THEOSOPHY, Vol. 15, No. 1, November, 1926
(Pages 8-10; Size: 11K)
(Number 1 of a 103-part series)

SCIENCE AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE

I

IN the time of H. P. Blavatsky, scientific doctrine concerning the origin of the life of the earth was as rigid and conventionalized as the current religious understanding of Genesis -- and with about as much basis in fact. It was taught that a solar system originated in the coalescence of a nebula, successive rings being cast off from the central mass in condensation, which later broke up, forming the planetary bodies. Each of these bodies, it was taught, thus originated as a fiery gas, condensing into a molten globe, which gradually cooled, and by degrees gave rise to such conditions as now seen on the earth. It was as blasphemous to question this theory, or the wisdom of its author, Laplace, as to criticise the arch-materialist, Haeckel; both of which crimes against orthodoxy, H.P.B. committed, with a prescience revealed by a long series of subsequent vindications.

The nebulæ exist; yet the nebular theory is wrong. A nebula exists in a state of entire elemental dissociation. It is gaseous and -- something else besides, which can hardly be connected with gases, as known to physical science; and it is self-luminous. But that is all. The sixty-two "coincidences" enumerated by Professor Stephen Alexander ... may all be explained by esoteric science; though, as this is not an astronomical work, the refutations are not attempted at present...

Another of the fallacies from the Occult standpoint, which are embodied in the modern theory as it now stands, is the hypothesis that the planets were all detached from the Sun; that they are bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh; whereas, the Sun and planets are only co-uterine brothers, having had the same nebular origin, only in a different mode from that postulated by modern astronomy. (Secret Doctrine, 1888, I, 588.)

"Therefore, do they (the Adepts) say, that the great men of science of the West, knowing ... next to nothing either about cometary matter, centrifugal and centripetal forces, the nature of the nebulæ, or the physical constitution of the Sun, the Stars, or even the Moon, are imprudent to speak as confidently as they do about the 'central mass of the Sun' whirling out into space planets, comets, and what not ..." (S.D. I, 593.)

This is dealt with in more detail in the original. The nebular theory has been dead for some years now. The true origin of planetary bodies -- incomprehensible from the materialistic viewpoint -- was hinted at by Madame Blavatsky.
"We maintain that it (the Sun) evolves out only the life-principle, the Soul of those bodies, giving and receiving it back, in our solar system, as the 'Universal Life-Giver' ... in infinitude and Eternity; that the solar system is as much the microcosm of the ONE Macrocosm as man is the former when compared with his own little Solar Cosmos." (S.D. I, 593-4.)
The planetesimal theory has replaced the nebular. It teaches that planets originate as masses torn from the sun by passage of some other heavenly body; these afterwards cool down and grow by accretion of cometary and meteoric masses. This theory is also attended by formidable difficulties. Nevertheless, being half true, it will probably be more long-lived than its predecessor.
"The Central Sun causes Fohat to collect primordial dust in the form of balls, to impel them to move in converging lines and finally to approach each other and aggregate." ... "Being scattered in Space, without order or system, the world-germs come into frequent collision until their final aggregation, after which they become wanderers (Comets). Then the battles and struggles begin. The older (bodies) attract the younger, while others repel them. Many perish, devoured by their stronger companions. Those that escape become worlds." (S.D. I, 201.)
The assertion that all the worlds (Stars, planets, etc.) -- as soon as a nucleus of primordial substance in the laya (undifferentiated) state is informed by the freed principles, of a just deceased sidereal body -- become first comets, and then Suns to cool down to inhabitable worlds, is a teaching as old as the Rishis.... It is only after losing its velocity, and hence its fiery tail, that the "Fiery Dragon" settles down into quiet and steady life as a regular, respectable citizen of the sidereal family.... And what is there so impossible that a laya centre -- a lump of cosmic protoplasm, homogeneous and latent, when suddenly animated or fired up -- should rush from its bed in Space and whirl throughout the abysmal depths in order to strengthen its homogeneous organism by an accumulation and addition of differentiated elements? And why should not such a comet settle in life, live, and become an inhabited globe! (S.D. I, 203-204.)
Thus, following the analogy taught by Theosophy to have sway everywhere in nature, a planet at its genesis possesses as little of the matter that afterwards forms its full-grown body, as does the human infant. Dr. Leason H. Adams and Dr. Ralph E. Gibson have discovered that the chief part of the body of the earth consists of meteoric rock. (Science, May 14, 1926.) This goes far toward a 1926 vindication of 1888 Theosophy; but Dr. Frank W. Clark, of the U.S. Geological Survey, does better still, claiming that the core of the earth itself is meteoric. (Scientific American, June, 1926.) This would seem to leave little doubt as to the accuracy of the Secret Doctrine on the matter.

Probably because of its simplicity, the "straight-line" idea of evolution has a strong attraction for the scientific mind. Until recently it has been thought that the earth evolved toward a continually cooler and more solid state, shrinking in the meantime; just as up to the present time, it is thought that the human body evolved in a direct and continuous line from ape-like forms. The theory is now almost completely dead in geology.

Prof. John Joly, in The Surface History of the Earth, reviewed by Dr. Charles Schuchert, in Science, May 14, 1926, believes that there is a periodic heaving and subsiding of the earth's surface, each cycle lasting about forty million years. At these times the earth is liquefied by radioactivity, and its surface contours are changed by attraction of the moon. He considers that continents have a tendency to move westward; which indeed is the fact, though possibly not in the same sense used by Prof. Joly. He thinks also that the radioactive decay of matter was once faster than at present, also that there have been elements which have now vanished. In truth, there have been elements now unknown and unguessed, just as future man will come in contact with substances still remote from his perceptive faculties. But the greatest step has already been taken when science recognizes that evolution is cyclic and not direct.

Prof. Menzies some years ago recognized this same cyclic incandescence and gave credit to the Brahmins for anticipating it in their doctrines.


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:

MONADS AND ATOMS

The atom, as represented in the ordinary scientific hypothesis, is not a particle of something, animated by a psychic something, destined after æons to blossom as a man. But it is a concrete manifestation of the Universal Energy which itself has not yet become individualized; a sequential manifestation of the one Universal Monas. The ocean (of matter) does not divide into its potential and constituent drops until the sweep of the life-impulse reaches the evolutionary stage of man-birth. The tendency towards segregation into individual Monads is gradual, and in the higher animals comes almost to the point. The Peripatetics applied the word Monas to the whole Kosmos, in the pantheistic sense; and the Occultists while accepting this thought for convenience sake, distinguish the progressive stages of the evolution of the concrete from the abstract by terms of which the "Mineral, Vegetable, Animal, (etc.), Monad" are examples. The term merely means that the tidal wave of spiritual evolution is passing through that arc of its circuit. The "Monadic Essence" begins to imperceptibly differentiate towards individual consciousness in the Vegetable Kingdom. As the Monads are uncompounded things, as correctly defined by Leibnitz, it is the spiritual essence which vivifies them in their degrees of differentiation, which properly constitutes the Monad -- not the atomic aggregation, which is only the vehicle and the substance through which thrill the lower and the higher degrees of intelligence. --Secret Doctrine.


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II
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