Re:The "Eternal Present: and KARMA
Apr 27, 1998 01:07 PM
by Maurice de Montaine
Jerry Schueler wrote:
> >CIRCLE or SPIRAL ?
> The idea of a circle rather than a spiral is not an original invention
> of mine. Virtually all mystics for centuries have said that spiritual
> enlightenment is like...
> The notion of a spiral, as far as I know (please correct me if I am
> wrong) is a Theosophical invention based on the idea of eternal
The spiral, as a symbol representing specific truths, isn't a
Theosophical invention, for, Jerry, it's origin far antedates the TS and
modern Theosophy. It has always been a symbol in all the genuine Mystery
Schools of the Brotherhood. To none is it exclusive, even as it has no
exclusivity to a time in this planet's history as world cycles come and
go in accordance with the Law of Cycles. This symbol, my brother, is
even part of the teachings of the Rosicrucian Order (AMORC), the
genuine Ascended Master Teachings, etc. I would also say, my brother,
the spiral, as with all of the major symbols of this ilk, are truly
universal, for they are used as such by the inhabitants - the generality
of the population to varying degrees and of course, the Adepts - of
You see, Jerry, one of the problems students create for themselves is
the all too often propensity to take up the cause, so to speak, of a
symbol or set of symbols of which appeal, for whatever reason, to
them, only to build an entire philosophy, a teaching, if you will,
around that symbol or set of symbols, while at the same time excluding
all other symbols and denying their validity. This is indeed an error,
for not only does it go against the grain of the perennial and arcane
teachings, as embodied in Theosophy and similar organizations and
Mystery Schools of the Great White Brotherhood, but it forsooth creates
a dichotomy in the very philosophy being espoused by the misguided
student. For it is ever the truth that the Ancient Wisdom, yes, the
Theosophia, embraces the totality of the legitimate symbols, some of
which may well be caste aside as nonsense by the student who is
essentially a neophyte in respect to symbology.
The circle is a legitimate symbol with specific and numerous meanings,
but it's only one of many, many symbols, my brother. We have the
various crosses, the square and the triangle, to name only a few. Each
has its place in the grand scheme of things; each is representative of
aspects of truth; each, likewise, my brother, represents a Cosmic Law.
Thus, Jerry, the circle represents the Law of the One; the cross
represents, even more the so the many forms of the swastika, the Law
of the Sacred Four; the triangle represents the Law of the Triangle
(Law of Three).
Two books I would recommend containing the symbols representing
the Law of the Sacred Four and a part of the teaching thereof are:
1. The Lost Continent of Mu
by Colonel James Churchward
2. Lemuria: The Lost Continent of the Pacific
by W. S. Cerv=E9
(pseudonym of the late Dr Harvey Spencer Lewis,
Imperator of AMORC)
With a special chapter by Dr James D. Ward
Apart from these, my brother, let us not forget the T'ai Chi. This
symbol contains so much as not to be fully appreciated even by the most
illumined student. You, no doubt, realize its general significance as
imparted to it by the Chinese, as well as other Oriental races that
have adopted this symbol, and those in the Western world who have
studied the philosophies and religions pertaining to these nations of
peoples, while others have imbibed from the expansions on the teaching
thereto imparted by the Masters themselves (these know of whom and to
what I speak), and others have recognized that the T'ai Chi also
represents these manifold aspects of truth alongside the respective
laws. Yes, the circle of the Law of the One circumscribes the duality,
in accordance with the Law of Polarity, of the Yin and the Yang.
Now, my brother, we can argue, ad infinitum, as some almost would, that
duality is mayavic, which is true; nonetheless, in manifestation, a
thing some tend to forget, the Law of Polarity is brought to play upon
the field of creation, whereby we find in expression the other. The Law
of Duality can be best expressed in the words of Anaximander, the
ancient Greek philosopher, in what he termed "the contraries in nature;"
and Empedocles, another ancient Greek philosopher, explained that the
coming together of these contraries is responsible for the changes we
experience in Nature.
Hence, my friend, the T'ai Chi faithfully illustrates for us that which
was mentioned in a preceding paragraph of the unity in diversity. It's
not a contradiction, as it may appear. The only contradiction lies in
our knowledge and understanding. Ignorance and misconception are the
very nature of illusion.
> ...The philosophical problem with it is that spirals are basically
> linear in that that have to start and end somewhere, while a circle is
> endless and beginningless.
The above statement of yours which seeks to qualify your general
argument anent the circle and the spiral on the "theos-talk" e-mail
mailing list, Jerry, suggesting the linearity of the spiral against the
endlessness and beginninglessness of the circle can, in another context,
be said of the circle. How is this? It all depends upon one's viewpoint,
Jerry. It could well be said that a circle represents linearity because
of its circumference, forcing us, then, to perpetually travel in
circles, or back and forth from one point of the circle to another but
never going beyond the circumference. I'm not actually suggesting here
that the circle is an inadequate symbol to express the truths it does
convey, including that of depicting in symbolic form the idea of no
end and no beginning, rather I seek here to illustrate for you the other
side of the argument as may be posited by another.
Whereas, contrary to your conception of the spiral, the movement is not
merely in an upward or downward motion (the ascending arc and descending
arc, Theosophically speaking), but in an ever expanding motion as well.
Speaking of ascent and descent, there is another symbol that is utilized
to explain this idea in the teachings of the Traditional Martinist Order
(TMO), wherein a symbolic representation of the step pyramid is used to
convey the Path of Descent and the Path of Ascent.
The idea of the spiral, then, is that it's not compounded of coils of
equal size along its length, but of coils of increasing size as we
proceed from below upwards or decreasing size as we proceed from the top
downwards. This signifies the expansion of consciousness and vistas as
we ascend the spiral and the increasing limitation thereof as we descend
the spiral. It is said, Jerry, that the spiral depicts more correctly
the actuality of this idea, simply because it incorporates more than
does the symbol of the ladder as in Jacob's Ladder.
Furthermore, it should be appreciated, as I'm sure you do if your
statement in the second paragraph of the first quote of yours in this
response to your posting is meant, that although the symbol of the
spiral is depicted, as all creations in the world of form are, of a
beginning and an ending, comprising the body of the symbol, it remains
contrariwise in respect to the idea and actuality behind the symbol.
Meaning, evolution, spiritual development, continues ad infinitum. This
has perforce to be so, for were it not, Jerry, then in no wise could the
Absolute, the Universal, be infinite. Unless, my brother, one posits a
theory of limitation of development of individualizations of the
Universal, which would result in a contradiction in itself considering
the individualized God Self supposedly takes after the nature of the
We should be able to see from this, my brother, that, in effect, only
part of the Mysteries are revealed by a symbol. Were it otherwise, there
would be no need for multiple symbols. Even the Senzar, of which you may
have heard, being as it is the ancient sacerdotal language of the
initiated Adepts, and having been spoken of by H. P. Blavatsky and the
Masters, comprises manifold symbols, some of which I have mentioned
herein. Professor Nicholas Roerich also refers to Senzar in his book
Extending this further, each letter of each alphabet, like each numeral,
is a symbol in itself of the thought, the manifestation, etc., it
represents. So, too, each word, sentence, phrase and so on. If I were to
intone or write the letter A, for instance, in my communication with
you, but didn't precede or proceed it with other letters to form a word,
thence, my brother, other words to form a sentence, other sentences to
form a paragraph, and finally, other paragraphs to form an entire
exposition, you wouldn't have the whole picture.
Just so, Jerry, with symbols. Apart from this, if you recall, my friend,
the Kabalah especially utilizes the symbolism of the Hebrew alphabet.
Returning to our consideration of the spiral, Jerry. Interestingly, it
is an extension of the symbol often called the point within the circle.
We can see this from the viewpoint of looking at a spiral from its top
or bottom, where we see it as a central point surrounded by circles of
smaller to increasingly larger size. In the esoteric context, the spiral
begins at its centre. The centre, in this context, is the point or
dot from which the spiral evolves, whereby it distinguishes itself from its
relation the single circle. It, therefore, consists of numerous and
continuous circle like spiralling.
There are, as you would realize, variations on the basic spiral form.
Some of these are:
2. Serpent coiled around the Cosmic Egg
3. Cagliostro's Serpent coiled around the Tau Cross
And so on.
The Comte de A llesandro Cagliostro (18th century Freemason, Rosicrucian
& Grand Cophte of the Egyptian Rite of Freemasonry) incorporated in his
Egyptian Rite, the three degrees thereof (1=B0, Apprentice; 2=B0, Companion;
3=B0, Master), the caduceus.
What's more, in the "La Tr=E8s Sainte Trinosophie (The Most Holy
Trinosophia [Three-fold Wisdom]) attributed to the illustrious
Comte de St. Germain, we find in some of the illustrations the spiral
1. Winged serpent coiled around a spear upon
which rests the cup of Everlastingness
2. Elaborate candlestick, its base formed of
two intertwined serpents
3. Youth holding the caduceus
Maurice de Montaine <email@example.com>
PGP Keyserver: pgpkeys.mit.edu
5.0: 5112 4D18 AB00 3739 EA81 9F95 8B1B 8F05 741E BE16
2.6.3: F749 800B 369C CC74 75B7 CC19 7218 E9EB
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application