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Re: Is There a Universe?

Dec 12, 1996 07:43 AM
by uscap9m9

This is in response to the question that Tom Robertson raised. It
relates to the comment that Richard Ihle then make regarding
Russian Dolls. (Please excuse any spelling errors or typos since
I'm rushed for time in typing this out.)

-- Eldon Tucker (


The term "universe" is sometimes used to refer to the totality of
all that is. But it is also thought of as a particular system of

When we talk about the universe starting with "the big bang",
we're dealing with *a* universe, and not the totality of
everything, everywhere.

Purucker has a good term for the totality of all that is. He calls
it "the Boundless All". The term really includes everything, both
in and out of existence, both manifest and unmanifest, latent and
active, seen and unseen. Another term for it might be the
"multiverse", which implies that there are many, actually
numberless universes, and we're talking about all of them.

We have the Hermetic Axiom, "as above, so below", which implies
that the big is reflected in the small. A creature in a world is a
replica of the world in minature, and that creature is a world
from the point of view of the smaller lives that he plays host to.

This relationship is shown in the mathematical concept of the
fractal. Say we have a fractal that represents a coastline. If we
take a small piece of it and magnify it, we'll see the same about
of detail and perhaps the same pattern represented in minature. If
we take a small piece of that and magnify it yet again, we'll see
still see more detail. And we can go on doing this forever.

The multiverse itself can be considered a gigantic fractal-like
web of life. A being comes into existence. Where? In a world. And
what is that world? The already-existing lifeform of a greater
being. A human Monad finds birth on the earth planetary chain. Or
a particular life-atom is born in the constitution of a living
human being.

What we have is that we need *somewhere* to come into being. We
need a living world, universe, host, heavenly man to provide us
with the "living stage" on which we can, as actors, participate in
the drama of life. We need a creator or Brahma to "out-breathe"
us, a living source for a world in which we can come into life.

A being doesn't come into life *ex nihilo*, out of nothingness, in
complete vacuum. There needs to be a greater world to exist in.
That being collects his "stuff", his skandhas from the
already-present substance and smaller lives present in that world.
The birth of that being is an "organizing force" that is the
breath of life, the subtle essence that organizes these skandhas
into a living being. At death, when that organizing force departs,
the skandhas return to the elements and the being ceases to exist.

The best model for the multiverse, then, is related to the "steady
state" model. Universes come into existence and depart all the
time. But there's always something present, always something in

Looking upward, we wouldn't exist if our world did not exist. And
our world would not exist if our universe did not exist. And that
universe would not exist if it did not have yet a bigger system to
exist within. We can go higher and higher, but there is no top.
What we have, looking at bigger and yet bigger scales, is an
universal tree of life, a golden chain reaching down to us from
heaven, a chain with no top, no end to it.

This living tree of life, without bound, ever-dependent upon
greater and yet greater beings playing host to the drama of life,
is one of two key concepts, which the term "Boundless All" might

The second key concept is the distinction between attributes,
descriptions, concepts about that *totality* and what we may know
and experience *in a particular world-system or universe*.

The term "eternal", for instance, meaning existing throughout all
time, or until the end of time, when applied to a particular
world-system means until that system comes to its natural end.
When we speak of eternal liberation through entering Nirvana, for
instance, it applies to our attaining freedom from rebirth for the
duration of the earth's existence, the current planetary

This existence is "until the end of time", since we're talking
about finite, measured time, time as applied to a particular
world-system, with a definite beginning, duration, and end.

Terms like "eternal", "omnipotence", "omniscience", "perfection",
"liberation", etc. can be understood and are possible of
attainment in their relative form, in their form that is related
to a particular system of existence like our earth. It's just not
possible when considering them in their absolute form, when
relating to the Boundless All. They are meaningless except when
applied to a particular world or universe.

These two concepts, combined with that of the composite nature of
a living human being (far too much to get into in this posting),
provide important keys to unlocking the theosophical Teachings. In
teaching Theosophy, I'd want to see them included in the
foundation of materials introduced to the new student.

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