THEOSOPHY, Vol. 46, No. 8, June, 1958
(Pages 362-365; Size: 13K)


LAYA is the point of matter where every differentiation has ceased. The term is Sanskrit, from the root Li, "to dissolve, to disintegrate," a point of equilibrium (zero-point) in physics and chemistry. In Occultism Laya is the point where substance becomes homogeneous and is unable to act or differentiate. The chemist goes to the laya or zero-point of the plane of matter with which he deals, and then stops short. The physicist or the astronomer counts by billions of miles beyond the nebulae, and then they also stop short. The semi-initiated Occultist will represent this laya-point to himself as existing on some plane which, if not physical, is still conceivable to the human intellect. But the full Initiate knows that the ring "Pass-Not" is neither a locality nor can it be measured by distance, but that it exists in the absoluteness of infinity. In this "Infinity" of the full Initiate there is neither height, breadth nor thickness, but all is fathomless profundity, reaching down from the physical to the "para-para-metaphysical." In using the word "down" essential depth -- "nowhere and everywhere" -- is meant, not depth of physical matter.

Whatsoever quits the laya state, becomes active life. It is drawn into the vortex of MOTION (the alchemical solvent of Life); Spirit and Matter are the two states of the ONE, which is neither Spirit nor Matter, both being the absolute life, latent. The old Initiates knew of no "miraculous creation," but taught the evolution of atoms (on our physical plane), and their first differentiation from laya into the ... primordial substance beyond the zero line: there where we place Mulaprakriti, the "root-Principle" of the world stuff and of all in the world. Wherever there is an atom of matter, a particle or a molecule, even in its most gaseous condition, there is life in it, however latent and unconscious.

Modern science is secure only in its own domain and region, within the physical boundaries of our solar system, beyond which everything, every particle of matter, is different from the matter it knows; which matter exists in states of which science can form no idea. That matter, which is truly homogeneous, is beyond human perceptions, if perception is tied down merely to the five senses. We feel its effects through those INTELLIGENCES which are the results of its primeval differentiations, whom we name Dhyan Chohans ... the Building Powers. That matter, the real primordial substance, the noumenon of all the matter we know of, even some of the astronomers have been led to believe in, and to despair of the possibility of ever accounting for rotation, gravitation, and the origin of any mechanical, physical laws -- unless those Intelligences be admitted by Science. From the Unknown One, the infinite TOTALITY, the manifested ONE, or the periodical, manvantaric Deity, emanates; and this is the Universal Mind which, separated at its Fountain-Source ... represents in its totality the Hosts of the higher creative Dhyan Chohans. 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 Second ... emanates from itself the seven Rays or Dhyan Chohans. In other words, the homogeneous becomes the heterogeneous, the "Protyle" differentiated into the Elements. But these, unless they return into their primal Element, can never cross beyond the Laya, or zero-point.

The Worlds, including our own, were of course, as germs, primarily evolved from the ONE Element, in its second stage -- ("Father-Mother," the differentiated World's Soul, not what is termed the "Over-Soul" by Emerson), whether we call it, with modern science, Cosmic dust and Fire Mist, or with Occultism -- Akasha, Jivatma, divine Astral Light, or the "Soul of the World." No world, as no heavenly body, could be constructed on the objective plane, had not the Elements been sufficiently differentiated already from their primeval Ilus, resting in Laya. The latter term is not a synonym of Nirvana. It is, in fact, the Nirvanic dissociation of all the substances, merged after a life-cycle into the latency of their primary conditions. Our Kosmos and Nature will run down only to reappear on a more perfect plane after every Pralaya. The LAW for the birth, growth, and decay of everything in Kosmos, from the Sun to the glow-worm in the grass, is ONE. Substance, or that which is substance to our spiritual sight ... exists everywhere and forms the first Upadhi (foundation) on which our solar system is built. Outside the solar system it is to be found in its pristine purity only between the stars of the Universe, the worlds already formed and forming; those (worlds) in laya resting meanwhile in the bosom of Substance.

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 any mathematical point. It may serve to elucidate the meaning if we attempt to imagine a neutral centre -- the dream of those who would discover perpetual motion. A "neutral centre" is in one aspect the limiting point of any given set of senses. Thus, imagine two consecutive planes of matter as already formed, each of these corresponding to an appropriate set of perceptive organs. We are forced to admit that between these two planes of matter an incessant circulation takes place; and if we follow the atoms and molecules of (say) the lower in their transformation upwards, these will come to a point where they pass altogether beyond the range of the faculties we are using on the lower plane. In fact, to us the matter of the lower plane there vanishes from our perception into nothing -- or rather it passes on to the higher plane, and the state of matter corresponding to such a point of transition must certainly possess special and not readily discernible properties.

The seven laya centres are the seven zero-points, using the term Zero in the sense that chemists do, to indicate a point at which, in esotericism, the scale of reckoning of differentiation begins. From the Centres, beyond which esoteric philosophy allows us to perceive the dim metaphysical outlines of the "Seven Sons" of Life and Light, the Seven Logoi of the Hermetic and all other philosophers, begins the differentiation of the elements which enter into the constitution of the solar system. When Fohat is said to produce Seven Laya Centres, it means that for formative or creative 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" (Occult Catechism). We have said that Laya is what Science may call the zero-point or line. It is the realm of absolute negativeness, or the one real absolute Force, the NOUMENON of the Seventh State of that which we ignorantly call and recognize as "Force." Or again, Laya is the noumenon of undifferentiated Cosmic Substance which is itself unreachable and unknowable to finite perception; the root and basis of all states of objectivity and subjectivity too; the neutral axis, not one of the many aspects, but its centre.

When a planet dies, its informing principles are transferred to a laya or sleeping centre, with potential but latent energy in it, which is thus awakened into life and begins to inform itself into a new sidereal body. In the same way the "Monads" or Egos of the men of the seventh Round of our Earth, after the globes of our planetary chain, parting with their life-energy, will have informed and thereby called to life other laya centres destined to live and act on a still higher plane of being -- in the same way will the Terrene "Ancestors" create those (future Races) which will become their superiors. The assertion that all the worlds (Stars, planets, etc.) -- as soon as a nucleus of primordial substance in the laya (undifferentiated) state is informed by the freed principles of a just deceased sidereal body -- become first comets, and then Suns to cool down to inhabitable worlds, is a teaching as old as the Rishees.

The circle and the point, diagrammatically, form the symbol of the sun, the life-centre of the particular spot of the Kosmos in which we find ourselves. The circle is the sphere, and the point its focal centre or laya-point, the Eye of Osiris, the lens, the window in the Ark of Life as it floats on the waters of Space and looks upward to the Creative Light of the firmament above (within). The sun as a cosmic and radiant centre is a laya-point which forms the gateway between the inner Space, which to us is dark and unknown, and this outer space which is filled with those radiant vibrations that we partly see or feel, which are built into the circling globes, and the myriad forms that people them; the phenomenal vibrations we call light, heat, electricity, etc. But as the "Root of Life is in every drop of the Ocean of Immortality," the symbol of the sun applies to each life-centre, however small, to every cell in animal or vegetable life, to every radiant life-point in both the Microcosm and the Macrocosm. The term "point" must not be understood as applying to any particular point in Space, for a germ exists in the centre of every atom. ... The lotus-seed contains within itself a perfect miniature of the future plant, which typifies the fact that the spiritual prototypes of all things exist in the immaterial world before those things become materialised on earth.

Everyone knows what the Caduceus is, already modified by the Greeks. The original symbol -- with the triple head of the serpent -- became altered into a rod with a knob, and the two lower heads were separated, thus disfiguring somewhat the original meaning. Yet it is as good an illustration as can be for our purpose, this laya rod entwined by two serpents. Verily the wonderful powers of the magic caduceus were sung by all the ancient poets, with a very good reason for those who understood the secret meaning.

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