THEOSOPHY, Vol. 18, No. 2, December, 1929
(Pages 53-57; Size: 17K)
(Number 17 of a 103-part series)

SCIENCE AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE

XVII

The "Father" of primitive physical man, or of his body, is the vital electric principle residing in the Sun. The Moon is its Mother, because of that mysterious power in the Moon which has as decided an influence upon human gestation and generation, which it regulates, as it has on the growth of plants and animals. The "Wind" or Ether, standing in this case for the agent of transmission by which those influences are carried down from the two luminaries and diffused upon Earth, is referred to as the "nurse"; while "Spiritual Fire" alone makes of man a divine and perfect entity. (Secret Doctrine, 1888, II, 105).
THE mind, scientific or otherwise, is moved in its most recondite ratiocinations far more by habitudes and customs than by clear logic. What, for instance, is the real basis of our distinction between the living and the non-living? That which is self-moving? But all nature taken as a whole is just that. That which reproduces itself? The slow crumbling of the stones, their transmutation to mud, to sediment, and under fire and pressure, to new rocks, is as much death and reproduction as anything in biologic nature. A high state of organism? Verily, the atom itself is now found to be more highly organized than many a "living" form had been thought to be. Consciousness? But orthodox science bends all effort to prove life mechanical in its nature; hence, unless the existence of consciousness in the Universe at all be denied, consciousness is immanent in all matter, its manifestation solely a matter of degree.

No: stripped of learned verbiage and sophistry, our actual definition of the "living" is that which partakes in some way or other of characteristics similar to our own. Living things move with flexible fibres; they possess an inner juiciness; they react to heat and cold; they reproduce themselves by parturitive processes.

Our distinction, then, is essentially that made by the child-mind, anthropomorphic to the core; sired by blindness and not by perception; habit and not reason; thoughtlessness and not thought. The fact that all the schools of orthodox science and philosophy have been, with all our "progress", at tooth and claw over the definition of "life" since there have been such schools, ought to prove the point.

Thus we see again the Theosophic theorem, that all nature is equally alive and organic. With the vast primeval Acosmism, the Chaos which ever exists behind and within the visible, from which the visible sprang and to which it will return, we are not now concerned....

Could one perceive on the atomic and electronic plane of any living body -- then what? Safe to say, at least, that all the characteristics of "life" which to our present perceptions distinguish blood from stone, would vanish. Just so with our present vision of the organism of sun, moon, earth, and ourselves, a class of cells within that organism. Certainly the personality of a "man" is known to his cells only as a set of influences; could those cells reason, without any doubt such influences would seem to them inorganic or cosmic.

Such living astronomical influences are now in process of discovery by science; and "living" we must perforce call them, unless prepared to term non-living the human body to which they have such intimate relation.

Readers know well now that human health depends upon the absorption of the direct ultra-violet rays from the sun -- call them "vital" or not. But there is a cycle of variability to the supply of those rays, causing a fluctuation in the life-giving powers of as much as one-half, over four years.(1) Such a variation the cells of a human body suffers for every fatigue-cycle -- nay, for every heartbeat.

Dr. G. Pokrowski, of Moscow,(2) has prepared a set of curves showing the variation of various biological and physical factors on the earth, with the cycles of solar activity. The correspondence is as exact as the vicissitudes of the cell within an animal body under the biological cycles of that body.

Nor has the cold and silent emplacement of our sinister mother-creator, the moon, remained uninvaded by the nascent school of astro-biological science. It has been learned that as concerns the sun, there is a daily cycle of human births, having a minimum in the afternoon and a minimum between midnight and 4 A.M.; a cycle long noted by many observers, medical and lay. There are certain subsidiary solar cycles for males; three maxima, between midnight and 2 A.M., at 7 A.M., and 6 P.M., with female births distributed more regularly. As to the moon, forty minutes after its passage across the inferior meridian, the number of births diminishes 20 to 50 per cent. below the hourly average. The number is greatest with the moon at about 60 degrees with the horizon. During full moon the number of male births lessens, then increases suddenly about 30 per cent., reaching a maximum 21/2 days after full moon. The general effect of the moon, it is stated, is greater on females than on males.(3)

The relation of the "female" moon to female births, of the "male" sun to male births, in the above quotation, from the Secret Doctrine, cannot be overlooked. Through all mythology -- symbolic science -- the Ocean of Matter, with which the moon is associated, is female, and Spirit, of which the sun is traditional symbol, of whose forces it is actual transmitter, is male. Let not this be any incentive to sexual anthropomorphization of those bodies, nor warrant for the Mohammedan idea of relative status of the sexes. The manifest Universe can exist but suspended between the two great polarities of nature -- light and darkness, spirit and matter, positive and negative magnetism, of which physiological and psychic sex differences are minor, temporary, and subsidiary symbols. Sex worship and the erection of male and female gods, of which all religions, Christianity as much as any, have been guilty, are the polar inversion of the true order of perception. Science itself now knows that physical sex differences are but the natural outcome of the play of physiological forces on the lowest planes.

The Earth is in fact a huge living being as much as any animal body is; its electric and magnetic disturbances, its storms, earthquakes and convulsions are biological phenomena, mental and emotional reactions, even though on such a vast scale and so impersonal as to escape detection for what they are.(4) And its mental and emotional principles reside within the mass mind and soul of mankind.

Like other organisms, the earth has an entity and unity of its own, its sphere of circumambient electric vitality, varying with the daily round of the sun and thus necessarily affecting the vital currents of all beings;(5) it has its digestive and osmosing coating like that of any amoeba; its atmosphere which disintegrates and sifts into fertile dust the countless tons of meteoric material which fall upon it every year, and whose crashing impact would otherwise render human life impossible; and it even has its tough integument of protective matter, thus described by a Mahatma:

The instrument is very ingenious and can hardly fail to give splendid results on a journey of a few thousand metres there and back; there being between the Paris observatory and its fortifications no atmosphere, no meteoric masses to impede the ray's progress; and that ray finding quite a different quality of a medium to travel upon than the ether of Space, the ether between the Sun and the meteoric continent above our heads, the velocity of light will of course show some 185,000 and odd miles per second, and your physicists shout "Eureka"! Nor do any of the other devices contrived by science to measure that velocity ... answer any better. All they can say is that their calculations are so far correct. Could they measure light above our atmosphere they would soon find that they were wrong. (A letter to A. P. Sinnett in the '80's).
There are inner and outer skins, currents of influx and efflux, a constant transmission and transmutation of forces between our surface and outer space. That cosmic dust described by the Master so long ago, is now known to science; a layer of particles, thought to be 100 miles above the surface, is considered to be a reflector of radio waves.(6) Dr. Carl Stormer(7) found signs of a reflecting surface far out, which he thought to be the edge of an enormous electron cloud driven out from the sun. H. T. Stetson, of Harvard, observed on midnight of March 28, 1929,(8) what he could only ascribe to an intermingling and interaction of the solar corona and the electrically excited atmosphere of the earth -- a lunar halo with an auroral glow during a period of auroral action. He says it gives "food for thought." It does.

The poles are the storehouses and transmitters of solar energy, the primal cause of all life on earth.(9) Yet there is more than this, and the science of "skins of the earth" is yet almost untouched. Absorption bands in the spectrum of the sun(10) show that the air is charged with ozone 50 to 100 miles overhead; the polar light and the dim greenness of the night sky, "show that some sort of electrical and light-producing action is present in the upper atmosphere." What is this action -- this laboratory maintained by earth upon her frontiers, protective, perhaps, against light-forces under which human life could not be maintained, but also -- delusive?

Dr. Chas. F. St. John, of the Mount Wilson Observatory,(11) going further afield, says that a heavy layer of ozone 50,000 miles above the surface of the earth, will make it impossible for all time to discover certain elements not within wave lengths accessible to man, as their light will not pass through this layer. "This," he says, "is the most maddening thing known to astronomers." Aye; but the difficulty is penetrable by the wisdom which, so far in advance of modern spectroscopy, could write:

Now that the conditions and laws ruling our solar system are fully developed; and that the atmosphere of our earth, as of every other globe, has become, so to say, a crucible of its own, Occult Science teaches that there is a perpetual exchange taking place in space of molecules, or of atoms rather, correlating, and thus changing their combining equivalents on every planet. Some men of Science ... begin to suspect this fact, which has been known for ages to the Occultists. The spectroscope only shows the probable similarity (on external evidence) of terrestrial and sidereal substance; it is unable to go any farther, or to show whether atoms gravitate towards one another in the same way and under the same conditions as they are supposed to do on our planet, physically and chemically ... the essence of Cometary matter, for instance, "is totally different from any of the chemical or physical characteristics with which the greatest chemists and physicists of the earth are acquainted." And even that matter, during rapid passage through our atmosphere, undergoes a certain change in its nature. Thus not alone the elements of our planets, but even those of all its sisters in the Solar System, differ as widely from each other in their combinations, as from the Cosmic elements beyond our Solar limits. (Secret Doctrine, I, 142).

Firstly, "that neither stars nor the sun can be said to be constituted of those terrestrial elements with which the chemist is familiar, though they are all present in the sun's outward robes -- and a host more of elements so far unknown to science."

Secondly, that our globe has its own special laboratory on the far-away outskirts of its atmosphere, crossing which, every atom and molecule change and differentiate from their primordial nature. (S.D. I, 583).

Unsolved; perhaps always to remain so to physical science, these mysteries; yet Nature has no veil for the Eye of Spirit which glowed so brilliantly within the brain of H. P. Blavatsky. That vision is the heirloom and potential power of the Spirit of man; the Spirit as integer, of the whole of nature's forces, when self oblivious, merged into Universal Cosmic Perception, partaker æons in advance of the unity of the "Great Day be-with-us." Those who have abnegated all that makes life seem worth living to the animal man, who have rent asunder and cast into the dustbin of the cosmos the garments of self-personality -- they, like her, come to know the meaning of that Day.

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SCIENCE AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE
XVIII
(Part 18 of a 103-part series)

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ELEVEN (11) FOOTNOTES LISTED BELOW:

(1) Dr. Edison Pttit, Carnegie Institute, Press of June 26, 1928.
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(2) Science, April 13, 1928.
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(3) La Presse Medicale, Paris, quoted in Literary Digest, Jan. 26, 1929.
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(4) Secret Doctrine, II, 400 et circa.
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(5) Science, Apr. 19, 1929. Article by Pro. Fernando Sanford.
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(6) Drs. H. B. Maris and E. O. Hulburt, Los Angeles Times, Apr. 28 1929.
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(7) The Week's Science, Nov. 12, 1928.
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(8) Science, April 13, 1928.
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(9) S.D. I, 204.
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(10) Scientific Monthly, August, 1928.
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(11) Los Angeles Times, Feb. 22, 1929.
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