THEOSOPHY, Vol. 43, No. 12, October, 1955
(Pages 549-554; Size: 18K)

THE WORLD SOUL(1)

THE Egg was incorporated as a sacred sign or symbol in the cosmogony of every people on the earth, and was revered for both its form and its inner mystery. From the earliest mental conceptions of man, it was known as that which represents most successfully the origin and secret of being. The gradual development of the imperceptible germ within the closed shell; the inward working, without any apparent outward interference of force, which from a latent nothing produced an active something, needing naught save heat; and which having gradually evolved into a concrete, living creature, broke its shell, appearing to the outward senses of all a self-generated and self-created being -- this must have been a standard miracle from the beginning. The Vishnu Purana relates allegorically: "Intellect (Mahat) ... the (unmanifested) gross elements inclusive, formed an egg ... and the lord of the universe himself abided in it, in the character of Brahma. In that egg, O Brahman, were the continents, and seas and mountains, the planets and divisions of the universe, the gods, the demons and mankind."

All proceeds and evolves from primordial matter, considered in the shape of that which is comprehensible to human intellect, the "Mundane Egg." In the Katakopanishad, Purusha, the divine spirit, already stands before the original matter, "from whose union springs the great soul of the world," Maha-Atma, Brahma, the Spirit of Life. All of these are identical with Anima Mundi, or the Universal Soul -- the "Egg of Darkness." The Egg is also the great Circle. The point and the circle signifies really the point and the sphere. "It is the point in the Mundane Egg, the germ within the latter which will become the universe ... this germ being latent and active, periodically and by turns." The point (germ, or nucleus) is the focus, both radiant and reflective of an Akashic or ethereal sphere. Within that sphere there may be forms, both actual and potential, manifest and unmanifest; also radiant energies which in like manner are both manifest and unmanifest. The point, "a nucleus of Mother substance," is the heart and the matrix of all the living and existing Forces in our solar universe. It is the Kernel from which proceed, to spread on their cyclic journeys, all the Powers that set in action the atoms in their functional duties, and the focus within which they again meet in their SEVENTH ESSENCE every eleventh year.

Geometry, of all sciences the only one which proceeds from universals to particulars, was precisely the method employed by Plato in his philosophy. The cosmological theory of numerals which Pythagoras learned from the Egyptian hierophants is alone able to reconcile the two units, spirit and matter, and cause each to demonstrate the other mathematically. The sacred numerals of the universe in their esoteric combination solve the great problem and explain the theory of radiation and the cycle of emanations. It is taught that every cosmogony began with a circle, a point, a triangle, and a cube, up to the number nine, when it was synthesized by the first line and a circle. The latter, the Pythagorean mystic Decade (10, or line and circle), summed all, involved and expressed the mysteries of the entire Kosmos. It is allegorically the Egg breaking in two, "the shell becoming the heaven, the meat in the egg the earth, the white forming the terrestrial waters." Again, "the Egg gives birth to the four Elements within the fifth, Ether, and is covered with seven coverings, which become later on the seven upper and the seven lower worlds."

Much space in The Secret Doctrine is given to the four Elements. Whence came they? Their symbols, when traced to their source are ever one and the same. The Elements of Plato and Aristotle were the incorporeal principles attached to the four great divisions of our cosmic world. They are potencies, Forces; hierarchies which have been classified on a graduated scale of seven from the ponderable to the imponderable. "These hierarchies of Forces are Septenary -- not as an artificial aid to facilitate their comprehension -- but in their real cosmic graduation, from their chemical (or physical) to their purely spiritual composition. With the hermetic philosopher they are Forces relatively 'blind,' or 'intelligent,' according to which principles in them he deals with. It required long millenniums before they found themselves, in our cultured age, finally degraded into simple chemical elements."

"The abodes of Fohat (Force, Cosmic Energy) are many. He places his four fiery (electro-positive) Sons in the 'Four Circles'." These Circles, it is explained, are the equator, the ecliptic, and the tropics (parallels of declination) -- to preside over the climates of which are placed the "Four mystical Entities." Primordial substance, before it emerges from the plane of the never-manifesting, and awakens to the thrill of action under the impulse of Fohat, is but a "cool Radiance, colorless, formless, tasteless, and devoid of every quality and aspect." Even such are her first-born, the "four sons," who "are one, and become Seven." These are the Entities by whose qualifications and names the ancient Eastern Occultists called the four of the seven primal "centres of Forces," or atoms, that later develop into the great Cosmic "Elements," now divided into the sub-elements known to science.

The "Four Maharajas" or great Kings of the Dhyan Chohans preside each over one of the four cardinal points. Belief in the Four Maharajas was universal. They are the Regents or Angels (hierarchical Forces) who rule at the "Angles" -- over the cosmical Forces of North, South, East and West -- each having a distinct occult property. The ancients never worshipped the Elements and the cardinal (imaginary) points, but the "gods" that ruled these respectively -- the incorporeal principles placed at each of the four great divisions of our cosmical world to supervise them. These BEINGS are connected with Karma, as the latter needs physical and material agents to carry out her decrees, such as the four kinds of winds, for instance, professedly admitted by science to have their respective evil and beneficent influences upon the health of Mankind and every living thing. There is an occult philosophy in that Roman Catholic doctrine which traces the various public calamities such as epidemics from disease, and wars, and so on, to the invisible "Messengers" from North and West. It is not the "Rector" or "Maharajah" who punishes or rewards, with or without "God's" permission or order, but man himself -- his deeds or karma, attracting individually and collectively (as in the case of whole nations sometimes), every kind of evil and calamity: We produce CAUSES, and these awaken the corresponding powers in the sidereal world; which powers are magnetically and irresistibly attracted to, and react upon, those who produced these causes. This, whether such persons are practically evil-doers, or simply Thinkers who brood mischief.

"An army of the Sons of Light stands at each Angle and the Lipika in the middle Wheel. Each leads an army of spiritual beings to protect mankind. ..." The four celestial beings are precisely this. They are the protectors of mankind and also the Agents of Karma on earth. Whereas "the Lipika are concerned with Humanity's hereafter."

In Hindu Pantheism the four angels, or genii, of the four quarters of Heaven (the Maharajas) stand each on a lotus -- the latter represented as growing out of Vishnu's navel. This is undoubtedly the most graphic allegory ever made: the universe evolving from the central Sun, the POINT, the ever-concealed germ. For, as soon as DARKNESS -- or rather that which is "darkness" for ignorance -- has disappeared in its own realm of eternal Light, leaving behind only its divine manifested Ideation, the creative Logoi (Builders) have their understanding opened, and they see in the ideal world (hitherto concealed in the divine thought) the archetypal forms of all, and proceed to copy and build or fashion upon these models, forms evanescent and transcendent. The central Sun is Deity -- the World Soul. It is Sat, and Saros or cycle, and was the Babylonian god whose circular horizon was the visible symbol of the invisible -- Zero-ana. It is also the Chakra or circle of Vishnu. Having its circumference everywhere (the Boundless), it has therefore its central point everywhere; in other words, in every point in the universe. China and her Confucius circumscribes the Great Extreme within a circle with a horizontal line across. Plato and his school never understood Deity otherwise. The ONE, the original, had no existence in the sense applied to it by mortal men. "The honored One dwells in the centre as in the circumference ..."

Each living centre, formed on a laya or balancing point, is a doorway or focus of both inner and outer space, through which the radiant energies play and interchange. The sun as a cosmic and radiant centre is a laya point which forms the gateway between that inner space, which to us is dark and unknown, and this outer space filled with those radiant Vibrations which we partly see or feel -- which are built into the circling globes and the myriad forms of life which people them. "Around the sun, like an army of satellites, are innumerable choirs of genii. They dwell in the neighborhood of the Immortals, and thence watch over human beings. They fulfill the will of the gods (Karma) by means of storms, tempests, transitions of fire and earthquakes; likewise by famines and wars, for the punishment of impiety. It is the sun who preserves and nourishes all creatures. Even as the Ideal World which environs the sensible world fills this last with the plenitude and universal variety of forms, so also the sun, enfolding all in his light, accompanies everywhere the birth and development of creatures, for these are many and diverse, and their number corresponds to that of the stars. Every star has its genii, good and evil by nature, or rather by their operation, for operation is the essence of the genii. All these genii ('gods' or Dhyan Chohans, too) preside over mundane affairs. They shake and overthrow the constitution of States and of individuals. They imprint their likeness on our Souls, they are present in our nerves, our marrow, our veins, our arteries and our very brain-substance. At the moment when each of us receives life and being, he is taken in charge by the genii (Elementals) who preside over births, and who are classed beneath the astral powers (Superhuman astral Spirits). They change perpetually, not always identically, but revolving in circles (cyclic progress in development)."

Connected with the destiny of every man and the birth of every child, i.e., connected with Karma, the Law of Retribution -- are the Lipika. They are the Recorders or Annalists who impress on the (to us) invisible tablets of the Astral Light -- the World Soul -- a faithful record of every act, and even thought of man, of all that was, is, or ever will be, in the phenomenal universe. The Lipika -- literally "Scribes," from lipi, "to write" -- are the "Spirits of the Universe." These mystical Beings "stand in the middle Wheel" (the Point?). It is they who project into objectivity from the passive Universal Mind the ideal plan of the universe, upon which the "Builders" reconstruct the Kosmos after every Pralaya. It is they who stand parallel to the Seven Angels of the Presence, whom the Christians recognize in the seven "Planetary Spirits" or the "Spirits of the Stars"; for it is they who are the direct amanuenses of the Eternal Ideation -- or, as called by Plato, the "Divine Thought."

The divine and unseen canvas, the Book of Life or the eternal Karmic Record, is no fantastic dream, for we meet with the same records in the world of gross matter. The forty "Assessors" who stand in the region of Amenti as the accusers of the Soul before Egyptian Osiris, belong to the same class of deities as the Lipika, and might stand paralleled, were not the Egyptian gods so little understood in their esoteric meaning. The Hindu Chitra-Gupta who reads out of the account of every Soul's life from his register, called Agra-Sandhani; the "Assessors" who read theirs from the heart of the defunct, which becomes an open book whether before Yama, Minos, Osiris, or Karma -- are all so many copies of, and variants from the Lipika, and their Astral Records. Connected as they are with every man, whose life is already traced in the Astral Light -- not fatalistically, but only because the future, like the past, is ever alive in the Present -- they may also be said to exercise an influence on the science of horoscopy. We must admit the truth of the latter whether we will or not. For, as observed by one of the modern adepts of astrology: "Now that photography has revealed to us the chemical influence of the Sidereal system, by fixing on the sensitized plate of the apparatus milliards of stars and planets that had hitherto baffled the efforts of the most powerful telescopes to discover them, it becomes easier to understand how our solar system can, at the birth of a child, influence his brain -- virgin of any impression -- in a definite manner and according to the presence on the zenith of such or another sidereal constellation."

Yet Man, epitomizing all, is "composed of all the great Elements." Beyond even "the Recorder" stand the primordial Seven Beings, the first emanation of the divine thought, "Fohat, the swift Son of the Divine Sons -- whose sons are the Lipika." "The Lipika circumscribe the Triangle" -- i.e., circumscribe the manifested world of matter within the "Circle" ("Ring-pass-not"). The Pleiades, as is known, are the central group of the system of sidereal symbology. They are situated in the neck of the constellation of Taurus -- in astronomy, the central group of the system of the Milky Way; in the Kabala and Eastern Esotericism, the sidereal Septenate born from the first manifested side of the upper Triangle, the concealed. This manifested side of Taurus, the symbol of One (figure 1), whose synthesis is ten (10), the perfect letter and number. Pleiades (Alcyone, especially), are thus considered, even in astronomy, as the central point around which our universe of fixed stars revolves, the focus from which, and into which the divine breath, MOTION, works incessantly during the Manvantara. Hence in the Occult philosophy and its sidereal symbols it is this Circle and the starry cross on its face, which play the most important part.

The Soul of the World is the ALL. From Gods to men, from Worlds to atoms, from a star to a rush-light, from the sun to the vital heat of the meanest organic being -- the world of Form and Existence is an immense chain, whose links are all connected. The law of analogy is the first key to world-problems, and these links have to be studied coordinately in their occult relation to each other. All grows and develops and strives toward perfection on the planes of externality, or is "ever-becoming." But on the ultimate plane of the spiritual essence all IS, and remains therefore immutable. It is toward this eternal Esse that every thing, as every being, is gravitating, gradually, almost imperceptibly, but as surely as the universe of stars and worlds moves towards a mysterious point known to, yet still unnamed by, astronomy, and called by the Occultists -- the central Spiritual Sun.


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