THEOSOPHY, Vol. 86, No. 8, June, 1998
(Pages 239-241; Size: 6K)
[Article number (25) in this Department]Among the remnants of occult wisdom, which have been passed down throughout the ages to be once more vivified through understanding and investigation, are an ancient axiom and precept. And these are said by the teachers of today to contain within themselves the whole of occult science.
"AS ABOVE, SO BELOW"
THE AXIOM is "As above, so below," and the precept is "Man, know thyself." These two conjoined may be called the Doctrine of correspondences. The Sages of old saw humankind as an epitome, a picture in miniature of all past evolution and the potential promise of the future. They knew that there is nothing outside of man which is not also within. They, therefore, urged that we should know ourselves. And, perceiving the oneness of cyclic law, they gave to us the initiating axiom, "As above, so below." But if we are to really grasp the full message, which they bear, we need to see in them much more than a pleasing metaphysical cliché.
It is important to remember that the tangible facts of life are indicators of infinitely greater and intangible facts. Then by our observations of the seemingly small things, we can consider their meaning on a greater and deeper level of perception. The mighty stream of life flows on as an ever-running river. It cuts its way through courses great and small. The record of its running is in every pebble on its banks, as in every boulder its waters have displaced. Every ripple on its surface tells of its force and depth.
In sound, form and color we can find a most useful starting point for a study of correspondences. Sound is shown to have a corresponding expression in form as too with color. That sound, form and color correspond to states of consciousness is another matter. However, ask anyone who has been moved by art or music if these three did not affect their state of consciousness. Since there are notes above and below the musical scale and ranges of color invisible to the eye, we can see that there are states of consciousness both above, below and beyond our normal states.
There has never been any true occult science which has not had for its aim the alteration of consciousness. Knowledge however vast is useless without this. That alone which we become, not merely what we learn, do we carry into a new life. When we understand that sound, form and color are all expressions of consciousness, the world around us and its phenomena assume a new interest, a new grandeur.
Then those things previously perceived as incidental take on greater significance. We find ourselves asking such questions as, "From where do the tints of the daisy and its form take their expression?" The colors and form of the daisy are both the outcome of law, of Titan forces playing throughout the Cosmos. They operate in perfect rhythm, in perfect harmony. The daisy is but one of their signatures -- an imprint. Paracelsus spoke much of what he called the signatures of things. He taught the same truth -- that such phenomena as those of color and sound correspond to the underlying force or essence of a thing. He claimed that it was possible to understand the underlying essence of all things by observing the manner in which this essence expressed itself.
When we have once understood in its real sense that man is truly the microcosm of the macrocosm, then we obtain the key capable of unlocking all the doors of knowing. Every fact in the universe is a fact in man. Every fact in man is a fact in the universe. We are seeking to understand these correspondences, to identify ourselves with all life, to perceive the union in diversity and reach toward the unknown.
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 universe is infinite in all directions, not only above us in the large but also below us in the small. If we start out from our human scale of existence and explore the content of the universe further and further, we finally arrive, both in the large and in the small, at misty distances where first our senses and then our concepts fail us.
[Article number (26) in this Department]
Back to the
complete list of articles.
Back to the full listing containing all of the
"Additional Categories of Articles".