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The Theosophical Society in America

Our mission is to encourage open-minded inquiry into world religions, philosophy, science, and the arts in order to understand the wisdom of the ages, respect the unity of all life, and help people explore spiritual self-transformation.

Understanding Impermanence: Fostering Compassionate Presence through the End-of-Life Journey

Saturday, December 2, 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Anagarika Jyotipala (Dhananjay Joshi)There is a great spiritual need for those suffering from terminal and long-term illnesses. A deep understanding of basic principles of impermanence can lessen suffering and evoke a compassionate acceptance. Through guided meditations, prayers, and Scripture readings, you will acquire tools for coping, accepting, and offering a helping hand to those in need.

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Integral Mindfulness: A Path to Whole Body Awakening

Saturday, December 9, 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Ravi RavindraIntegral Mindfulness combines the power of mindfulness meditation with Ken Wilber’s integral approach to spirituality. Learn how to practice mindfulness in the great arenas of life: the self, relationships, the body, and mindful engagement with the world.

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Upcoming Online Programs

Mahatma Letters Reading and Discussion Group
Mon Nov 20 @10:30AM - 11:30AM

The Secret Path
Tue Nov 21 @ 7:00PM - 08:00PM

Walking the Theosophical Path Online Group
Wed Nov 22 @10:30AM - 11:30AM

The Dream Circle
Wed Nov 22 @12:30PM - 01:30PM

Practical Teachings of Remarkable Men: Part II
Wed Nov 22 @ 2:00PM - 03:00PM

Friday Online Gurdjieff Study Group
Fri Nov 24 @10:00AM - 11:15AM

Nourishing the Pilgrim Soul: Spiritual Search East and West
Sat Nov 25 @10:00AM - 11:00AM

Meditation Practices and Perspectives
Sun Nov 26 @ 9:30AM - 10:30AM

Theosophical Teachings of Sri Madhava Ashish
Mon Nov 27 @ 9:00AM - 10:00AM

Hidden Wisdom in the Holy Bible Vol II - Chapter 2

CHAPTER TWO

NATURE IN ALL HER KINGDOMS
And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place and let the dry land appear: and it was so. ( Gen. 1: 9 )

In this opening description of the third cycle or “day” of creative activity, the first of many errors—if I may presume to say so—appears in the book of Genesis. This consists of the erroneous merging into one cycle of two distinct processes which are in reality separated from each other by a vast period of time. Actually, each process occupies its own complete cycle from morning to evening of a creative “day.” As explained, creative “days” are separated from each other by “nights.”

The original authors, being initiates of the Mysteries of Chaldea, must have known this truth. The error, therefore, must either be deliberate in order to conceal from full revelation the then secret knowledge of septenary cycles and subcycles, or else be a mistake made by less well-informed or uninitiated authors or translators. Whatever the explanation, a miscomputation was made and must be corrected for and by every student of cosmogony.

Manifestation of Primordial Substance

Verse nine introduces the division of intrauniversal water, or primordial substance, into two states—liquid and solid. It also allows for the establishment in the demiurgic Mind the thought of the mineral kingdom, followed by the slow process of the embodiment of that formative thought in appropriately densified substance. This occupies a complete cycle of “day” and “night.”

The intermediate mineral stage between the division of the waters and the fashioning of the plant kingdom is omitted. Furthermore fire is not introduced until the appearance of the sun. This creative act is placed in the fourth “day,” mineral and plant having erroneously and impossibly preceded it. The account, therefore, is sadly muddled. The emergence of the plant kingdom should rightly be placed in the cycle which would have followed the establishment of the mineral kingdom.

And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. ( Gen. 1:10 )

The Earth period or cycle occupied a whole “day,” and was the work of one of the seven creative Intelligences. Esoteric cosmogenesis states that the universe within the divine thought became manifest as spiritual fire. Condensation and densification eventually produced the element rather than the solid substance of earth, the noumenon (the unchanging essence from which the phenomenon arises; antithesis of phenomenon—Kant) of the mineral kingdom. Earth and water, meaning the solid and liquid states, then existed at the same time though separated one from the other, and it is to this coexistence that the verse refers. The naming of the two elements signifies their objective manifestation, each at its own individual level. The phrase “and God saw that it was good” refers to the end of the cycle, when the designated work had been brought to its highest pitch for that period.

And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. ( Gen. 1:11 )

This verse refers to the plant Manvantara or Chain of the Planetary Scheme. As the seed of the whole universe existed in precosmic substance (Mulaprakriti—undifferentiated substance), so also do the seeds of all living beings and their natural forms ever potentially exist within the matter of the universe (Prakriti—nature or matter, as opposed to Spirit). As this becomes densified through all the stages on the descending arc down to the physical, the living divine seeds are densified also.

According to esoteric philosophy when the element of earth, however tenuous, ultimately comes into objective existence at its atomic level, amongst its atoms are master atoms which comprise the noumena of the physical seeds. When at last the dense, solid condition is reached, the master atoms constitute those seeds from which the first organic growth occurs. The plant kingdom then becomes manifest, occupies a whole cycle, and continues its development in those which follow.

Just as the seed is in the fruit, so all seeds are present within the mother-substance from which everything is born. The statement that each plant yields fruit after its own kind simply refers to the divine order under which manifestation occurs. This order might be described as numerical law, abstract and everlasting, omnipotent and omnipresent, the supreme deific Power or creative Agency. Under this governing law the Elohim carry out their work of making manifest through the seven planes or divisions of matter the primary creative idea or archetype, which is the seed from which the whole universe is evolved.

These Intelligences make manifest the archetype or seed-thought under the absolute rule of numerical law, as we have seen. Though the whole order of the Elohim plays its part in all cycles and in all manifestation, one component order is predominant in each cycle according to its office and function. There are seven in all, and they are indirectly designated by their numbers and their “days” by the authors of Genesis.

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
( Gen. 1:14–19 )

The making of the first lights—sun, moon and stars—after the passage of three days and three nights and the creation of the plant kingdom (if such was the original statement) is clearly a chronological error. In the earliest available Hebrew original text, the words shemesh, “sun,” and iarech, “moon,” are not used. The abstract expression maoroth, “sources of enlightenment,” is the word employed. This suggests not only sources of physical light, but of mental and spiritual enlightenment also.

The five opening verses of the book of Genesis describe the production and appearance of the first cycle, that of light. This refers to the emergence of the finite from the Absolute, of cosmos from Chaos. The second creation of light referred to in verses fourteen through eighteen alludes to the appearance of suns in individual Solar Systems within the cosmos. Actually Schemes, Chains, and even Rounds are inextricably mixed up in this exoterically imperfect but nevertheless deeply esoteric cosmogony.

The appearance of the physical sun should come first in the account of the manifestation of a single Solar System. The suggestion of a moon to rule the night as the sun rules the day, and the later creation of the stars, is a relic and an adaptation from Chaldean astro-metaphysical esotericism. Indeed, this whole account of creation in Genesis is borrowed from Chaldea, where it was taught that sun, moon and stars were the physical bodies of great creative Intelligences of varying evolutionary stature in the esoteric hierarchy of the universe—the Dhyan Chohans (the divine Intelligences charged with the supervision of the cosmos) of Hinduism.

Elohim—Creative Intelligences

Thus intimately associated with the physical sun, moon and stars were and are great archangels. In the Zend-Avesta—the sacred books of the Parsees—they are referred to as Amshashpends, who are none other than types of the Sephiroth or Elohim. The Amshashpends are the seven Planetary Logoi, as well as the creative Hosts who carry out their will. There are six angels or divine Forces, personified as gods, who attend upon Ahura Mazda (the personified Deity, the principle of universal Divine Light of the Parsees), considered the synthesis and the seventh of these gods.

These archangels are the true creative Agents who take up their stations and carry out their functions in an ordered succession as the process of the production of the universe continues. It is these Beings who as directive Intelligences preside over Manvantaras or “days.”

The verses under consideration describe that synthesis of the elohistic Hosts who is the solar Logos, the spiritual Sun behind the physical orb. At the dawn of Creation the solar Logos, with a physical heart which is the visible sun, assumes the stations, superphysical and physical, at the center of the new Solar System, and through the Elohim rules over all Manvantaras, major and minor. Pralayas alternate with these Manvantaras, and throughout the periods of nonactivity members of a special order of the Elohim are said to contain and preserve within themselves all the seeds of life. Then, in the new cycle, these seeds are delivered to the solar Logos and the Elohim for further evolution. This constitutes part of the deeply esoteric mystery teaching allegorically revealed in the story of Noah and the Ark, and similar Flood legends.

The reference to the stars takes thought beyond a single Solar System, and may perhaps be regarded as indicating that similar processes are occurring universally during Maha-Manvantara (the major, total period of universal activity which includes numberless inner cycles, finite and conditioned, or minor periods of Manvantaras [TG]; also the period of the lifetime of a Planet during its seven Rounds [Occult Glossary—OG]). The whole of the cosmogony of Genesis, like all esoteric cosmogonies, refers primarily to the noumena or essential nature of universes, Solar Systems, Suns and Planets, as also to the planes and kingdoms of nature. These, as we have already seen, include their ensouling principles, which are made objectively manifest by great creative Intelligences, members of the Hosts of the Logos, the Numbers, the Lords of the Divine Face, the embodiments of formative Powers, Principles and Orders—the Elohim in the fullest meaning of the term.

The physical manifestation or outer appearance of nature in all her kingdoms refers to the material clothing or densified auras of these Mighty Ones. In esoteric cosmogony the true fashioners of universes according to the divine idea are these Beings, “the Fiery Lives” (Beings of the seventh and highest subdivision of the plane of matter, corresponding in the individual with the One Life of the universe, though only on that plane of matter—The Secret Doctrine [SD] 1:306, 3:125), major and minor. Their emergence, assumption of office and embarkation upon appropriate activity and function are of the most profound significance. They should be thought of not only as Beings with bodies and auras, but also as centers of power, life, consciousness and law. They, their radiance and their spheres of influence and activity, constitute the ensouling principle of every order of Creation, whether it be a universe, a solar system, a planet, a plane or a kingdom of nature.

In the Elohim, who constitute a vast hierarchy of spiritual Beings—Planetary and Solar Spirits or Dhyan Chohans—the illusion of self-separated existence as experienced by the human pre-initiate has entirely disappeared. An initiate undergoes a phychospirited transformation, attains realization of the oneness of all life and receives ceremonial admission to the greater Mysteries. A new evolutionary stage is reached. They know themselves for what they truly are—component centers of the Power, Life and Consciousness of the one synthesis of all Beings, the supreme directive Intelligence in nature, the Solar Logos. Thus, although referred to as the Hosts of the Logos, we have seen that the Elohim may also be described as a unity, a summation and a synthesis embracing and including all divine Intelligences charged with the supervision of cosmos.

This essential oneness of all spiritual Beings is the heart of esoteric philosophy and the key to all cosmogonies. Universes are the bodies and the auras of resplendent Beings. Humanity is on the evolutionary path, and the universe is the field of this evolution. Cosmological systems are designed in order to teach humanity to know both the current environment and its future activities in it. These activities will be to conceive, build and perfect universes with their suns, planets, planes and kingdoms of nature; for the human being is a pilgrim God and this is his or her destiny.

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
( Gen. 1:20–23 )

If restored to a correct chronological position, the emergence of fish, reptiles and, far later, birds from primeval slime would follow the production by nature of her plant kingdom. These verses record this process and, reducing description to an ascetic minimum, affirm the presence of procreative and self-productive powers.

Nature—Living Product of an Infinite Creative Potency

The instruction to be fruitful and multiply is of profound esoteric, as well as natural, significance. Nature is here shown to be what she really is, a self-perpetuating, living, conscious product of an infinite power now made finite. Both universal Spirit and universal substance noumenally and phenomenally possess and contain the fiery energy by which all things are made. This is the true, immanent Logos, omnipresent, all-pervading, inherent in both the Soul and the substance of the universe. When to the order of created things are added beings with the power of free motion, procreation becomes a consciously exercised power. The inherent reproductive capacity attains to conscious self-expression in the first creatures endowed with the power of motion, for movement is an attribute of the life-force. Locked up and held fast in the mineral, it is active there only against immense resistance. The production of molecular and chemical combinations, and therefore substances, within and from the one substance is its sole activity in the mineral kingdom of nature.

In the plant kingdom much freer motion occurs, and therefore far fuller activity. Sentiency as possessed by animals has, however, not yet been attained by the life-force in this mineral phase of its active manifestation. No allegorical command to create is therefore given to the plant kingdom, for no power of conscious response has yet been developed. The first animal forms do possess the power consciously to procreate, and may rightly be thus described in the text as receiving from the creative “Word” a verbal command to exercise it.

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
( Gen. 1:24–25 )

The land reptiles and later the mammalia followed the first denizens of water and air. Ultimately, as described in the verses which follow, the most significant event—the appearance of humans—occurs. Nature reaches her highest achievement in the production of human beings.