Re to Daniel - Quotes
Nov 16, 2001 04:12 PM
by Gerald Schueler
At Daniel's request, here is HPB's exact words from the SD Vol I in 10 separate quotes, and I will start the discussion off with my own comments.
***********Quote # 1, SD Vol I pg 569*************
And this shows that the ancient Initiates, who were followed more or less closely by all profane antiquity, meant by the term "ATOM," a Soul, a Genius or Angel, the first-born of the ever-concealed CAUSE of all causes; and in this sense their teachings become comprehensible. They claimed, as do their successors, the existence of Gods and Genii, angels or "demons," not outside, or independent of, the Universal Plenum, but within it. Only this Plenum, during the life-cycles, is infinite. They admitted and taught a good deal of that which modern Science teaches now --namely, the existence of a primordial "World-stuff or Cosmic Substance," from which worlds are formed, ever and eternally homogeneous, except during its periodic existence, when it differentiates its universal diffusion throughout infinite space; and the gradual formation of sidereal bodies from it. They taught the revolution of the Heavens, the Earth's rotation, the Heliocentric System, and the Atomic Vortices -- Atoms -- in reality Souls and intelligences. But those "Atomists" were spiritual, most transcendental, and philosophical Pantheists. It is not they who would have ever conceived, or dreamt that monstrous contrasted progeny, the nightmare of our modern civilized Race; namely -- inanimate material, self-guiding atoms, on the one hand, and an extra-Cosmic God on the other.
JERRY: Rather than assuming inanimate matter directed by either chance or God, she is saying here that the most fundamental of particles are self-conscious and presumably guided by karma. Matter, as inanimate independent external solid substance does not exist. Modern science would agree with this, and would say that a vacuum, the total absence of matter in space, does not exist either.
*************Quote # 2, SD Vol I, pg 569************
It may be useful to show what, in the teachings of the old Initiates, the Monad was, and what its origin.
Modern exact Science, as soon as it began to grow out of its teens, perceived the great, and, to it, hitherto esoteric axiom, that nothing -- whether in the spiritual, psychic, or physical realm of being -- could come into existence out of nothing. There is no cause in the manifested universe without its adequate effects, whether in space or time; nor can there be an effect without its primal cause, which itself owes its existence to a still higher one -- the final and absolute cause having to remain to man for ever an incomprehensible CAUSELESS CAUSE. But even this is no solution, and must be viewed, if at all, from the highest philosophical and metaphysical standpoints, otherwise the problem had better be left unapproached. It is an abstraction, on the verge of which human reason -- however trained to metaphysical subtleties -- trembles, threatening to collapse. This may be demonstrated to any European who would undertake to solve the problem of existence by the articles of faith of the true Vedantin, for instance. Let him read and study the sublime teachings on the subject of Soul and Spirit, of Sankaracharya (Viveka Chudamani)*, and the reader will realize what is now said.
JERRY: Here she is struggling with the idea of a "causeless cause" and admits that such a thing cannot adequately be put into words. She is quite right. It can't. So, today we would simply call this an initial assumption of our thesis, and let it go, because today we realize and accept that all theses have such initial assumptions.
*************Quote # 3, SD Vol I, pg 570************
While the Christian is taught that the human soul is a breath of God -- being created by him for sempiternal existence, i.e., having a beginning, but no end (and therefore never to be called eternal) -- the Occult teaching says, "Nothing is created, but is only transformed. Nothing can manifest itself in this universe -- from a globe down to a vague, rapid thought -- that was not in the universe already; everything on the subjective plane is an eternal IS; as everything on the objective plane is an ever becoming -- because transitory."
JERRY: Here she combines the upper three planes and calls them "the subjective plane" and she combines the lower four into "the objective plane." Her phrase "an eternal IS" must be taken in a relative sense.
***************Quote # 4, SD Vol I, pg 570**********
The monad -- a truly "indivisible thing," as defined by Good, who did not give it the sense we now do -- is here rendered as the Atma in conjunction with Buddhi and the higher Manas. This trinity is one and eternal, the latter being absorbed in the former at the termination of all conditioned and illusive life. The monad, then, can be traced through the course of its pilgrimage and its changes of transitory vehicles only from the incipient stage of the manifested Universe. In Pralaya, or the intermediate period between two manvantaras, it loses its name, as it loses it when the real ONE self of man merges into Brahm in cases of high Samadhi (the Turiya state) or final Nirvana; "when the disciple" in the words of Sankara, "having attained that primeval consciousness, absolute bliss, of which the nature is truth, which is without form and action, abandons this illusive body that has been assumed by the atma just as an actor (abandons) the dress (put on)." For Buddhi (the Anandamaya sheath) is but a mirror which reflects absolute bliss; and, moreover, that reflection itself is yet not free from ignorance, and is not the Supreme Spirit, being subject to conditions, being a spiritual modification of Prakriti, and an effect; Atma alone is the one real and eternal substratum of all -- the essence and absolute knowledge -- the Kshetragna.** It is called in the Esoteric philosophy "the One Witness," and, while it rests in Devachan, is referred to as "the Three Witnesses to Karma."
JERRY: Here she explains that although a monad is truly indivisible, she is using it in the sense of atma-buddhi-manas which clearly is divisible. Why? Well, for one thing, an Adept is able to combine these three into an experiential unit for which there is no English equivalent. She mentions its "pilgrimage" and the absorption of manas at the end of the manvantara (when the lower four planes go into praylaya), all of which indicates that it changes/grows over time. The phrase "loses its name" is a poetical way of saying "loses its personal sense of identity." Here she equates buddhi with the anandamaya sheath, the Body of Bliss and tells us that atman drops off this body during pralaya. Atman alone survives the pralaya of the four lower planes. In other words, manas is on the mental plane and buddhi is on the causal plane, and both dissolve along with those planes during pralaya. Atman, being on the spiritual plane survives, and then sends out a new buddhi and manas at the next manvantara. Why? In order for it to grow and progress over time.
************Quote # 5 SD Vol I, pg 571***********
Atma (our seventh principle) being identical with the universal Spirit, and man being one with it in his essence, what is then the Monad proper? It is that homogeneous spark which radiates in millions of rays from the primeval "Seven;" -- of which seven further on. It is the EMANATING spark from the UNCREATED Ray -- a mystery. In the esoteric, and even exoteric Buddhism of the North, Adi Buddha (Chogi dangpoi sangye), the One unknown, without beginning or end, identical with Parabrahm and Ain-Soph, emits a bright ray from its darkness.
JERRY: Just as atma is the essence of man, so "the universal Spirit" is the essence of atma. Both man and atma are expressions or rays. Here she is giving us a deep teaching - just as every human being is a ray from atma, and atma is a ray from the "Monad proper" so even the "Monad proper" is itself a ray. A mystery indeed, and one that is more in line with Mahayana Buddhism than with Hinduism or Vedanta.
************Quote # 6 SD Vol I, pg 571***********
This is the Logos (the first), or Vajradhara, the Supreme Buddha (also called Dorjechang). As the Lord of all Mysteries he cannot manifest, but sends into the world of manifestation his heart -- the "diamond heart," Vajrasattva (Dorjesempa). This is the second logos of creation, from whom emanate the seven (in the exoteric blind the five) Dhyani Buddhas, called the Anupadaka, "the parentless." These Buddhas are the primeval monads from the world of incorporeal being, the Arupa world, wherein the Intelligences (on that plane only) have neither shape nor name, in the exoteric system, but have their distinct seven names in esoteric philosophy. These Dhyani Buddhas emanate, or create from themselves, by virtue of Dhyana, celestial Selves -- the super-human Bodhisattvas. These incarnating at the beginning of every human cycle on earth as mortal men, become occasionally, owing to their personal merit, Bodhisattvas among the Sons of Humanity, after which they may re-appear as Manushi (human) Buddhas. The Anupadaka (or Dhyani-Buddhas) are thus identical with the Brahminical Manasaputra, "mind-born sons" -- whether of Brahma or either of the other two Trimurtian Hypostases, hence identical also with the Rishis and Prajapatis. Thus, a passage is found in Anugita, which, read esoterically, shows plainly, though under another imagery, the same idea and system. It says: "Whatever entities there are in this world, moveable or immoveable, they are the very first to be dissolved (at pralaya); and next the developments produced from the elements (from which the visible Universe is fashioned); and, after these developments (evolved entities), all the elements. Such is the upperward gradation among entities. Gods, Men, Gandharvas, Pisachas, Asuras, Rakshasas, all have been created by Svabhava (Prakriti, or plastic nature), not by actions, nor by a cause" -- i.e., not by any physical cause.
JERRY: In Vajrayana, Vajradhara is considered the first Buddha, the Dharmakaya Buddha, from which all wisdom flows. He is considered to be the Supreme Buddha indeed, supreme in this solar system anyway. Vajradhara is said to have taught the inner teachings of Mahamudra to the great sage Tilopa, and this led eventually to the formation of the Kagu school of Tibetan Buddhism.
************Quote # 7 SD Vol I, pg 572************
"These Brahmanas (the Rishi Prajapati?), the creators of the world, are born here (on earth) again and again. Whatever is produced from
them is dissolved in due time in those very five great elements (the five, or rather seven, Dhyani Buddhas, also called "Elements" of Mankind), like billows in the ocean. These great elements are in every way beyond the elements that make up the world (the gross elements). And he who is released even from these five elements (the tanmatras)* goes to the highest goal." "The Lord Prajapati (Brahma) created all this by the mind only," i.e., by Dhyana, or abstract meditation and mystic powers like the Dhyani Buddhas (vide supra). Evidently then, these "Brahmanas" are identical with the Bodhisattvas (the terrestrial) of the heavenly Dhyani Buddhas. Both, as primordial, intelligent "Elements," become the creators or the emanators of the monads destined to become human in that cycle; after which they evolve themselves, or, so to say, expand into their own selves as Bodhisattvas or Brahmanas, in heaven and earth, to become at last simple men --"the creators of the world are born here, on earth again and again" -- truly. In the Northern Buddhist system, or the popular exoteric religion, it is taught that every Buddha, while preaching the good law on earth, manifests himself simultaneously in three worlds: in the formless, as Dhyani Buddha, in the World of forms, as a Bodhisattva, and in the world of desire, the lowest (or our world) as a man. Esoterically the teaching differs: The divine, purely Adi-Buddhic monad manifests as the universal Buddhi (the Maha-buddhi or Mahat in Hindu philosophies) the spiritual, omniscient and omnipotent root of divine intelligence, the highest anima mundi or the Logos. This descends "like a flame spreading from the eternal Fire, immoveable, without increase or decrease, ever the same to the end" of the cycle of existence, and becomes universal life on the Mundane Plane. From this Plane of conscious Life shoot out, like seven fiery tongues, the Sons of Light (the logoi of Life); then the Dhyani-Buddhas of contemplation: the concrete forms of their formless Fathers -- the Seven Sons of Light, still themselves, to whom may be applied the Brahmanical mystic phrase: "Thou art 'THAT' -- Brahm." It is from these Dhyani-Buddhas that emanate their chhayas (Shadows) the Bodhisattvas of the celestial realms, the prototypes of the super-terrestrial Bodhisattvas, and of the terrestrial Buddhas, and finally of men. The "Seven Sons of Light" are also called "Stars."
JERRY: This is a long and difficult paragraph, mixing up both Hinduism and Buddhism. Buddhism teaches that creation is due to karma, period. I have also never seen this definition of the bodhisattva. Buddhism teaches that the bodhisattva is simply a human being treading a spiritual Path that leads to buddhahood.
************Quote # 8 SD Vol I, pg 572***********
The star under which a human Entity is born, says the Occult teaching, will remain for ever its star, throughout the whole cycle of its incarnations in one Manvantara. But this is not his astrological star. The latter is concerned and connected with the personality, the former with the INDIVIDUALITY. The "Angel" of that Star, or the Dhyani-Buddha will be either the guiding or simply the presiding "Angel," so to say, in every new rebirth of the monad, which is part of his own essence, though his vehicle, man, may remain for ever ignorant of this fact. The adepts have each their Dhyani-Buddha, their elder "twin Soul," and they know it, calling it "Father-Soul," and "Father-Fire." It is only at the last and supreme initiation, however, that they learn it when placed face to face with the bright "Image." How much has Bulwer Lytton known of this mystic fact when describing, in one of his highest inspirational moods, Zanoni face to face with his Augoeides?
JERRY: This paragraph contains the basis of the idea of the seven rays, which is described quite well by Wood in his book by that name. I have found nothing in Eastern texts, so far, to substantiate this teaching.
**************Quote # 9, SD Vol I, pg 573**********
The Logos, or both the unmanifested and the manifested WORD, is called by the Hindus, Iswara, "the Lord," though the Occultists give it another name. Iswara, say the Vedantins, is the highest consciousness in nature. "This highest consciousness," answer the Occultists, "is only a synthetic unit in the world of the manifested Logos -- or on the plane of illusion; for it is the sum total of Dhyan-Chohanic consciousnesses." "Oh, wise man, remove the conception that not-Spirit is Spirit," says Sankaracharya. Atma is not-Spirit in its final Parabrahmic state, Iswara or Logos is Spirit; or, as Occultism explains, it is a compound unity of manifested living Spirits, the parent-source and nursery of all the mundane and terrestrial monads, plus their divine reflection, which emanate from, and return into, the Logos, each in the culmination of its time. There are seven chief groups of such Dhyan Chohans, which groups will be found and recognised in every religion, for they are the primeval SEVEN Rays. Humanity, occultism teaches us, is divided into seven distinct groups and their sub-divisions, mental, spiritual, and physical.* The monad, then, viewed as ONE, is above the seventh principle (in Kosmos and man), and as a triad, it is the direct radiant progeny of the said compound UNIT, not the breath (and special creation out of nihil) of "God," as that unit is called; for such an idea is quite unphilosophical, and degrades Deity, dragging it down to a finite, attributive condition. As well expressed by the translator of the "Crest-Jewel of Wisdom" -- though Iswara is "God" "unchanged in the profoundest depths of pralayas and in the intensest activity of the manvantaras" . . ., still "beyond (him) is 'ATMA,' round whose pavilion is the darkness of eternal MAYA."* The "triads" born under the same Parent-planet, or rather the radiations of one and the same Planetary Spirit (Dhyani Buddha) are, in all their after lives and rebirths, sister, or "twin-souls," on this Earth.**
JERRY: Here she again discusses the 7 Rays. She also gives us the true nature of the "monad." She says that when "viewed as ONE" the monad is "above the seventh principle" which is to say, above atma. This is exactly what I have been saying - the true indivisible Monad is above or beyond even atma, which is its "radiant progeny." I am not sure how this can be said any clearer, but obviously some folks don't follow her here. She is saying that atma (and atma-buddhi-manas as a triad) is a ray of the indivisible monad. By "above" she means on a higher plane.
Iswara as God, exists at the top of the causal (fourth) plane. Atma exists on the third plane, and thus is "Beyond" Iswara. This seems pretty clear.
**************Quote # 10, SD Vol I, pg 574*********
This was known to every high Initiate in every age and in every country: "I and my Father are one," said Jesus (John x. 30).*** When He is made to say, elsewhere (xx. 17): "I ascend to my Father and your Father," it meant that which has just been stated. It was simply to show that the group of his disciples and followers attracted to Him belonged to the same Dhyani Buddha, "Star," or "Father," again of the same planetary realm and division as He did. It is the knowledge of this occult doctrine that found expression in the review of "The Idyll of the White Lotus," when Mr. T. Subba Row wrote: "Every Buddha meets at his last initiation all the great adepts who reached Buddhahood during the preceding ages . . . every class of adepts has its own bond of spiritual communion which knits them together. . . . . The only possible and effectual way of entering into such brotherhood . . . . is by bringing oneself within the influence of the Spiritual light which radiates from one's own Logos. I may further point out here . . . . that such communion is only possible between persons whose souls derive their life and sustenance from the same divine RAY, and that, as seven distinct rays radiate from the 'Central Spiritual Sun,' all adepts and Dhyan Chohans are divisible into seven classes, each of which is guided, controlled, and overshadowed by one of the seven forms or manifestations of the divine Wisdom." ("Theosophist," Aug., 1886.)
JERRY: "I and my Father are one" refers to the fact that each are expressions of the other: the indivisible monad expresses itself in atma, which expresses itself in the lower principles. Also, the divine monad, expresses itself in the spiritual monad, and so on all the way down to the mineral monad. Here again is more teaching on the 7 Rays.
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