THEOSOPHY, Vol. 44, No. 2, December, 1955
(Pages 63-65; Size: 9K)

THE ANATHEMAS AGAINST ORIGEN

IV

[Part 4 of a 5-part series]

Anathema No. IV

If anyone shall say that the reasonable creatures in whom the divine love had grown cold have been hidden in gross bodies such as ours and have been called man, while those who have attained the lowest degree of wickedness have shared cold and obscure bodies and are become and called demons and evil spirits: let him be anathema.

IT was through the necessity of evolution that the "reasonable creatures," or Mind-Born Sons, descended into bodies of "gross matter such as ours." It was not part of the plan, however, that they should so identify themselves with their physical casements as to become completely "hidden" in them. The physical human body was intended to be an instrument of the soul, a tool to be taken up and put aside at Will by the user. Growing "cold" in divine love, however, becoming selfish and self-seeking, the Reincarnating Egos lost sight of the true spiritual nature of themselves and of all others, so that the Real became "hidden" from view within.

"The lowest degree of wickedness" on this Earth doubtless refers to those beings mentioned in The Ocean of Theosophy as black magicians. These demons and evil spirits are "definite, coherent entities, human souls bereft of the spiritual tie, now tending down to the worst state of all, Avitchi, where annihilation of the personality is the end." They are the only damned beings mentioned in Theosophical philosophy. The "cold and obscure bodies" which they inhabit are the Kama-Rupic shells existing in the astral sphere surrounding the earth.

Hell, with the ancients, had little resemblance to the bottomless pit of fire believed in by present day religionists, wherein souls are tormented throughout eternity for evils committed. With the Scandinavians, it is a cold and cheerless abode, an intermediate state of purification. "The idea of a hot hell," says H. P. Blavatsky, "is an afterthought, the distortion of an astronomical allegory." One of the chief differences between modern Christianity and the old pagan faiths is the belief of the former in a personal devil and a burning hell, the two dread superstitions by which numberless millions of the poor ignorant masses have been held in subjection for centuries. Evidently Origen did not subscribe either to the idea of a hot hell or to a place of eternal damnation -- not even for those who had attained "the lowest degree of wickedness."

No. IX of Emperor Justinian's Anathemas reads:

If anyone says or thinks that the punishment of demons and of impious men is only temporary, and will one day have an end, and that a restoration will take place of demons and of impious men, let him be anathema.
Origen taught the theosophical idea that by selfishness and evil an individual cuts himself off from the warmth and fellowship growing out of the bond of Universal Brotherhood and is thrust by his own choice into the cold and obscure bodies of Kama Loka or Avitchi. Yet, even he is not without hope of final redemption.

Reincarnation has been called the lost chord of Christianity. With this loss also vanished the doctrine of evolution -- for the two are inseparable. There seems little doubt that the illogical Christian dogma of creation out of nothing arose directly from these anathemas against Origen's teaching of pre-existence and the evolution of souls from within outward.

Anathema No. V

If anyone shall say that a psychic condition has come from an angelic or archangelic state, and moreover that a demoniac and a human condition has come from a psychic condition, and that from a human state they may become again angels and demons, and that each order of heavenly virtues is either all from those below or from those above and below: let him be anathema.

In the light of the ancient doctrine of evolution, which is always an unfolding from within outwards, it seems only natural to find a sage like Origen teaching that from an angelic or archangelic state, a psychic or soul condition was produced, and that from the latter the human state came finally into being. In the threefold division here outlined (the archangelic, the psychic, and the human), one may detect St. Paul's trinity of body, soul and spirit. To those acquainted with the teachings of The Secret Doctrine it seems strange that students of the Bible, though possessing this threefold division, should nevertheless have been unable to recognize in it the threefold scheme of evolution or unfoldment thus outlined by Origen. Man, according to Theosophy, has descended through various rungs of the ladder of evolution. Starting from a highly spiritual, or archangelic condition of homogeneity, he clothed himself, step by step, in more and more dense degrees of matter and thus reached finally what we know as the human, or physical, state of being. The great objective now is to climb this ladder of being, whose foot rests, according to The Voice of the Silence -- "...in the mire of lies terrestrial." Rung by rung, the ladder must be reascended, until the high archangelic state of spirituality is again embraced.
The Real Teaching is that the man himself, as spiritual being, descends from the plane of spirituality, or spiritual self-consciousness, step by step, through all the stages of condensation of matter; that he meets the uprising tide of form from the lower kingdoms, and when the most perfect form of all has been brought to its highest stage of development, he enters it. Not until that invisible man enters the physical instrument, could there be humanity at all. (Robert Crosbie)
The Oriental synonym for "Archangel," as used in Christianity, is Dhyan Chohan, of which there are seven classes. They are the first septenary differentiation of the One Universal Oversoul, or Logos. Man, in his sevenfold nature, derives his complex being directly from these seven classes or hierarchies of Dhyan Chohans. Being a compound of them all, each of his seven principles is directly related to, and partakes of, one of the seven principles of the Great Mother.

Anathema No. V sets forth Origen's proposition that evolution begins at the top, in Spirit, as taught by Theosophy, and that after having circled through the various degrees of matter (the chain of seven globes, or the seven centers of consciousness, in Esoteric Philosophy), it reascends, plus the experience gained. This idea is contained also in Anathema No. XV:

If anyone shall say that the life of the spirits shall be like to the life which was in the beginning while as yet the spirits had not come down or fallen, so that the end and the beginning shall be alike, and that the end shall be the true measure of the beginning: let him be anathema.
With respect to Man, this implies that every human being has it within his power to reach to divinity, to rebecome the god he was in the beginning. With respect to Nature, it means that all is life, conscious in every part, and possessing the potentialities of the Whole.

When the cycles close, and final reabsorption is achieved, "there will no longer be any matter, but only spirit," as stated in Anathema No. XI.


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