"God" "Deity" "Absoluteness" The Universal ALL
Feb 25, 2003 02:32 AM
"God" "Deity" "Absoluteness" The Universal ALL
Questions and Answers are an Informal OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY class
The FIRST FUNDAMENTAL at an Informal "Ocean" Class
"God" "Deity" "Absoluteness" " The Universal ALL"
"Before the reader proceeds to the consideration of the Stanzas from
the Book of Dzyan which form the basis of the present work, it is
absolutely necessary that he should be made acquainted with the few
fundamental conceptions which underlie and pervade the entire system
of thought to which his attention is invited. These basic ideas are
few in number, and on their clear apprehension depends the
understanding of all that follows; therefore no apology is required
for asking the reader to make himself familiar with them first, before
entering on the perusal of the work itself ." --H.P.B., The
Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 13.
It was the conviction of Robert Crosbie that a proper comprehension of
the three fundamental propositions was necessary for the aspirant to
Theosophical service. It has also become the conviction of almost all
who have been assuming responsibility for the propaganda through the
At its study classes these fundamentals are regularly considered,
repeated and explained. At one such study-class, with The OCEAN OF
THEOSOPHY as its text book, these fundamentals were Question and
It should be said that the answers here presented were originally
given extemporaneously, and this quality will serve to remind the
reader that the statements made are suggestive rather than
authoritative. The obvious intent of the speaker was to turn inquirers
to the recorded teaching it whence they might derive "an inspiration
of their own to answer their deeper questions, and to guide them
across the ocean of Theosophy.
THE FIRST FUNDAMENTAL
"God" -- Be-ness
Q.-Is it possible for a great intellect to understand The Secret
Doctrine without an understanding of the Three Fundamental
A.-The Three Fundamental Propositions are a part of The Secret
Doctrine. So, if we understood The Secret Doctrine we would understand
the Three Fundamental Propositions. But, in any event, let us examine
the term "intellect." We habitually use it to mean that our intellect
exists apart from other intellects, and apart from the other elements
in our nature. Certainly, any ordinary man of average intelligence, of
good intellectual comprehension, could follow clearly everything that
H.P.B. has written. But it would do good only so far. He would derive
merely an intellectual benefit from it, because intellect was the only
one of the elements in him that he had exercised. He might see that
all The Secret Doctrine statements are correct. There are very able
men in the Theosophical. field, and always have been - able men in our
sense of the word - who know The Secret Doctrine intellectually. What
is the matter with them? They have forgotten a more important element
than the intellect-the Will.
What is the good of all the knowledge in the world, without the Will
to apply what we see, what we know? Theosophy is devoted primarily not
only to the education of our minds but to the arousal of our WILL.
The Will cannot be aroused from outside: The intellect can.
Q.-If our knowledge commences with manifestation, does this mean that
our knowledge can never include, the Unmanifested?
A.-This question ought to bring us back to what we understand. What
picture is raised in our minds by the word "knowledge"? We can' t know
anything as object or as subject, save and except to the extent that
it manifests itself. What do I know of any of you? Nothing whatever,
except what I perceive. Your body, your expression, your words, your
acts, all that I ever can see is what I can know; all that I can see
and know is your manifestation not you. So the word "knowledge" always
means duality:' the knower-yourself, myself, any other self-and what
is known. What is known is always what is manifest.
Take another term altogether, which should raise in us the picture
that H. P. Blavatsky tries to draw, particularly in the First
Fundamental Proposition. What do we mean when we use the compound word
"self-knowledge"? In the use of the word "knowledge," I know by means
of the five senses, by means of the mental inferences or deductions
that I make, and by the pictures afforded through the five senses; and
I know by comparison of the pictures that I take with the pictures
that you take. Self-knowledge has nothing to do with the five senses.
Self-knowledge has nothing whatever to do with the mind. Our
self-consciousness is not the product of our body, or of our senses,
or of our mind. What is it? Why, it is the coming to life-to the
consciousness of Self here in this body and in these circumstances-of
that which eternally has been here but has been asleep to Self.
However much it may have been awake to pictures or mental images, it
has been asleep as the Self.
Take what to us is a convenient word to represent the' beginning of
matter and the essence of form-call it an atom. The First Fundamental
proposes that what we call an atom is just as much Life as that which
we call a Mahatma. Both are identical in their origin, in their
substantial or real nature; both are identical with the One Principle
of life, and yet the gulf between an atom and a Mahatma is the gulf
between unconsciousness and consciousness, imperfection and
perfection, beginning and end of any cycle. H.P.B. says that every
atom has in it the potentiality of self-consciousness. The Mahatma is
aware of that self-consciousness; it is active and universal in him;
but in the atom it is asleep; it is not yet awake.
Q.-How far does the "substance" of Spinoza's conception agree with the
A.-Turn to Volume I of The Secret Doctrine to the section on "Gods,
Monads and Atoms," beginning about page 610. H.P.B. gives the
fundamental idea of Spinoza and goes quite at length into the
fundamental ideas of Leibnitz, showing that between the two is the
esoteric doctrine. Leibnitz conceived of the universe as an infinitude
of living centres of action, each one of them a kind of spiritual
being; but he had to account for their origin. This he did by
postulating some kind of a supernal extra-cosmic deity of which all
living things are the children. We can see the anthropomorphism that
governed his perception of the infinitude of purely monadic beings.
Spinoza conceived of an infinite and changeless divine substance that
never had a beginning, can never die; but he could not account for the
fact that there are beings in the world. There was a gap between the
simplicity of substance and the multiplicity of beings.
Now if we take the First Fundamental, which represents Spinoza's
conception, and the Third, which represents that of Leibnitz, and
unite them by means of the second Fundamental, we have the true
Q.-It is said that everything which we see is seen inwardly. But how
is it possible that objects visible to the naked eye can be seen
A.-Well, isn't there more than one kind of seeing? One may be on the
outside of a thing and see it as within oneself. This is the process
that we partly know and use and call "feeling," "memory," "thought,"
and refer to as "faith" and "hope" and "aspiration," and by many other
terms. In other words, there is a mental or metaphysical universe: it
is life regarded as internal to ourselves. Then there is identically
the same life regarded as external to the form we occupy, and that
life regarded as external is what we call space and matter and the
stars and planets.
Very, very difficult it is for us to grasp the reality. Once H.P.B.
used an expression something after this fashion. It must be about page
75, in the first volume of The Secret Doctrine and it is repeated in
other places. It is to the effect that the same initial difficulty
confronts us all-the apparent multitude of objects and their
diversity. But that exists in our consciousness and nowhere else.
Change our state of consciousness, and the conceptions that we now
take to be realities cease to be. We are there, Life is there, and
behold, we begin to perceive another state of impressions. What was
there in the beginning? Why, in the beginning there was Life, and Life
was full of impressions, and Life was busy with those impressions.
What is there after death? The same Life, and we, busy with our
impressions. But these impressions change with the nature of the
being, and that is again our Third Fundamental.
It ought to be simple enough for us to see that our perception of
Space is founded upon sense perception, whether in this world or in
another. If you can see, there is Space wherever you go; also if you
can't see, there is Space wherever you go. Or take our conceptions,
which we all locate in time - last year, last week, last month. The
sense of time is due to a change of the state of consciousness. H.P.B.
says that time is an illusion produced by the changes or succession of
the states of consciousness as we travel through eternal duration. If
a man is happy, 100 per cent happy, there is no time; if a man is 100
per cent unhappy, there is no time. Time, therefore, is due to the
contrast of sight and sound in every case; the contrast of the two
senses gives us the mental sense of time. Time is a mental sense of
action, a mental sense of objects.
All this universe was once subjective; that is, internal to our
consciousness. It now is internal to the consciousness of the
Mahatmas - it is not an external universe to Them. In Their
consciousness this universe is subjective; it is Their mind; it is
Their intelligence; it is Their knowledge; it is Their wisdom. When
the Three Fundamentals are seen, the universe entire is internal to
ourselves; the universe entire is external to ourselves; the universe
is part internal and part external; the universe ceases to be
altogether internal and external, as we think it. What else could it
be to be a Mahatma? It is hard to realize that duality and
multiplicity exist in the perceiving consciousness and nowhere else,
but The Secret Doctrine and its three basic propositions exist to help
us toward this realization.
Q.-Should we not make a distinction between limited space and the
Space of the First Fundamental?
A.-Yes; Space is given to us as the perfect symbol of the One
Self, the One Reality. Why? Because it is that in which all things
live and move and have their being; it is that which is the background
of consciousness, the field of perception and the arena of action for
any and every being of every description. So when we get the spiritual
conception of Space, we can appreciate what H.P.B. said in another
place. She said, "I have tried my best to convey to Theosophists, to
arouse in them, the perception that there is but one Reality; that It
is omnipresent; that It neither was nor will be; It eternally is." She
said she had tried in vain to arouse them to see that. "Now," she
said, "once that is seen, that we came from That, that we exist in
That, and that sooner or later we must return to That - all the rest
Q.-The First Proposition of Theosophy states that All is Life, whether
in form or out of form. Why, then, should we worry as to man' s using
an animal form? Since the consciousness that is using the animal form
will some day extend to the human form, in previous periods of
evolution this humanity of today must have used animal forms.
A.-Let us get H.P.B.'s definition of "animal." She is speaking in
terms of consciousness when she says "animal"; she is speaking in
terms of consciousness when she says "Buddhi"; she is speaking in
terms of consciousness when she says "Manas," or "Atma, ' but in our
reading of these terms, we translate them into terms of form and
action as experienced by us here and now through our physical senses.
What is an animal, according to Theosophy? It is the germ of awakening
consciousness, the germ, exactly as the embryo is the germ of a human
being. And what is human consciousness? It is the next stage beyond
the germ stage; that is, human consciousness stands in the same
relation to the consciousness of Manas-Egoic self-consciousness-as the
foetus stands in relation to the body after it is born. First, the
embryo; then the foetus; then the body that is born. First, the germ
of consciousness; then the unification, through experience, of those
germs until a stage is reached where a contact point is set up with a
higher form, and that is the so-called "mindless" man; then we. have
the human stage, and there the same struggle begins over again in
order for the individual to reach Egoic self-consciousness or regain
it-just as the mass in the kingdoms below struggled to reach human
Human self-consciousness never was germinal self-consciousness; the
baby body never was the foetus; the foetus never was an embryo. What
do the three words represent? Three stages in the evolution of a human
form. Apply that, then, to the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms.
To make the category complete, three elemental stages; then the
mineral stage, the vegetable stage and the animal stage of
consciousness. That is all part of developing the germs of experience
which constitute an individual entity; then occurs the lighting up of
Manas, or the reflection of Self, in that combination of germs, and we
call that "human" consciousness. Now, looking at it from the
stand-point of stages in the journey of consciousness, we can see
that while it is one and the same Monad or Spark, or Soul, these
words - elemental, mineral, vegetable, animal, and human - are by us
interpreted in terms of form while their meaning is stages in the
awakening of consciousness The man was never an animal any more than
Devachan was ever Kama-Loka. The various kingdoms represent stages or
states through which one and the same Perceiver passes.
Q.-If the First Fundamental transcends human conception and
expression, how can that be regarded as a practical basis for thought
A.-The statement of the First Fundamental Proposition is that there is
a centre in each one of us on which everything else turns; that centre
is no "place" - it is a centre of consciousness. Now, we know that
nothing exists for us unless we are conscious of it, or unless we are
aware of it. So, can't we see at once that consciousness is the
reality to us, and that existence has no place whatever except for
that reality? Let us extend the idea; bring it home to ourselves. We
are limited, but the only limitation is our own conception and
perception. Extend that idea - it is true of all others; it is true of
all life. No existence is apart from That. There is the principle and
basis for all experience of every kind.
Imagine a railroad station, a few minutes before train time. Looking
at the whirling mass of humanity, all the people moving, full of
excitement, did you ever think that there must be something permanent
somewhere? We can watch our own reactions; every time someone passes
in front of us, we think about it; we have some feeling about it; and
people are passing all the time. Our own reactions are like that -
changing - first one thing, and then another, first one colour, and
then another. All of a sudden it may come home to us: we don't change
at all. We have these thoughts, and they change; we have feelings, and
they change; but we are the beings who have them. We have not changed
with any of the feelings and thoughts, and we can relate, say, one
change to another. We could not if we were any of the passing
impressions. Thus, there must be something permanent in us.
All down the ages, people have been trying to find God, and they have
erected all sorts of mental images, usually reflections of them selves
and carrying human virtues to the nth degree, and also displaying a
great many human defects. They have placed this God in some impossible
heaven somewhere - no two heavens alike, no two Gods alike, either.
The real Spiritual Teacher on whose teachings the religions afterwards
were founded never taught any outside God like that; They all taught
the God within, this changeless something which everyone is.
Theosophists call it a Principle; they don't call it a God because
people make a being of a god. Theosophists say that there is one
changeless essence - a Principle, not a person, which is the sustainer
of all, the source of all. Interesting? Yes, isn't it? It is
ennobling, too, because it makes of every man a god, and why not? All
that any man can know of God is what he knows in himself, through
himself and by himself.
Extracts from POINT OUT THE WAY [ U L T Phoenix ]
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