Studies in "The Secret Doctrine"

from Studies in Occult Philosophy by G. de Purucker, Theosophical University Press

Failures of Previous Rounds
The Incarnation of the Highest Seven
The Birth of the Sons of Wisdom
The Great Sacrifice
Spheres of Expectation
Asuras and Suras
The Seven Embryonic Humanities
Manasaputras, Lunar Pitris, Animal Monads, etc.
The Forces of the Universe

Failures of Previous Rounds

We have a passage from a Master's letter which has a direct bearing upon these incarnating angels. Says the letter: "Now there are, and there must be, failures in the ethereal races of the many classes of Dhyan-Chohans, or Devas (progressed entities of a previous planetary period), as well as among men. But still, as the failures are too far progressed and spiritualized to be thrown back forcibly from Dhyan-Chohanship into the vortex of a new primordial evolution through the lower Kingdoms, this then happens. Where a new solar system has to be evolved these Dhyan-Chohans are borne in by influx 'ahead' of the Elementals (Entities . . . to be developed into humanity at a future time) and remain as a latent or inactive spiritual force, in the aura of a nascent world . . . until the stage of human evolution is reached. . . . Then they become an active force and commingle with the Elementals, to develop little by little the full type of humanity." That is to say, to develop in, and endow man with his Self-conscious mind, or Manas. -- The Secret Doctrine, II, 232-3 footnote

Several of our students have been greatly puzzled by a footnote written by H. P. B. in Volume II, pp. 232-33, of The Secret Doctrine, quoting a letter from the Master, which is published, by the way, in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, page 87. I have not The Secret Doctrine before me, but the Master states that in the very earliest parts of planetary and human evolution, of the evolution of the globes of a planetary chain, high spiritual entities came to this earth before or contemporaneously with the elemental kingdoms, and remained in the 'atmosphere' of the laya-center out of which the earth-chain was then forming, constituting a passive spiritual, intellectual guiding aura; according to which plan, when later the elementals came they built up the foundations of the earth, of the lower portions of it. And then again when a much later period arrived, these spiritual beings whom the Masters call 'failures' for a very good reason, when their time came and 'human' vehicles were sufficiently evolved, finding these vehicles then ready, entered into or incarnated into these human vehicles and gave them mind.

Question: Who and what are these failures that the Master speaks of? My explanation already has given the key, I believe. They are entities from the preceding chain-imbodiment, or what we now would call the moon-chain, who long before the moon-chain had reached its term or end of evolution, had themselves attained the spiritual and intellectual qualifications or status of Nirvanis, lower Jivanmuktas, if you understand these technical terms.

But because these human beings in the moon-chain, long before the moon-chain had reached its evolutionary term, had themselves attained the power to enter nirvana, they were entering nirvana when the moon-chain ended its manvantara, and remained in the nirvana until that for them was ended; and then, precisely because they were not sufficiently strong in spirit and in intellect to attain a higher nirvana than the one they had reached, in other words because they were not 'pukka' or perfect Jivanmuktas, freed spiritual monads roaming the spaces, because they had not attained that highest or relatively highest state -- karman obliged them to assume the role of world-architects. They were therefore 'failures' because they did not attain that higher plane in the nirvana. To us they would be great spiritual geniuses. But they were failures in the other higher sense that they had not become full-blown gods. They had ended their nirvana before the earth-chain, the child of the moon-chain, came into being; remained in the akasic solitudes, if you like to call it that, in the realms of the higher astral light, or rather in the anima mundi, as passive spiritual natures, before the earth-chain formed again, before the earth's monad came down to these planes and gathered about it the cosmic dust forming our chain. They remained there as a passive spiritual intellectual influence or atmosphere guiding the work of the other lower builders, so that under these 'Architects' the work by the Builders could be done and well done -- the Architects guiding the Builders, engineers supervising the work of the workmen.

Who are they then? Jivanmuktas of an inferior grade? Yes. Manasaputras? If you wish, yes. And they remained in that passive state because the time had not come for them to work definitely on lower planes. The distance between their relatively high status and the gross ranges of physical matter was too great. The intermediary rungs had to be built up. So they remained as an overshadowing mind-group, hosts of them, of great spiritual and intellectual power, passive as far as they were concerned; but because their very nature was intellectual and spiritual knowledge, diffusing light, intellect, life around them, as the sun does on all below here.

They came first. Then almost contemporaneously came the elementals, all the kingdoms of elementals, and these last began building in the before-mentioned 'atmosphere' which guided the work of these elementals, just as the atmosphere of a clever leader of his men will be felt and will guide other men although they never feel his hand -- gossamer like, and yet stronger than steel in its effects in binding together, in unifying. Call it will, spiritual will if you like. It is thus that the gods work, and the demigods. The makers or producers of this 'atmosphere' were Manasaputras.

Then came the time when the elementals and the lower kingdoms of monads or classes had built up to the limit of their power, and the human vehicle in the middle of the Third Root-Race was in consequence then relatively ready. The nervous system, and the physical frame as then it was, although much less fine and perfected than now these are, were nevertheless just ready to become efficient carriers of the inner intellectual light. Then these waiting spiritual-intellectual entities saw their chance. Some of them incarnated in those human bodies, which there and then were endowed with mind by these incarnators. These who entered were that class of Manasaputras who entered the bodies first and gave them light. Then thinking men began and were. These were the greatest of the human race, and have reincarnated ever since that time from age to age as the great geniuses of human history, those grand and glorious names, the Buddhas, the Christs, the marvelous geniuses who made the history of past ages.

Time passed, and others of these waiting Manasaputras who had not incarnated, who refused at first really because they were not strong enough -- this second group of mind-giving Manasaputras incarnated in human bodies. And later on the very last class of these Manasaputras incarnated. The second class of such incarnating Minds became the majority of mankind, we ourselves. The third class which waited the longest before obeying the karmic law to incarnate, comprised what are now the lowest of mankind, the savages and the barbarians like the Andaman Islanders, and the Bushmen and some of the degenerate mountain-tribes in different places over the earth.

Then the door of the human kingdom closed because the bottom or nethermost evolutionary point of the Fourth Round had been reached and passed. The animals were not yet ready to receive the incarnating Monads of Mind; nor are they ready yet. They win receive mind in such manner in the next manvantara or imbodiment of our chain.

Coming back to our former thought from which we have been led into these fascinating bypaths of study, the 'failures' mentioned by the Master are what we have been describing, the various classes of the Kumaras, or rather Agnishwattas and Manasaputras. They, these 'failures,' in later ages became what are now the great Mahatmans, including of course such glorious entities as the Buddhas and the geniuses of spirit and intellect who have brightened human history, whose names are household words in every civilized land. Many of the names of those who lived in pre-history have been lost, but we know the names of some of them.

And mark you, this shows how near the bottom of the Arc of Descent we still are, how much we have lost of what we have learnt and known and experienced not only in other Root-Races but in other Rounds. Here we are, we humans, with our noblest light almost obscured, truth-seekers hungry for light; and yet within us these beings are; they are we, always striving to give, to us what they have, and we rebels refusing, attracted by the flesh-pots of matter or earth; and yet, albeit attracted, resenting this lower attraction, rebelling, trying. We are pulling ourselves up, turning to the light whenever the heart aches. Such is our life. And within every human being there is a demi-god, and a demi-beast, intempled together; through evolution raising this poor human of flesh up, up, up, so that some day it too may receive the light, the blessed light, the light glorious that we have received and have forgotten.

No wonder the Master speaks of these spiritual beings, who are our inner parts, as fallen angels, gods who have fallen, dropped from their azure seats -- that is not mere poesy -- the seats of intellectual splendor, from the old thrones, fallen from the golden glory of the Sons of Light.

When I look at my fellow human beings I no longer see the faces sometimes torn with sorrow, hungry for light. But I see the great flame within, the divinity within every human being, incarnate gods. It is a tragedy that here we live in this semi-animal part of us, wasting aeons because we will not go higher.

But one last word. Note how wonderfully Nature fashions her works. Even though we have lost our memory of what is our inmost right, of the god-man in us, wandering gods, here on earth sunken in matter and forgetting our own inner divinity, we are nevertheless aiding to raise the lower part of us just mentioned, the semi-animal part of us, some day to become no longer semi-animal but truly human, truly human; and we, the human part within us, then shall have rebecome the gods that within us we already are. Remember the sayings of the Christian Scripture: Know ye not that ye are gods, and that the spirit of the Most High liveth within you?

The Incarnation of the Highest Seven

In ancient Symbolism it was always the SUN (though the Spiritual, not the visible, Sun was meant) that was supposed to send forth the chief Saviors and Avatars. Hence the connecting link between the Buddhas, the Avatars, and so many other incarnations of the highest SEVEN. -- The Secret Doctrine, I, 638

When H. P. B. spoke of the "incarnations of the highest SEVEN" she did not mean the imbodiment of any one of the sevens, but incarnations or imbodiments of rays therefrom, and that this is back of the Buddhist teaching of the true genuine Living Buddhas of Tibet being imbodiments either of Avalokitesvara or of Amitabha, these being two of the highest of the Seven. It does not mean that these cosmic spirits, divinities, gods, descend in their fulness into a human being; only that a ray with this or with that swabhava or characteristic individuality overshadows, or rather overenlightens, and finally imbodies itself in one of these Living Buddhas or Avataras; and indeed it is just this that makes the true Avatara.

The "highest of the Seven" refers to the highest hierarchy of our own solar system, or rather to be very technical, our own Universal Solar System -- a very technical phrase. It does not mean all the solar systems in the galactic universe. It has another meaning entirely, but that is another story I cannot go into here.

Another way of describing the highest Seven would be to say that they are the seven chief Logoi of our Sun; or again, the seven chief Planetary Rectors or Governors of the seven Sacred Planets, these being actually Solar Logoi or emanations from our Sun, each such planetary chain or planet being its mansion or house or dwelling or focus -- all words meaning pretty much the same thing. It is from one or from another of these seven chief divinities in our solar system that have proceeded the long line of avataras, and indeed in another sense of all the Buddhas; and similarly every unusually great man spiritually -- mark that word 'spiritually' that the human race has produced among its children has been in a greater or less degree an imbodiment or an incarnation, a veritable incarnation, of a ray of one or of another of these seven chief Solar Logoi. Jesus was one, and that is why he said: I and my Father [that is the Source, the Logos, or the Logos from the Sun itself] are one.

The names of these Logoi you will find given in the Hindu writings. If merely knowing names will help you at all, Sushumna is one; Samnatta is one more.

In regard to the Sun, the seven rays, it is clearly enough seen that it is the spiritual solar energy which is back of all these initiations and back of greatness when it appears in men. Hence the old occult saying you have heard me quote so often, that one of the titles of the adept when he has just been initiated is and was 'clothed with the Sun! You now see the meaning. The Sun's soul, solar power, is for the time being shining through him and clothing him with solar splendor so that actually the very body shines. It is filled with glory. The man is thus glorified: 'Eli, 'eli, lamah shabahhtani: O God of me, how thou dost glorify me.

In an old Hindu astronomical work, called the Surya-Siddhanta, often quoted by us, in the preliminary or beginning of this remarkably profound and interesting work, it is stated that it was dictated by the Sun to the great Atlantean astronomer Asuramaya. You now see the meaning of that: not that the Sun came from heaven into a room and dictated with an apparent human mind, but that the solar glory in this adept drove or illuminated the man's brain so that this magnificent astronomical work was one of the products of Asuramaya's genius. You will remember that often H. P. B. in The Secret Doctrine refers to Asuramaya as an Atlantean, and so he was; but also an Aryan, for be lived just when the Atlantean race was finishing its Kali-yuga, and the Aryan was in the beginning of its Krita, at the very commencing of its beginning; and this places the date of the Surya-Siddhanta as this number of years: 1,200,000 plus 864,000 plus -- as we are now in the beginning of Kali-Yuga -- 5000. So the Surya-Siddhanta is 2,069,000 years old. But my main point is: the Surya-Siddhanta states itself that Asuramaya, worshiping the Sun -- which means raising his inner nature spiritually and intellectually to the solar ray of which he was an incarnation -- was thereupon taught by the Sun, by the solar divinity within him, some of the astronomical secrets of our solar universe. The Surya-Siddhanta was the result.

The Birth of the Sons of Wisdom

This Third Race is sometimes called collectively "the Sons of Passive Yoga," i.e., it was produced unconsciously by the second Race, which, as it was intellectually inactive, is supposed to have been constantly plunged in a kind of blank or abstract contemplation, as required by the conditions of the Yoga state. In the first or earlier portion of the existence of this third race, while it was yet in its state of purity, the "Sons of Wisdom," who, as will be seen, incarnated in this Third Race, produced by Kriyasakti a progeny called the "Sons of Ad" or "of the Fire-Mist," the "Sons of Will and Yoga," etc. They were a conscious production, as a portion of the race was already animated with the divine spark of spiritual, superior intelligence. It was not a Race, this progeny. It was at first a wondrous Being, called the "Initiator," and after him a group of semi-divine and semi-human beings. "Set apart" in Archaic genesis for certain purposes, they are those in whom are said to have incarnated the highest Dhyans, "Munis and Rishis from previous Manvantaras" -- to form the nursery for future human adepts, on this earth and during the present cycle. These "Sons of Will and Yoga" born, so to speak, in an immaculate way, remained, it is explained, entirely apart from the rest of mankind.
The "BEING" just referred to, which has to remain nameless, is the Tree from which, in subsequent ages, all the great historically known Sages and Hierophants, such as the Rishi Kapila, Hermes, Enoch, Orpheus, etc., etc., have branched off. As objective man, he is the mysterious (to the profane -- the ever invisible) yet ever present Personage about whom legends are rife in the East, especially among the Occultists and the students of the Sacred Science. It is he who changes form, yet remains ever the same. And it is he again who holds spiritual sway over the initiated Adepts throughout the whole world. He is, as said, the "Nameless One" who has so many names, and yet whose names and whose very nature are unknown. He is the "Initiator," called the "GREAT SACRIFICE." For, sitting at the threshold of Light, he looks into it from within the circle of Darkness, which he will not cross; nor will he quit his post till the last day of this life-cycle. Why does the solitary Watcher remain at his self-chosen post? Why does be sit by the fountain of primeval Wisdom, of which he drinks no longer, as he has naught to learn which he does not know -- aye, neither on this Earth, nor in its heaven? Because the lonely, sore-footed pilgrims on their way back to their home are never sure to the last moment of not losing their way in this limitless desert of illusion and matter called Earth-life. Because he would fain show the way to that region of freedom and light, from which he is a voluntary exile himself, to every prisoner who has succeeded in liberating himself from the bonds of flesh and illusion. Because, in short, he has sacrificed himself for the sake of mankind, though but a few Elect may profit by the GREAT SACRIFICE.
It is under the direct, silent guidance of this MAHA -- (great) -- GURU that all the other less divine Teachers and instructors of mankind became, from the first awakening of human consciousness, the guides of early Humanity. It is through these "Sons of God" that infant humanity got its first notions of all the arts and sciences, as well as of spiritual knowledge; and it is they who have laid the first foundation-stone of those ancient civilizations that puzzle so sorely our modern generation of students and scholars. -- The Secret Doctrine, I, 207-8

The sublime passage in Vol. 1, page 207 of The Secret Doctrine, referring to the birth of the Sons of Wisdom, and to the Wondrous Being or Silent Watcher, has been the subject of much speculation, debate, and even misunderstanding. In this fact is involved one of the most subtil of occult conceptions: unity in multiplicity. I will try to explain.

A single semi-divine human being at the head, the Hierarch; and those beneath him being so close to him, karmically, spiritually, etc., that they are to him like his alter egos, as are the organs or limbs of a man to himself. Hence it is at times spoken of as the Silent Watcher, or again as the Supreme School or Occult body, the highest human stage on the planet; and it will remain so till the life-wave leaves this planet for Globe E. Sishtas will be left behind, of course; and it was these Sishtas of the Third Round that became this Silent Watcher, semi-divine man, and School, when our Round opened on this Globe. It is this complex of ideas to which H. P. B. alludes in the passage here referred to.

From this original Wondrous Hierarch-Hierarchy later on, in a later age during the Third Root-Race, sprang forth or were born the first regularly formed Occult schools for teaching and training, and raising ready ones to adeptship. This Wondrous Being, who as stated is at once a Hierarch of the Hierarchy, and the Hierarchy itself, and whose spiritual and intellectual union is so close between these two that they are often simply spoken of as one, as H. P. B. does in this passage of the S. D. -- this Hierarch-Hierarchy actually came into being as a divine body-corporate or multifold unit in the very first Race of this Round on our Globe; and its seed was, as stated above, the sishtas of the highest humanized elements in our life-wave left on this globe when that life-wave during the Third Round passed onwards. When these sishtas felt the new incoming of the life-wave approaching Globe D during this Fourth Round, then as it were they collected or prepared themselves into a unity, and formed the Hierarchy preparatory for new increments to themselves coming with the human life-wave.

The whole matter is very complicated, very mystical, and is so utterly contrary to Western conceptions, that at first it seems difficult to understand. Yet when understood, one wonders how it could ever have been misunderstood, and one wonders how it ever could have been unnoticed.

It should not be forgotten that when we speak of beings of this type, I mean those composing this Hierarch-Hierarchy, one in others and others in and with the one, the general name as a descriptive title only for all such beings is Dhyanins, or Dhyani-Chohans. Dhyanins is perhaps more general, and Dhyani-Chohans should be used more for the chief among the chohans. Chohan means chief or lord, or principal. Actually this Hierarch-Hierarchy is formed of all the very highest, most evolved, most spiritual human beings belonging to our life-wave, corporated into a unity and really on the verge of continuous dhyaniship, dhyan-chohanship indeed; but who, on the principle of the Buddhas of Compassion, refuse to pass on until those trailing behind them, in other words, all the less evolved human egos, have had every help that can be given by these advanced ones. Hence the hierarchy visualized as a hierarch, in other words the hierarchy seen in this case through its hierarch as a unit, is called the Silent Watcher, the Wondrous Being, etc.

It is very much like the Cosmic Logos. Many students have been puzzled why the Cosmic Logos is spoken of at one time as an individual or a unit, and at other times as a vast body of monads collected into a unit, a hierarchy. It is the same principle. A similar point arises in the case of the Manus. Considered as units they are one, as the Logos and Wondrous Being are in such cases considered as one. Yet considered distributively, or in other words looking at the unified or collected units we ascertain it as a hierarchy in all three cases.

The idea may be perhaps made clearer by thinking of the human body. We may look upon it as a unit, and speak of it as such. But then on reflexion we see that the physical body is made up of innumerable multitudes of life-atoms, even of ordinary physical molecules and cells; and when we examine the body thus distributively, and recognise its unity and coherence as a unit, we call it a hierarchy.

The Great Sacrifice

Do you remember? In the first volume [I, 207] of H. P. B.'s The Secret Doctrine, there is a marvelous passage dealing with the Great Sacrifice as she calls it, the Initiator, the one who through evolution, long time since fully accomplished, has attained almost the outer limit of knowledge regarding our hierarchy, our sphere of life; but sits not only at the heart but as it were on the margin of the greater light, of greater life and greater wisdom, of a still more comprehensive hierarchy, and refuses to pass into the light beyond, but waits to serve as the inspirer and guide of all those multi-millions of pilgrims less advanced than he trailing along behind. There the Great Sacrifice sits at his self-imposed task; he no longer advances. The divine love of this wonder-being's heart will not allow him to pass onward into infinite peace until all those foot-sore pilgrims coming behind him have been led up and onward to the peace and wisdom that is his.

Who is this Initiator; who is this Great Sacrifice? Who is this Silent Watcher? Please open your ears in reverence. Ages ago when the human race on this planet during this Fourth Round was still young, mind had not yet imbodied in the then intellectually senseless early Third Root-Race, when therefore man was but slightly psychic, fully instinctual, but not yet intellectual, non-self-conscious as we understand this phrase. There were nevertheless a few in whom the lamps of mind burned bright, the most advanced of the human race who had been intellectually enlightened by Manasaputric descents before the vast majority of the race. They were even in the early part of the Third Root-Race fully self-conscious, intellectual and spiritual human beings; and all the rest of mankind were sunken in the dreamland as it were of non-intellectual activity; very much as the mind of a little child, by and by to become intellectualized as it grows into manhood, but not yet. As a little child it is not intellectual, it is in a dreamland, full of physical activity, full of certain psychic sensitivity, fully instinctual. Mind has not yet manifested, it is just beginning. And so was the majority of mankind in the early part of the Third Root-Race. They were grown adults of course. When I use the simile of a little child I do not mean little children. They were full-grown adults; but as far as mind was concerned, they were spiritually and intellectually as little children are. They did not yet think. For instance, the problems of science and philosophy and religion, and even politics, literature, all the great things, all the great thoughts that infill the minds of thinking men today, are, for little children, not yet existing.

So it was in this early Third Root-Race; but these few in whom the lamps of intellect had already begun to burn bright formed a group, a band, a brotherhood, of human guides. But yet something more was needed, something from a still higher sphere was required for the utter safety of all mankind, for the utter safety of those few souls, as well as of the great multitude of as yet non-intellectual human beings. So these few took council, went into themselves and sought the inner light. Oh how may this mystery be expressed? Uniting their will-power and their imagination, these ethereal beings, through Kriyasakti, through spiritual will-power and imagination, established contact with the waiting divinity, karmically waiting, the destined one for this globe, and provided the physical vehicle for the imbodiment of this waiting divinity, a true Avatara of a peculiar type. Through Kriyasakti this relatively small band of men in whom the flame and light of mind already burned brightly, united, and created if you wish, produced by their vitality and their will and their imagination, the vehicle. And behold, the link was made with the waiting Dhyani-Chohan and before their eyes it was!

At first it was a marvel-being, a very god who became their chief and leader, their inspirer and guide; and he by teaching and inspiration and magic if you wish, prepared the way for the general manasaputric descent into the senseless imbodied human vehicles of the multitudes of men evolutionally behind. And after him, a relatively short while after, this Wondrous Being who thus became the Initiator, aided by those others in whom the flame of mind burned so bright, brought other similar descents into being, and they with their great spiritual powers were called the Sons of Will and Yoga. Think what that means: the Sons of Will-power and Imagination, given bodies by Kriyasakti in order to manifest the heavenly influx; and this was the germ of all later revelation to men. This group became the first mystery-school. It still exists, Companions; and this Being, the Initiator, is the Supreme Head of all true occultists in all ages. He has been known in every land. He has been whispered about and wondered about in every country of the earth and in every age. Given numerous names, he changes form from time to time as evolution demands it. This Wondrous Being still remains our Supreme Head.

I think I have said enough, Companions. The main points are these: the Wondrous Being was brought into objectivity on this Globe D, our Earth, through Kriyasakti by the first individuals of the Third Root-Race who were manasaputrized because of their own good karman and more advanced evolution, in other words in whom the light of intellect and mind came first. The body or vehicle was created for this Being by Kriyasakti. First it was this one Being; then other Sons of Will and Yoga came afterwards; and this group exists today and will continue to exist to the very end of time so far as our Earth is concerned. It will remain when the life-wave passes on to the next globe, guiding these and inspiring the sishtas, in other words the elect of mankind left behind on this globe when the general life-wave of humanity passes on to the next globe. And thus left behind and guided by this Lodge of Light, of the Sons of Light, of the Sons of Will and Yoga, it will be the nursery to produce the future humanity on this globe again when the life-wave has circled around the globes, and comes down to our globe once more. These sishtas, guided by the Sons of Will and Yoga, will provide the bodies at first; and once the river begins to flow, it will be guided and the work of magic will cease.

The whole matter is so beautiful, known to every great religious and philosophical system the world over and in every age in various guises, hinted at yet never fully explained until the Theosophical Society was founded.

Final thought: there the Great Sacrifice sits, this Sacrifice of himself unto himself, for mankind and indeed for all that lives. The whole story of the sacrifice of Jesus in the Christian New Testament is a distorted allegory copied from this one fact. The human race, if it will recognise the fact, if it will pocket its petty pride of brain and recognise the facts of nature and the facts of human consciousness, will receive guidance just in proportion to the individual's receptive nature. Of course any man who in his stupid blindness shuts his eyes and mocks and turns away, will reap what he is sowing for himself. For like the rain which is sent upon the just and upon the unjust, or like the glorious sunlight which falls alike upon the good and upon the evil, it is not the rain nor the sunlight which forces itself into places where it is not wanted. It is for those who know what rain and sunlight mean, to receive these blessings. And so it is with the Mysteries. Remember the old Christian saying: Those of you who have ears to hear let them hear, and those of you who have eyes to see let them see. Those who will not hear and who will not see have but themselves to blame.

Spheres of Expectation

Says the Catechism (Commentaries): --
. . . "Into the forms projected by the Lha (Pitris) the two letters (the Monad, called also 'the Double Dragon') descend from the spheres of expectation.* But they are like a roof with no walls, nor pillars to rest upon ." . . . -- The Secret Doctrine, II, 57
*The intermediate spheres, wherein the Monads, which have not reached Nirvana, are said to slumber in unconscious inactivity between the Manvantaras.

These Spheres of Expectation, at the beginning of pralaya or great period of cosmic rest when everything has resolved back into the ultimate elements, are, as H. P. B. explains, those spheres wherein arise or wherein sink the evolving monads which in the just closed manvantara or period of cosmic manifestation had not yet reached the nirvana, or condition of complete self-identification with the Cosmic Spirit. I was asked to explain just what these Spheres of Expectancy or Expectation are. It struck me that H. P. B.'s footnote is perfectly clear, and I take it that the querent wanted some elaboration of it.

Evolving entities, evolving monads, are divisible into at least ten and even twelve classes. These differences of class really mean differences of evolutionary unfoldment, of emanation. The lowest class of monads are those which have the least unfolded themselves. The highest are those which have evolved, or unfolded themselves or self-expressed themselves the most. And there are all the intermediate monads. On the ladder of life, the different rungs or the different steps or stages on an ascending scale are occupied each rung as it were by a class or group of monads which is one cosmic stage higher than the one just beneath, one cosmic scale lower than the class just above.

Of these ten or twelve families of evolving monads, some at the end of a cosmic manvantara or period of cosmic manifestation have reached the advanced stage of inner growth, or unfolding, or emanation, of what is locked up within, where they are ready for the nirvana and enter it. All the others which have not reached that nirvanic state, which in another sense is called the dharmakaya, and do not enter the nirvana, remain in several intermediate conditions of consciousness far lower than the nirvana, but yet differing among themselves according to the different grades of evolving monads just spoken of; and all these latter states or stages are called Spheres of Expectation, Spheres of Expectancy, because the monads in these states of consciousness inferior to the nirvana are as it were waiting in expectation for the next great cosmic manvantara to give them the chance to ascend where these others, higher than they, have already gone or reached. These stages are therefore the Spheres of Expectation.

Indeed the phrase may be used on a lower scale, on an inferior scale. Take the case of us human beings who have no chance, because we are not as yet sufficiently self-evolved, spiritually and intellectually, to reach the nirvana when we die; we nevertheless enter the devachan, the state appropriate to our respective minds or conditions of consciousness; and in the devachan we are in a sphere or condition or state of expectancy, expectation. The next life we evolve a little more. Finally we shall reach the nirvana.

So that is what the Spheres of Expectation are: conditions of consciousness. It does not matter where they are localized; they may be anywhere in the galaxy. The important point is the condition of the consciousness in such sphere. Any entity which is thus in a sphere or condition of expectation belongs to the class H. P. B. spoke of.

Again, transfer the illustration to a still lower grade than humans. The monads now working through animal-bodies are in Spheres of Expectation waiting to enter the human kingdom, expecting to enter the human kingdom. So far as we are concerned, the more evolved, more emanated, more unfolded, more self-expressed these beast-monads -- as we speak of them, for they are merely monads in that condition -- are, the more they are in these Spheres of Expectation. The plant-world in just the same way: the different monads now passing through the plant-world are in Spheres of Expectation so far as the beasts are concerned, etc.

Asuras and Suras

Two important points are involved herein: -- (a) Primarily in the Rig-Veda, the "Asuras" are shown as spiritual divine beings; their etymology is derived from asu (breath), the "Breath of God," and they mean the same as the Supreme Spirit or the Zoroastrian Ahura. It is later on, for purposes of theology and dogma, that they are shown issuing from Brahma's thigh, and that their name began to be derived from a, privative, and sura, god (solar deities), or not-a-god, and that they became the enemies of the gods. . . . -- The Secret Doctrine, II, 59

In H. P. B.'s The Secret Doctrine you will frequently find what has been to so many, many hundreds of devoted students most confusing references to the names or rather classes of certain beings, entities like the Suras, the Asuras, the Maruts, etc., and I have often been asked if some evening in speaking in the Lodge here I would not try to throw a little light on just what these beings are, these Suras, and Asuras, and Maruts.

Has it ever occurred to you -- it must have, because it is demonstrated on almost every page of her greatest book, The Secret Doctrine -- that H. P. B. brought together a wealth of illustrative material from all the different religions and philosophies of the world in order to prove the universality of our God-Wisdom? To do this she had to use the technical names employed in these different philosophies and religions. Thus from Brahmanism were adduced Suras, Asuras, Maruts. From Buddhism, meaning precisely the same thing, she spoke of Dhyani-Chohans; or again from Brahmanism, Kumaras, Agnishwattas. All these names really refer to the same entities; but what are the distinctions now between Suras and Asuras and Maruts, and between Kumaras and Agnishwattas? This: when a monad is at the very beginning of its evolutionary course in the cosmic manvantara, the technical name given to it is Kumara, which is a Sanskrit term meaning virgin. It is virginal in the new manvantara. It has therein incurred no sin; it is unadulterated, pure monadic essence. When such a Kumara at the end of a cosmic manvantara, or two or three, according to its ability to evolve, has emanated forth from itself what is in it, has reached the bottom of the great sweep of evolving life and has risen on the ascending arc to the top of it, the same Kumara then is an Agnishwatta because it then has evolved fully forth from itself, mind, intellect, and has gained experience. Yet they are both monads, or rather it is the same thing: a monad beginning as a Kumara, or as I have often put it, an unself-conscious god-spark, ending as an Agnishwatta, "purified by fire," which is what Agnishwatta means, the fire of the spirit and of experience.

A Sura is a Kumara -- a god. Because of their great purity, virginality in every sense of the word, Hindu mythology called them gods. Actually they are monads in so pure, as yet unevolved, a state, so undeveloped a state, that they are swept along, as it were, in the evolutionary Rivers of Life. When this Sura or Kumara has become an Agnishwatta, it is then an Asura. And Hindu mythology, or rather Brahmanical theology, with the same spirit behind it that you will find in Christian theology, says -- and I will now use Christian language -- "It has eaten of the Tree of Life, of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and it is no longer virginal and pure." That is the Christian theological way of explaining it. But leaving these dogmatic theologies of the religions aside, what actually are the facts? That from an unself-conscious god-spark, a Kumara -- the Sura, the monad, the same thing -- through suffering and experience in the lower realms of matter, in the different planes, has become an Agnishwatta. It has tasted of the fire and has become a self-conscious god, an Asura.

Asura really comes from Asu, the essential meaning of which in Sanskrit is 'to, breathe.' You will find it in other languages. The verbal root as, in Sanskrit meaning 'to be,' is the same essential idea. So the Asuras are not merely unself-conscious god-sparks swept along through the ages unself-consciously on the Rivers of Life. They are those who have gained self-consciousness; or, to use a Buddhist term meaning the same thing, they have become celestial Dhyanis, celestial Bodhisattvas, celestial Buddhas.

What are the Maruts? They are one class of the Agnishwattas, Asuras. Thus in The Secret Doctrine, which often quotes from Brahmanical theology, when you read that often the Suras and the Asuras were battling together, you have a very interesting fact not only of human evolutionary history here, but of cosmical history. It is the same thought that runs back of the early Christian legends concerning the battle fought in Heaven between the spirits of Light and the spirits of Darkness. And of course in mediaeval theology any thing that thinks for itself, an Asura, is a spirit of Darkness. Do you catch it? That is why they are called the demons or the spirits of Darkness. Here is the gist of the Christian legends of the so-called 'Fallen Angels'; a descent of all the monads which have won self-conscious freedom in intellectual and spiritual growth and have become like unto us, Elohim.

You know in the Hebrew Bible -- "Thou shall not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, for if thou eatest of it thou shalt become like us." But that indeed is the whole purpose of evolution! That the monads may pass from the state of unself-conscious god-sparks to that of self-conscious, fully evolved gods, knowing their divinity and taking a self-conscious part in the cosmic work. These are the Asuras, the Maruts, the Agnishwattas. But naturally it always pleased the dogmatic priests -- I do not mean the initiates but the dogmatic priests of theology -- to keep the thinking faculty down; and yet it is man's saving. The thinking faculty, it is true, often leads man into error and into making grievous mistakes for which he has to pay with the very blood of his heart -- As ye sow ye shall reap -- but the end of it is illumination, experience, and pity, compassion. No man's heart has ever throbbed with understanding compassion over the sufferings of another which itself has never suffered. It takes suffering to make us pitiful to others who suffer the cleansing fires of sorrow and pain; and these come through the advancing evolution of man's mind, part of which is his ethical, his moral instinct. Were it possible, as the gods can, for us humans to see a Sura, a Kumara, we would see a starry, glorious being, spotlessly pure, radiant with the light of eternity, colorless, utter beautiful -- but look in its eyes, there lacks a soul! Here lies the gist of the old European legend that the undine or the salamander, etc., must gain a soul before it can be saved. How true it is! The gaining of the soul is the story of the Kumara passing through the experience of the lives, building up the human soul to self-understanding of what life and nature mean, and emerging from it in soul a god.

And on the other hand you would see the Agnishwatta, just as beautiful, just as glorious, shining with the glory of eternity on it; but in its eyes the deep richness of garnered experience and infinite compassion, things which are only latent in the Kumara. The Kumara is the unself-conscious god-spark. The Agnishwatta is the same, become a self-conscious god.

The Seven Embryonic Humanities

. . . the Secret Doctrine postulates . . . the simultaneous evolution of seven human groups on seven different portions of our globe. . . . -- The Secret Doctrine, II, 1

I have been asked to say something this evening in regard to the statement of H. P. B. in the second volume of The Secret Doctrine, to the effect that the 'Fathers' or Pitris in the beginning of human evolution on this Globe D in this Fourth Round began this evolution in seven different geographical zones simultaneously.

The statement refers to the fact that human evolution opened on this Globe D in this Fourth Round by the simultaneous appearance, on seven different parts of the land surrounding the North Pole, of seven embryonic 'humanities,' these seven 'humanities' being the appearance, or appearances, of the seven classes of Barhishads or Lunar Pitris. The Esoteric Doctrine, as thus becomes immediately obvious, teaches a polygenetic and not a monogenetic origin for mankind.

It is from these original seven astral embryonic humanities, forming the beginnings of the First Root-Race on this Globe in this Round, that all the later human races came. These seven primary origins of astral humanity occurred, or had their geographical zones, on what H. P. B. calls the Sacred Imperishable Land, the first continent, surrounding and including the North Pole and extending, like the leaves of a lotus, somewhat southwards from the Pole in seven different geographical extensions, or 'zones' as H. P. B. calls them.

The Secret Doctrine does not teach the descent of mankind from a single pair, i.e., from an Adam and an Eve, here using the exoteric language of the Hebrew Book of Genesis. This Hebrew account itself does not really refer to one man called 'Adam' and one woman called 'Eve,' originally a 'rib' in Adam's body, but is a generalized way of speaking of early mankind; and in strictness does not refer to what we call the First Root-Race but to the middle of the Third Root-Race on this Globe in this Round. The reference to the 'rib' is a reference to the separation of the androgynous humanity of that period into sex-humanity; and the word 'rib' is an inaccurate translation of the Hebrew word, which really signifies a 'side' or a 'part.' This Hebrew account reminds one of the mystical and quasi-historic narrative given by Plato in his Banquet, where the great Greek philosopher spoke of the mankind of the date which he had in mind as being of globular form, strong and mighty, but wicked in temperament and in ambition; so that Zeus, in order to curb their evil doing and to diminish their strength, cut these beings of globular shape into two, much as one would divide an egg with a hair.

Going back to the question, the student must remember that there are, strictly speaking, ten classes of the Pitris, three arupa or relatively formless, called the Agnishwatta- or Kumara-class, whom we may call solar spirits or beings; and the other seven, the rupa, or having form, were really the Lunar Pitris. The three highest of these seven classes were also relatively arupa, and four were distinctly rupa. It is these latter, the Lunar Pitris, who, coming to this Globe from the preceding Globe C of our planetary chain, appeared -- when the time for human evolution on this Globe began -- on the North Pole in their seven kinds or classes, awakening the sishtas of the humanities left on this Globe D when the preceding Round, ages and ages previously, had ended.

I would not speak, as the questioner does, of these seven astral humanities as seven 'races,' for this word 'races' is in this instance a bit confusing. I would liefer speak of them as seven embryonic astral mankinds, each one of these seven mankinds being the production of one of the seven classes of the Lunar Pitris. It was especially the four lowest classes of the seven Lunar Pitris which gave to these original mankinds their physical form.

Such then was the opening of the drama of present human evolution on this Fourth Globe D in this Fourth Round. From that time onwards, the seven embryonic astral humanities began their evolutionary development as the First Root-Race, and continued it, each on its own zone, until the time came for the appearance of the Second Root-Race. When the time for the Second Root-Race appeared, the seven original embryonic astral mankinds had mixed and had disappeared as separate individual 'humanities.' The First Root-Race then merged itself into the Second Root-Race -- becoming the Second Root-Race. Even at this early date, i.e., that of the First Root-Race, and among the seven astral embryonic 'humanities' of that very early time, there were seven grades -- or seven differences appeared -- in evolutionary development from the lowest 'mankind' upwards to the highest or seventh 'mankind'; and this seventh or highest even then showed the beginnings of self-conscious and thinking Man.

It must be remembered that these seven embryonic astral 'humanities' were much more ethereal when they first appeared than was this Globe D on which they appeared, although indeed the Globe itself was then considerably more ethereal than now it is. Remember also that with the exception of the relatively few spoken of above who had attained a certain degree of self-consciousness, because belonging to the highest class of the Lunar Pitris, the great majority of these early seven astral mankinds were unself-conscious, and therefore what H. P. B. calls 'mindless.' They were indeed the astral 'shadows,' i.e., the more or less concreted astral bodies projected by the Lunar Pitris: embryonic men, but 'mindless' men, much as a child is mindless when first born, although of course the analogy is not very close here, but is nevertheless suggestive. The child is 'mindless'; its flesh is very tender and soft; its bones are not well hardened; and because it is mindless it lives in a dream-world, mentally and psychically. Just so were these seven embryonic astral mankinds.

Finally, the seven embryonic astral mankinds were actually the astral bodies of the seven classes of the Lunar Pitris, each class of which appeared in, or was attracted by karman to, its own geographical zone. They were mindless, boneless, skinless, and without internal organs as we now understand this word, and were in a state of consciousness which can be likened only to that of a heavy daydream; therefore likewise they had no moral sense, and in consequence there was no sin among them because no sin was committed: there was no mind to imagine sin and to do it. Morally, they were as irresponsible as the just born child. Remember carefully, however, that it was the lowest four classes of the Lunar Pitris which formed and shaped, by projecting their own Astral 'Shadows' or bodies, the then physical sariras of these earliest humanities.

Manasaputras, Lunar Pitris, Animal Monads, Etc.

Companions, I have been asked a question which I feel will be very hearty meat for new students of Theosophy, but old students will understand. It is the question of who are the Manasaputras, who are the Agnishwattas, who are the Lunar Pitris or Barhishads as they are sometimes called, and just what is the difference between the animal soul in the human being and the animal soul in the animal or the beast. I thought I had been over these things two or three times, but evidently not! Then, as I was pondering how I could make my own thoughts, things that I have learned, more clear to my brothers here, someone showed me a paragraph in H. P. B.'s marvelous Secret Doctrine, in Volume II, and I thought to myself: Before I say what I have to say tonight to the Lodge, I will read this, preceding it with a sentence from page 79.

The human Ego is neither Atman nor Buddhi, but the higher Manas Hence, as the higher 'Pitris or Dhyanis' had no hand in his physical creation, we find primeval man, issued from the bodies of his spiritually fireless progenitors, described as aeriform, devoid of compactness, and MINDLESS. He had no middle principle to serve him as a medium between the highest and the lowest, the spiritual man and the physical brain, for he lacked Manas. The Monads which incarnated in those empty SHELLS, remained as unconscious as when separated from their previous incomplete forms and vehicles. There is no potentiality for creation, or self-Consciousness, in a pure Spirit on this our plane, unless its too homogeneous, perfect, because divine, nature is, so to say, mixed with and strengthened by, an essence already differentiated.

And then again on page 81:

Between man and the animal -- whose Monads (or Jivas) are fundamentally identical -- there is the impassable abyss of Mentality and Self-consciousness. What is human mind in its higher aspect, whence comes it, if it is not a portion of the essence -- and, in some rare cases of incarnation, the very essence -- of a higher Being: one from a higher and divine plane?

The Lunar Pitris or the Barhishads, to use a Hindu name by which they are sometimes called, were those beings who on the moon, when we were all there and it was a living planet, were the animal monads of the lunar men; and the Agnishwitta-Pitris, the Solar Pitris, because under the direct governing inspiration of the sun, yet lunar also because they came from the moon, were the thinking, intellectual men on the moon-chain. But when they had reached the culmination of their spiritual and intellectual evolution on the moon, at the end of the moon's seventh or last Round, they left it no longer as mere men but as Manasaputras, Sons of Mind, pure intellectual Dhyanis, spirits of intellect and spirits of thought; and it was these who became or were the Manasaputras who inspired humanity on this chain, on this earth that is, during what we call the Third Root-Race. We are now in the Fifth Root-Race.

And what were the beings that they inspired, called variously Barhishads or Lunar Pitris, pitris being a Sanskrit word which means fathers or progenitors? Who were they whom these Manasaputras, or the men who were men on the moon, inspired -- who were these Lunar Pitris, these mindless ones, senseless in the intellectual meaning, but who were yet purely human and not animal at all, belonging to the human kingdom? These Lunar Pitris were those animal monads of the men on the moon who had attained human status when the last Round on the moon ended. To attain human status merely means having entered the very lowest ranks of the human kingdom. The Lunar Pitris, then, as they appear on our globe, were the animal monads in the human constitution of those who were men on the moon; and those thinking intellectual men on the moon at the end of the moon's Seventh Round, the highest evolution attainable then, reached the point of the Dhyanis, the Manasaputras, and became our Manasaputras here on this earth.

The men on the moon had not only the divine monad and the spiritual monad, but they had an intellectual monad, the human monad, and then they had the animal nature or the animal monad; and they had physical bodies. They were fully complete men as we are septenary entities; but each portion of the constitution of the men on the moon was itself evolving, just as at present our minds are evolving just as well as our moral intuitions are evolving. There is no contradiction. It is natural, it is the way Mother Nature works. She does not evolve only a part of the constitution of her children. She evolves all her parts contemporaneously, all evolving at the same time. But, I repeat, the Lunar Pitris were what we now would call our lower quaternary, that is, the animal, the human animal nature of us. Those were the Lunar Pitris, called the Lunar Fathers because they were the animal monads in the lunar men; and those lunar men who became Manasaputras -- that is Dhyanis -- at the end of the moon evolution, were our own Manasaputras or higher egos.

Now what are the animals -- the animals on the moon and the animals here on earth? They are monads evolving in the animal kingdom, just as we humans are monads evolving in the human kingdom, and just as the three classes of the Dhyanis are monads evolving in those three classes of Dhyanis. When the monad of a beast through evolutionary unfoldment or growth passes slowly through the ages all the different steps or stages of the animal kingdom towards the top, it finally reaches the very tip-top point of the animal kingdom, and the animal monad then is on the verge of becoming humanized, which merely means that the animal monad then has unwrapped from within itself all that it needs of the animal part, and is in the process of unwrapping from within itself, not from outside, the beginning of the human characteristics; for every monad is in essence divine, and therefore contains all within itself. So when we speak of an animal monad, this is but a fashion of speaking. What we mean is a monad, in itself a divine thing, which because it has as yet not unwrapped from itself more than the animal, is evolving in the animal kingdom. That is as simple as can be. A monad of a flower is in essence a divinity, as divine as my monad is or yours, or the monad of the highest god. But the monad has as yet unwrapped only the flower part of itself. It has thrown forth from itself only the flower part, the plant part. As that same monad advances and grows and unwraps from within itself, it will leave the plant kingdom and enter the animal kingdom at the lowest range thereof, and slowly progress up through the animal kingdom towards the very highest therein; and only when it reaches the top of the animal kingdom is it on the verge of manifesting forth from within itself the human part locked up within itself. It then leaves the animal kingdom which can teach it nothing more and enters the very lowest range of the human kingdom. Evolution therefore, you see, is on invisible planes. It is from within outwards. There is no other evolution. The very word shows it, evolvere, a Latin word meaning to unfold, to unwrap, what is there to be unfolded and unwrapped.

The monad, then, rises up from the animal kingdom when it can learn no more and enters into the very lowest of the human, not as an animal, as a monad, and it rises up through the human kingdom, rising imbodiment after imbodiment, a little higher, and a little higher, until it reaches a nobler human stage; and still evolves and rises through the human kingdom, passes out through the lower animal human into the human, and then enters a spiritual human, and then when it has reached the topmost spiritual point in the human kingdom, it enters the lowest rank of the lowest of the Dhyan.

So the monad passes as a pilgrim through each of the kingdoms, but as it comes into the human kingdom it does not displace the animal monad of the humans. It is the monad that enters the human kingdom, and builds its sevenfold constitution, just as we do, as we are. There is no displacement at all.

When the time came when these Lunar Pitris -- the astral beings not yet condensed, like a wisp of light if you wish, astral stuff through the inherent natural forces of growth had developed a vehicle that could sustain the fire of mind, then the egos from the moon, the Manasaputras, the Agnishwattas, descended into and set on fire with divine flame those lunar parts of our constitution, and man became fully man. Then he was a complete entity, no longer a divine monad unable to express itself in physical bodies.

So we humans were now composed of a divine monad, a spiritual, a human, and an animal monad, imbodied in one. When our own earth shall have passed through its Seventh Round, then the men an this earth here now, those of us who make the grade, will become the Agnishwattas, the Manasaputras for the child of this earth chain, the next chain; and our animal monads, our animal parts, our lower quaternaries at the end of the Seventh Round on earth, will have raised themselves to the status and stature of humanity, of manhood, the animal monad, mind you. And it is these animal monads thus become men just made, or men just clothed, who in the next chain, child of this earth-chain, will be the Lunar Pitris of that next chain, child of this chain, and will be inflamed then and there with the intellectual fire which we shall give to them.

Now here is one very beautiful thing, which I noticed when I read the extract from H. P. B., and it is so beautiful I want her own words: "Between man and the animal -- whose Monads (or Jivas) are fundamentally identical -- there is the impassable abyss of Mentality and Self-consciousness. What is human mind in its higher aspects, whence comes it, if it is not a portion of the essence -- [this is what I meant] and, in some rare cases of incarnation, the very essence -- of a higher Being."

This refers to a wondrous marvel in human evolution. It is this: Among the Manasaputras who came and who gave us mind -- because they were we ourselves, our intellectual and spiritual selves -- there were certain very superior individuals, entities who on the moon itself in the last or Seventh Lunar Round, were already Dhyanis. They guided, strange paradox, the work of our own Agnishwattas, guided the work of our own intellectual awakening, for they, these entities -- how many were there? a thousand, ten thousand, a hundred thousand, I know not -- chose certain human vehicles when we had received our minds from the Manasaputras. They entered into the selected human bodies and permanently illuminated them their lives long. It was mutual. There was the offer of a response awaiting the imbodiment of a divinity. The divinity incarnated; and these were the great Teachers of mankind, imbodied gods, men who gave themselves to furnish, to be, the vehicles so that these unutterably grand egos could use them, these men, in order to work among mankind. Then were started the first Mystery Schools, composed of these beings gathered together. Then were struck the keynotes which have run down the ages since those far gone times, keynotes which we now call innate ideas of the human spirit, keynotes of light, keynotes of order, keynotes of intuition, keynotes of truth. They gave men light, they taught those early men the arts and sciences -- humans who had just received the intellectual fire from their own egos, from the moon -- taught them the arts and sciences, taught them the seasons, taught them to look at the universe around them and to consider its marvels with wonder and reverence, taught them astronomy, taught them chemistry, taught them government; and then when their work was done, mayhap it was one life of the recipient, mayhap twain or more, when this work was done, supernal, grand, they returned to their own sublime spheres. But they still wait for us compassionately and understandingly. Do you know what they were on the moon? They were the Mahatmans on the moon become gods when the moon men became dhyanized.

The Forces of the Universe

To thoroughly comprehend the idea underlying every ancient cosmology necessitates the study, in a comparative analysis, of all the great religions of antiquity; as it is only by this method that the root idea will be made plain. Exact science -- could the latter soar so high, while tracing the operations of nature to their ultimate and original sources -- would call this idea the hierarchy of Forces. The original, transcendental and philosophical conception was one. But as systems began to reflect with every age more and more the idiosyncrasies of nations; and as the latter, after separating, settled into distinct groups, each evolving along its own national or tribal groove, the main idea gradually became veiled with the overgrowth of human fancy. While in some countries the FORCES, or rather the intelligent Powers of nature, received divine honours they were hardly entitled to, in others -- as now in Europe and the civilized lands -- the very thought of any such Force being endowed with intelligence seems absurd, and is proclaimed unscientific. . . . -- The Secret Doctrine, I, 424

I wonder how many of us really know what we mean when we speak of the 'Forces of the Universe.' You will be sure to be wrong if you think that by using the term 'Forces of the Universe,' we mean to signify the so-called scientific energies of the world. We do not. Why? Because the energies of science are soulless, without life, without intelligence, working haphazard, fortuitously, which means by chance; and how on earth these big-brained men can reconcile harmony, symmetry, mathematical perfection, in the Universe, with chance, is something utterly beyond me to attempt to explain! I do not think they have thought about it.

When we speak of 'Forces of the Universe,' we mean living beings, as much alive as we humans are alive. Just as any one of you is a living being, a composite entity, with an inner life, with a spirit, a soul, and all your inner faculties working through a physical vehicle or sheath; just exactly so is there a supreme divinity, a hierarch, who is the informing principle of our Galaxy or Home-Universe. But he or it is only one of a host of others informing other similar galaxies in frontierless infinitude. The gods are infinite in number; and we are embryo-gods. If you want to understand the universe, try to understand yourself, because you copy the universe. The universe repeats itself in every one of its atoms, which means in every one of its composite elements, in every one of its building bricks.

Just as man is informed by the divinity within or above him both; so is the universe informed by the divinity within or above it -- both. And just as man is more than one, as he is a whole host of entities, all deriving their essence and being from his inmost heart of hearts, his divine monad, just exactly so are all the forces of the universe derived from the cosmic divine entity.

Take my body as an instance. It is alive, as your bodies are. It is alive because it is formed of living things, living cells. In the first place, these cells are formed of aggregates of atoms, which if they were dead would produce a dead aggregate; but the fact that they produce a living aggregate is a proof that they themselves live, are alive. The atoms, therefore, are alive, and they are alive because the building-bricks composing them are alive: the electrons and protons.

Now, that is what we mean when we speak of the forces of the universe. In the last analysis we mean gods, living gods which express themselves in the manner that we have some conception of when we look at the starry sky, or look at the sun in the daytime, or consider the world around us, and all the actions that take place there, the growing plants and beasts and rocks. They are all alive.

What is an earthquake? Something that happens fortuitously, by chance? To believe that is simply symptomatic either of intellectual laziness, or lack of intellectual penetration. I don't believe there is a single chance action in Infinity. I cannot reconcile chance with law, because chance means the negation of law, and law means order, symmetry, harmony, mathematical relations. The universe is alive because it is infilled with living things, with gods. The physical universe is the body of the god, as my body is the body of me. The idea has nothing to do whatsoever with the modern scientific theory of energies. Scientists are now even discarding the term 'forces.' It is too mysterious, too superstitious.

The way to handle these scientific thinkers is to pin them down to facts. Don't let your minds be led away by talk. Demand an explanation of why you are a living being. Don't be satisfied with talk about chemical action and reaction. It does not mean anything. Show me any chemical compound that man can make in the laboratory that moves and thinks and feels! And here we are, living and moving and thinking and feeling, demonstrating that everything we do, that every thought we think, that every feeling we have, is consciousness. This is so much so that the greater scientific thinkers today are talking about consciousness as being the fundamental essence of the universe, coming at last to admit it. What does that mean? That these so-called energies that they keep in one compartment of their brains are simply examples of what they keep in the other watertight compartments of their brains -- consciousness, consciousnesses.

The very fact that the universe is formed of aggregates of individuals is a proof of polytheism, which means simply that the universe is infilled with gods; and any universe has at its head a supreme Divinity; as man, a microcosm or small universe, has at its head his own divine hierarch, his essential, fundamental Self. But any such universe is only one among an infinitude of others. That is what we mean by the forces of the universe. I call them gods, because gods they are. When the sun rises tomorrow morning, look at Father-Sun, and remember that that brilliant divinity is a living being, the source of your own being in one sense, and that you are in your essence equally great, because both are manifestations of an indwelling divinity, the spirit of boundless infinity, the essence of boundless infinity, expressing a portion of itself in that sun, in those stars, in the planets, and all the entities that infill space, high, low, intermediate.

The only reason that science has been misled from seeing the truth in the past has been the fact that men were miseducated in religion for hundreds of years, fed not on truth -- although the Christian religion is founded on truth -- but on men's ideas about truth, theologians' ideas as to Reality. Then when men began to think and began to investigate the universe around them, they found that those ideas could not be harmonized with what they found to be the facts of the universe. So they lost confidence in all religious thought. They did not know of any other religious philosophies or philosophical religions that they had any respect for: And instead of thinking for themselves, each man following his own intuition, the spirit of the living god within his breast, they said: "That will introduce all kinds of anarchy into scientific thought. Cling to the only things we know to be facts, the facts of the physical universe." Because they could not find a soul within living flesh (and in fact they did not know what they were looking for), they said: "Man is but an animate mechanism." But what is an animate mechanism, a living machine? Explain it. Those are mere words.

We are living in the life-sphere, the fohatic sphere, the pranic sphere, of the divinity of our solar system, which divinity is the fountain-head of all the Christs and Buddhas that the human race from time to time brings forth. All movements of the world that we see around us: the earthquakes, the meteorological phenomena, rains, lightning, moving of clouds, thunder-storms, hail-storms, sunny, bright days, and over-clouded days -- all are movements of the vital essence of the planetary spirit working in and with the co-operation of the solar spirit or divinity, as that solar spirit or divinity moves within the life-sphere of an entity still greater, the galactic divinity, which in its turn moves within the life-sphere of a divinity still vaster -- all precisely as the living cells which make a man's body live and move and have their being within his body, which is the vehicle of the holy presence which his spirit is, the god, the hierarch, of his constitution. It is a wonderful thought, and fills man's mind with reverence for the symmetry and harmony and majesty and beauty of the universe. It makes him reverent, it makes him respect his fellow-men; for what the human race has brought forth in the matter of great men once, it will reproduce many times.

Remember that on every occasion when you see the action of a natural force, you are seeing the automatic workings of the vitality of our own particular planetary, or it may be solar, divinity. The only reason we cannot connect it with the human emotions and human thoughts that are familiar to us, is because its action is on a cosmic scale, so far beyond our understanding that we can only see, as it were, a small portion of it. The small portion of the web or pattern of our minds cannot take in the rest, and therefore we see what we think is purely mechanical action.

I will illustrate this: An entity living on an electron, helping to form one of the atoms of my body, would have no understanding or conception of my raising my hand, or of a movement of my leg, and even less of my intent when I speak; nevertheless all the interrelated forces giving my body life affect every molecule, every atom, every electron, in my body, destroy millions of them, bring millions of them into birth. In precisely the same way the gods, the Forces of Nature, have a range of action so vast and an intellect so far-reaching, and a vitality whose sweep is so all-inclusive, and a time-period -- there is the key -- so immense, that our understandings cannot take it in; and we search, as the scientists have done, looking for human consciousness in the movements of the planets and the suns, looking for human actions or causes, like human functions, in earthquakes and thunder-storms and the lightning-bolt. The scale is too vast, just as the scale of my speaking, my walking, the raising of my hand, is too vast for an inhabitant on an electron of one of the atoms of my body to comprehend. It perceives it, if at all vaguely, as an affection of matter.

As the great Greek Pythagoras said of the Music of the Spheres, the planets chiming and choiring together in celestial harmony as they circle around the sun: the march is too great for human ear to take it in, because the human ear has been builded by evolution to take "in only a very short range of sound; and to right and to left of that range is virtual infinitude. The vibrations on either side, our ears are utterly incognisant of; and the same with our organ of sight. How small a fraction of the rays which produce vision in our optics, how small a fraction of the entire range of vibration, are we conscious of through the eye!

To illustrate again the vast range in which the universe is builded: There are certain stars in which matter, and therefore the consequent play of energies and forces, is so tremendously dense, that it is a million times denser than anything we can produce or find in our laboratories. And in either direction also, in the fields of cosmic space, there are nebulae so tenuous and ethereal, that they are a million times less dense, in other words a million times more tenuous, than the most tenuous stuff that we can know or produce in our physical laboratories. A million times a million makes a trillion -- a million millions; and we have one trillionth of this scale which we can investigate in our chemical laboratories -- physical matter, gas, etc. Think of it, one in a trillion! Enormous density on one hand, tremendous tenuity, ethereality on the other hand. And matter as we know it on this earth in all its forms occupies just a tiny fraction; and that is our entire range of investigation.

Now then, that is what I mean by a scale so vast that our human minds cannot take it in. The intellect cognises that these extremes exist. Very good. Then let your thought go out into those extremes. Remember that they are as much a portion of the universe as is this little bit which we can test in the laboratory. Remember that we know of only one portion in a trillion; and then be modest! Outside of anything else, it has always seemed an amazing thing to me that it has only recently come to be recognised that man is an integral part of the universe in which he lives and moves and has his being, and from which he derives everything that he is. Theologians and scientists and philosophers alike have always in some inexplicable way based their intellectual researches on the utterly preposterous foundation that man was something essentially different from the universe; and this false concept runs throughout all the terms of our thought: subject, object.

This is an example of the Great Heresy, because it misleads you at every turn -- the disjoining of or ungearing of yourself in your thought and feeling from the universe in which you live, of which you are a component, inseparable part. Man cannot ever know an object if that object is essentially different from himself. There cannot be any union. He can only know what he himself is or becomes. True knowledge, true wisdom, comes when, to use the ridiculous phrase of Occidental philosophy (though the deduction drawn is true): "the subject becomes identified with the object," and finds itself to be not twain but one.