Theosophy Northwest View

The Newsletter of the Northwest Branch of the Theosophical Society

October 2007 -- Vol. 10 Issue 8

Waves and Vibrations

Amateur radio operators make use of the special properties of electromagnetic waves. These vibrations are invisible to us and propagate through space, many traveling an immense distance through the cosmos. The fascinating thing is that others can receive these signals if they tune their radio to the right frequency. If they tune it wrongly, the vibrations will seem nonexistent, inaudible and undetected. Such vibrations are reminiscent of the hidden wisdom to be found in theosophy, in that such ideas can only be understood if our intuition is properly tuned. If this is not the case, the ideas remain beyond our grasp. A different truth may then exist for us -- or are certain facts simply unknowable? Does that mean they don’t exist?

In The Secret Doctrine Helena Blavatsky describes how electricity, magnetism, and gravity form an essential part of occult forces. We discover there that a great deal is currently concealed from us. But new findings are constantly emerging in the sciences. For example, after a great deal of far-reaching research, scientists have come to conclusions at variance with many orthodox scientific ideas:

Every human, every animal, every unicellular organism, every star, plant, and atom is part of a single whole. If something vibrates on earth, it affects the moon, sun, and all the visible and invisible places in our entire universe.

Everything, both now and in the future, is in every conceivable place, and everything is in us. What a profound thought: that we ourselves are able to transmit these universal ideas, knowing that they, too, will never be lost. We are all challenged to harbor positive thoughts as far as possible, and to spread them and inspire others to "tune" into the hidden wisdom vibrating all around us. -- Ad J. van Dijk

Nature's "Hidden Treasures"

Helena Blavatsky's writings open our hearts and minds to the wonders of life within and about us. In The Voice of the Silence we are invited to:

Help Nature and work on with her; and Nature will regard thee as one of her creators and make obeisance.

And she will open wide before thee the portals of her secret chambers, lay bare before thy gaze the treasures hidden in the very depths of her pure virgin bosom. Unsullied by the hand of matter she shows her treasures only to the eye of Spirit -- the eye which never closes, the eye for which there is no veil in all her kingdoms.

By helping and working with nature, in whatever way, we become receptive to the influence of the eye of our spirit -- "the eye which never closes." Coming upon a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis, we pause, reflecting upon the source of its delicate beauty, and the benefits of the transformations we undergo as we pass through our cycles of life. Or, catching sight of a shooting star, we are moved by the magnificent mysteries of space which is our home.

Helping and working with nature applies especially to human nature where the need is so great. When we truly love our neighbors and forgive their transgressions, when we really understand and deal patiently with the needs, fears, and desires of others -- and with our own -- we will have allied ourselves with the forces that guide and protect life throughout the cosmos. -- Eloise Hart


Delusions are as various as the reflections of the moon on a rippling sea. Beings so easily become caught in the net of con-fused pain. May I develop compassion boundless as the sky so that all may rest in the clear light of their own awareness. -- A Buddhist Prayer

Monthly Discussion Group

Our next subject is "Music of the Spheres." We will be discussing such questions as: Is the ancient concept of the music or harmony of the celestial spheres still useful? Do numbers and ratios provide the best understanding of the universe, as the Pythagoreans held? What are some of the scientific, philosophic, artistic, and mystical implications of the music of the spheres? What is the relationship of harmony to beauty, goodness, and divinity? Can we learn to perceive this celestial "music"? How can we discover the underlying harmony in nature and bring our lives into accord with it? Come and share your ideas!

Open to the public, unsectarian, non-political, no charge

Upcoming Topics

These subjects are currently being considered for the Monthly Discussion group. As always, those who have a particular topic they would like to have featured are encouraged to contact us.

November 15: The Uses of Adversity
December: Mankind Is Our Business
January: Where Is Our Path?
February: Overcoming Ourselves

Theosophical Views

Searching for the Lost Chord: Ancient Uses and Modern Trends

By Andrew Rooke

There is geometry in the humming of the strings. There is music in the spacing of the spheres. -- Pythagoras (6th cent. BC)

The amplified rhythms of today move their devotees to trance-like ecstasy while their parents often retreat in disarray before what they perceive as an auditory barrage of excruciating proportion. Everyone has had some experience of the power of music to affect mood. How often have we all sought solace in the symphonies of nature from the cacophony generated by our urban environment! Waves lapping on the seashore, the wind whispering through tall trees, the rush of a mountain stream, have been the consolation of the weary and the inspiration of poets through the ages. Every mother knows the soothing effect rhythmic rocking, humming, and singing have on an infant. Music has a far greater dimension than just entertainment. Indeed, it may hold potent keys to understanding nature's secrets and provide an avenue for humanity to reestablish harmony within the larger symphony of life.

There is considerable evidence that the hidden knowledge of music and sound was once widespread among the world's peoples, and efforts are currently being made to uncover these long-forgotten treasures of our heritage. The concept that the universe is built of varying levels of vibration was well known in the Mystery schools of the ancient world. Each entity, from atom to sun, follows its path of destiny, singing its own keynote of life inaudible to our ears. Since Pythagoras, this cosmic symphony has become known in the West as the music of the spheres.

We are constantly surrounded by a sea of cosmic music, which is none other than the harmoniously vibrating atomic entities that form the vehicles of spiritual forces underlying manifestation. Perhaps the beautiful colors in nature are manifestations of the symphonic harmonies singing about us. From the bubbling of a brook to the complex rhythms of a classical symphony, the many forms of music we hear are translations to our plane of the music which fills the universe.

This concept provides the key to the use of music for healing in antiquity. Just as in an orchestra each musician plays his or her part, so each of us, inaudibly singing our own keynote, is enwebbed in the larger harmonies of our environment. G. de Purucker describes a human being as "somewhat like a sounding board, strung with seven chords like Apollo's lyre, across which sweep the winds of eternity, and the combined notes of these chords produce within him a cosmic symphony -- each one of us being a living mystic lyre vibrating in sympathy with the Music of the Spheres."

A violinist or flutist who plays out of tune or out of time will cause disharmonies in the performance of a symphony; similarly, our disharmonious thoughts and actions will result in some form of ill-health, physical or mental.

Knowledge of the music of the spheres is part of our human heritage and thus in evidence around the world. From the monotonous rhythm of the Mongolian shaman's drum to the intricate patterns of the Indian raga, the music of Asia is vibrant with purpose. Ravi Shankar, the Indian sitar virtuoso, expressed this feeling in almost Platonic terms in his book My Music, My Life: "The highest aim of our music is to reveal the essence of the universe it reflects, and the ragas are among the means by which this essence can be apprehended. Thus, through music, one can reach God."

The power of rhythm, which is such a motivating influence in popular music today, is an integral factor in the religious life of traditional communities in Africa and the Americas. Percussive music with its hypnotic effects was used in a variety of ceremonies within the context of a wider view of reality. The awakening and stimulation of various centers of the nature by rhythm is evidenced in the religious music of peoples the world over and, in more enlightened ages philosophers have warned of the negative influence of discordant rhythms, particularly on the young.

The entire human family is engaged in the search for the lost chord of harmony with nature. In this sacred quest there is much we can learn from the wisdom of our forebears so that our own keynotes may harmonize with the celestial symphony.

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