THEOSOPHY, Vol. 20, No. 5, March, 1932
(Pages 208-212; Size: 15K)
(Number 36 of a 103-part series)



Esoteric philosophy teaches that everything lives and is conscious, but not that all life and consciousness are similar to those of human or even animal beings... The idea of universal life is one of those ancient conceptions which are returning to the human mind in this century, as a consequence of its liberation from anthropomorphic theology... It hardly seems possible that science can disguise from itself much longer ... that things that have life are living things, whether they be atoms or planets. (Secret Doctrine, 1888, I, 49).
FROM the Mahatmas comes the doctrine, now daily and increasingly confirmed by science, that all is life. If all be life, then the manner in which a form of any kind is held together, is biological in varying degrees, and the conception of inorganic matter or inorganic forms is an illusion produced of ignorance. Thus stands truth with regard to the form of the earth as to all other forms; all is Life and the formative power of Life; Life and the binding power of Life.

The most marked character of organized life, physically speaking, is the presence of innumerable delicately adjusted cyclic actions, which proceed in relation to one another; they are sometimes normal and of the essence of the life process; sometimes due to disease and the essence, or the symptom, of danger and death.

There is claimed to be a 100 year cycle of planetary expansion and contraction to which may be due, say the discoverers, a centenary shift of the earthquake centers away from the equator.(1) This in turn must necessarily have other consequences. An additional, very short cycle of earth movement has been recorded at Harvard; the ground is found to move backwards and forwards rhythmically every six seconds. No explanation has been found.(2)

Consonant with the cyclic changes in the quality of the circulating fluids in the human body, we find that sea water undergoes cyclic chemical changes which work great alterations in the populations of the seas.(3) Precisely as the bacterial and virus content and character of the blood alters with its changing chemical qualities. Dr. O. H. Gish, of the Carnegie Institution, reports an accession of electrical charge which sweeps the earth at the same instant between the hours of 6 and 8 P.M. Washington Time.(4) He states that the cause is still unknown, being due to some "elusive, unknown factor" -- as well he may.

All this has led Prof. Benjamin Boss, of the Dudley Astronomical Observatory, to say that the earth behaves like a human heart, in whose pulsations are born "oceans, mountains, volcanoes, earthquakes."(5) The Royal Meteorological Society of England(6) verged upon the mystic with the statement that some "mysterious signal" from earth influences calls the birds back to England every year just in time for the opening of the spring flowers, although the calendar dates of that event vary from year to year. Precisely such "mysterious influences" permit the correlation of the bodily processes, and science will see it some day.

So much for the normal healthy processes of that great animal, the Earth, whose fifth, sixth, and seventh Principles are in Man himself, and whose great rocky shape is but the unevolved extension of man's own form. What of the catastrophic cycles, such as the year 1931 in earthquakes? Up to the end of March there had been 35 of them of major size, five of disastrous proportions. By the end of April the number had risen to 43, with six disasters.(7) At the present writing the number continues to grow; and the happenings range over the whole face of the globe.

Now, if man is an integral part of an organic globe, then these convulsions which work upon him much suffering are signs of a planetary sickness. Earth slippages which cause quakes are adjustments of the slowly accumulating strains which go with birth of new continents, mutation of the poles, and other normal processes of planetary life. But why so disastrous at certain times, while at others they are accomplished by a great number of inoffensive movements? It is a normal process speeded, intensified into diseases, by the violent electro-magnetic forces set loose through human thought.

Why, then, we may be asked, were not such catastrophes more evident during the Great War? They were evident -- in the form of gunfire, wounds, death, disease, dismemberment. The physical fury formed the outlet for violence of thought. In this year fear, disquiet, discontent are more present in the minds of the whole world than they were then; but through a combination of circumstances, repression is equally evident; physical violence is but little apparent anywhere, but never was there more rigid suppression in all nations. When some scientist of the future correlates cycles of mental suffering and discontent with wars and natural catastrophes, something significant regarding the nature of safety valves will emerge.

Dr. Ross Gunn compares the earth to a huge electric dynamo generating currents at present unavailable to man.(8) The machinery by which the currents are produced is not understood, he says. In the Scientific Monthly for January, 1931, occurs an important article by Dr. Gish, describing the variable action of the earth-currents. When the currents become of such intensity as to affect telegraph wires, they are known as magnetic or electric storms; the intensity of the normal currents then increases several hundredfold. The commencement of such a storm has been known to be simultaneous at three different parts of the globe, with nearly the same direction of the electrical impulse everywhere. It is regarded as the effect of a world-wide process -- as yet unexplained. Verily scientists of today see and admit before them vastly more of the unexplained than did their cocksure but ignorant forbears.

There are sundry theories of the earth-current storms, but none as yet wholly accepted. One, which holds that currents travel from pole to pole "as though electricity were supplied at one pole and removed at the other," brings the scientific speculators straight to Theosophy:

The strange statement made in one of the Stanzas: "The Songs of Fohat and his Sons were radiant..." Perhaps the above will be regarded as archaic nonsense, but it will be better comprehended, if the reader remembers the Aurora Borealis and Australis, both of which take place at the very centres of terrestrial electric and magnetic forces. The two poles are said to be the store-houses, the receptacles and liberators, at the same time, of Cosmic and terrestrial Vitality (Electricity); from the surplus of which the Earth, had it not been for these two natural "safety-valves," would have been rent to pieces long ago. At the same time it is now a theory that has lately become an axiom, that the phenomenon of polar lights is accompanied by, and productive of, strong sounds, like whistling, hissing, and cracking (S.D. I, 204-205).
This terrestrial vitality is elsewhere spoken of(9) as the "waters of life," the "fiery waters of space." Without going too far into the matter of the Auroras, which deals with the supply of life to the Earth from the Sun, we may note in passing that the long-held Vegard theory, which regarded the auroras as due to the impingement of ultra-violet rays upon crystalline nitrogen, has been practically abandoned by physicists. The auroral flashes occur too far above the earth's surface, for one thing.(10) Meantime the reproduction of an aurora in the laboratory(11) has given some corroborating evidence of the theory that the phenomenon is due to "charged particles" from the sun. That will do for the present.

It would seem that Dr. Richard Meetz(12) has conceived a materialized or perhaps symbolic idea of the subterranean circulation of the "waters of life" as described in the Secret Doctrine. The ocean water, he thinks, circulates through the center of the earth by means of fissures. It may in fact be so; the ocean water may, like sweat, be more organic than its merely chemical constitution would indicate.

The human body(13) is a hierarchal colony of living beings, some of them so minute that no microscope has ever brought them within vision. Now that the "filterable viruses" have come to light through their effects, this now means something sensible to science. But the body of the earth is also quite definitely organic in the same sense. It is but recently that the vast proportion of bacterial life in the soil, and its indispensable role in maintaining "organic" life upon that soil, has come to light.(14) Discovery is fated to continue farther and farther in that direction.

It will also be found that every element in the earth is in the human body and indispensable to its well-being. It has always been a scientific mystery how the element fluorine gets into human teeth. But it is now found in jets of hot gas from volcanoes, which condensing, is washed into the sea.(15) The earth was drawn together by the Karmic affinity of its various forms of life with the Egos of mankind, who were here in Space first. Thus Man, who bewails the catastrophic and enigmatic upheavals of the Earth which toss his fortunes ever and anon to the winds; Man, whose hourly vicissitudes of elation and depression, vigor and languor, depend upon the surging magnetic floods of the earth which permeate him; Man, whose life itself depends upon the presence in his frame of immeasurably minute portions of all the elements -- Man has the same relation to all this as he has over the emotional storms that range the gloomy caverns of his benighted skull. The nervous discharges born of every changing thought do not end at his nerve-tips; they penetrate into all Space, gathering and setting into motion on their way seismic and astro-geographic powers of untellable magnitude. The Earth is his Fate, and it is all his own.

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XXXIV (Part I of II)
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(1) See discovery of Prof. Terada and Dr. Miyaba, Tokyo Imperial University, Science, Aug. 9, 1929.
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(2) Los Angeles Times, Dec. 18, 1930.
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(3) Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine, July 26, 1931.
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(4) A.P., Aug. 31, 1930.
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(5) New York American, Sept. 6, 1930.
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(6) The Week's Science, Dec. 16, 1929.
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(7) Science, April 10, 1931; Professional Engineer, June-July, 1931.
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(8) Science, August 16, 1929.
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(9) S.D. II, 400.
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(10) Science, May 29, 1931.
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(11) Los Angeles Times, June 1, 1931.
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(12) Do., Jan. 29, 1930.
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(13) See Ocean of Theosophy, 1893.
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(14) Science, May 29, 1931.
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(15) The Week's Science, Feb. 4, 1929.
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