- 6. The older wheels rotated downward and upward (a). . . . The Mother’s spawn filled the whole (Kosmos). * There were battles fought between the Creators and the Destroyers, and battles fought for Space ; the seed appearing and reappearing continuously (b). †
(a) Here, having finished for the time being with our side-issues — which, however they may break the flow of the narrative, are necessary for the elucidation of the whole scheme — the reader must return once more to Cosmogony. The phrase “ Older wheels ” refers to the worlds or Globes of our chain as they were during the “ previous Rounds.” The present Stanza, when explained esoterically, is found embodied entirely in the Kabalistic works. Therein will be found the very history of the evolution of those countless Globes which evolve after a periodical Pralaya, rebuilt from old material into new forms. The previous Globes disintegrate and reappear transformed and perfected for a new phase of life. In the Kabala, worlds are compared to sparks which fly from under the hammer of the great Architect — law, the law which rules all the smaller Creators.
The following comparative diagram shows the identity between the two systems, the Kabalistic and the Eastern. The three upper are the three higher planes of consciousness, revealed and explained in both schools only to the Initiates, the lower ones represent the four lower planes — the lowest being our plane, or the visible Universe.
These seven planes correspond to the seven states of consciousness in man. It remains with him to attune the three higher states in himself to the three higher planes in Kosmos. But before he can attempt to attune, he must awaken the three “ seats ” to life and activity. And how many are capable of bringing themselves to even a superficial comprehension of Atma-Vidya (Spirit-Knowledge), or what is called by the Sufis, Rohanee ! In Section the VIIth of this Book, in Sub-section 3,
* The reader is reminded that Kosmos often means in our Stanzas only our own Solar System, not the Infinite Universe.
† This is purely astronomical.
the reader will find a still clearer explanation of the above in the Commentary upon Saptaparna — the man-plant. See also the Section of that name in Part II.
* The Arupa or “ formless,” there where form ceases to exist, on the objective plane.
† The word “ Archetypal ” must not be taken here in the sense that the Platonists gave to it, i.e., the world as it existed in the Mind of the Deity ; but in that of a world made as a first model, to be followed and improved upon by the worlds which succeed it physically — though deteriorating in purity.
‡ These are the four lower planes of Cosmic Consciousness, the three higher planes being inaccessible to human intellect as developed at present. The seven states of human consciousness pertain to quite another question.
(b) “ The Seed appears and disappears continuously.” Here “ Seed ” stands for “ the World-germ,” viewed by Science as material particles in a highly attenuated condition, but in Occult physics as “ Spiritual particles,” i.e., supersensuous matter existing in a state of primeval
differentiation. * In theogony, every Seed is an ethereal organism, from which evolves later on a celestial being, a God.
In the “ beginning,” that which is called in mystic phraseology “ Cosmic Desire ” evolves into absolute Light. Now light without any shadow would be absolute light — in other words, absolute darkness — as physical science seeks to prove. That shadow appears under the form of primordial matter, allegorized — if one likes — in the shape of the Spirit of Creative Fire or Heat. If, rejecting the poetical form and allegory, science chooses to see in this the primordial Fire-Mist, it is welcome to do so. Whether one way or the other, whether Fohat or the famous force of Science, nameless, and as difficult of definition as our Fohat himself, that Something “ caused the Universe to move with circular motion,” as Plato has it ; or, as the Occult teaching expresses it :
“ The Central Sun causes Fohat to collect primordial dust in the form of balls, to impel them to move in converging lines and finally to approach each other and aggregate.” ( Book of Dzyan ) . . . . . “ Being scattered in Space, without order or system, the world-germs come into frequent collision until their final aggregation, after which they become wanderers ( Comets ). Then the battles and struggles begin. The older ( bodies ) attract the younger, while others repel them. Many perish, devoured by their stronger companions. Those that escape become worlds.” †
* To see and appreciate the difference — the immense gulf that separates terrestrial matter from the finer grades of supersensuous matter — every astronomer, every chemist and physicist ought to be a psychometer, to say the least ; he ought to be able to sense for himself that difference in which he now refuses to believe. Mrs. Elizabeth Denton, one of the most learned, and also one of the most materialistic and sceptical women of her age — the wife of Professor Denton, the well-known American geologist and the author of “ The Soul of Things ” — was, nevertheless, one of the most wonderful psychometers some years ago. This is what she described in one of her experiments ; with a particle of a meteorite placed on her forehead, in an envelope, the lady, not being aware of what it contained, said :
“ What a difference between that which we recognise as matter here and that which seems like matter there ! In the one, the elements are so coarse and so angular, I wonder that we can endure it all, much more that we can desire to continue our present relations to it ; in the other, all the elements are so refined, they are so free from those great, rough angularities, which characterize the elements here, that I can but regard that as by so much the more than this, the real existence.” (Vol. III. p. 345-6.)
† When carefully analysed and reflected upon, this will be found as scientific as Science could make it, even at our late period.
We have been assured that there exist several modern works of speculative fancy upon such struggles for life in sidereal heaven, especially in the German language. We rejoice to hear it, for ours is an Occult teaching lost in the darkness of archaic ages. We have treated of it fully in “ Isis Unveiled,” and the idea of Darwinian-like evolution, of struggle for life and supremacy, and of the “ survival of the fittest ” among the Hosts above as the Hosts below, runs throughout both the volumes of our earlier work, written in 1876 (See Index in “ Isis Unveiled ” at the words “ Evolution ” — “ Darwin ” — “ Kapila ” — “ Battle of Life,” etc. etc.) But the idea was not ours, it is that of antiquity. Even the Purânic writers have ingeniously interwoven allegory with Cosmic facts and human events. Any symbologist may discern the astrocosmical allusion even though he be unable to grasp the whole meaning. The great “ Wars in Heaven,” in the Purânas ; the wars of the Titans, in Hesiod and other classical writers ; the “ struggles,” also in the Egyptian legend between Osiris and Typhon, and even those in the Scandinavian legends, all refer to the same subject. Northern Mythology refers to it as the battle of the Flames, the sons of Muspel who fought on the field of Wigred. All these relate to Heaven and Earth, and have a double and often even a triple meaning, and esoteric application to things above as to things below. They relate severally to astronomical, theogonical and human struggles ; to the adjustment of orbs, and the supremacy among nations and tribes. The “ Struggle for Existence ” and the “ Survival of the Fittest ” reigned supreme from the moment that Kosmos manifested into being, and could hardly escape the observant eye of the ancient Sages. Hence the incessant fights of Indra, the god of the Firmament, with the Asuras — degraded from high gods into Cosmic demons ; and with Vritri or Ah-hi ; the battles fought between stars and constellations, between Moon and planets — later on incarnated as kings and mortals. Hence also the War in Heaven of Michael and his Host against the Dragon ( Jupiter and Lucifer-Venus), when a third of the stars of the rebellious host was hurled down into Space, and “ its place was found no more in Heaven.” As said long ago — “ This is the basic and fundamental stone of the secret cycles. It shows that the Brahmins and Tanäim . . . speculated on the creation and development of the world quite in a Darwinian way, both anticipating him and his school in the natural selection of species, the survival of the fittest,
and transformation. . . . There were old worlds that perished conquered by the new,” etc., etc. (“ Isis Unveiled,” Vol. II., p. 260.) The assertion that all the worlds (Stars, planets, etc.) — as soon as a nucleus of primordial substance in the laya (undifferentiated) state is informed by the freed principles, of a just deceased sidereal body — become first comets, and then Suns to cool down to inhabitable worlds, is a teaching as old as the Rishis.
Thus the Secret Books distinctly teach, as we see, an astronomy that would not be rejected even by modern speculation could the latter thoroughly understand its teachings.
For, archaic astronomy, and the ancient, physical and mathematical sciences, expressed views identical with those of modern science, and many of far more momentous import. A “ struggle for life ” as a “ survival of the fittest ” in the worlds above, as on our planet here below, are distinctly taught. This teaching, however, although it would not be “ entirely rejected ” by Science, is sure to be repudiated as an integral whole. For it avers that there are only seven Self-born primordial “ gods ” emanated from the trinitarian one. In other words, it means that all the worlds or sidereal bodies (always on strict analogy) are formed one from the other, after the primordial manifestation at the beginning of the “ Great Age ” is accomplished. The birth of the celestial bodies in Space is compared to a crowd or multitude of “ pilgrims ” at the festival of the “ Fires.” Seven ascetics appear on the threshold of the temple with seven lighted sticks of incense. At the light of these the first row of pilgrims light their incense sticks. After which every ascetic begins whirling his stick around his head in space, and furnishes the rest with fire. Thus with the heavenly bodies. A laya-centre is lighted and awakened into life by the fires of another “ pilgrim,” after which the new “ centre ” rushes into space and becomes a comet. It is only after losing its velocity, and hence its fiery tail, that the “ Fiery Dragon ” settles down into quiet and steady life as a regular respectable citizen of the sidereal family. Therefore it is said : —
Born in the unfathomable depths of Space, out of the homogeneous Element called the World-Soul, every nucleus of Cosmic matter, suddenly launched into being, begins life under the most hostile circumstances. Through a series of countless ages, it has to conquer
for itself a place in the infinitudes. It circles round and round between denser and already fixed bodies, moving by jerks, and pulling towards some given point or centre that attracts it, trying to avoid, like a ship drawn into a channel dotted with reefs and sunken rocks, other bodies that draw and repel it in turn ; many perish, their mass disintegrating through stronger masses, and, when born within a system, chiefly within the insatiable stomachs of various Suns. (See Comm. to Stanza IV). Those which move slower and are propelled into an elliptic course are doomed to annihilation sooner or later. Others moving in parabolic curves generally escape destruction, owing to their velocity.
Some very critical readers will perhaps imagine that this teaching, as to the cometary stage passed through by all heavenly bodies, is in contradiction with the statements just made as to the moon being the mother of the earth. They will perhaps fancy that intuition is needed to harmonize the two. But no intuition is in truth required. What does Science know of Comets, their genesis, growth, and ultimate behaviour ? Nothing — absolutely nothing ! And what is there so impossible that a laya centre — a lump of cosmic protoplasm, homogeneous and latent, when suddenly animated or fired up — should rush from its bed in Space and whirl throughout the abysmal depths in order to strengthen its homogeneous organism by an accumulation and addition of differentiated elements ? And why should not such a comet settle in life, live, and become an inhabited globe !
“ The abodes of Fohat are many,” it is said. “ He places his four fiery (electro-positive) Sons in the “ Four circles ” ; these Circles are the Equator, the Ecliptic, and the two parallels of declination, or the tropics — to preside over the climates of which are placed the Four mystical Entities. Then again : “ Other seven (sons) are commissioned to preside over the seven hot, and seven cold lokas (the hells of the orthodox Brahmins) at the two ends of the Egg of Matter (our Earth and its poles). The seven lokas are also called the “ Rings,” elsewhere, and the “ Circles.” The ancients made the polar circles seven instead of two, as Europeans do ; for Mount Meru, which is the North Pole, is said to have seven gold and seven silver steps leading to it.
The strange statement made in one of the Stanzas : “ The Songs of Fohat and his Sons were radiant as the noon-tide Sun and the Moon combined ; ” and that the four Sons on the middle four-fold
Circle “ saw their father’s songs and heard his Solar-selenic radiance ; ” is explained in the Commentary in these words : “ The agitation of the Fohatic Forces at the two cold ends (North and South Poles) of the Earth which resulted in a multicoloured radiance at night, have in them several of the properties of Akâsa (Ether) colour and sound as well.” . . . . . . “ Sound is the characteristic of Akâsa (Ether) : it generates air, the property of which is Touch ; which (by friction) becomes productive of Colour and Light.” (Vishnu Purâna.)
Perhaps the above will be regarded as archaic nonsense, but it will be better comprehended, if the reader remembers the Aurora Borealis and Australis, both of which take place at the very centres of terrestrial electric and magnetic forces. The two poles are said to be the store-houses, the receptacles and liberators, at the same time, of Cosmic and terrestrial Vitality (Electricity) ; from the surplus of which the Earth, had it not been for these two natural “ safety-valves,” would have been rent to pieces long ago. At the same time it is now a theory that has lately become an axiom, that the phenomenon of polar lights is accompanied by, and productive of, strong sounds, like whistling, hissing, and cracking. (But see Professor Trumholdt’s works on the Aurora Borealis, and his correspondence regarding this moot question.)