Reflecting upon the “spiritual mystery” and self-sacrifice of Father Damien, “a true Theosophist in daily life and practice — the latter the greatest ideal of every genuine follower of the Wisdom-Religion,1 and of Sister Gertrude who “simply did the bidding of her MASTER — to the very letter. She prepared to go unknown and unrewarded in this life to an almost certain death, preceded by years of incessant physical torture from the most loathsome of all diseases.2 And she did it, not as the Scribes and Pharisees who perform their prescribed duties in the open streets and public Synagogues, but verily as the Master had commanded: alone, in the secluded closet of her inner life and face to face only with ‘her Father in secret,’ trying to conceal the grandest and noblest of all human acts, as another tries to hide a crime,” 3 this is how HP Blavatsky illustrates practical Theosophy:
Thence the ceaseless and untiring self-sacrifice of such natures to what appears religious duty, but which in sober truth is the very essence and esse of the dormant Individuality — “divine compassion,” which is “no attribute” but verily “the LAW of LAWS — eternal Harmony, Alaya’s SELF.” 4 It is this compassion, crystallised in our very being, that whispers night and day to such as Father Damien and Sister Rose Gertrude — “Can there be bliss when there are men who suffer? Shalt thou be saved and hear the others cry?” Yet, “Personality” — having been blinded by training and religious education to the real presence and nature of the HIGHER SELF — recognises not its voice, but confusing it in its helpless ignorance with the external and extraneous Form which it was taught to regard as divine Reality — it sends heavenward and outside instead of addressing them inwardly, thoughts and prayers, the realization of which is in its SELF. It says in the beautiful words of Dante Gabriel Rossetti but with a higher application:
“ . . . For lo! thy law is passed
That this my love should manifestly be
To serve and honour thee;
And so I do; and my delight is full,
Accepted by the servant of thy rule.
Alaya is the Divine Soul of Thought and Compassion, a Perpetually Reasoning Deity. That which alone stands as an undying and ceaseless evidence and proof of the existence of that One Principle, is the presence of an undeniable design in kosmic mechanism, the birth, growth, death and transformation of everything in the universe, from the silent and unreachable stars down to the humble lichen, from man to the invisible lives now called microbes. Hence the universal acception of “Thought Divine,” the Anima Mundi of all antiquity. This idea of Mahat (the great) Akasha or Brahma’s aura of transformation with the Hindus, of Alaya, “the divine Soul of thought and compassion” of the trans-Himalayan mystics; of Plato’s “perpetually reasoning Divinity,” 1 is the oldest of all the doctrines now known to, and believed in, by man.
It pervades, permeates, and animates Man and Gods. [Anima Mundi is] The “Soul of the World,” the same as Alaya of the Northern Buddhists; the divine Essence which pervades, permeates, animates, and informs all things, from the smallest atom of matter to man and god. It is in a sense “the seven-skinned Mother” of the stanzas in the Secret Doctrine; the essence of seven planes of sentiency, consciousness, and differentiation, both moral and physical. In its highest aspect it is Nirvana; in its lowest, the Astral Light. It was feminine with the Gnostics, the early Christians, and the Nazarenes; bisexual with other sects, who considered it only in its four lower planes, of igneous and ethereal nature in the objective world of forms, and divine and spiritual in its three higher planes. When it is said that every human soul was born by detaching itself from the Anima Mundi, it is meant, esoterically, that our higher Egos are of an essence identical with It, and Mahat is a radiation of the ever unknown Universal ABSOLUTE.
Eternal and immoveable in Its innermost essence, It alters during Its outer manifestations. Alaya is literally the “Soul of the World” or Anima Mundi, the “Over-Soul” of Emerson, and according to esoteric teaching it changes periodically its nature. Alaya, though eternal and changeless in its inner essence on the planes which are unreachable by either men or Cosmic Gods (Dhyani-Buddhas), alters during the active life-period with respect to the lower planes, ours included. During that time not only the Dhyani-Buddhas are one with Alaya in Soul and Essence, but even the man strong in the Yoga (mystic meditation) “is able to merge his soul with it” (Aryasangha, the Bumapa school). This is not Nirvana, but a condition next to it.
Alaya is Knowledge Itself. Alaya alone having an absolute and eternal existence, can alone have absolute knowledge; and even the Initiate, in his Nirmanakaya body may commit an occasional mistake in accepting the false for the true in his explorations of the “Causeless” World.
Divine Grace is its spiritual aspect; Astral Light, its psychic. Lambs, sheep and goats were sacrificed to Kali, the lower aspect of Akasha or the Astral Light. The “only begotten Son” was sacrificed to the Father; that is to say, that the spiritual part of man is sacrificed to the astral. Grace (χαρις) is a difficult word to translate. It corresponds to the higher aspect of Akasha. The two aspects are as follows:
Spiritual Plane: Alaya (Soul of Universe); Akasha. Psychic Plane: Prakriti (Matter or Nature); Astral Light or Serpent.
True Love, Harmony, and Peace, its fiery essence. This “Fire” is that of Alaya, the “World-Soul,” the essence of which is LOVE, i.e., homogenous Sympathy, which is Harmony, or the “Music of the Spheres.” Vide The Voice of the Silence, IIIrd Treatise, page 69.
Alaya springs from the illegitimate marriage 1 of Divine Mind with Matter. In the Orphic Hymns, the Eros-Phanes evolves from the divine Egg, which the Æthereal Winds impregnate, wind being “the Spirit of the unknown Darkness” — “the spirit of God” the divine “Idea,” says Plato, “who is said to move Æther.”
“In the Hindu Kathakopanishad, Purusha, the divine spirit, already stands before the original matter, from whose union springs the great soul of the world,2 Mahan-atman, the Spirit of Life, etc., etc.”
The latter appellations are all identical with Anima Mundi, or the “Universal Soul,” the astral light of the Kabbalist and the Occultist, or the “Egg of Darkness.”
Divine Mind is the Father of Intelligence and Truth, the “Bosom of the Mother,” 5 the source and cause of our being. It is not difficult for a Theosophist to recognise in this “God” (a) the UNIVERSAL MIND in its cosmic aspect; and (b) the Higher Ego in man in its microcosmic. For, as Plato says, He is not the truth nor the intelligence, “but the Father of it”; i.e., the “Father” of the Lower Manas, our personal “brain-mind,” which depends for its manifestations on the organs of sense. Though this eternal essence of things may not be perceptible by our physical senses, it may be apprehended by the mind of those who are not wilfully obtuse. . . This “God” is the Universal Mind, Alaya, the source from which the “God” in each one of us has emanated.
’Tis mind that all things sees and hears; What else exists is deaf and blind.
Alaya is the Heart and Soul of the Universe, 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 — the rival of Nagarjuna.
It corresponds to Man’s Sixth Principle. [Man’s] Buddhi stands to the divine RootEssence in the same relation as Mulaprakriti to Parabrahman, in the Vedanta School; or as Alaya, the Universal Soul, to the One Eternal Spirit, or that which is beyond Spirit. It is its human vehicle, one remove from that Absolute which can have no relation whatever to the finite and the conditioned.
Cosmic Buddhi, the emanation of the Spiritual Soul Alaya, is the vehicle of Mahat only when that Buddhi corresponds to Prakriti. Then it is called Maha-Buddhi. This Buddhi differentiates through seven planes, whereas the Buddhi in man is the vehicle of Atman which vehicle is of the essence of the highest plane of Akasha and therefore does not differentiate.
It is the One Eternal Truth, and infinite Spirit of Love, Truth, and Wisdom in the Universe, the One Light for All. . . . in which we live and move and have our Being . . . We are all Brothers. Let us then love, help, and mutually defend each other against any Spirit of untruth or deception, “without distinction of race, creed or colour.”
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