[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

GRACE --- What is it ?

Oct 01, 2005 05:01 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck






A few words of introduction:


The dictionary shows them many facets of meaning exposed by the word “”Grace.”


It has however a deep philosophical and metaphysical significance –starting with the first “Spiritual” radiance that precedesmanifestation. 


It is therefore present in all manifested beings – the monads know it well, as it is of their essence. 





DICTIONARY ( a spectrum of meanings ) 


Favor, kindness, mercy, a person who is favored, 


fate, destiny, virtue, elegance, charm, 


beauty of line or movement,


Theological: Divine mercy or forgiveness,  

exemption (temporary) for a penalty, 

“State of Grace:” result of a virtuous life,


Sister goddesses (Greek): Brilliance, Joy, Bloom.


In music: embellishing, but not essential notes, 






Divine Grace S D II 498






“In the Mythology of the earliest Vedic Aryans as in the later Purânic narratives, mention is made of Budha, the "Wise"; one "learned inthe Secret Wisdom," and who is the planet Mercury in his euhemerization. …


The presiding genius, or "regent" of the planet Jupiter is Brihaspati… 


He is the instructor or spiritual guru of the gods, who are the representatives of the procreative powers. 


In the Rig Veda, he is called Brahmanaspati, a name meaning "the deity in whom the action of the worshipped upon the gods is personified." 




Hence Brahmanaspati represents the materialization of the divine grace, so to say, by means of ritual and ceremonies, or the exoteric worship. 


"TARA" * — his wife — is on the other hand the personification of the powers of one initiated into Gupta Vidya (secret knowledge), as will be shown. 


SOMA is the moon astronomically; but in mystical phraseology, it is also the name of the sacred beverage drunk by the Brahmins and the Initiates during their mysteries and sacrificial rites. …


Thus Brihaspati — "guru of the gods" though he was — still represented the dead-letter form of worship. 


It is Tara his wife — the symbol of one who, though wedded to dogmatic worship, longs for true wisdom — who is shown as initiated intohis mysteries by King Soma, the giver of that Wisdom. 


Soma is thus made in the allegory to carry her away. 


The result of this is the birth of Budha — esoteric Wisdom — (Mercury, or Hermes in Greece and Egypt). He is represented as "so beautiful," that even the husband, though well aware that Budha is not the progeny of his dead-letter worship — claims the "new-born" as his Son, the fruit of his ritualistic and meaningless forms. ‡ 

Such is, in brief, one of the meanings of the allegory. 

S D II 498





ISIS I 228


“The Supreme Lord of splendor and of light, luminous and refulgent,before which no other existed, is called Corona (the crown); Lord Ferho, the unrevealed life which existed in the former from eternity; and Lord Jordan — the spirit, the living water of grace.* He is the one throughwhom alone we can be saved; and thus he answers to the Shekinah, the spiritual garment of En-Soph, or the Holy Ghost.  


These three constitute the trinity in abscondito. The second trinity is composed of the three lives. The first is the similitude of Lord Ferho, through whom he has proceeded forth; and the second Ferho is the King of Light — MANO (Rex Lucis). He is the heavenly life and light, and older than the Architect of heaven and earth.† The second life is Ish Amon (Pleroma), the vase of election, containing the visible thought of the Iordanus Maximus — the type (or its intelligible reflection), the prototype of the living water, who is the “spiritual Jordan.”‡ Third life, which is produced by the other two, is ABATUR (Ab, the Parent or Father).  


This is the mysterious and decrepit “Aged of the Aged,” the“Ancient Senem sui obtegentem et grandævum mundi.” This latter third Life is the Father of the Demiurge Fetahil, the Creator ofthe world, whom the Ophites call Ilda-Baoth,§ though Fetahil is the only-begotten one, the reflection of the Father, Abatur, who begets him by looking into the “dark water”;|| but the Lord Mano, “the Lord of loftiness, the Lord of all genii,” is higher than the Father, in this kabalistic Codex — one is purely spiritual, the other material. So, for instance, while Abatur’s “only begotten” one is the genius Fetahil, the Creator of the physical world,Lord Mano, the “Lord of Celsitude,” who is the son of Him,who is “the Father of all who preach the Gospel,” producesalso an “only-begotten” one, the Lord Lehdaio, “a just Lord.” He is the Christos, the anointed, who pours out the “grace” of the Invisible Jordan, the Spirit of the Highest Crown.”

( Also: T Glos. p. 204 [MANO])




“In its general sense, Isvara means “Lord ‘; but the Isvara of the mystic philosophers of India was understood precisely as the union and communion of men with the Deity of the Greek mystics.  


Isvara-Parasada means, literally, in Sanscrit, grace.  


Both of the “Mimansas,” treating of the most abstruse questions, explain Karma as merit, or the efficacy of works; Isvara-Parasada, asgrace; and Sradha, as faith. …”

I U II 592






“He is suddenly transported into what looks a fairylike Hall, lit with most glowing lights and built of materials, the like of which he had never seen before. He perceives the heirs and descendants of all the monarchsof the globe gathered in that Hall in one happy family. They wear no longer the insignia of royalty, but, as he seems to know, those who are the reigning Princes, reign by virtue of their personal merits. It is the greatnessof heart, the nobility of character, their superior qualities of observation, wisdom, love of Truth and Justice, that have raised them to the dignityof heirs to the Thrones, of Kings and Queens. The crowns, by authority andthe grace of God, have been thrown off, and they now rule by “the grace of divine humanity,” chosen unanimously by recognition of their fitness to rule, and the reverential love of their voluntary subjects.


All around seems strangely changed. Ambition, grasping greediness or envy—miscalled Patriotism—exist no longer. Cruel selfishness has made room for just altruism, and cold indifference to the wants of the millions no longer finds favour in the sight of the favoured few. “

HPB Art I 394-5



“Marcion, who recognized no other Gospels than a few Epistles of Paul, who rejected totally the anthropomorphism of the Old Testament, and drew a distinct line of demarcation between the old Judaism and Christianity, viewed Jesus neither as a King, Messiah of the Jews, nor the son of David, who was in any way connected with the law or prophets, “but a divine being sent to reveal to man a spiritual religion, wholly new, and a God of goodness and grace hitherto unknown.”  

I U II 192



“Karma thus, is simply action, a concatenation of causes and effects. That which adjusts each effect to its direct cause; that which guides invisibly and as unerringly these effects to choose, as the field of their operation, the right person in the right place, is what we call Karmic Law. 


What shall we call it the hand of providence? We cannot do so, especially in Christian lands, because the term has been connected with, and interpreted theologically as, the foresight and personal design of a personal god; and because in the active laws of Karma—absolute Equity—basedon the Universal Harmony, there is neither foresight nor desire; and because again, it is our own actions, thoughts, and deeds which guide that law, instead of being guided by it. “For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” [Gal. vi, 7]. It is only a very unphilosophical and illogical theology which can speak in one breath of free will, and grace or damnation being preordained to every human from (?) eternity, as though eternity could have a beginning to start from! But this question would lead us too far into metaphysical disquisitions. Suffice it to say that Karmaleads us to rebirth, and that rebirth generates new Karma while working off the old, Sañchita Karma. Both are indissolubly bound up, one in the other. Let us get rid of Karma, if we would get rid of the miseries of rebirths or— REINCARNATION. …”





“Wisdom Religion. The one religion which underlies all the now-existing creeds. That “faith” which, being primordial, and revealed directly to human kind by their progenitors and informing EGOS (thoughthe Church regards them as the “fallen angels”), required no “grace”, nor blind faith to believe, for it was knowledge. (See “Gupta Vidyâ”, Hidden Knowledge.) It is on this Wisdom Religion that Theosophy is based.”

T Glos 371-2




“Millions of people who have never heard of reincarnation and even those who believe in it, live and die in absolute ignorance of who they were in their former incarnations—and they are not a bit the worse forthat. Those whose spirit is open to the great truths, those who understandabsolute justice and reject every doctrine based on favoritism or personalgrace will fully understand what we mean. 


For the immortal soul this is nothing but justice. 


That cast-off existence is for it but a page torn out of the great book of life before the pages are numbered, and the SOUL suffers no more from it than a saint in ecstasy would suffer because he had lost all recollection of one wretched day among the 20,000 days that he has passed on earth. 


On the contrary, had he retained that recollection, it would have been enough to prevent him from ever feeling happy. Only one drop of gall is enough to make the water bitter in the largest vessel. And after all, the doctrineteaches us that these cases of total annihilation of a personality are extremely rare.

(See Fragment VI, The Theosophist, Vol. IV, March 1883, p. 134).

B C W V 4-5



“The correspondent’s question as to “how the recentteachings of` Occult Science really originated,” is easily answered. 


A crisis had arrived in which it was absolutely necessary to bring within reach of our generation the Esoteric Doctrine of the eternal cycles. Religion, both in the West and East, had long been smothering beneath the dust heaps of Sectarianism and enfranchised Science. For lack of` any scientific religious concept, Science was giving Religion the coup-de-grâce with the iron bar of Materialism. 


To crown the disorder, the phantom-world of Hades, or Kama-loka, had burst in a muddy torrent into ten thousand séance-rooms, and created most misleading notions of man’s post-mortem state. 


Nothing but a few fundamental tenets from the Esoteric philosophy, sketchedin broad outlines by such a clear and brilliant writer as Mr. Sinnett “ B C W X 153




“The Society was founded to become the Brotherhood of Humanity—a centre, philosophical and religious, common to all—not as apropaganda for Buddhism merely. Its first steps were directed toward the same great aim that É. Burnouf ascribes to Buddha ®akyamuni, who “opened his church to all men, without distinction of origin, caste, nation, colour, or sex” (Vide Art. I in the Rules of the T.S.), adding, “My law is a law of Grace for all.” In the same way the Theosophical Society is open to all, without distinction of “origin, caste, nation, colour, or sex,” and what is more—of creed.”

B C W X 65




“Another proof that Paul belonged to the circle of the “Initiates” lies in the following fact. The apostle had his head shorn at Cenchreae (where Lucius Apuleius was initiated) because “he had a vow.” The Nazars––or set apart––as we see in the Jewish Scriptures, had to cut their hair which they wore long, and which “no razor touched” at any other time, and sacrifice it on the altar of initiation. And the Nazars were a class of Chaldaean Theurgists [or Initiates].†


It is shown in Isis Unveiled that Jesus belonged to this class.


Paul declares that: “According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation.” (I Corinth. iii, 10.)


The expression, master-builder, used only once in the whole Bible, and by Paul, may be considered as a whole revelation. In the Mysteries, the third part of the sacred rites was called epopteia, or revelation, reception into the secrets. In substance it means [the highest stage of clairvoyance––the divine] . . . but the real significance of the word is “overseeing,” from ÐBJ@:"4–– “I see myself.” [In Sanskrit the root ap had the same meaning originally, though now it is understood as meaning “to obtain.”]‡ B C W XIV 123




“Therefore, with the Kabalists it was a like symbol. “Bird” was a Chaldean, and has become a Hebrew synonym and symbol for Angel, a Soul, a Spirit, or Deva; and the “Bird’s Nest” was with both Heaven, and is God’s bosom in the Zohar. The perfect Messiah enters Eden “into that place which is called the Bird’s Nest” (Zohar, ii., 8b). …


“Like a bird that is flying from its nest, and that is the Soul from which the Shekeenah (divine wisdom or grace) does not move away” (Zohar, iii., 278a; Myer’s Qabbalah, 217). “The Nest of theeternal Bird, the flutter of whose wings produces life, is boundless space,” says the Commentary, meaning Hansa, the bird of Wisdom.


It is Adam Kadmon who is the (Sephirothal) tree, and it is he who becomes the “Tree of knowledge of good and evil “ esoterically. And that “tree hath around it seven columns (seven pillars) of the world, or Rectores”; the same “Progenitors” or “Sephiroth” again “operating through the respective orders of Angels in the spheres of the seven planets,” etc., one of which orders begets giants (Nephilim) on Earth.

S D II 292-3




“he early Hebrews following in the steps of the Oriental philosophy—Chaldean, Persian, Hindu, Arabic, etc. Their Primal Cause was designated at first “by the triadic Shaddaï, the (triune) Almighty, subsequently by the Tetragrammaton, YHVH, symbol of the Past, Present, and Future,” and, let us add, of 


The eternal Is, or the I AM. Moreover, in the Kabala the name YHVH (or Jehovah) expresses a He and a She, male and female, two in one, or Hokhmah and Binah, and his, or rather their Shekinah or synthesizing spirit (grace), which makes again of the Duad a Triad. 


This is demonstrated in the Jewish Liturgy for Pentecost, and the prayer, “In the name of Unity, of the Holy and Blessed Hû (He), and His Shekinah, the Hidden and Concealed Hû, blessed be YHVH (the Quaternary) for ever.” “Hû is said to be masculine and YAH feminine, together they make the i.e., one YHVH. One, but of a male-female nature. 


The Shekinah is always considered in the Qabbalah as feminine” (p. 175). And so it is considered in the exoteric Purânas, for Shekinah isno more than Sakti—the female double or lining of any god, in suchcase. And so it was with the early Christians whose Holy Spirit was feminine, as Sophia was with the Gnostics. But in the transcendental Chaldean Kabala or “Book of Numbers,” “Shekinah” is sexless, and the purest abstraction, a State, like Nirvana, not subject or object or anything except an absolute PRESENCE.


Thus it is only in the anthromorphised systems (such as the Kabala has now greatly become) that Shekinah-Sakti is feminine. As such she becomes the Duad of Pythagoras, the two straight lines of the symbol that can never meet,which therefore form no geometrical figure and the symbol of matter. Out of this Duad, when united in one basic line of the triangle on the lower plane (the upper Triangle of the Sephirothal Tree), emerge the Elohim, or Deity in Cosmic Nature, with the true Kabalists the lowest designation, translated in the Bible “God” (see the same work and page).* Out of these issue the Scintillas.


The Scintillas are the “Souls,” and these Souls appear in the three-fold form of Monads (units), atoms and gods—according to our teaching. “Every atom becomes a visible complex unit (a molecule), and once attracted into the sphere of terrestial activity, the Monadic Essence, passing through the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, becomes man.” (Esot. Catechism.) 


Again, “God, Monad, and Atom are the correspondences of Spirit, Mind, and Body (Atma, Manas, and Sthula Sarira) in man.” In their septenary aggregation they are the “Heavenly Man” (see Kabala for the latter term); thus, terrestrial man is the provisional reflection ofthe Heavenly. . . . “The Monads (Jivas) are the Souls of the Atoms, both are the fabric in which the Chohans (Dhyanis, gods) cloth themselveswhen a form is needed.” (Esot. Cat.)


This relates to Cosmic and sub-planetary Monads, not to the Super-Cosmic Monas (the Pythagorean Monad) as called, in its synthetic character, by the Pantheistical Peripatetics. 


The Monads of the present dissertation are treated from the standpoint of their individuality, as atomic Souls, before these atoms descend into pure terrestrial form. For this descent into concrete matter marks the medial point of their own individual pilgrimage. 


Here, losing in the mineral kingdom their individuality, they begin to ascend through the seven states of terrestrial evolution to that point where a correspondence is firmly established between the human and Deva (divine) consciousness. At present, however, we are not concerned with their terrestrial metamorphoses and tribulations, but with their life and behaviour in Space, on planes wherein the eye of the most intuitional chemist and physicistcannot reach them—unless, indeed, he develops in himself highly clairvoyant faculties.”

S D I 618-19




“It is quite true that the origin of every religion is based on thedual powers, male and female, of abstract Nature, but these in their turn were the radiations or emanations of the sexless, infinite, absolute Principle, the only One to be worshipped in spirit and not with rites; whose immutable laws no words of prayer or propitiation can change, and whose sunny or shadowy, beneficent or maleficent influence, grace or curse, under the form of Karma, can be determined only by the actions—not by the emptysupplications—of the devotee. 


This was the religion, the One Faith of the whole of primitive humanity, and was that of the “Sons of God,” the B’ne Elohim ofold. This faith assured to its followers the full possession of transcendental psychic powers, of the truly divine magic. 


Later on, when mankind fell, in the natural course of its evolution “into generation,” i.e., into human creation and procreation, andcarrying down the subjective process of Nature from the plane of spirituality to that of matter—made in its selfish and animal adoration of self a God of the human organism, and worshipped self in this objective personal Deity, then was black magic initiated. 


This magic or sorcery is based upon, springs from, and has the very life and soul of selfish impulse; and thus was gradually developed the idea of a personal God. The first “pillar of unhewn stone,” the first objective “sign and witness to the Lord,” creative, generative, and the “Father of man,” was made to become the archetype and progenitor of the long series of male (vertical) and female (horizontal) Deities, of pillars, and cones. 


Anthropomorphism in religion is the direct generator of and stimulus to theexercise of black, left-hand magic.


And it was again merely a feeling of selfish national exclusiveness—not even patriotism—of pride and self-glorification over all other nations, that could lead an Isaiah to see a difference between the one living God and the idols of the neighbouring nations. 


In the day of the great “change,” Karma, whether called personal or impersonal Providence, will see no difference between those who set “an altar [horizontal] to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar [vertical] at the border thereof” (Isaiah xix, 19), and they who “seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards” [Isaiah, xix, 3]—for all this is human, hence devilish black magic.


It is then the latter magic, coupled with anthropomorphic worship, that caused the “Great War” and was the reason for the “Great Flood” of Atlantis; for this reason also the Initiates—those who had remained true to primeval Revelation—formed themselvesinto separate communities, keeping their magic or religious rites in the profoundest secrecy. The caste of the Brāhmanas, the descendants of the“mind-born Rishis and Sons of Brahmā” dates from those days, as also do the “Mysteries.”


Natural sciences, archaeology, theology, philosophy, all have been forced in The Secret Doctrine to give their evidence in support of the teachings herein again propounded. 


Vox audita perit: litera scripta manet. [Spoken words are lost, written words remain]


Published admissions cannot be made away with—even by an opponent: they have been made good use of. Had I acted otherwise, The Secret Doctrine, from the first chapter to the last, would have amounted to uncorroboratedpersonal affirmations. Scholars and some of the latest discoveries in various departments of science being brought to testify to what might have otherwise appeared to the average reader as the most preposterous hypotheses based upon unverified assertions, the rationality of these will be made clear. Occult teaching will at last be examined in the light of science, physical as well as spiritual. “

B C W XIII 259



“True, Magic has lost its name, and along with it its rights to recognition. But its practice is in daily use; and its progeny, “magnetic influence,” “power of oratory,” “irresistible fascination,” “whole audiences subdued and held as though under a spell,” are terms recognized and used by all, generally meaningless though they now are. Its effects, however, are more determined and definite among religious congregations such as the Shakers, the Negro Methodists, and Salvationists, who call it “the action of the Holy Spirit” and “grace.” 


The real truth is that Magic is still in full sway amidst mankind, however blind the latter to its silent presence and influence on its members, however ignorant society may be, and remain, to its daily and hourly beneficent and maleficent effects. The world is full of such unconscious magicians–in politics as well as in daily life, in the Church as in the strongholds of Free-Thought. Most of those magicians are “sorcerers” unhappily, not metaphorically but in sober reality, by reason of their inherent selfishness, their revengeful natures, their envy and malice. 


The true student of Magic, well aware of the truth, looks on in pity, and, if he be wise, keeps silent. Fore very effort made by him to remove the universal cecity is only repaid with ingratitude, slander, and often curses, which, unable to reach him, will react on those who wish him evil. Lies and calumny–the latter a teething lie, adding actual bites to empty harmless falsehoods –become his lot, and thus the well-wisheris soon torn to pieces, as a reward for his benevolent desire to enlighten.


Enough has been given, it is believed, to show that the existence of a Secret Universal Doctrine, besides its practical methods of Magic, is no wild romance or fiction. The fact was known to the whole ancient world, and the knowledge of it has survived in the East, in India especially. And if there be such a Science, there must be naturally, somewhere, professors of it, orAdepts. In any case it matters little whether the Guardians of the Sacred Lore are regarded as living, actually existing men, or are viewed as myths.It is their Philosophy that will have to stand or fall upon its own merits, apart from, and independent of any Adepts. For in the words of the wise Gamaliel, addressed by him to the Synedrion: “If this doctrine is false it will perish, and fall of itself; but if true, then––it cannot be destroyed.”  

B C W XIV 32-4














[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application