THEOSOPHY, Vol. 15, No. 12, October, 1927
(Pages 539-542; Size: 13K)
(Number 5 of a 103-part series)



GREAT as were the things expected of the newly exploited entity, electricity, in 1888, to assert that electricity lived, as H. P. Blavatsky did, was to invite the name of fool or worse. It was not unsuspected that light and electricity were closely connected, following the theories of Clerk Maxwell and others noted by her. But that light is life, in any but the purely mechanical sense of producing vegetable growth; or that vital action is itself electric and closely connected with light, thus closing the circuit of living action -- was, even speculatively, undreamt of by the boldest theorists.

According to Popular Science Monthly, May, 1927, Dr. Samuel Gelfan, of the University of California, has proven that protoplasm is an excellent conductor of electricity, and that the passage of the latter leaves the cells stimulated and more active than before. Dr. Lakhovsky(1) says that every living cell contains an insulated tube filled with a conducting substance, which oscillates -- whether physically or electrically is not made clear -- when influenced by high frequency currents set in motion by various atmospheric phenomena. And, says he, the vegetable kingdom responds to electric influence.

Now, what is the connection between light and atmospheric electricity? Dr. Fauré contends that sudden deaths are doubled at times of sunspot maxima, showing a very vital connection between biological phenomena and solar radiation, therefore light.

Dr. William Rowan, University of Alberta(2), has found by laboratory investigation that the reproductive organs of birds in a lighted aviary are in the condition normally found only in birds during the spring season; those of birds in unlighted houses resembled the conditions of the winter season. This establishing a connection between reproduction and light, to note an independent corroboration, is interesting: it is now thought that the rate of reproduction of some simple-celled creatures depends upon the wave lengths of light received by them.(3) So far has Science traveled toward the Secret Doctrine:

(From Hermes) "The creation of Life by the Sun is as continuous as his light; nothing arrests or limits it. Around him, like an army of satellites, are innumerable choirs of genii ... They fulfil the will of the gods (Karma) by means of storms, tempests, transitions of fire and earthquakes; likewise by famines and wars, for the punishment of impiety ... It is the sun who preserves and nourishes all creatures; and even as the Ideal World which environs the sensible world fills this last with the plenitude and universal variety of forms, so also the Sun, enfolding all in his light, accomplishes everywhere the birth and development of creatures..." "All these Genii preside over mundane affairs, they shake and overthrow the constitution of States and of individuals; they imprint their likeness on our Souls, they are present in our nerves, our marrow, our veins, our arteries, and our very brain-substance." (Secret Doctrine, 1888, I, 294).
What are these "genii?" Certainly not the anthropomorphic angels and demons created in all ages by the fancies of man. They are impersonal cosmic forces; impersonal, because formless; from the material point of view, unorganized. Yet they are living, all-pervading manifestations of the One force, which is intellection in its highest aspects, mechanical motion in its lowest.
Fohat, then, is the personified electric vital power, the transcendental binding Unity of all Cosmic Energies, on the unseen as on the manifested planes, the action of which resembles -- on an immense scale -- that of a living Force created by WILL, in those phenomena where the seemingly subjective acts on the seemingly objective and propels it to action ... On the earthly plane his influence is felt in the magnetic and active force generated by the strong desire of the magnetizer ... In his secondary aspect, Fohat is the Solar Energy, the electric vital fluid, and the preserving fourth principle, the animal Soul of Nature, so to say, or -- Electricity ... The name Vishnu is from the root vish, "to pervade," and Fohat is called the "Pervader" and the Manufacturer, because he shapes the atoms from crude material ... (S.D., I, 111-112).
But the creative aspect of Fohat goes further and deeper than so-called "living matter:"
...the primordial Electric Entity -- for the Eastern Occultists insist that Electricity is an Entity -- electrifies into life, and separates primordial stuff or pregenetic matter into atoms, themselves the source of all life and consciousness ... (the Astral Light is) the first Light of the primordial Elohim ... or, (scientifically) ELECTRICITY AND lIFE. (S.D., I, 76).
The attempt to find the "origin of life" is a chimera; it has no origin, being immanent in all manifested objects.

Dr. Victor C. Vaughn, University of Michigan Medical School,(4) says that life is fundamentally chemical, and probably exists in simpler and less tangible forms than any living cell or bacterium. This is a long step forward along the path of the ancient truth; complete it with a recognition that the primal life-unit is not only more fundamental than the cell, but goes beyond the atom and even the electron, and biology will have arrived at an unchanging, because true, basis.

As to our outward physical bodies ... the Doctrine teaches a strange lesson; so strange that unless thoroughly explained and as rightly comprehended, it is only the exact Science of the future that is destined to vindicate the theory fully ... ALL IS LIFE, and every atom of even mineral dust is a LIFE, though beyond our comprehension and perception ... (S.D., I, 248).
Reinforced by solar and other cosmic forces, the slumbering inner life evolves from within outward, from its aspect of blind force to the highest intellection.
It is through Fohat that the ideas of the Universal Mind are impressed upon matter. Some faint idea of the nature of Fohat may be gathered from the appellation "Cosmic Electricity" sometimes applied to it; but to the commonly known properties of electricity must, in this case, be added others, including intelligence. It is of interest to note that modern science has come to the conclusion, that all cerebration and brain-activity are attended by electrical phenomena. (S.D., I, 85).
"Inorganic" life is largely self-sustaining; organic life has the superimposed resources of solar action added. In the definite working of the interplanetary life-currents we have a very striking practical demonstration of the validity of the Occult method of analogy -- which, however, can be accurately and intelligently applied only on the basis of Secret Doctrine teachings.

Dr. S. J. Mauchly(5) finds that the electric potential of the earth -- its life-force -- is at a maximum at the moment when the sun is on the meridian of the north magnetic pole, and conversely; showing, in accordance with many Secret Doctrine statements, that the poles act as the receptors and outlets of solar currents. (See especially S.D., Page 205, Vol. I).

The magnetic axis of the earth thus fulfils the same function for the earth as a whole, that is performed by the conductive axial tube of the living cell referred to in Dr. Lakhovsky's theory treated above.

All of which points the way to the day when science itself may recognise that the earth is a living body, with mankind forming the planetary Atma-Buddhi-Manas -- its intelligent soul.

This intimate connection of human consciousness with earth-forces, coupled with Karmic Law, will reveal in all its mingled beauty and horror, the relation between stages of moral development and terrestrial catastrophes, continental changes going hand in hand with the birth and death of races.

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:


Question--What is the source of Conscience? From what plane does it come? Why does the savage delight in cruelty to his enemy, and the so-called enlightened man in sharp practices which the really enlightened know to be wrong? In other words, is Conscience a matter of education?

Answer--Conscience seems to be a faculty which may be stilled or made active. In my opinion its source is in the Higher Self, and as it comes down through plane after plane it loses its force or retains power according to the life and education of the being on earth. The conscience of the savage is limited by his education just as were the consciences of the New Englander and the European religionists who destroyed men for the sake of God and Christ. We cannot assert that the men who indulged in religious persecution were not going according to what they called their conscience. By this I do not mean that conscience is a matter of education, but that the power of its utterances will be limited by our education, and consequently if we have a bigoted religion or a non-philosophical system we are likely to prevent ourselves from hearing from our conscience. And in those cases where men are doing wrong according to what they call their conscience, it must be true that they have so warped their intuition as not to understand the voice of the inward monitor. --W.Q.J.

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(1) Press of April 24, 1927.
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(2) Science, April 8, 1927.
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(3) Science News-Letter, April 9, 1927.
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(4) Science, April 22, 1927.
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(5) Science, April 1, 1927.
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(6) The Theosophical Forum, December, 1893.
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