Theosophy – Between Heaven and Earth (Part 1) – Sri Raghavan Iyer

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BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH – I

 

    The great antique heart, how like a child’s in its simplicity, like a man’s in its earnest solemnity and depth! heaven lies over him wheresoever he goes or stands on the earth making all the earth a mystic temple to him, the earth’s business all a kind of worship. Glimpses of bright creatures flash in the common sunlight; angels yet hover, doing God ‘s messages among men…. A great law of duty, high as these two infinitudes (heaven and hell), dwarfing all else, annihilating all else – it was a reality, and it is one: the garment only of it is dead; the essence of it lives through all times and all eternity!
    The essence of our being, the mystery in us that calls itself ‘I’ – what words have we for such things? – it is a breath of Heaven, the highest Being reveals himself in man. This body, these faculties, this life of ours, is it not all as a vesture for the UNNAMED?

Thomas Carlyle

Rounds and Races are integral to cosmic and human evolution. This septenary teaching is of crucial significance to the conceptual framework of the Gupta Vidya. Metaphysics and ethics are fused in one unbroken series of instinctual and intuitive states of unfolding monadic consciousness in slowly evolving material vestures. Of the seven planes of Kosmic consciousness, the lower four rupa planes provide the seemingly objective matrix for the seven globes of the Earth Chain. The upper three arupa planes are almost incomprehensible by the uninitiated and are closely connected with the ineffable mystery of Mahatic self-consciousness, at once the source and support of universal progress upon the seven globes of human evolution.

    These seven planes correspond to the seven states of consciousness in man. It remains with him to attune the three higher states in himself to the three higher planes in Kosmos. But before he can attempt to attune, he must awaken the three ‘seats’ to life and activity.

The Secret Doctrine, i 199

Any human being who is truly serious about activating these dormant spiritual centres and selflessly attuning them to the three higher planes of Kosmic consciousness must think away entirely from the enveloping vestures and move upon the “waters of Space”, the empyrean of ‘airy nothings’, the Akashic void within the Hebdomadic Heart, the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. In the alchemical process of progressive self-attenuation the enlightened person makes fruitful discoveries about the limits and possibilities, the tendencies and tropisms, of all the varying classes of elementals in the illusory vestures. If any seeker of truth is Buddhic regarding the broad scheme of evolution, which is triple in function and sevenfold in the great circlings of globes by the Monadic Host, then the voluntary assumption of incarnation by Divine Self-consciousness at a certain critical stage of global evolution yields a richer view of the true stature of being human, God in actu.

If any sensitive person fully thought out what it means to be a self-conscious being, making meaningful connections in reference to all aspects of life and death, then one would verily become capable of cooperating with the evolutionary scheme by staying in line with those gods and sages who are the unthanked Teachers of Humanity. No such fundamental revolution in consciousness is possible without becoming intensely aware of both motive and method. Motive has to do with morality in the metaphysical sense, the rate of vibration of one’s spiritual volition. Is the individual soul consciously seeking to help, heal and elevate every single life-atom? Or, owing to fear, ignorance, suspicion and doubt, is the fugitive soul trapped in a mechanical repetition of moribund hostilities inimical to those whom it irrationally and unintentionally injures? Through unremitting attention to such internal obstructions, one could rise above the lower or lunar planes of consciousness, seeing compulsive tendencies for what they are, and thus introduce by renewed acts of noetic will a strong current of spiritual benevolence. This would be the basis of Bodhisattvic ethics, a joyous mode of relaxed breathing. In pursuing this Aquarian life-style, one is certain to encounter various difficulties in the realm of the mind in regard to one’s permeability to astral forces, one’s personal vulnerability to reversals, perversion and pride, and also a strange susceptibility to distortions and awkwardnesses that come between what is spontaneously felt at the core of one’s being and its deliberate enactment in the chaotic context of social intercourse. One would have to become mathematically objective about the fluctuating patterns of mental deposits and tendencies that have cut deep grooves in the volatile vestures of personal existence. One would have to see all this in relation to human evolution as a whole, asking relevant questions about the uncouth Fourth Race as well as concerning what one really learnt in the first sub-race of the Fifth Race of original thinkers and theophilanthropists who were effortlessly capable of creative ideation and concentrated endeavour. In asking such questions one has to lift ethical sensitivity beyond the level of the individual monad, through active concern with all humanity, to cosmic planes of cognition. In so doing one could gradually come to make fundamental readjustments in the elusive relationship between one’s lower and higher centres of perception, volition and empathy.

Although such a prospect of self-sovereignty may seem to be an enormous evolutionary advance, in retrospect, once it is attained, it will be seen as no more than a self-conscious restoration of the primeval modes of moral awareness of the Third Root Race. Soon after the descent of the gods, the pristine Sons of Wisdom who incarnated into the Third Race, they engendered through Kriyashakti the sacred progeny of the truly twice-born, the fabled Sons of Ad, the mythic ‘Sons of the Fire-Mist’, the immaculate Sons of Will and Yoga. What they emanated in unison was a wondrous collective being (Bodhisattvic Golden Egg), a mysteriousBodhi-Tree and deathless fountainhead, the Tree of Noetic Knowledge, from which arose all the initiated Adepts and god-men, gurus and sages of the human race in subsequent epochs of evolution. The arcane teachings affirm that Dakshinamurti, the Initiator of Initiates, was the original Jagadguru (Amitabha), Rishi Narayan or Shri Krishna, the Ancient of Days who stood as Shiva (Avalokiteshwara) behind Buddha, Shankara, Pythagoras and Plato, Confucius and Lao Tzu, Christ and Paul, Count St. Germain and Claude St. Martin, Cagliostro and Mesmer, H.P. Blavatsky and W.Q. Judge. There have always existed on earth the secret mystery-temples in which the whole life of the neophyte through a series of preparatory initiations must eventually lead to grateful prostration before the Great Sacrifice (Adhiyajna) and a Host of Hierophants, the Buddhas of Contemplation, silently sustaining the whole world, the Wheel of Samsara, the Great Chain of Being. It was H.P. Blavatsky’s accredited privilege to transmit this ancient and sacred teaching in a memorable hymnody in The Secret Doctrine, from which every Lanoo may derive inspiration and strength in reawakening the mighty power of sacrifice, the invocation ofAdhiyajna through Agniyoga by the grace of Adi Sanat, the Mahat-Atman.

The ‘BEING’ just referred to, which has to remain nameless, is the Tree from which, in subsequent ages, all the great historically known Sages and Hierophants, such as the Rishi Kapila, Hermes, Enoch, Orpheus, etc., etc., have branched off. As objective man, he is the mysterious (to the profane – the ever invisible) yet ever present Personage about whom legends are rife in the East, especially among the Occultists and the students of the Sacred Science. It is he who changes form, yet remains ever the same. And it is he again who holds spiritual sway over the initiated Adepts throughout the whole world. He is, as said, the ‘Nameless One’ who has so many names, and yet whose names and whose very nature are unknown. He is the ‘Initiator,’ called the ‘GREAT SACRIFICE.’ For, sitting at the threshold of LIGHT, he looks into it from within the circle of Darkness, which he will not cross; nor will he quit his post till the last day of this life-cycle. Why does the solitary Watcher remain at his self- chosen post? Why does he sit by the fountain of primeval Wisdom, of which he drinks no longer, as he has naught to learn which he does not know – aye, neither on this Earth, nor in its heaven? Because the lonely, sore-footed pilgrims on their way back to their home are never sure to the last moment of not losing their way in this limitless desert of illusion and matter called Earth- Life. Because he would fain show the way to that region of freedom and light, from which he is a voluntary exile himself, to every prisoner who has succeeded in liberating himself from the bonds of flesh and illusion. Because, in short, he has sacrificed himself for the sake of mankind, though but a few Elect may profit by the GREAT SACRIFICE.

It is under the direct, silent guidance of this MAHA – (great) – GURU that all the other less divine Teachers and instructors of mankind became, from the first awakening of human consciousness, the guides of early Humanity. It is through these ‘Sons of God’ that infant humanity got its first notions of all the arts and sciences as well as of spiritual knowledge; and it is they who have laid the first foundation-stone of those ancient civilizations that puzzle so sorely our modern generation of students and scholars.

The Secret Doctrine, i 207-20

This sublime portrait must speak to the imperishable spiritual intuition in the inmost heart of every human being who seeks to cross the threshold. It is truly a theme for reflection, and if used as the basis of deep and daily meditation, it should act upon the sovereign spiritual will. It should lend hidden strength to the capacity to marshal and concentrate in one’s divine sphere all sacrificial thoughts, feelings, energies, words and acts. It should also give the indestructible strength to remain like the solitary watcher totally bound to his self-chosen post. The very idea of any shadow of turning or variation from one’s sacred commitment would be deeply repugnant to one’s nature. The esoteric teaching given above was always whispered but only enacted within the sanctum sanctorum of the Mystery Schools. It is a theurgic teaching meant to fire a human being through Agniyoga and arouse soul-memories (anamnesis) from pre-manvantaric aeons in cosmic evolution. To be able to incarnate such a therapeutic teaching is to light up the rising flame of resolve such as will never be extinguished in the mighty task of universal enlightenment.

Hermes, December 1980
Raghavan Iyer

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