THEOSOPHY, Vol. 51, No. 8, June, 1963
(Pages 209-210; Size: 7K)

WHAT IS SPACE?(1)

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.

Occultism refuses to use the words above and below, higher and lower, in reference to invisible spheres, as being without meaning. When, in The Secret Doctrine, "other worlds" are mentioned, whether better or worse, more spiritual or still more material, though invisible -- the Occultist does not locate these spheres either outside or inside our Earth, as the theologians and poets do, for their location is nowhere in the space 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 One Unity throughout its infinitude, in its bottomless depths as on its illusive surface: a surface studded with countless phenomenal universes, systems, and mirage-like worlds. It is omnipresent Reality: impersonal, because it contains all and everything. Space is latent in every atom of the Universe, and is the Universe itself. In reality Space is what the ancients called the One indivisible and unknown (now unknowable) Deity. "Space is a substantial though (apparently) an absolutely unknowable living Entity." Occult philosophy, viewing the manifested and the unmanifested Kosmos as a UNITY, symbolized the ideal conception of the form by the "Golden Egg" with two poles in it. It is the positive pole that acts in the manifested world of matter, while the negative is lost in the unknowable absoluteness of SAT -- "Be-ness."

Time can be divided. Duration, in our philosophy at least, cannot. Time is divisible in Duration; or, the one is something within Time and Space, whereas the other is outside of both. Duration with us is the one eternity, not relative, but absolute. It is like Space, which is an abstraction too, and is equally without beginning or end. The distance between two points is called space, it may be enormous or it may be infinitesimal, yet it will always be space. But all such specifications are divisions in human conception. The ant has conceptions of time and space which are its own, not ours; conceptions which are entirely on another plane. We have, therefore, no right to deny a priori the existence of other planes only because we can form no idea of them, but which exist nevertheless -- planes higher and lower than our own by many degrees, as witness the ant.

The Universe is held in solution during Pralaya. During "The Night of Brahma," or Pralaya, all in the objective Universe has dissolved into its one primal and eternal cause, to reappear at the following Dawn -- as it does periodically. "Karana," eternal cause, is alone during the "Nights of Brahma." The previous objective Universe has dissolved thereinto 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 Brahma - the symbol of the Universe.

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. 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 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.

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, the ABSOLUTE ALL.


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