THEOSOPHY, Vol. 50, No. 11, September, 1962
(Pages 504-509; Size: 18K)
(Number 8 of a 14-part series)
EMANATION is a doctrine -- mystic beyond compare. It embraces the true idea of "evolution" and the true idea of "creation" -- the function of Deity. It is the expression of Hierarchies of beings of every grade of Intelligence and Consciousness and Energy, Force, or Power, in all the Kingdoms of Nature, visible and invisible. The mystery of the Universe is locked up in the Hierarchies of Being.
The "idea" of emanation has a mystic quality that compellingly draws the mind to focus on the source of the emanation. The source may not be explicit, the focus of the mind may not be deliberate, but there is innate awareness that apart from its source an emanation, whatever its nature, is -- philosophically -- unthinkable.
What is fragrance? tone or texture? flavor? color? sound? Each is the property, quality, or attribute of "something." The nature of that something or SUBSTANCE, when understood, results in an ultimate realization: the essential identity of natures.
Another thought intrinsic to the idea of Emanation is Unity in diversity --for which Nature richly provides examples, although the human mind tends to overlook the underlying unity, since it regards as "nature" the material universe which is the field of experience of the corporeal senses. Whereas, The Secret Doctrine (I, 277-8) teaches:Nature ... is the emanation from, and thus an aspect (on the manifested plane) of the ABSOLUTE consciousness.All of this is implicit in the "emanation of the Word" referred to in the opening lines of the Proem as synonymous with the "re-awakening of still slumbering Energy" -- symbolized by the Point. This simile suggesting human speech turns the mind inward to the steps involved in the process. The uttered sound is preceded by an occult or hidden, initiating movement -- unknown, unseen, unsuspected. Thought precedes the spoken word, ideas precede thought, and at the root of thought is the Power to think made active by the universally present energy, the power of Will. Stanzas III and IV from the Book of Dzyan deal with this period in the Universal Evolutionary process:
"...Nature" is in reality an aggregate of forces manipulated by semi-intelligent beings (Elementals) guided by High Planetary Spirits, (Dhyan Chohans), whose collective aggregate forms the manifested verbum of the unmanifested LOGOS, and constitutes at one and the same time the MIND of the Universe and its immutable LAW.Stanza III. describes the Re-awakening of the Universe to life after Pralaya. It depicts the emergence of the "Monads" from their state of absorption within the ONE; the earliest and highest stage in the formation of "Worlds," the term Monad being one which may apply equally to the vastest Solar System or the tiniest atom.Concerning Emanation, the Encyclopedia Britannica says, in part:
Stanza IV. shows the differentiation of the "Germ" of the Universe into the septenary hierarchy of conscious Divine Powers, who are the active manifestations of the One Supreme Energy. They are the framers, shapers, and ultimately the creators of all the manifested Universe, in the only sense in which the name "Creator" is intelligible; they inform and guide it; they are the intelligent Beings who adjust and control evolution, embodying in themselves those manifestations of the ONE LAW, which we know as "The Laws of Nature."
Generically, they are known as the Dhyan Chohans, though each of the various groups has its own designation in the Secret Doctrine.
This stage of evolution is spoken of in Hindu mythology as the "Creation" of the Gods. (S.D. I, 21-22.)Emanation (Lat. emanatio, from e-, out, manare, to flow), in philosophy and theology, the name of one of the three chief theories of existence, i.e., of the relation between God and men -- the One and the many, the Universal and the Particular. This theory has been propounded in many forms, but the central idea is that the universe of individuals consists of the involuntary "outpourings" of the ultimate divine essence. That essence is not only all-inclusive, but absolutely perfect, while the "emanated" individuals degenerate in proportion to the degree of their distance from the essence.... The emanation theory is to be contrasted with the theory of evolution. The two theories are alike in so far as both recognize the existence of individuals as due to a necessary process of differentiation and a scale of existence. They differ, however, fundamentally in this respect, that, whereas evolution regards the process as from the indeterminate lower to the determinate higher, emanation regards it as from the highest to the indefinitely lower.H.P.B. herself said: "The day may come when the 'Natural Selection,' as taught by Mr. Darwin and Mr. Herbert Spencer, will form only a part, in its ultimate modification, of our Eastern doctrine of Evolution, which will be Manu and Kapila esoterically explained. The Emanationist believes that nothing can be evolved -- or, as the word means, unwombed or born -- except it has first been involved, thus indicating that life is from a spiritual potency above the whole."
The Britannica continues:The theory of emanation which had its source in certain moral and religious ideas, aims first of all at explaining the origin of mental and spiritual existence as an effluence from the divine and absolute spirit. In the next place, it seeks to account for the general laws of the world, for the universal forms of existence, as ideas which emanate from the Deity. By some it was developed into a complete philosophy of the world, in which matter itself is viewed as the lowest emanation from the absolute.Emanation is a word of movement. In the cycle of emanations, "the lower orders before they develop into higher ones must emanate from the higher spiritual ones, and when arrived at the turning-point, be absorbed again into the infinite." The "turning-point" has universal application. H.P.B. says, in a footnote (S.D. I, 586), that "Every well-read Occultist knows that the seventh and fourth members -- whether in a septenary chain of worlds, the septenary hierarchy of angels, or in the constitution of man, animal, plant, or mineral atom -- that the seventh and fourth members, we say, in the geometrically and mathematically uniform workings of the immutable laws of Nature, always play a distinct and specific part in the septenary system..." And again, speaking of the septenary chain of Globes (S.D. I, 182): "...the fourth member of a series occupies a unique position. Unlike the others, the Fourth has no 'sister' Globe on the same plane as itself, and it thus forms the fulcrum of the 'balance' represented by the whole chain. It is the sphere of final evolutionary adjustments, the world of Karmic scales, the Hall of Justice, where the balance is struck which determines the future course of the Monad during the remainder of its incarnations in the cycle." And Wm. Q. Judge, in The Ocean of Theosophy, speaks of the fourth principle as the "balance principle of the whole seven." He continues: "This fourth principle is like the sign Libra in the path of the Sun through the Zodiac; when the Sun (who is the real man) reaches that sign he trembles in the balance. Should he go back the worlds would be destroyed; he goes onward, and the whole human race is lifted up to perfection."
Individuality is the characteristic of the respective Hierarchies, not of their units. Separativeness, or "unit-awareness" is characteristic only of the human Kingdom -- a temporary phase in the cycle of evolution. Excessive separativeness is marked by "pride and self-regard" and is often mistaken for Individuality. To correct this false notion, and to "point the Way," The Voice of the Silence says:Tell him, O Candidate, that he who makes of pride and self-regard bond-maidens to devotion; that he, who cleaving to existence, still lays his patience and submission to the Law, as a sweet flower at the feet of Shakya-Thub-pa, becomes a Srotapatti in this birth. The Siddhis of perfection may loom far, far away; but the first step is taken, the stream is entered, and he may gain the eye-sight of the mountain eagle, the hearing of the timid doe....The nearer to the region of Homogeneity and the One, the purer and the less accentuated that individuality in the Hierarchy. This is perhaps why it is said, in Light on the Path: "And that power which the disciple shall covet is that which shall make him appear as nothing in the eyes of men."
Be of good cheer, Disciple; bear in mind the golden rule. Once thou hast passed the gate Srotapatti, "he who the stream hath entered"; once thy foot hath pressed the bed of the Nirvanic stream in this or any future life; thou hast but seven other births before thee, O thou of adamantine Will.
Man being a compound of the essences of all those celestial Hierarchies may succeed in making himself, as such, superior, in one sense, to any hierarchy or class, or even combination of them. By paralyzing his lower personality, and arriving thereby at the full knowledge of the non-separateness of his higher SELF from the One absolute SELF, man can, even during his terrestrial life, become like one of the Dhyanis; and "once on their plane the Spirit of Solidarity and perfect Harmony, which reigns in every Hierarchy, must extend over him and protect him in every particular." (S.D. I, 276.)
Solidarity is the working basis of Brotherhood, a "unity" which the lowest intelligences cannot avoid, and which the highest Intelligences consciously embody because they are "constitutionally incapable" of acting against the good of the Whole.
Speaking of the Logos, as both the unmanifested and the manifested WORD, H.P.B. quotes the Occultists (S.D. I, 573): "This highest consciousness is only a synthetic unit in the world of the manifested Logos -- or on the plane of illusion; for it is the sum total of Dhyan-Chohanic consciousness."
At every level of consciousness the effects of "Solidarity" are manifest or experienced. First of all, perhaps, in the orderly process of emanation -- "a series of effluxes." How is order preserved? in the "music of the spheres"? the methodical working of instinct? the seasonal, and the time-ly occurrences of events? the moral compulsion to "keep one's word"? Through the interdependence of relationships during Manvantaric manifestation. Facets of this fundamental idea are found in every phase of the Philosophy of Theosophy. In The Ocean of Theosophy, Wm. Q. Judge offers this quotation from a Master's letter:Nature consciously prefers that matter should be indestructible in organic rather than in inorganic forms, and works slowly but incessantly towards the realization of this object -- the evolution of conscious life out of inert material.And in The Bhagavad-Gita is the mantramic statement of Krishna: "The wise man also seeketh for that which is homogeneous with his own nature."
Subtly, but in very basic fashion, as the Second and Third Fundamental Propositions show, TIME is implicated in every movement of Consciousness, every expression of Intelligence. H.P.B. says elsewhere that it is "energy; the substance of the world, its soul, the all-permeant 'Sarvaga,' in conjunction with Kala, 'time.' The three are the trinity in one, during Manvantara, the all-potential Unity, which acts on the plane of illusion (Maya) as three distinct things."
Kala has the meaning of time, also "fate" and a "cycle." All three meanings would pertain to the "Cycle of Necessity," the conditioned aspect of Time, and the "pilgrimage" in accordance with Cyclic and Karmic law, "during the whole term." And particularly pertinent in this context are three of the Aphorisms on Karma: "...he who knows what is the ultimate division of time in this Universe knows Karma"; "The Karma of this earth is the combination of the acts and thoughts of all beings of every grade which were concerned in the preceding Manvantara or evolutionary stream from which ours flows"; "Karma is an undeviating and unerring tendency in the Universe to restore equilibrium, and it operates incessantly."
The "trinity" can confuse the orthodox mind, and make the conception of Deity as "an absolute Unity" forever incomprehensible. But to the intuitive mind, familiar illustrations in the impersonal framework of Nature furnish a field of comprehensibility wherein the mind is enabled to be "at home" with the idea of Deity. The nature of the Soul demands that it learn at last to dwell in the knowledge of the Presence and omnipresence of Deity. To awaken to this consciousness is the first significant need of the human mind, H.P.B. indicates:"If thou wouldest believe in the Power which acts within the root of a plant, or imagine the root concealed under the soil, thou hast to think of its stalk or trunk and of its leaves and flowers. Thou canst not imagine that Power independently of these objects. Life can be known only by the Tree of Life...." (Precepts for Yoga). The idea of Absolute Unity would be broken entirely in our conception, had we not something concrete before our eyes to contain that Unity. And the deity being absolute, must be omnipresent, hence not an atom but contains IT within itself. The roots, the trunk and its many branches are three distinct objects, yet they are one tree.... (S.D. I, 58-59.)The union of the three principles "depends upon a fourth -- the LIFE which radiates from the summits of the Unreachable, to become an universally diffused Essence on the manifested planes of Existence." There are always the three hypostases or aspects of the manifesting Spirit -- of that which "does not perish with created things."
The imagery of the Tree of Life is the subject of the Fifteenth Chapter of The Bhagavad-Gita: "The Ashwattha, the eternal sacred tree, grows with its roots above and its branches below, and the leaves of which are the Vedas; he who knows this knows the Vedas."
Unity and Synthesis are vital aspects of the doctrine of Emanation. In his portion of Notes on the Bhagavad-Gita, Robert Crosbie amplifies the idea of Unity as symbolized by the Ashwattha, and with characteristic simplicity presents an important idea of Synthesis:Every form and object is composed of minor forms or expressions of life or consciousness. Our bodies, for instance, are composed of mineral, vegetable and animal lives and substance; these are borrowed from the three kingdoms below us and are returned to them.... In every composite form -- and all forms are that -- there is a synthetic consciousness which has evolved and sustains that form; that synthetic power is unaffected by any changes in the form. In Man Kutastha, or "he who standeth on high unaffected," would seem to indicate the Divine Ego, whose divinity and spiritual nature remain as such through all forms and changes.Knowledge emanates from Knowers and is never lost; though periodically obscured, it ever remains the "uninterrupted record" of wisdom garnered by the sages and the seers of the Past. Each representation of the Archaic Wisdom, in Symbol-form or doctrine, touching the heart of man, will -- by so much -- help to bring about a spiritual renaissance, a Universal Brotherhood, for the same HEART beats in every Being throughout the Universe.
(Part 9 of a 14-part series)
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