Secret Doctrine And Physiology
From William Q. Judge Theosophical Articles, Vol. II.
Articles by WQJ
The Heart And Plexuses
I find on p. 92 of Vol. II, Secret Doctrine, the heart of man described as consisting of four lower cavities and three higher divisions. I cannot reconcile this statement with human anatomy. If the two auricles and two ventricles are to be regarded as the four lower cavities, which are the three higher divisions? If the aorta and pulmonary artery are to be regarded as two of them, then the two vena cavae and the pulmonary veins must also be counted. Again on the same page it is asserted that there are seven nervous plexuses, which (each of them, I suppose, is meant) radiate seven rays .... There are sixty nervous plexuses enumerated in works on anatomy. Of all of these, one only (the epigastric) has seven subdivisions (included in the above sixty). On the same page it is asserted there are seven layers of skin; physiology counts only four. If there are seven, which are they and where to be found? These difficulties present a serious obstacle to the acceptance of the statements of The Secret Doctrine on matters less capable of verification.
M. R. LEVERSON, M.D.
In that part of the Secret Doctrine which is referred to by Dr. Leverson, it cannot be strictly said that the author "describes" the heart as consisting, etc., but she does speak as if taking it for granted that such is the division. I therefore understand her to refer to the true division or analysis of the heart, and not to the one presently accepted among physicians. The medical fraternity have not always been right, and their conclusions have from time to time been revised. It was thought that the discovery of the circulation of the blood was unique in the West, but in fact it has been known in the East for many centuries. Even the nervous system has been known and is spoken of in ancient Hindu books. In one place it is said, "a thousand and one roads lead from the heart in every direction," and goes on to state that in those ramifications the inner person resides or functions during sleep. This may very well refer to the use of the nervous system, especially in sleep.
In respect to the divisions of the skin, Occultism says that there are actually seven divisions, and medical scientists can only state that they do not know of those seven, but have no right to say that there are not seven. If one reads the Secret Doctrine and takes its statements in respect to science as intending to refer to science as it now is, and then finds a difficulty because the author does not agree with science, there never of course could be any reliance placed upon it; but that book does not agree with science and does not pretend to, except in so far as science is absolutely correct. It is well to suspend judgment in regard to matters where there is a disagreement between the Secret Doctrine and Science, inasmuch as medical and other schools have not yet uttered the last words in their respective departments, and much has to be found out and many revisions of theories made before science will have come to its final determinations. But I have no doubt that these final conclusions will be in concordance with the Secret Doctrine.
The "seven nervous plexuses" spoken of are the seven main divisions, of greater importance in the human frame, known to Occultism, and the masters of that science do not deny that Western science has enumerated sixty on its own account, but these sixty are all included in the seven great plexuses. These latter are well known to students of Occultism who have proceeded by the road which leads to a knowledge of them. And it is known to those students that these seven control all the rest in the human organism, whatever they may be. The only divergence, then, on this point, is that science places every nervous plexus that it knows by itself, and is not aware of the fact that they are classified in natural law into seven great divisions. This can be verified, but not by consulting books on anatomy nor by ordinary modern dissections.
Willliam Q. Judge,