and of the union of both that is engendered the always existing present, from which they draw alike their origin: a most profound idea that the Stoics had adopted.1 Thus, following this doctrine, liberty rules in the future, necessity in the past, and Providence over the present. Nothing that exists happens by chance but by the union of the fundamental and providential law with the human will which follows or transgresses it, by operating upon necessity.1 The harmony of the Will and Providence constitutes Good; Evil is born of their opposition. Man has received three forces adapted to each of the three modifications of his being, to be guided in the course that he should pursue on earth and all three enchained to his Will. The first, attached to the body, is instinct; the second, devoted to the soul, is virtue; the third, appertaining to intelligence, is science or wisdom. These three forces, indifferent in themselves, take this name only through the good usage that the Will makes of it; for, through bad usage they degenerate into brutishness, vice, and ignorance. Instinct perceives the physical good or evil resulting from sensation; virtue recognises the moral good or evil existing in sentiment; science judges the intelligible good or evil which springs from assent. In sensation, good or evil is called pleasure or pain; in sentiment, love or hate; in assent, truth or error. Sensation, sentiment, and assent, dwelling in the body, in the soul, and in the spirit, form a ternary, which becoming developed under favour of a relative unity constitutes the human quaternary, or Man considered abstractly. The three affections which compose this ternary act and react upon one another, and become mutually  enlightened or obscured; and the unity which binds them, that is to say, Man, is perfected or depraved, according as it tends to become blended with the Universal Unity or to become distinguished from it. The means that this ternary has of becoming blended with it, or of becoming distinguished from it, of approaching near or of drawing away from it, resides wholly in its Will, which, through the use that it makes of the instruments furnished it by the body, soul, and mind, becomes instinctive or stupefied; is made virtuous or vicious, wise or ignorant, and places itself in condition to perceive with more or less energy, to understand and to judge with more or less rectitude what there is of goodness, excellence, and justice in sensation, sentiment, or assent; to distinguish, with more or less force and knowledge, good and evil; and not to be deceived at last in what is really pleasure or pain, love or hatred, truth or error.
Indeed one feels that the metaphysical doctrine that I have just briefly set forth is nowhere found so clearly expressed, and therefore I do not need to support it with any direct authority. It is only by adopting the principles set down in the Golden Verses and by meditating a long time upon what has been written by Pythagoras that one is able to conceive the ensemble. The disciples of this philosopher having been extremely discreet and often obscure, one can only well appreciate the opinions of their master by throwing light upon them with those of the Platonists and Stoics, who have adopted and spread them without any reserve.2
Man, such as I have just depicted him, according to the idea that Pythagoras had conceived, placed under the  dominion of Providence between the past and the future, endowed with a free will by his essence, and being carried along toward virtue or vice with its own movement, Man, I say, should understand the source of the evils that he necessarily experiences; and far from accusing this same Providence which dispenses good and evil to each according to his merit and his anterior actions, can blame only himself if he suffers, through an inevitable consequence of his past mistakes.1 For Pythagoras admitted many successive existences, 2 and maintained that the present, which strikes us, and the future, which menaces us, are only the expression of the past which has been our work in anterior times. He said that the greater part of men lose, in returning to life, the remembrance of these past existences; but that, concerning himself, he had, by a particular favour of the gods, preserved the memory of them.3 Thus according to his doctrine, this fatal Necessity, of which man unceasingly complains, has been created by himself through the use of his will; he traverses, in proportion as he advances in time, the road that he has already traced for himself; and according as he has modified it by good or evil, as he sows so to speak, his virtues or his vices, he will find it again more smooth or laborious, when the time will come to traverse it anew.
These are the dogmas by means of which Pythagoras established the necessity of Destiny, without harming the power of the Will, and left to Providence its universal empire, without being obliged either to attribute to it the origin of evil, as those who admitted only one principle of things, or to give to evil an absolute existence, as those who admitted two principles. In this, he was in accordance with the ancient doctrine which was followed by the oracles of the gods.4 The Pythagoreans, however, did not regard  pain, that is to say, whatever afflicts the body in its mortal life, as veritable evils; they called veritable evils only sins, vices, and errors into which one falls voluntarily. In their opinion, the physical and inevitable evils being illustrated by the presence of virtue, could be transformed into blessings and become distinguished and enviable.5 These last evils, dependent upon necessity, Lysis commended to be judged for what they were; that is, to consider as an inevitable consequence of some mistake, as the chastisement or remedy for some vice; and therefore to endure them, and far from irritating them further by impatience and anger, on the contrary to modify them by the resignation and acquiescence of the will to the judgment of Providence. He does not forbid, as one sees in the lines cited, assuaging them by lawful means; on the contrary, he desires that the sage should apply himself to diverting them if possible, and healing them. Thus this philosopher did not fall into the excess with which the Stoics have been justly reproached.1 He considered pain evil, not that it was of the same nature as vice, but because its nature, a purgative for vice, makes it a necessary consequence. Plato adopted this idea, and made all the inferences felt with his customary eloquence. 2
As to what Lysis said, always following Pythagoras, that the sage was never exposed to the cruelest evils, this can be understood as Hierocles has understood it, in a simple and natural manner, or in a more mysterious manner as I stated. It is evident at once, in following the inferences of the principles which have been given, that the sage is not, in reality, subject to the severest evils, since, not aggravating by his emotions those which the necessity of destiny  inflict upon him, and bearing them with resignation, he alleviates them; living happy, even in the midst of misfortune, in the firm hope that these evils will no more trouble his days, and certain that the divine blessings which are reserved for virtue, await him in another life.3 Hierocles, after having revealed this first manner of explaining the verse in question, touches lightly upon the second, in saying that the Will of man can have an influence on Providence, when, acting in a lofty soul, it is assisted by succour from heaven and operates with it.4 This was a part of the doctrine taught in the mysteries, whose divulgence to the profane was forbidden. According to this doctrine, of which sufficiently strong traces can be recognised in Plato,5 the Will, exerting itself by faith, was able to subjugate Necessity itself, to command Nature, and to work miracles. It was the principle upon which was founded the magic of the disciples of Zoroaster.6 Jesus saying parabolically, that by means of faith one could remove mountains,7 only spoke according to the theosophical traditions known to all the sages. “The uprightness of the heart and faith triumphs over all obstacles,” said Kong-Tse; 8 “all men can render themselves equal to the sages and to the heroes whose memory the nations revere,” said Meng-Tse; “it is never the power which is lacking, it is the will; provided one desires, one succeeds.” 9 These ideas of the Chinese theosophists are found in the writings of the Indians,10 and even in those of some Europeans who, as I have already observed, had not enough erudition to be imitators. “The greater the will,” said Boehme, “the greater the being and  the more powerfully inspired.” 1 “Will and liberty are the same thing.” 2 “It is the source of light, the magic which makes something from nothing.” 3
The Will which goes resolutely forward is faith; it models its own form in spirit and overcomes all things; by it, a soul receives the power of carrying its influence in another soul, and of penetrating its most intimate essences. When it acts with God it can overthrow mountains, break the rocks, confound the plots of the impious, and breathe upon them disorder and dismay; it can affect all prodigies, command the heavens, the sea, and enchain death itself: it subjugates all. Nothing can be named that cannot be commanded in the name of the Eternal. The soul which executes these great things only imitates the prophets and the saints, Moses, Jesus, and the apostles. All the elect have a similar power. Evil disappears before them. Nothing can harm the one in whom God dwells.” 4
It is in departing from this doctrine, taught as I have said in the mysteries, that certain gnostics of the Alexandrian school assert that evils never attended the true sages, if there were found men who might have been so in reality; for Providence, image of divine justice, would never allow the innocent to suffer and be punished. Basil, who was one of those who supported this Platonic opinion 5 was sharply reprimanded by the orthodox Christians, who treated him as a heretic, quoting to him the example of the martyrs. Basil replied that the martyrs were not entirely innocent, because there is no man exempt from faults; that God punishes in them, either evil desires, actual and secret sins, or sins that the soul had committed in a previous existence; and as they did not fail to oppose him again with the example of Jesus, who, although fully innocent, had, however,  suffered the torture of the cross, Basil answered without hesitation that God had been just, in his opinion, and that Jesus, being man, was no more than another exempt from sin.6
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