The Newsletter of the Northwest Branch of the Theosophical Society
April 2004 Vol. 7 Issue 2
On April 8th we will begin reading and discussing the Tao Teh Ching by Lao-tzu one evening a month. Those attending are encouraged to bring any translation of this Chinese classic that appeals to them.
Open to the public, unsectarian, non-political, no charge
If the universe is an organism composed of living beings in all stages of growth, stars like our sun are the visible raiments of bright celestial entities whom we may properly call gods. Far ahead of us in their spiritual evolution, they represent a certain class of beings whose inner aspects are invisible, just as the aspects that make and drive a human being are. The bright disk we see in the sky is not the true sun, but merely the visible effect of its energies on our physical plane. Similarly, electricity per se is invisible, yet we can see an electric spark because the passage of electricity through the resistance of the air makes its effects visible. The Master KH says:
"The fact is, that what you call the sun is simply the reflection of the huge "store-house" of our System wherein ALL its forces are generated and preserved; the sun being the heart and brain of our pigmy Universe, we might compare its faculae -- those millions of small, intensely brilliant bodies of which the sun's surface away from the spots is made up -- with the blood corpuscles of that luminary . . ." -- The Mahatma Letters, p. 164
What scientists today call "granulation" or solar convection currents, the Master speaks of as "blood corpuscles" on the surface of the sun. The mighty heart of the solar system beats once every 10 earth years, with another year for the vital currents to pass through the hidden chambers of the sun, making the 11-year cycle observed by science. With each beat the sun expels its accumulated store of vitality through the mysterious sunspots to the remotest corners of the solar system. Ulysses spacecraft observations of high-speed solar wind ejected through a large hole in the outer atmosphere of the south pole are highly suggestive. G. de Purucker says of this mystery: "the sun feeds its family just as the heart feeds the body. It sends out its blood through the south pole, as it were, and after the circulation around the body has taken place, it receives it in again at the north pole." It is through the sunspots that the solar blood -- solar energy, electricity, or psychomagnetism -- returns to be purified in the heart that sent it forth.
There are so many wonderful teachings of the ancient wisdom in relation to our inexhaustible life-giver, the sun. Eclipses, for example, are of great significance because of the effects of the sun and moon pulling on the earth, and alternatively of the sun and earth pulling on the moon -- not only gravitational pull, but psychomagnetic pull producing great surges of vital energy between the sun, moon, and earth at these times. But amongst the grandest teachings is the sun's role in the initiations of highly evolved human beings at special times of the year and at certain cycles when the earth stands in propitious alignments with it. (Online see G. de Purucker's The Four Sacred Seasons and Grace F. Knoche's The Mystery Schools for further information on this complex subject celebrated in the myths and sacred ceremonies of the world's peoples.) This is not only something far away. We should remember that, in the initiation of daily experience, a portion of our spiritual heart is solar substance to which we shall return self-consciously one day. In our lives here and now, we can strive to identify with the solar essence of ourselves, keeping in mind that in the distant future, if we run the evolutionary race aright, we shall assume the tremendous responsibilities of our father/mother/elder brother -- and become a star ourselves! -- Andrew Rooke
Our topic this month is "Is There Life on Other Worlds?" We will be discussing such questions as: What are scientists discovering about life on earth and the possibility of life elsewhere in the cosmos? What is life? In what ways do various cultures and religions distinguish between what is living and nonliving, and what criteria do they use? What is the relationship among life, matter, and consciousness? How is it relevant to our lives, and our view of ourselves, whether life appears only on earth or is common throughout the universe; and whether life is confined largely to plants and animals or is more universal? Come and share your ideas!
Open to the public, unsectarian, non-political, no charge.
The topics for the monthly discussions are chosen by members of the Northwest Branch. If there is a subject that particularly interests you, or if you have ideas or suggestions about the meetings, please do not hesitate to email or mail them to the Branch or to mention them after the meetings.
Theosophy teaches that the universe is full of life. Every-thing that surrounds us has as much life as we do, and every corner of the universe is filled with sentient, conscious and intelligent beings. These beings can take many forms, from atoms to trees to humans, even planets, suns, and solar systems. And all of these life-forms are composite, each made up of smaller beings, or centers of consciousness, and each comprising larger beings. The real source of life, that intelligent, substantial spiritual force, is the monad or center of consciousness that lies at the core of each being. It is the monad that gives each of us our individuality, spirituality, and immortality, and is the "master" over the little lives that comprise its manifested expressions.
To better understand the way life is ordered in our solar system and in the universe, it is necessary to briefly discuss the nature of planets and the way life evolves on them. In the course of evolution, life-forms cyclically enter into existence or manifestation on one of seven (or ten or twelve) cosmic planes. Planes can be considered as states of consciousness or vibrational levels or degrees of substance. We can see only the planets and beings on our own cosmic plane. The evolution of any planet occurs in tandem with its inhabitants, and each planet provides a home for the beings on one of the planes needed by those beings. Thus it is that each planet really is a chain of globes. Thinking of globes existing on four cosmic planes, the first globe in a planetary chain is very ethereal. The second and third are less ethereal and more material. The fourth globe is the most material. The fifth, sixth, and seventh are increasingly ethereal and spiritual, and correspond to globes one, two, and three. Currently we live on the fourth or most material globe of our Earth's planetary chain.
Great classes of beings, or life-waves, evolve on the globes. There are ten kingdoms in all, including three elemental, mineral, vegetable, animal, human, and three dhyani-chohanic (gods or planetary spirits). The ten classes of beings and their globe come into manifestation together on a plane. Thus, a planet is not simply a random accumulation of dust and rocks. It is a living being itself composed entirely of the life-waves that inhabit it. If the life-waves didn't exist, then the planet wouldn't exist. The life-waves circle through the seven globes seven times, being born, dying, then being reborn a multitude of times. Each circle of the globes is called a round. Between each round, and at the end of seven rounds, are rest periods in which the beings leave the material realm en masse. Afterwards the process of re-materialization starts all over again, but the beings are at a more advanced stage. When life-waves outgrow the spiritual level of their current globe and are ready to move onto another globe of their planet, they are reborn on the globe on the next higher or lower plane.
Eventually the planet's life cycle is over, and it dies. After a long rest period all of its life-waves participate in its reimbodiment as a new planet. The old planetary body is a corpse with no evolving life-waves. Like a human corpse, its atoms slowly dissipate, and it finally disappears. Until it dissolves, it is the moon of the reimbodied planet, its "child." Venus and Mercury have no moons because they and their inhabitants are further along in their evolutionary cycle than our Earth, and their moons have had time to dissipate completely.
Though each planet provides a home to the various classes or kingdoms of life-waves, these beings may take completely different forms on each planet. G. de Purucker says:
"The inhabitants of the other planets -- those which are inhabited at the present time -- must have forms strictly related to and fitted by evolution for their particular planet. They would be very various indeed, and we might not easily accept those beings as intelligent, sensitive and conscious. Some may be flat, some spherical, and some long; the inhabitants of Mercury having, perhaps, the nearest resemblance to us, while those of Jupiter are probably the most diverse in form from us. The inhabitants of Venus, which is an inhabited planet at the present time, are doubles, ovoid in shape. Venus is superior to earth: both naturally and spiritually. The inhabitants of some of the planets move by floating, while those of other planets of our solar family do not move at all; they are fixtures somewhat as trees are with us, and yet are highly intelligent, conscious beings." (Fountain Source of Occultism, p. 334)
Not all planets currently have higher life-forms actively evolving on them. Some planets like Mars are currently in "obscuration," which means that its life-waves are in a rest cycle between rounds. But there was life on Mars previously, and will be again in the future, after the rest period ends and the beings once again are born on the planet.
Though the beings in our universe may seem alien and many are invisible, we do have a close kinship with them. Our lives are intertwined, as we all follow the same pattern of cyclical evolution, and we are all god-sparks from the "Infinite Unutterable Principle from which all in the Kosmos sprang."