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From The Theosophical Movement
Vol 73 No. 10 - August, 2003
Although the moon has enthralled observers for aeons, its origin still remains a mystery. Of the many theories advanced, the so-called "giant impact theory" is today the most popular. Planetary scientists now believe that the moon was born when a planetary object hit the Earth over four billion years ago. Karen Wright writes in Discover magazine. (February 2003):

In fact, the story of the moon's origin is still slim on details....For now, the story scientists tell about the origin of the moon goes something like this. It's 4.5 billion years ago. The very young Earth comes hurtling in at several miles per second. The mega-meteor is so huge it takes half an hour to plow fully into the planet. In the heat of the collision, much of the impactor and a good portion of Earth melt and vaporize into surrounding space. Then all that atomized rock begins to recondense as dust in the primitive heavens. Within a month, a year, or a century, Earth's significant other emerges from the detritus of disaster. The two have been inseparable ever since.

Although planetary scientists claim that knowledge about the origin of the earth's moon has undergone a revolution since the first Apollo landing on the lunar surface, old beliefs die hard and it is still held that the earth is older than the moon. Scientists admit that the increasing failure of former theories to explain how the moon was formed has given rise to the new "large-impact" theory. It is probable that the latter in turn will ultimately suffer the fate of the earlier exploded hypotheses.

"Had our wise men of science known as much of the mysteries of nature as the ancient Aryans did," states The Secret Doctrine (I, 398), "they would surely never have imagined that the moon was projected from the earth." The Occult teaching is that the moon is far older than the earth, and that it is the latter which owes its being to the former. Mr. Judge sums up the Secret Doctrine teaching on the mystery of the moon when he states:

H.P. Blavatsky is our sole originator of a theory regarding the satellite which one could not have invented with the most wonderful imagination.... The first mystery which she claimed to reveal—and, indeed, she first of every one states it—is that in a remote period, when there was no earth, the moon existed as an inhabited globe, died, and at once threw out into space all her energies leaving nothing but the physical vehicle. Those energies revolved and condensed that matter in space nearby and produced our earth; the moon, its parent, proceeding towards disintegration but compelled to revolve around her child, this earth. This gives us a use and history for the moon.

Everything in the universe is interconnected, and science today admits this. "It is not insane to believe that all matter on Earth could be linked to the stars, including people....The connection between the atoms in our bodies and the atoms in a distant star could have a fundamental part to play in our final description of how the Universe works," says Paul Wesson, professor of physics at the University of Waterloo, Canada (New Scientist, May 17). There is a "theory of everything" being talked of by scientists these days.

Occult Science goes further and says that it is not just physical atoms that link the myriad objects in our vast and ancient Universe. "Humanity and the stars are bound together indissolubly, because of the intelligences that rule the latter." (The Secret Doctrine, II, 352)

The radical unity of the ultimate essence of each constituent part of compounds in Nature—from Star to mineral Atom, from the highest Dhyan Chohan to the smallest infusoria, in the fullest acceptation of the term, and whether applied to the spiritual, intellectual, or physical worlds—this is the one fundamental law in Occult science. (S.D., I, 120)

A Master of Wisdom has said: "Nature has linked all parts of her Empire together by subtle threads of magnetic sympathy, and, there is a mutual correlation even between a star and a man."

Anthropoid apes are heading toward extinction, and this is a matter of grave concern not only to animal conservationists but also to Theosophists. New Scientist (April 12) reports:

Our closest relatives, the great apes, could soon become a zoological curiosity confined to wildlife parks, zoos and animal sanctuaries. Population surveys have revealed that the effects of the bushmeat trade and Ebola virus are combining to decimate gorilla and chimpanzee populations in western equatorial Africa, their last major refuge.

Peter Walsh of Princeton University in a study published by the science journal Nature warns that "this could push the apes to the brink of extinction in just a decade." If these apes are wiped out, says Sandy Harcourt of the University of California at Davis, "we've lost a very, direct connection to the rest of the animal world." But though he agrees the problem is grave, he believes recovery is possible if the animals can be protected.

Apart from natural calamities, the role played by bushmeat hunters in decimating the great ape population is truly deplorable; for the apes "have a spark of the purely human essence in them" (The Secret Doctrine, II, 193). The egos imprisoned in ape forms are known in Theosophy as the Delayed Race, compelled by their Karma to incarnate in the animal forms.

The ape we know is not the product of natural evolution but an accident, a cross-breed between an animal being, or form, and man....Thus, it is most important to remember that the Egos of the apes are entities compelled by their Karma to incarnate in the animal forms, which resulted from the bestiality of the latest Third and the earliest Fourth Race men. They are entities who had already reached the "human stage" before this Round. Consequently, they form an exception to the general rule....the present apes....are truly "speechless men" and will become speaking animals (or men of a lower order) in the Fifth Round while the adepts of a certain school hope that some of the Egos of the apes of a higher intelligence will reappear at the close of the Sixth Root-race. (S.D., II, 262)

Archaeological discoveries are continuing apace and are yielding fresh evidence of ancient civilizations. Rock carvings and remains of a previously unknown prehistoric society have now been found deep in the Nicaraguan rainforest. Evidence uncovered by archaeologists suggests that the culture lasted longer than the Roman Empire, but may have been destroyed by a cataclysmic fire around 400 A.D. The settlement, which predates Mayan cities found further north in Latin America, lies in a remote area known as Kukra Hill, on the Atlantic coast. It was discovered by engineers who were planting palm trees in a development project. Over the last year, archaeologists have discovered raised platforms, nearly 20 ft high, on which the society built houses, and religious and civic buildings. The platforms, some of which extend to 100 square yards, are laid out around a square. Besides those living in the town, archeologists believe that smaller satellite villages existed nearby. (The Times of India, May 26)

These manifold discoveries challenge the belief that our knowledge of the past is complete. Faced with fresh evidences, modern-day investigators are baffled and fail to construct from their discoveries and knowledge the grand panorama of human unfoldment under cyclic law and what it implies.

Most people admit the value of compassion. But what exactly does the word "compassion" mean to us? Is our compassion all-inclusive, or discriminatory in nature? Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, an eminent teacher of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, who travels and teaches extensively in Asia, Europe and North America, elucidates the implications of "compassion" (Dignity Dialogue, May 2003):

Generally, our compassion in flawed. We draw a line somewhere. We feel compassion for those on one side of the line but not for those on the other side of the line. We feel compassion for one group but not for another....

The compassion taught by the Buddha has no measure. It is to be extended to all sentient beings. Compassion is a wish to free sentient beings from suffering. However, it is not possible to free others from suffering immediately. Initially, it is necessary to free others from the causes of suffering....

We begin by cultivating equanimity. To cultivate equanimity means to consider the ways in which all sentient beings are the same....From the compassion that wishes to free all sentient beings from suffering, the love that wishes all sentient beings to enjoy happiness will arise....

The roots of our suffering grow within our own minds, rather than externally. When strong desire arises and we are able neither to quell it nor to fulfil it, we suffer. At other times, hatred arises in us. Sometimes we feel proud or jealous, and those afflictions bring us suffering too. Sometimes suffering comes to us because of our ignorance, which is to say, because we do not understand something. Therefore, the roots of our suffering grow within us, not outside of us. To put it simply, we can say that our suffering comes from how we think about things. If we correct our mistaken way of thinking, our suffering will end.

Compassion is the sustaining power in life. Without the compassionate and anonymous efforts of countless men and women over several generations, where would our social order be? Without their unrequited acts of self-sacrifice, each of us would be little more than a vegetable. Each is his brother's keeper in a very real sense.

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