The greatest cause of many spiritual and mental misunderstandings
among members of the Theosophical Society is the failure to grasp in a clear and vital
manner what a cycle is, or rather what the nature and Law of THE Cycle, the archetype of all cycles, big or small, intrinsically are. Should we think in terms of cycles instead of in terms of personalities, divine or human as may be the case, much confusion would have been avoided; for the proper place of events in relation to the beginning and end of cycles, as well as the proper relation of personalities and their messages to the same cycles would have been revealed in the light of evidence based upon universal facts.
We have touched upon these subjects in two preceding articles, but recent happenings have made it important that an insistent light be thrown upon the very same topics.
Cycles are units or organization in time
, as living organisms are units of organization in space. A cycle is that period of time during which a unity of consciousness, a monad, differentiates from the bosom of cosmic substance, grows, matures, and is reabsorbed into the One. An organism is the composite mass of substance which serves as a vehicle to the unfolding monad. Whether the monad is the informing principle of a solar system, an animal, a human ego, an atom, or a collective Human Race, does not effect the Law of unfolding
of organisms. The cycle may last as long as a manvantara, or as brief as a century or the seven-year period of a man’s life — still the progress of events, as long as events are considered as abstract symbols of impersonal relations, is never fundamentally altered. Cycles are short or long; the Law of Cyclicity is changeless; in the same way in which circles are small or big, yet the proportion pi
remains ever permanent. This pi
is therefore the absolute truth of the cycle, its changeless principle; knowing and understanding it we come in contact with the realm of immutability . . . with THEOSOPHY.
Theosophy in its deepest and eternal aspects is the pi
of the Cosmos, the LAW. It is so as a philosophy
, as Absolute Wisdom, Changeless Knowledge: Dzyu
in Tibetan. It can no more change than the proportion pi
can ever be modified. This proportion measures the relation of diameter (or radius) to circumference, that is of the creative impulse to the organism in space filled by this impulse. And likewise Theosophy establishes the Law of relationship between the Unit of consciousness (the monad) and the universe of substance which it informs.
Thus in its totality Theosophy is triune; for it is a philosophy
(a Law of relationship — Auric Egg), a basis of activity for the monad (Practical Occultism
— Atma-Manas), a basis or organization of the monad’s (Civilization
As a philosophy Theosophy is unchangeable and permanent. [In later years, Rudhyar significantly clarified and broadened this and similar statements, stating Theosophy, or any philosophy, can only be formulated in a particular set of words, images and symbols, which may and should change to better meet the needs of the time. See Occult Preparations
.] It is the truth of the entire cycle, from the largest Cycle to small sub-cycle. The first phase of all cycles is the involutionary
stage, when the Original Impulse descends into matter, when the monad incarnates deeper and deeper. This is the time for Practical Occultism, the summons made to the spiritual souls to incarnate by the magic of real meditation and the power of occult chelaship. It is the time when "gods walk among men" . . . or correspond with them, sending thus their magnetism; when they therefore clothe themselves in personalities.
The second phase is the evolutionary
phase, when the informed substance is raised to spiritual sublimation by the power of the incarnated Idea; when the heterogeneous tends toward the homogeneous condition: Nirvana. The work to be accomplished is then the work of Civilization. The lives within the magic circle of the monadic descent must be organized into a form reflecting the Archetypal Form of the Monad-Idea. The differentiated organism must be made into the likeness of its father: Space. In other words collectivities, be they social or cellular, must be civilized. The Glorified Body must be built, the Temple of Solomon.
The inspirer alike of the work of practical occultism and of the work of civilization is the Philosophy. Therefore in order that this Philosophy be ever-manifested during the whole of the Cycle (we might say in order that the circle does not become an ellipse or a parabola and disintegrate altogether), this philosophy must be Preserved
in its integrity. This is obviously the mission, especially at present, of what is known as the White Lodge, the Company of Keepers of the Records, the Safe where is locked the Formula of Change for this earthly cycle. Should the Formula be lost and the memory of it vanish from the souls of men, the cycle would run swift towards its disintegration. It would become Soulless
The next thing to realize is how corruption sets in the life of the cycle and evil appears. It is probably correct to say that the basic source of all evil is the spiritual selfishness which makes one refuse to give out the Philosophy when Nature (which "unaided failed") calls for it. When spiritual Souls, "jealous of their intellectual freedom," (see The Secret Doctrine II:228) hoard as it were spiritual energy for the sake of self, and commit thus the great sin against Compassion, "the Law of LAWS—eternal Harmony . . . the light of everlasting right and fitness of all things" (The Voice of the Silence; p. 73), then karmic results are produced as follows:
During the involutionary period the centrifugal forces are naturally at work, the One becoming the Many; which means that life works toward self-division. But as the bottom of the cycle is reached the centripetal forces begin to predominate, the tide turns, The Many are re-becoming the One. Attraction rules instead of separation. But as the bottom of the cycle is reached the centripetal forces begin to predominate, the tide turns. But whereas the compassionate Souls of old succeed in drawing their vehicles toward the condition of oneness (brotherhood), the Procrastinators and Selfish by the very inertia of their deed of separativeness are pushed further on this line of separativeness. The tide has turned, but they go on the old way; or rather the then predominating forces of attraction work on them also, but, the attractive pole for them is not the Conscious positive pole of Being, but the unconscious negative pole; avitchi instead of nirvana, unconscious annihilation in Matter instead of conscious reabsorption in Spirit.
Thus the involutionary work of the first period of the cycle, Practical Occultism, became perverted. While the compassionate Souls are beginning the work of Civilization under the guidance of Divine Kings who are teaching them arts, sciences, letters, etc., the selfish ones keep repeating the occult calls, but now to shadows instead of realities
. Active mediumship takes the place of spiritual chelaship, the false astral realms of the real spiritual world; the substitution being mostly an unconscious one, by virtue of the change of polarity having taking place in them, the negative pole having become in almost complete likeness the image of the positive.
This period in the manvantaric cycle corresponds to the middle point of the Atlantean Race, the bottom of the cycle, when the Black and the White Magics faced one another. While the true work of Civilization was in progress in Atlantis (spiritward attraction), the matterward tension brought about the negative shadow of practical occultism and organized religions were born
, which, in the very words of Mahatma K.H. constitute "the greatest, the chief cause of nearly two-thirds of the evils that pursue humanity since that cause became a power." [The Mahatma Letters
In our small centurial cycle with which the present Theosophical Movement is connected the year 1875 corresponds to the middle of the Third Root-Race when the Sons of the Flame, the GREAT BEING, the Holy Tree of Wisdom, incarnated; 1900 to the early Atlantean Race, 1925 to the Middle Atlantean Race.
Now as then the great work to be accomplished is the work of Civilization. Whereas fifty years ago what was most needed were true chelas, now, at least in the plane of action, civilizers are essentially wanted, inspired seers who are able to perceive cultural Archetypes, to go, as Goethe bids us, to the realm of the Mothers, contemplate Platonic Ideas, and having seen
, WORK toward the manifestation of the true New Jerusalem on earth. This however will never
be done fully unless the potential seer STUDIES at first the Philosophy, in its pure and unadulterated condition. And this must be made possible. Therefore the two great branches of the Theosophical Movement
at present ought to be constituted by those who keep burning the sacred flame of the Philosophy, which is the Immutable Truth of the cycle (the Preservers) — and those who act as Fathers of the civilization-to-be.
And both are essentially one, as Vishnu and Brahma are one, spurred on by the fire of Shiva to become as Brahman, as the Cycle itself.
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