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The Hill of Discernment

By Alfred Trevor Barker

The Occult Law of Correspondence and Analogy

What is the whole Theosophical conception of the doctrine of Correspondence and Analogy based upon? It must have a basis, and one of the most ancient axioms upon which it is founded is the Hermetic one, which goes something like this: True without error, certain most true: that which is above is as that which is below, and that which is below is as that which is above, for performing the marvels of the Cosmos. "For performing the marvels of the Cosmos" — that is a strange phrase, is it not? The key to it you will find in that very remarkable twelfth chapter of Isis Unveiled, Vol. II, p. 635, where H. P. B. states that "The trinity of nature is the lock of magic and the trinity in man is the key that fits it." It is because this threefold nature of man, or if you like to call it sevenfold nature of man, fits the threefold, sevenfold, or tenfold lock of magic of Nature and the Universe, that it is possible by a knowledge of these principles of correspondence to perform the marvels that are recorded as achieved by all the Great Sages and Magicians of past ages. They all use the same method: the sovereign will of the illuminated Adept acts through his unified sevenfold nature upon the corresponding part of that aspect of matter or Prakriti wherein he desires to produce his phenomenal results. In other words every one of our sevenfold principles or vehicles of consciousness is necessarily built of matter; and these principles, or the matter of which they are composed, necessarily relate us to the corresponding plane of matter in the vast Universe. For instance our body relates us to the planet Earth on which we live; our Linga-sarira, our astral body, relates us to the corresponding principle of the Globe, and so on, right through all the different planes of Nature and being; and once the Adept is freed so that he can at will mount the stairway of his own inner being, changing the level at which his consciousness at any one time is polarized, either in his material physical brain; in the mayavi-rupa; in the thought-world; in the principle of direct knowledge and cognition which we call the intuition, or Buddhic principle — aye, even Atman itself: once he can do that — which is necessarily a very advanced state of being — he is freed of all the planes in the Universe; and by a knowledge of the principles of Nature he can call upon and utilize any of the sevenfold principles, which contain all the forces and energies in the Cosmos, and do literally what he wants, because he is a self-conscious being. This is one aspect of what is called liberation being free to roam through the spaces of space — outer and inner, on this planet and the other Sacred Planets of our Solar System. Continuing from the twelfth chapter of Isis Unveiled, Volume II, pages 587-8:

Nature is triune: there is a visible, objective nature; an invisible, indwelling, energizing nature, the exact model of the other, and its vital principle; and, above these two, spirit, source of all forces, alone eternal, and indestructible. The lower two constantly change: the higher third does not.
Immediately now we get an example of correspondence:

Man is also triune: he has his objective, physical body; his vitalizing astral body (or soul), the real man; and these two are brooded over and illuminated by the third — the sovereign, the immortal spirit. When the real man succeeds in merging himself with the latter, he becomes an immortal entity.
and only an Immortal entity is free of the planes of Nature in the sense that I have tried to express to you.

I will try to show by analogy, and by direct reference to parts of the teaching that are well known to you just how this law of correspondence works. If those axiomatic propositions which I have just read to you are true, then you will find that you can understand the first Fundamental Proposition of The Secret Doctrine by a knowledge of these principles. You have the threefold principles in operation in the very highest metaphysical triad that you can think of: the Boundless, the Absolute, That upon which no speculation is possible, symbolized in The Secret Doctrine under the aspect of Eternal Duration. You also have the abstract idea of Space, and the abstract idea of Motion. Come down a stage in your thought, and apply the same rule of correspondence, and you find in the manifested Universe the whole of Nature pervaded by duality, corresponding to what? — to motion and to space. You find it reflected in Spirit and Matter, in your own consciousness, and in the elements and principles of which the Cosmos is composed. Where is the third mysterious, connecting link between Spirit and Matter that H. P. B. speaks of in this first Fundamental Proposition? Obviously that mysterious force which unites Spirit and Matter is in the nature of man supplied by the bridge that in The Voice of the Silence is called antahkarana. It is the power of upward aspiring thought that connects your lower, personal soul or perishable self with the Immortal and indestructible Divine Ego. Note that this mysterious bridge or link on the scale of correspondence that I am now speaking of depends upon upward aspiring thought and nothing else. If it is a low kind of thought, identified with matter, there is no bridge between the lower part of the man and the higher; and such a man in such a state of consciousness is unable to use this threefold key which fits the lock of magic. He can never become a magician; he can never become an Adept or a disciple, let alone a Master of Wisdom.

Space — the seven-skinned Mother — a curious phrase: the seven-skinned Mother. It means the differentiated matter or material or substance of which our Solar system or our Universe is composed. The most usual way of thinking about the planes of being, or the substance of which they are composed, is by reference to the elements and principles. Now, is there any difference between the principles and elements? The elements you are probably familiar with under the names of Aether or Akasa, earth, air, fire, water. These may not mean a great deal to you, but the principles which or rather without which these elements would not exist, are possibly more familiar to you, for they are the sevenfold dynamic, spiritual and Cosmic energies which course through our own consciousness, and which keep the planets in rotation and being. In fact they are an expression of what the Brahmins called the Tattwas. What are the Tattwas They are the forces that are distributed to us through the Seven Sacred Planets, and to use the Brahminical phraseology they are: Adi-tattwa, the highest, most spiritual one, Anupapadaka-tattwa, Akasa-tattwa, Vayu-tattwa, Taijasa-tattwa, Apas-tattwa, and Prithivi-tattwa.

Beginning at the bottom the forces come to us: — Prithivi from Mercury, Apas from Venus, Taijasa from Mars (that is why it is red in color), Vayu from Jupiter, Akasa from Saturn. The highest spiritual Tattwas come from the two Sacred Planets connected with the Sun and Moon, and when I say connected with the Sun and Moon I mean that intra-mercurial planet which some modern astronomers christened Vulcan, and that mysterious body which lies behind the Moon — very close to the Moon, but which is actually a planet. There is a planet situated just behind the Moon, and you will say to me "Well, if there is why don't we see it?" If we had the eyes to see it we should see it, but there are many more planets than are ever suspected by astronomers in our Solar system, who now only recognise seven. We cannot see this particular one, simply because it is on a plane of matter which is a little bit higher than our ordinary physical sight will enable us to perceive; but it is the explanation, I believe you will find, as to why the Moon is called one of the Sacred Planets, which otherwise it is not, because it is a dead planet. Nevertheless the Moon is the transmitter to us of some of the highest spiritual energies that we receive, as well as some influences which are distinctly evil.

I will try to elucidate just a little further these tattwic forces. They are not so mysterious as you think, because each one of our sevenfold principles is directly related to one of these planets, and is the particular vehicle of that planet with which it has a direct correspondence. All these spiritual energies play through all the principles, because every principle is sevenfold in its turn, and seven times seven make up the forty-nine fires spoken of in The Secret Doctrine. On page 153, Volume I, The Secret Doctrine, the correspondence between the human principles and the seven Globes of the planetary chain is very clearly set out if you refer to the diagram. "These invisible companions" (i. e. the invisible companion Globes of the planet — our Earth, H. P. B. says) "correspond curiously to that which we call 'the principles in Man.' " Rather an odd phrase — "correspond curiously." One might be led to suppose that the seven Globes of the Planetary Chain are actually the higher principles of the planet. Now the question is, are they, or are they not? This word "curiously" seems to suggest there is a snag somewhere, so I just point it out to you.

Here is another passage from The Secret Doctrine, Volume I, pp. 154-5:

It is said that the planetary chains have their "Days" and their "Nights" — i. e., periods of activity or life, and of inertia or death — and behave in heaven as do men on Earth: they generate their likes, get old, and become personally extinct, their spiritual principles only living in their progeny as a survival of themselves.
Do you not see the master-hand in that paragraph?

It reminds one of another statement in The Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, pp. 203-4, in reference to the birth of a comet:

A laya-centre is lighted and awakened into life by the fires of another "pilgrim," after which the new "centre" rushes into space and becomes a comet. It is only after losing its velocity, and hence its fiery tail, that the "Fiery Dragon" settles down into quiet and steady life as a regular respectable citizen of the sidereal family. . . .
And what is there so impossible that a laya centre — a lump of cosmic protoplasm, homogeneous and latent, when suddenly animated or fired up — should rush from its bed in Space and whirl throughout the abysmal depths in order to strengthen its homogeneous organism by an accumulation and addition of differentiated elements? And why should not such a comet settle in life, live, and become an inhabited globe!
So here we have some analogy and correspondence.

Bearing in mind that other phrase that the invisible Globes of the Planetary Chain "correspond curiously" with the principles in Man, listen to this from p. 159, Vol. I, The Secret Doctrine:

Our Earth, as the visible representative of its invisible superior fellow globes, its "lords" or "principles," has to live, as have the others, through seven Rounds.
That looks as if the higher principles of the Planetary Chain are the seven principles. I wonder how we can resolve the difficulty. I suggest a reference to The Mahatma Letters. I am going to read to you several passages because they are extraordinarily apropos. Master M. is describing the birth of a Globe. We quote verbatim from pp. 70-1, filling in words missing in the original MS.:

Nothing in nature springs into existence suddenly all being subjected to the same law of gradual evolution. Realize but once the process of the maha cycle, of one sphere and you have realized them all. One man is born like another man, one race evolves, develops, and declines like another and all other races. Nature follows the same groove from the "creation" of a universe down to that of a moskito. In studying esoteric cosmogony, keep a spiritual eye upon the physiological process of human birth; proceed from cause to effect establishing as you go along, analogies between the birth of a man and that of a world. In our doctrine you will find necessary the synthetic method; you will have to embrace the whole universe — that is to say to blend the macrocosm and the microcosm together — before you are enabled to study the parts separately or analyze them with profit to your understanding. Cosmology is the physiology of the universe spiritualized, for there is but one law.
You notice we are to "keep a spiritual eye upon the physiological process of human birth." Why? Because it gives the key to what happens in the inner worlds. We have discussed the relation or correspondence between the birth of a little child and its rebirth in the after life in the state of Devachan, and you have here an exactly analogical process. The birth of a child is preceded by a gestation period, in which the child is unconscious, and the birth of a man in the spiritual world after death is preceded by a gestation period in which he is unconscious. Then when he is reborn he begins his spiritual meditation at that point where his first conscious spiritual memories of his last earth life began, and then working them out, corresponding exactly to the course of the man on earth. We all experience this. We know that we are born on this planet; we know that we must die; and we can reason from this, by this occult law of analogy and correspondence that because it happens to man therefore it must happen to planets, and it must happen to solar systems. All wake and sleep, sleep and wake; there is day and night, there are the seasons of the year, the rising and falling all these things reflecting the of the tides, the sun and the moon — a law of analogy and correspondence in themselves — showing the marvelous interdependence of every part of the Universe and its perfect harmony.

Let us turn to another passage describing the birth of a world (The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, p. 94):

Now the life impulse reaches "A" or rather that which is destined to become "A" and which so far is but cosmic dust. A centre is formed in the nebulous matter of the condensation of the solar dust disseminated through space and a series of three evolutions invisible to the eye of flesh occur in succession, viz., three kingdoms of elementals or nature forces are evoluted: in other words the animal soul of the future world is formed; or as a Kabalist will express it, the gnomes, the salamanders, and the undines are created. The correspondence between a mother-globe and her child-man may be thus worked out. Both have their seven principles.
Those seven must necessarily correspond with the seven planetary types. This is important. Please note it because there are in everything in nature, these sevenfold Cosmic energies showing themselves, so that there are seven main types or classes of minerals, or may I put it this way: that every mineral will fall into one of the seven tattvic and therefore planetary groups. The same in the vegetable world. Look bow important this is from a physiological point of view, in the cure of disease, for example. The occult therapeutist of ancient days knew the Cosmic relation and correspondence between planets, minerals, plants, animals and man, and was therefore enabled to select the particular mineral or herb which corresponded to the nature of the patient, and so cured him: this is what we have to rediscover. The homeopaths have got on to this principle, knowingly or unknowingly. Possibly Hahnemann, the originator of the system, knew. He seems to have been a man with occult knowledge of some kind. In homeopathy it is possible to find for each individual what is called his constitutional remedy, which always seems to benefit that person, and is therefore worth a very great deal to the patient when once it is discovered. I think it will be found that the plant or mineral from which the medicine was made belonged to the same planetary essence as the patient, and thus gives more satisfactory results, being so to speak in harmony with his own nature.

Now to continue the quotation from page 94 of The Mahatma Letters:

In the Globe, the elementals (of which there are in all seven species) form (a) a gross body, (b) her fluidic double (linga sariram), (c) her life principle (jiva); (d) her fourth principle kama rupa is formed by her creative impulse working from centre to circumference; (e) her fifth principle (animal soul or Manas, physical intelligence) is embodied in the vegetable (in germ) and animal kingdoms; (f) her sixth principle (or spiritual soul, Buddhi) is man (g) and her seventh principle (atma) is in a film of spiritualized akasa that surrounds her.
There we have the basis for understanding what is meant by the seven principles of the Globe. Man is actually the Buddhic principle of the planet on which he lives. Relate that to the occult hierarchy — the Buddhas, the Bodhisattvas, the Dhyan-Chohans, the Wondrous Being, and the Silent Watcher — and you can understand something of what is meant by man being the sixth or Buddhic principle of the Globe on which he lives.



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