THEOSOPHY, Vol. 50, No. 2, December, 1961
(Pages 74-78; Size: 15K)
SPACE is the omnipresent Reality: impersonal, because it contains all and everything. In the occult catechism it is asked: What is that which always IS, which you cannot imagine as not being, do what you may? The answer is -- SPACE. For there may not be a single man in the universe to think of it, not a single eye to perceive it, nor a single brain to sense it, but still Space is, ever was, and ever will be, and you cannot make away with it. Try if you can to think of anything with Space excluded and you will soon find out the impossibility of such a conception. Space exists where there is nothing else, and must so exist whether the Universe is one absolute vacuum or a full Pleroma.
The fundamental Law in the Secret Doctrine system, the central point from which all emerged, around and toward which all gravitates, and upon which is hung the philosophy of all the rest, is the One homogeneous divine SUBSTANCE-PRINCIPLE, the one radical cause. It is called "Substance-Principle" for it becomes "substance" on the plane of the manifested Universe, an illusion, while it remains a "principle" in the beginningless and endless abstract, visible and invisible Space. Akasha, whose characteristic property and rudiment is sound (the "Word"), occupies the whole containment of Space. Akasha is the Universal Space in which lies inherent the eternal Ideation of the Universe in its ever-changing aspects on the planes of matter and objectivity, and from which radiates the First Logos, or expressed thought.
Space is indivisible Intelligence, not human. There is but one indivisible and absolute Omniscience and Intelligence in the Universe, and this thrills throughout every atom and infinitesimal point of the whole finite Kosmos which hath no bounds, and which people call Space, considered independently of anything contained in it. "Karana," eternal cause, alone is during the Nights of Brahma. The previous objective Universe has dissolved into one primal and eternal cause, and is, so to say, held in solution in space, to differentiate again and crystallize out anew at the following Manvantaric dawn, which is the commencement of a new "Day," or new activity of Brahmâ -- the symbol of the Universe.
Nature and Space are one. In the Rig Veda, Aditi, "the Boundless," or infinite Space, translated by Mr. Max Muller, "the visible infinite, visible to the naked eye (!); the endless expanse beyond the Earth, beyond the clouds, beyond the sky," is the equivalent of "Mother Space coeval with "Darkness." She is very properly called "The Mother of the gods," DEVA-MATRI, as it is from her Cosmic matrix that all the heavenly bodies of our system were born -- Sun and Planets.
Surrounding space is not an empty void, but a reservoir filled to repletion with the models of all things that ever were, that are, and that will be; and with beings of countless races, unlike our own. Would it be impertinent to surmise that perhaps our modern scientists -- hampered by the weight of their materialism and the insufficiency of what they name "the exact sciences" to demonstrate to them tangibly the existence of a spiritual universe, peopled and inhabited much more than our visible one -- are doomed forever to creep around inside that circle, unwilling, rather than unable, to penetrate beyond its enchanted ring and explore it in its length and breadth?
One has to understand the phraseology of Occultism before criticizing what it asserts. The Doctrine refuses (as Science does, in one sense) to use the words "above" and "below," "higher" and "lower," in reference to invisible spheres, as being without meaning. When "other worlds" are mentioned -- whether better or worse, more spiritual or still more material, though both invisible -- the Occultist does not locate these spheres either outside or inside our Earth, as the theologians and the poets do; for their location is nowhere in the space known to, and conceived by, the profane. They are, as it were, blended with our world -- interpenetrating it and interpenetrated by it. There are millions and millions of worlds and firmaments visible to us; there are still greater numbers beyond those visible to the telescopes, and many of the latter kind do not belong to our objective sphere of existence. Although as invisible as if they were millions of miles beyond our solar system, they are yet with us, near us, within our own world, as objective and material to their respective inhabitants as ours is to us.
Space is the eternal Parentless, Anupadaka. It is neither a "limitless void," nor a "conditioned fulness," but both: being, on the plane of absolute abstraction, the ever-incognizable Deity, which is void only to finite minds, 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. The Occultists say that the ONE ALL is like Space, which is its only mental and physical representation on this Earth, or our plane of existence, and is neither an object of nor a subject to perception. In his infinite conceit and inherent pride man shaped himself, with his own sacrilegious hand, out of the material he found in his own small brain fabric, the God of human dogma and his humanized "Word," and forced it upon mankind as a direct revelation from the one unrevealed Space.
The true Buddhist, recognizing no "personal god," or any "Father" and "Creator of Heaven and Earth," still believes in an absolute consciousness, "Adi-Buddha"; and the Buddhist philosopher knows that there are Planetary Spirits, the "Dhyan Chohans." If the Dhyan Chohans and all the invisible Beings -- the Seven Centers and their direct Emanations, the minor centers of Energy -- are the direct reflex of the One Light, yet men are far removed from these, since the whole of the visible Kosmos consists of "self-produced" beings, the creatures of Karma. Thus, regarding a personal God "as only a gigantic shadow thrown upon the void of space by the imagination of ignorant men," they teach that only "two things are (objectively) eternal, namely Akasha and Nirvana"; and that these are ONE in reality, and but a maya when divided. Buddhists deny creation and cannot conceive of a Creator. "Everything," says the Buddhist Catechism, "has come out of Akasha (or Svabhavat on our earth) in obedience to a law of motion inherent in it, and after a certain existence passes away. Nothing ever came out of nothing."
God is the symbolic conception of that which is Life and Motion of the Universe. From the beginning of man's inheritance, from the first appearance of the architects of the globe he lives on, the unrevealed Deity was recognized and considered under its only philosophical aspect, universal motion -- the thrill of the creative Breath in Nature. The one infinite and unknown Essence exists from all eternity, and in regular and harmonious successions is either passive or active.
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. ... The God of the Apostle-Initiate [Paul] and of the Rishis being both the unseen and the visible Space.
It is impossible to define Parabrahm. Once that we speak of that first something which can be conceived, it has to be treated as a feminine principle. In all cosmogonies the first differentiation was considered feminine. It is Mulaprakriti, "the Root of Nature," which conceals or veils Parabrahm. THAT, called the "Eternal Parent," is the Vedantic Mulaprakriti, and the Svabhavat of the Buddhists, or that androgynous something which means the Root of Nature or Matter and which is both differentiated and undifferentiated. In its first principle it is a pure abstraction, which becomes differentiated only when it is transformed, in the process of time, into Prakriti, or "Nature in general." If compared with the human principles, Mulaprakriti would correspond with Buddhi, while Atma corresponds to Parabrahm, Manas to Mahat, and so on.
Plato and Hermes Trismegistus would have regarded the "seven layers of Space" as the Divine Thought, and Aristotle would have viewed the "Seven-Skinned Mother-Father" as the "privation" of matter. It is that which becomes the seven planes of being, commencing with the spiritual and passing through the psychic to the material plane. The seven planes of thought or the seven states of consciousness correspond to these planes. All these septenaries are symbolized by the seven "Skins."
But Divine Thought cannot be defined, or its meaning explained, except by the numberless manifestations of Cosmic Substance in which the former is sensed spiritually by those who can do so. The Divine Mind is, and must be, before differentiation takes place. It is called the divine Ideation, which is eternal in its Potentiality and periodical in its Potency, when it becomes Mahat, Anima Mundi, or Universal Soul. But remember that, however you name it, each of these conceptions has its most metaphysical, most material, and also intermediate aspects.
The appearance and disappearance of the Universes are pictured as an outbreathing and inbreathing of the "Great Breath," which is eternal, and which, being Motion, is one of the three aspects of the Absolute -- Abstract Space and Duration being the other two. When the Great Breath is projected it is called the "Divine Breath," and is regarded as the breathing of the Unknowable Deity -- the One Existence -- which breathes out a thought, as it were, which becomes the Kosmos. So also it is when the Divine Breath is inspired again the Universe disappears into the bosom of "the Great Mother," who then sleeps "wrapped in her invisible robes."
The Occult Catechism contains the following questions and answers: What is it that ever is? Space, the eternal Anupadaka (Parentless). What is it that ever was? The Germ in the Root (Mulaprakriti). What is it that is ever coming and going? The Great Breath. Then, there are three Eternals? 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.
When Fohat is said to produce "Seven Laya Centers," it means that for formative purposes, the GREAT LAW (Theists may call it "God") stops, or rather modifies its perpetual motion on seven invisible points within the area of the manifested Universe. "The Great Breath digs through Space seven holes into Laya to cause them to circumgyrate during Manvantara," says the Occult Catechism.
The Great Breath is ceaseless, and is, so to speak, the universal and eternal perpetuum mobile. There is a magnificent poem on the Pralaya, written by a very ancient Rishi, which compares the motion of the Great Breath during Pralaya to the rhythmical motions of the Unconscious Ocean. During Pralaya everything that has differentiated, as every unit, disappears from the phenomenal universe and is merged in, or rather transferred into, the One noumenal. Pralaya is dissolution of the visible into the invisible, the heterogeneous into the homogeneous -- a time of rest. Even cosmic matter, indestructible though it is in its essence, must have a time of rest, and return to its Layam state. The absoluteness of the all-containing One essence has to manifest itself equally in rest and activity.
COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:
THE FIFTH ELEMENT
Raimond Lully's views were a rationalistic mysticism. His doctrine stipulates that the thing which God created was what he calls "argent vive" (argentum vivum, quicksilver, mercury), and that this original matter gave rise to all other things. The finest part formed the bodies of the angels, a less fine part the heavenly spheres, stars and planets, and the coarsest formed the terrestrial bodies. But in the terrestrial bodies part of this "argent vive" became the four elements earth, water, air and fire, but a part remained as a fifth element, the quintessence. Thus, in every body there was some stuff akin to the heavenly bodies, and it was through this material that the heavenly bodies could bring about the changes of generation and corruption. The activity of the body abode in the quintessence, and alchemy was a process dealing with this fifth element and multiplying the activity of it.
--F. SHERWOOD TAYLOR
SPACE--DEITY AND PLENUM
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