- 2. The one ray multiplies the smaller rays. Life precedes form, and life survives the last atom (of Form, Sthula-sarira, external body). Through the countless rays the life-ray, the one, like a thread through many beads (pearls) (a).
(a) This sloka expresses the conception — a purely Vedantic one, as already explained elsewhere — of a life-thread, Sutratma, running through successive generations. How, then, can this be explained ? By resorting to a simile, to a familiar illustration, though necessarily imperfect, as all our available analogies must be. Before resorting to it, however, I would ask whether it seems unnatural, least of all “ supernatural,” to any one of us, when we consider that process known as the growth and development of a fœtus into a healthy baby weighing several pounds — evolves from what ? From the segmentation of an infinitesimally small ovum and a spermatozoon ; and afterwards we see that baby develop into a six-foot man ! This refers to the atomic and physical
* Paracelsus calls them the Flagæ ; the Christians, the “ Guardian Angels ;” the Occultist, the “ Ancestors, the Pitris ;” they are the sixfold Dhyan Chohans, having the six spiritual Elements in the composition of their bodies — in fact, men, minus the physical body.
expansion from the microscopically small into something very large, from the — to the naked eye — unseen, into the visible and objective. Science has provided for all this ; and, I dare say, her theories, embryological, biological, and physiological, are correct enough so far as exact observation of the material goes. Nevertheless, the two chief difficulties of the science of embryology — namely, what are the forces at work in the formation of the fœtus, and the cause of “ hereditary transmission ” of likeness, physical, moral or mental — have never been properly answered ; nor will they ever be solved till the day when scientists condescend to accept the Occult theories. * But if this physical pheno-
* The materialists and the evolutionists of the Darwinian school would be ill-advised to accept the newly worked-out theories of Professor Weissmann, the author of Beiträge zur Descendenzlehre, with regard to one of the two mysteries of Embryology, as above specified, which he seems to have solved — as he thinks. For, when it is solved, Science will have stepped over into the domain of the truly occult, and stepped for ever out of the realm of transformation, as taught by Darwin. The two are irreconcileable, from the standpoint of materialism. Regarded from that of the Occultists, it solves all these mysteries. Those who are not acquainted with the new discovery of Professor Weissman — at one time a fervent Darwinist — ought to hasten to repair the deficiency. The German Embryologist-philosopher shows — thus stepping over the heads of the Greek Hippocrates and Aristotle, right back into the teachings of the old Aryans — one infinitesimal cell, out of millions of others at work in the formation of an organism, determining alone and unaided, by means of constant segmentation and multiplication, the correct image of the future man (or animal) in its physical, mental, and psychic characteristics. It is that cell which impresses on the face and form of the new individual the features of the parents or of some distant ancestor ; it is that cell again which transmits to him the intellectual and mental idiosyncracies of his sires, and so on. This Plasm is the immortal portion of our bodies — simply through the process of successive assimilations. Darwin’s theory, viewing the embryological cell as an essence or the extract from all other cells, is set aside ; it is incapable of accounting for hereditary transmission. There are but two ways of explaining the mystery of heredity ; either the substance of the germinal cell is endowed with the faculty of crossing the whole cycle of transformations that lead to the construction of a separate organism and then to the reproduction of identical germinal cells ; or, those germinal cells do not have their genesis at all in the body of the individual, but proceed directly from the ancestral germinal cell passed from father to son through long generations. It is the latter hypothesis that Weissmann accepted and has worked upon ; and it is to this cell that he traces the immortal portion of man. So far, so good ; and when this almost correct theory is accepted, how will Biologists explain the first appearance of this everlasting cell ? Unless man “grew” like the “ immortal Topsy,” and was not born at all, but fell from the clouds, how was that embryological cell born in him ?
menon astonishes no one, except in so far as it puzzles the Embryologists, why should our intellectual and inner growth, the evolution of the human-spiritual to the Divine-Spiritual, be regarded as, or seem, more impossible than the other ? Now to the simile.
Complete the physical plasm, mentioned in the last foot-note, the “ Germinal Cell ” of man with all its material potentialities, with the “ spiritual plasm,” so to say, or the fluid that contains the five lower principles of the six-principled Dhyan — and you have the secret, if you are spiritual enough to understand it.
“ When the seed of the animal man is cast into the soil of the animal woman, that seed cannot germinate unless it has been fructified by the five virtues (the fluid of, or the emanation from the principles) of the six-fold Heavenly man. Wherefore the Microcosm is represented as a Pentagon, within the Hexagon Star, the “ Macrocosm.” (“ ῎Ανθρωπος,” a work on Occult Embryology, Book I.). Then : “ The functions of Jiva on this Earth are of a five-fold character. In the mineral atom it is connected with the lowest principles of the Spirits of the Earth (the six-fold Dhyanis) ; in the vegetable particle, with their second — the Prana (life) ; in the animal, with all these plus the third and the fourth ; in man, the germ must receive the fruition of all the five. Otherwise he will be born no higher than an animal ” ; namely, a congenital idiot. Thus in man alone the Jiva is complete. As to his seventh principle, it is but one of the Beams of the Universal Sun. Each rational creature receives only the temporary loan of that which has to return to its source ; while his physical body is shaped by the lowest terrestrial lives, through physical, chemical, and physiological evolution. “ The Blessed Ones have nought to do with the purgations of matter.” (Kabala, Chaldean Book of Numbers).
It comes to this : Mankind in its first prototypal, shadowy form, is the offspring of the Elohim of Life (or Pitris); in its qualitative and physical aspect it is the direct progeny of the “ Ancestors,” the lowest Dhyanis, or Spirits of the Earth ; for its moral, psychic, and spiritual nature, it is indebted to a group of divine Beings, the name and characteristics of which will be given in Book II. Collectively, men are the handiwork of hosts of various spirits ; distributively, the tabernacles of those hosts ; and occasionally and singly, the vehicles of some of them. In our present all-material Fifth Race, the earthly Spirit of the
Fourth is still strong in us ; but we are approaching the time when the pendulum of evolution will direct its swing decidedly upwards, bringing Humanity back on a parallel line with the primitive third Root-Race in Spirituality. During its childhood, mankind was composed wholly of that Angelic Host, who were the indwelling Spirits that animated the monstrous and gigantic tabernacles of clay of the Fourth Race — built by (as they are now also) and composed of countless myriads o lives. * This sentence will be explained later on in the present Commentary. The “ tabernacles ” have improved in texture and symmetry of form, growing and developing with the globe that bore them ; but the physical improvement took place at the expense of the spiritual inner man and nature. The three middle principles in earth and man became with every race more material ; the Soul stepping back to make room for the physical intellect ; the essence of elements becoming the material and composite elements now known.
Man is not, nor could he ever be, the complete product of the “ Lord God ”; but he is the child of the Elohim, so arbitrarily changed into the singular masculine gender. The first Dhyanis, commissioned to “ create ” man in their image, could only throw off their shadows, like a delicate model for the Nature Spirits of matter to work upon. (See Book II.) Man is, beyond any doubt, formed physically out of the dust of the Earth, but his creators and fashioners were many. Nor can it be said that the “ Lord God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,” unless that God is identified with the “ One Life,” Omnipresent though invisible, and unless the same operation is attributed to “ God ” on behalf of every living Soul — or Nephesch, which is the vital Soul, not the divine Spirit or Ruach, which ensures to man alone a divine degree of immortality, that no animal, as such, could ever attain in this cycle of incarnation. It is the inadequate distinctions made by the Jews, and now by our Western metaphysicians, who, not knowing of, and being unable to understand, hence to accept, more than a triune man — Spirit, Soul,
* Science, dimly perceiving the truth, may find Bacteria and other infinitesimals in the human body, and see in them but occasional and abnormal visitors to which diseases are attributed. Occultism — which discerns a life in every atom and molecule, whether in a mineral or human body, in air, fire or water — affirms that our whole body is built of such lives, the smallest bacteria under the microscope being to them in comparative size like an elephant to the tiniest infusoria.
Body — thus confuse the “ breath of life ” with immortal Spirit. * This applies also directly to the Protestant theologians, who, in translating verse 8 of Ch. III. in the Fourth Gospel, have entirely perverted the meaning. Indeed the verse is made to say “ The wind bloweth where it listeth,” instead of “ the Spirit goeth where it willeth,” as in the original and also in the translation of the Greek Eastern Church.
Thus the philosophy of psychic, spiritual, and mental relations with man’s physical functions is in almost inextricable confusion. Neither the old Aryan, nor the Egyptian psychology are now properly understood. Nor can they be assimilated without accepting the esoteric septenary, or, at any rate, the Vedantic quinquepartite division of the human inner principles. Failing which, it will be for ever impossible to understand the metaphysical and purely psychic and even physiological relations between the Dhyan-Chohans, or Angels, on the one plane, and humanity on the other. No Eastern (Aryan) esoteric works are so far published, but we possess the Egyptian papyri which speak clearly
* The learned and very philosophical author of “ New Aspects of Life ” would impress upon his reader that the Nephesh chaiah (living soul), according to the Hebrews, “ proceeded from, or was produced by, the infusion of the Spirit or Breath of Life into the quickening body of man, and was to supersede and take the place of that spirit in the thus constituted self, so that the spirit passed into, was lost sight of, and disappeared in the living Soul.” The human body, he thinks, ought to be viewed as a matrix in which, and from which, the Soul (which he seems to place higher than the spirit) is developed — considered functionally and from the standpoint of activity, the Soul stands undeniably higher in this finite and conditioned world of Maya — the Soul, he says, “ is ultimately produced from the animated body of man.” Thus the author identifies “ Spirit ” (Atma) simply with “ the breath of life.” The Eastern Occultists will demur to this statement, for it is based on the erroneous conception that Prana and Atma or Jivatma are one and the same thing. The author supports the argument by showing that with the ancient Hebrews, Greeks and even Latins, Ruach, Pneuma and Spiritus — with the Jews undeniably, and with the Greeks and Romans very probably — meant Wind ; the Greek word Anemos (wind) and the Latin Anima “ Soul ” having a suspicious relation.
This is very far fetched. A legitimate battle-field for deciding this question is hardly to be found, since Mr. Pratt seems to be a practical, matter-of-fact metaphysician, a kind of Kabalist-Positivist, and the Eastern metaphysicians, especially the Vedantins, are all Idealists. The Occultists are also of the extreme esoteric Vedantin school, and they call the One Life (Parabrahm), the Great Breath and the Whirlwind ; but they disconnect the seventh principle entirely from matter or any relation to, or connection with it.
of the seven principles or the “ Seven Souls of Man.” * The Book of the Dead gives a complete list of the “ transformations ” that every defunct undergoes, while divesting himself, one by one, of all those principles — materialised for the sake of clearness into ethereal entities or bodies. We must, moreover, remind those who try to prove that the ancient Egyptians knew nothing of and did not teach Reincarnation, that the “ Soul ” (the Ego or Self ) of the defunct is said to be living in Eternity : it is immortal, “ co-eval with, and disappearing with the Solar boat,” i.e., for the cycle of necessity. This “ Soul ” emerges from the Tiaou (the realm of the cause of life) and joins the living on Earth by day, to return to Tiaou every night. This expresses the periodical existences of the Ego. (Book of the Dead, cvxliii.)
The shadow, the astral form, is annihilated, “ devoured by the Uræus ” (cxlix., 51), the Manes will be annihilated ; the two twins (the 4th and 5th principles) will be scattered ; but the Soul-bird, “ the divine Swallow — and the Uræus of Flame ” (Manas and Atma-Buddhi) will live in the eternity, for they are their mother’s husbands. †
Like alone produces like. The Earth gives Man his body, the gods (Dhyanis) his five inner principles, the psychic Shadow, of which those gods are often the animating principle. Spirit (Atman) is one — and indiscrete. It is not in the Tiaou.
For what is the Tiaou ? The frequent allusion to it in the “ Book of the Dead ” contains a mystery. Tiaou is the path of the Night Sun, the inferior hemisphere, or the infernal region of the Egyptians, placed by them on the concealed side of the moon. The human being, in their
* Vide in Part II., Book II., “ The Seven Souls of Man,” the divisions made respectively by Messrs. Gerald Massey and Franz Lambert.
† Another suggestive analogy between the Aryan or Brahmanical and the Egyptian esotericism. The former call the Pitris “ the lunar ancestors ” of men ; and the Egyptians made of the Moon-God, Taht-Esmun, the first human ancestor. This “ moon-god ” “ expressed the Seven nature-powers that were prior to himself, and were summed up in him as his seven souls, of which he was the manifestor as the eighth one (hence the eighth sphere). The seven rays of the Chaldean Heptakis or Iao, on the Gnostic stones indicate the same septenary of souls.” . . . “ The first form of the mystical seven was seen to be figured in heaven, by the seven large stars of the Great Bear, the constellation assigned by the Egyptians to the Mother of Time, and of the seven elemental powers.” (See The Seven Souls, etc.) As well known to every Hindu, this same constellation represents in India the Seven Rishis, and as such is called Riksha, and Chitra-Sikhandinas.
esotericism, came out from the moon (a triple mystery — astronomical, physiological, and psychical at once) ; he crossed the whole cycle of existence and then returned to his birth-place before issuing from it again. Thus the defunct is shown arriving in the West, receiving his judgment before Osiris, resurrecting as the god Horus, and circling round the sidereal heavens, which is an allegorical assimilation to Ra, the Sun ; then having crossed the Noot (the celestial abyss), returning once more to Tiaou : an assimilation to Osiris, who, as the God of life and reproduction, inhabits the moon. Plutarch (Isis and Osiris, ch. xliii.) shows the Egyptians celebrating a festival called “ The Ingress of Osiris into the moon.” In chapter xli. life is promised after death ; and the renovation of life is placed under the patronage of Osiris-Lunus, because the moon was the symbol of life-renewals or reincarnations, owing to its growth, waning, dying, and reappearance every month. In the Dankmoe, (iv. 5) it is said : — “ Oh, Osiris-Lunus ! That renews to thee thy renewal.” And Safekh says to Seti I. (Mariette’s Abydos, plate 51), “ Thou renewest thyself as the god Lunus when a babe.” It is still better explained in a Louvre papyrus (P. Pierret, “ Etudes Egyptologiques ”) : “ Couplings and conceptions abound when he (Osiris-Lunus) is seen in heaven on that day.” Says Osiris : “ Oh, sole radiant beam of the moon ! I issue from the circulating multitudes (of stars) . . . . . . Open me the Tiaou, for Osiris N. I will issue by day to do what I have to do amongst the living ” (“ Book of the Dead,” ch. ii.), — i.e., to produce conceptions.
Osiris was “ God manifest in generation,” because the ancients knew, far better than the moderns, the real occult influences of the lunar body upon the mysteries of conception. * Later on, when the moon became connected with female goddesses † — with Diana, Isis, Artemis,
* In the oldest systems we find the Moon always male. Thus Soma is, with the Hindus, a kind of sidereal Don Juan, a “ King,” and the father, albeit illegitimate, of Buddha — Wisdom, which relates to Occult Knowledge, a wisdom gathered through a thorough acquaintance with lunar mysteries including those of sexual generation. (See “ Holy of Holies.”)
† If instead of being taught in Sunday Schools useless lessons from the Bible, the armies of the ragged and the poor were taught Astrology — so far, at any rate, as the occult properties of the Moon and its hidden influences on generation are concerned, then there would be little need to fear increase of the population nor to resort to the questionable literature of the Malthusians for its arrest. For it is the Moon and her
Juno, etc., that connection was due to a thorough knowledge of physiology and female nature, physical as much as psychic. But, primarily, the Sun and Moon were the only visible and, so to say, tangible [by their effects] psychic and physiological deities — the Father and the Son, while Space and air in general, or that expanse of Heaven called Noot by the Egyptians, was the concealed Spirit or Breath of the two. These “ Father and Son ” were interchangeable in their functions and worked harmoniously together in their effects upon terrestrial nature and humanity ; hence they were regarded as one, though two in personified Entities. They were both males, and both had their distinct and also collaborative work in the causative generation of Humanity. So much from the astronomical and cosmic standpoints viewed and expressed in symbolical language — which became in our last races theological and dogmatic. But behind this veil of Cosmic and Astrological symbols, there were the Occult mysteries of Anthropography and the primeval genesis of man. And in this, no knowledge of symbols — or even the key to the post-diluvian symbolical language of the Jews — will, or can help, save only with reference to that which was laid down in national scriptures for exoteric uses ; the sum of which, however cleverly veiled, was only the smallest portion of the real primitive history of each people, often relating, moreover, — as in the Hebrew Scriptures — merely to the terrestrial human, not divine life of that nation. That psychic and spiritual element belonged to mystery and initiation. There were things never recorded in scrolls, but, as in Central Asia, on rocks and in subterranean crypts.
Nevertheless, there was a time when the whole world was “ of one lip and of one knowledge,” and Man knew more of his origin than he does now, and thus knew that the Sun and Moon, however large a part they do play in the constitution, growth and development of the human body, were not the direct causative agents of his appearance on Earth ;
conjunctions that regulate conceptions, and every astrologer in India knows it. During the previous and the present races, at least at the beginning of this one, those who indulged in marital relations during certain lunar phases that made those relations sterile were regarded as sorcerers and sinners. But even now those sins of old, based on the Occult knowledge and the abuse of it, would appear preferable to the crimes of to-day, which are perpetrated because of the complete ignorance of, and disbelief in all such occult influences.
these agents being, in truth, the living and intelligent Powers which the Occultists call Dhyan Chohans.
As to this, a very learned admirer of the Jewish Esotericism tells us that “ the Kabala says expressly that Elohim is a ‘ general abstraction ’ ; what we call in mathematics ‘ a constant co-efficient ’ or a ‘ general function ’ entering into all construction, not particular ; that is, by the general ratio 1 to 31415, (the astro-Dhyanic and) Elohistic figures.” To this the Eastern Occultist replies : Quite so, it is an abstraction to our physical senses. To our spiritual perceptions, however, and to our inner spiritual eye, the Elohim or Dhyanis are no more an abstraction than our soul and spirit are to us. Reject the one and you reject the other — since that which is the surviving Entity in us is partly the direct emanation from, and partly those celestial Entities themselves. One thing is sure ; the Jews were perfectly acquainted with sorcery and various maleficent forces ; but, with the exception of some of their great prophets and seers like Daniel and Ezekiel (Enoch belonging to a far distant race and not to any nation but to all, as a generic character), they knew little of, nor would they deal with, the real divine Occultism, their national character being averse to anything which had no direct bearing upon their own ethnical, tribal, and individual benefits — witness their own prophets, and the curses thundered by them against the “ stiff-necked race.” But even the Kabala plainly shows the direct relation between the Sephiroth, or Elohim, and men.
Therefore, when it is proved to us that the Kabalistic identification of Jehovah with Binah, a female Sephiroth, has still another, a sub-occult meaning in it, then and then only the Occultist will be ready to pass the palm of perfection to the Kabalist. Until then, it is asserted that, as Jehovah is in the abstract sense of a “ one living God,” a single number, a metaphysical figment, and a reality only when put in his proper place as an emanation and a Sephiroth — we have a right to maintain that the Zohar (as witnessed by the Book of Numbers, at any rate), gave out originally, before the Christian Kabalists had disfigured it, and still gives out the same doctrine that we do ; i.e., it makes Man emanate, not from one Celestial Man, but from a Septenary group of Celestial men or Angels, just as in “ Pymander, the Thought Divine.”