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Nov 05, 2005 01:11 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck




"For an analogy, let's say our concept of the universe consists of:

1. Universe = big pot

2. Space = room, or space in pot

3. material things = minestrone soup

So we're the ingredients in the soup . . . and . . .

On second thought, to continue with this analogy, I suspect that things
might tend to get somewhat out of hand . . . 

Is such an analogy farfetched?

For one thing , it is cast in physical terms -- and those may limit it. The
concepts are far larger.


And we all know that the "big pot" concept indicates that our MINDS must be
limiting themselves to what we think must be the "limits of matter." 

Not all will agree as to the dimensions, but a "big pot" is about as good as
a "big egg." ( like the "Egg of Brahma" - Hiranyagarbha )

In The SECRET DOCTRINE H P B gives us from p. 4 ( Vol. I) on, a survey of
symbology used by ancient science and philosophy in recording their thoughts
and observations.

A circle drawn on a large sheet of neutral colored paper symbolizes a
manifested Universe. But the circle (viewed symbologically as a flat
surface) indicates a division between enclosed SPACE ( "space in a pot" )
and the SPACE THAT IS UNLIMITED -- outside the pot. 

This unlimited SPACE is said in thought to be the representative of the
ABSOLUTE or (THAT WHICH IS), whether there is manifestation or no

The ancient Hindus named its borderland: PARAMAPADATMAVA -- ( THEOSOPHICAL

p, 149) or that which borders on the Absolute.

"Material things" (our "minestrone") were symbolized by the 2 foci --- the
Germ and its protective womb --- inside the "Egg of Brahma." (this "Egg" is
named in Theosophy, among other things the MONAD.)

If you choose two foci ( SPIRIT and MATTER in contrast with one another )
you obtain an ovoid. 

An exact circle is unknown in the plane of manifestation since the basic
Perfection ) and MATTER ( or limited imperfection ) are, during, and for
that time in contrast. 

Since they are PERCEIVED it is assumed that the Perceiver is a third
Presence -- perhaps this quality could be recognized as the "Universal
Mind" (MAHAT) or: "THAT" which directs the "eye of the Dangma" -- at that

The line that unites the 2 foci in the "egg" of the manifested, is deemed

Going back to the "Big Pot" and what it may be, and what is "outside" it.

We don't really know what those limits (if any) are.

What would then form those limits?

What is OUTSIDE those limits? Still more "SPACE ?"

It sounds in a way like the illustration selected, and the old "Egg of
Brahma,." has about it, the same 2 questions prevailing:-- What is the
"shell ?" and, what lies OUTSIDE that first shell ?

So the BIG POT may be a selected UNIVERSE among many in an illimitable
plenum, which our physically limited (in experience) Minds cannot fully
encompass. So we, living in the "here and now, may call our Universe, or
our Solar system, or our Earth, the "big Pot" for the time being.

Now we could change views and apply to this analogy the concepts of
Metaphysics which deal with ideals, archetypes and unlimited horizons.

If so, we see emerging the Theosophical concepts of -- in sequence

The ABSOLUTE -- an eternal but indefinable background -- in and from which
all emerges in manifestation, and to which all returns when any period of
manifestation (in one or all UNIVERSES) ceases. (The "Big Pot" and all its
contents disappear into the resolution we might call the ABSOLUTE.)

Since we cannot easily comprehend, with our "embodied mind," a situation
where there is no-thing we (our embodied minds), contend that there is, in
fact, an annihilation, or a "rubbing out" of all the work of manifestation
when it ceases, and is supposed to be resolved back, so to say, into the
ABSOLUTE. It has a tendency to believe, that in the case of all the many
beings involved, and of the entire progress they achieved, the impact and
memory of their living and work is erased.-- as a whole. 

This is true insofar as the physical or embodied aspect is concerned, but it
is not true for the "astral," the psychic or spiritual impresses left on the
eternal Akasa (an imperishable recording substance, one of the aspects of
"Spirit") by the progress achieved of every being that has been through the
process of "evolution." Those impressions (call them individual memories)
are not effaced by physical dissolution.

At present, our embodied mind, with its tendency to associate the causative
unity of any being with its FORM ALONE, calls them "maya" or "illusion,"
and banishes them from any possible continued existence. We tend these
days to think that it is our physical "brains" that think. This is

Logic emphatically states this is not so. The resolution (at the end of
Manvantara) does not extend to the eternal SPIRITUAL IMPRESSION and the
SPIRITUAL BASE that is truly immortal in all things and underlies their
monadic (individual) progress eternally. 

That forever continues, and will be present at the time of re-manifestation
-- so that the entire cortege and procession (a record of which is impacted
in the Akasa, will, in that far distant future be re-established and will
re-manifest as "form" --. [ see ISIS UNVEILED AND THE VISHISHTADWAITA -- H.
P. Blavatsky [Theosophist, January 1886; BLAVATSKY: Collected Works (TPH)
Vol. 7 p. 50 ; 

U L T -- H P B Articles, Vol. III, p. 265-6 ]

IDEA or PRE-EXISTING PLAN (Unmanifested Logos)

The IDEA of Manifestation, (might be called a PLAN), is
sometimes called the UNMANIFESTED LOGOS. This unmanifested LOGOS [ "word"
implying THOUGHT and CONSCIOUSNESS] is periodical, cyclical, and appears
under the returning law of memory-impressions, or, UNIVERSAL KARMA. This
aspect of Karma of a universal, a transcendent scale, transcends all
manifestation and is an irresolvable portion of the ABSOLUTE. For us it is
causal. It is we here and now, who draw from it the memory of all our
previous existences. Our capacities and character are evidence of it.

But if it is an "idea," then that indicates the presence of a MIND, as a
focus and a point of priority --something that transcends and outlasts all
changes. It indicates the concept that one, or all UNIVERSES, reincarnate.
That is, they require a fresh set of conditions for their reembodiment, and
their individual evolution, to resume and proceed further. Obviously this
"new set" is the product of all the past, in all fairness and under the law
of cause and effect.


This is the idea of a School, on a UNIVERSAL scale. It holds that
successive periods of Manifestation (MANVANTARA) are the successive "days"
needed to go through the acquiring of knowledge and experience -- for the
UNIVERSES, as entities, are, themselves, made up of myriads of immortal
individual monadic components. [Our own physical bodies illustrate this.
We as embodied Minds, could have no field of experience in our lives, unless
an uncountable aggregation of monads, atoms, molecules and cells were not
brought together by a central -- an INDIVIDUAL INTELLIGENCE. It is THAT
which mentally we call ourselves as: "Egoity " (not egoism) as, "I."] 


Further, in this vast mechanism established with (and by) the cooperative
intelligence of each component as well as the WHOLE, is a built-in cyclic
or periodic affair. It indicates that the SPIRITUAL SELF of one, whether
large or small in terms of "forms," and, as a part of every other being, is
never annihilated. 

It (as the impression of acquired Intelligence) may rest in Pralaya or
Mahapralaya for a very long period, as we measure "time," but it never
escapes the eternal impression that is wholly and entirely Individual, and
which is being made as we live and choose, as our mown particular
INDIVIDUALITY in the Akasa of DURATION (timelessness).

This introduces several concepts: 1. pre-existence; 2. Spirit and
Matter, 3. Mind, 4. Cycles, 

5. Motion, and 6. Law (and minor laws). It also implies the most
important: 7. CONSCIOUSNESS, whether total or individual, as
"something" that notes, remembers and records personal and individual


If so, then there has to be a "recording medium" (Akasa) in which these
records are eternally set -- as memories of the past however remote. From
these (when taken as a whole) emerge in cyclic waves and vibrations (under
eternal law -- KARMA) the Plans of a fresh construction, a new field of
manifestation, of evolution and, eventually, of the dissolution of all such
temporary forms. Only the spiritual impression forever remains. The
archetypal forms of the past are evoked and used as a basis for new
assemblage of "materials." [ This is analogous to the process of
reincarnation. ]

These, the: 1. re-emergence, 2. progress, and 3. dissolution, give
rise to the concepts of "maya" or of universal illusion. [But, we always
should remember that they are cognized and perceived as individuals by
something which is NOT illusory.] It is because they, as constructs. are
always in
movement [Nitya Pralaya, see S D II, p. 69 footnote.]. But it also
implies that there is a Perceiver (whether individual or Universal) which is
not affected by the forces that bring any "maya" (illusion) to a close.

If we accept this as a valid and reasoned concept, and/or a fact -- that all
limits and all forms are temporary and illusory, there is an important
question remaining:

SOMETHING is OBSERVING the impermanency and all the changes. What is THAT ?

And, logically we return to the non-manifest ( or the An-Atman of old Hindu
philosophy, as one of the qualities of Parabrahm S D I 59 fn ) It is the
mysterious, ever-existing "Source" from which the periodical BRAHMA (in
the "egg" form) of every new incarnation of the Universe emerges, lives and
into which it eventually dissolves and returns, leaving the field of
manifested perception for the illimitable condition or state that we (on
this side) call "the ABSOLUTE."

CREATION and EVOLUTION (Manifesting Logos)

Next, we find in the ancient considerations that the IDEA OF MANIFESTATION
(or of
re-emergence out of PARAMARTHA -- absolute existence) is followed by the 2nd
LOGOS or the MANIFESTING LOGOS. The ancient Plan is reestablished, and the
"actors" ( all individual intelligences) are reanimated and given their
places on the stage as it is re-formed. 

>From PARAMAPADHA (bliss) where the substance is SUDDHA-SATTVA (spiritual
purity) there is the periodic return of "Nirvanees" (Immortal perfected
individualities) to resume their pilgrimage (S D II p, 79-80, 93-4, 109-110
refers to this). 

These "Nirvanees" may be our own Egos, returning to finish the work of the
development of self-consciousness they had begun aeons ago. It is said that
the present goal of humanity as individuals is to acquire a knowledge of
this Universe, and to "widen out" to it, thus making of our present power of
thinking, or "self-consciousness," first, SPIRITUAL SELF-consciousness, and
then UNIVERSAL SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS. As this is difficult to formulate the
"goal" for us, is said to be SUPREME PERFECTION. A perfection of all the
capacities and qualities of our minds and characters. 

This present series of incarnation is providing a filed of experience where
the "principles" of our desire nature (Kama), our minds ( MANAS) and our
individual wisdom (BUDDHI) are being adjusted by our perceptive awareness --
ATMA, the HIGHER SELF in each of us. And that is the undying individual
MONAD, which though never active, induces activity and consciousness (see S
D I pp. 175-6 footnote). It is the highest aspect of our Lower minds
(embodied consciousness) which has to attach itself to the Monad, and employ
the unlimited wisdom that it represents, in individual development. It is
for this reason that the Kama and the Lower Manas have to purify themselves.


Having done its work of transiting from the non-manifest into the apparent
chaos (abyss, or a fresh assemblage of the matter needed for continuing
evolution and developing a knowledge through experience of every aspect of
manifested Nature) of unorganized "matter" the MANIFESTING LOGOS becomes the
MANIFESTED LOGOS ( the 3rd in the chain.) But the volume of work being vast
this POWER (the Manifested Logos) splits itself into the uncountable
replicas of itself that are called in Theosophy MONADS. In this way "God
immanent" becomes "God OMNIPRESENT." 

The HIGHER SELF ( ATMA) becomes a resident, a tutor, present in the
innermost self of every human being. And nightly during deep-sleep the
highest aspects of personal consciousness confabulate with this the
"individual Inner God")


This MANIFESTED LOGOS ( a word signifying IDEA, or PLAN, or CYCLIC order)
proceeds to divide itself into 10 -- or into 3 (spiritual) + 7 (material)
aspects. All are equal in power as brother collaborators and "builders" of
the temporary universe and the temporary "bodies" ( principles ) of man. But
one (the highest -- ATMA) able to synthesize all of them when the ultimate
resolution back into the INDESCRIBABLE SOURCE comes as a point of final
"time" at the end of the manifested TIME that has been pre-set for that
UNIVERSE or for what is the WHOLE SET of UNIVERSES.


We may well ask when and where does "time" emerge. It emerges when the
manifesting Logos begins its work of transiting the older forces and powers
stored in the ABSOLUTENESS into forms and limits -- in effect it is the
transition of limited and illusory TIME out of immeasurable DURATION.


In The SECRET DOCTRINE (Vol 1, pp 570-575) we are given a survey of the
nature and work of the great builders and cosmic creators at work in
cooperation through every possible aspect of


One might, at this point, inquire into the process of education that
humanity undergoes. Who teaches? Turning to S D I 272-3 we find that
those members of humanity whom we revere as the Wise, as Sages, Prophets and
Mages, Buddhas, the Dhyanis, the Rishis -- all those who have graduated
from the "school of Earth" remain with the "Family of Man," and ever serve
it as instructors and friends -- our elder Brothers, the Mahatmas and
Masters of Wisdom. (see S D I 207 -210)

Humanity represents the most sensitive point of intelligence and
consciousness where the capacity of the material pole to make "forms" meets
the potency of the spiritual pole to offer, or restore consciousness to
those forms. The bridge is the independent and free Human Mind. Our
exercise (here and now) of this capacity results in considerations such as

We as humans represent the third factor, that which transcends the
limitations of "maya" and the concept of the potential energies and forces
that give harmony and creative, dynamic balance to
the worlds we live in. In the manifested MONAD, which is a DUAD of
spirit/matter, we discover that its motion and development require it to
become a triangle --- a TRIAD of spirit-matter-mind. This is the "spiritual
I" which inhabits and uses our physical bodies.

Actually it is a double triangle (adopted by Theosophy as a glyph for its
mission and a symbol of the wisdom it offers) as the material side is
represented by a triangle with apex pointed down, and the spiritual triangle
has its apex pointed up. The central point enclosed at the center, is the
place of the human mind (a TAU) that looks in all directions, and "sees
everything at once," when it wills to do

The range of our intelligence starts with an urge, a "desire" to alter the
ignorance of our potentials, into the permanency of spiritual WISDOM. 

There is a Vedic Hymn that states: "Desire first arose in It, which was the
primal germ of mind. And which Sages, seeking in their hearts, discovered
to be the bond that unites Being with NON-BEING."

[S D II 176, T. Glossary p. 170-1] We need to meditate on this. It
explains who and what we are.

This range of our potential intelligence expands, as experience accumulates
memories, so as to
grasp the probable existence of a universal WISDOM -- as a fact in nature.
And, it ends with the full power to employ those universal powers in harmony
with all the others in assisting the growth and perception in the Unlimited
Human Thought. In this process the human form has to be purified of
selfishness and ignorance. Wisdom is to be uniformly acquired, and then
limited to the needs of Karma. We become impersonal and impartial friends
to all living creatures when this is achieved.

But these Powers can only become practically usable for the Mind that has
purified its bonds with the embodied Kama or selfish, personal desire, and
has restored that Kama to the "Kama-deva" of the original impulse -- to its
position of cooperative harmony. In this, it transforms the selfish
personal into the impersonal SELF -- and is in fact, because of its wisdom,
a true Brother to all beings. It can do not evil. it cannot be selfish.
it cannot compel any being to act under its guidance. It can offer advice
(as our Conscience does) but never enforce. The freedom to choose and to
develop can never be curtailed or impugned by this spiritual SELF. The
light of ATMA -- of the SPIRITUAL SUN -- is made to shine through all
aspects of the personality made spiritual by self-transformation.

It is to this ATMA that the Gayatri verse is chanted. 

"Unveil, O thou who givest sustenance to the Universe, from whom all
proceed, to whom all must return, that face of the True Sun now hidden by a
vase of golden light, that we may see the truth and do our whole duty, on
our return to thy sacred seat."

This is the final stage depicted in the last pages of the VOICE OF THE
SILENCE. There we are shown how on the Spiritual path, Buddhi-Manas in us
(the "higher Mind") is be made active and guided by us (the ATMA -- the
HIGHER SELF) . The results are the production, by self effort, of wise
Buddhas. The life and work of such is fundamental to the whole of the
evolutionary process. 

The Wise ever serve. They serve as friends and guides in nature who have
the power to assist and direct the many currents of construction,
interaction, and brotherhood. Their teaching for us is the harmonizing and
the impersonalizing of the desire principle. Kama. It, they say, is to be
transformed into the desire that all shall become perfect. As a method to
achieve this, they say that the practice of
impersonal and universal ethics, morals and virtues is essential. It is
Brotherhood in action all the time.. These concepts will be found at the
base of every ancient religion and show that this philosophy was their
Source, and is truly universal.

Once that we perceive the immortality of all other beings and human minds,
our attitude becomes one that grasps the fact we are "Eternal Pilgrims," and
close relatives, who will never part. Then the expression of our relations
changes, and becomes that of spontaneous generosity, compassion and charity
-- such as extends a helping hand at any point of need. The concept of
"stranger," or "foreigner," or "not my community" disappears. We enter the

This may be a great amount of conceptualization -- as a theory, or a diagram
in words, to consider -- but we could say that a contemplation of the two
interlaced triangles within the CIRCLE epitomizes the whole of this. Man
(you and me) in the center, is symbolized by the TAU.

To sum up this essay, the SPIRITUAL MAN is ourselves -- our HIGHER SELF. He
is being built by every struggle we make to manifest virtue, and live a
spiritual life while encased in physical matter. We are the growing and
cutting edge of that wonderful, primal, initial urge to become spiritually

We become Elder Brothers, and "protectors of the weak and the poor" -- our
wisdom is to induce others to consider the means whereby they can achieve
perfection. This is to transform an "Ideal" into a "Reality." We enter the
Guruparampara and offer ourselves as "stones" in the "Guardian wall" that
ever protects humanity and the whole mass of our so many "younger brothers."



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