THEOSOPHY, Vol. 51, No. 5, March, 1963
(Pages 123-126; Size: 12K)
(Number 11 of a 14-part series)
ACCORDING to Theosophical teaching, the "Manifested Universe" is pervaded by duality. But that duality is indissolubly One with THAT within which it is sustained. Correspondentially, every being in the Universe is of a dual nature, and no being is ever fully in manifestation: the root of his potentialities rests in the "Unmanifested." The Archaic symbolism represents the "Point" as the unmanifested Cause, the omnipresent Potentiality. What lies beyond? The Occult Catechism asks -- and answers:"What is it that ever is?" "Space, the eternal Anupadaka." "What is it that ever was?" "The Germ in the Root." "What is it that is ever coming and going?" "The Great Breath." "Then, there are three Eternals?" "No, the three are one. That which ever is is one, that which ever was is one, that which is ever being and becoming is also one: and this is Space."The awakening of intuition is concurrent with a sense of "Wholeness" -- unbroken Unity -- symbolized by the inclusiveness of Space, and with a recognition of "the metaphysical abstractions which are the only conceivable cause of physical concretions." The endeavor to make practical application of such an intuitive perception develops "a keen sense of oneness with Nature and a perception of the mysterious and intelligent behind every natural phenomenon." Without that fundamental perception, the incarnated Ego risks the dangers attendant upon complete absorption of interest and energy in the "physical concretions" and their traceable immediate causes.
"Explain, oh Lanoo (disciple)." -- "The One is an unbroken Circle (ring) with no circumference, for it is nowhere and everywhere; the One is the boundless plane of the Circle, manifesting a diameter only during the manvantaric periods; the One is the indivisible point found nowhere, perceived everywhere during these periods...."
The human mind sees what is, and what is happening, in the framework of duality. The opening pages of Proem prepare the mind to comprehend "duality" in the framework of Wholeness, throughout the period and process of "Cosmic organization." The line of progression presented in the symbolism of pages 4 and 5, suggests, primarily, order --expression under Law. In the orderly process of unfoldment or expression, essential Unity is maintained, and the connectedness of all things and beings is established. At every point there is interrelation and interdependence -- the "Wheel of Reciprocity." And in the highest or moral sense, duty or "dharma" with its inevitable responsibility, which, as fulfilled, brings Knowledge. H.P.B. says (S.D. I, 3-fn): "...we connote by the word God,... the symbolic conception of that which is Life and Motion of the Universe, to know which in physical order is to know time past, present, and to come, in the existence of successions of phenomena; to know which, in the moral, is to know what has been, is, and will be, within human consciousness."
Consciousness is the field of unification. Mind is the "Unifier." But the human mind, being dual, commonly confines consideration of "duality" to the three-dimensional world and the planes of experience immediately related, in terms of the familiar "opposites" which focus on the apparently separative. "North-south, east-west" are wholly relative. "Heat-cold" are sensations felt by each according to constitution and temperament. "Pleasure-pain" are likewise enjoyed or endured by each in accordance with his acquired nature. Such directional and descriptive "duality" pertains to the peripheral area of the Sphere of Being. A sphere, in the occult and truly symbolic sense, must be thought of "as seen from its center." The field of vision or of thought "is like a sphere whose radii proceed from one's self in every direction, and extend out into space."
The basis of duality is found in this "Eastern root idea":The active Power, the "Perpetual motion of the great Breath" only awakens Kosmos at the dawn of every new Period, setting it into motion by means of the two contrary Forces, and thus causing it to become objective on the plane of Illusion. In other words, that dual motion transfers Kosmos from the plane of the Eternal Ideal into that of finite manifestation, or from the Noumenal to the phenomenal plane. (S.D. I, 282.)A footnote identifies the Forces as: The centripetal and the centrifugal forces, which are male and female, positive and negative, physical and spiritual, the two being the one Primordial Force.
Every "point" on the circumference bounding the plane of existence has its "opposite." One may experience swiftly, fiercely, and often fearfully in an "antipodal" framework. He may, with a sense of self-identifying security "whirl upon the wheel of time," oblivious of contrast, or, through spiritual blindness, in a state of confusion, believing Man separate from God, the world devoid of moral meaning, and without discernible purpose.
The plight of Arjuna, in a state of confusion, as touched on by Wm. Q. Judge in his Notes on the Bhagavad-Gita (Ch. 3) has great relevance here:Arjuna's doubt is the one which naturally arises in one who for the first time is brought face to face with the great duality of nature -- or of God. This duality may be expressed metaphysically by the words thought and action, for these mean in this the same as ideation and expression. Brahma, as the unmanifested God, conceives the idea of the Universe, and it at once expresses itself in what is called Creation by the Christian and by the scientist Evolution. This Creation or Evolution is the action of God. With Him there is no difference in time between the arising of the idea and its expression in manifested objects.Simultaneity -- no difference in time -- "between the arising of the idea and its expression" is Wholeness applied to time. Concerning Cosmos and Man, it corrects the misconception that the unseen is non-existent, and gives philosophical confirmation to the eighth of the Aphorisms on Karma: "the effect is wrapped up in and is not succedent to the cause." Mr. Judge continues:Coming down to consider the "created" objects, or the planes on which the thought of God has its expression through its own laws, we find the duality expressed by action and reaction, attraction and repulsion, day and night, outbreathing and inbreathing, and so on. When face to face with these, one is first confused by the multiplicity of objects, and we strive to find one simple thing, some law or doctrine, practice, dogma, or philosophy, which being known, happiness can be secured.The periphery will always remain the periphery, the Center is the center. And between these two extremes beings fluctuate, sometimes literally "at the mercy of the tide." The Voice of the Silence comments and instructs:Behold the Hosts of Souls. Watch how they hover o'er the stormy sea of human life, and how, exhausted, bleeding, broken-winged, they drop one after other on the swelling waves. Tossed by the fierce winds, chased by the gale, they drift into the eddies and disappear within the first great vortex.And Light on the Path presents a similar warning in words of Karmic application:
If through the Hall of Wisdom, thou would'st reach the Vale of Bliss, Disciple, close fast thy senses against the great dire heresy of Separateness that weans thee from the rest.Kill out all sense of separateness. Do not fancy that you can stand aside from the bad or the foolish man. They are yourself, though in a less degree than your friend or your master. But if you allow the idea of separateness from any evil thing or person to grow up within you, by so doing you create Karma, which will bind you to that thing or person till your soul recognizes that it cannot be isolated.Wholeness does not consist of the Universe and Man, or of the Universe and God. The true distinctions of God-Man-Universe lie in the ideas of "manifested and Unmanifested," of the presently "sleeping" and the Awake; of the conscious, the self-conscious, and the universally Self-conscious. These distinctions are the subject-matter of the Three Fundamental Propositions. (S.D. I, 14-17.)
The center of the Universe is, for each, his Center of Consciousness -- his "Point" in Space, where he may:Live neither in the present nor in the future, but in the eternal.where he must learn to--Hold fast to that which has neither substance nor existence.
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:
"INTIMATE REALITY IN THE ONE"
The attachment of the mind to the One seems to arise from some kind of aesthetic satisfaction the idea offers. It provides a support for the mind. As the bird, blown to sea, seeks rest in the rigging of a ship from the surrounding waste of waters, so the mind, wearied by the ceaseless tempest of its multifarious impressions, seeks a refuge from the eternal flux of transitory things, and is driven to declare the vexatious, unmanageable Many an illusion, a passing show. The Whole, or One, has somehow fallen into plurality, but the true supreme or intimate reality remains, none the less, unquestionable in the One. For reality, if you enquire of the philosophers or the men of science, invariably resides where you least expect it.
--W. MACNEILE DIXON
(Part 12 of a 14-part series)
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