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RE: Theos-World The Seven Keys of Symbolism?

Nov 01, 2005 05:51 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck

Nov 1 2005

Dear Desmond :

A serious and devoted study of the SECRET DOCTRINE will engage a lifetime.

I suggest you acquire (as a preliminary, if not yet acquired) from The OCEAN
OF THEOSOPHY (200 pp) , and The KEY TO THEOSOPHY (300 pp), an overview,
then approach the SECRET DOCTRINE . [ Also keep detailed notes as you go.]

If you seek to analyse it or approach it with some pre-set or prejudiced
ideas it will yield only more puzzle to your mind.

It helps if you are a "generalist," i.e.: one who is familiar with and
interested in anything that provides more information and knowledge
explanatory of all that surrounds us. I have found that the study of
THEOSOPHY provides many links to bridge the "gaps" for which our scientific
researchers provide "hypotheses, and theories." 

The SECRET DOCTRINE is an introduction to the HISTORY of our world and
Kosmos -- so it starts with the basic ideas and developments. There are many
students in the world who study and share their findings.

It is NOT written as a "text-book." I mean the SECRET DOCTRINE .

This is because it has to show gradually the underlying structure of what we
think is matter and reality. It uses as evidence ancient history as well as
modern science and continues to do this as devoted students continually add
to its data and include fresh evidence. A record of this will be found in
magazines such as THEOSOPHY (93rd. volume) and the THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT
(75th. vol.) 

Here are some questions (as an instance):

1	what provides the underlying structure to any form or body patterns
? [What holds the atoms, molecules, cells and organs in their particular
cooperative arrangements ?]

2	Is there a vast PLAN that is evident in every aspect of NATURE ?
[Who or what designed it ? ]

3	Is there a reactive sensitivity (psychology) in our environment ? [I
there evidence of thought and will affecting matter and other living things?

4	Do ancient religions and philosophies hold information ? [ One has
to acquire a facility to grasp ancient languages and descriptive names and
events -- a form of pre-history -- myth, legend and symbology -- the SECRET
DOCTRINE employs this -- you mention Kabala and the wisdom of the ancient
Jews -- this was borrowed from still more ancient scriptures: the Hindu
Vedas. [The Jews and Semites as a sub-race, emigrated progressively from
India since about 3,000 B C: JUDAISM (Tchandala Emigrants from India -
Yadus) Is II 433 ] 

5	Are not our scientists and investigators uncovering the plans and
arrangements that NATURE has put into place intelligently? Nature has
always placed the same patterns for us to uncover. "It got there first!"

6	What is the pattern of these ?

7	Is NATURE conscious and intelligent?  

8	Where do we derive our mind and sensations from?

9	Is there somewhere a purpose and a reality ?

10	Can we discover it ?

Since most of the quotes that we will discuss come from SD, I hope the
following extracts from Robert Bowen's notes of personal teachings given by
H.P.B. to private pupils during the years 1888 to 1891 on how to study SD
may be of some help.

"At last we have managed to get H.P.B. to put us right on the matter of the
study of the S.D. Let me get it down while it is all fresh in mind.
Reading the S.D. page by page as one reads any other book (she says) will
only end us in confusion. 

The first thing to do, even if it takes years, is to get some grasp of the
"Three Fundamental Principles" given in the Proem. 

Follow that up by study of the Recapitulation -- the numbered items in the
Summing Up to Vol. I. (Part 1.). 

Then take the Preliminary Notes (Vol. II.) and the Conclusion (Vol.

She talked a good deal about the "Fundamental Principle." 

She says: If one imagines that one is going to get a satisfactory picture of
the constitution of the Universe from the S.D. one will get only confusion
from its study. It is not meant to give any such final verdict on existence,
but to LEAD TOWARDS THE TRUTH. She repeated this latter expression many

It is worse than useless going to those whom we imagine to be advanced
students (she said) and asking them to give us an "interpretation" of the
S.D. They cannot do it. If they try, all they give are cut and dried
exoteric renderings which do not remotely resemble the Truth. To accept such
interpretation means anchoring ourselves to fixed ideas, whereas Truth lies
beyond any ideas we can formulate or express.

Exoteric interpretations are all very well, and she does not condemn them so
long as they are taken as pointers for beginners, and are not accepted by
them as anything more. 

Many persons who are in, or who will in the future be in the T.S. are of
course potentially incapable of any advance beyond the range of a common
exoteric conception. 

But there are, and will be others, and for them she sets out the following
and true way of approach to the S.D. 

Come to the S.D. (she says) without any hope of getting the final Truth of
existence from it, or with any idea other than seeing how far it may lead
TOWARDS the Truth. See in study a means of exercising and developing the
mind never touched by other studies. 

Observe the following rules: 

1. No matter what one may study in the S.D. let the mind hold fast, as the
basis of its ideation to the following ideas 

(a) The FUNDAMENTAL UNITY OF ALL EXISTENCE. This unity is a thing altogether
different from the common notion of unity -- as when we say that a nation or
an army is united; or that this planet is united to that by lines of
magnetic force or the like. The teaching is not that.  

It is that existence is ONE THING, not any collection of things linked

Fundamentally there is ONE BEING. 

This Being has two aspects, positive and negative. The positive is Spirit,
or CONSCIOUSNESS. The negative is SUBSTANCE, the subject of consciousness. 

This Being is the ABSOLUTE in its primary manifestation. Being absolute
there is nothing outside it. It is ALL-BEING. It is indivisible, else it
would not be absolute. 

If a portion could be separated, that remaining could not be absolute,
because there would at once arise the question of COMPARISON between it and
the separated part. 

Comparison is incompatible with any idea of absoluteness. Therefore it is
clear that this fundamental One Existence, or Absolute Being must be THE

I said that though this was clear to me I did not think that many in the
Lodges would grasp it. 

"Theosophy," she said, "is for those who can think, or for those who can
drive themselves to think, not mental sluggards." 

4 Fundamental Ideas Given by HPB 

(a)The Atom, the Man, the God (she says) are each separately, as well as all
collectively, Absolute Being in their last analysis, that is their REAL

It is this idea which must be held always in the background of the mind to
form the basis for every conception that arises from study of the S.D. 

The moment one lets it go (and it is most easy to do so when engaged in any
of the many intricate aspects of the Esoteric Philosophy) the idea of
SEPARATION supervenes, and the study loses its value.  

(b) The second idea to hold fast to is that THERE IS NO DEAD MATTER. Every
last atom is alive. It cannot be otherwise since every atom is itself
fundamentally Absolute Being. Therefore there is no such thing as "spaces"
of Ether, or Akasha, or call it what you like, in which angels and
elementals disport themselves like trout in water. That's the common idea.
The true idea shows every atom of substance no matter of what plane to be in
itself a LIFE. 

(c) The third basic idea to be held is that Man is the MICROCOSM. As he is
so, then all the Hierarchies of the Heavens exist within him.  

But in truth there is neither Macrocosm nor Microcosm but ONE EXISTENCE.
Great and small are such only as viewed by a limited consciousness. 

(d) Fourth and last basic idea to be held is that expressed in the Great
Hermetic Axiom. It really sums up and synthesizes all the others. 

“As is the Inner, so is the Outer; as is the Great so is the Small; as itis
above, so it is below; there is but One Life and Law; and he that worketh it
is ONE. Nothing is Inner, nothing is Outer; nothing is Great, nothing is
Small; nothing is High, nothing is Low, in the Divine Economy. “

No matter what one takes as study in the S.D. one must correlate it with
those basic ideas." [Notes by Cmdr. Bowen ]   

Best wishes, glad to help,



Here are some of the references that may help you:




SVARÂJ (Sk.). “The last or seventh (synthetical) ray of the seven solar
rays; the same as Brahmâ. These seven rays are the entire gamut of the seven
occult forces (or gods) of nature, as their respective names well prove.
These are: Sushumnâ (the ray which transmits sunlight to the moon);
Harikesha, Visvakarman, Visvatryarchas, Sannadhas, Sarvavasu, and Svaraj. As
each stands for one of the creative gods or Forces, it is easy to see how
important were the functions of the sun in the eyes of antiquity, and why it
was deified by the profane.’	Glos 315

SUSHUMNÂ, (Sk.). “The solar ray--the first of the seven rays. Also the
name of a spinal nerve which connects the heart with the
Brahma-randra, and plays a most important part in Yoga practices.”


7 Cosmic and Human principles S D II 596	

PRINCIPLES. The Elements or original essences, the basic differentiations
upon and of which all things are built up. We use the term to denote the
seven individual and fundamental aspects of the One Universal Reality in
Kosmos and in man. Hence also the seven aspects in the manifestation in the
human being—divine, spiritual, psychic, astral, physiological and simply
physical.” Glos 262-3


denies a vital principle I 603 
ignorant of Moon's influence I 264 
magician of the future I 261 
of man & animals II 187-90 
occult facts of II 295-8 
of organisms II 116-17 
psychic knowledge would widen II 370n 
septenate in II 623 &n



Aryan & Egyptian, not understood I 226 
deals only w false personality II 254 
Eastern I 54 
esoteric, septenary II 632-3 
fifth element & II 135 
"laws of association" I 292 
in lunar worship I 398 
monism, materialism & negative I 124 &nn 
sees man as evolved animal I 636 
shifted to crass materialism II 156n 
spiritual vs materialistic I 620n


There are seven chief groups of such DHYAN CHOHANS, which groups will
be found and recognised in every religion, for they are the primeval
SEVEN Rays. Humanity, occultism teaches us, is divided into seven
distinct groups and their sub-divisions, mental, spiritual, and
physical.	[SD I, 573]


Absolute beyond grasp of highest I 51 
agents of cosmic law I 274-5 
aggregate of, Divine Intelligence I 452, 471-2, 595, 604 
Ah-hi (dhyan-buddhic) parinishpanna I 53 
Aletae, Lares, Kabiri or II 360-1, 393 
Amshaspends II 358, 365-6 
angels I 222n, 226, 274, 611 
anupadaka [aupapaduka] & I 52 
architects of visible world I 16 
astral man reflection of II 170 
boughs of Hiranyagarbha I 406 
builders & watchers I 233 
can do better than initiates I 234-5 
Chenresi II 178 
clothed in souls, atoms I 619 
conscious, intelligent powers I 93 
cosmic, cause terrestrial phenomena I 604 
cosmic, dual host of beings I 604 
cosmic mind & law are I 278, 579n, 595 
create man & world II 242, 510 
Deity's incarnated beams II 584 
devas I 288n; II 307 
direct causative agents of man I 229-30 
do not fully remember former cosmos II 310 
do not pass thru lower kingdoms I 188 
dual nature of hosts of I 280 
elements stand for I 339, 372-3 &n 
elohim II 37 
endow man w self-consciousness II 232-3n 
esoteric hierarchy of II 465 
evolved first races II 307, 365-6 
failures among I 188; II 232-3n 
first group of I 197 
forbidden fruit & II 267 
form manifested Verbum I 278 
four arms of II 179 
four classes of II 60, 102 
four Maharajas kings of I 122 
four primal natures of I 82 
four suns of life & II 239 
guide elemental forces I 277-8 
Hermetic daimones, genii I 288n 
hierarchy of, & 31415 I 90, 93 
higher creative, or Demiurgos I 110 
highest, know solar system II 700n 
Host, Elohim, Jehovah or II 510 
incarnate in man I 188, 295n; II 92 
invisible deity I 114 
karmic agents I 274, 278 
Keely under class of I 559 
Kwan-shi-yin aggregate of I 471 
made worlds fr primary stuff I 598n 
manifest divine thought & will I 38 
manifested theogony I 434 
man's seven principles & I 226-7 
manus or I 452; II 308-9, 365-6 
manvantaric emanations of Logos I 429 
man will merge into his I 265 
man needs two rounds to become II 257 
men fr other manvantaras I 277 
minor logoi or elohim II 37 
nature's guiding intelligences I 146, 277-8 
never-resting breaths I 103 
in nirvana during pralaya I 116n 
not perfect or to be worshiped I 280 
objective universe built on I 375 
ophanim ['ophannim] or I 92, 337 
pass thru Circle of Necessity II 303 
planetary spirits I 635 
popular description of II 178-9 
populations of, in other worlds I 583n 
preside over constellations I 638 primordial mind or I 52 
races, rounds, & I 42, 233, 442, 573 &n 
reflect universal ideation I 280 
refused to create II 246 
rupa, arupa I 197; II 318n 
septenary groups of I 573-4; II 361 
seven primordial sages II 267n 
seven rays fr Logos I 130, 573 
seven rupa classes of II 318n 
sixfold, minus physical I 222n, 235 
six hierarchies of, & saktis I 292-3 
sources of revelation I 10 
substance of I 289-90 
three lords or II 212 
various names for I 42, 375; II 90, 365-6 
wanted man to become a god II 246




allegories & symbols have seven II 291n 
geometry the fifth II 471 
Hebrew physiological I 311 
human, one of seven II 291n 
IU gave, one turn I xxxviii 
Massey used two or three II 632 
Mysteries unlocked by seven II 632 
new, needed for mysteries II 795 
occult science a I 341 
Rabbis lost II 537 
Ragon on the, to symbols I 363 
required for old theogony II 248 
seven, must not be mixed II 517 
seven, open past & future I 325 
seven, taught in occultism I 155n; II 523 
seven, to man's genesis I 323 
seven, to meaning of swastika II 99 
seven, to universal symbology I xxxviii, 310-11, 363 
in Skinner's Source of Measures I 318 &n 
to theogonies & Secret Doctrine II 23, 767 
three of seven, only given II 517 
three or four used in Secret Doctrine II 797 
of wisdom found in nature II 797 
to Zohar & Bible II 536-45, 590-8


allegory within an II 94 
ark & seven rishis an II 139 
astronomical II 380 
based on reminiscence II 293 
Bible, now unveiled I 315 
bisexuality universal in II 125 
esoteric teaching uses II 81 
Fohat key to many I 673 
foolishly called fables II 103 
Garuda origin of other II 564-5 
of initiation & adeptship II 380 
interpretation of I 310; II 94n, 384, 765 
of Noahs, Vaivasvatas, etc II 314 
Puranas are history & I 520; II 253, 323 
record of real events II 235 
reject, based on creeds II 194 
seven, 10, 21 
rishis, munis, etc II 259n 
of Soma & Tara II 498-9 
symbolism &, in Mysteries II 124 
wisdom preserved in I 307, 466; II 235, 410 
years of patriarchs are II 426 
zodiacal, historical II 353


in chemistry I 218n; II 627 
betw cosmos & man I 173, 177, 206, 227n, 606; II 29n 
fr cosmos to smallest globe II 66 
dhyani-chohans & II 700n 
false I 472 
guided ancient philosophers II 616 
guide to occult teachings I 173 
images on various planes II 268 
law in nature I 604; II 153, 699 
limitations of I 150 
logic of, & giants II 154n 
betw man & manvantara I 263n 
pralaya known by I 116n 
principles, rounds, races II 254n, 257, 684-5 
scientific corroborations I 585-6n 
seven rounds & seven-month embryo II 257 
seven turns of key of I 150-1


law of I 585-6n; II 197, 301. 


adopted on this plane II 312n 
ages of man II 117, 312n 
in Anugita II 637-8 
Apollo patron of II 772n 
astral phenomena & II 627 
became eight (ogdoad) II 358n 
Bible, prominent in I 387; II 4 
in Book of the Dead (Egy) I 674 
born fr upper triangle II 574 
bright Sravah or Amshaspends II 516 
chemical elements governed by II 627-8 
in Christian dogmas I 310-11 
churches, Sodalian Mysteries II 633 
circles II 80 
classes of pitris II 77, 89, 91-2 
colors fr one ray II 492 
columns, rectores around tree II 293 
creations I 21, 217, 445-60; II 53n, 612, 624 
cross, circle & oldest symbols II 582 
crucifixion, esoteric meanings of II 560-1 
dialects of Mystery language I 310 
dvipas & planetary chain II 320 
earths, heavens, seas I 447-8 
elements, cosmic I 137, 140, 347, 460 II 596
elements of man (Gnostic) II 604-5, 632 
every scripture has, aspects II 496 
eyes of the Lord II 22, 626 
feminine number of generation II 581-2 
-fold division secret I xxxv 
forces, powers, planets II 602 &n 
forms, colors, sounds, taste & II 622 
forty-nine &, fires II 363 
forty-nine &, in Sanskrit texts II 611 
found in all religions II 34-7 
four lower, three higher II 92, 581-2, 598 
generative number w Hebrews I 114 
Gnostic vowels of St John II 565 
governors of dhyani-chohans I 601 
Greek, fr Hindus II 408 
-headed serpent of space I 342 
heart, skin plexuses & II 92 
heavens, dhyanis of II 273 
heavens, vowels (Gnostic) II 563 
Hebrew word for week II 624n 
hosts build world II 489 
initiators linked w II 529 
keys I 310, 318, 325; II 291n, 335, 471, 538, 632-3 
keys to meaning of swastika II 99 
keys to symbol language II 471, 538, 584, 765 
kings, rishis I 376 
Laycock on cycles of II 622-3 &n 
letters of Jehovah's name I 335 
Logos, -voweled sign I 79 
magic number II 629-30 
manifested universe II 626 
master of the Moon II 601 
modes of interpretation I 374 
not confined to any nation II 603 
number of divine mysteries I 36 
number of present manvantara II 590 
occult virtues of, (Hippocrates) II 312n 
pass fr India to Christians II 612 
Philo on I 407 
planes, keys, sciences II 335 
planetary spirits II 318n 
point, triangle, quaternary became II 612 
powers of, & cycles I 36 
powers of nature, angels of II 273 
powers of the Logos II 359 
primeval gods II 514 
principles, states of matter II 29, 92, 491, 631-2 
properties of nature (Boehme) II 595 
in Puranas, Esoteric Buddhism I 348 
Qabbalah (Myer) re various I 347-8 
races, continents II 1-12, 77, 91 
real scale of natures I 656n 
regents of Pymander of elohim II 488 
root nature-number present cycle I 460; II 621 
sacred in every nation I 114 
sacred islands II 326 
senses & seven hotris (Anugita) I 87, 96 
sins, virtues, sacraments I 310-11 
-skinned, space called I 9 
son of seventh son II 213 
sons of Priyavrata II 320 
sound, color & II 627-9 
spheres of action II 621n 
Spirits of the Presence I 312 
spring, summer & II 583 
states of consciousness I 96 
three, four, ten & II 564 
triad emanates the I 427 
truths, four only given in fourth round I 42 
various, -fold symbols II 529-30, 612-18, 637-41, 771-2n 
virgin men (kumara) II 281 
vowels & forty-nine powers I 410-11; II 564


Gnostics had three I 448-9 
mysteries of II 590-1 
structure of men, gods II 91-2, 590-8, 
tetrad unfolded becomes II 599 
of Valentinus I 446


ancient, adopted by Christians I 402-3 
ancient use of I 466 
Church Fathers disfigured II 98, 481-2 
Confucian, & esoteric I 440-1 
cosmic, astrological, religious I 229, 241 
of cosmogenesis I 4-5 
cruciform, of Dii Termini II 542 
emblems &, compared I 305-6 
esoteric meanings of I 443-5 
exoteric, & creeds II 194 
Fohat key to many I 673 
heirloom fr Atlantis II 431 
Hindu & Chaldean II 383 
history contained in I 267; II 437 
initiates' knowledge of II 439 
Jews killed spirituality of II 459n 
levels of I 407 
many-faceted diamond I 305 
many meanings to every II 359 
Massey on importance of I 303-5 
most, archaic I 320-1 
occult II 335 
Ophidian II 355 
origin of, older than Egypt II 630 &n 
phallicism reigns supreme in II 273 
Pythagorean I 618-19 
rationale of II 81 
religion & esoteric hist in I 272-3, 307 
Renan ignorant of pagan II 457 
revelation of the godlike, (Carlyle) I 303 
serpent a divine, not evil II 505 
seven meanings to every I 363; II 22n, 335, 357, 538, 547, 584, 765 
sources of error in I 119 
of symbols II 547n 
Talmudic Jews profaned II 471 
of third race,of forth race II 30 
universal language II 469 
years of Patriarchs are II 426


Bible, Indian, Chaldean, Egyptian I 320-5 
Christian fr Hebrew, Hebrew fr Chaldean II 354 
discussed I 303-9 
fourth stage of, & generation I 36 
Hebrew-Egyptian I 308-9, 364n 
Hindu I 667 
history of world found in II 438 
interpretation of II 335 
kabbalistic II 457 
of marriage ceremony I 614-15n 
of Meru & Patala II 357 
Mosaic, became crude under Ezra I 319 
Mystery language or I 309; II 124 
& origin of evil II 274 
of Pentateuch & New Testament I 115n 
power of occult I 272 
representing abstractions I 615 
seven departments of I 305 
seven keys to universal I xxxviii, 310-11, 363; II 335 
spirit & value of II 469 
of temple curtain I 125


-----Original Message-----

From: desmontes
Sent: Monday, October 31, 2005 9:49 PM
Subject: The Seven Keys of Symbolism?


I have been currently engaged in the study of the Secret Doctrine and 
I have encountered continual references by HPB to the "key that must 
be turned seven times" with regard to the seven systems of symbolic 
interpretation. In the following paragraph she made distinct 
reference to three of them, anthropologic, psychic, and astronomical, 
but it is unclear to me if she is identifying the remaining four. She 
writes,	(S D I: 363 Ragon quoted)

Does she give a concise listing and explanation of these seven keys 
in any of her other writings, or perhaps somewhere else in the Secret 
Doctrine? If not, can someone more learned in the subject explain it 
me? The distinctions in the above paragraph seem unclear.



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