THEOSOPHY, Vol. 15, No. 7, May, 1927
(Pages 289-294; Size: 23K)
(Number 8 of a 13-part series)
THE RISING CYCLE
THE longings of no human heart are to be lightly set aside. Each one is the cry of some brother who has forgotten the language of the Soul but not its needs. Every imagination is the echo of an unremembered past, present but inarticulate. We are all "lost" Souls seeking orientation, vainly trying to find in the divorced Present the path of the Eternal Pilgrim.
All of us have been initiated in past lives into many degrees of knowledge and power. Each successive layer of experience, each Principle of thought and action awakened, means the recession of the present into the past, of the personal into the impersonal fund of common progress, that circulating medium of vital exchange called evolution. It is in vain we strive to re-possess that current, that flow of Life through Life which, at the moment of intersection, we called our own. That only can be permanently possessed by the individual Ego which has become, which has been made by the joint sacrifice, the common property of all mankind.
To be a man, to have arrived at Self-consciousness, means that the individual Soul has arrived at that stage of evolution when the experience of all is reflected, is focalized, however faintly, in a single form of Life. The three Kingdoms of nature below man, united, synthesized in his consciousness, become the prism of the Divine fire, the never-dying Light of true Being, the one Self. Passing through us, that Ray is our mind, manifests internally as our thought, will, and feeling, is reflected externally in three-dimensional images. Between these two worlds of the subjective and the objective, the physical and the psychical, we are all of "divided mind," yet ever seeking our way back to the Source from which we came.
These two reflections of Self, the physical and the psychical, are the permanent but ever-shifting means of all Spiritual evolution. We have mistaken the means for the end, and so our "current in space" is an alternating one -- the more diligently peopled by our energization, the sooner throwing us on the reverse polarity. We do not yet perceive our Self as the transforming agent of the One Life, and all other Beings as the same: that all evolution, means as well as end, is Spiritual -- if, and when, we will have it so. That which at the moment is in the foreground of our consciousness so fascinates us that we are, literally, absorbed in it, and do not perceive that it is continually being added to that immense back-ground we name the past. Reversing our gaze as we are ourselves bent backwards, memory stretches away into the invisible, as, when we bend forwards, the same invisible becomes our future.
Science, educated or popular, is but the more or less perfect concentration of the Soul or Self upon external Nature, as Religion, theological or lay, is the same concentration of the Self upon some internal object or objects. Man as person, that is, as an isolated Unit of Life, is religious or scientific; man as Ego, that is, as a partial embodiment of one of the Kingdoms of nature, is Spiritual, because the embodied SELF of all that is. Mutually esteeming ourselves persons, our degree of spiritual evolution is betokened by our ideas of Self. That man is in a "transitional" or "intermediate" state and form of Spiritual evolution indicative of a vast transformation of the race-mind as a whole, is both a cheering and a chastening fact, evidenced on every hand, in every country, in every walk in human life.
The rising cycle of the Theosophical Movement -- that is to say, of Spiritual evolution -- must of necessity witness the failure of the religious and the scientific minded, for both are but forms of materialism. Every reproduction of a new Element or Principle in nature and in man unavoidably induces a universal precipitation and rearrangement of all the hitherto existent and active constituents. Two forces are set in motion on the downward arc as well as on the upward: Atavism and delayed Karma on the one pole; Will and sacrifice or "Yoga" on the other. Inertia is the common property of all things, metaphysical as well as physical. Resistance to change is characteristic of the mind as well as of the body; hence those accumulations which constitute the energic basis of progress or of retrogression.
That "change in the Buddhi-Manas(1) of the race" which H. P. Blavatsky came to inaugurate is well under way; but so, also, is its counterpart, the change in the Kama-Manas(2) of the race. One is a descent from above; but the other is the return to the below. Some Souls called men will achieve a new and higher type of mind; many others will revert irremediably to a lower type. "Human nature" itself is in the crucible, the melting-pot of accumulated Karma.
How atavism and what has been called "the law of Retardation" work may be seen in the two generations now on the stage: Maturity and Youth. The youth of the day, just coming of age, is certainly far more psychical, more instantly plastic, more responsive to impulse and impression, and less amenable to "reason," the settled convictions of its elders, than the youth of preceding generations and centuries.
Those elders themselves, the men and women who are still the directors, the commanding voices in the forum of human opinion and conduct, are, none the less, disturbed, upset, bewildered, in the face of the problems presented by their children. They have not found in their religion and their science the means, the remedy, for the "lawlessness of youth." Instead of governing or directing -- educating -- the youth of to-day, their natural guardians and instructors find themselves powerless, because they are dealing with minds they do not understand. Youth of to-day is far more capable, more energic, far more matured at a given age. But capable of what? Energic in what direction? Matured in what way? In all the tools and implements of a high physical civilization youth grasps with instant facility their possible utility -- and uses them for self-indulgence, for self-enjoyment. Presented with the ideas of moderation, of self-control, of self-sacrifice, youth instantly resents, rebels, asks sullenly "Why?"
It is that Why which bewilders parents, teachers, religion and science alike. Youth is too capable to be disciplined into money-grubbers while its elders' pockets are filled with hoarded savings; too clairvoyant to think, when thinking calls for effort; too wise to worship at deserted altars; too urgent with the satisfaction of gratifying vivid and full-grown desires to heed admonishment on grounds of "prudential considerations;" too heady with the consciousness of power to spend to learn or to laboriously acquire further command over nature; too intelligent to be cheated by pretences. To every instruction youth replies, "What's the use?" Youth has what its elders have accumulated, and youth proposes to spend it while the spending is good. Youth has a philosophy all its own, the precipitant of all our civilization, and tells itself:Shall any of its elders tell youth this is a false philosophy? Truth is, it is no longer Age which is instructing youth, but Youth which has infected age, so that the "Leaders of mankind" in church and science are themselves asking "What's the use?" They can no longer indulge themselves in "the follies of youth," but they are witness of the breakdown in themselves of those energizing forces which have hitherto seemed inexhaustible, those foundations of life and duty which have hitherto seemed all-sufficient and all-enduring. So we have everywhere the curious anomaly of theologians turning to science for repairs and materials; of great scientists raking over the ashes of creeds and dogmas for some sparks of super-human fire with which to set alight the fuel heaped up in the laboratory of their experiments. No greater evidence of the failure of "revealed religion" could be than this spectacle of the Doctors of Divinity going to school to the Professors of Science; no greater proof of the failure of "exact science" than that its most devout worshipers should still look to revelation to tell them what their own eyes have failed to see, yet which continually makes mock of all their theories. A mutual emptiness, a mutual failure, a mutual sense of mystery and of missing links, has made humble both those colossi called religion and science. And it is neither revelation nor hypothesis that has wrought this miracle, but Youth, Youth which has revealed to both their common futility, Youth which has demanded with a directness that is appalling indeed, "Who by searching can find out God" whether by the religious or the scientific mind and modulus?"So go it while you're young, lad;
Each dog must have his day."
Youth knows that its elders have failed to solve the problem of life -- by what means, those elders know not any more than does youth itself. Therefore youth proposes to find out for itself -- by spending, not by hoarding, the race treasury. And after that? "Aprés moi le déluge," replies youth. This is an old gospel, the gospel "let us eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die." To this gospel must come at last every Ego who looks to religion and science for instruction, and the youth of to-day is the child of yesterday. Religion and science have failed and youth knows it, because the mind of youth is the joint progeny of two divorcés -- intellect divorced from the moral principle, the psychic divorced from the rational, and both from the spiritual Principle of all powers and faculties. Youth to-day is pure Psychism, fast corrupting itself because neither in school nor church is there any understanding of this pivotal principle in man whence the ways of evolution go up or down -- up to the psycho-spiritual mind of "the coming race,"(3) or down to degeneracy and dissolution.
In neither the religion and science of its elders, nor in the mind of youth, are there to be found a deeper and truer idea of Self, a more enduring basis for ethics or conduct of life. The one flows from the other. If we lose our ideas of God, as we must if we divorce our conception of Nature and Man from our conception of Deity, then both man and nature appear to us as Soul-less. So appearing, nothing is left for age and youth alike but that state of mind pictured in the Bhagavad-Gita, and epitomized in its sixteenth chapter as the full-flower of the "demoniacal disposition," when all the powers of Self are unchained, with naught but a false idea of Self:"They deny that the universe has any Truth in it, saying it is not governed by Law; declaring that it has no Spirit; they say creatures are produced through the union of the sexes alone, and that all is for enjoyment only. Maintaining this view, their Souls being ruined, their Minds concentrated, with natures perverted, they are doomed to Self-destruction. They indulge in insatiable desires, are full of hypocrisy, fast-fixed in false beliefs through their delusions. They indulge in unlimited reflections which end only in annihilation, convinced until death that the enjoyment of the objects of their desires is the supreme God."H. P. Blavatsky founded a Theosophical Society, but that was not her Mission; she recorded a philosophy, but that was not her Message. Her Mission and her Message was to inject into the mind of the race a truer idea of God, of Law, of Being, of the Spirit in all three which is the Self in man, to instruct that Self in its truer realization by affording the means of discrimination between the God-like Self and the same Self given over to the "Demoniacal disposition" induced by the purely human conceptions misnamed religion and science.
For centuries our religion has alternated between mass eruptions of the psychic nature and mass relapses into cataleptic dogmatism. Both are the reverse of the truly spiritual. Suffering from these reverses, many minds have turned to Nature for inspiration and guidance, and hence has arisen that strange spectre, the Kama-Rupa(4) of religion called modern science. If religion has sought for God outside of human nature, science has traveled the opposite path and sought out God in purely physical nature. Youth of to-day, placed between these two poles of the current of evolution, flames like an arc-light, consumed and consuming with the intensity of its own emotions. On the one hand the malformation of the intellectual principle; on the other the equivalent corruption of the psychic -- these are the alternatives of the downward cycle. An immense intoxication with the phenomena of physical nature has produced the Materialism we call science. The same intoxication with the phenomena of metaphysical nature has ever produced the Superstition we call religion. In the transition stage represented by Youth to-day, one or the other must triumph. The choice offered is that of a modern Rome or a modern India. Either is Atavism spiritually. The one and the other are the unavoidable issue, the legitimate Karmic progeny of those ideas of Self which we synthesize by the two words Religion and Science. So long as these two ideas of Self are in approximate counterpoise the continuity of a civilization is maintained, but when either prevails, dissolution complete or the emergence of a new Order is inevitable.
In the Theosophical Movement alone is there hope for the rising cycle, for in Theosophy is once more current among men the Eternal idea of Self -- of Self as its own creator, preserver, destroyer, regenerator. Were the Theosophical Movement limited to or defined by the existing theosophical, mystical, and occult bodies and associations, then the outlook would be dark and foreboding indeed, for, as bodies, all these have incarnated the worst features of popular religion and science both. They represent the intoxication of superstition unrestrained by science, of materialism unrestrained by religion. The Theosophical Movement in its true sense is forever an individualized movement, because it is the direct incarnation of the individualizing Principle. It is eternally embodied in individuals, not in organizations; in the whole race as Mind, as Buddhi-Manas; and that Race-mind is in process of an immense polarization. Only those who have gained for themselves the true Sense of Self, who work for its injection into the mind of Youth, can give orientation to those hosts of incoming Egos whose destiny it is to give the new impulse in the affairs of men between now and 1975. H. P. Blavatsky's real mission and message is just beginning to show its creative power in the midst of the vast forces of destruction and disintegration everywhere in evidence. Her wisdom and her works will become increasingly influential as her scattered faithful students continue to spread broadcast her teachings of the Higher SELF in Man and in Nature.
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:
THE IN-DWELLING GOD
All is impermanent in man except the pure bright essence of Alaya(5). Man is its crystal ray; a beam of light immaculate within, a form of clay material upon the lower surface. That beam is thy life-guide and thy true Self, the Watcher and the silent Thinker, the victim of thy lower Self. Thy Soul cannot be hurt but through thy erring body; control and master both, and thou art safe when crossing to the nearing "Gate of Balance." -- Voice of the Silence.
The Rising Cycle
(Part 9 of 13)
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FIVE (5) FOOTNOTES LISTED BELOW:
COMPILER'S NOTE: I added these footnotes; they were not in the article. If any of them don't paint an accurate enough picture, or are incorrect, I hope the Editors of THEOSOPHY magazine will spot them and point the inaccuracies out to me, so that I can make the necessary corrections.
(1) "Buddhi-Manas": "Buddhi" means Intuition (or Spiritual Soul); "Manas" means mind. "Buddhi-Manas" means Intuitional-Mind (Higher mind). "Atma-Buddhi-Manas" means Spirit-Intuition-Mind: the immortal Triad -- the Eternal Pilgrim, the Higher Self, the Reincarnating Ego, what and who we really are: an Eternal Thinker, in or out of a physical body. "Atma-Buddhi" means Spirit-Intuition (but without the Mind principle developed, such as is the case in the animal kingdom and all of the other kingdoms below Man, the Thinker).
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(2) "Kama-Manas" means Desire-Mind (lower mind).
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(3) "The coming race" means the whole Human Race in a future cycle. The use of this term here is either that of a Root-Race or a Sub-Race. A "Root-Race" is contained within a much longer evolutionary period (or cycle) called a Manvantara, which has a beginning and an ending. In the present Manvantara we are in the evolutionary period of humanity known as the Fifth Sub-Race of the Fifth Root-Race. A Manvantara is many millions of years long. Within that immense period there are seven Root-Races, each of which is divided into seven "Sub-Races", which are each divided into seven "Family-Races". It is always cycles within cycles. The shortest of these cycles is about 30,000 years. There is always a long period of overlapping as one racial period of development blends into the next one. But it is we, each eternal soul, individually, and all of us together, who are going through all of these evolutionary periods over and over again, incarnation after incarnation, from age to age, with no final end to this cosmic process.
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(4) "Kama-Rupa" is the invisible electro-magnetic astral body made up of our lower Passions and Desires (for individuals, for groups, as well as that of our whole humanity). "Astral" means the Electro-Magnetic spectrum at every level. The "Astral Body" is the electromagnetic design body that the physical molecules adhere to in the building up of every form, in every kingdom, on the physical plane. The theosophical Astral Light is the Ether of modern science. It is the source of the idea known as the "Recording Angel" -- because every thought, word, and deed is recorded, stored, and magnetically reflected back to its source at a dynamically proper time: in other words, when conditions naturally warrant or permit it. We call this Karma, or Lawful action and reaction. All of us are also magnets for imprints in the "Astral Light" which were put there by others and which are similar to us in character. So we constantly affect and infect each other in this way -- for good or for bad. Kama-Loka is a sphere or plane (a state of consciousness) within the lower levels of the electro-magnetic spectrum (the "Astral Light") -- the one closest to our physical plane; and which includes the substance of that plane, as every plane of consciousness, from the lowest to the highest, is made up of its substance, or the elemental and atomic and sub-atomic lives that make it up. "Kama-Loka" is the repository of all of our lower thoughts, passions and desires. This is the first plane we are conscious on at the death of our body, before moving on to the higher plane called Devachan, which is the very pleasant state of consciousness also known as Heaven. "Kama-Loka" is the same unpleasant state of consciousness known as the purgatory of the Christians, the Greek Hades and the Egyptian Amenti. We also leave our "Astral Body" behind, fully impressed with all of the lower thoughts, words, deeds, passions and desires that we have loaded it with during the life just lived, once this unpleasant dream experience naturally winds down, to move on and into a form made up of a much finer state of substance to experience the dream of Heaven. But we can only experience in these after-death states of consciousness, both pleasant and unpleasant, that which we have fed into the system.
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(5) "Alaya" means the Universal Soul: the universal underlying essence, the basis or root of all things in the Cosmos.
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