[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

SD PROEM [1/2]

Jan 20, 1996 07:23 PM
by Dr.A.M.Bain






An Archaic Manuscript - a collection of palm leaves made
impermeable to water, fire, and air, by some specific unknown
process - is before the writer's eye. On the first page is an
immaculate white disk within a dull black ground. On the
following page, the same disk, but with a central point. The
first, the student knows to represent Kosmos in Eternity, before
the re-awakening of still slumbering Energy, the emanation of
the Word in later systems. The point in the hitherto immaculate
Disk, Space and Eternity in Pralaya, denotes the dawn of
differentiation. It is the Point in the Mundane Egg (see Part
II., "The Mundane Egg"), the germ within the latter which will
become the Universe, the ALL, the boundless, periodical Kosmos,
this germ being latent and active, periodically and by turns.
The one circle is divine Unity, from which all proceeds, whither
all returns. Its circumference - a forcibly limited symbol, in
view of the limitation of the human mind - indicates the
abstract, ever incognisable PRESENCE, and its plane, the
Universal Soul, although the two are one. Only the face of the
Disk being white and the ground all around black, shows clearly
that its plane is the only knowledge, dim and hazy though it
still is, that is attainable by man. It is on this plane that
the Manvantaric manifestations begin; for it is in this SOUL
that slumbers, during the Pralaya, the Divine Thought, - {It is
hardly necessary to remind the reader once more that the term
"Divine Thought" like that of "Universal Mind," must not be
regarded as even vaguely shadowing forth an intellectual process
akin to that exhibited by man. The "Unconscious," according to
von Hartmann, arrived at the vast creative, or rather
Evolutionary Plan, "by a clairvoyant wisdom superior to all
consciousness," which in the Vedantic language would mean
absolute Wisdom. Only those who realise how far Intuition soars
above the tardy processes of ratiocinative thought can form the
faintest conception of that absolute Wisdom which transcends the
ideas of Time and Space. Mind, as we know it, is resolvable into
states of consciousness, of varying duration, intensity,
complexity, etc. - all, in the ultimate, resting on sensation,
which is again Maya. Sensation, again, necessarily postulates
limitation. The personal God of orthodox Theism perceives,
thinks, and is affected by emotion; he repents and feels "fierce
anger." But the notion of such mental states clearly involves
the unthinkable postulate of the externality of the exciting
stimuli, to say nothing of the impossibility of ascribing
changelessness to a Being whose emotions fluctuate with events
in the worlds he presides over. The conceptions of a Personal
God as changeless and infinite are thus unpsychological and,
what is worse, unphilosophical.} - wherein lies concealed the
plan of every future Cosmogony and Theogony.

It is the ONE LIFE, eternal, invisible, yet Omnipresent, without
beginning or end, yet periodical in its regular manifestations,
between which periods reigns the dark mystery of non-Being;
unconscious, yet absolute Consciousness; unrealisable, yet the
one self-existing reality; truly, "a chaos to the sense, a
Kosmos to the reason." Its one absolute attribute, which is
ITSELF, eternal, ceaseless Motion, is called in esoteric
parlance the "Great Breath," - {Plato proves himself an
Initiate, when saying in _Cratylus_ that _Theos_ is derived from
the verb _Theein,_ "to move," "to run," as the first astronomers
who observed the motions of the heavenly bodies called the
planets _Theoi,_ the gods.  (See Book II., "Symbolism of the
Cross and Circle.") Later, the word produced another term,
_aletheia_ - "the breath of God."} - which is the perpetual
motion of the universe, in the sense of limitless, ever-present
SPACE. That which is motionless cannot be Divine. But then there
is nothing in fact and reality absolutely motionless within the
universal soul.

Almost five centuries B.C. Leucippus, the instructor of
Democritus, maintained that Space was filled eternally with
atoms actuated by a ceaseless motion, the latter generating in
due course of time, when those atoms aggregated, rotatory
motion, through mutual collisions producing lateral movements.
Epicurus and Lucretius taught the same, only adding to the
lateral motion of the atoms the idea of affinity - an occult

Since the beginning of man's inheritance, from the first
appearance of the architects of the globe he lives in, the
unrevealed Deity was recognised and considered under its only
philosophical aspect - universal motion, the thrill of the
creative Breath in Nature. Occultism sums up the "One Existence"
thus: "Deity is an arcane, living (or moving) FIRE, and the
eternal witnesses to this unseen Presence are Light, Heat,
Moisture," - this trinity including, and being the cause of,
every phenomenon in Nature. - {Nominalists, arguing with
Berkeley that "it is impossible ... to form the abstract idea of
motion distinct from the body moving" (_Prin. of Human
Knowledge,_ Introd., par. 10), may put the question, "What is
that body, the producer of that motion? Is it a substance? Then
you are believers in a Personal God?" etc., etc. This will be
answered farther on, in the Addendum to this Book; meanwhile, we
claim our rights of Conceptionalists as against Roscelini's
materialistic views of Realism and Nominalism. "Has science,"
says one of its ablest advocates, Edward Clodd, "revealed
anything that weakens or opposes itself to the ancient words in
which the Essence of all religion, past, present, and to come,
is given; to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly before thy
God?" Provided we connote by the word God, _not the crude
anthropomorphism which is still the backbone of our current
theology, but the symbolic conception of that which is Life and
Motion of the Universe,_ to know which in physical order is to
know time past, present, and to come, in the existence of
successions of phenomena; to know which, in the moral, is to
know what has been, is, and will be, within human consciousness.
(_See "Science and the Emotions." A Discourse delivered at South
Place Chapel, Finsbury, London, Dec. 27th, 1885._) }

Intra-Cosmic motion is eternal and ceaseless; cosmic motion (the
visible, or that which is subject to perception) is finite and
periodical. As an eternal abstraction it is the EVER-PRESENT; as
a manifestation, it is finite both in the coming direction and
the opposite, the two being the alpha and omega of successive
reconstructions. Kosmos - the NOUMENON - has nought to do with
the causal relations of the phenomenal World. It is only with
reference to the intra-cosmic soul, the ideal Kosmos in the
immutable Divine Thought, that we may say: "It never had a
beginning nor will it have an end." With regard to its body or
Cosmic organization, though it cannot be said that it had a
first, or will ever have a last construction, yet at each new
Manvantara, its organization may be regarded as the first and
the last of its kind, as it evolutes every time on a higher

A few years ago only, it was stated that: -

"The esoteric doctrine teaches, like Buddhism and Brahminism,
and even the Kabala, that the one infinite and unknown Essence
exists from all eternity, and in regular and harmonious
successions is either passive or active. In the poetical
phraseology of Manu these conditions are called the "Days" and
the "Nights" of Brahma. The latter is either "awake" or
"asleep." The Svabhavikas, or philosophers of the oldest school
of Buddhism (which still exists in Nepaul), speculate only upon
the active condition of this "Essence," which they call
Svabhavat, and deem it foolish to theorize upon the abstract and
"unknowable" power in its passive condition. Hence they are
called atheists by both Christian theologians and modern
scientists, for neither of the two are able to understand the
profound logic of their philosophy. The former will allow of no
other God than the personified secondary powers which have
worked out the visible universe, and which became with them the
anthropomorphic God of the Christians - the male Jehovah,
roaring amid thunder and lightning. In its turn, rationalistic
science greets the Buddhists and the Svabhavikas as the
"positivists" of the archaic ages. If we take a one-sided view
of the philosophy of the latter, our materialists may be right
in their own way. The Buddhists maintained that there is no
Creator, but an infinitude of creative powers, which
collectively form the one eternal substance, the essence of
which is inscrutable - hence not a subject for speculation for
any true philosopher. Socrates invariably refused to argue upon
the mystery of universal being, yet no one would ever have
thought of charging him with atheism, except those who were bent
upon his destruction. Upon inaugurating an active period, says
the Secret Doctrine, an expansion of this Divine essence from
without inwardly and from within outwardly, occurs in obedience
to eternal and immutable law, and the phenomenal or visible
universe is the ultimate result of the long chain of cosmical
forces thus progressively set in motion. In like manner, when
the passive condition is resumed, a contraction of the Divine
essence takes place, and the previous work of creation is
gradually and progressively undone. The visible universe becomes
disintegrated, its material dispersed; and `darkness' solitary
and alone, broods once more over the face of the `deep.' To use
a Metaphor from the Secret Books, which will convey the idea
still more clearly, an outbreathing of the `unknown essence'
produces the world; and an inhalation causes it to disappear.
This process has been going on from all eternity, and our
present universe is but one of an infinite series, which had no
beginning and will have no end." - (See "Isis Unveiled;" also
"The Days and Nights of Brahma" in Part II.)

This passage will be explained, as far as it is possible, in the
present work. Though, as it now stands, it contains nothing new
to the Orientalist, its esoteric interpretation may contain a
good deal which has hitherto remained entirely unknown to the
Western student.

The first illustration being a plain disc, the second one in the
Archaic symbol shows a disc with a point in it - the first
differentiation in the periodical manifestations of the
ever-eternal nature, sexless and infinite "Aditi in THAT" (Rig
Veda), the point in the disc, or potential Space within abstract
Space. In its third stage the point is transformed into a
[vertical] diameter. It now symbolizes a divine immaculate
Mother-Nature within the all-embracing absolute Infinitude. When
the diameter line is crossed by a vertical one, it becomes the
mundane cross [diag: an equal-armed cross within the circle].
Humanity has reached its third root-race; it is the sign for the
origin of human life to begin. When the circumference disappears
and leaves only the cross it is a sign that the fall of man into
matter is accomplished, and the FOURTH race begins. The Cross
within a circle symbolizes pure Pantheism; when the Cross was
left uninscribed, it became phallic. It had the same and yet
other meanings as a TAU inscribed within a circle [diag: a
circle bisected by a horizontal diameter, and a line descending
from the centre of the line/circle to for a letter T ocupying
the lower half of the circle] or as a "Thor's hammer," the Jaina
cross, so-called, or simply Svastica within a circle.

<1996 Note: In the third revised edition of the SD [1918], the
Svastika does not touch the side of the circle, and is similar
in shape to the version used by the German Nazi party before and
during world war two, except the extensions to the arms are
shorter.  In the same symbol as it appears in the present emblem
of the Theosophical Society, this arrangement is reversed, so
that the Svastika would, if rotated in a manner to suggest the
extensions marking a "trail" marking, move clockwise, or
_deosil_: in the same direction as the sun's apparent movement
around the earth.>

By the third symbol - the circle divided in two by the
horizontal line of the diameter - the first manifestation of
creative (still passive, because feminine) Nature was meant. The
first shadowy perception of man connected with procreation is
feminine, because man knows his mother more than his father.
Hence female deities were more sacred than the male. Nature is
therefore feminine, and, to a degree, objective and tangible,
and the spirit Principle which fructifies it is concealed. By
adding to the circle with the horizontal line in it, a
perpendicular line, the tau [diag: shape as English letter T]
was formed - the oldest form of the letter. It was the glyph of
the third root-race to the day of its symbolical Fall - i.e.,
when the separation of sexes by natural evolution took place -
when the figure became [diag: circle bisected by a vertical
diagonal], the circle, or sexless life modified or separated - a
double glyph or symbol. With the races of our Fifth Race it
became in symbology the sacr', and in Hebrew n'cabvah, of the
first-formed races; - {See that suggestive work, "The Source of
Measures," where the author explains the real meaning of the
word "sacr'," from which "sacred," "sacrament," are derived,
which have now become synonyms of "holiness," though purely
phallic!} - then it changed into the Egyptian [diag: ankh]
(emblem of life), and still later into the sign of Venus,
. Then comes the Svastica (Thor's hammer, or the "Hermetic Cross" now),
entirely separated from
its Circle, thus becoming purely phallic. The esoteric symbol of
Kali Yuga is the five-pointed star reversed, thus [diag:
inverted five-pointed star] - the sign of human sorcery, with
its two points (horns) turned heavenward, a position every
Occultist will recognise as one of the "left-hand," and used in
ceremonial magic. - {We are told by the Western mathematicians
and some American Kabalists, that in the Kabala also "the value
of the Jehovah name is that of the diameter of a circle." Add to
this the fact that Jehovah is the third Sephiroth, _Binah,_ a
feminine word, and you have the key to the mystery. By certain
Kabalistic transformations this name, _androgynous_ in the first
chapters of Genesis, becomes in its transformations entirely
masculine, Cainite and phallic. The fact of choosing a deity
among the pagan gods and making of it a special national God, to
call upon it as the "One living God," the "God of Gods," and
then proclaim this worship Monotheistic, does not change it into
the one Principle whose "Unity admits not of multiplication,
change, or form," especially in the case of a priapic deity, as
Jehovah now demonstrated to be.} -

<1996 Editorial Note: This is a "selective" note by HPB.  She
refers to "some" [my emphasis] American Kabalists, and "Western
mathematicians" without giving her sources.  Modern scholarship,
both theological and kabalistic, concurs that the Hebrew word
rendered in the bibles of HPB's day as "Jehovah" and in modern
editions as "Yahweh" is an unusual variant of the Hebrew verb,
"to be," and is best rendered into English as "That-which-is" -
a very similar idea to THAT in the SD - or "Eternal Being," a
usage adopted by many of the Christian early church fathers, who
used the shorter form, in reference to deity, of "The Eternal."
The Hebrew _Shema_ (Hear, O Israel, the LORD your God, the LORD
is One) can legitimately be rendered as "Hear O Israel, Eternal
Being, your "God," Eternal Being is Unity." This is pure
metaphysics. - Alan Bain, ed. & Kabalist.>

It is hoped that during the perusal of this work the erroneous
ideas of the public in general with regard to Pantheism will be
modified. It is wrong and unjust to regard the Buddhists and
Advaitee Occultists as atheists. If not all of them
philosophers, they are, at any rate, all logicians, their
objections and arguments being based on strict reasoning.
Indeed, if the Parabrahmam of the Hindus may be taken as a
representative of the hidden and nameless deities of other
nations, this absolute Principle will be found to be the
prototype from which all the others were copied.  Parabrahm is
not "God," because It is not _a_ God. "It is that which is
supreme, and not supreme (paravara)," explains Mandukya
Upanishad (2.28). IT is "Supreme" as CAUSE, not supreme as
effect.  Parabrahm is simply, as a "Secondless Reality," the
all-inclusive Kosmos - or, rather, the infinite Cosmic Space -
in the highest spiritual sense, of course. Brahma (neuter) being
the unchanging, pure, free, undecaying supreme Root, "the ONE
true Existence, Paramarthika," and the absolute Chit and
Chaitanya (intelligence, consciousness) cannot be a cogniser,
"for THAT can have no subject of cognition." Can the flame be
called the essence of Fire? This Essence is "the LIFE and LIGHT
of the Universe, the visible fire and flame are destruction,
death, and evil." "Fire and Flame destroy the body of an Arhat,
their essence makes him immortal." _(Bodhi-mur, Book II.)_ "The
knowledge of the absolute Spirit, like the effulgence of the
sun, or like heat in fire, is naught else than the absolute
Essence itself," says Sankaracharya. IT - is "the Spirit of the
Fire," not fire itself; therefore, "the attributes of the
latter, heat or flame, are not the attributes of the Spirit, but
of that of which that Spirit is the unconscious cause." Is not
the above sentence the true key-note of later Rosicrucian
philosophy? Parabrahm is, in short, the collective aggregate of
Kosmos in its infinity and eternity, the "THAT" and "THIS" to
which distributive aggregates can not be applied. - {See
"Vedanta Sara," by Major G. A. Jacob; as also "The Aphorisms of
Shandilya," translated by Cowell, p. 42.} - "In the beginning
THIS was the Self, one only" _(Aitareya Upanishad)_; the great
Sankaracharya explains that "THIS" referred to the Universe
(Jagat); the sense of the words, "In the beginning," meaning
before the reproduction of the phenomenal Universe.

Therefore, when the Pantheists echo the Upanishads, which state,
as in the Secret Doctrine, that "this" cannot create, they do
not deny a Creator, or rather a _collective aggregate_ of
creators, but only refuse, very logically, to attribute
"creation" and especially formation, something finite, to an
Infinite Principle. With them, Parabrahmam is a passive because
an Absolute Cause, the unconditioned _Mukta_. It is only limited
Omniscience and Omnipotence that are refused to the latter,
because these are still attributes (as reflected in man's
perceptions); and because Parabrahm, being the "Supreme ALL,"
the ever invisible spirit and Soul of Nature, changeless and
eternal, can have no attributes; absoluteness very naturally
precluding any idea of the finite or conditioned from being
connected with it. And if the Vedantin postulates attributes as
belonging simply to its emanation, calling it "Iswara _plus_
Maya," and Avidya (Agnosticism and Nescience rather than
ignorance), it is difficult to find any Atheism in this
conception. - {Nevertheless, prejudiced and rather fanatical
Christian Orientalists would like to prove this pure Atheism.
For proof of this, see about Major Jacob's "Vedanta Sara." Yet,
the whole Antiquity echoes this Vedantic thought:

"Omnis enim per se divom natura necesse est Immortali aevo summa
cum pace fruatur."}

Since there can be neither two INFINITIES nor two ABSOLUTES in a
Universe supposed to be Boundless, this Self-Existence can
hardly be conceived of as creating personally. In the sense and
perceptions of finite "Beings," THAT is Non-"being," in the
sense that it is the one BE-NESS; for, in this ALL lies
concealed its coeternal and coeval emanation or inherent
radiation, which, upon becoming periodically Brahma (the
male-female Potency) becomes or expands itself into the
manifested Universe. Narayana moving on the (abstract) waters of
Space, is transformed into the Waters of concrete substance
moved by him, who now becomes the manifested WORD or Logos.

The orthodox Brahmins, those who rise the most against the
Pantheists and Adwaitees, calling them Atheists, are forced, if
Manu has any authority in this matter, to accept the death of
Brahma, the creator, at the expiration of every "Age" of this
(creative) deity (100 Divine years - a period which in our years
requires fifteen figures to express it). Yet, no philosopher
among them will view this "death" in any other sense than as a
temporary disappearance from the manifested plane of existence,
or as a periodical rest.

The Occultists are, therefore, at one with the Adwaita Vedantin
philosophers as to the above tenet.  They show the impossibility
of accepting on philosophical grounds the idea of the absolute
ALL creating or even evolving the "Golden Egg," into which it is
said to enter in order to transform itself into Brahma - the
Creator, who expands himself later into gods and all the visible
Universe. They say that Absolute Unity cannot pass to infinity;
for infinity presupposes the limitless extension of _something,_
and the duration of that "something;" and the One All is like
Space - which is its only mental and physical representation on
this Earth, or our plane of existence - neither an object of,
nor a subject to, perception. If one could suppose the Eternal
Infinite All, the Omnipresent Unity, instead of being in
Eternity, becoming through periodical manifestation a manifold
Universe or a multiple personality, that Unity would cease to be
one. Locke's idea that "pure Space is capable of neither
resistance nor Motion" - is incorrect. Space is neither a
"limitless void," nor a "conditioned fulness," but both: being,
on the plane of absolute abstraction, the ever-incognisable
Deity, which is void only to finite minds, - {The very names of
the two chief deities, Brahma and Vishnu, ought to have long ago
suggested their esoteric meanings. For the root of one, Brahmam,
or Brahm, is derived by some from the word Brih, "to grow" or
"to expand" (see _Calcutta Review,_ vol. lxvi., p.  14); and of
the other, Vishnu, from the root Vis, "to pervade," to enter in
the nature of the essence; Brahma-Vishnu being this infinite
SPACE, of which the gods, the Rishis, the Manus, and all in this
universe are simply the potencies, Vibhutayah.} - and on that of
_mayavic_ perception, the Plenum, the absolute Container of all
that is, whether manifested or unmanifested: it is, therefore,
that ABSOLUTE ALL. There is no difference between the Christian
Apostle's "In Him we live and move and have our being," and the
Hindu Rishi's "The Universe lives in, proceeds from, and will
return to, Brahma (Brahma):" for Brahma (neuter), the
unmanifested, is that Universe _in abscondito,_ and Brahma, the
manifested, is the Logos, made male-female - {See Manu's account
of Brahma separating his body into male and female, the latter
the female Vach, in whom he creates Viraj, and compare this with
the esotericism of Chapters II., III., and IV. of Genesis.} - in
the symbolical orthodox dogmas. The God of the Apostle-Initiate
and of the Rishi being both the Unseen and the Visible SPACE.
Space is called in the esoteric symbolism "the Seven-Skinned
Eternal Mother-Father." It is composed from its undifferentiated
to its differentiated surface of seven layers.

"What is that which was, is, and will be, whether there is a
Universe or not; whether there be gods or none?" asks the
esoteric Senzar Catechism. And the answer made is - SPACE.

It _is_ not the One Unknown ever-present God in Nature, or
Nature _in abscondito,_ that is rejected, but the God of human
dogma and his _humanized_ "Word." In his infinite conceit and
inherent pride and vanity, man shaped it himself with his
sacrilegious hand out of the material he found in his own small
brain-fabric, and forced it upon mankind as a direct revelation
from the one unrevealed SPACE. - {Occultism is indeed in the air
at the close of this our century. Among many other works
recently published, we would recommend one especially to
students of theoretical Occultism who would not venture beyond
the realm of our special human plane. It is called "New Aspects
of Life and Religion," by Henry Pratt, M.D. It is full of
esoteric dogmas and philosophy, the latter rather limited, in
the concluding chapters, by what seems to be a spirit of
conditioned positivism. Nevertheless, what is said of Space as
"the Unknown First Cause," merits quotation: "This unknown
something, thus recognised as, and identified with, the primary
embodiment of Simple Unity, is invisible and impalpable" -
(_abstract space, granted_); "and because invisible and
impalpable, therefore incognisable. And this incognisability has
led to the error of supposing it to be a simple void, a mere
receptive capacity. But, even viewed as an absolute void, space
must be admitted to be either Self-existent, infinite, and
eternal, or to have had a first cause outside, behind, and
beyond itself.

"And yet could such a cause be found and defined, this would
only lead to the transferring thereto of the attributes
otherwise accruing to space, and thus merely throw the
difficulty of origination a step farther back, without gaining
additional light as to primary causation." (p. 5.)

This is precisely what has been done by the believers in an
anthropomorphic Creator, an extracosmic, instead of an
intracosmic God. Many - most of Mr. Pratt's subjects, we may say -
are old Kabalistic ideas and theories which he presents in quite
a new garb: "New Aspects" of the Occult in Nature, indeed.
Space, however, viewed as a "Substantial Unity" - the "living
Source of Life" - is as the "Unknown Causeless Cause," is the
oldest dogma in Occultism, millenniums earlier than the
_Pater-Aether_ of the Greeks and Latins. So are the "Force and
Matter, as Potencies of Space, inseparable, and the Unknown
revealers of the Unknown." They are all found in Aryan
philosophy personified by Visvakarman, Indra, Vishnu, etc., etc.
Still they are expressed very philosophically, and under many
unusual aspects, in the work referred to.}

The Occultist accepts revelation as coming from divine yet still
finite Beings, the manifested lives, never from the
Unmanifestable ONE LIFE; from those entities, called Primordial
Man, Dhyani-Buddhas, or Dhyan-Chohans, the "Rishi-Prajapati" of
the Hindus, the Elohim or "Sons of God," the Planetary Spirits
of all nations, who have become Gods for men. He also regards
the Adi-Sakti - the direct emanation of Mulaprakriti, the
eternal Root of THAT, and the female aspect of the Creative
Cause Brahma, in her akasic form of the Universal Soul - as
philosophically a Maya, and cause of human Maya. But this view
does not prevent him from believing in its existence so long as
it lasts, to wit, for one Mahamanvantara; nor from applying
akasa, the radiation of Mulaprakriti, to practical purposes,
connected as the World-Soul is with all natural phenomena, known
or unknown to science. - {In contradistinction to the manifested
universe of matter, the term _Mulaprakriti_ (from _Mula,_ "the
root," and _prakriti,- "nature"), or the unmanifested primordial
matter - called by Western alchemists Adam's Earth - is applied by
the Vedantins to _Parabrahmam._ Matter is dual in religious
metaphysics, and septenary in esoteric teachings, like
everything else in the universe. As _Mulaprakriti,_ it is
undifferentiated and eternal; as Vyakta, it becomes
differentiated and conditioned, according to _Svetasvatara
Upanishad,_ i., 8, and _Devi Bhagavata Purana._ The author of
the Four Lectures on the Bhagavad Gita, says, in speaking of
_Mulaprakriti:_ "From its (the Logos') objective standpoint,
_Parabrahmam_ appears to it as _Mulaprakriti._ - Of course this
_Mulaprakriti_ is material to it, as any material object is
material to us. - _Parabrahmam_ is an unconditioned and absolute
reality, and _Mulaprakriti_ is a sort of veil thrown over it."
(_Theosophist,_ Vol. VIII., p. 304.)} The oldest religions of
the world - exoterically, for the esoteric root or foundation is
one - are the Indian, the Mazdean, and the Egyptian. Then comes
the Chaldean, the outcome of these - entirely lost to the world
now, except in its disfigured Sabeanism as at present rendered
by the archaeologists; then, passing over a number of religions
that will be mentioned later, comes the Jewish, esoterically, as
in the Kabala, following in the line of Babylonian Magism;
exoterically, as in Genesis and the Pentateuch, a collection of
allegorical legends. Read by the light of the Zohar, the initial
four chapters of Genesis are the fragment of a highly
philosophical page in the World's Cosmogony. (See Book III.,
_Gupta Vidya and the Zohar._) Left in their symbolical disguise,
they are a nursery tale, an ugly thorn in the side of science
and logic, an evident effect of Karma. To have let them serve as
a prologue to Christianity was a cruel revenge on the part of
the Rabbis, who knew better what their Pentateuch meant. It was
a silent protest against their spoliation, and the Jews have
certainly now the better of their traditional persecutors. The
above-named exoteric creeds will be explained in the light of
the Universal doctrine as we proceed with it.

The Occult Catechism contains the following questions and

"What is it that ever is?" "Space, the eternal Anupadaka." -
{Meaning "parentless" - see farther on.} - "What is it that ever
was?" "The Germ in the Root." "What is it that is ever coming
and going?" "The Great Breath." "Then, there are three
Externals?" "No, the three are one. That which ever is is one,
that which ever was is one, that which is ever being and
becoming is also one: and this is Space."

"Explain, oh Lanoo (disciple)." - "The One is an unbroken Circle
(ring) with no circumference, for it is nowhere and everywhere;
the One is the boundless plane of the Circle, manifesting a
diameter only during the manvantaric periods; the One is the
indivisible point found nowhere, perceived everywhere during
those periods; it is the Vertical and the Horizontal, the Father
and the Mother, the summit and base of the Father, the two
extremities of the Mother, reaching in reality nowhere, for the
One is the Ring as also the rings that are within that Ring.
Light in darkness and darkness in light: the 'Breath which is
eternal.' It proceeds from without inwardly, when it is
everywhere, and from within outwardly, when it is nowhere (i.e.,
maya, - one of the centres). - {Esoteric philosophy, regarding
as Maya (or the illusion of ignorance) every finite thing, must
necessarily view in the same light every intra-Cosmic planet and
body, as being something organised, hence finite. The
expression, therefore, "it proceeds from without inwardly, etc."
refers in the first portion of the sentence to the dawn of the
Mahamanvantaric period, or the great re-evolution after one of
the complete periodical dissolutions of every compound form in
Nature (from planet to molecule) into its ultimate essence or
element; and in its second portion, to the partial or local
manvantara, which may be a solar or even a planetary one.} - {By
"centre," a centre of energy or a Cosmic focus is meant; when
the so-called "Creation," or formation of a planet, is
accomplished by that force which is designated by the Occultists
LIFE and by Science "energy," then the process takes place from
within outwardly, every atom being said to contain in itself
creative energy of the divine breath.  Hence, whereas after an
absolute pralaya, or when the preexisting material consists but
of ONE Element, and BREATH "is everywhere," the latter acts from
without inwardly: after a minor pralaya, everything having
remained in status quo - in a refrigerated state, so to say,
like the moon - at the first flutter of manvantara, the planet
or planets begin their resurrection to life from within

It expands and contracts (exhalation and inhalation). When it
expands the mother diffuses and scatters; when it contracts, the
mother draws back and ingathers. This produces the periods of
Evolution and Dissolution, Manwantara and Pralaya. The Germ is
invisible and fiery; the Root (the plane of the circle) is cool;
but during Evolution and Manwantara her garment is cold and
radiant.  Hot Breath is the Father who devours the progeny of
the many-faced Element (heterogeneous); and leaves the
single-faced ones (homogeneous). Cool Breath is the Mother, who
conceives, forms, brings forth, and receives them back into her
bosom, to reform them at the Dawn (of the Day of Brahma, or

For clearer understanding on the part of the general reader, it
must be stated that Occult Science recognises _Seven_ Cosmical
Elements - four entirely physical, and the fifth (Ether)
semi-material, as it will become visible in the air towards the
end of our Fourth Round, to reign supreme over the others during
the whole of the Fifth. The remaining two are as yet absolutely
beyond the range of human perception. These latter will,
however, appear as presentments during the 6th and 7th Races of
this Round, and will become known in the 6th and 7th Rounds
respectively. - {It is curious to notice how, in the
evolutionary cycles of ideas, ancient thought seems to be
reflected in modern speculation. Had Mr. Herbert Spencer read
and studied ancient Hindu philosophers when he wrote a certain
passage in his "First Principles" (p. 482), or is it an
independent flash of inner perception that made him say half
correctly, half incorrectly, "motion as well as matter, being
fixed in quantity (?), it would seem that the change in the
distribution of Matter which Motion effects, coming to a limit
in whichever direction it is carried (?), the indestructible
Motion thereupon necessitates a reverse distribution.
Apparently, the universally co-existent forces of attraction and
repulsion which, as we have seen, necessitate rhythm in all
minor changes throughout the Universe, also necessitate rhythm
in the totality of its changes - produce now an immeasurable
period during which the attracting forces predominating, cause
universal concentration, and then an immeasurable period, during
which the repulsive forces predominating, cause universal
diffusion - alternate eras of Evolution and dissolution."}

These seven elements with their numberless Sub-Elements far more
numerous than those known to Science) are simply _conditional_
modifications and aspects of the ONE and only Element. This
latter is not _Ether,_ not even _akasa_ but the _Source_ of
these. - {Whatever the views of physical Science upon the
subject, Occult Science has been teaching for ages that akasa -
of which Ether is the grossest form - the fifth universal Cosmic
Principle (to which corresponds and from which proceeds human
Manas) is, cosmically, a radiant, cool, diathermanous plastic
matter, creative in its physical nature, correlative in its
grossest aspects and portions, immutable in its higher
principles.  In the former condition it is called the Sub-Root;
and in conjunction with radiant heat, it recalls "dead worlds to
life." In its higher aspect it is the Soul of the World; in its
lower - the DESTROYER.}

The Fifth Element, now advocated quite freely by Science, is not
the Ether hypothesised by Sir Isaac Newton - although he calls
it by that name, having associated it in his mind probably with
the Aether, "Father-Mother" of Antiquity. As Newton
intuitionally says,

"Nature is a perpetual circulatory worker, generating fluids out
of solids, fixed things out of volatile, and volatile out of
fixed, subtile out of gross, and gross out of subtile. - Thus,
perhaps, may all things be originated from Ether," (Hypoth,

The reader has to bear in mind that the Stanzas given treat only
of the Cosmogony of our own planetary System and what is visible
around it, after a Solar Pralaya. The secret teachings with
regard to the Evolution of the Universal Kosmos cannot be given,
since they could not be understood by the highest minds in this
age, and there seem to be very few Initiates, even among the
greatest, who are allowed to speculate upon this subject.
Moreover the Teachers say openly that not even the highest
Dhyani-Chohans have ever penetrated the mysteries beyond those
boundaries that separate the milliards of Solar systems from the
"Central Sun," as it is called.  Therefore, that which is given,
relates only to our visible Kosmos, after a "Night of Brahma."

Before the reader proceeds to the consideration of the Stanzas
from the Book of Dzyan which form the basis of the present work,
it is absolutely necessary that he should be made acquainted
with the few fundamental conceptions which underlie and pervade
the entire system of thought to which his attention is invited.
These basic ideas are few in number, and on their clear
apprehension depends the understanding of all that follows;
therefore no apology is required for asking the reader to make
himself familiar with them first, before entering on the perusal
of the work itself.

The Secret Doctrine establishes three fundamental propositions:

(a)(I) An Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable
PRINCIPLE on which all speculation is impossible, since it
transcends the power of human conception and could only be
dwarfed by any human expression or similitude. It is beyond the
range and reach of thought - in the words of Mandukya,
"unthinkable and unspeakable."

To render these ideas clearer to the general reader, let him set
out with the postulate that there is one absolute Reality which
antecedes all manifested, conditioned, being. This Infinite and
Eternal Cause - dimly formulated in the "Unconscious" and
"Unknowable" of current European philosophy - is the rootless
root of "all that was, is, or ever shall be." It is of course
devoid of all attributes and is essentially without any relation
to manifested, finite Being. It is "Be-ness" rather than Being
(in Sanskrit, _Sat_), and is beyond all thought or speculation.

This "Be-ness" is symbolised in the Secret Doctrine under two
aspects. On the one hand, absolute abstract Space, representing
bare subjectivity, the one thing which no human mind can either
exclude from any conception, or conceive of by itself. On the
other, absolute Abstract Motion representing Unconditioned
Consciousness. Even our Western thinkers have shown that
Consciousness is inconceivable to us apart from change, and
motion best symbolizes change, its essential characteristic.
This latter aspect of the one Reality, is also symbolised by the
term "The Great Breath," a symbol sufficiently graphic to need
no further elucidation. Thus, then, the first fundamental axiom
of the Secret Doctrine is this metaphysical ONE ABSOLUTE -
BE-NESS - symbolised by finite intelligence as the theological

It may, however, assist the student if a few further
explanations are given here.

Herbert Spencer has of late so far modified his Agnosticism, as
to assert that the nature of the "First Cause," - {The "first"
presupposes necessarily something which is the "first brought
forth," "the first in time, space, and rank" - and therefore
finite and conditioned. The "first" _cannot be the absolute_,
for it is a manifestation.  Therefore, Eastern Occultism calls
the Abstract All the "Causeless One Cause," the "Rootless Root,"
and limits the "First Cause" to the _Logos,_ in the sense that
Plato gives to this term.} - which the Occultist more logically
derives from the "Causeless Cause," the "Eternal," and the
"Unknowable," may be essentially the same as that of the
Consciousness which wells up within us: in short, that the
impersonal reality pervading the Kosmos is the pure noumenon of
thought. This advance on his part brings him very near to the
esoteric and Vedantin tenet. - {See Mr. Subba Row's four able
lectures on the Bhagavad Gita, "Theosophist," February, 1887.}

Parabrahm (the One Reality, the Absolute) is the field of
Absolute Consciousness, i.e., that Essence which is out of all
relation to conditioned existence, and of which conscious
existence is a conditioned symbol. But once that we pass in
thought from this (to us) Absolute Negation, duality supervenes
in the contrast of Spirit (or consciousness) and Matter, Subject
and Object.

Spirit (or Consciousness) and Matter are, however, to be
regarded, not as independent realities, but as the two facets or
aspects of the Absolute (Parabrahm), which constitute the basis
of conditioned Being whether subjective or objective.

Considering this metaphysical triad as the Root from which
proceeds all manifestation, the great Breath assumes the
character of precosmic Ideation. It is the _fons et origo_ of
force and of all individual consciousness, and supplies the
guiding intelligence in the vast scheme of cosmic Evolution. On
the other hand, precosmic root-substance _(Mulaprakriti)_ is
that aspect of the Absolute which underlies all the objective
planes of Nature.

Just as pre-Cosmic Ideation is the root of all individual
consciousness, so pre-Cosmic Substance is the substratum of
matter in the various grades of its differentiation.

Hence it will be apparent that the contrast of these two aspects
of the Absolute is essential to the existence of the "Manifested
Universe." Apart from Cosmic Substance, Cosmic Ideation could
not manifest as individual consciousness, since it is only
through a vehicle of matter - {Called in Sanskrit: "Upadhi."} -
that consciousness wells up as "I am I," a physical basis being
necessary to focus a ray of the Universal Mind at a certain
stage of complexity. Again, apart from Cosmic Ideation, Cosmic
Substance would remain an empty abstraction, and no emergence of
consciousness could ensue.

The "Manifested Universe," therefore, is pervaded by duality,
which is, as it were, the very essence of its EX-istence as
"manifestation." But just as the opposite poles of subject and
object, spirit and matter, are but aspects of the One Unity in
which they are synthesized, so, in the manifested Universe,
there is "that" which links spirit to matter, subject to object.

This something, at present unknown to Western speculation, is
called by the occultists Fohat. It is the "bridge" by which the
"Ideas" existing in the "Divine Thought" are impressed on Cosmic
substance as the "laws of Nature." Fohat is thus the dynamic
energy of Cosmic Ideation; or, regarded from the other side, it
is the intelligent medium, the guiding power of all
manifestation, the "Thought Divine" transmitted and made
manifest through the Dhyan Chohans, - {Called by Christian
theology: Archangels, Seraphs, etc., etc.} - the Architects of
the visible World. Thus from Spirit, or Cosmic Ideation, comes
our consciousness; from Cosmic Substance the several vehicles in
which that consciousness is individualised and attains to self -
or reflective - consciousness; while Fohat, in its various
manifestations, is the mysterious link between Mind and Matter,
the animating principle electrifying every atom into life.

The following summary will afford a clearer idea to the reader.

(1.) THE ABSOLUTE: the _Parabrahm_ of the Vedantins or the one
Reality, SAT, which is, as Hegel says, both Absolute Being and

(2.) The first manifestation, the impersonal, and, in
philosophy, _unmanifested_ Logos, the precursor of the
"manifested." This is the "First Cause," the "Unconscious" of
European Pantheists.

(3.) Spirit-matter, LIFE; the "Spirit of the Universe," the
Purusha and Prakriti, or the _second_ Logos.

(4.) Cosmic Ideation, MAHAT or Intelligence, the Universal
World-Soul; the Cosmic Noumenon of Matter, the basis of the
intelligent operations in and of Nature, also called

The ONE REALITY; its _dual_ aspects in the conditioned Universe.

Further, the Secret Doctrine affirms: -

(b)(II) The Eternity of the Universe _in toto_ as a boundless
plane; periodically "the playground of numberless Universes
incessantly manifesting and disappearing," called "the
manifesting stars," and the "sparks of Eternity." "The Eternity
of the Pilgrim " is like a wink of the Eye of Self-Existence
(Book of Dzyan.) - {"Pilgrim" is the appellation given to our
_Monad_ (the two in one) during its cycle of incarnations. It is
the only immortal and eternal principle in us, being an
indivisible part of the integral whole - the Universal Spirit,
from which it emanates, and into which it is absorbed at the end
of the cycle. When it is said to emanate from the one spirit, an
awkward and incorrect expression has to be used, for lack of
appropriate words in English. The Vedantins call it Sutratma
(Thread-Soul), but their explanation, too, differs somewhat from
that of the occultists; to explain which difference, however, is
left to the Vedantins themselves.} - "The appearance and
disappearance of Worlds is like a regular tidal ebb of flux and
reflux." (See Part II., "Days and Nights of Brahma.")

This second assertion of the Secret Doctrine is the absolute
universality of that law of periodicity, of flux and reflux, ebb
and flow, which physical science has observed and recorded in
all departments of nature. An alternation such as that of Day
and Night, Life and Death, Sleeping and Waking, is a fact so
common, so perfectly universal and without exception, that it is
easy to comprehend that in it we see one of the absolutely
fundamental laws of the universe.

Moreover, the Secret Doctrine teaches: -

(c)(III) The fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal
Over-Soul, the latter being itself an aspect of the Unknown
Root; and the obligatory pilgrimage for every Soul - a spark of
the former - through the Cycle of Incarnation (or "Necessity")
in accordance with Cyclic and Karmic law, during the whole term.
In other words, no purely spiritual Buddhi (divine Soul) can
have an independent (conscious) existence before the spark which
issued from the pure Essence of the Universal Sixth principle, -
or the OVER-SOUL, - has (a) passed through every elemental form
of the phenomenal world of that Manvantara, and (b) acquired
individuality, first by natural impulse, and then by
self-induced and self-devised efforts (checked by its Karma),
thus ascending through all the degrees of intelligence, from the
lowest to the highest Manas, from mineral and plant, up to the
holiest archangel (Dhyani-Buddha). The pivotal doctrine of the
Esoteric philosophy admits no privileges or special gifts in
man, save those won by his own Ego through personal effort and
merit throughout a long series of metempsychoses and
reincarnations. This is why the Hindus say that the Universe is
Brahma and Brahma, for Brahma is in every atom of the universe,
the six principles in Nature being all the outcome - the
variously differentiated aspects - of the SEVENTH and ONE, the
only reality in the Universe whether Cosmical or micro-cosmical;
and also why the permutations (psychic, spiritual and physical),
on the plane of manifestation and form, of the sixth (Brahma the
vehicle of Brahma) are viewed by metaphysical antiphrasis as
illusive and Mayavic. For although the root of every atom
individually and of every form collectively, is that seventh
principle or the one Reality, still, in its manifested
phenomenal and temporary appearance, it is no better than an
evanescent illusion of our senses. (See, for clearer definition,
Addendum "Gods, Monads and Atoms," and also "Theophania,"
"Bodhisatvas and Reincarnation," etc., etc.)

In its absoluteness, the One Principle under its two aspects (of
Parabrahmam and Mulaprakriti) is sexless, unconditioned and
eternal. Its periodical (manvantaric) emanation - or primal
radiation - is also One, androgynous and phenomenally finite.
When the radiation radiates in its turn, all its radiations are
also androgynous, to become male and female principles in their
lower aspects. After Pralaya, whether the great or the minor
Pralaya (the latter leaving the worlds in _status quo_ - {It is
not the physical organisms that remain in _status quo,_ least of
all their psychical principles, during the great Cosmic or even
Solar pralayas, but only their Akasic or astral "photographs."
But during the minor pralayas, once over-taken by the "Night,"
the planets remain intact, though dead, as a huge animal, caught
and embedded in the polar ice, remains the same for ages.} -),
the first that re-awakes to active life is the plastic Akasa,
Father-Mother, the Spirit and Soul of Ether, or the plane on the
surface of the Circle. Space is called the "Mother" before its
Cosmic activity, and Father-Mother at the first stage of
re-awakening. (See Comments, Stanza II.) In the Kabala it is
also Father-Mother-Son. But whereas in the Eastern doctrine,
these are the Seventh Principle of the manifested Universe, or
its "Atma-Buddhi-Manas" (Spirit, Soul, Intelligence), the triad
branching off and dividing into the seven cosmical and seven
human principles, in the Western Kabala of the Christian mystics
it is the Triad or Trinity, and with their occultists, the
male-female Jehovah, Jah-Havah. In this lies the whole
difference between the esoteric and the Christian trinities. The
Mystics and the Philosophers, the Eastern and Western
Pantheists, synthesize their pregenetic triad in the pure divine
abstraction. The orthodox, anthropomorphize it. _Hiranyagarbha,
Hari,_ and _Sankara+ - the three hypostases of the manifesting
"Spirit of the Supreme Spirit" (by which title Prithivi - the
Earth - greets Vishnu in his first Avatar) - are the purely
metaphysical abstract qualities of formation, preservation, and
destruction, and are the three divine Avasthas (lit. hypostases)
of that which "does not perish with created things" (or Achyuta,
a name of Vishnu); whereas the orthodox Christian separates his
personal creative Deity into the three personages of the
Trinity, and admits of no higher Deity. The latter, in
Occultism, is the abstract Triangle; with the orthodox, the
perfect Cube. The creative god or the aggregate gods are
regarded by the Eastern philosopher as _Bhrantidarsanatah_ -
"false apprehension," something "conceived of, by reason of
erroneous appearances, as a material form," and explained as
arising from the illusive conception of the Egotistic personal
and human Soul (lower fifth principle). It is beautifully
expressed in a new translation of Vishnu Purana.

"That Brahma in its totality has essentially the aspect of
Prakriti, both evolved and unevolved (Mulaprakriti), and also
the aspect of Spirit and the aspect of Time. Spirit, O twice
born, is the leading aspect of the Supreme Brahma. - {Thus
Spencer, who, nevertheless, like Schopenhauer and von Hartmann,
only reflects an aspect of the old esoteric philosophers, and
hence lands his readers on the bleak shore of Agnostic
despair - reverently formulates the grand mystery: "that which
persists unchanging in quantity, but ever changing in form,
under these sensible appearances which the Universe presents to
us, is an unknown and unknowable power, which we are obliged to
recognise as without limit in Space and without beginning or end
in time." It is only daring Theology - never Science or
philosophy - which seeks to gauge the Infinite and unveil the
Fathomless and Unknowable.} - The next is a twofold aspect, -
Prakriti, both evolved and unevolved, and is the time last."

Kronos is shown in the Orphic theogony as being also a generated
god or agent.

At this stage of the re-awakening of the Universe, the sacred
symbolism represents it as a perfect Circle with the (root)
point in the Centre. This sign was universal, therefore we find
it in the Kabala also. The Western Kabala, however, now in the
hands of Christian mystics, ignores it altogether, though it is
plainly shown in the Zohar. These sectarians begin at the end,
and show as the symbol of pregenetic Kosmos this sign [diag:
cross within the circle], calling it "the Union of the Rose and
Cross," the great mystery of occult generation, from whence the
name - Rosicrucians (Rose Cross)!

As may be judged, however, from the most important, as the best
known of the Rosicrucians' symbols, there is one which has never
been hitherto understood even by modern mystics. It is that of
the "Pelican" tearing open its breast to feed its seven little
ones - the real creed of the Brothers of the Rosie-Cross and a
direct outcome from the Eastern Secret Doctrine. Brahma (neuter)
is called Kalahansa, meaning, as explained by Western
Orientalists, the Eternal Swan or goose (see Stanza III.,
Comment. 8), and so is Brahma, the Creator. A great mistake is
thus brought under notice; it is Brahma (neuter) who ought to be
referred to as Hansa-vahana (He who uses the swan as his
Vehicle) and not Brahma the Creator, who is the real Kalahansa,
while Brahma (neuter) is hamsa, and "A-hamsa," as will be
explained in the Commentary. Let it be understood that the terms
Brahma and Parabrahmam are not used here because they belong to
our Esoteric nomenclature, but simply because they are more
familiar to the students in the West. Both are the perfect
equivalents of our one, three, and seven vowelled terms, which
stand for the ONE ALL, and the One "All in all."

Such are the basic conceptions on which the Secret Doctrine

It would not be in place here to enter upon any defence or proof
of their inherent reasonableness; nor can I pause to show how
they are, in fact, contained - though too often under a
misleading guise - in every system of thought or philosophy
worthy of the name.

Once that the reader has gained a clear comprehension of them
and realised the light which they throw on every problem of
life, they will need no further justification in his eyes,
because their truth will be to him as evident as the sun in
heaven. I pass on, therefore, to the subject matter of the
Stanzas as given in this volume, adding a skeleton outline of
them, in the hope of thereby rendering the task of the student
more easy, by placing before him in a few words the general
conception therein explained.

Stanza I. The history of cosmic evolution, as traced in the
Stanzas, is, so to say, the abstract algebraical formula of that
Evolution. Hence the student must not expect to find there an
account of all the stages and transformations which intervene
between the first beginnings of "Universal" evolution and our
present state. To give such an account would be as impossible as
it would be incomprehensible to men who cannot even grasp the
nature of the plane of existence next to that to which, for the
moment, their consciousness is limited.

The Stanzas, therefore, give an abstract formula which can be
applied, _mutatis mutandis,_ to all evolution: to that of our
tiny earth, to that of the chain of planets of which that earth
forms one, to the solar Universe to which that chain belongs,
and so on, in an ascending scale, till the mind reels and is
exhausted in the effort.

The seven Stanzas given in this volume represent the seven terms
of this abstract formula. They refer to, and describe the seven
great stages of the evolutionary process, which are spoken of in
the Puranas as the "Seven Creations," and in the Bible as the
"Days" of Creation.

The First Stanza describes the state of the ONE ALL during
Pralaya, before the first flutter of re-awakening manifestation.

A moment's thought shows that such a state can only be
symbolised; to describe it is impossible.  Nor can it be
symbolised except in negatives; for, since it is the state of
Absoluteness _per se,_ it can possess none of those specific
attributes which serve us to describe objects in positive terms.
Hence that state can only be suggested by the negatives of all
those most abstract attributes which men feel rather than
conceive, as the remotest limits attainable by their power of

The stage described in Stanza II. is, to a western mind, so
nearly identical with that mentioned in the first Stanza, that
to express the idea of its difference would require a treatise
in itself. Hence it must he left to the intuition and the higher
faculties of the reader to grasp, as far as he can, the meaning
of the allegorical phrases used. Indeed it must be remembered
that all these Stanzas appeal to the inner faculties rather than
to the ordinary comprehension of the physical brain.

Stanza III. describes the Re-awakening of the Universe to life
after Pralaya. It depicts the emergence of the "Monads" from
their state of absorption within the ONE; the earliest and
highest stage in the formation of "Worlds," the term Monad being
one which may apply equally to the vastest Solar System or the
tiniest atom.

Stanza IV. shows the differentiation of the "Germ" of the
Universe into the septenary hierarchy of conscious Divine
Powers, who are the active manifestations of the One Supreme
Energy. They are the framers, shapers, and ultimately the
creators of all the manifested Universe, in the only sense in
which the name "Creator" is intelligible; they inform and guide
it; they are the intelligent Beings who adjust and control
evolution, embodying in themselves those manifestations of the
ONE LAW, which we know as "The Laws of Nature."

Generically, they are known as the Dhyan Chohans, though each of
the various groups has its own designation in the Secret

This stage of evolution is spoken of in Hindu mythology as the
"Creation" of the Gods.

In Stanza V. the process of world-formation is described: -
First, diffused Cosmic Matter, then the fiery "whirlwind," the
first stage in the formation of a nebula. That nebula condenses,
and after passing through various transformations, forms a Solar
Universe, a planetary chain, or a single planet, as the case may

The subsequent stages in the formation of a "World" are
indicated in Stanza VI., which brings the evolution of such a
world down to its fourth great period, corresponding to the
period in which we are now living.

Stanza VII. continues the history, tracing the descent of life
down to the appearance of Man; and thus closes the first Book of
the Secret Doctrine.

The development of "Man" from his first appearance on this earth
in this Round to the state in which we now find him will form
the subject of Book II.


The Stanzas which form the thesis of every section are given
throughout in their modern translated version, as it would be
worse than useless to make the subject still more difficult by
introducing the archaic phraseology of the original, with its
puzzling style and words. Extracts are given from the Chinese
Thibetan and Sanskrit translations of the original Senzar
Commentaries and Glosses on the Book of DZYAN - these being now
rendered for the first time into a European language. It is
almost unnecessary to state that only portions of the seven
Stanzas are here given. Were they published complete they would
remain incomprehensible to all save the few higher occultists.
Nor is there any need to assure the reader that, no more than
most of the profane, does the writer, or rather the humble
recorder, understand those forbidden passages. To facilitate the
reading, and to avoid the too frequent reference to footnotes,
it was thought best to blend together texts and glosses, using
the Sanskrit and Tibetan proper names whenever those cannot be
avoided, in preference to giving the originals. The more so as
the said terms are all accepted synonyms, the former only being
used between a Master and his chelas (or disciples).

Thus, were one to translate into English, using only the
substantives and technical terms as employed in one of the
Tibetan and Senzar versions, Verse i would read as follows: -

"Tho-ag in Zhi-gyu slept seven Khorlo. Zodmanas zhiba. All Nyug
bosom. Konch-hog not; Thyan-Kam not; Lha-Chohan not; Tenbrel
Chugnyi not; Dharmakaya ceased; Tgenchang not become; Barnang
and Ssa in Ngovonyidj; alone Tho-og Yinsin in night of Sun-chan
and Yong-grub (Parinishpanna), &c., &c.,"

which would sound like pure _Abracadabra._

As this work is written for the instruction of students of
Occultism, and not for the benefit of philologists, we may well
avoid such foreign terms wherever it is possible to do so. The
untranslatable terms alone, incomprehensible unless explained in
their meanings, are left, but all such terms are rendered in
their Sanskrit form. Needless to remind the reader that these

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application