THEOSOPHY, Vol. 48, No. 7, May, 1960
(Pages 321-324; Size: 12K)
THE ABSOLUTE ALL(1)
THE One (the That) is neither first nor last, but ALL. Parabrahm, having no relation as the Absolute ALL to the manifested world -- the Infinite having no connection with the finite -- can neither will nor create. If one could suppose the Eternal Infinite ALL, the Omnipresent Unity, instead of being in Eternity, becoming through periodical manifestation a manifold Universe or a multiple personality, that Unity would cease to be one. Parabrahm being the "Supreme ALL," the ever invisible spirit and soul of Nature, changeless and eternal, can have no attributes. Parabrahm is the collective aggregate of Kosmos in its infinity and eternity, the "THAT" to which distributive aggregates cannot be applied. Being the One Reality or the Absolute, Parabrahm is the field of Absolute Consciousness, i.e., that Essence which is out of all relation to conditioned existence, and of which conscious existence is a conditioned symbol.
In esoteric philosophy non-being is "Absolute Being." The abstraction called Parabrahm alone, whether we call it En-Soph, or Herbert Spencer's Unknowable, is "the One Absolute Reality" -- without a Second; all the rest being Maya. But unless the Occult teaching is accepted, we are compelled once more to face a miracle; to accept the theory of a personal, anthropomorphic Creator, the attributes and definitions of whom, as formulated by the Monotheists, clash as much with philosophy and logic, as they degrade the ideal of an infinite Universal deity, before whose incomprehensible awful grandeur the highest human intellect feels dwarfed. It is not the One Unknown ever-present God in Nature, or Nature in abscondito that is rejected, but the God of human dogma and his humanized "Word." No "god" who curses his (supposed) work, because he has made it imperfect, can be the one infinite Absolute Wisdom, whether called Bel or Jehovah. It is only daring Theology -- never Science or Philosophy -- which seeks to gauge the Infinite and unveil the Fathomless and Unknowable.
Absoluteness precludes any idea of the finite or conditioned from being connected with it. Infinity cannot comprehend finiteness. The Boundless can have no relation to the bounded and conditioned. In the occult teachings the Unknown and the Unknowable Mover, or the Self-Existing, is the absolute divine Essence. Absolute Consciousness contains the cognizer, the thing cognized and the cognition, all three in itself and all three one. Ideas, in their very nature and essence, as conceptions bearing relation to objects, whether true or imaginary, are opposed to absolute Thought, that unknowable ALL of whose mysterious operations Spencer predicates that nothing can be said, but that "it has no kinship of nature with Evolution" -- which it certainly has not. The Kabalists never cease to repeat that primal intelligence can never be understood. It cannot be comprehended, nor can it be located, therefore it has to remain nameless and negative. Hence the En-Soph -- the "UNKNOWABLE" and the "UNNAMEABLE" which, as it could not be made manifest, was conceived to emanate manifesting Powers. It is then with its emanations alone that human intellect has to deal.
The Archaic Secret Doctrine places at the head and evolution of Life the "Eternal and Ceaseless Breath of the ALL." Recognizing neither Good nor Evil as a fundamental or independent power, but starting from the Absolute ALL (Universal Perfection eternally), it traces both through the course of natural evolution to pure Light condensing gradually into form, hence becoming Matter or Evil. The Universe was evolved out of its ideal plan, the Eternal Ideation, upheld through Eternity in the unconsciousness of that which the Vedantins call Parabrahm. The Divine Thought cannot be defined, or its meaning explained, except by the numberless manifestations of Cosmic Substance in which the former is sensed spiritually by those who can do so. Cosmic Substance, or Hyle, is primordial stuff or matter; esoterically the homogeneous sediment of Chaos or the Great Deep. It is the first principle out of which the objective Universe was formed. Hylozoism, when philosophically understood, is the highest aspect of Pantheism. Hylozoism demands absolute Divine Thought, which would pervade the numberless active, creating Forces, or "Creators"; which entities are moved by, and have their being in, from, and through that Divine Thought. The latter, nevertheless, having no more personal concern in them or their creations, than the Sun has in the sun-flower and its seeds, or in vegetation in general. Such active "Creators" are known to exist and are believed in, because perceived and sensed by the inner man in the Occultist. Thus the latter says that an ABSOLUTE Deity, having to be unconditioned and unrelated, cannot be thought of at the same time as an active, creating, one living God, without immediate degradation of the ideal.
A deity that manifests in Space and Time --these two being simply the forms of THAT which is the Absolute ALL -- can be but a fractional part of the whole. And since that "all" cannot be divided in its absoluteness, therefore that sensed creator (we say Creators) can be at best but the mere aspect thereof. Eastern Occultism calls the Abstract ALL the "Causeless One Cause," the "Rootless Root," and limits the "First Cause" to the Logos, in the sense Plato gives to this term. We call absolute consciousness "unconsciousness," because it seems to us that it must necessarily be so, just as we call the Absolute, "Darkness," because to our finite understanding it appears quite impenetrable. Yet we fully recognize that our perception of such things does not do them justice. We involuntarily distinguish in our minds, for instance, between unconscious absolute consciousness and unconsciousness by secretly endowing the former with some indefinite quality that corresponds, on a higher plane than our thoughts can reach, with what we know as consciousness in ourselves. But this is not any kind of consciousness that we can manage to distinguish from what appears to us as unconsciousness. The One ALL is like Space, which is neither a "limitless void" nor a "conditioned fulness," but both; being, in the plane of absolute abstraction, the ever-incognizable Deity, which is void only to finite minds; and on that of mayavic perception, the Plenum, the absolute Container of all that is, whether manifested or unmanifested. It is, therefore, the Absolute ALL.
Spinoza recognized but one universal indivisible substance and absolute ALL, like Parabrahman. Leibnitz, on the contrary, perceived the existence of a plurality of substances. There was but ONE for Spinoza; for Leibnitz an infinitude of Beings, from, and in, the ONE. Hence, though both admitted but one real Entity, while Spinoza made it impersonal and indivisible, Leibnitz divided his personal Deity into a number of divine and semi-divine Beings. Spinoza was a subjective, Leibnitz an objective, Pantheist. Yet both were great philosophers in their intuitive perceptions. The Zohar teaches that it is the primordial elements -- the trinity of Fire, Air and Water -- the four cardinal points, and all the Forces of Nature, which form collectively the Voice of the WILL, Memrab, or the "Word," the Logos of the Absolute Silent ALL. Chaos-Theos-Kosmos, the triple deity, is all in all. Therefore, it is said to be male and female, good and evil, positive and negative; the whole series of contrasted qualities. When latent (in Pralaya) it is incognizable and becomes the unknowable Deity. It can be known only in its active functions; hence as matter-Force and living Spirit, the correlations and outcome, or the expression, on the visible plane, of the ultimate and ever-to-be unknown UNITY.
If the student bears in mind that there is but One Universal Element, which is infinite, unborn, and undying, and that all the rest -- as in the world of phenomena -- are but so many various differentiated aspects and transformations (correlations, they are now called) of that One, from the Cosmical down to microcosmical effects, from super-human down to human and sub-human beings, the totality, in short, of objective existence -- then the first and chief difficulty will disappear and Occult Cosmogony may be mastered.
From the standpoint of the highest metaphysics, the whole Universe, gods included, is an illusion. But it is the illusion of him who is himself an illusion, different on every plane of consciousness. We have no more right to dogmatize about the possible nature of the perceptive faculties of the Ego on, say, the sixth plane, than we have to identify our perceptions with, or make them a standard for, those of an ant, in its mode of consciousness. The pure object apart from consciousness is unknown to us, while living on the plane of our three-dimensional World; as we know only the mental states it excites in the perceiving Ego. And so long as the contrast of Subject and Object endures -- to wit, as long as we enjoy our five senses and no more, and do not know how to divorce our all-perceiving Ego (the Higher Self) from the thraldom of these senses -- so long will it be impossible for the personal Ego to break through the barrier which separates it from a knowledge of things-in-themselves (or Substance). That Ego, progressing in an arc of ascending subjectivity, must exhaust the experience of every plane. But not till the Unit is merged in the ALL, whether on this or another plane, and Subject and Object alike vanish in the absolute negation of the Nirvanic State (negation, again, only from our plane), is scaled that peak of Omniscience -- the knowledge of things-in-themselves; and the solution of the yet more awful riddle approached, before which even the highest Dhyan Chohans must bow in silence and ignorance.
A FEW QUESTIONS ON KARMA
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ONE (1) FOOTNOTE LISTED BELOW:
(1) NOTE.--Collated from the writings of H. P. Blavatsky.
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