THEOSOPHY, Vol. 46, No. 12, October, 1958
(Pages 557-562; Size: 17K)
A VERY ancient theogony without exception, from the Aryan and the Egyptian down to that of Hesiod, places, in the order of Cosmogonical evolution, Night before the Day -- even Genesis, where "darkness is upon the face of the deep" before "the first day." The reason for this is that every Cosmogony -- except in The Secret Doctrine -- begins by the "Secondary Creation" so-called: to wit, the manifested Universe, the genesis of which has to open by a marked differentiation between the eternal Light of Primary Creation, whose mystery must remain for ever "Darkness" to the prying finite conception and intellect of the profane, and the Secondary Evolution of manifested visible nature. The Veda contains the whole philosophy of that division without having ever been correctly explained by our Orientalists, because it has never been understood by them. "Darkness is Father-Mother: light their Son," says an old Eastern proverb. Light is inconceivable except as coming from some source which is the cause of it; and as, in the instance of primordial light, that source is unknown, though as strongly demanded by reason and logic, therefore it is called "Darkness" by us, from an intellectual point of view.
The ray of the "Ever-Darkness" becomes, as it is emitted, a ray of effulgent light, and flashes into the "Germ" -- the point in the Mundane Egg, represented by matter in its abstract sense. Light is the first begotten, and the first emanation of the Supreme, and Light is Life, says the Evangelist. Both are electricity -- the life-principle, the anima mundi, pervading the universe. In the "beginning," that which is called in mystic phraseology "Cosmic Desire" evolves into absolute Light. Now light without any shadow would be absolute light -- in other words, absolute darkness -- as physical science seeks to prove. That shadow appears under the form of primordial matter, allegorized, if one likes, in the shape of the Spirit of Creative Fire or Heat. Occultism sums up the "One Existence" thus: "Deity is an arcane, living (or moving) FIRE, and the eternal witnesses to this unseen Presence are Light, Heat and Moisture," this trinity including and being the cause of every phenomenon in Nature.
According to the views of the Gnostics, the two principles, Light and Shadow, Good and Evil, are immutable; being virtually one and having existed through all eternity, they will ever continue to exist so long as there are manifested worlds. Spirit and Nature form our illusory universe. The two inseparables remain in the Universe of Ideas so long as it lasts, and then merge back into Parabrahm, the One ever changeless. The Hermetists and the later Rosicrucians held that all things visible and invisible were produced by the contention of light with darkness, and that every particle of matter contains within itself a spark of the divine essence -- or light, spirit -- which, through its tendency to free itself from its entanglement and return to the central source, produced motion in the particles, and from motion forms were born. The "philosophers by fire" asserted, through their chief, Robert Fludd, that sympathy is the offspring of light, and "antipathy hath its beginning from darkness." Moreover, they taught with other kabalists that "contrarieties in nature doth proceed from the one eternal source, or from the root of all things." Thus, the first cause is the parent-source of good as well as of evil.
Darkness, then, is the eternal matrix in which the sources of light appear and disappear. Nothing is added to darkness to make it light, or to light to make it darkness, on this our plane. They are interchangeable, and scientifically light is but a mode of darkness and vice versa. Yet both are phenomena of the same noumenon, which is absolute darkness to the scientific mind, and but a grey twilight to the perception of the average mystic, though to that of the spiritual eye of the Initiate it is absolute light. How far we can discern the light that shines in darkness depends upon our powers of vision. What is light to us is darkness to certain insects, and the eye of the clairvoyant sees illumination where the normal eye perceives only blackness. When the whole universe was plunged in sleep -- had returned to the one primordial element -- there was neither center of luminosity, nor eye to perceive light. Darkness necessarily filled the boundless all.
How sadly disfigured -- applied as they were to the grossest anthropomorphic conceptions -- have become, under Christian interpretations, the noblest and grandest, as the most exalted, ideas of deity of the Eastern philosophy! The Occultists call this light Daiviprakriti in the East, and light of Christos in the West. It is the light of the LOGOS, the direct reflection of the ever Unknowable on the plane of Universal manifestation. "The Spirit, whose essence is eternal, one and self-existent," emanates a pure ethereal LIGHT -- a dual light not perceptible to the elementary senses -- in the Puranas, in the Bible, in the Sepher Jezirah, the Greek and Latin hymns, in the Book of Hermes, in the Chaldean Book of Numbers, in the esotericism of Lao-tse, everywhere. In the Kabala, which explains the secret meaning of Genesis, this light is the DUAL-MAN, or the Androgyne (rather the sexless) angels, whose generic name is ADAM KADMON. It is they who complete man, whose ethereal form is emanated by other divine, but far lower beings, who solidify the body with clay or the "dust of the ground" -- an allegory indeed, but as scientific as any Darwinian evolution and more true.
The highest group [of the hierarchy of Creative Powers in the Kosmos] is composed of the divine Flames, so-called, also spoken of as the "Fiery Lions" and the "Lions of Life," whose esotericism is securely hidden in the zodiacal sign of Leo ... They are the formless Fiery Breaths, identical in one aspect with the upper Sephirothal TRIAD, which is placed by the Kabalists in the "Archetypal World." At this divine FLAME, the "One," are lit the three descending groups. ... The spheres of Being (or centers of life, which are isolated nuclei breeding their men and their animals) are numberless; not one has any resemblance to its sister-companions or to any other in its own special progeny. All have a double physical and spiritual nature. The nucleoles are eternal and everlasting; the nuclei periodical and finite. The nucleoles form part of the absolute. They are the embrasures of that black impenetrable fortress, which is forever concealed from human or even Dhyanic sight. The nuclei are the light of eternity escaping therefrom. It is that LIGHT which condenses into the form of the "Lords of Being" -- the first and the highest of which are, collectively, JIVATMA, or Pratyagatma (said figuratively to issue from Paramatma. It is the Logos of the Greek philosophy -- appearing at the beginning of every new Manvantara). From these downwards -- formed from the ever-consolidating waves of that light, which becomes on the objective plane gross matter -- proceed the numerous hierarchies of the Creative Forces, some formless, others having their own distinctive form, others again, the lowest (Elementals), having no form of their own but assuming every form according to the surrounding conditions. Thus there is but one Absolute Upadhi (basis) in the spiritual sense, from, on, and in which are built for Manvantaric purposes the countless basic centres on which proceed the Universal, cyclic, and individual Evolutions during the active period.
"The one Universal Light, which in Man is Darkness, is ever existent," says the Book of Numbers. From it proceeds periodically the ENERGY which is reflected in the "Deep" or Chaos, the storehouse of future worlds, and once awakened stirs up and fructifies the latent Forces, which are the ever present eternal potentialities in it. Then awake anew the Brahmas and Buddhas -- the co-eternal Forces -- and a new Universe springs into being. ... Or, stated in another way, the unknown Light -- with which the Logos is said to be co-eternal and coeval -- is reflected in the "First-Born," the Protogonos.
The "Kings of Light" is the name given in all old records to the Sovereigns of the divine Dynasties. It must be remembered that the words "Light," "Fire," and "Flame" used in the Stanzas (of Dzyan) have been adopted by the translators thereof from the vocabulary of the old "Fire philosophers," in order to render better the meaning of the archaic terms and symbols employed in the original. The Zohar speaks of "Black Fire," which is absolute light, Wisdom. To those who, prompted by old theological prejudice, may say: "But the Asuras (divine Spirits) are the rebel Devas, the opponents of the Gods -- hence devils, and the spirits of Evil," it is answered: Esoteric philosophy admits neither good nor evil per se, as existing independently in nature. The cause for both is found, as regards the Kosmos, in the necessity of contraries or contrasts, and with respect to man, in his human nature, his ignorance and passions. There is no devil or the utterly depraved, as there are no Angels absolutely perfect, though there may be spirits of Light and of Darkness. Thus LUCIFER -- the spirit of Intellectual Enlightenment and Freedom of Thought -- is metaphorically the guiding beacon, which helps man to find his way through the rocks and sandbanks of Life, for Lucifer is the LOGOS in his highest, and the "Adversary" in his lowest aspect -- both of which are reflected in our Ego.
The spirituality of those much abused "Sons of Light" which is Darkness, must be evidently as great in comparison with that of the Angels next in order, as the ethereality of the latter would be when contrasted with the density of the human body. The former are the "First-Born"; therefore so near to the confines of the pure quiescent Spirit as to be merely the "privations," in the Aristotelian sense ... the ideal types of those who followed. Thus, Satan is Lucifer, the bright angel of Light, the Light and Life-bringer, the "Soul" alienated from the Holy Ones, the other angels, and for a period, anticipating the time when they would have descended on Earth to incarnate in their turn. Lucifer is divine and terrestrial light, the "Holy Ghost" and "Satan," at one and the same time, visible Space being truly filled with the differentiated Breath invisibly. Satan, or the Red Fiery Dragon, the "Lord of phosphorus" (brimstone was a theological improvement) and Lucifer, or "Light Bearer," is in us: it is our Mind, our tempter and Redeemer, our intelligent liberator and Saviour from pure animalism. Without this principle, the emanation of the very essence of the pure divine principle Mahat (Intelligence) which radiates direct from the Divine Mind -- we would be surely no better than animals.
No spiritual and psychic evolution is possible on earth -- the lowest and most material plane -- for one who on that plane, at all events, is inherently perfect and cannot accumulate either merit or demerit. Man remaining the pale shadow of the inert, immutable, and motionless perfection, the one negative and passive attribute of the real I am that I am, would have been doomed to pass through life on earth as in a heavy dreamless sleep; hence a failure on this plane. The Beings, or the Being, collectively called the Elohim, who first (if ever) pronounced the cruel words, "Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and live forever. ..." must have been indeed the Ilda-baoth, the Demi-urge of the Nazarenes, filled with rage and envy against his own creatures. In this case it is but natural, even from the dead-letter standpoint, to view Satan, the Serpent of Genesis, as the real creator and benefactor, the Father of Spiritual Mankind. For it is he who was the "Harbinger of Light," bright radiant Lucifer, who opened the eyes of the automaton created by Jehovah, as alleged. And he who was the first to whisper: "in the day ye eat thereof ye shall be as Elohim, knowing good and evil." An "adversary" to Jehovah the "personating spirit," Satan or Lucifer can only be regarded in the light of a Saviour, who still remains in esoteric truth the ever-loving "Messenger" (the angel), the Seraphim and Cherubim who both knew well, and loved still more, and who conferred on us spiritual, instead of physical immortality -- the latter a kind of static immortality that would have transformed man into an undying "Wandering Jew."
In Occultism, as in the Kabala, there are three kinds of light: the abstract and Absolute Light, which is Darkness; the Light of the Manifested-Unmanifested, called by some the Logos; and the latter light reflected by the Dhyan Chohans, the minor logoi (the Elohim, collectively), who in their turn shed it on the objective universe. There is a deep philosophy underlying the earliest worship in the world, that of the Sun and of Fire. Of all the Elements known to physical science, Fire is the one that has ever eluded definite analysis. What is FIRE? Says the esoteric teaching, "Fire is the most perfect and unadulterated reflection, in heaven and on earth, of the ONE FLAME. It is Life and Death, the origin and the end of every material thing. It is divine 'SUBSTANCE'." Thus, not only the Fire-Worshipper, the Parsee, but even the wandering savage tribes of America, which proclaim themselves "born of fire," show more science in their creeds and truth in their superstitions, than all the speculations of modern physics and learning. The Christian who says, "God is a living Fire," and speaks of the Pentecostal "Tongues of Fire" and of the "burning bush" of Moses, is as much a fire-worshipper as any other "heathen." The Rosicrucians, among all the mystics and Kabalists, were those who defined Fire in the right way. Procure a sixpenny lamp, keep it only supplied with oil, and you be able to light at its flame the lamps, candles, and fires of the whole globe without diminishing that flame. If the Deity, the radical One, is eternal and an infinite substance ("the Lord thy God is a consuming fire") and never consumed, then it does not seem reasonable that the Occult teaching should be held as unphilosophical when it says: "Thus were the Arupa and Rupa worlds formed: from ONE light seven lights, from each of the seven, seven times seven," etc., etc.
LIGHT is the great Protean magician, and under the Divine Will of the architect, its multifarious, omnipotent waves gave birth to every form as well as to every living being. From its swelling, electric bosom sprang matter and spirit. Within its beams lie the beginnings of all physical and chemical action, and all cosmic and spiritual phenomena. It vitalizes and disorganizes, it gives life and produces death; and from its primordial Point gradually emerged into existence the myriads of worlds, visible and invisible celestial bodies.
THREE IN ONE
Back to the complete list of the
GROUPING OF HUNDREDS OF "COLLATED ARTICLES"
Back to the full listing containing all of the
"Additional Categories of Articles".
ONE (1) FOOTNOTE LISTED BELOW:
(1) NOTE: Collated from The Secret Doctrine and Isis Unveiled.
Back to text.