"Creation" and Philosophy
Nov 19, 2002 03:38 AM
Nov 19 2002
Here are a few words from H P B [article: OLD PHILOSOPHERS AND
MODERN CRITICS] that seem to provide answers to the question "are we
created? Is there a God that does this?
IN one of the oldest philosophies and religious systems of prehistoric
times, we read that at the end of a Maha-Pralaya (general dissolution)
the great Soul, Param-Atma the Self-Existent, that which can be
"apprehended only by the suprasensual," becomes "manifest of itself."
The Hindûs give this "Existence" various names, one of which is
Svayambhu, or Self-Existent.
This Svayambhu emanates from itself the creative faculty, or
Svayambhuva--the "Son of the Self-Existent"--and the One becomes Two;
this in its turn evolves a third principle with the potentiality of
becoming Matter which the orthodox call Viraj, or the Universe.
This incomprehensible Trinity became later anthropomorphized into the
Trimurti, known as Brahmâ, Vishnu, Shiva, the symbols of the creative,
the preservative, and the destructive powers in Nature--and at the
same time of the transforming or regenerating forces, or rather of the
three aspects of the one Universal Force.
It is the Tridanda, the triply manifested Unity, which gave rise to
the orthodox AUM, which with them is but the abbreviated Trimurti. It
is only under this triple aspect that the profane masses can
comprehend the great mystery. When the triple God becomes Sharira, or
puts on a visible form, he typifies all the principles of Matter, all
the germs of life, he is the God of the three visages, or triple
power, the essence of the Vedic Triad. "Let the Brâhmans know the
Sacred Syllable [Aum], the three words of the Savitri, and read the
After having produced the universe, He whose power is incomprehensible
vanished again, absorbed in the Supreme Soul. . . . Having retired
into the primitive darkness, the Great Soul remains within the
unknown, and is void of all form. . . .
When having again reunited the subtile elementary principles, it
introduces itself into either a vegetable or animal seed, it assumes
at each a new form.
It is thus that, by an alternative waking and rest, the Immutable
Being causes to revive and die eternally all the existing creatures,
active and inert.
[study] the speculations of Pythagoras on the Monad, which, after
emanating the Duad, retires into silence and darkness, and thus
creates the Triad... The mystic Decad (1+2+3+4=10) is a way of
expressing this idea. ...The One is God; the Two, Matter; the Three,
combining Monad and Duad and partaking of the nature of both, is the
phenomenal World; the Tetrad, or form of perfection, expresses the
emptiness of all; and the Decad, or sum of all, involves the entire
Let us see how the Brahmanical ideas tally with the pre-Christian
Pagan Philosophies and with Christianity itself. It is with the
Platonic Philosophy, the most elaborate compend of the abstruse
systems of ancient India, that we had better begin.
Although twenty-two and a half centuries have elapsed since the death
Plato, the great minds of the world are still occupied with his
writings. He was, in the fullest sense of the word, the world's
interpreter. And the greatest Philosopher of the pre-Christian era
faithfully mirrored in his works the spiritualism of the Vedic
Philosophers, who lived thousands of years before himself, with its
metaphysical expression. Vyasa, Jaimini, Kapila, Patanjali, and may
others, will be found to have transmitted their indelible imprint
through the intervening centuries, by means of Pythagoras, upon Plato
and his school.
Thus is warranted the inference that
to Plato and the ancient Hindu Sages the same wisdom was alike
revealed. And so surviving the shock of time, what can this wisdom be
but divine and eternal?
Plato taught of
justice as subsisting in the soul and as being the greatest good of
"Men, in proportion to their intellect, have admitted his transcendent
claims"; yet his commentators, almost with one consent, shrink from
every passage which implies that his Metaphysics are based on a solid
foundation, and not on ideal conceptions.
But Plato could not accept
a Philosophy destitute of spiritual aspirations; with him the two were
For the old Grecian Sage there was a single object of attainment: REAL
He considered those only to be genuine Philosophers, or students of
truth, who possess the knowledge of the really-existing, in opposition
to mere objects of perception; of the always-existing, in opposition
to the transitory; and of that which exists permanently, in opposition
to that which waxes, wanes, and is alternately developed and
Beyond all finite existences and secondary causes, all laws, ideas,
and principles, there is an INTELLIGENCE or MIND [NNous, the Spirit]
the first principle of all principles, the Supreme Idea on which all
other ideas are grounded; the ultimate substance from which all things
derive their being and essence, the first and efficient Cause of all
the order, and harmony, and beauty, and excellency, and goodness,
which pervade the universe--who is called, by way of preeminence and
excellence, the Supreme Good, the God "the God over all" 5
It is not difficult for
a Theosophist to recognize in this "God" (a) the UNIVERSAL MIND in its
cosmic aspect; and (b) the Higher Ego in man in its microcosmic.
For, as Plato says, He is not the truth nor the intelligence, "but the
Father of it"; i.e., the "Father" of the Lower Manas, our personal
"brain-mind," which depends for its manifestations on the organs of
Though this eternal essence of things may not be perceptible by our
physical senses, it may be apprehended by the mind of those who are
not wilfully obtuse
6 We find Plato stating distinctly that
everything visible was created or evolved out of the invisible and
eternal WILL, and after its fashion.
Our Heaven--he says--was produced according to the eternal pattern of
the "Ideal World," contained, like everything else, in the
dodecahedron, the geometrical model used by the Deity. With Plato,
the Primal Being is an emanation of the Demiurgic Mind (Nous), which
contains within itself from eternity the "Idea" of the ' to-be-created
world," and this Idea it produces out of itself
The laws of Nature are the established relations of this Idea to the
forms of its manifestations.
Two thousand years later, we find the great German philosopher
Schopenhauer borrowing this conception when stating that:
These forms are time, space and causality. Through time and space the
idea varies in its numberless manifestations.
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