The One remains, the many change and pass; Heaven’s light forever shines, earth’s shadows fly; Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass Stains the white radiance of eternity. — Percy Bysshe Shelley
The incognizable Cause does not put forth evolution, whether consciously or unconsciously, but only exhibits periodically different aspects of Itself to the perception of finite Minds. . . . [is the first lesson taught in esoteric philosophy] . . . Now the collective Mind — the Universal — composed of various and numberless Hosts of Creative Powers, however infinite in manifested Time, is still finite when contrasted with the unborn and undecaying Space in its supreme essential aspect. That which is finite cannot be perfect. Therefore there are inferior Beings among those Hosts, but there never were any devils or “disobedient Angels,” for the simple reason that they are all governed by Law.
The changeless LAW causes great periods of activity and rest, the Days and Nights of Brahma, Therefore the “last vibration of the Seventh Eternity” 3 was “fore-ordained” — by no God in particular, but occurred in virtue of the eternal and changeless LAW which causes the great periods of Activity and Rest, called so graphically, and at the same time so poetically, the “Days and Nights of Brahma.”
Governing birth, growth, and rebirth on every planet, through minor and varying laws, The Worlds are built “in the likeness of older Wheels” — i.e., those that existed in preceding Manvantaras and went into Pralaya, because the LAW for the birth, growth, and decay of everything in Kosmos, from the Sun to the glowworm in the grass, is ONE. It is an everlasting work of perfection with every new appearance, but the Substance-Matter and Forces are all one and the same. But this LAW acts on every planet through minor and varying laws.5 . . . There is an eternal cyclic law of rebirths, and the series is headed at every new Manvantaric dawn by those who had enjoyed their rest from reincarnations in previous Kalpas for incalculable Æons — by the highest and the earliest Nirvanis. It was the turn of those “Gods” to incarnate in the present Manvantara.
Always running in circuits, ever-descending and reascending Circles of Necessity, The one Life-principle when in action runs in circuits 2 even as known in physical science. It runs the round in human body, where the head represents and is to the Microcosmos (the physical world of matter) what the summit of the cycle is to the Macrocosmos (the world of universal spiritual Forces); and so with the formation of worlds and the great descending and ascending “circle of necessity.” All is one Law. Man has his seven principles, the germs of which he brings with him at his birth. So has a planet or a world. From first to last every sphere has its world of effects, the passing through which will afford a place of final rest to each of the human principles — the seventh principle excepted.
Thus producing the Eternity of the Pilgrim. “The wayfarer who crosses millions of years, in the name of One, and the great green (primordial water or Chaos) the name of the other,” one begetting millions of years in succession, the other engulfing them, to restore them back. He speaks of the Seven Luminous ones who follow their Lord, who confers justice (Osiris in Amenti).
Man is certainly no special creation, and he is the product of Nature’s gradual perfective work, like any other living unit on this Earth. But this is only with regard to the human tabernacle. That which lives and thinks in man and survives that frame, the masterpiece of evolution — is the “Eternal Pilgrim,” the Protean differentiation in space and time of the One Absolute “unknowable.”
Like an immense chain whose upper end, the alpha, remains invisibly emanating from a Deity. It encircles our globe in every direction; it leaves not even the darkest corner unvisited, before the other end, the omega, turns back on its way to be again received where it first emanated. An Eastern artist has attempted to give pictorial expression to the kabbalistic doctrine of the cycles. The picture covers a whole inner wall of a subterranean temple in the neighbourhood of a great Buddhistic pagoda, and is strikingly suggestive. Let us attempt to convey some idea of the design, as we recall it.
“Imagine a given point in space as the primordial one; then with compasses draw a circle around this point; where the beginning and the end unite together, emanation and reabsorption meet. The circle itself is composed of innumerable smaller circles, like the rings of a bracelet, and each of these minor rings forms the belt of the goddess which represents that sphere. As the curve of the arc approaches the ultimate point of the semi-circle — the nadir of the grand cycle — at which is placed our planet by the mystical painter, the face of each successive goddess becomes more dark and hideous than European imagination is able to conceive. Every belt is covered with the representations of plants, animals, and human beings, belonging to the fauna, flora, and anthropology of that particular sphere. There is a certain distance between each of the spheres, purposely marked; for, after the accomplishment of the circles through various transmigrations, the soul is allowed a time of temporary Nirvana, during which space of time the atman loses all remembrance of past sorrows. The intermediate æthereal space is filled with strange beings. Those between the highest æther and the earth below are the creatures of a ‘middle nature,’ nature-spirits, or, as the Kabbalists term it sometimes, the elementals.”
We are all companions along the same journey of self-discovery, where Spirit keeps exploring through us new vistas of Itself, before withdrawing once more to its status quo ante. . . . Mankind, from the First down to the last, or Seventh Race, is composed of one and the same company of actors, who have descended from higher spheres to perform their artistic tour on this our planet, Earth.1 Starting as pure spirits on our downward journey around the world (verily!) with the knowledge of truth — now feebly echoed in the Occult Doctrines — inherent in us, cyclic law brings us down to the reversed apex of matter, which is lost down here on earth and the bottom of which we have already struck; and then, the same Law of spiritual gravity will make us slowly ascend to still higher, still purer spheres than those we started from.
Statistics of wars and of the periods (or cycles) of the appearance of great men . . . of the periods of development and progress at large commercial centres; of the rise and fall of arts and sciences; of cataclysms, . . . periods of extraordinary cold and heat; cycles of revolutions, and of the rise and fall of empires, etc.
Every now and then Cyclic Law brings us together. . . . The cycles must run their rounds. Periods of mental and moral light and darkness succeed each other, as day does with night. The major and minor yugas must be accomplished according to the established order of things. And we, borne along on the mighty tide, can only modify and direct some of its minor currents.
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