Every Divine Illumination, whilst going forth with love in various ways to the objects of its forethought, remains one. Nor is this all: it also unifies the things illuminated.
— Dionysius the Areopagite 1
“Deluded victims of distorted truth, they forget, or never knew, that discord is the harmony of the Universe” 2 points out Master KH. GRS Mead cites Simon the Magus on the philosophical necessity of discord:
. . . they who give ear to the Logos (the Word or Supreme Reason) know that “All is One” (εν παντα ειδεναι). Such an admission [Simon Magus] calls, “Reflex Harmony” (παλιντροπος αρμονιη), like unto the Supernal Harmony, which [Simon] calls Hidden or Occult, and declares its superiority to the Manifested Harmony. The ignorance and misery of men arise from their not acting according to this Harmony, that is to say, according to (Divine) Nature (κατα φυσιν).3
Duality is struggle and delusion only when thinking “inside the box.” For those in tune with their higher mental faculties, duality is Nature’s magical instrument to apprehend the potentialities of the Ideal Mind through the perceptions and assimilations of self-conscious minds. For ideals do not exist “in imagination only.” 4 They exist to be experienced here and now by “Infinite Potency born from the concealed Potentiality.” 5
Above, LIGHT; below, Life. The former is ever immutable; the latter manifests under the aspects of countless differentiations. According to the occult law, all potentialities included in the higher become differentiated reflections in the lower; and according to the same law, nothing which is differentiated can be blended with the homogeneous.6 . . . Occultism teaches that no form can be given to anything, either by nature or by man, whose ideal type does not already exist on the subjective plane. More than this; that no such form or shape can possibly enter man’s consciousness, or evolve in his imagination, which does not exist in prototype, at least as an approximation.7 . . . In human nature, evil denotes only the polarity of matter and Spirit, a struggle for life between the two manifested Principles in Space and Time, which principles are one per se, inasmuch as they are rooted in the Absolute. In Kosmos, the equilibrium must be preserved. The operations of the two contraries produce harmony, like the centripetal and centrifu- gal forces, which are necessary to each other — mutually interdependent — “in order that both should live.” If one is arrested, the action of the other will become immediately self-destructive.1
In her own analysis of Simon’s Æonology, HP Blavatsky explains the Doctrine of Emanations, i.e., how Divine Ideation is called forth into existence: From the Potency of Thought, Divine Ideation thus passed to Action. Hence the series of primordial emanations through Thought begetting the Act, the objective side of Fire being the Mother, the secret side of it being the Father. Simon [Magus] called these emanations Syzygies (a united pair or couple), for they emanated two-by-two, one as an active and the other as a passive Æon. Three couples thus emanated. . . . Let us see what Simon himself says: “Each of these six primitive beings contained the entire infinite Potency [of its parent] but it was there only in Potency, and not in Act. That Potency had to be called forth (or conformed) through an image in order that it should manifest in all its essence, virtue, grandeur and effects; for only then could the emanated Potency become similar to its parent, the eternal and infinite Potency. If, on the contrary, it remained simply potentially in the six Potencies and failed to be conformed through an image, then the Potency would not pass into action, but would get lost”; 2 in clearer terms, it would become atrophied, as the modern expression goes.3
Seeds of virtue are natural to our constitution and will lead us to a happy life, says Cicero: Had nature given us faculties for discerning and viewing herself, and could we go through life by keeping our eye on her — our best guide — there would be no reason certainly why anyone should be in want of philosophy or learning; but, as it is, she has furnished us only with some feeble rays of light, which we immediately extinguish so completely by evil habits and erroneous opinions that the light of nature is nowhere visible. The seeds of virtues are natural to our constitutions, and, were they suffered to come to maturity, would naturally conduct us to a happy life; but now, as soon as we are born and received into the world, we are instantly familiarised with all kinds of depravity and perversity of opinions; so that we may be said almost to suck in error with our nurse’s milk. When we return to our parents, and are put into the hands of tutors and governors, we are imbued with so many errors that truth gives place to falsehood, and nature herself to established opinion.4
“Concretion follows the lines of abstraction.” 1 Visualising an ideal and absorbing its essence by applying it to everyday life bestows the confidence and certainty of personal experience. And what counts is labouring for the love of it,2 not for the accolade. What counts above all is personal effort and character content. The notion that we have to fend for ourselves in a “hostile” world, where the strong “survives” at the expense of the weak, is mistaken as well as distasteful. We are not hordes of self-inflated egos preying on each other. We are a company of divine sparks enlightening the darkness of the material world. “We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” 3 “The Father and I are one” 4 says St John. “The sun is one, but its beams are numberless; and the effects produced are beneficent or maleficent, according to the nature and constitution of the objects they shine upon” 5 says Blavatsky. “Men are different but Man is one” 6 remarks BP Wadia. Sparks may be many but the Fire is One. We, the “Sons of Fire,” 7 are It’s living manifestation. We are our Father’s Dream, the “Love of Gods,” 8 the Dream that never dies.9
But what exactly is an individual, and what brings about individualisation?
. . . (pursuant) Desire is, par excellence, the individualiser, the bringer of the self to a focus, the intensifier of its separate existence and feel (while renunciant Desire disintegrates [the false individuality]). 10
I-maker or Manas-Mind is the real individualiser (ahamkara), “the intensifier of the personal,” says Bhagavan Das. “Kama, Desire, existed, appeared, first. It was the seed of mind, manas. The sages sought and wisely found in the heart, the primal kinsman, the root, of the existent in the non-existent,” says the Rig-Veda. 11
“The thread between the silent watcher and his shadow 12 (man) becomes stronger” — with every reincarnation. . . . the “Watcher” and his “Shadows”
. . . are one” 1 says Blavatsky. That Silent Watcher (Atman) is our core and being. Our earthly lives, brought into play by cyclic Law, are but shadows whirling around a Living Intellectual Fire — the real Man. Blavatsky sheds more light on the unspeakable sacrifices that sustain sentient life:
Each class of Creators endows man with what it has to give: the one builds his external form; the other gives him its essence, which later on becomes the human Higher Self owing to the personal exertion of the individual; but they could not make men as they were themselves — perfect, because sinless; sinless, because having only the first, pale shadowy outlines of attributes, and these all perfect — from the human standpoint — white, pure and cold as the virgin snow. Where there is no struggle, there is no merit. . . . Perfection, to be fully such, must be born out of imperfection, the incorruptible must grow out of the corruptible, having the latter as its vehicle and basis and contrast. Absolute light is absolute darkness, and vice versa. 2
Dazzled by the glamour of myriads of contrasting but consubstantial twins, one extreme accentuating the other, Man compounds his self-inflicted delusion by misinterpreting differences and confronting fellow travellers who, in sober truth, are himself. He can hardly see the wood for the trees. “He, who being not deluded knoweth me thus as the Supreme Spirit, knoweth all things and worships me under every form and condition” 3 says Krishna. The idea of the World throbbing with One Mind and One Heart, even within its spurious polarisation and warring factions, is yet to be realised by men at large. Beneath the beauty of youth, great men can see the Intellectual Beauty from which it emanates.
. . . the Deity sends the glory of youth before the soul, that it may avail itself of beautiful bodies as aids to its recollection of the celestial good and fair; and the man beholding such a person in the female sex runs to her, and finds the highest joy in contemplating the form, movement, and intelligence of this person, because it suggests to him the presence of that which indeed is within the beauty, and the cause of the beauty.
As endless differentiations and dissimilarities tend to obscure the Purpose of Love that keeps everything together within The One, the wayfarer may wish to ponder once more upon Dionysius’ thoughts in the beginning of this section, and Appendix J: “A marriage made in heaven,” pp. 377-78.
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