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Science and Theosophy

Feb 12, 2006 12:50 PM
by leonmaurer

To all, for your general interest...

Below is a reprint of a web posting by a well known (at least in California 
:-) maverick scientist/philosopher/guru comparing the Secret Doctrine by H. P. 
Blavatsky with modern sciences (quantum physics, relativity, etc.) and 
philosophies (Phenomenology, Existentialism, etc.).   It would also be interesting to 
read some of his dialogues with leading physicists and Nobel prize winners. 
(see Home below)

The Secret Doctrine and Complementarity

Note: I explain below the relevance of this passage, written in 1888, to 
quantum theory and the philosophy of complementarity. The URL given immediately 
below is the testimony of one Leon Maurer concerning Einstein's interest in "The 
Secret Doctrine".

[Helena Blavatsky]
The Secret Doctrine establishes three fundamental propositions: -

(a) An omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable PRINCIPLE on which all 
speculation is impossible, since it transcends the power of human conception 
and could only be dwarfed by any human expression or similitude. It is beyond 
the range and reach of thought - in the words of Mandukya, "unthinkable and 

[Peter Mutnick]
If the source of the complementary pairs of opposites is not this type of 
plenitude, then the alternative is a cheap defective universe. This is the 
impression that many have of complementarity and the Copenhagen Interpretation, but 
it is a misconception on their part from the outset.

To render these ideas clearer to the general reader, let him set out with the 
postulate that there is one absolute Reality which antecedes all manifested, 
conditioned, being. This Infinite and Eternal Cause - dimly formulated in the 
"Unconscious" and "Unknowable" of current European philosophy - is the 
rootless root of "all that was, is, or ever shall be". It is of course devoid of all 
attributes and is essentially without any relation to manifested, finite 
Being. It is "Be-ness" rather than Being (in Sanskrit, *Sat*), and is beyond all 
thought or speculation.

The penetration of the Unconscious leads to the implicate order as the true 
Mind of the Observer. The Unknowable is the foundation for the implicate order 
as the noumenal back-ground. The Infinite and Eternal Cause = the God of 
Spinoza = the Implicate Order of Bohm.

This "Be-ness" is symbolized in the Secret Doctrine under two aspects. On the 
one hand, absolute abstract Space, representing bare subjectivity, the one 
thing which no human mind can either exclude from any conception, or conceive of 
by itself. On the other hand, absolute Abstract Motion representing 
Unconditioned Consciousness.

The primary pair of conjugate variables are enunciated in 1888! Moreover a 
possibly profound meaning is given to them.

Even our Western thinkers have shown that Consciousness is inconceivable to 
us apart from change, and motion best symbolizes change, its essential 
characteristic. This latter aspect of the one Reality is also symbolized by the term 
"The Great Breath", a symbol sufficiently graphic to need no further 
elucidation. Thus, then, the first fundamental axiom of the Secret Doctrine is this 
metaphysical ONE ABSOLUTE - BE-NESS - symbolized by finite intelligence as the 
theological Trinity.

It may, however, assist the student if a few further explanations are given 

Herbert Spencer has of late so modified his Agnosticism as to assert that the 
nature of the "First Cause", which the Occultists more logically derives from 
the "Causeless Cause", the "Eternal", and the "Unknowable", may be 
essentially the same as that of the Consciousness which wells up within us; in short, 
that the impersonal reality pervading the Kosmos is the noumenon of thought. 
This advance on his part brings him very near to the esoteric and Vedantin tenet.

Parabrahm (the One Reality, the Absolute) is the field of Absolute 
Consciousness, i.e., that Essence which is out of all relation to conditioned existence, 
and of which conscious existence is a conditioned symbol. But once we pass in 
thought from this (to us) Absolute Negation, duality supervenes in the 
contrast of Spirit (or consciousness) and Matter, Subject and Object.

This Absolute Consciousness is the same discovered by Edmund Husserl through 
the phenomenological reduction. It is discovered by everyone who turns their 
attention inward and asks in sincerity, "Who and What am I?" But this cannot be 
done casually or even necessarily through an act of will. Husserl said only 
that one should perform the phenomenological reduction at least once during 
one's lifetime. It is a peak experience and the experience of a lifetime. Zen 
adepts often had two experiences: one an initial Kensho; and later a complete 

Spirit (or Consciousness) and Matter are, however, to be regarded, not as 
independent realities, but as two facets or aspects of the Absolute (Parabrahm), 
which constitute the basis of conditioned Being whether subjective or 

Considering this metaphysical triad as the Root from which proceeds all 
manifestation, the great Breath assumes the character of precosmic Ideation. I is 
the *fons et origo* of force and of all individual consciousness, and supplies 
the guiding intelligence in the vast scheme of cosmic Evolution. On the other 
hand, precosmic root-substance (*Mulaprakriti*) is that aspect of the Absolute 
which underlies all the objective planes of Nature.

Just as pre-Cosmic Ideation is the root of all individual consciousness, so 
pre-Cosmic Substance is the substratum of matter in the various grades of its 

Substance and Ideation have to do with the State Vector and its Reduction.

Hence it will be apparent that the contrast of these two aspects of the 
Absolute is essential to the existence of the "Manifested Universe". Apart from 
Cosmic Substance, Cosmic Ideation could not manifest as individual consciousness, 
since it is only through a vehicle of matter that consciousness wells up as 
"I am I", a physical basis being necessary to focus a ray of the Universal Mind 
at a certain level of complexity. Again, apart from the Cosmic Ideation, 
Cosmic Substance would remain an empty abstraction, and no emergence of 
consciousness could ensue.

Clearly applicable to the State Vector and its Reduction.

The "Manifested Universe", therefore, is pervaded by duality, which is, as it 
were, the very essence of its EX-istence as "manifestation".

EX-istence = explicate order.

But just as the opposite poles of subject and object, spirit and matter, are 
but aspects of the One Unity in which they are synthesized, so, in the 
manifested Universe, there is "that" which links spirit to matter, subject to object.

This something, at present unknown to Western speculation, is called by the 
occultists Fohat. It is the "bridge" by which the "Ideas" existing in the 
"Divine Thought" are impressed on Cosmic substance as the "laws of Nature". Fohat 
is thus the dynamic energy of Cosmic Ideation; or, regarded from the other 
side, it is the intelligent medium, the guiding power of all manifestation, the 
"Thought Divine" transmitted and made manifest through the Dhyan Chohans, the 
Architects of the visible World. Thus from Spirit, or Cosmic Ideation, comes our 
consciousness; from Cosmic Substance the several vehicles in which that 
consciousness is individualized and attains to self - or reflective - 
consciousness; while Fohat, in its various manifestations, is the mysterious link between 
Mind and Matter, the animating principle electrifying every atom into life.

[Niels Bohr]
"Actually, ordinary language by its use of such words as thoughts and 
sentiments, admits typical complementary relations between conscious experiences 
implying a different placing of the section line between the observing subject and 
object on which attention is focussed. We are here presented with a close 
analogy to the relationship between atomic phenomena appearing under different 
experimental conditions and described by different physical concepts, according 
to the role played by the measuring instruments. In fact, the varying 
separation line between subject and object, characteristic of different conscious 
experiences, is the clue to the consistent logical use of such contrasting notions 
as will, conscience and aspirations, each referring to equally important 
aspects of human personality." (Niels Bohr, "Physical Science and the Study of 
Religions", 1953, in TPWNB, Volume IV, pp. 159-60)

Fohat as the mediator of subject and object is more than the "aspects of the 
human personality" which are products of varying placements of the split. 
Fohat actually synthesizes the opposites (complementary pairs) in a way that is 

The following summary will afford a clearer idea to the reader.

(1) The ABSOLUTE; the *Parabrahm* of the Vedantins or the one Reality, SAT, 
which is, as Hegel says, both Absolute Being and Non-Being.
(2) The first manifestation, the impersonal, and, in philosophy, 
*unmanifested* Logos, the precursor of the "manifested". This is the "First Cause", the 
"Unconscious" of European pantheists.
(3) Spirit-Matter, LIFE; the "Spirit of the Universe", Purusha and Prakriti, 
or the *second* Logos.
(4) Cosmic Ideation, MAHAT or Intelligence, the Universal World-Soul; the 
Cosmic Noumenon of Matter, the basis of the intelligent operations in and of 
Nature, also called MAHA-BUDDHI.

The ONE REALITY; its *dual* aspects in the conditioned Universe.

Further, the Secret Doctrine affirms: -
(b) The Eternity of the Universe *in toto* as a boundless plane; periodically 
"the playground of numberless Universes incessantly manifesting and 
disappearing", called "the manifesting stars", and the "sparks of Eternity". "The 
Eternity of the Pilgrim"* is like a wink of the Eye of Self-Existence.

*"Pilgrim" is the appellation given to our "Monad" (the two in one) during 
its cycle of incarnation. It is the only immortal and eternal principle in us, 
being an indivisible part of the integral whole - the Universal Spirit, from 
which it emanates, and into which it is absorbed at the end of the cycle. When 
it is said to emanate from the one spirit, an awkward and incorrect expression 
has to be used, for lack of appropriate words in English. The Vedantins call 
it Sutratma (Thread-Soul), but their explanation, too, differs somewhat from 
that of the occultists; to explain which difference, however, is left to the 
Vedantins themselves.

Email: Peter Mutnick


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