IT is truly said that God is the primordial mind, and that the kosmic universe and its manifestations are the ideas of that mind. Mind in itself is passive; it is organ, not function. Idea is active; it is function. As soon, therefore, as mind begins to act, it brings forth ideas, and these constitute existence. Mind is abstract; ideas are concrete. When thou thinkest, thou createst. Every thought is a substantial action.
Thoth, 3 therefore, is the creator of the Kosmos. The science of the mysteries can be understood only by one who has studied the physical sciences; because it is the climax and crown of all these, and must be learned last, and not first. Unless thou understand
the physical sciences, thou canst not comprehend the doctrine of Vehicles, which is the basic doctrine of occult science. "If thou understand not earthly things, how shall I make thee understand heavenly things?" Wherefore, get knowledge, get knowledge, and be greedy of knowledge, ever more and more. It is idle for thee to seek the inner chamber until thou hast passed through the outer. This, also, is another reason why occult science cannot be unveiled to the horde. To the unlearned, no truth can be demonstrated. Theosophy 1 is the royal science. If thou wouldst reach the king's presence chamber, there is no way save through the outer rooms and galleries of the palace.
In every living globule there are four inherent powers. I speak not now of the component parts of a cell, but of forces. The first arid lowest mode of power is mechanical; the second is chemical, the third is electric, and the fourth is psychic. The first three belong to the domain of physiological science; the last to that of occult science. It is this last mode of power which belongs to the immaculate and essential. It is inherent in the substantial, and is therefore permanent as an indefeasible quantity. It is in the Arche, 2 and it is wherever there is organic life. Now the Psyche is from the beginning latent and diffused in all matter; and forasmuch as Psyche also is not of herself, but of spirit, therefore is spirit also the basic quality of all things;--the motionless by motion converted into the solid;--the invisible by energy made visible. So that herein are two:--that which is made visible, and that which makes visible; and of these again is a third, that which is visible.
And of this energy, or primordial force, there are two modes (because everything is dual), the centrifugal or accelerating force; and the centripetal or moderating force. (Yet, as I have already said, this second mode of energy is feminine, and therefore derivative, being reflex and complementary to its primary.) By means of the first force, substance (Psyche) becomes matter. By Means of the second, substance resumes her first condition. But in all matter there is a tendency to revert to substance, and hence to polarise soul by means of evolution. The tendency to revert to substance is the cause of evolution. And this, because the instant the centrifugal mode begins to act, that instant its derivative, the centripetal, begins also to exercise its influence.
[paragraph continues] And no sooner has the primordial Arche assumed the condition of matter, than matter itself begins to differentiate, actuated by the inherent force of psychic energy, and by differentiation begets individuals without number.
Then Psyche, once impersonal because essential, becomes individuated and personal, and through the gate of matter issues forth into new life. A tiny spark in the globule, Psyche becomes a refulgent blaze in the globe. And this by continual accretion and centralisation. As along a chain of nerve-cells the current of magnetic energy flows to its central point--being conveyed, as is a mechanical shock, along a series of units in contiguity--with ever culminating impetus, so is the psychic energy throughout nature developed. Hence the necessity of centres, of associations, of organisms. Thus, by the systematisation of congeries of living entities, that which in each is little becomes great in the whole. For the quality of Psyche is ever the same, and her potentiality is invariable.
I have spoken of an outer personality and of an inner personality; of a material consciousness as differing from a spiritual consciousness. So now, in like manner, I speak of a spiritual energy as differing from a material energy. The energy whereby Psyche polarises and accretes is not dependent on the undulations of ether, as are material energies. For Psyche is the essence of the ether itself. All manifested life is a process of burning. Psyche is the substance of the medium by which the burning is conditioned. The first state of matter is ether. But Psyche is within and before the ether. Therefore is she rightly termed immaculate. And to the first state of matter corresponds a first mode of force, that is rotatory, the centrifugal and centripetal in one. But before and within force is will;--that is Necessity. Necessity is the will of God. Now this will is spiritual force. It is inherent in Psyche, and she is the medium in which it operates. Such, therefore, as the primordial will is in relation to the primordial substance, such is the individual will in relation to the derived soul. And when the current of spiritual energy (or will) is strong enough in the complex organism to polarise and kindle centrally, then the individual Psyche conceives divinity in her womb, and becomes God-conscious. In the rudimentary stages of matter this current is not strong enough, or continuous enough, thus to polarise.
Psyche, when once she has gathered force enough to burn centrally, is not quenched by the disintegration of the physical
elements. These, indeed, fall asunder and desquamate many times during life, whether it be the life of an individual or the life of a system; yet the consciousness and memory remain the same. Thou hast not in thy physical body a single particle that thou hadst fifteen years since, yet thou art the same Ego, and thy thought is continuous. Thy Psyche, therefore, has grown up out of many elements; and in thine Ego their interior Egos are perpetuated, because their psychic force is centralised in thine individuality. And when thy Psyche passes forth from the disintegrating particles of thy physical body, these shall build up new material entities, and the reversion of matter to substance shall still continue. And thy substantial part shall go forth to new affinities.
"But," thou sayest, "if soul be immaculate, how comes she to be attracted by material affinities?"
The link between her and earth is Karma. Not until she is permeated throughout her essence by spirit, is she able to rise above the astral influences. Remember that the science of theosophy is a science of vehicles. Soul is the highest of these vehicles. But the spirit is the first and last term. Immaculate though she be in her virginal essence, she is not the espoused bride until the bond between her and earth be severed. And this can only be when every molecule of her essence is pervaded by spirit, and indissolubly married therewith, as God with Arche in the Principle.
"But," thou sayest, "there are foul and horrible forms;--have these also an immaculate Psyche?"
These have a Psyche overwhelmed by her Karma, because of her feebleness. Either increase or decrease is the portion of the soul. "He that gathereth not with me, scattereth." Then, when the celestial is weak and divided, the astral and material are strong.
"But," thou sayest, "if soul be thus a resultant of polarisation occurring in the organism she animates, how can soul pass from one body to another by re-incarnation? Surely soul is formed anew in every body and cannot undergo transmigration?"
Do not confuse between substance and force. Substance is Psyche, the medium. Force is Spirit, the energy. That which burns in a flame is gas; the process of burning is a mode or condition of the gas. That which is burnt is fuel, or matter, in which the gas is generated. And when thou askest, "How can the Psyche, which is generated in one body, pass by transmigration
to another?" it is as though thou askedst, "How can the flame generated in one log of wood pass to another?" The dispensation of physical series may be compared to a furnace into which are cast in succession many faggots. In each faggot is a certain amount of unburnt gas and of latent energy; because there is no medium without inherent force. This latent or inherent force is capacity. (A living medium need not always be active, but it must retain the capacity of action. God need not always be creating, but God must always retain the capacity of creating.) As by the burning the gas of each faggot is consumed, the elements of the faggot (in each of which is stored a certain proportion of this gas) disintegrate and fall into ash. Then another faggot catches the flame and continues it without solution, supplying in the same way the necessary medium. But observe that Psyche is not "generated in a body," neither is flame generated in a faggot. But for fuel there could be no flame, and but for matter there could be no Psyche. That which really is "generated" in the fuel, is the gas by means of which flame becomes manifest. And that which really is generated in the body, is the condition by means of which Psyche abstract becomes Psyche concrete.
104:2 Paris, December 13, 1882.
104:3 Also spelt Thaut, in which form it is identical in both sound and meaning with our word Thought. Thoth or Thaut was the Egyptian equivalent for both Hermes and the Logos. E. M.
105:1 This term is used here in its ancient sense, the science of divine things, and without reference to any modern or special application of it. E. M.
105:2 See Appendix, "Definitions."