THEOSOPHY, Vol. 50, No. 6, April, 1962
(Pages 268-272; Size: 15K)
(Number 3 of a 14-part series)

PROEM

III

MOTION is the pervading idea of the Proem. Motion -- the act or process of moving, without regard to that which moves or is moved -- is vividly, vitally present. The Cosmos "lives and breathes."

In the Archaic Manuscript referred to on the opening page of the Proem, the symbolism almost at once captures the imagination. The first symbol -- an immaculate white disk within a dull black ground -- represents Kosmos in Eternity before the "re-awakening of still slumbering Energy." Energy is internal or inherent power, the possibility of action. Re-awakening implies that the Energy has been in the awakened state before. And "slumbering" -- lightly sleeping -- suggests temporarily dormant powers, the quiescence of recuperative sleep, the waiting, perhaps, like the sleeping Giant in the fairy tale -- oblivious of his condition and over-powered might -- who presently stirs toward consciousness at lightest touch of the diminutive fairy's magic wand.

What is the "magic wand" in Kosmos?

What is the magic wand in the "sleeping Giant" -- MAN -- that stirs to activity the perceptive powers within? Analogy. The magic power of analogy multiplies the avenues of perception; it bridges the worlds subjective and objective. In its various forms, analogy amplifies the idea shadowed forth in the abstract symbol, and permits consideration of THAT which "transcends the power of human conception," which could only "be dwarfed by any human expression or similitude," since it is beyond the range and reach of thought -- in the words of Mandukya, "unthinkable and unspeakable."

In Occult Science this law [Analogy] is the first and most important key to Cosmic physics; but it has to be studied in its minutest details and, "to be turned seven times," before one comes to understand it. Occult philosophy is the only science that can teach it. (S.D. I, 150-51.)
The "sleeping and waking" of Kosmic Energy is, then, by analogy, within the province of man's comprehension, if he considers the nature and function of sleep. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica:
Sleep is a normal condition of the body, occurring periodically, in which there is a greater or less degree of unconsciousness due to inactivity of the nervous system and more especially of the brain and spinal cord. It may be regarded as the condition or rest of the nervous system during which there is a renewal of energy that has been expended in the hours of wakefulness; for in the nervous system the general law holds good that periods of physiological rest must alternate with periods of physiological activity, and, as the nervous system is the dominating mechanism in the body, when it reposes all the other systems enjoy the same condition to a greater or less extent. Rest alternates with work in all vital phenomena.
A different light is thrown on the meaning of sleep by the Sage, Pantanjali:
Sleep is the modification of the mind which ensues upon the quitting of all objects by the mind, by reason of all the waking senses and faculties sinking into abeyance.
Still another kind of light on both sleep and mind is provided by H. P. Blavatsky. In a commentary on the First Stanza of Dzyan -- which treats of the indescribable stage of the Kosmic process -- the idea of Patanjali is immeasurably enlarged:
Mind is a name given to the sum of the states of Consciousness grouped under Thought, Will, and Feeling. During deep sleep, ideation ceases on the physical plane, and memory is in abeyance; thus for the time-being "Mind is not," because the organ through which the Ego manifests ideation and memory on the material plane, has temporarily ceased to function. A noumenon can become a phenomenon on any plane of existence only by manifesting on that plane through an appropriate basis or vehicle; and during the long night of rest called Pralaya, when all the existences are dissolved, the "UNIVERSAL MIND" remains as a permanent possibility of mental action, or as that abstract absolute thought, of which mind is the concrete relative manifestation. (S.D. I, 38.)
The "long night of rest called Pralaya, when all the existences are dissolved" has added interest as the meaning of the word "night" is considered. Regarded simply as that part of the twenty-four hours during which the sun is below the horizon, from sunset to sunrise, night has as basis two forms in Old Eng., neaht and night. But the word is common in varying forms to Indo-European languages. The root is usually taken to be nak-, to perish, the word meaning the time when the light fails. (The Greek root is similar to the Latin, nex, death, nocere, to hurt.) The "long night of rest called Pralaya" combines concepts of movement as phases of One Motion: the alternation of rest and activity in Space, the cyclic continuity of day following night in Time, and a Universal law inseparable from Deity:
At the expiration of each night (pralaya) Brahmâ, having been asleep, awakes, and, through the sole energy of the motion, CAUSES to emanate from itself the spirit, which in its essence is, and yet is not. (1st Book of Manu.)

According to the Esoteric philosophy, this Deity is during its "nights" and its "days" (i.e., cycles of rest or activity) "the eternal perpetual motion," "the EVER-BECOMING, as well as the ever universally present, and the ever Existing." The latter is the root-abstraction, the former -- the only possible conception in human mind, if it disconnects this deity from any shape or form. It is a perpetual, never-ceasing evolution, circling back in its incessant progress through æons of duration into its original status -- ABSOLUTE UNITY. (S.D. II, 545.)

The second symbol -- the central point in the hitherto immaculate Disk, Space and Eternity in Pralaya -- denotes the dawn of differentiation. The rich imagery of "dawn" introduces a dual idea of motion: the unfolding spectrum of colors, as well as the dawning light of day. According to the Britannica:
The dawn colours appear in the reverse order of the sunset colours and are due to the same cause. When the sun is lowest in both cases the colour is deep red; this gradually changes through orange to gold to brilliant yellow as the sun approaches the horizon. These colours follow each other in order of refrangibility, reproducing all the colours of the spectrum in order except the blue rays which are scattered in the sky. The colours of the dawn are purer and colder than the sunset colours since there is less of dust and moisture in the atmosphere and less consequent sifting of rays.
In this connection, the dawn-goddess, Aurora -- pleasurably to the imagination -- "rises from the streams of Ocean, to bring light to gods and men." The word Aurora is said to come through a form of ausosa from Sanskrit ush, to burn; the common idea of "brightness" suggests a connection with aurum, gold. The Theosophical Glossary says of this mythical goddess:
Ushas (Sk.). The dawn, the daughter of heaven; the same as the Aurora of the Latins and the Eos of the Greeks. She is first mentioned in the Vedas, wherein her name is also Ahana and Dyotana (the illuminator), and is a most poetical and fascinating image. She is the ever-faithful friend of men, of rich and poor, though she is believed to prefer the latter. She smiles upon and visits the dwelling of every living mortal. She is the immortal, ever-youthful virgin, the light of the poor, and the destroyer of darkness.
In the Puranas, Ahan is "Day" -- the Body of Brahma. This extends the thought of "dawn" as Ahana, and integrates with the cycle of manifestation in toto, giving added stimulus to the imagination and in no way interfering with the regulatory concept of day as a measure of time. "Time" itself, however, has unsuspected shades of meaning. Both "time" and "tide" have the same Sanskrit root, according to the Britannica: TIDE (O. Eng. tid, cf. Ger. Zeit, time or season, connected with the Sanskrit a-diti, endless), a term used generally for the rising and falling of the water of the sea. TIME (O. Eng. tima, cf. Icel. timi, Swed. timme, hour, Dan. time; from the root also seen in "tide," properly the time between the flow and the ebb of the sea, cf. O. Eng. getidan, to happen, "even-tide," etc.; it is not related to the Latin tempus), the general term for the experience of duration or succession, in whole or in part.

Ebb and flow -- in the analogy of the tides -- is the "experience of succession." Duration is constant: it underlies and includes them both; it is the "point" in Space and the "moment" in Time which is the "even-tide" -- unaffected Space, undisturbed Time. The Self-governed Sage, says the Bhagavad-Gita, "with calmness ever present" is "undisturbed by anything that may come to pass."

The root of "tide" and "time" -- Aditi -- is represented in the Proem (p. 4) as the second Archaic symbol, a disc with a point in it--

the first differentiation in the periodical manifestations of the ever-eternal nature, sexless and infinite "Aditi in THAT" (Rig Veda), the point in the disc, or potential Space within abstract Space.
Analogously, it may be, "tide is within time," and there is unperceived meaning in the saying: "Time and tide wait for no man." Unceasing Motion and Timelessness exemplify Impersonality, and the eternal working of universal Law.

Every phase of manifestation represents the duality of "succession and duration," and herein is the human mind bewildered. For whereas one aspect of the "point" unfolds its potentialities to the minutest conceivable particularity, the other aspect of the Point never leaves the abstract "center." H. P. Blavatsky says: There are, properly speaking, two "ONES," the One on the unreachable plane of Absoluteness and Infinity, on which no speculation is possible, and the Second "One" on the plane of Emanations. The former can neither emanate nor be divided, as it is eternal, absolute, and immutable. The Second, being, so to speak, the reflection of the first One (for it is the Logos, or Eswara, in the Universe of Illusion), can do all this. (S.D. I, 130.) To speak of the "One," then, paradox is inevitable:

It is the ONE LIFE, eternal, invisible, yet Omnipresent, without beginning or end, yet periodical in its regular manifestations, between which periods reigns the dark mystery of non-Being; unconscious, yet absolute Consciousness; unrealisable, yet the one self-existing reality; truly, "a chaos to the sense, a Kosmos to the reason." Its one absolute attribute, which is ITSELF, eternal, ceaseless Motion, is called in esoteric parlance the "Great Breath," which is the perpetual motion of the universe, in the sense of limitless, ever-present SPACE. That which is motionless cannot be Divine. But then there is nothing in fact and reality absolutely motionless within the universal soul. (S.D. I, 2.)

. . . . . . .

From the beginning of man's inheritance, from the first appearance of the architects of the globe he lives in, the unrevealed Deity was recognized and considered under its only philosophical aspect -- universal motion, the thrill of the creative Breath 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 MYSTERY OF LIVING"

What has come over our age is an alienation from Nature unexampled in human history. It has cost us our sense of reality and all but cost us our humanity. With the passing of a relation to Nature worthy both of Nature and the human spirit, with the slow burning down of the poetic sense together with the noble sense of religious reverence to which it is allied, man has almost ceased to be man. Torn from earth and unaware, having neither the inheritance and awareness of man nor the other sureness and integrity of the animal, we have become vagrants in space, desperate for the meaninglessness which has closed about us. True humanity is no inherent and abstract right but an achievement through the fullness of human experience.
 

--HENRY BESTON

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PROEM
IV
(Part 4 of a 14-part series)

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