THEOSOPHY, Vol. 85, No. 12, October, 1997
(Pages 372-374; Size: 7K)


[Article number (18) in this Department]


"EVERYTHING IN NATURE," said H.P.B., "has to be judged by analogy" (S.D. I, p. 116 fn). Everything that emerges from the One Life onto the plane of manifestation -- from a molecule to a Man -- follows the same plan, process and purpose. With this in mind, the subject of comets -- their genesis, growth and final triumph over the most adverse conditions, lends itself, by analogy, to better understanding the life and path of the reincarnating Ego or Soul. This may be one explanation as to why, of all the heavenly bodies, comets have, down through the ages, aroused so many emotions in man -- keen interest, curiosity, fascination, fear and superstition. The appearance of the comet Hale-Bopp in the spring of 1997 aroused intense interest and speculation as to its portent for humankind.

"The Essence of cometary matter, Occult science teaches, is totally different from any of the chemical or physical characteristics with which modern science is acquainted" (S.D. I, p. 101 fn). Comets are of a highly refined, tenuous matter. Since the physical sciences have not as yet admitted the existence of the astral body one could make a similar case regarding the substance aspect of all man's inner principles.

The Secret Doctrine describes the Universe as a boundless plane, asserting that: "The appearance and disappearance of Worlds is like a regular tidal ebb and flux and reflux." (I, p. 17.) Comets are worlds in the making. Like the reincarnating Soul, which must win liberation and reunion through its own efforts, comets must win their place in space with the strength and perseverance to become what they are destined to be. The following quotation on cometary development is quite suggestive, particularly when applied to the embodied life of the Soul.

Born in the unfathomable depths of Space, out of the homogeneous Element called the World-Soul, every nucleus of Cosmic matter, suddenly launched into being, begins life under the most hostile circumstances. Through a series of countless ages, it has to conquer for itself a place in the infinitudes. It circles round and round between denser and already fixed bodies, moving by jerks, and pulling towards some given point or centre that attracts it, trying to avoid, like a ship drawn into a channel dotted with reefs and sunken rocks, other bodies that draw and repel it in turn; many perish, their mass disintegrating through stronger masses, and, when born within a system, chiefly within the insatiable stomachs of various Suns. ... Those which move slower and are propelled into an elliptic course (oval) are doomed to annihilation sooner or later. Others moving in parabolic curves (undulate motion) generally escape destruction,... (S.D. I, pp. 203-204.) [Italics ours.]
The human Soul must likewise run the gamut described above, although on a different level of life, having to do with cyclings through states of consciousness rather than matter. At every birth (cycle of reincarnation), the Soul is launched into physical life, having to meet innumerable challenges to its integrity, individuality and discerning power. Parallels can be drawn from the cyclic return of comets and the periodic rebirths of the Soul. Each new birth brings an opportunity for the Soul to gather moral strength and character. Each cyclic return of the comet adds to its tenacity and solidarity. For humanity the elliptic course is the fate of those who become followers and drifters; whereas the path of the parabolic curves is pursued by those who are self-movers -- with an inspiration of their own to solve the riddle of Being. The life and path of comets are many, as are the lives and paths of the Soul. Transformation is universal.

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:


Nothing can come into existence unless the conditions necessary for it are present at the time when it comes into existence. A seed cannot grow unless it has the power to grow, and is surrounded by the conditions necessary for its growth. Ignorance cannot produce knowledge, unconsciousness cannot produce consciousness; the regeneration of man cannot take place without the action of the regenerating spirit. If a superior thing grows out of an inferior one, there must be a superior cause acting within it, even if that cause is invisible and beyond human conception. 


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