Diagram from the Secret Doctrine (figure 27) of the globes of the planetary chain, with their rounds and races (Vol. I., p. 221, new ed.), compared with and explained by the system of the zodiac. (Figure 28.)
* The Arûpa, or “Formless”, there where form ceases to exist, on the objective plane.
† The word “Archetypal” must not be taken here in the sense that the Platonists give to it,i. e., the world as it existed in the Mind of the Deity; but in that of a World made as a first model, to be followed and improved upon by the Worlds which succeed it physically, though deteriorating in purity.
‡ These are the four lower planes of Cosmic Consciousness, the three higher planes being inaccessible to human intellect as developed at present. The seven states of human consciousness pertain to quite another question.
The hierarchy of creative powers is divided esoterically into seven (four and three), within the twelve great orders, recorded in the twelve signs of the zodiac; the seven of the manifesting scale being connected, moreover, with the seven planets. All these are subdivided into numberless groups of divine, spiritual, semi-spiritual and ethereal beings.
—The Secret Doctrine.
|Vol. 4||DECEMBER, 1906.||No. 3|
|Copyright, 1906, by H. W. PERCIVAL.|
IN the articles on the zodiac in the October and November issues of The Word mention was made of the superior merit of the “Secret Doctrine” as a work on cosmogony, philosophy, religion, the racial development of man, and the worlds in which he lives. The teachings of the “Secret Doctrine” may be more easily understood by a system. The zodiac furnishes this system. We believe, in fact, that the “Secret Doctrine” was written according to the system of the zodiac, as indeed every work must be written which intelligently deals with the subjects of theogony, cosmogony, or of occultism.
In the October article was given a general outline of the teachings of the “Secret Doctrine” concerning a manvantara with its seven rounds, and of the seven races of each round, and how they all may be understood with the key of the zodiac in relation to Consciousness.
In the last (November) issue of The Word the attempt was made to outline the development of the races in the three rounds preceding our present fourth round, and to correlate extracts from the “Secret Doctrine” with the key of the zodiac.
The present article deals with the development of the races in this our present fourth round as given in the “Secret Doctrine,” and according to the key of the zodiac.
It will be remembered that there are stationary and movable signs of the zodiac. The stationary signs are in the order in which we know them to be—from aries (♈︎), at the top of the circle by way of cancer (♋︎) to libra (♎︎) at the bottom of the circle, and from libra (♎︎) to aries (♈︎) again, by way of capricorn (♑︎). Each sign stands for the manifesting round when it is in the stationary sign of cancer (♋︎), and at the completion of the round, at capricorn (♑︎), it passes up one sign on the circle. Aries (♈︎), taurus (♉︎), gemini (♊︎), represent the three rounds preceding our present fourth round, cancer (♋︎). The movable sign of our fourth round is now cancer, and coincides with and is in the stationary sign of cancer (♋︎). It will also be remembered that the densest body developed in the all-conscious first round (♈︎) was the breath body; the body developed in the second round (♉︎), motion, was the life body, and that the form (or astral) body was the most compact body developed in the third round (♊︎), substance.
In the Proem of the first volume of the “Secret Doctrine” a synopsis of the seven stanzas is given on pages 48, 49 and 50.
Stanza I. clearly points to the first round; Stanza II. speaks of the second round; Stanza III. describes the third round, showing the duality of substance and its differentiations.
The following describes some phases of the first three rounds which are now symbolized by aries (♈︎), taurus (♉︎), gemini (♊︎):
Vol. I., p.279.
Thus, in the first round, the globe, having been built by the primitive fire lives, i. e., formed into a sphere—had no solidity, no qualifications, save a cold brightness, no form, no color; it is only towards the end of the first round that it developed one element, which, from its inorganic, so to say, or simple essence, has become now, in our round, the fire we know throughout the system. The earth was in her first rupa, the essence of which is the akashic principle named ***, that which is now known as, and very erroneously termed, astral light, which Eliphas Levi calls the “Imagination of Nature,” probably to avoid giving it its correct name, as others do.
Vol. I., pp. 280-281.
The second round brings into manifestation the second element—air; an element, the purity of which would ensure continuous life to him who would use it. In Europe there have been two occultists only who have discovered and even partially applied it in practice, though its composition has always been known among the highest Eastern initiates. The ozone of the modern chemists is poison compared with the real universal solvent, which could never be thought of unless it existed in nature.
From the second round, earth—hitherto a foetus in the matrix of space—began its real existence: it had developed individual sentient life, its second principle. The second corresponds to the sixth (principle); the second is life continuous, the other, temporary.
The third round developed the third principle—water; while the fourth transformed the gaseous fluids and plastic form of our globe into the hard, crusted, grossly material sphere we are living on. Bhumi has reached her fourth principle. To this it may be objected that the law of analogy, so much insisted upon, is broken. Not at all. Earth will reach her true ultimate form—her body shell—inversely in this to man, only toward the end of the manvantara, after the seventh round. Eugenius Philalethes was right when he assured his readers, “on his word of honor,” that no one has yet seen the “earth,” i. e., matter in its essential form. Our globe is, so far, in its kamarupic state—the astral body of desires of ahamkara, dark egotism, the progeny of mahat, on the lower plane.
Vol. I., p. 273.
The centres of consciousness of the third round, destined to develop into humanity as we know it, arrived at a perception of the third element, water. If we had to frame our conclusions according to the data furnished us by geologists, then we would say that there was no real water, even during the carboniferous period.
Vol. I., p. 273.
Those of the fourth round have added earth as a state of matter to their stock, as well as the three other elements in their present state of transformation.
In short, none of the so-called elements were, in the three preceding rounds, as they are now.
Vol. I., p. 271.
The general teaching of the commentary, then, is that every new round develops one of the compound elements, as now known to science, which rejects the primitive nomenclature, preferring to subdivide them into constituents. If nature is the “ever-becoming” on the manifested plane, then these elements are to be regarded in the same light; they have to evolve, progress, and increase to the manvantaric end.
Thus the first round, we are taught, developed but one element, and a nature and humanity in what may be spoken of as one aspect of nature—called by some, very unscientifically, though it may be so de facto, “one-dimensional space.”
The second round brought forth and developed two elements, fire and air, and its humanity, adapted to this condition of nature, if we can give the name humanity to beings living under conditions now unknown to men, was—to use again a familiar phrase in a strictly figurative sense, the only way in which it can be used correctly—a “two-dimensional” species.
Vol. I., p. 272.
We now return to the consideration of material evolution through the rounds. Matter in the second round, it has been stated, may be figuratively referred to as two-dimensional.
In the all-conscious first round the whole ideal pattern of all the seven rounds was worked out. As each race of the first round was developed it became the ideal for the respective rounds to follow. The aries (♈︎) race was the ideal for the first (♈︎) round itself. The taurus (♉︎) race was the ideal of the entire second round. The gemini (♊︎) race was the ideal of the third round, and the cancer (♋︎) race of this first round was the ideal of the fourth round. So this sign (♋︎) now begins the fourth round, as the dominant sign of the round, and also the first root race of the round.
Vol. I., p. 253.
Now every round, on the descending scale, is but a repetition in a more concrete form of the round which preceded it, just as every globe, down to our fourth sphere the actual earth, is a grosser and more material copy of the more shadowy sphere which precedes it, each in order, on the three higher planes. On its way upwards, on the ascending arc, evolution spiritualizes and etherealizes, so to speak, the general nature of all, bringing it on to a level with the plane on which the twin globe on the opposite arc is placed; the result being, that when the seventh globe is reached, in whatever round, the nature of everything that is evolving returns to the condition it was in at its starting point—plus, every time, a new and superior degree in the states of consciousness. Thus it becomes clear that the “origin of man,” so-called, in this our present round, or life-cycle, on this planet, must occupy the same place in the same order—save details based on local conditions and time—as in the preceding round.
Figure 29 represents the fourth round, with its seven root races and the seven sub-races; the figure is divided by the usual horizontal line—the line of manifestation. The upper half of the figure represents the “pralaya,” or period of rest between manvantaras, rounds, races down to the infinitesimally small periods of time. The lower half of the figure symbolizes the manifestation of the fourth round, the planes on which it manifests, the root races, together with the seven sub-races of each root race. The figure illustrates how the zodiac can be seen in the small or in the great. The microscopic cell is constructed on the plan of the zodiac, as well as is the great Kosmos. Each has its signs denoting its periods, called manvantaras and pralayas, activity and rest, creation and destruction, all names by which the idea of the great duality is spoken of.
The entire figure outlines the progression of the round by its races and sub-races. Cancer (♋︎) begins the round. At this sign is seen a smaller zodiac, which is divided by the line of the manifestation of the round. This little zodiac represents the entire first root race, with its seven sub-races.
The first sub-race begins at the sign cancer (♋︎), breath; the second sub-race is indicated by the sign leo (♌︎), life; the third sub-race is distinguished by the sign virgo (♍︎), form; the fourth sub-race is determined by the sign libra (♎︎), sex; the fifth sub-race is represented by the sign scorpio (♏︎), desire; the sixth sub-race will be characterized by the sign sagittary, (♐︎), thought; the seventh sub-race is to be identified by the sign capricorn (♑︎), individuality.
As each sub-race of each of the seven root races develops individuality in the sign capricorn (♑︎), the race cycle closes and the sub-race passes into the upper half of the circle, which symbolizes the racial pralaya of the fourth round. It must be remembered, however, that the first root race is a spiritual race, and not even its most material, the fourth, sub-race is to be compared to our physical bodies except by analogy; that the progression of the first root race furnishes the ideal plan only of the entire round, which plan is not worked out and completed until the end of the seventh root race. The first root race has not died, nor will it die, because it was of the first round. Nor will any of the races of the first round die, because they furnish the ideal and type of their respective rounds throughout the great manvantara. The first race of our fourth round was the fourth race of the first round.
The cycle of the involution of the first three races is along the descending arc of the circle to the lowest development, pivot, balance, turning point of the round, which is in libra (♎︎), sex, the fourth race. Then the cycle turns and evolves on the ascending arc of the circle. As libra (♎︎), sex, is the pivot and balance of the round, it is alone on its own plane, and must complete itself on its own plane. Not so with the other races.
The fifth root race is the complement of the third root race, and both are on the same plane. But, whereas the third race man is involving into sex, the fifth race man is or should be evolving through and from sex to his original condition of the third race in this our fourth round. According to evolutionary law, there should be dual sexed tribal and family races in this our present fifth sub-race of the Aryan, fifth, root race. However, the sex desire has been so strong in the mind and body of man that he has tarried beyond the lawful time in the sign of sex. The consequence is that not only is he holding back his own racial evolution, but also the evolution of the animals, and he will be compelled by all manner of diseases to go on. Man can only stay the progression of evolution for a time. The race which is now forming in America will be the sixth family race, sagittary (♐︎), of the fifth sub-race, scorpio (♏︎), of the Aryan fifth root race, scorpio (♏︎), which root race, according to the “Secret Doctrine,” began in Asia.
The following extract from Vol. I. deals with our present fourth round, as do also Stanzas IV., V., VI. and VII.:
Vol. I., pp. 49, 50.
Stanza IV. shows the differentiation of the “germ” of the universe into the septenary hierarchy of conscious divine powers, which 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 Doctrine.
This stage of evolution is spoken of in Hindu mythology as the “creation of the gods.”
Stanza V. describes the process of world-formation. First, diffused cosmic matter, then the “fiery whirlwind,” the first stage in the formation of a nebula. This nebula condenses, and after passing through various transformations, forms a Solar Universe, a planetary chain, or a single planet, as the case may be.
Stanza VI. indicates the subsequent stages in the formation of a “world,” and 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 above outlines indicate the fourth round, the septenary hierarchy spoken of represented by the signs of the zodiac from cancer (♋︎) to capricorn (♑︎) in the lower half of the circle.
The dhyan chohans are seven. They are the intelligences at the heads of the hierarchies represented by these signs. The stage of evolution at cancer is spoken of as the “creation of the gods,” because it is at this sign, which not only represents the fourth round, but also the first race of the fourth round, that these parents of humanity emanate the form-bodies of their respective races and watch over the forms until the forms are sufficiently developed. Then some of the “gods” incarnate into the bodies developed and carry on the evolution; others wait, and some refuse to incarnate.
The following describes the first stage of the world’s formation in the fourth round, and also that of the first race in the fourth round:
Vol. I., pp. 141, 142.
Stanza V. sloka 3. He is their guiding spirit and leader. When he commences work he separates the sparks of the lower kingdom, that float and thrill with joy in their radiant dwellings, and forms therewith the germs of wheels. He places them in the six directions of space, and one in the middle—the central wheel.
“Wheels,” as already explained, are the centres of force, around which primordial cosmic matter expands, and, passing through all the six stages of consolidation, becomes spheroidal and ends by being transformed into globes or spheres. It is one of the fundamental dogmas of esoteric cosmogony, that during the kalpas (or aeons) of life, motion, which, during the periods of rest, “pulsates and thrills through every slumbering atom”—assumes an evergrowing tendency, from the first awakening of kosmos to a new “day,” to circular movement. “The deity becomes a whirlwind.” It may be asked, as the writer has not failed to ask: Who is there to ascertain the difference in that motion, since all nature is reduced to its primal essence, and there can be no one—not even one of the dhyani-chohans, who are all in nirvana—to see it? The answer to this is: EVERYTHING IN NATURE HAS TO BE JUDGED BY ANALOGY.
Vol. I., p. 144.
STANZA V., SLOKA 4. FOHAT TRACES SPIRAL LINES TO UNITE THE SIXTH TO THE SEVENTH—THE CROWN (a). AN ARMY OF THE SONS OF LIGHT STANDS AT EACH ANGLE; THE LIPIKA, IN THE MIDDLE WHEEL. THEY SAY: “THIS IS GOOD.” THE FIRST DIVINE WORLD IS READY; THE FIRST, THE SECOND. THEN THE “DIVINE ARUPA” REFLECTS ITSELF IN CHHAYA LOKA, THE FIRST GARMENT OF ANUPADAKA.
(a) This tracing of “spiral lines” refers to the evolution of man’s as well as of nature’s principles; an evolution which takes place gradually, as does everything else in nature. The sixth principle in man (buddhi, the divine soul), though a mere breath in our conception, is still something material when compared with divine spirit (atma), of which it is the carrier or vehicle. Fohat, in his capacity of divine love (eros), the electric power of affinity and sympathy, is shown, allegorically, trying to bring the pure spirit, the ray inseparable from the one absolute, into union with the soul, the two constituting in man the monad, and in nature the first link between the ever-unconditioned and the manifested. “The first is now the second (world)”—of the lipikas—has reference to the same.
Vol. I., pp. 154, 155.
Moreover, in occult metaphysics, there are, properly speaking, two “Ones”—the One on the unreachable plane of absoluteness and infinity, on which no speculation is possible; and the second One on the plane of emanations. The former can neither emanate nor be divided, as it is eternal, absolute, and immutable; but the second, being, so to speak, the reflection of the first One (for it is the Logos, or Ishvara, in the universe of illusion) can do so. It emanates from itself—as the upper sephirothal triad emanates the lower seven sephiroth—the seven rays or dhyan chohans; in other words, the homogeneous becomes the heterogeneous, the protyle differentiates into the elements. But these, unless they return into their primal element, can never cross beyond the laya, or zero-point.
The following, Stanza VI., describes the consolidation of the earth, and also the physical body of man in the third race of the fourth round:
Vol. I., pp. 168, 169.
STANZA VI., SLOKA 4. HE BUILDS THEM IN THE LIKENESS OF OLDER WHEELS, PLACING THEM ON THE IMPERISHABLE CENTRES (a).
HOW DOES FOHAT BUILD THEM? HE COLLECTS THE FIERY-DUST. HE MAKES BALLS OF FIRE, RUNS THROUGH THEM, AND ROUND THEM, INFUSING LIFE THEREINTO, THEN SETS THEM INTO MOTION; SOME ONE WAY, SOME THE OTHER WAY. THEY ARE COLD, HE MAKES THEM HOT. THEY ARE DRY, HE MAKES THEM MOIST. THEY SHINE, HE FANS AND COOLS THEM. THUS ACTS FOHAT FROM ONE TWILIGHT TO THE OTHER, DURING SEVEN ETERNITIES.
(a) The worlds are built “in the likeness of older wheels”—i. e., of those that had existed in preceding manvantaras and went into pralaya; for the law for the birth, growth, and decay of everything in kosmos, from the sun to the glow-worm in the grass, is One. There is an everlasting work of perfection with every new appearance, but the substance-matter and forces are all one and the same. And this law acts on every planet through minor and varying laws.
The “imperishable (laya) centres” have a great importance, and their meaning must be fully understood, if we would have a clear conception of the archaic cosmogony, whose theories have now passed into occultism. At present, one thing may be stated. The worlds are built neither upon, nor over, nor in the laya centres, the zero-point being a condition, not a mathematical point.
By the “imperishable laya centers” is meant the states or conditions by which one kind or grade of matter passes into and becomes another kind or grade of matter. An appearance on one plane of matter must come from another plane through a laya center, which is the condition neutral to and between both planes. There are seven such laya centers. The seven laya centers are neutral to and allow an interchange or circulation between the worlds, the principles, the forces, the elements, the senses, the bodies, and even the seven constituents of the body of man. All of this applies to the seven signs of the zodiac of the lower half of the circle.
Stanza VII. indicates the history of the earth, and also of man, to the fourth race. The above quotations show:
First—That the first three stanzas describe the first three rounds, which are symbolized by the first three signs of the zodiac.
Second—That Stanza IV. describes the fourth round only, and particularly the first race of our fourth round, which prescribes the laws governing the round.
Third—That Stanzas V., VI. and VII. describe the second, third and fourth periods in the development of the earth and of man, which is only as far as the round has gone, and that these periods are symbolized by the signs leo (♌︎), virgo (♍︎), libra (♎︎) and scorpio (♏︎).
The above extracts not only show the previous developments of the human race, but they indicate the manner in which man comes into the world at present; that is to say, from the time that he first begins to clothe himself with astral matter, the development of the foetus which is being prepared for him, and his final incarnation at birth. In this connection we would point out that Stanza IV. indicates the ego or egos which are to incarnate. This is known through the sign cancer (♋︎), breath. Stanza V. shows the projection of the spark at conception and the beginning of the formation of the foetus. This is known by and through the sign leo (♌︎), life. Stanza VI. outlines the further development of the foetus, the period at which its sex is determined, which, as described, was accomplished in the third race, and is understood by and through the sign virgo (♍︎), form. Stanza VII. describes the completion of the foetus and its final birth into the world as a being of sex. This is shown by the sign libra (♎︎), sex.
The above first, second and third races indicate the development of the first three rounds. More details concerning the development of the races are given in the extracts, but we should not fail to keep in mind the signs of the zodiac as we proceed.
The following continues the history of the second stage in the formation of our earth, the history of the second race, and of foetal development:
Vol. I., p. 183.
5. Every life cycle on globe D (our earth) is composed of seven root-races. They commence with the ethereal and end with the spiritual; on the double line of physical and moral evolution—from the beginning of the terrestrial round to its close. One is a “planetary round” from globe A to globe G, the seventh; the other, the “globe round,” or the terrestrial.
6. The first root-race, i. e., the first “men” on earth (irrespective of form), were the progeny of the “celestial men,” rightly called in Indian philosophy the “lunar ancestors” or the pitris, of which there are seven classes or hierarchies.
Figure 27 is given in the “Secret Doctrine” in Vol. I., page 221. It symbolizes the planetary chain of globes, and also the root races. Beside it, Figure 28, the same is given with the key of the signs of the zodiac.
Vol. I., p. 221.
These seven planes correspond to the seven states of consciousness in man. It remains with him to attune the three higher states in himself to the three higher planes in kosmos. But before he can attempt to attune, he must awaken the three “seats” to life and activity.
The following is from the commentary on Stanza VII., Sloka 1:
Vol. I., p. 233.
(♈︎) The hierarchy of creative powers is divided esoterically into seven (four and three), within the twelve great orders, recorded in the twelve signs of the zodiac; the seven of the manifesting scale being connected, moreover, with the seven planets. All these are subdivided into numberless groups of divine spiritual, semi-spiritual, and ethereal beings.
Vol. I., p. 234.
The highest group is composed of the divine flames, so-called, also spoken of as the “fiery lions” and the “lions of life,” whose esotericism is securely hidden in the zodiacal sign of leo. It is the nucleole of the superior divine world. They are the formless fiery breaths, identical in one aspect with the upper sephirothal triad, which is placed by the kabalists in the archetypal world.
The above will explain that the four principles of man, with three aspects, are indicated by the signs aries (♈︎) to libra (♎︎). Aries (♈︎) represents the changeless, immutable principle and the all-inclusive Absolute; taurus (♉︎), motion, represents atma; gemini (♊︎), substance, stands for buddhi, and cancer (♋︎), breath, symbolizes manas. These are the four basic principles which have, as elsewhere stated, been passed through in the three preceding rounds. To perfect the fourth of these, manas, is the work of this fourth round.
The three aspects are the three lower principles, which are the vehicles of the principle manas, which we are now concerned with. Of these leo (♌︎), life, is the principle prana which formed the lowest body developed in the second round, and the development of which the second race was concerned with. Virgo (♍︎), form, is the linga sharira, or astral body, which was the body developed in the third round, and which formed the bodies of our third race humanity in our present fourth round. This third race included the sign scorpio (♏︎), desire, as the dual sex beings of the early third race represented the two principles, desire and form, in one—desire-form.
Libra (♎︎), sex, is the physical body, in which sign and body are included both the principles or functions of virgo (form) and scorpio (desire).
The mention of “the seven in the manifesting scale” refers to the seven root races which make up our present fourth round, and which, as has been heretofore shown, are represented by the signs below the horizontal line, which is the line of manifestation. In the planetary chain of globes, libra corresponds to our earth. The three signs on either side of libra represent the six companion globes, and, with libra, make up the earth chain. Each of these globes or signs is related to one of the planets which make up our solar system proper. This is set forth in Figures 27, 28, 29.
The following extract will give further information concerning the planetary chain:
Vol. I., pp. 252, 253.
“ * * * * * by a round is meant the serial evolution of nascent material nature, of the seven globes of our chain, with their mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms; man being included in the latter and standing at the head of it, during the whole period of a life-cycle, which latter would be called by the Brahmans a “day of Brahma.” It is, in short, one revolution of the “wheel” (our planetary chain), which is composed of seven globes, or seven separate “wheels,” in another sense, this time. When evolution has run downward into matter from globe A to globe G, it is one round. In the middle of the fourth revolution, which is our present round, “evolution has reached its acme of physical development, crowned its work with the perfect physical man, and, from this point, begins its work spirit-ward.”
Vol. I., pp. 285, 286, 287.
STANZA VII., SLOKA 6. FROM THE FIRST-BORN, THE THREAD BETWEEN THE SILENT WATCHER AND HIS SHADOW BECOMES MORE STRONG AND RADIANT WITH EVERY CHANGE. THE MORNING SUNLIGHT HAS CHANGED INTO NOON-DAY GLORY. . . . .
This sentence, “the thread between the silent watcher and his shadow (man) becomes more strong with every change,” is another psychological mystery, that will find its explanation in Volume II. For the present, it will suffice to say that the “watcher” and his “shadows”—the latter numbering as many as there are reincarnations for the monad—are one. The watcher, or the divine prototype, is at the upper rung of the ladder of being; the shadow, at the lower. Withal, the monad of every living being, unless his moral turpitude breaks the connection, and he runs loose and astray into the “lunar path”—to use the occult expression—is an individual dhyan chohan, distinct from others, with a kind of spiritual individuality of its own, during one special manvantara. Its primary, the spirit (atman), is one, of course, with the one universal spirit (paramatma), but the vehicle (vahan) it is enshrined in, the buddhi, is part and parcel of that dhyan-chohanic essence; and it is in this that lies the mystery of that ubiquity, which was discussed a few pages back. “My father, that is in heaven, and I—are one,” says the Christian scripture; and in this, at any rate, it is the faithful echo of the esoteric tenet.
The following seventh and last sloka of the seventh and last stanza of the first volume of the “Secret Doctrine” gives the summary of the history of man up to his present state and a prophecy of the future:
Vol. I., p. 286.
STANZA VII., SLOKA 7. “THIS IS THY PRESENT WHEEL”—SAID THE FLAME TO THE SPARK. “THOU ART MYSELF, MY IMAGE AND MY SHADOW. I HAVE CLOTHED MYSELF IN THEE, AND THOU ARE MY VAHAN, TO THE DAY ‘BE WITH US,’ WHEN THOU SHALT RE-BECOME MYSELF AND OTHERS, THYSELF AND I.” (A). THEN THE BUILDERS, HAVING DONNED THEIR FIRST CLOTHING, DESCEND ON RADIANT EARTH AND REIGN OVER MEN—WHO ARE THEMSELVES.
(a) The day when the spark will re-become the flame, when man will merge into his dhyan chohan, “myself and others, thyself and I,” as the stanza has it, means that in paranirvana—when pralaya will have reduced not only material and psychical bodies, but even the spiritual egos, to their original principle—the past, present, and even future humanities, like all things, will be one and the same. Everything will have re-entered the great breath. In other words, everything will be “merged in Brahman,” or the divine the unity.
This sloka is the poetical synopsis of the preceding racial development, which also gives in miniature the history of the preceding rounds. It shows that the progenitors of early humanity have watched the development of early humanity during all the races and their cycles, until finally some have descended and taken up their abode in the dwellings provided. That from the lowest plane to the absolute Self there runs an unbroken line or chain of communication. The lowest body which is now created is the “present wheel,” the physical body of man, into which the divine flame, the Higher Self, has projected a spark. This physical body, with its higher principles, will be the “vahan,” or vehicle, until it has been so perfected that the divine flame itself will descend into it like a pillar of fire, surrounding it with an aureole of glory and light, when the matter of which this poor physical body is composed will have been raised to a higher state in future kalpas to the day “be ‘ with us.’ ”
The following closes the commentary on the stanzas of the first volume of the “Secret Doctrine”:
Vol. I., pp. 288, 289.
Thus proceed the cycles of the septenary evolution, in seven-fold nature; the spiritual or divine, the psychic or semi-divine; the intellectual; the passional, the instinctual, or cognitional; the semi-corporeal; and the purely material or physical natures. All these evolve and progress cyclically, passing from one into another, in a double centrifugal and centripetal, way, one in their ultimate essence, seven in their aspects. The lowest, of course, is that depending upon and subservient to our five physical senses, which are in truth seven, as shown later, on the authority of the oldest Upanishads. Thus far, for individual, human, sentient, animal and vegetable life, each the microcosm of its higher macrocosm. The same for the universe, which manifests periodically, for purposes of the collective progress of the countless lives, the outbreathings of the One Life; in order that, through the ever-becoming, every cosmic atom in this infinite universe, passing from the formless and the intangible, through the mixed natures of the semi-terrestrial, down to matter in full generation, and then back again, reascending at each new period higher and nearer the final goal; that each atom, we say, may reach, through individual merits and efforts, that plane where it re-becomes the One Unconditioned All. But between the alpha and the omega there is the weary “road,” hedged in by thorns, that goes down first, then—
Winds up hill all the way;
Yes, to the very end. . . . .
Starting upon the long journey immaculate, descending more and more into sinful matter, and having connected himself with every atom in manifested space—the pilgrim, having struggled through, and suffered in, every form of life and being, is only at the bottom of the valley of matter, and half through his cycle, when he has identified himself with collective humanity. This, he has made in his own image. In order to progress upwards and homewards, the “God” has now to ascend the weary uphill path of the golgotha of life. It is the martyrdom of self-conscious existence. Like Vishvakarman, he has to sacrifice himself to himself, in order to redeem all creatures, to resurrect from the many into the One Life. Then he ascends into heaven indeed; where, plunged into the incomprehensible absolute being and bliss of paranirvana, he reigns unconditionally, and whence he will re-descend again, at the next “coming” which one portion of humanity expects in its dead-letter sense as the “second-advent,” and the other as the last “Kalki Avatara.”