The Secret Doctrine Vol I

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The Secret Doctrine Vol I

By H.P. Blavatsky

Extracts From An Eastern Private Commentary, Hitherto Secret

xvii. The Initial Existence, in the first Twilight of the Mahâmanvantara [after the Mahâpralaya that follows every Age of Brahmâ], is a Conscious Spiritual Quality. In the Manifested Worlds [Solar Systems], it is, in its Objective Subjectivity, like the film from a Divine Breath to the gaze of the entranced seer. It spreads as it issues from Laya433 throughout Infinity as a colourless spiritual fluid. It is on the Seventh Plane, and in its Seventh State, in our Planetary World.434
xviii. It is Substance to our spiritual sight. It cannot be called so by men in their Waking State; therefore they have named it in their ignorance “God-Spirit.”
xix. It exists everywhere and forms the first Upâdhi [Foundation] on which our World [Solar System] is built. Outside the latter, it is to be found in its pristine purity only between [the Solar Systems or] the Stars of the Universe, the Worlds already formed or forming; those in Laya resting meanwhile in its bosom. As its substance is of a different kind from that known on Earth, the inhabitants of the latter, seeing through it, believe in their illusion and ignorance that it is empty space. There is not one finger's breadth [angula] of void Space in the whole Boundless [Universe]....
xx. Matter or Substance is septenary within our World, as it is so beyond it. Moreover, each of its states or principles is graduated into seven degrees of density. Sûrya [the Sun], in its visible reflection, exhibits the first or lowest state of the seventh, the highest state of the Universal Presence, the pure of the pure, the first manifested Breath of the Ever-Unmanifested Sat [Be-ness]. All the central physical or objective Suns are in their substance the lowest state of the first principle of the Breath. Nor are any of these any more than the Reflections of their Primaries, which are concealed from the gaze of all but the Dhyân Chohans, whose corporeal substance belongs to the fifth division of the seventh principle of the Mother-Substance, and is, therefore, four degrees higher than the solar reflected substance. As there are seven Dhâtu [principal substances in the human body], so there are seven Forces in Man and in all Nature.
xxi. The real substance of the Concealed [Sun] is nucleus of Mother-Substance.435 It is the Heart and Matrix of all the living and existing Forces in our Solar Universe. It is the Kernel from which proceed to spread on their cyclic journeys all the Powers that set in action the Atoms, in their functional duties, and the Focus within which they again meet in their Seventh Essence every eleventh year. He who tells thee he has seen the Sun, laugh at him,436 as if he had said that the Sun moves really onward in his diurnal path....
xxiii. It is on account of his septenary nature, that the Sun is spoken of by the ancients as one who is driven by seven horses equal to the metres of the Vedas; or, again, that, though he is identified with the seven Gana [Classes of Being] in his orb, he is distinct from them,437 as he is, indeed; as also that he has Seven Rays, as indeed he has....
xxv. The Seven Beings in the Sun are the Seven Holy Ones, self-born from the inherent power in the Matrix of Mother-Substance. It is they who send the seven principal Forces, called Rays, which at the beginning of Pralaya will centre into seven new Suns for the next Manvantara. The energy, from which they spring into conscious existence in every Sun, is what some people call Vishnu, which is the Breath of the Absoluteness.
We call it the One Manifested life—itself a reflection of the Absolute....
xxvii. The latter must never be mentioned in words or speech, lest it should take away some of our spiritual energies that aspire towards its state, gravitating ever toward unto It spiritually, as the whole physical universe gravitates towards its manifested centre—cosmically.
xxviii. The former—the Initial Existence—which may be called, while in this state of being, the One Life, is, as explained, a Film for creative or formative purposes. It manifests in seven states, which, with their septenary sub-divisions, are the Forty-nine Fires mentioned in sacred books....
xxix. The first is the ... “Mother” [Prima Materia]. Separating itself into its primary seven states, it proceeds down cyclically; when having consolidated itself in its last principle, as gross matter,438 it revolves around itself and informs, with the seventh emanation of the last, the first and the lowest element [the serpent biting its own tail]. In a Hierarchy, or Order of Being, the seventh emanation of her last principle is:
(a) In the Mineral, the Spark that lies latent in it, and is called to its evanescent being by the Positive awakening the Negative [and so forth]....
(b) In the Plant, it is that vital and intelligent Force which informs the seed and develops it into the blade of grass, or the root and sapling. It is the germ which becomes the Upâdhi of the seven principles of the thing it resides in, shooting them out as the latter grows and develops.
(c) In every Animal, it does the same. It is its Life-Principle and vital power; its instinct and qualities; its characteristics and special idiosyncrasies....
(d) To Man, it gives all that it bestows on all the rest of the manifested units in Nature; but develops, furthermore, the reflection of all its “Forty-nine Fires” in him. Each of his seven principles is an heir in full to, and a partaker of, the seven principles of the “Great Mother.” The breath of her first principle is his Spirit [ tmâ]. Her second principle is Buddhi [Soul]. We call it, erroneously, the seventh. The third furnishes him with the Brain Stuff on the physical plane, and with the Mind that moves it [which is the Human Soul.—H. P. B.]—according to his organic capacities.
(e) It is the guiding Force in the cosmic and terrestrial Elements. It resides in the Fire provoked out of its latent into active being; for the whole of the seven sub-divisions of the ... principle reside in the terrestrial Fire. It whirls in the breeze, blows with the hurricane, and sets the air in motion, which element participates in one of its principles also. Proceeding cyclically, it regulates the motion of the water, attracts and repels the waves,439according to fixed laws, of which its seventh principle is the informing soul.
(f) Its four higher principles contain the Germ that develops into the Cosmic Gods; its three lower ones breed the Lives of the Elements [Elementals].
(g) In our Solar World, the One Existence is Heaven and Earth, the Root and the Flower, the Action and the Thought. It is in the Sun, and is as present in the glow-worm. Not an atom can escape it. Therefore, the ancient Sages have wisely called it the manifested God in Nature....
It may be interesting, in this connection, to remind the reader of what T. Subba Row said of the Forces—mystically defined.Kanyâ [the sixth sign of the Zodiac, or Virgo] means a virgin, and represents Shakti or Mahâmâyâ. The sign in question is the sixth Râshi or division, and indicates that there are six primary forces in Nature [synthesized by the Seventh]....
These Shaktis stand as follows:
(1) Parâshakti.—Literally the great or supreme force or power. It means and includes the powers of light and heat.
(2) Jñânashakti.—Literally the power of intellect, of real wisdom or knowledge. It has two aspects:
I. The following are some of its manifestations when placed under the influence or control of material conditions. (a) The power of the mind in interpreting our sensations. (b) Its power in recalling past ideas (memory) and raising future expectation. (c) Its power as exhibited in what are called by modern psychologists “the laws of association,” which enables it to form persisting connections between various groups of sensations and possibilities of sensations, and thus generate the notion or idea of an external object. (d) Its power in connecting our ideas together by the mysterious link of memory, and thus generating the notion of self or individuality.
II. The following are some of its manifestations when liberated from the bonds of matter:
(a) Clairvoyance. (b) Psychometry.
(3) Ichchhâshakti.—Literally the power of the will. Its most ordinary manifestationis the generation of certain nerve currents, which set in motion such muscles as are required for the accomplishment of the desired object.
(4) Kriyâshakti.—The mysterious power of thought which enables it to produce external, perceptible, phenomenal results by its own inherent energy. The ancients held that any idea will manifest itself externally if one's attention is deeply concentrated upon it. Similarly an intense volition will be followed by the desired result.
A Yogi generally performs his wonders by means of Ichchhâshakti and Kriyâshakti.
(5) Kundalinî Shakti.—The power or force which moves in a serpentine or curved path. It is the universal life-principle which everywhere manifests in Nature. This force includes the two great forces of attraction and repulsion. Electricity and magnetism are but manifestations of it. This is the power which brings about that “continuous adjustment of internal relations to external relations,” which is the essence of life according to Herbert Spencer, and that “continuous adjustment of external relations to internal relations,” which is the basis of transmigration of souls, Punarjanman (Re-birth), in the doctrines of the ancient Hindû philosophers.
A Yogi must thoroughly subjugate this power or force, before he can attain Moksha....
(6) Mantrikâshakti.—Literally the force or power of letters, speech or music. The whole of the ancient Mantra Shâstra has this force or power in all its manifestations for its subject matter.... The influence of its music is one of its ordinary manifestations. The power of the mirific ineffable name is the crown of this Shakti.Modern Science has but partly investigated the first, second and fifth of the forces or powers above named, but is altogether in the dark as regards the remaining powers.... The six forces are in their unity represented by the Astral Light [Daiviprakriti, the seventh, the Light of the Logos].440
The above is quoted to show the real Hindû ideas on the subject. It is all esoteric, though not covering the tenth part of what might be said. For one thing, the six names of the six Forces mentioned are those of the six Hierarchies of Dhyân Chohans, synthesized by their Primary, the seventh—who personify the Fifth Principle of Cosmic Nature, or of the “Mother” in its mystical sense. The enumeration alone of the Yoga Powers would require ten volumes. Each of these Forces has a living Conscious Entity at its head, of which Entity it is an emanation.
But let us compare with the Commentary above cited the words of Hermes, the Thrice Great:
The creation of life by the sun is as continuous as his light; nothing arrests or limits it. Around him, like an army of satellites, are innumerable choirs of Genii. These dwell in the neighbourhood of the Immortals, and thence watch over human things. They fulfil the will of the Gods [Karma] by means of storms, tempests, transitions of fire and earthquakes; likewise by famines and wars, for the punishment of impiety.441 ...
It is the sun who preserves and nourishes all creatures; and, even as the Ideal World, which environs the sensible world, fills this last with the plenitude and universal variety of forms, so also the sun, enfolding all in his light, accomplishes everywhere the birth and development of creatures.... “Under his orders is the choir of the Genii, or rather the choirs, for there are many and diverse, and their number corresponds to that of the stars. Every star has its Genii, good and evil by nature, or rather by their operation, for operation is the essence of the Genii....All these Genii preside over mundane affairs,442 they shake and overthrow the constitution of states and of individuals; they imprint their likeness on our souls, they are present in our nerves, our marrow, our veins, our arteries, and our very brain-substance.... At the moment when each of us receives life and being, he is taken in charge by the Genii [Elementals] who preside over births,443 and who are classed beneath the astral powers [superhuman astral Spirits]. Perpetually they change, not always identically, but revolving in circles.444 They permeate by the body two parts of the soul, that it may receive from each the impress of his own energy. But the reasonable part of the soul is not subject to the Genii; it is designed for the reception of [the] God,445 who enlightens it with a sunny ray. Those who are thus illumined are few in number, and from them the Genii abstain: for neither Genii nor Gods have any power in the presence of a single ray of God.446But all other men, both soul and body, are directed by Genii, to whom they cleave, and whose operations they affect.... The Genii have then the control of mundane things and our bodies serve them as instruments.”447
The above, save a few sectarian points, represents that which was a universal belief, common to all nations, till about a century or so back. It is still as orthodox in its broad outlines and features among Pagans and Christians alike, if one excepts a handful of Materialists and men of Science.
For whether one calls the Genii of Hermes and his “Gods,” “Powers of Darkness” and “Angels,” as in the Greek and Latin Churches; or “Spirits of the Dead,” as in Spiritualism; or, again, Bhûts and Devas, Shaitan or Djin, as they are still called in India and Mussulman countries—they are all one and the same thing—Illusion. Let not this, however, be misunderstood in the sense into which the great philosophical doctrine of the Vedântists has been lately perverted by Western schools.
All that which is, emanates from the Absolute, which, by reason of this qualification alone, stands as the One and Only Reality—hence, everything extraneous to this Absolute, the generative and causative Element, must be an Illusion, most undeniably. But this is only so from the purely metaphysical view. A man who regards himself as mentally sane, and is so regarded by his neighbours, calls the visions of an insane brother—hallucinations which make the victim either happy or supremely wretched, as the case may be—likewise illusions and fancies. But, where is that madman for whom the hideous shadows in his deranged mind, his illusions, are not, for the time being, as actual and as real as the things which his physician or keeper may see? Everything is relative in this Universe, everything is an Illusion. But the experience of any plane is an actuality for the percipient being, whose consciousness is on that plane, though the said experience, regarded from the purely metaphysical standpoint, may be conceived to have no objective reality. But it is not against Metaphysicians, but against Physicists and Materialists that Esoteric teaching has to fight; and for these latter Vital Force, Light, Sound, Electricity, even to the objectively drawing force of Magnetism, have no objective being, and are said to exist merely as “modes of motion,” “sensations and affections of matter.”
Neither the Occultists generally, nor the Theosophists, reject, as erroneously believed by some, the views and theories of the Modern Scientists only because these views are opposed to Theosophy. The first rule of our Society is to render unto Cæsar what is Cæsar's. Theosophists, therefore, are the first to recognize the intrinsic value of Science. But when its high priests resolve consciousness into a secretion from the grey matter of the brain, and everything else in Nature into a mode of motion, we protest against the doctrine as being unphilosophical, self-contradictory, and simply absurd, from a scientific point of view, as much and even more than from the Occult aspect of the Esoteric Knowledge.
For truly the Astral Light of the derided Kabalists has strange and weird secrets for him who can see in it; and the mysteries concealed within its incessantly disturbed waves are there, the whole body of Materialists and scoffers notwithstanding.
The Astral Light of the Kabalists is by some very incorrectly translated “Ether,” the latter is confused with the hypothetical Ether of Science, and both are referred to by some Theosophists as synonymous with  kâsha. This is a great mistake.
The author of A Rational Refutation writes, thus unconsciously helping Occultism:
A characterization of  kâsha will serve to show how inadequately it is represented by “ether.” In dimension it is ... infinite; it is not made up of parts; and colour, taste, smell, and tangibility do not appertain to it. So far forth it corresponds exactly to time, space, Îshvara [the “Lord,” but rather creative potency and soul—Anima Mundi] and soul. Its speciality, as compared therewith, consists in its being the material cause of sound. Except for its being so, one might take it to be one with vacuity.448
It is vacuity, no doubt, especially for Rationalists. At any rate  kâsha is sure to produce vacuity in the brain of a Materialist. Nevertheless, though  kâsha is certainly not the Ether of Science—not even the Ether of the Occultist who defines the latter as one of the principles of  kâsha only—it is as certainly, together with its primary, the cause of sound, a psychical and spiritual, not a material cause by any means. The relations of Ether to  kâsha may be defined by applying to both  kâsha and Ether the words used of the God in the Vedas, “So himself was indeed (his own) son,” one being the progeny of the other and yet itself. This may be a difficult riddle to the profane, but very easy to understand for any Hindû—even though not a Mystic.
These secrets of the Astral Light, along with many other mysteries, will remain non-existent to the Materialists of our age, in the same way as America was a non-existent myth for Europeans during the early part of the mediæval ages, whereas Scandinavians and Norwegians had actually reached and settled in that very old “New World” several centuries before. But, as a Columbus was born to re-discover, and to force the Old World to believe in antipodal countries, so will there be born Scientists who will discover the marvels now claimed by Occultists to exist in the regions of Ether, with their varied and multiform denizens and conscious Entities. Then, nolens volens, Science will have to accept the old “superstition,” as it has several others. And having been once forced to accept it, its learned professors in all probability—judging from past experience, as in the case of Mesmerism and Magnetism, now re-baptized Hypnotism—will father the thing and reject the name. The choice of the new appellation will, in its turn, depend on the “modes of motion”—the new name for the older “automatic physical processes among the nerve fibrils of the [scientific] brain” of Moleschott—and also, most likely, upon the last meal of the namer, since, according to the founder of the new Hylo-Idealistic Scheme, “cerebration is generically the same as chylification.”449 Thus, were one to believe this preposterous proposition, the new name of the archaic truth would have to take its chance on the inspiration of the namer's liver, and then only would these truths have a chance of becoming scientific!
But, Truth, however distasteful to the generally blind majority, has always had her champions ready to die for her, and it is not the Occultists who will protest against its adoption by Science under whatever new name. But until absolutely forced on the notice and acceptance of Scientists, many an Occult truth will be tabooed, as the phenomena of the Spiritualists and other psychic manifestations were, to be finally appropriated by its ex-traducers without the least acknowledgment or thanks. Nitrogen has added considerably to chemical knowledge, but its discoverer, Paracelsus, is to this day called a “quack.” How profoundly true are the words of H. T. Buckle, in his admirable History of Civilization, when he says:
Owing to circumstances still unknown [Karmic provision] there appear from time to time great thinkers, who, devoting their lives to a single purpose, are able to anticipate the progress of mankind, and to produce a religion or a philosophy by which important effects are eventually brought about. But if we look into history we shall clearly see that, although the origin of a new opinion may be thus due to a single man, the result which the new opinion produces will depend on the condition of the people among whom it is propagated. If either a religion or a philosophy is too much in advance of a nation, it can do no present service, but must bide its time450 until the minds of men are ripe for its reception.... Every science, every creed has had its martyrs. According to the ordinary course of affairs, a few generations pass away, and then there comes a period when these very truths are looked upon as commonplace facts, and a little later there comes another period in which they are declared to be necessary, and even the dullest intellect wonders how they could ever have been denied.451
It is barely possible that the minds of the present generations are not quite ripe for the reception of Occult truths. Such perchance will be the retrospect furnished to the advanced thinkers of the Sixth Root-Race of the history of the acceptance of Esoteric Philosophy—fully and unconditionally. Meanwhile the generations of our Fifth Race will continue to be led away by prejudice and preconceptions. Occult Sciences will have the finger of scorn pointed at them from every street-corner, and everyone will seek to ridicule and crush them in the name, and for the greater glory, of Materialism and its so-called Science. The present Volumes, however, show, in an anticipatory answer to several of the forthcoming Scientific objections, the true and mutual positions of the defendant and plaintiff. The Theosophists and Occultists stand arraigned by public opinion, which still holds high the banner of the inductive Sciences. The latter have, then, to be examined; and it must be shown how far their achievements and discoveries in the realm of natural law are opposed, not so much to our claims, as to facts in nature. The hour has now struck to ascertain whether the walls of the modern Jericho are so impregnable, that no blast of the Occult trumpet is ever likely to make them crumble.
The so-called “Forces,” with Light and Electricity heading them, and the constitution of the Solar orb must be carefully examined; as also Gravitation and the Nebular theories. The natures of Ether and of other Elements must be discussed; thus contrasting Scientific with Occult teachings, while revealing some of the hitherto secret tenets of the latter.
Some fifteen years ago, the writer was the first to repeat, after the Kabalists, the wise Commandments in the Esoteric Catechism.
Close thy mouth, lest thou shouldst speak of this [the mystery], and thy heart, lest thou shouldst think aloud; and if thy heart has escaped thee, bring it back to its place, for such is the object of our alliance.452
And again, from the Rules of Initiation.
This is a secret which gives death: close thy mouth lest thou shouldst reveal it to the vulgar; compress thy brain lest something should escape from it and fall outside.
A few years later, a corner of the Veil of Isis had to be lifted; and now another and a larger rent is made.
But old and time-honoured errors—such as become with every day more glaring and self-evident—stand arrayed in battle-order now, as they did then. Marshalled by blind conservatism, conceit and prejudice, they are constantly on the watch, ready to strangle every truth, which, awakening from its age-long sleep, happens to knock for admission. Such has been the case ever since man became an animal. That this proves in every case moral death to the revealers who bring to light any of these old, old truths, is as certain as that it gives life and regeneration to those who are fit to profit even by the little that is now revealed to them.




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