SYMBOLISM OF EVOLUTION AND MANIFESTATION
Sep 13, 2004 08:53 PM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
Sept 13 2004
SYMBOLISM OF EVOLUTION AND MANIFESTATION
While most have read this before, a close re-reading may help focus on some
primary concepts that underlie the ageless and antique statements of the
LAWS that govern all life and living.
MATHS -- GEOMETRY -- SYMBOLOGY -- LAW
This long quotation from H P B's SECRET DOCTRINE should serve several
1. It establishes the nature of her scholarship in a basic area.
2. It discusses ancient symbology in universal and synthesizing
3. It shows the profound value of understanding mathematics and
4. It establishes a foundation for Universal and Impersonal Law.
5. It shows the unity of thought and metaphysics at the base of
6. It describes the process of involution that precedes evolution.
7. It declares that the whole of SPACE is filled with live Monads,
all emanating from the same spiritual source, and all as individuals,
tending to return to that Source and not loosing that individuality but
proceeding further on the great adventures of higher life.
ANTIQUITY OF THEOSOPHY
"An Archaic Manuscript -- a collection of palm leaves made impermeable to
water, fire, and air, by some specific unknown process -- is before the
SYMBOLISM - UNIVERSAL
On the first page is an immaculate white disk within a dull black ground. On
the following page, the same disk, but with a central point. The first, the
student knows to represent Kosmos in Eternity, before the re-awakening of
still slumbering Energy, the emanation of the Word in later systems.
The point in the hitherto immaculate Disk, Space and Eternity in Pralaya,
denotes the dawn of differentiation. It is the Point in the Mundane Egg (see
Part II., "The Mundane Egg"), the germ within the latter which will become
the Universe, the ALL, the boundless, periodical Kosmos, this germ being
latent and active, periodically and by turns.
The one circle is divine Unity, from which all proceeds, whither all
Its circumference -- a forcibly limited symbol, in view of the limitation of
the human mind -- indicates the abstract, ever incognisable PRESENCE, and
its plane, the Universal Soul, although the two are one.
Only the face of the Disk being white and the ground all around black, shows
clearly that its plane is the only knowledge, dim and hazy though it still
is, that is attainable by man.
MAYA -- MANIFESTS
It is on this plane that the Manvantaric manifestations begin; for IT IS IN
THIS SOUL THAT SLUMBERS, DURING THE PRALAYA, the Divine Thought,* wherein
lies concealed the plan of every future Cosmogony and Theogony.
It is the ONE LIFE, eternal, invisible, yet Omnipresent, without beginning
or end, yet periodical in its regular manifestations, between which periods
reigns the dark mystery of non-Being; unconscious, yet absolute
Consciousness; unrealisable, yet the one self-existing reality; truly, "a
chaos to the sense, a Kosmos to the reason."
Its one absolute attribute, which is ITSELF, eternal, ceaseless Motion, is
called in esoteric parlance the "Great Breath,"* which is the perpetual
motion of the universe, in the sense of limitless, ever-present SPACE.
STASIS IS NOT DIVINITY
That which is motionless cannot be Divine. But then there is nothing in fact
and reality absolutely motionless within the universal soul.
>From the beginning of man's inheritance, from the first appearance of the
architects of the globe he lives in, the unrevealed Deity was recognised and
considered under its only philosophical aspect -- Universal Motion, the
thrill of the creative Breath in Nature.
Occultism sums up the "One Existence" thus: "Deity is an arcane, living (or
moving) FIRE, and the eternal witnesses to this unseen Presence are Light,
Heat, Moisture," -- this trinity including, and being the cause of, every
phenomenon in Nature.
Intra-Cosmic motion is eternal and ceaseless; cosmic motion (the visible, or
that which is subject to perception) is finite and periodical. As an eternal
abstraction it is the EVER-PRESENT; as a manifestation, it is finite both in
the coming direction and the opposite, the two being the alpha and omega of
successive reconstructions. Kosmos -- the NOUMENON -- has nought to do with
the causal relations of the phenomenal World.
It is only with reference to the intra-cosmic soul, the ideal Kosmos in the
immutable Divine Thought, that we may say: "It never had a beginning nor
will it have an end."
With regard to its body or Cosmic organization, though it cannot be said
that it had a first, or will ever have a last construction, yet at each new
Manvantara, its organization may be regarded as the first and the last of
its kind, as it evolutes every time on a higher plane . . . ..In its turn,
rationalistic science greets the Buddhists and the Svabhavikas as the
"positivists" of the archaic ages. If we take a one-sided view of the
philosophy of the latter, our materialists may be right in their own way.
The Buddhists maintained that there is no Creator, but an infinitude of
creative powers, which collectively form the one eternal substance, the
essence of which is inscrutable -- hence not a subject for speculation for
any true philosopher..
Upon inaugurating an active period, says the Secret Doctrine, an expansion
of this Divine essence from without inwardly and from within outwardly,
occurs in obedience to eternal and immutable law, and the phenomenal or
visible universe is the ultimate result of the long chain of cosmical forces
thus progressively set in motion.
In like manner, when the passive condition is resumed, a contraction of the
Divine essence takes place, and the previous work of creation is gradually
and progressively undone.
The visible universe becomes disintegrated, its material dispersed; and
'darkness' solitary and alone, broods once more over the face of the 'deep.'
To use a Metaphor from the Secret Books, which will convey the idea still
more clearly, an out-breathing of the 'unknown essence' produces the world;
and an inhalation causes it to disappear. This process has been going on
from all eternity, and our present universe is but one of an infinite
series, which had no beginning and will have no end." -- (See "Isis
Unveiled"; also "The Days and Nights of Brahma" in Part II.)
This passage will be explained, as far as it is possible, in the present
work. Though, as it now stands, it contains nothing new to the Orientalist,
its esoteric interpretation may contain a good deal which has hitherto
remained entirely unknown to the Western student.
The first illustration being a plain disc the second one in the Archaic
symbol shows , a disc with a point in it -- the first differentiation in the
periodical manifestations of the ever-eternal nature, sexless and infinite
"Aditi in THAT" (Rig Veda), the point in the disc, or potential Space within
abstract Space. In its third stage the point is transformed into a diameter,
thus It now symbolises a divine immaculate Mother-Nature within the
all-embracing absolute Infinitude.
When the diameter line is crossed by a vertical one , it becomes the mundane
cross. Humanity has reached its third root-race; it is the sign for the
origin of human life to begin. When the circumference disappears and leaves
only the it is a sign that the fall of man into matter is accomplished, and
the FOURTH race begins. The Cross within a circle symbolises pure Pantheism;
when the Cross was left uninscribed, it became phallic. It had the same and
yet other meanings as a TAU inscribed within a circle or as a "Thor's
hammer," the Jaina cross, so-called, or simply Svastica within a circle
By the third symbol -- the circle divided in two by the horizontal line of
the diameter -- the first manifestation of creative (still passive, because
feminine) Nature was meant. The first shadowy perception of man connected
with procreation is feminine, because man knows his mother more than his
father. Hence female deities were more sacred than the male. Nature is
therefore feminine, and, to a degree, objective and tangible, and the spirit
Principle which fructifies it is concealed. By adding to the circle with the
horizontal line in it, a perpendicular line, the tau was formed -- -- -- the
oldest form of the letter. It was the glyph of the third root-race to the
day of its symbolical Fall -- i.e., when the separation of sexes by natural
evolution took place -- when the figure became , the circle, or sexless life
modified or separated -- a double glyph or symbol. With the races of our
Fifth Race it became in symbology the sacr', and in Hebrew n'cabvah, of the
first-formed races;* then it changed into the Egyptian (emblem of life), and
still later into the sign of Venus, Then comes the Svastica (Thor's hammer,
or the "Hermetic Cross" now), entirely separated from its Circle, thus
becoming purely phallic. The esoteric symbol of Kali Yuga is the
five-pointed star reversed, thus -- the sign of human sorcery, with its two
points (horns) turned heavenward, a position every
Occultist will recognise as one of the "left-hand," and used in ceremonial
It is hoped that during the perusal of this work the erroneous ideas of the
public in general with regard to Pantheism will be modified. It is wrong and
unjust to regard the Buddhists and Advaitee Occultists as atheists. if the
Parabrahmam of the Hindus may be taken as a representative of the hidden and
nameless deities of other nations, this absolute Principle will be found to
be the prototype from which all the others were copied. Parabrahm is not
"God," because It is not a God. "It is that which is supreme, and not
supreme (paravara)," explains Mandukya Upanishad.. IT is "Supreme" as CAUSE,
not supreme as effect. Parabrahm is simply, as a "Secondless Reality," the
all-inclusive Kosmos -- or, rather, the infinite Cosmic Space -- in the
highest spiritual sense, of course. . Parabrahmam is a passive because an
Absolute Cause, the unconditioned Mukta. It is only limited Omniscience and
Omnipotence that are refused to the latter, because these are still
attributes (as reflected in man's perceptions); and because Parabrahm, being
the "Supreme ALL," the ever invisible spirit and Soul of Nature, changeless
and eternal, can have no attributes; absoluteness very naturally precluding
any idea of the finite or conditioned from being connected with it.
.there can be neither two INFINITES nor two ABSOLUTES in a Universe supposed
to be Boundless, this Self-Existence can hardly be conceived of as creating
personally. In the sense and perceptions of finite "Beings," THAT is
Non-"being," in the sense that it is the one BE-NESS; for, in this ALL lies
concealed its coeternal and coeval emanation or inherent radiation, which,
upon becoming periodically Brahma (the male-female Potency) becomes or
expands itself into the manifested Universe. Narayana moving on the
(abstract) waters of Space, is transformed into the Waters of concrete
substance moved by him, who now becomes the manifested WORD or Logos. "
S D I pp. 1 - 5
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