THEOSOPHY, Vol. 17, No. 12, October, 1929
(Pages 539-543; Size: 16K)
(Number 16 of a 103-part series)

SCIENCE AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE

XVI

Living through a vaster sweep of time, the atom of science has as much its own rigid law of birth, growth, and death as any animal or human body. This once despised teaching of Theosophy has become a scientific speculation, and now is on the way, following Millikan and others, to crystallize into dogma. There is also dawning an understanding that the energy which gives birth to matter literally reincarnates as other matter after a cycle of unknown ages. Energy is the reincarnating principle of the forms of matter; the Divine Ego -- a whirlwind of Cosmic energy of a category unguessed by science -- is the reincarnating principle of man; Prana or Jiva, the vital essence which underlies the activity of all living beings, the reincarnating principle of the animal. But it is true also that stars reincarnate; and incredible as it may seem, science has now laid hold upon the outer and visible changes which proceed from the hidden transformations.

Dr. Paul R. Heyl, of the U.S. Bureau of Standards, has collected the figures upon "exploding stars," and has found that there is one such cosmic cataclysm about every three weeks.(1) Prof. Russell concludes that every star in the heavens must suffer this fate at least once in a lifetime! Then, asks Dr. Heyl, why has our sun escaped this? Or has it suffered that fate, or is it to suffer it in the future?

Meantime, the star Nova Pictoris, which recently "exploded," has subsequently reversed the evolutionary order of procedure and is changing into a nebula. H. P. Blavatsky, contending against the now defunct Laplace Nebular Hypothesis, remarked upon a parallel case as follows:

Since the discovery of the spectroscope, its magic power has revealed to its adepts only one single transformation of a star of this kind; and even that one showed directly the reverse of what is needed as proof in favour of the nebular theory; namely -- a star transforming itself into a planetary nebula. As told in The Observatory (Vol. I., P. 185),the temporary star which appeared in the constellation Cygnus, in November, 1876, ... exhibited a spectrum broken by very brilliant lines. Gradually, the continuous spectrum and most of the lines disappeared, leaving finally one single brilliant line, which appeared to coincide with the green line of the nebula. (S.D. I, 596).
There have been many "novae" observed; in most cases there has been a great flare of light from the "explosion," followed by a reconsolidation and diminution of the light. The cases where stars blaze out and then progressively return to the nebulous state are few. Let us then attempt to solve this by applying the analogy of the human cycle. The human Ego is ancient; more so by far than any of the heavenly bodies which house him temporally. He lives in and through a vast circling of wheels within wheels; through the individual human cycle of incarnation of a few centuries duration; undergoes a vaster change of scene through the cycle of a race, which sees new continents, civilizations, and sciences rise, decay, and sink forgotten; many of these make a minor manvantara before the planetary pralaya wherein all life ceases for a frozen aeon. When these days and nights of the planet have run their course, the Ego finds himself amid new scenes upon another planet vivified by the life-force of the old; a force of which he himself forms the leading and conscious principle.

But a sun also is in evolution; many as are the planetary lives embraced in its "day," that day also must give place to a destruction and recreation for other things. Hence, the sun-forces enduring through eternities at last reach their balance with waning cohesive powers inherited from the original material impulse -- and a "solar pralaya," or star-explosion, said in a Master's letter of the early '80's to "take place in the twinkling of an eye," bursts forth, filling the telescope of the astronomer with the wonders of a new "nova" and his mind with weird speculations. It is taught that the appearance is due to the release of the seven solar principles, normally interwoven and interworking behind the veils of matter; principles whose unveiled intensity destroys and blasts everything in the system of which that star was Lord. It is the analogy of the death of the man, which releases his vital powers to rejoin the great ocean of formless life, his pattern-shape and his passions to coalesce into the spiritualistic spook, and his Atma-Buddhi-Manas to remain latent and unseen in the subjective world, the future center of a new personality, while his ashes become one with the dust of the earth. The visible self is scattered over all Nature, leaving the reality stripped, but whole and unharmed. Thus the dying star, having destroyed its surroundings in its final agony, sinks slowly into the invisible, until a new reincarnation for itself and its satellites shall fall due.

But there is a last incarnation for every man: after Devachans and Nirvanas without number comes Paranirvana. These suns which explode and thenceforth expand, becoming more ethereal as they encompass the heavens on their way back to primordial matter -- is their course run, their substance to vanish until the dawn of a new "Life of Brahma?" Are their living principles to rest in the Great Unknown through countless eternities while other systems evolve and die? We do not know; it seems probable.

One of the most obscure and intriguing hints in all Theosophy is given in the Voice of the Silence, p. 37. Is it true, then, that the life of a planet holds its course parallel to that of a man unto the very end? That even as the lowliest man, if successful in the race, has before him the future of a Planetary Spirit at some distant time, so the planet shall become sun and super-sun? It seems so; thus says the Secret Doctrine:

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 ... 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! (I, 203-4).
Says the Secret Doctrine also, part of that "settling" is passage through a sun-stage, to be followed by contraction and cooling.

A new mineral called Labradorite, from the place of its occurrence, has been collected by Dr. James H. C. Martens, of Cornell University, along the coast of Labrador, Newfoundland, and Greenland.(2) Dr. Martens thinks it formed the "core of the earth" 550,000,000 years ago: and it flashes every color of the spectrum.

Have we not here in very fact, that same "accumulation and addition of differentiated elements" so necessary to the full expression of life upon the globe? Deeper students of Theosophy will comprehend the intimate relation between life and color.

Since the substance of a planet in its full development is organized, informed, and ruled by, the consciousness of the highest beings on it -- whether they know it or not -- then the evolution of the planet must follow the evolution of its mankind -- for good or evil. Its outward form and its sidereal position must in some way reflect the inner state of its men. The Ocean of Theosophy states that Venus is incalculably higher in evolution than are we; and that some of its comparatively great light is due to that fact. How far is that correspondence carried in the whole evolution of a planetary body?

The Seven Beings in the Sun are the Seven Holy Ones, Self-born from the inherent power in the matrix of Mother substance. It is they who send the Seven Principal Forces, called rays, which at the beginning of Pralaya will centre into seven new Suns for the next Manvantara. The energy from which they spring into conscious existence in every Sun, is what some people call Vishnu, which is the breath of the ABSOLUTENESS. (From the ancient Commentary) (Secret Doctrine, I, 290).
Shall we assume that these "holy ones" are the immaculate creation of some deity? Or shall we say that they are where they are, and what they are, under Karmic law; by their own efforts through cycles from the lowest to the highest, like everything else manifest? Shall not Earth some time be a Venus -- perchance in the Seventh Race -- and shall not Venus become in its turn the life-giver of a family of planets? Shall not our sun -- as yet a speck in Cosmos -- some time attain to the gigantic power of a Betelguese? Who knows?

Those "Seven holy ones," and the seven principles which burst forth at Solar Pralaya, released to form new suns -- is it that sidereaL development follows the human, that those who attain wisdom go forth in their turn, to create within their capacity new centers of life, of spiritual knowledge and understanding? Will the Principles of our planet, spiritualized and raised to an unimaginable plane, some day be worthy of mergence with one of the new centers created by an "exploding" sun, to form the lower aspect of a new and glorious entity, even as the Lunar Pitris were taken unto and into the Manasaputra?

Those sixteen stellar systems found by Dr. Henroteau,(3) thought to be single stars yet proven to be three or four -- can we not surmise that these bodies are either planets which have evolved to a state indistinguishable from suns, or that they are new evolutions accreted about new solar centers emanating from dead suns?

Once allowed that all is life; once allowed -- as science does allow -- that life, wherever it is, strives to create organic forms and to carry them ever forward to greater heights, greater complexity, greater intelligence: and what lets from perceiving that all forms whatever must follow the universal "biological" laws of birth, growth, death, re-creation, and constantly increasing intelligence, whether they are atoms, men or sun? That in the supernal worlds as well as in the sea-bottom mud, the lesser form seeks self-realization by consolidation within, and absorption into, the higher form? That as the units of the planetary centers of life group themselves into organisms, and perchance in the end of ends throw themselves into the altars of blazing suns, they find, as men find who dare the utmost, beyond the sacrifice of personal and form-bound life, lie the infinitudes of life form-less, impersonal and eternal?


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:

H.P.B. ON THE SUN

The Sun, as on our plane, is not even "Solar" fire. The Sun we see, gives nothing of itself, because it is a reflection; a bundle of electro-magnetic forces, one of the countless milliards of "Knots of Fohat." Fohat is called the "Thread of primeval Light," the "Ball of thread" of Ariadne, indeed, in this labyrinth of chaotic matter. This thread runs through the seven planes tying itself into knots. Every plane being septenary, there are thus forty-nine mystical and physical forces, larger knots forming stars, suns and systems, the smaller planets, and so on... The electro-magnetic knot of our Sun is neither tangible nor dimensional, nor even as molecular as the electricity we know. The Sun absorbs, "psychisizes" and vampirizes its subjects within its system. Further than this it gives out nothing of itself. It is an absurdity, therefore, to say that the solar fires are being consumed and gradually extinguished. The Sun has but one distinct function; it gives the impulse of life to all that breathes and lives under its light. The sun is the throbbing heart of the system; each throb being an impulse. But this heart is invisible: no astronomer will ever see it. That which is concealed in this heart and that which we feel and see, its apparent flame and fires, to use a simile, are the nerves governing the muscles of the solar system, and nerves, moreover, outside of the body. This impulse is not mechanical but a purely spiritual, nervous impulse. --Transactions, 116-7.


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XVII
(Part 17 of a 103-part series)

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THREE (3) FOOTNOTES LISTED BELOW:

(1) Scientific Monthly, June, 1928.
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(2) Washington Star, January 26, 1927.
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(3) The Week's Science, April 9, 1928.
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