- 6. The root of life was in every drop of the ocean of immortality (Amrita) * and the ocean was radiant light, which was fire and heat and motion. Darkness vanished and was no more. † It disappeared in its own essence, the body of fire and water, of father and mother (a).
(a) The essence of darkness being absolute light, Darkness is taken as the appropriate allegorical representation of the condition of the Universe during Pralaya, or the term of absolute rest, or non-being, as it appears to our finite minds. The “ fire,” “ heat,” and “ motion ” here spoken of, are, of course, not the fire, heat, and motion of physical science, but the underlying abstractions, the noumena, or the soul, of the essence of these material manifestations — the “ things in themselves,” which, as modern science confesses, entirely elude the instru-
* Amrita is “ immortality.”
† See Commentary No. 1 to this Stanza.
ments of the laboratory, and which even the mind cannot grasp, although it can equally little avoid the conclusion that these underlying essences of things must exist. Fire and Water, or Father * and Mother, may be taken here to mean the divine Ray and Chaos. “ Chaos, from this union with Spirit obtaining sense, shone with pleasure, and thus was produced the Protogonos (the first-born light),” says a fragment of Hermas. Damascius calls it Dis in “ Theogony ” — “ The disposer of all things.” (See Cory’s “ Ancient Fragments,” p. 314.)
According to the Rosicrucian tenets, as handled and explained by the profane for once correctly, if only partially, so “ Light and Darkness are identical in themselves, being only divisible in the human mind ; ” and according to Robert Fludd, “ Darkness adopted illumination in order to make itself visible ” (On Rosenkranz). According to the tenets of Eastern Occultism, Darkness is the one true actuality, the basis and the root of light, without which the latter could never manifest itself, nor even exist. Light is matter, and Darkness pure Spirit. Darkness, in its radical, metaphysical basis, is subjective and absolute light ; while the latter in all its seeming effulgence and glory, is merely a mass of shadows, as it can never be eternal, and is simply an illusion, or Maya.
Even in the mind-baffling and science-harassing Genesis, light is created out of darkness “ and darkness was upon the face of the deep ” (ch. i. v. 2.) — and not vice versâ. “ In him (in darkness) was life ; and the life was the light of men ” ( John i. 4). A day may come when the eyes of men will be opened ; and then they may comprehend better than they do now, that verse in the Gospel of John that says “ And the light shineth in darkness ; and the darkness comprehendeth it not.” They will see then that the word “ darkness ” does not apply to man’s spiritual eyesight, but indeed to “ Darkness,” the absolute, that comprehendeth not (cannot cognize) transient light, however transcendent to human eyes. Demon est Deus inversus. The devil is now called Darkness by the Church, whereas, in the Bible he is called the “ Son of God ” (see Job), the bright star of the early morning, Lucifer (see Isaiah). There is a whole philosophy of dogmatic craft in the reason why the first Archangel, who sprang from the depths of Chaos, was called Lux (Lucifer), the “ Luminous Son of the Morning,” or man-
* See “ Kwan-Shai-Yin.” The real name from the text cannot be given.
vantaric Dawn. He was transformed by the Church into Lucifer or Satan, because he is higher and older than Jehovah, and had to be sacrificed to the new dogma. (See Book II.)