THEOSOPHY, Vol. 23, No. 8, June, 1935
(Pages 365-368; Size: 13K)
(Number 61 of a 103-part series)
SCIENCE AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE
"LIFE" and "MATTER"
IT has been said by H. P. Blavatsky in the first volume of the Secret Doctrine, published in 1888: "Chemistry and physiology are the two great magicians of the future, who are destined to open the eyes of mankind to the great physical truths." (S.D., I, 261). No doubt the developments in chemistry, physics, physiology and others are going far in that direction, as may be understood even more by the true Theosophist than by the man only of "science." But what "great physical truths" are they to which the eyes of mankind are thus destined to be opened? They may be set down as they have been variously stated in the Secret Doctrine in such words as these:(1). ALL IS LIFE, and every atom of even mineral dust is a LIFE, though beyond our comprehension and perception, because it is outside the range of the laws known to those who reject Occultism. (S.D., I, 248-9).Modern researches into the constitution of the atom and its nucleus, electrons positive and negative, protons, ions, neutrons, positrons and the like, together with the phenomena of radiation, emanation, emission and absorption, creation and destruction by alpha rays, beta rays, gamma rays, cosmic rays, primary and secondary emission, radiation, ionization, etc., etc., have testified to the propositions laid down. No matter how much one may read about these things, to witness them by observation and experience is another matter. The most appalling and astounding fact of all such observation to the student of Theosophy is the utter blindness of materialistic scientists as to the true nature of what is going on right before their eyes, and would be evident with a very little intuitive perception. H.P.B. has said that it is their materialism which stands in the way of the scientists. While that materialism is being daily crushed by the onrush of facts and metaphysics among the really thinking scientists, a sound basis for ethics is still a far cry to "science" of the day.
Foremost of all, the postulate that there is no such thing in Nature as inorganic substances or bodies. Stones, minerals, rocks, and even chemical "atoms" are simply organic units in profound lethargy. Their coma has an end and their inertia becomes activity. (S.D., I, 626).
(2). It is on the doctrine of the illusive nature of matter, and the infinite divisibility of the atom, that the whole science of Occultism is built. (S.D., I, 520).
(3). There is a purpose in every important act of Nature, whose acts are all cyclic and periodical. (S.D., I, 640).
"MATTER IS ETERNAL, becoming atomic (its aspect) only periodically." (S.D., I, 552).
(4). ...we must seek for the ultimate causes of light, heat, etc., etc., in MATTER existing in super-sensuous states -- states, however, as fully objective to the spiritual eye of man, as a horse or a tree is to the ordinary mortal. Light and heat are the ghost or shadow of matter in motion. Such states can be perceived by the SEER or the Adept ... (S.D., I, 515).
(5). Every elemental atom, in search of which more than one Chemist has followed in the path indicated by the Alchemists, is, in their firm belief (when not knowledge), a SOUL; not necessarily a disembodied soul, but a jiva, as the Hindus call it, a centre of POTENTIAL VITALITY, with latent intelligence in it, and, in the case of compound Souls -- an intelligent active EXISTENCE, from the highest to the lowest order, a form composed of more or less differentiations. (S.D., I, 567).
(6). Atoms fill the immensity of Space, and by their continuous vibration are that MOTION which keeps the wheels of Life perpetually going. It is that inner work that produces the natural phenomena called the correlation of Forces. Only, at the origin of every such "force," there stands the conscious guiding noumenon thereof -- Angel or God, Spirit or Demon -- ruling powers, yet the same. (S.D., I, 633).
Marchese Guglielmo Marconi, "inventor of wireless," has declared (International Congress of Electro-Radio Biology, September 10, 1934), the mystery of life to be unsolvable for science, and that it would be a frightening problem were it not for faith. Dr. Robert A. Millikan, following the cues of the Greek philosophers such as Democritus and others, as well as some of the ancient ideas constantly infused into the thought and mind of the race, declares (International Conference on Physics, October 2, 1934), that while atoms are being built up by transformation, others are being annihilated, the process of creation and destruction going on at the same time. The Joliots have described before the world's physicists "miracles of modern alchemy" as a result of their researches with radioactive elements. (International Conference on Physics, October 3, 1934). Dr. J. D. Cockroft, young Cambridge physicist, has announced (same Conference), that the same -- or apparently the same -- radioactive element can have different properties. A special cable to the New York Times printed October 4, 1934, remarks:Physicists are frankly puzzled to-day by these phenomena. Could it be that each of the radioactive elements could have two, three or a dozen different properties?To this Theosophy, ancient and modern, would answer in the affirmative, and add that this is true not only of the so-called radioactive elements but of all "elements" in existence. Modern chemistry cannot deny the fact, for it has avowedly admitted in its more comprehensive treatises that various elements formerly combined in ways different from what they do now, and that their present combinations and correlations differ from those of ages past. There may be other surprises in store. Meanwhile, Prof. G. Gamow, young Russian scientist, has cited forms of uranium and lead that exhibited the same duality that Dr. Cockroft found in nitrogen. But it is said that he expressed doubt as to whether the mystery could be solved until more of the secrets of the nucleus had been discovered. Safe to say that modern methods will not fully discover it, the reasons being plainly indicated in the Secret Doctrine, especially in such sections as those on "The Coming Force." And have we not good ethical reasons at least why it would be a grave danger, in the experiments reported from Paris as to successful rays that can kill -- "Death dealing light rays?" Such are infernal "properties" shown in the "duality" of usages of "scientific" discoveries. This announcement comes simultaneously with the other from Washington, October 2, 1934: "The discovery of huge 'stars of death,' the rays of which would wipe out all life if they could reach the earth." (Smithsonian Institution; report in New York Times, October 3, 1934). The report goes on to say:A vast shower of "death rays" sent out by these stars was found to consist mostly of ultra-violet rays of very short wavelength. Similar radiation is given off by the sun. The death rays, however, are screened out by a layer of ozone high in the earth's atmosphere.Creation, preservation and destruction are the eternal ways of cyclic and periodical manifesting nature visible and invisible. Creators and destroyers are two aspects of life. It may be asked: What is the cause of their contrasting characteristics? What is the origin of the various "properties" attributes or affections of the "elements" of material existence? And what is matter in reality? Says the Secret Doctrine:Matter, to the Occultist, it must be remembered, is that totality of existences in the Kosmos, which falls within any of the planes of possible perception. (S.D., I, 514).As every tyro in Theosophy knows or soon learns, we secrete or use Life Energy as we live. There are no "properties" characteristics, attributes, affections, phenomena or anything else save those produced by living beings of one kind and grade or another. "Occultism does not deny the certainty of the mechanical origin of the Universe; it only claims the absolute necessity of mechanicians of some sort behind those Elements (or within) --a dogma with us." (S.D., I, 594). By combining true science with true religion, the truth may be demonstrated and the soundest possible basis for ethics perceived as founded on immutable law. It gives to man his rightful place in the universe as a responsible agent in and for the whole of nature and of life.
Modern physics, while borrowing from the ancients their atomic theory, forgot one point, the most important of the doctrine; hence they got only the husks and will never be able to get at the kernel. They left behind, in the adoption of physical atoms, the suggestive fact that from Anaxagoras down to Epicurus, the Roman Lucretius, and finally even to Galileo, all those Philosophers believed more or less in ANIMATED atoms, not in invisible specks of so-called "brute" matter. Rotatory motion was generated in their views, by larger (read, more divine and pure) atoms forcing downwards other atoms; the lighter ones being thrust simultaneously upward. The esoteric meaning of this is the ever cyclic curve downward and upward of differentiated elements through intercyclic phases of existence, until each reaches again its starting point or birthplace. The idea was metaphysical as well as physical; the hidden interpretation embracing "gods" or souls, in the shape of atoms, as the causes of all the effects produced on Earth by the secretions from the divine bodies. (S.D., I, 567-8).
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:
THE INNER UNIVERSE
In each human being is a complete universe in which daily occur phenomena that should be studied. This is the proper realm for each student to investigate, for therein -- and nowhere else -- is placed the gate through which each one must advance. --The Path.
SCIENCE AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE
WAR IN SCIENTIFIC OLYMPUS
(Part I of II)
(Part 62 of a 103-part series)
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