The real mystery most familiar and, at the same time, most unfamiliar to every man, into which he must be initiated or perish as an atheist, is himself. For him is the elixir of life, to quaff which, before the discovery of the philosopher’s stone, is to drink the beverage of death, while it confers on the adept and the epopt the true immortality. He may know truth as it really is — Aletheia, the breath of God, [or Life, the conscious mind in man.] This is the alcahest which dissolves all things.
— Alexander Wilder 1
My rest from care, my star in darkest night, My company when alone, constant delight.
— Albius Tibullus
Taking into account that there is nothing higher than justice because “that which is justice is truth” 3 and paraphrasing St Thomas’ apophthegm that “a thing is not just because God wills it, but God wills it because it is just,” one can confidently assert that the fundamentals of Theosophy are not true merely because they are postulated in The Secret Doctrine. They are true because they are LAW. They are the rocks of Esoteric Science, beginningless, endless, parentless; they are the government of life and its alchemical agents.
“The divine is divine only in so far as it is just.”
The entire edifice of Theosophy has been encapsulated in two interlaced triangles ?, “the Buddhangams of Creation,” as Master KH remarks:
They contain the “squaring of the circle,” the “philosophers’ stone,” the great problems of Life and Death, and — the Mystery of Evil. The chela who can explain this sign from every one of its aspects — is virtually an adept.
Even to this day the philosopher’s stone, or first agent of alchemy, 1 is thought to be a mineral long sought after as a means of transforming base metals to gold.2 Those driven by greed for gain, rather than by aspiration towards Truth, are so obsessed with “stones” that they have failed to notice the stars above and realise that “the pepper plant will not give birth to roses, nor the sweet jessamine’s silver star to thorn or thistle turn.”
It is incorrect to think that there exists any special “powder of projection,” or “philosopher’s stone,” or “elixir of life.” The latter lurks in every flower, in every stone and mineral throughout the globe. It is the ultimate essence of everything on its way to higher and higher evolution.
Interpreting the “occult significance of the words Vach and Hiranyagarbha in their application to ‘sound’ and ‘light,’” Blavatsky points out that:
The word Hiranya does not mean “gold” but the golden light of divine knowledge, the first principle in whose womb is contained the light of the eternal truth which illuminates the liberated soul when it has reached its highest abode. It is, in short, the “Philosopher’s Stone” of the alchemist, and the Eternal Light of the Fire Philosopher.
Commenting upon Éliphas Lévi’s Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, she explains that “the STONE is no stone at all, but the ‘rock’ — foundation of absolute knowledge — our seventh principle.” Later, in the same article, she adds:
[Lévi] uses the cautious phraseology of the Mediaeval Alchemists, and no one having ever explained to the uninitiated public that the “Word” is no word, and the “Stone” is no stone, the occult sciences are suffering thereby under the opprobrium of mockery and ignorance.
Overwhelmed by the supernal philosophy of The Secret Doctrine, many of those privileged enough to have come across it have not persevered in their studies. They may have not been aware of Blavatsky’s sound advice to Rob ert Bowen and others. Or they may have been put off by The Secret Doctrine’s formidable array of abstract ideas and abstruse phraseology that seem cold, impenetrable, unyielding — just as the philosopher’s stone is thought to be.
There is another way of reading, which is, indeed, the only one of any use with many authors. It is reading, not between the lines but within the words. In fact, it is deciphering a profound cipher. All alchemical works are written in the cipher of which I speak; it has been used by the great philosophers and poets of all time. It is used systematically by the adepts in life and knowledge, who, seemingly giving out their deepest wisdom, hide in the very words which frame it its actual mystery. They cannot do more. There is a law of nature which insists that a man shall read these mysteries for himself. By no other method can he obtain them.
Is self-indulgence the only philosophy?
It is sufficiently known that Pythagoras was the first who used the word Philosopher to designate a friend of wisdom. Before him, the word Sophos, sage, was used.
During Man’s preoccupation with self even Philosophy herself has been divested from her pristine cause and purpose, and the Wisdom of Love 3 became twisted to “Love of Wisdom” by the profane. That is why Philosophy is no longer revered as Inner Wisdom: it has become another domain of “headlearning” as the English Platonist foresaw:
Such as these however are the men who are ignorantly called men of learning, who are celebrated as prodigies of genius, who form the literary taste of the present generation; and who, like Homer’s mice, impiously nibble the veil of Wisdom, and would willingly destroy the work of her celestial hands!
True Philosophy is Love’s eternal quest for “Self-analysing reflection.” 5 And the Wisdom of Love is neither fundamental because it is the substratum of conditioned being, nor pre-eminent because it wells up from the Heart of Being: it is fundamental and pre-eminent because it is Love Itself or “Homogenous Sympathy.” 6 Neither sophistry nor tapas can penetrate Its shield. Only brotherly love can unveil Its virgin innocence, unsullied by matter, to the inner sight.
Says Paracelsus, learned Theosophist and far-famed physician-Occultist:
The great majority of the “investigators of theosophy” do not love wisdom, they only desire it; they desire to possess it for the purpose of adorning themselves with it; but wisdom is no man’s servant — it comes only to those who, abandoning self, sacrifice themselves in the spirit of wisdom. Those who seek the truth for their own benefit and gratification will never find it, but the truth finds those in whom the delirium of “self” disappears, and it becomes manifested in them.
Another difficulty admitted by students of The Secret Doctrine comes from its bewildering assortment of philosophical terms and foreign words. And because they are drawn from a multiplicity of old languages, ideographs, and ciphers, their archetypal pattern cannot be readily imparted to English — or any other language for that matter. They have to be learned by rote as a new language, the Mystery Language.
In order to give enquirers a head start, dozens of metaphysical concepts used by Blavatsky throughout her works were distilled down to four. Moreover, rather than imposing etymological uniformity by adopting the terms of a particular school of philosophy, two Sanskrit (Parabrahman and Mulaprakriti) terms, one Greek (Logos), and one Tibetan-Mongolian (Fohat) were chosen simply because they are used more frequently than others. These are not mere words that can be understood by another word in the spiritually impoverished vocabularies of modern diction: they are critical conceptual aids to understanding the selections on the origin of the universe and evolution of consciousness that follow in the next chapter.
Without the study of cosmogony and theogony which teach the hidden value of every force in Nature and their direct correspondence to, and relation with, the forces in man (or the principles), no occult psychophysics or knowledge of man as he truly is, is possible. No one is forced to study esoteric philosophy unless he likes it, nor has anyone ever confused Occultism with Buddhism or Vedantism.
Their principal aspects will now be presented in separate compilations below. Other aspects, epithets, and synonyms are shown in Appendices D to G, p. 343ff.
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