These three are the containment of Space; or, as a learned Kabalist has defined it: “Space, the all-containing uncontained, is the primary embodiment of simple Unity ... boundless extension.”508 But, he asks again: “boundless extension of what?”—and makes the correct reply: “The Unknown Container of All, the Unknown First Cause.” This is a most correct definition and answer; most esoteric and true, from every aspect of Occult Teaching.
Space, which, in their ignorance and with their iconoclastic tendency to destroy every philosophic idea of old, the modern wiseacres have proclaimed “an abstract idea” and a “void,” is, in reality, the Container and the Body of the Universe in its Seven Principles. It is a Body of limitless extent, whose Principles, in Occult phraseology—each being in its turn a septenary—manifest in our phenomenal World only the grossest fabric of their sub-divisions. “No one has ever seen the Elements in their fulness,” the Doctrine teaches. We have to search for our Wisdom in the original expressions and synonyms of the primeval peoples. Even the Jews, the latest of these, show the same idea, in their Kabalistic teachings, when they speak of the seven-headed Serpent of Space, called the “Great Sea.”
In the beginning, the Alhim created the Heavens and the Earth; the Six [Sephiroth].... They created Six, and on these all things are based. And these [Six] depend upon the seven forms of the Cranium up to the Dignity of all Dignities.509
Now Wind, Air and Spirit have ever been synonymous in every nation. Pneuma (Spirit) and Anemos (Wind), with the Greeks, Spiritus and Ventus, with the Latins, were convertible terms, even if dissociated from the original idea of the Breath of Life. In the “Forces” of Science we see but the material effect of the spiritual effect of one or other of the four primordial Elements, transmitted to us by the Fourth Race just as we shall transmit Æther, or rather its gross sub-division, in its fulness to the Sixth Root-Race.
Chaos was called senseless by the Ancients, because—Chaos and Space being synonymous—it represented and contained in itself all the Elements in their rudimentary, undifferentiated State. They made Æther, the fifth Element, the synthesis of the other four; for the Æther of the Greek philosophers was not its Dregs, although indeed they knew more than Science does now of these Dregs (Ether), which are rightly enough supposed to act as an agent for many Forces that manifest on Earth. Their Æther was the kâsha of the Hindûs; the Ether accepted in Physics is but one of its sub-divisions, on our plane, the Astral Light of the Kabalists with all its evil as well as its good effects.
Seeing that the Essence of Æther, or the Unseen Space, was considered divine, as being the supposed Veil of Deity, it was regarded as the Medium between this life and the next. The Ancients considered that when the directing active Intelligences—the Gods—retired from any portion of Æther in our Space, or the four realms which they superintend, then that particular region was left in the possession of evil, so called by reason of the absence from it of good.
The existence of Spirit in the common Mediator, the Ether, is denied by Materialism; while Theology makes of it a Personal God. But the Kabalist holds that both are wrong, saying that in Ether, the elements represent only Matter, the blind Cosmic Forces of Nature; while Spirit represents the Intelligence which directs them. The ryan, Hermetic, Orphic, and Pythagorean cosmogonical doctrines, as well as those of Sanchuniathon and Berosus, are all based upon one irrefutable formula, viz., that Æther and Chaos, or, in the Platonic language, Mind and Matter, were the two primeval and eternal principles of the Universe, utterly independent of anything else. The former was the all-vivifying intellectual principle, while Chaos was a shapeless liquid principle, without “form or sense”; from the union of which two sprang into existence the Universe, or rather the Universal World, the first Androgynous Deity—Chaotic Matter becoming its Body, and Ether its Soul. According to the phraseology of a Fragment of Hermeias: “Chaos, from this union with Spirit, obtaining sense, shone with pleasure, and thus was produced Protogonos the (First-Born) Light.”510 This is the universal Trinity, based on the metaphysical conceptions of the Ancients, who, reasoning by analogy, made of man, who is a compound of Intellect and Matter, the Microcosm of the Macrocosm, or Great Universe.511
“Nature abhors Vacuum” said the Peripatetics, who though Materialists in their way, comprehended perhaps why Democritus, with his instructor Leucippus, taught that the first principles of all things contained in the Universe were Atoms and a Vacuum. The latter means simply latent Force or Deity, which, before its first manifestation—when it became Will, communicating the first impulse to these Atoms—was the great Nothingness, Ain Suph, or No-Thing; and, therefore, to every sense, a Void, or Chaos.
This Chaos, however, became the “Soul of the World,” according to Plato and the Pythagoreans. According to Hindû teaching, Deity, in the shape of Æther or kâsha, pervades all things. It was called, therefore, by the Theurgists the “Living Fire,” the “Spirit of Light,” and sometimes “Magnes.” According to Plato, the highest Deity itself built the Universe in the geometrical form of the dodecahedron, and its “First-Begotten” was born of Chaos and Primordial Light—the Central Sun. This First-Born, however, was only the aggregate of the Host of the Builders, the first Constructive Forces, who are called in ancient Cosmogonies, the Ancients, born of the Deep or Chaos, and the First Point. He is the Tetragrammaton, so-called, at the head of the Seven lower Sephiroth. This was also the belief of the Chaldeans. Philo, the Jew, speaking very flippantly of the first instructors of his ancestors, writes as follows:
These Chaldeans were of opinion that the Kosmos, among the things that exist [?], is a single Point, either being itself God [Theos] or that in it is God, comprehending the Soul of all things.512
Chaos, Theos, Kosmos are but the three symbols of their synthesis—Space. One can never hope to solve the mystery of this Tetraktys, by holding to the dead-letter even of the old philosophies as now extant. But even in these, Chaos, Theos, Kosmos and Space are identified in all Eternity, as the One Unknown Space, the last word on which will never, perhaps, be known, before our Seventh Round. Nevertheless, the allegories and metaphysical symbols about the primeval and perfect Cube, are remarkable, even in the exoteric Purânas.
There, also, Brahmâ is Theos, evolving out of Chaos, or the Great Deep, the Waters, over which Spirit or Space—the Spirit moving over the face of the future boundless Kosmos—is silently hovering, in the first hour of reäwakening. It is also Vishnu, sleeping on Ananta-Shesha, the great Serpent of Eternity, of which Western Theology, ignorant of the Kabalah, the only key that opens the secrets of the Bible, has made—the Devil. It is the first Triangle or the Pythagorean Triad, the “God of the three Aspects,” before it is transformed, through the perfect quadrature of the Infinite Circle, into the “four-faced” Brahmâ. “Of him who is and yet is not, from Non-Being, the Eternal Cause, is born the Being, Purusha,” says Manu, the legislator.
In the Egyptian mythology, Kneph, the Eternal Unrevealed God, is represented by a snake-emblem of Eternity encircling a water urn, with its head hovering over the waters, which it incubates with its breath. In this case, the Serpent is the Agathodaimôn, the Good Spirit; in its opposite aspect, it is the Kakodaimôn, the Evil Spirit. In the Scandinavian Eddas, the honey-dew, the fruit of the Gods, and of the creative busy Yggdrasil bees, falls during the hours of night, when the atmosphere is impregnated with humidity; and in the Northern mythologies, as the passive principle of creation, it typifies the creation of the Universe out of Water. This dew is the Astral Light in one of its combinations, and possesses creative as well as destructive properties. In the Chaldean legend of Berosus, Oannes or Dagon, the man-fish, instructing the people, shows the infant World created out of Water, and all beings originating from this Prima Materia. Moses teaches that only Earth and Water can bring into existence a Living Soul: and we read in the Scriptures that herbs could not grow until the Eternal caused it to rainupon Earth. In the Mexican Popol Vuh, man is created out of mud or clay (terre glaise), taken from under the Water. Brahmâ creates the great Muni, or first man, seated on his Lotus, only after having called spirits into being, who thus enjoyed over mortals a priority of existence; and he creates him out of Water, Air and Earth. Alchemists claim that the primordial or pre-adamic Earth, when reduced to its first substance, is in its second stage of transformation like clear Water, the first being the Alkahest proper. This primordial substance is said to contain within itself the essence of all that goes to make up man; it contains not only all the elements of his physical being, but even the “breath of life” in a latent state, ready to be awakened. This it derives from the “incubation” of the “Spirit of God”upon the face of the Waters—Chaos. In fact, this substance is Chaos itself. From this it was that Paracelsus claimed to be able to make his Homunculi; and this is why Thales, the great natural philosopher, maintained that Water was the principle of all things in nature.513... Job says that dead things are formed from under the Waters, and the inhabitants thereof.514 In the original text, instead of “dead things,” it is written dead Rephaim, Giants or mighty Primitive Men, from whom Evolution may one day trace our present race.515
“In the primordial state of the creation,” says Polier's Mythologie des Indous, “the rudimental Universe, submerged in Water, reposed in the bosom of Vishnu. Sprung from this Chaos and Darkness, Brahmâ, the Architect of the World, poised on a lotus-leaf, floated [moved] upon the waters, unable to discern anything but water and darkness.” Perceiving such a dismal state of things, Brahmâ soliloquizes in consternation: “Who am I? Whence came I?” Then he hears a voice:516 “Direct your thoughts to Bhagavat.” Brahmâ, rising from his natatory position, seats himself upon the lotus, in an attitude of contemplation, and reflects upon the Eternal, who, pleased with this evidence of piety, disperses the primeval darkness and opens his understanding. “After this Brahmâ issues from the Universal Egg [Infinite Chaos] as Light, for his understanding is now opened, and he sets himself to work. He moves on the eternal Waters, with the Spirit of God within himself; and in his capacity of Mover of the Waters he is Vishnu, or Nârâyana.”
This is, of course, exoteric; yet, in its main idea, it is as identical as possible with the Egyptian Cosmogony, which, in its opening sentences, shows Athtor,517 or Mother Night, representing Illimitable Darkness, as the Primeval Element which covered the Infinite Abyss, animated by Water and the Universal Spirit of the Eternal, dwelling alone in Chaos. Similarly in the Jewish Scriptures, the history of the creation opens with the Spirit of God and his creative Emanation—another Deity.518
The Zohar teaches that it is the Primordial Elements—the trinity of Fire, Air and Water—the Four Cardinal Points, and all the Forces of Nature, which form collectively the Voice of the Will, Memrab, or the Word, the Logos of the Absolute Silent All. “The indivisible Point, limitless and unknowable,” spreads itself over space, and thus forms a Veil, the Mûlaprakriti of Parabrahman, which conceals this Absolute Point.
In the Cosmogonies of all the nations it is the Architects, synthesized by the Demiurge, in the Bible the Elohim, or Alhim, who fashion Kosmos out of Chaos, and who are the collective Theos, male-female, Spirit and Matter. “By a series (yom) of foundations (hasoth), the Alhim caused earth and heaven to be.”519 In Genesis, it is first Alhim, then Jahva-Alhim, and finally Jehovah—after the separation of the sexes in the fourth chapter. It is noticeable that nowhere, except in the later, or rather the last, Cosmogonies of our Fifth Race does the ineffable and unutterable Name520—the symbol of the Unknown Deity, which was used only in the Mysteries—occur in connection with the “Creation” of the Universe. It is the Movers, the Runners, the Theoi (from θ?ειν to run), who do the work of formation, the Messengers of the Manvantaric Law, who have now become in Christianity simply the “Messengers” (Malachim). This seems to be also the case in Hindûism or early Brâhmanism. For in the Rig Veda, it is not Brahmâ who creates, but the Prajâpatis, the “Lords of Being,” who are also the Rishis; the term Rishi, according to Professor Mahadeo Kunte, being connected with the word to move, to lead on, applied to them in their terrestrial character, when, as Patriarchs, they lead their Hosts on the Seven Rivers.
Moreover, the very word “God,” in the singular, embracing all the Gods, or Theoi, came to the “superior” civilized nations from a strange source, one as entirely and preëminently phallic as the sincere outspokenness of the Indian Lingham. The attempt to derive God from the Anglo-Saxon synonym Good is an abandoned idea, for in no other language, from the Persian Khoda down to the Latin Deus, has an instance been found of the name for God being derived from the attribute of Goodness. To the Latin races it comes from the ryan Dyaus (the Day); to the Slavonian, from the Greek Bacchus (Bagh-bog); and to the Saxon races directly from the Hebrew Yod, or Jod. The latter is ? the number-letter 10, male and female, and Yod is the phallic hook. Hence the Saxon Godh, the Germanic Gott, and the English God. This symbolic term may be said to represent the Creator of Physical Humanity, on the terrestrial plane; but surely it had nothing to do with the Formation, or “Creation,” of either Spirit, Gods, or Kosmos?
Chaos-Theos-Kosmos, the Triple Deity, is all in all. Therefore, it is said to be male and female, good and evil, positive and negative; the whole series of contrasted qualities. When latent, in Pralaya, it is incognizable and becomes the Unknowable Deity. It can be known only in its active functions; hence as Matter-Force and living Spirit, the correlations and outcome, or the expression, on the visible plane, of the ultimate and ever-to-be unknown Unity.
In its turn this Triple Unit is the producer of the Four Primary Elements,521 which are known, in our visible terrestrial Nature, as the seven (so far the five) Elements, each divisible into forty-nine—seven times seven—sub-elements, with about seventy of which Chemistry is acquainted. Every Cosmical Element, such as Fire, Air, Water, Earth, partaking of the qualities and defects of its Primaries, is in its nature Good and Evil, Force or Spirit, and Matter, etc.; and each, therefore, is at one and the same time Life and Death, Health and Disease, Action and Reaction. They are ever forming Matter, under the never-ceasing impulse of the One Element, the Incognizable, represented in the world of phenomena by Æther. They are “the immortal Gods who give birth and life to all.”
In The Philosophical Writings of Solomon Ben Yehudah Ibn Gebirol, in treating of the structure of the Universe, it is said:
R. Yehudah began, it is written: “Elohim said: Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters.” Come, see! At the time that the Holy ... created the World, He created 7 heavens Above. He created 7 earths Below, 7 seas, 7 days, 7 rivers, 7 weeks, 7 years, 7 times, and 7,000 years that the World has been. The Holy is in the seventh of all.522
This, besides showing a strange identity with the Cosmogony of the Purânas,523 corroborates all our teachings with regard to number seven, as briefly given in Esoteric Buddhism.
The Hindûs have an endless series of allegories to express this idea. In the Primordial Chaos, before it became developed into the Sapta Samudra, or Seven Oceans—emblematical of the Seven Gunas, or conditioned Qualities, composed of Trigunas (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas)—lie latent both Amrita, or Immortality, and Visha, or Poison, Death, Evil. This is to be found in the allegorical Churning of the Ocean by the Gods. Amrita is beyond any Guna, for it is unconditioned, per se; but when once fallen into phenomenal creation, it became mixed with Evil, Chaos, with latent Theos in it, before Kosmos was evolved. Hence we find Vishnu, the personification of Eternal Law, periodically calling forth Kosmos into activity, or, in allegorical phraseology, churning out of the Primitive Ocean, or Boundless Chaos, the Amrita of Eternity, reserved only for the Gods and Devas; and in the task he has to employ Nâgas and Asuras, or Demons in exoteric Hindûism. The whole allegory is highly philosophical, and indeed we find it repeated in every ancient system of philosophy. Thus we find it in Plato, who having fully embraced the ideas which Pythagoras had brought from India, compiled and published them in a form more intelligible than the original mysterious numerals of the Samian Sage. Thus the Kosmos is the “Son” with Plato, having for his Father and Mother Divine Thought and Matter.524
“The Egyptians,” says Dunlap, “distinguish between an older and younger Horus; the former the brother of Osiris, the latter the son of Osiris and Isis.”525 The first is the Idea of the World remaining in the Demiurgic Mind, “born in Darkness before the Creation of the World.” The second Horus is this Idea going forth from the Logos, becoming clothed with Matter, and assuming an actual existence.526
The Chaldean Oracles speak of the “Mundane God, eternal, boundless, young and old, of winding form.”527 This “winding form” is a figure to express the vibratory motion of the Astral Light, with which the ancient priests were perfectly well acquainted, though the name “Astral Light” was invented by the Martinists.
Cosmolatry has the finger of scorn pointed at its superstitions by Modern Science. Science, however, before laughing at it, ought, as advised by a French savant, “to entirely remodel its own system of cosmo-pneumatological education.” Satis eloquentiæ, sapientiæ parum! Cosmolatry, like Pantheism, in its ultimate expression, may be made to express itself in the same words in which the Purâna describes Vishnu:
He is only the ideal cause of the potencies to be created in the work of creation; and from him proceed the potencies to be created, after they have become the real cause. Save that one ideal cause, there is no other to which the world can be referred.... Through the potency of that cause, every created thing comes by its proper nature.528
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