Light is the first begotten, and the first emanation of the Supreme, and Light is Life, says the Evangelist and the Kabalist. Both are electricity – the life principle, the anima mundi, pervading the universe, the electric vivifier of all things. Light is the great Protean magician, and under the divine will of the architect, or rather the architects, the “Builders” (called One collectively), its multifarious, omnipotent waves gave birth to every form as well as to every living being. From its swelling electric bosom, spring matter and spirit. Within its beams lie the beginnings of all physical and chemical action, and of all cosmic and spiritual phenomena; it vitalizes and disorganizes; it gives life and produces death, and from its primordial point gradually emerged into existence the myriads of worlds, visible and invisible celestial bodies.
The Secret Doctrine, i 579
The metaphysical mantram “Light is Life and both are electricity” intimates a profound insight that is realized only at the highest levels of meditation. Empty the mind of all objects and subjects, all contrasts and contours, in a world of names and forms and colours, and one can plunge into absolute Divine Darkness. Once in this realm of pure potential, one may apprehend the hidden noumenon of matter, that ultimate substance or primordial substratum which is the sum-total of all possible objects of perception by all possible beings. At the same time, one may apprehend Spirit as the totality of all the possible expressions, manifestations and radiations of one central divine energy or Light. In that Divine Darkness, the realm of boundless potential where no one thing exists, love is like the Light that is hidden in the Darkness. That Light is the origin of all that is latent, of all that will ever emerge and persist, all that will depart from form and yet remain as immaculate rays.
This primordial realm of potential Light and potential Life is also the realm of potential energy. In this pregenetic realm, wherein there is no manifestation, one may apprehend a wholly potential energy which does not produce any interaction between the latent Spirit and noumenal matter. This is not electricity in any manifest sense, nor any force that can be construed in terms of ordinary language or common sense-perception; it is a primordial current. Even the most abstract conceptions of pure science cannot reach this realm, wherein there is a cosmic electrical vibration so fundamental and all-pervasive that it cannot be localized or characterized in any particular way. Out of this Divine Darkness – out of this potential Light, latent Life and hidden energy – there is a coming into manifestation. There is a process of radiation and emanation in which myriad sparks fly. There is a coalescence of the initial primordial ray of light-energy and the latent life-currents which releases pulsations, radiations and currents that flow forth in every direction.
At this stage of the incipient cosmos, Gupta Vidya affirms the presence of great beings, great minds and hearts, great souls perfected in prior periods of evolution. Remaining awake during the long night of non-manifestation – yet having no particular object of reference and no particular conception in the state of Mahapralaya – they abided in a state of vigilant, ceaseless, harmonious contemplation of all that was potential. These beings emerge with the burgeoning of primordial Light and Life, the primal reverberation of divine energy throughout the glassy essence of space. They become the focussing instrument in what then comes to be known as Universal Mind or Mahat. They become the living lens through which all that is latent within the night of non-manifestation is stirred into active life. These perfected beings, who are later mythified in all the religions of the world as Dhyani Buddhas, Archangels, Lords of Light, become self-conscious agents for the direction and focussing into an emerging world of primary particularizations of an essence that is otherwise universal, purely potential and entirely homogeneous. For the sake of meditation, they may be thought of as shooting out rays of colour and emitting sounds within transcendental musical scales. One may then, in turn, think of them as belonging to seven classes, each corresponding to a subliminal note or a colour. Each of them corresponds to a particular number or degree of differentiation, and they all work in unison. They may be imagined as having their own differentiated notes, colours and numbers but also as uniting and synthesizing the multiple potencies of the manifested Logos. In that ontogenetically prior state, just before manifestation, there is a tremendous subtle field, a pre-cosmic electrical energy that is sometimes called Daiviprakriti – the noumenal Light of the Logos.
In the world of visible manifestation, the phenomena which are identified as electricity and magnetism, light and heat, are observable effects of this primary Logoic radiation. Gigantic and titanic as they are, they are nonetheless nothing but shadows of supersensuous matter in motion on a noumenal plane prior to the realm of phenomena. The study of light-energy in manifestation involves complex curves and relationships and requires the use of many categories and instruments. This is the realm of diffraction and diffusion, of reflection and refraction, wherein there are complex possibilities owing to the interference and overlapping of waves upon waves of light-energy. It is simultaneously the realm of photons, particles of light-energy travelling at an incredible speed, such that light from the moon arrives at the earth within a second. The notion of light as a complex, though virtually instantaneous, agency having an impact at every level of the cosmos stirs the heart long before it can be truly grasped by the mind. The heart understands the vital significance of life because it resonates to that which is primordial, all-pervasive and instantaneous. Within every human heart there burns a fire of light-wisdom and love-compassion, Prajna and Mahakaruna. This spark of the One Fire flickers fitfully in the neophyte at first, but it can be stoked into a powerful flame which burns vigorously, steadily and ceaselessly. In its fullness it directs and guides individuals in the expansive and wise application of the boundless energy flowing from the fathomless love-compassion and light-wisdom within the spiritual heart. The monadic heart of every human being is an exact mirror of the heart of the cosmos, that swelling electric bosom from which the dual stream of spirit-matter emerges.
The Sixth principle in Man (Buddhi, the Divine Soul) though a mere breath, in our conceptions, is still something material when compared with divine “Spirit” (Atma) of which it is the carrier or vehicle. Fohat, in his capacity of DIVINE LOVE(Eros), the electric Power of affinity and sympathy, is shown allegorically as trying to bring the pure Spirit, the Ray inseparable from the ONE absolute, into union with the Soul, the two constituting in Man the MONAD, and in Nature the first link between the ever unconditioned and the manifested.
The Secret Doctrine, i 119
The presence of this divine Light, Fire and Flame within the secret heart means that every human being is capable of seeing and illuminating a much vaster sphere of existence than he or she is typically prepared to inhabit self-consciously. Similarly, every single human being has a much richer and more profound capacity for effortless love than he or she imagines, love that is spontaneous and selfless, asking nothing and willing to give freely, graciously and generously to all. Yet little of that immense love and light-energy has a chance to come forth in a world of masks and shadows, a world of lies and fears and personal loneliness. Such is the predicament of humanity. Yet this same orphaned humanity, which has barely begun to draw upon a minute fraction of its fathomless boundless potential, can do so if it seeks to sustain a conception of existence that goes beyond all habitual divisions and dichotomies. One must transcend distinctions such as youth and old age, social roles and external labels. Even though the mind has become blunted and the heart tainted, one must unlearn all stifling habits and become able to withdraw the mind and heart from false and fleeting allegiances. Only so can one restore plasticity and resilience to the mind and heart.
In diverse societies at different times in recorded history, seekers have tried to meet this challenge by undertaking systematic monastic discipline. They have tried to be helpful to each other and to bind themselves by self-chosen and inexorable rules, vows and pledges. Through a repeated reinforcement of those fundamental resolves, they have sought to develop a way of life aimed at spiritual self-regeneration. Yet in spite of this, again and again in history these monastic institutions, having flourished for a time, invariably degenerated. The vital impulse went out of them and people came to be caught up merely in imitation, in game-playing and in ritual, hollow mimetics. The lesson of this repetitive pattern is that no amount of regimentation on the outside can work unless it is matched by sufficient concentration and continuity of ideation through meditation from within. One cannot force another human being to become a man or woman of meditation. A human being has to sustain a desire to do this which is sufficiently strong to permit him or her to see through the masquerade of that which is false and deceptive in this world.
Hermes, March 1985