Compassion - The Spirit of Truth

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Compassion - The Spirit of Truth

By Helena Petrovna Blavatsky

Keywords glossary

Christos, Desire, Duty, God, Love, Man 
Christos and Chrishna are one and the same: Internal Light. Not external symbols. 
The appellations above share the same root, ghrish. Nevertheless, the Sanskrit spelling Krishna has been maintained in our text to distinguish it from its Christianised variant that prevailed in the West. HP Blavatsky prepared a valuable annotation on their etymology:
On the best authority, the derivation of the Greek Christos is shown from the Sanskrit root ghrish, “rub”; thus: gharsh-a-mi-to, “to rub,” and ghrish-ta-s, “flayed, sore.” Moreover, Krish, which means in one sense to plough and make furrows, means also to cause pain, “to torture, to torment,” and ghrish-ta-s, “rubbing” — all these terms relating to Chrestos and Christos conditions. One has to die in Chrestos, i.e., kill one’s personality and its passions, to blot our every idea of separateness from one’s “Father,” the Divine Spirit in man; to become one with the eternal and absolute Life and Light (SAT) before one can reach the glorious state of Christos, the regenerated man, the man in spiritual freedom.

Kama–Desire and manas–mind are one and the same.
 In this Ocean of Fire or Life — in every point or atom of it — is inherent a longing to manifest itself in various forms, thus giving rise to the perpetual flux and change of the phenomenal world. This Divine Desire, this “love for everything that lives and breathes,” is found in many systems, and especially in the Vedic and Phœnician Cosmogony. In the Rig Veda (x. 129), it is that Kama or Desire “which first arose in It (the Unknown Deity),” elsewhere identified with Agni or Fire. In the fragments of Phœnician Cosmogony, recovered from Sanchuniathon, it is called Pothos (ποθος) and Eros (ερως).2 
Blavatsky refutes the creationist view of Genesis, as it flatly denies the Doctrine of Evolution: 3
Creation is an incorrect word to use, as no religion, not even the sect of the Vishisht-advaitins in India — one which anthropomorphises even Parabrahman — believes in creation out of nihil, as Christians and Jews do, but in evolution out of pre-existing materials.

“In true philosophy every physical action has its moral and everlasting effect,” 1 for, desire and action are connected with perception. Still, the enactment of thoughts, i.e., action proper or praxis, should not be confused with aimless activities and bodily functions, says Proclus:
The word πραττειν, to act, is asserted of those only who energise according to the dianœtic power, but the word ποιειν, to do, is asserted of those who energise in a different manner from this. Actions therefore and makings have their proper boundaries, instruments, and times;

Kama-Eros 3 -Pothos-Phanes 4 is 
. . . the first conscious, all embracing desire for universal good, love, and for all that lives and feels, needs help and kindness; the first feeling of infinite tender compassion and mercy that arose in the Consciousness of the creative ONE FORCE, as soon as it came into life and being as a ray from the ABSOLUTE.

By its powers of Imagination and Will expressed as kinetic energy (karmanaction), Kama-Eros brings divine ideals to life. Blavatsky says that this is precisely how “Will-Power becomes a living power” 6 when the Divine Mind wills 7 to create a World and its Saviours. It does so by projecting an aspect of Its Ideation to the screen of Nature, which is Itself:
It was by Kriyashakti, that mysterious and divine power latent in the will of every man, and which if not called to life, quickened and developed by Yoga-training, remains dormant in 999,999 men out of a million, and gets atrophied. This power is explained in the “Twelve Signs of the Zodiac,” as follows:
“ . . . Kriyashakti — the mysterious power of thought which enables it to produce external, perceptible, phenomenal results by its own inherent energy. The ancients held that any idea will manifest itself externally, if one’s attention [and Will] is deeply concentrated upon it. Similarly, an intense volition will be followed by the desired re- sult. A Yogi generally performs his wonders by means of Ichchhashakti [Will-power] and Kriyashakti.
The Third Race had thus created the so-called SONS OF WILL AND YOGA, or the “ancestors” (the spiritual forefathers) of all the subsequent and present Arhats, or Mahatmas, in a truly immaculate way. They were indeed created, not begotten, as were their brethren of the Fourth Race, who were generated sexually after the separation of sexes, the Fall of Man. For creation is but the result of will acting on phenomenal matter, the calling forth out of it the primordial divine Light and eternal Life. They were the “holy seed-grain” of the future Saviours of Humanity.2

In its universally-diffused expression, Kama-Eros 3 is an unquenchable thirst for Life, or 
Desire of manifesting itself through visible creation.

This Force of Love is the “eternal noetic fire in the bosom of Parabrahman” of the Metaphysician, the creative energy for individualisation of Jung, the instinct for self-preservation of common diction and, in its lower aspects, the tanha of the Buddhist, the trishna of the Hindu, the vivida vis animi 5 of Lucretius, the libido of Freud. In short, Divine Love is the fount and origin of Life plus its Cohesive Power.

Socrates points out “that those who first established names were no despicable persons, but men who investigated sublime concerns, and were employed in continual meditation and study.” 6 He then proceeds explaining to Hermogenes the meaning of Oυσια (Essence), Eπιθυμια and Ποθος (DesireYearning), Ερως (Love), Ον (Being), and Αληθεια (Truth):

As with respect to this which we call ουσια, essence, there are some who call it εσσια, and others again ωσια. In the first place, therefore, it is rational to call the essence of things Εστια, according to one of these names, εσσια: and because we denominate that which participates of essence Εστια essence, Vesta may, in consequence of this, be properly called Εστια: for our ancestors were accustomed to call ουσια, essence, εσσια. 

But neither is it difficult to discover the meaning of επιθυμια desire: for it evinces a power proceeding to θυμος anger. But θυμος, anger, derives its appellation from θυσεως and ζεσεως, raging and ardour. And again, ιμερος, amatory desire, was so called from ρω, or a flowing which vehemently attracts the soul; for because it flows excited, and desiring the possession of things, it strongly allures the soul through the incitement of its flowing. And hence, from the whole of this power, it is called ιμερος. But ποθος, desire, was so called, from signifying that it is not conversant with present amatorial desire, and its effluxive streams, like ιμερος, but with that which is elsewhere situated, and is absent. But ερως, love, received its appellation from implying that it flows inwardly from an external source; and that this flowing is not the property of him by whom it is possessed, but that it is adventitious through the eyes.1 And hence love was called by our ancestors εσρος, from εσρειν, to flow inwardly. But at present it is called ερως, through the insertion of an ω instead of ο.

It appears then that this word ονομα, a name, was composed from that discourse which asserts that ον, being, is that about which name inquires. But this will be more evident to you, in that we call ονομαστον, or capable of being named; for in this it clearly appears that name is an enquiry about being. With respect to αληθεια, truth, this name seems to have been mingled, as well as many others; for this name appears to have received its composition from the divine lation 3 of being, and therefore implies that it is θεια αλη, a divine wandering. But ψευδος, falsehood, signifies the contrary to lation. For here again the institutor of names blames that which detains and compels anything to rest. This name, however, is assimilated to those who are asleep; but the addition of the ψ conceals its meaning. But ον, being, and ουσια essence, harmonise with truth, by receiving the addition of an ι; for then they will signify ιον, or that which is in progression. And again, το ουκ ον, or non-being, is by some denominated ουκ ιον; that is, not proceeding.

Kama-desire, manas-mind, and karman-action are not ontologically distinct concepts, they are modifications of one continuum. Their interplay gives rise to a bewildering range of feelings and motions ignorantly lumped together as “emotions.” 5 Their dynamic relationship can be likened to a Möbius’ band which, though non-orientable, can be right- or left-handed,6 thus il- lustrating the twin arcs of a Cycle of Necessity. Moreover, emotions and psychic nature, or animal soul, are one and the same. But as surgery cannot be performed without proficient knowledge of anatomy and pathology, how can those who are ignorant of their inner constitution, purpose, and moral affliction heal themselves? Plato points out that
. . . the disease of the soul is folly which is of two kinds, madness and ignorance.

Bhagavan Das in his Science of the Emotions 2 affords valuable insights into the makeup of the soul and is a must for every serious student of human nature. But the best remedy by far for every disease, whether of the mind or the body, is Esoteric Philosophy, Medicina Mentis. Herein also lies the riddle of Panacea:

The Sovereign panacea discovered by Buddha as a remedy against the Universal evil, will never do for our temperaments. It demands renunciation, and what we want is to acquire; it teaches us to desire nothing [for ourselves], and lust and desire are stronger in us than life.

Man’s Dharma, or first Duty and Religion, is first to acquire the knowledge of its real Self (paramatman) and then, by the annihilation of its worldly self (atman), to experience the infinity of Happiness prevalent in Unconscious Immateriality.

Dharma is a Sanskrit term employed in the Bhagavad-Gita. It is often translated as moral and religious Duty but also as Doctrine, Esoteric Religion, Justice, Piety, Right Law, Truth. HP Blavatsky points out that “‘Duty’ is an incorrect and unhappy expression”:
“Property” would be the better word. “Duty” is that which a person is bound by any natural, moral, or legal obligation to do or refrain from doing and cannot be applied but to intelligent and reasoning beings. Fire will burn and cannot “refrain” from doing so.
[“ . . . the highest, the best, the most beneficial . . . and omnipresent Religion or dharma of a rational being . . . is not only to know, but also to experience . . . personally, i.e., to feel this . . . unconscious immateriality or Paramatma — the Infinity and Eternity of Existence and Happiness. . . . This state of unconscious immateriality . . . is the true or eternal state of every being, for saving it there can be found no other true existence; therefore, every rational being’s dharma or natural duty and Religion is first to acquire the dhyana (knowledge) or vidya of its real Self, the Paramatma, and then by the annihilation of its atma, or worldly self or soul to experience the infinity of Happiness prevalent in its unconscious Immateriality.”]

These subtle connotations of Dharma are a prime example of how hopeless a task it is to convert spiritual words into material languages. No attempt has been made in this work to supplant Dharma’s diverse interpretations with a better one. Be that as it may, Vishnu Bawa’s exegesis should be remembered when coming across the word “duty” in Eastern Philosophy.

God is the Eternal Principle within us and Centre of Life. It keeps unfolding from within outwards, reflecting upon Itself in evolving matter.
Many authors, including HP Blavatsky, follow the convention of referring to the Eternal Principle within us as “God.” This is probably because among Anglo-Saxons God stands for the omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent Ruler of the Universe — and object of religious worship. Still, in the monotheism of the West, God conjures up images of an anthropomorphic being:
. . . God and Gods that makes two thirds of humanity the slaves of a handful of those who deceive them under the false pretence of saving them.

High initiates and adepts “believe in ‘gods’ and know no ‘God,’ but one Universal unrelated and unconditioned Deity.”

We may begin by the origin of the word God. What is the real and primitive meaning of the term? Its meanings and etymologies are as many as they are various. One of them shows the word derived from an old Persian and mystic term goda. It means “itself,” or something self-emanating from the absolute Principle. The root word was godan — whence Wodan, Woden, and Odin, the Oriental radical having been left almost unaltered by the Germanic races. Thus they made of it gott, from which the adjective gut — “good,” as also the term götze, or idol, were derived. In ancient Greece, the word Zeus and Theos led to the Latin Deus. This goda, the emanation, is not, and cannot be, identical with that from which it radiates, and is, therefore, but a periodical, finite manifestation. Old Aratus, who wrote “full of Zeus are all the streets and the markets of man; full of Him is the sea and the harbours,” 6 did not limit his deity to such a temporary reflection on our terrestrial plane as Zeus, or even its antitype — Dyaus, but meant, indeed, the universal, omnipresent Principle. Before the radi- ant god Dyaus (the sky) attracted the notice of man, there was the Vedic Tad (“that”) 1 which, to the Initiate and philosopher, would have no definite name, and which was the absolute Darkness that underlies every manifested radiancy. No more than the mythical Jupiter — the later reflection of Zeus — could Surya, the Sun, the first manifestation in the world of Maya and the Son of Dyaus, fail to be termed “Father” by the ignorant. Thus the Sun became very soon interchangeable and one with Dyaus; for some, the “Son,” for others, the “Father” in the radiant sky; Dyaus-Pitar, the Father in the Son, and the Son in the Father, truly shows, however, his finite origin by having the Earth assigned to him as a wife. It is during the full decadence of metaphysical philosophy that Dyava-prithivi, “Heaven and Earth,” began to be represented as the Universal cosmic parents, not alone of men, but of the gods also. From the original conception, abstract and poetical, the ideal cause fell into grossness. Dyaus, the sky, became very soon Dyaus or Heaven, the abode of the “Father,” and finally, indeed, that Father himself. Then the Sun, upon being made the symbol of the latter, received the title of Dina-Kara, “day-maker,” of Bhaskara, “lightmaker,” now the Father of his Son, and vice versa. The reign of ritualism and of anthropomorphic cults was henceforth established and finally degraded the whole world, retaining supremacy to the present civilised age.

Our Deity is the eternal, incessantly evolving, not creating, builder of the universe; that universe itself unfolding out of its own essence, not being made. It is a sphere, without circumference, in its symbolism, which has but one ever-acting attribute embracing all other existing or thinkable attributes — ITSELF. It is the one law, giving the impulse to manifested, eternal, and immutable laws, within that nevermanifesting, because absolute LAW, which in its manifesting periods is The Ever-Becoming.

All [Dhyani-Chohans] are entitled to the grateful reverence of Humanity, however, and man ought to be ever striving to help the divine evolution of Ideas, by becoming to the best of his ability a co-worker with nature in the cyclic task. The ever-unknowable and incognizable Karana alone, the Causeless Cause of all causes, should have its shrine and altar on the holy and ever untrodden ground of our heart — invisible, intangible, unmentioned, save through “the still small voice” of our spiritual consciousness. Those who worship before it, ought to do so in the silence and the sanctified solitude of their Souls; making their spirit the sole mediator between them and the Universal Spirit, their good actions the only priests, and their sinful intentions the only visible and objective sacrificial victims to the Presence.
When the Theosophists and Occultists say that God is no BEING, for IT is nothing, No-Thing, they are more reverential and religiously respectful to the Deity than those who call God a HE, and thus make of Him a gigantic MALE.

Hargrave Jennings, in his Introduction to the 1884 edition of Dr. Everard’s Divine Pymander, suggests that Θεος (Theos), the Deity of the old Greeks, is a prosonym of Hermes Trismegistus:

The titles appropriated to HERMES MERCURIUS TRISMEGISTUS were, in part, the titles of the DEITY. THEUTH, THOTH, TAUT, TAANTES, are the same title diversified, and they belong to the chief god of Egypt. Eusebius speaks of him as the same as HERMES. From Theuth the Greeks formed ΘΕΟΣ, or Theos, which with that nation was the most general name of the Deity. Plato, in his treatise named “Philebus,” mentions him by the name of Θευθ, or Theuth. . . . Suidas calls him Theus, and says that he was the same as Arez, and so worshipped at Petra. Instead of a statue there was, “Lithos melas, tetragonos, atupotos,” a black square pillar of stone, without any figure or representation.

Theos is within every atom throughout the Universe. It may be unconscious in the mineral, or not fully conscious in higher forms of life, still, It informs, forms, and connects everything. Life without It, or outside It, is inconceivable. Even though Theos is our very essence and being, we are too sinful to realise our royal lineage and potential highness.

In his second sutra of Devotional Love (bhakti) Narada refers to God simply as this (asmin):

The use of the pronoun “this” in contrast to “that” suggests that the Reality, no matter by what name It may be called, is nearer than the nearest — the innermost Self of our being; and is to be found within the sanctuary of our own hearts and in the hearts of all beings.

No “salaried priest” or any other go-between is needed to mediate between God and Man, as Plutarch tersely remarks in a typically laconic repartee between a Spartan and a priest:

Spartan. Is it to thee, or to God, that I must confess? 
Priest. To God. 
Spartan. Then, man, stand back! 

Here is how Diogenes Laertius explains Stoic Theology: 
They [the Stoics] say that god is an animal which is immortal and rational or intelligent, perfect in happiness, not admitting of any evil, provident towards the world and its occupants, but not anthropomorphic. He is the creator of the whole and, as it were, the father of all, both generally and, in particular, that part of him which pervades all things, which is called by many descriptions according to his powers. For they call him Zeus [Dia] as the cause [di’ hon] of all things; Zen in so far as he is responsible for, or pervades, life [zen]; Athena because his commanding-faculty stretches into the ether; Hera because it stretches into the air;

And how the ne plus ultra of Stoicism perceives a “a fifth class” of thinkers: 
Concerning the gods there are some who say that the Divine does not exist, others that it exists but is inactive and indifferent and takes no thought for anything, others again that God does exist and takes thought but only for great things and things in the heavens, but for nothing on earth; and a fourth class say that God takes thought also for earthly and human things, but only in a general way, and has no care for individuals: and there is a fifth class, to whom belong Odysseus and Socrates, who say
where’er I move 
Thou seest me.

Since arbitrarily replacing god in this study with, for example, Ever Becoming, “Eternal Principle,” 3 This or That, could have caused more confusion, god was left alone except in this section. Other aspects, epithets, and synonyms of god in occult works and mundane science, philosophy, and religion are shown in Appendix F, p. 351ff

Divine Compassion is the Love of God for self-conscious reflection. 
In its inexorable descent from archaic tongues, Love as a word and as a feeling has become too carnalised to allow a correct appreciation of its pristine meaning. Metaphysically, Love (as kama-pothos) is a deep yearning for sentient existence; physically, Love (as fohat) becomes the Individualiser, the Mover and Motivator proper of all beings on the plane of objectivity.

Dionysius the Areopagite suggests that αγαπη (agape) is the Divine Love of Spirit contemplating Itself through the agency of Matter:
When, using unlike images, we speak of desire in connection with Intellectual Beings we must understand by this a divine love of the Immaterial, above reason and mind, and an enduring and unshakable superessential longing for pure and passionless contemplation, and true, sempiternal, intelligible participation in the most sublime and purest Light, and in the eternal and most perfect Beauty.
HP Blavatsky notes that COMPASSION ABSOLUTE
. . . must not be regarded in the same light as “God, the divine love” of the Theists. Compassion stands here as an abstract, impersonal law whose nature, being absolute Harmony, is thrown into confusion by discord, suffering and sin.
Unlike Eros and Love, Compassion has not been sullied irreparably and, therefore, it was chosen as the title of the book. Other aspects, epithets, and synonyms of Compassion are shown in Appendix K, p. 379ff.

Man or Anthropos 3 and Humanity are one and the same. Men are sparks of a heavenly Noetic Fire.

Man in the singular and with capital M to describe (a) the whole human race, (b) mankind, or human species, and (c) the male of our species, is peculiar to the English language. Professor Raymond Williams explains: 
It was simpler when Man was a generalisation distinguished from God, as in “man purposith and god disposith” (1450); 4 the one singular depended on the other, and the creation and control of Man (Mankind) by God was assumed.

In Greek, for example, although anthropos (ανθρωπος) or abstract male corresponds to Man and anthropotes 6 or humanity at large, there is aner 7 (ανηρ) for the male, and gyne (γυνη) for the female gender.

. . . Το αρρεν, that is, the male nature, and ανηρ man, are derived from a similar origin, that is, from ανω ροη, or a flowing upwards. But the name woman appears to me to imply begetting; and the name for the female nature seems to be so called from the pap or breast. But the pap or breast, O Hermogenes! seems to derive its appellation from causing to germinate and shoot forth, like things which are irrigated.

Cicero says that virtue takes its name from vir, man
. . . as all the right affections of the soul are classed under the name of virtues, the truth is that this is not properly the name of them all, but that they all have their name from that leading virtue which is superior to all the rest: for the name “virtue” comes from vir, a man, and courage is the peculiar distinction of a man: and this virtue has two principal duties, to despise death and pain. We must, then, exert these, if we would be men of virtue, or, rather, if we would be men, because virtue (virtus) takes its very name from vir, man.

In the stampede toward political correctness in the 1970’s, there has been a tendency to replace mankind with human; Man, with men and women; 3 and He, with he and she. Can lip service correct inequity and prejudice by prefixing hu to man? Referring to men and women as male and female, as if the former pair did not include the latter, promotes divisions and stirs up lower propensities. Downgrading humanity to gender is as demeaning as speciating it to “human-kind” as it encourages speciesism, “the assumption that man is superior to all other species of animals and that he is therefore justified in exploiting them to his own advantage.” 4 Another excuse for mercenary abuse of the world.

Since man comes from the Sanskrit verbal root man, 6 to think, the following prescript was applied to our text: Man is retained in the capitalised singular to denote self-consciousness, or humanity’s passport to spirituality. The use of human-kind is dropped. When referring to Man’s lower nature, the epithets used by HP Blavatsky are adopted, where Man is qualified as animal, earthly, material, mortal, terrestrial, worldly; as opposed to hu-man, heavenly, spiritual, immortal, celestial, divine.



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