THEOSOPHY, Vol. 22, No. 8, June, 1934
(Pages 355-359; Size: 17K)
(Number 56 of a 103-part series)



MANY odd things are being discovered about the interrelationships of plants, planets, men and suns. Dr. Gustaf Stromberg(1), studying the yet unsolved mystery of the earth's rotation, considers it due to "a mysterious agency which affects everything about us," and one which, with a nature beyond comprehension, permeates, unifies, and transcends the whole universe.

But this is a description of the earth as an organism, whose physical life is expressed in, and in part depends upon, rotation, as well as upon the general translatory motion of the solar system through space. But rotation plus translation is a spiral. Dr. William Seifriz(2) demonstrates the uniform tendency toward spiraling.

"As the spiral habit is equally characteristic of animals from the lowest to the highest (he is writing in connection with a prolonged discussion of spiraling in trees), the ultimate cause, if there is a universal one, must be protoplasmic in character." But he justifies himself by quoting various evidences to the effect that spiraling is a trait both of molecules and of crystals. Spiraling also is not merely a geometric and kinetic trait -- a trait of form and of motion. It is a time-trait. It occurs whenever a cycle is completed, of a nature which brings the subject involved to an original point but upon a higher, or at least different, plane. Outside of Theosophy, the only generally known spirals are the national and social cycles and certain economic cycles. Theosophy teaches that it is universal; the reincarnations of a man as well as of a planet are on rising or lowering spirals, and so for all systems and organisms.

Dr. H. Helm Clayton(3), in a publication by the Smithsonian Institution, states that instead of a single eleven-year solar cycle, there is a vast series of such major and minor cycles superposed one upon the other like the "complicated fundamental tones and harmonics of a chord played on the piano." But any organic life, human, animal, vegetable, is a complex of just such cycles and subcycles. On grounds of the coldest reason, then, are not the vital processes of animal life subcycles of the vital processes of the solar system? And those of the solar system subcycles of the universal Life -- the Day of Brahma, since according to Einstein the Universe as a whole expands and contracts like a great heart?(4) Again, according to Dr. MacMillan(5), the universe undergoes a cyclic process of birth and death; energy is transformed into matter, matter accumulates about stars and other cores, which grow until the internal pressure causes a breakdown into radiant energy, and so on. As a matter of fact it was this cyclic process which Dr. Menzies, some years ago, remarked was symbolized by the Hindus as the "breath of Brahma."

That the vital processes of a nation are involved in the solar pulsations is shown by charts exhibited to the New York Electrical Society by Dr. L. V. Burton, showing that in every business depression in twelve years the solar heat rose, and in every prosperous cycle it fell. Dr. Inigo Jones, Government meteorologist of Queensland(6) sets forth certain cycles connected with the configurations of the planets, and which he claims have a vital bearing on human affairs; one particular cycle of 164 years is correlated with unusual weather disturbances, famine, plague, and wars.

Certainly, on the most practical grounds, any influence which vitally affects the weather has an important organic relation to human affairs. According to the Los Angeles Times for March 16, 1933, the Smithsonian Institution announces a "new basis" for long-range forecasting of weather. The movement of storms on the earth and of spots on the sun seem to follow the same general laws(7). The tracks of storms across the United States fluctuate periodically in frequency from north to south, and this has a definite but complex relation to the eleven-year sunspot cycle. "There is some common influence behind solar and earthly weather." Of course this "new basis" was used by the late lamented Father Ricard, S.J., only for some twenty years while the Smithsonian held its august nose in the air. From the remarks of Dr. Abbot of the said institution(8) "long-range forecasts" on this basis are now possible on the strength of detailed observations made by the Institute's Chilean Laboratory, begun in 1924. Father Ricard not only considered them possible, but made them voluminously, since around 1910.

Dr. R. M. Langer, whose discoveries were announced at a meeting at the California Institute of Technology, seems to have gotten hold of the terrestrial end of some solar arteries, and to some purpose(9). Strange electrical currents, 15,000 miles above the surface of the earth, and strong enough to destroy at times the earth's magnetic field at that elevation, are apparently caused by sunspots, and in turn are reflected on the earth in the form of magnetic storms, it is said.

Dr. John A. Fleming, of the Carnegie Institute, speaks of "large and rapidly changing rates of change of intensity and direction of the magnetic field to the surface structure of the earth," which "can be hardly accidental." It is "natural to expect a causal relationship existing between crustal and subcrustal movements and these magnetic manifestations." "By studying very small wobbles of the compass needle important information may be gathered about ... activity on the surface of the sun itself."(10) "Crustal and subcrustal movements" of course involve earthquakes. But the Secret Doctrine somewhat preceded these researches -- over forty years, in fact -- and itself quotes from works far older.

(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." (S.D. I, 294).
Furthermore the role of the planets and moon is thus given:
..... As we are assured by Archaic Scientists that all such geological cataclysms -- from the upheaval of oceans, deluges, and shifting of continents, down to the present year's cyclones, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tidal waves, and even the extraordinary weather and seeming shifting of seasons which perplexes all European and American meteorologists -- are due to, and depend on the moon and planets; aye, that even modest and neglected constellations have the greatest influence on the meteorological and cosmical changes, over, and within our earth, let us give one moment's attention to our sidereal despots and rulers of our globe and men. Modern Science denies any such influence; archaic Science affirms it. (S.D. II, 699).
Now it happens that this very matter has of late become a very live center of discussion. Dr. Nicholson, of Mt. Wilson Observatory, located all the principal planets on March 10, 1933, the date of the great Southern California earthquake. He found that at the moment of the quake, Venus, Earth, Mars and Neptune lined up almost exactly, Mars being only a degree off the line(11). Dr. R. H. Fanning, a radio expert, who claims to have double-checked all his calculations, asserts that quakes should be predictable by planetary juxtapositions.(12) None of these theories have yet established themselves in scientific respectability, but they show which way the wind blows.

But, some may say, all this is merely analogy. Well, at least the whole trend of recent discovery is to the effect that physiological processes are bio-electric rather than bio-chemical. Why then should not a solar current capable of producing vast terrestrial storms, earthquakes and floods, at the same time produce in individual man physiological and mental changes as well? In which case, where draw the line between the physiology of man and that of the sun and the earth? And if mental activity is electric in nature, as many foremost men of science now proclaim, where is the warrant for placing the cart before the horse and claiming that consciousness is produced by electric or bio-electric action? Why not agree with the Ancient Wisdom that electricity is itself an aspect or manifestation of a form of intelligent life? Of which life human mind is itself but another aspect?

Leaving then the integrity of the human-terrestrial-solar organism as a cardinal Theosophical tenet which can now hardly be attacked on grounds of reason or fact, however "queer" it may seem, what of the vaster cycle of solar life and death? We have of course long since seen the rout and death of the theories of solar life held in H. P. Blavatsky's time, and which all pictured the sun as a globe in combustion or incandescence, of short past history and shorter future life. Of such theories she said:

.....the idea of the amount of "transformable energy" in our little system coming to an end is based purely on the fallacious conception of a "white-hot, incandescent Sun" perpetually radiating away his heat without compensation into Space. To this we reply that nature runs down and disappears from the objective plane, only to re-emerge after a time of rest out of the subjective and to reascend once more. (S.D. I, 149).
Something very much like this disappearance from objectivity, and later reconstitution, is found in the modern energy-matter-energy cycles quoted above. And of course there is no analogy in human life -- unless one is prepared to accept the doctrine of reincarnation, in which case the continuity of process becomes perfect!

The combustion theory has had no very coherent successor. Dr. Henry Norris Russell, of Princeton University, says that we now have conclusive evidence that the earth's surface has had nearly its present temperature for a billion years or more, which means that the sun has been shining as strongly as at present all that time.

Dr. Norris thinks that the only present hope of finding a sufficient source of solar energy lies in changes in the solar atoms themselves, involving a loss of mass, converted into energy.(13)

Dr. Ross Gunn, of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory,(14) is as close as possible to this. Electricity, says he, under a pressure of ten million volts, is constantly flowing from the inside of the sun into outside space. Like Dr. Norris, the only source he can imagine is the "annihilation" of matter.

But if science is somewhat at sea as to the origin of stars, it is in possession of much evidence as to the end of them. The phenomenon of the "nova," or "new star," according to Dr. Frost, of Yerkes Observatory, and Dr. Robinson, of Harvard Observatory, has become a very frequently known happening, of late years.(15) Dr. Frost estimates that there must have been many millions of cases during the existence of our own planet! And that at least ten occur annually in our own galaxy. It has now been definitely concluded that a nova is an explosion of a star. The frequency of such explosions, thinks Dr. Roberson, indicates that such an one occurs at least once in the lifetime of each star, and that the sun may be no exception; in which case the earth would "disappear almost instantly." Anticipating all this, a Master wrote, in 1881:

..... When the solar pralaya comes the whole purified humanity merges into Nirvana and from that inter-solar Nirvana will be reborn in higher systems. The string of worlds is destroyed and vanishes like a shadow from the wall in the extinguishment of light. We have every indication that at this very moment such a solar pralaya is taking place while there are two minor ones ending somewhere ...

His mistake is that he believes a long time must be devoted to the ruin of the solar system: we are told that it occurs in the twinkling of an eye but not without many preliminary warnings. Another error is the supposition that the earth will fall into the sun. The sun itself is first to disintegrate in the solar pralaya ...

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(1) Los Angeles Times, April 3, 1933.
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(2) Science, October 20, 1933.
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(3) The Week's Science, June 16, 1930.
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(4) Literary Digest, August 22, 1931.
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(5) Herald-Tribune, February 28, 1932.
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(6) The Week's Science, July 11, 1932.
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(7) Dr. Kullmer of Syracuse University.
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(8) Los Angeles Times, February 6, 1931.
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(9) Los Angeles Times, January 21, 1933.
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(10) Science, March 18, 1932.
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(11) Los Angeles Times, April 30, 1933.
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(12) Los Angeles Times, December 25, 1933.
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(13) Science, January 20, 1933.
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(14) Science, October 17, 1930.
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(15) New York Times, July 13, 1931; Scientific Monthly, April, 1932.
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