Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

Discussion on literature other than by the Star of Azazel.
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Silvaeon
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

Postby Silvaeon » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:36 am

Aquila wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:43 pm
Silvaeon wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:44 pm
Aquila wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:53 pm
Also considering that our knowledge of the Nature has gradually increased we might in some ways add new things to our esoteric understanding as well (like how the newer planets add something to the system).
This something I've thought about every so often as well - how to to reconcile these newer discoveries with the older ideas, as 7 is such a prevalent number. If anyone has any insight, it would be welcome!
Maybe it's bit too optimistic thinking but I tend to believe that certain kind of scientific discoveries symbolize somewhat similar possibilities or potentiality on the spiritual level. Naturally we don't have so much history and symbolism around the newer planets as they are not part of the "old system" but present some kind of new details that can and will be added to esoteric worldview when the time is ripe. I think it's like the idea that only some parts of the secret doctrine have been revealed this far or that only the first four initiations (referring to Nefastos' book Adept) can be reached on certain level of humanity but new secrets and possibilities are slowly revealed though they are still far from being part of any collective understanding. Yet I don't think we have so much urgent need to think of the esoteric meanings of the planets behind Saturn as we're still pretty much trying to understand and live by the ideals of the first ones :)
I see that in my hectic schedule, I forgot to thank you for this - looking at it this way is very helpful and makes a lot of sense!
(edited, missed part of the quote)
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

Postby Silvaeon » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:20 am

I'm afraid my summaries/thoughts are going to become a little more scattered and less useful right now, as there is so much to take in with this stanza that its a little (a lot) overwhelming, but I persevere. And apologies for the repetitiveness, but writing these things out really does help them to stick to me.

1. The last vibration of the seventh eternity thrills through infinitude. The mother swells, expanding from within without like the bud of the lotus.

Blavatsky starts off with some more discussion on time. We've reached the end of the Pralaya of seven eternities, and the "eternal and changeless law" begins the next cycle. The expansions from the Mother ("waters of space") doesn't have anything to do with an increase in size, but instead a change of condition - of course because of its infinite and absolute properties we've been talking about. The Lotus is again used, as it contains a miniature version of itself in its seed - meaning the absolute contains the prototype for everything within it. She then goes on to talk about the meaning of a Manvantara, or cycle of activity, "between two Manus." I feel like this is a gem to keep in the back of my mind: "esoterically, every Manu, as an anthropomorphized patron of his special cycle (or Round), is but the personified idea of the “ Thought Divine ” (as the Hermetic “ Pymander ”) ; each of the Manus, therefore, being the special god, the creator and fashioner of all that appears during his own respective cycle of being or Manvantara. Fohat runs the Manus’ (or Dhyan-Chohans’) errands, and causes the ideal prototypes to expand from within without—viz., to cross gradually, on a descending scale, all the planes from the noumenon to the lowest phenomenon, to bloom finally on the last into full objectivity—the acme of illusion, or the grossest matter."

2. The vibration sweeps along, touching with its swift wing the whole universe, and the germ that dwelleth in darkness : the darkness that breathes over the slumbering waters of life.

I already had to flip back to the last Stanza and remember that "the germ" represents a point (not physical) as abstract matter, and it exists in every atom, which are collectively "The Germ", the force behind eternal matter. So, as space is swelling, the vibration touches everything, including that germ which is going to birth matter. I enjoyed the talk about water symbolizing "primordial matter with latent spirit" and "the base and source of material existence."
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

Postby Aquila » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:34 pm

Stanza III
1. . . . The last vibration of the seventh eternity thrills
through infinitude. The mother swells, expanding from within
without, like the bud of the lotus.
2. The vibration sweeps along, touching with its swift wing the
whole universe and the germ that dwelleth in darkness : the
darkness that breathes over the slumbering waters of life. . .
3. Darkness radiates light, and light drops one solitary ray
into the mother-deep. The ray shoots through the virgin egg
the ray causes the eternal egg to thrill, and drop the noneternal germ, which condenses into the world-egg.
If I get it right I think Blavatsky writes basically about the same thing in all of the commentaries about these first three parts of the Stanza. The idea basically seems to be that the ray of light coming from the darkness impregnates the mother chaos (the sleeping waters of life). The chaos is the sum of all the possibilities and from here all the possible manifestations are drawn into existence. When the divine thought or godly consciousness enters the chaos it creates the creator which gives existence to everything that lies in these sleeping waters. The egg is everywhere all the time and is penetrated by consciousness and together they give birth to everything we (or any other living being) can experience. The most confusing part is the very first commentary where Blavatsky writes about Mahat and how various eso- or exoteric schools interpretate it. This part is something I don't really get.
4. Then the three fall into the four. The radiant essence
becomes seven inside, seven outside. The luminous egg, which
in itself is three, curdles and spreads in milk-white curds
throughout the depths of mother, the root that grows in the
depths of the ocean of life
The ray coming from the Darkness, Chaos and their Son that is the creator are the first triangle which give birth to the four, a square, that is further differentiated by the seven that is the first three plus four - seven inside. Seven outside is their appearance in all the further manifested existence that is their image. At least this is how I intrepret. Seven outside is also the suncross or swastika within a circle (as circle is the luminous essence of the three as one) that is not only a number anymore but the movement itself = creation, existence, life. Different kind of crosses are an interesting subject to ponder in this context and how they present different meanings esoterically. For example how the basic christian cross is different compared to the suncross.

Blavatsky writes of the milky-way as the milk-white curds that spread in the depths of mother and milky-way was the only known physical existence back then as other galaxies weren't found yet but it doesn't really change anything. Everything glowing upon the darkness of space are the milk-white curds given birth from the darkness and chaos to be given a form and order for limited time.
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

Postby Silvaeon » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:05 am

3. “ Darkness ” radiates light, and light drops one solitary ray into the waters, into the mother deep. The ray shoots through the virgin-egg ; the ray causes the eternal egg to thrill, and drop the non-eternal germ, which condenses into the world egg.

I think I have this right now? In the previous stanza, "the ray had not yet flashed into the germ", but now we see this happening. The ray is that of life, and it impregnates the virgin-egg laying within the waters of life (being primordial matter and latent spirit.) This virgin-egg is eternal and never changing, containing within it the potential for everything. From this eternal egg now fertilized with life comes the "germ" which manifests as abstract matter and the world or mundane egg. This world egg contains within it the potential for the universe as we are able to understand it, and this is "non-eternal" from our point of view, prone to creation and destruction/ inbreathing and outbreathing of the divine breath. I very much enjoyed picturing the ouroboros within this mundane egg the way Blavatsky described it. More or less repeating what Aquila said above.

4. Then the three fall into the four. The radiant essence becomes seven inside, seven outside. The luminous egg, which in itself is three, curdles and spreads in milk-white curds throughout the depths of mother, the root that grows in the ocean of life.

Going back to reference stanza two again, Mother ("waters of life"), and Father (male creator) [collectively the female and male principles of the root nature], and their son (the universe), have now been struck by the ray of life and the three have become four. I remember the seven (dhyhan-chohans) being described as the creators of our planetary chain. So the further differentiation (the 3+4 inside) makes sense to me if the outward appearance is as the dhyhan-chohans. Thanks for your comments Aquila, it got my brain going when I was struggling a bit with this part. And of course the spreading of milk white curds is the milky way being formed.

5. The root remains, the light remains, the curds remain, and still Oeaohoo is one.

I first learned of Oeaohoo from Fra Mimesis. I find myself quite unsure how to discuss this particular word, but find it most easy to think of it as "a name for the manifested one life" as Blavatsky says. The point of this section #5 is just that although the root, the ray, and the first form of differentiated matter may appear to be separate, they are all One.
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

Postby Aquila » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:42 am

Stanza III continues
5. The root remains, the light remains, the curds remain, and
still Oeaohoo is one.
Here is mentioned the six in one that is the original three forming another three and one between which makes up the septenary root of existence. Ahamkara was mentioned earlier in the text and it is the sense of separate existence that is already born in the very first processes of manifestation. This is a part of Antahkarana, the two-way bridge which is the conveyor between higher and lower that is travelled by the consciousness in various degrees. Anyway, everything is filled with the roots of life, thus the antahkarana is also within all life. This idea that seems dual only so in the other end of the bridge where the consciousness has not yet made everything luminous, making it maya, the imagined separate existence. Well, I'm not so happy with this explanation but it's all so difficult to make into words :)
6. The root of life was in every drop of the ocean of immortality, and the ocean was radiant light, which was fire, and heat, and motion. Darkness vanished and was no more ; it disappeared in its own essence, the body of fire and water, or father and mother.
Well, I was little bit ahead of the text in my previous comment. While darkness is the actual spiritual essence behind all existence, light is the root of life coming from the darkness. We can not reach the darkness but only the light of life spawned from it. The spirit can not be seen in physical sense but is only known invisibly by it's active aspects in the physical world and to human the central aspect is the sense of I am which is a small drop of Alaya, the universal soul. I might be completely lost here.

Lucifer/Satan is also first time mentioned in this chapter which I find quite logical considering the light/darkness duality and it's actual oneness.
7. Behold, oh Lanoo! The radiant child of the two, the unparalleled refulgent glory : Bright Space Son of Dark Space,
which emerges from the depths of the great dark waters. It is
Oeaohoo the younger, the * * * He shines forth as the son ;
he is the blazing Divine Dragon of Wisdom ; the One is Four,
and Four takes to itself Three,† and the Union produces the
Sapta, in whom are the seven which become the Tridasa (or the
hosts and the multitudes). Behold him lifting the veil and
unfurling it from east to west. He shuts out the above, and
leaves the below to be seen as the great illusion. He marks
the places for the shining ones, and turns the upper into a
shoreless sea of fire, and the one manifested into the great
waters.
I'm not sure but Oeaohoo reminds me of Adam Kadmon, the spiritual essence of original man that contains the divine thought and “ He who bathes in the light of Oeaohoo will never be deceived by the veil of Mâyâ.” In a way the veil of Maya is the only evil there is. Theosophy wiki says that it comes from the words mā "not" and yā "this" which would result in the illusion of being separate from some part of the totality of the whole existence and in various degrees.
The connection of the dragon, serpent, astral light (which I guess is not to be mixed up with what the astral often means nowadays) and physical matter is so vast here that I think I need a lot more time to ponder upon it. I believe these ideas mentioned here are in the heart of all occultism.

Avalokiteśvara is also mentioned which again brings my mind back to Lucifer-Satan.
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

Postby Smaragd » Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:06 am

Silvaeon wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:20 am
And apologies for the repetitiveness, but writing these things out really does help them to stick to me.
Apologies unnecessary. Your messages have been great help for tying many ideas back together after diving in to these texts with a slow pace and forgetting many past things. I went through the discussion of the previous Stanza and I'm barely starting to come back to our map here after getting lost in to the details.

The following might be a bit rough around the edges so please feel free to point differentiating interpretations. This stanza has been a bit of a struggle and I'm hopeless in question formulation and prone to attempt to have some sort of living interpretation of my own, eventhough they sometimes end up to be a bit inconclusive atleast in written form. I guess I should work on this on myself.

3.3:
"“ Darkness ” radiates light, and light drops one solitary ray into the waters, into the mother deep.The ray shoots through the virgin-egg ; the ray causes the eternal egg to thrill, and drop the non-eternal ( periodical ) germ, which condenses into the world egg."

The non-eternal germ I would think to be the Manu of the Manvantara as "the non-eternal periodical germ which becomes later in symbolism the mundane egg, contain in itself, when it emerges from the said symbol, “ the promise and potency ” of all the Universe."
This germ of the Manu thus brings forth the emphasis and ideas by which the current Manvantara needs to circle through. The condensation in to the world egg is the Manu taking its form and incarnation.
Aquila wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:34 pm
The idea basically seems to be that the ray of light coming from the darkness impregnates the mother chaos (the sleeping waters of life). The chaos is the sum of all the possibilities and from here all the possible manifestations are drawn into existence.
I guess the Mother Chaos is sort of filtered by the Manu, meaning the endless possibilities are directed in the way that a limited form can be drawn from the world without limits.

3.4:
Aquila wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:34 pm
Seven outside is their appearance in all the further manifested existence that is their image. At least this is how I intrepret.
I think so too. The seven Dzyan Chohans emerge and have their symbolic manifestation as the planets of our solar system, as the cosmogenesis touches particularly our planetary system. The outside manifestations, I would think, to be here on the invisible stage of monadic center and the laws by which the material mass starts to gather around them.


"The luminous egg (Hiranyagarbha), which in itself is three (the triple hypostases of Brahmâ, or Vishnu, the three “ Avasthas”), curdles and spreads in milk-white curds throughout the depths of mother, the root that grows in the ocean of life ."
The curds as the first differentiation and the origin of the cosmic star stuff is a familiar image. Those unfamiliar with the unprocessed milk, its fat gathers as lumbs or "curds" on the surface after couple days leaving the milk itself a bit thin. Reminds me how ideas impressed to the liquidy astral light begin to take more and more concrete forms, although here the curds seem to be the primordial matter that I take to be the godly thought (or Logos) that will give the idea of its form to be impressed on the astral light?


3.6:
The Fire & Water or the Father & Mother (Spirit & Chaos) that creates the first-born light 'Protogonos' is further pointed towards in this wiki-article:
https://theosophy.wiki/en/Kwan-Shi-Yin
The whole 6th part of the III. Stanza seems to deal with this duality of light and darkness, which is essential to the Protogonos myth. According to Wikipedia Phanes' wife Nyx, who called him 'Protogenus', created the nighttime while Protogonos created daytime. As Protogonos hatching from the world egg creates the world, out comes first the primordial matter which I take to be the second Logos emanating forth from the monad — the center of everything. The marriage of Nyx and Protogonos seems to speak of the same thing as the last two sentences: "Darkness vanished and was no more.† It disappeared in its own essence, the body of fire and water, of father and mother."

The son of the unnamed, that is pointed to be Avalokitesvara, Mystic Christ and Osiris of the Egyptian tradition is intriguing concept. Unamed father who is pointed towards by his son. Blavatsky points the Father to come only as the third one, almost as if the Son in an oidipal way becoming the Father. This I'd interpret to be the second Logos again, meaning, in the heartbeat of and active manifestation the fatherly Will takes its body and the effect becomes the cause again in the invisible world.
I'm fond of the Christian versions of the Mother and the Son who is identical to his Father, and through them some closer understanding is gained to what we are speaking of here, but I'm a bit confused in this cross-roads of different myths. Do you see Protogonos as the Logos ie. the Son or as the second Logos?


The 7th part of the stanza brings together the seven in one — the Son — who "marks places for the shining ones" which I take to mainly point to the 7 celesital bodies here.
"He is called the “Blazing Dragon of Wisdom,” because, firstly, he is that which the Greek philosophers called the Logos, the Verbum of the Thought Divine ; and secondly, because in Esoteric philosophy this first manifestation, being the synthesis or the aggregate of Universal Wisdom, Oeaohoo, “ the Son of the Son,” contains in himself the Seven Creative Hosts (The Sephiroth), and is thus the essence of manifested Wisdom."
We seem to be at a place where we could understand what the different Logoi are about. On the footnote of the page 73: "...the gnostic Ophis contained the same triple symbolism in its seven vowels as the One, Three and Seven-syllabled Oeaohoo of the Archaic doctrine; i.e., the One Unmanifested Logos, the Second manifested, the triangle concreting into the Quaternary or Tetragrammaton, and the rays of the latter on the material plane."
To bring these concepts a bit nearer I would like to see the Logoi in the Hieroglyphic Key in the following way. The One Unmanifested Logos is the Monad, which is the source of wisdom and the whole of the higher triad atma-buddhi-(manas), which manifesting itself as these three and further on as the seven (higher triad connected to the lower triad through prana) becomes the Second Logos.
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

Postby Cerastes » Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:59 pm

I find the part about the cosmic electricity (primordial electric energy), which is the current between the spiritual and the physical world and leads to materialization very fascinating.
„it electrifies into life, and separates primordial stuff or pregenetic matter into atoms“.


In another topic it was written that materialized electricity is the corpse of Fohat. Therefore, Fohat could be discribed as the living electricity. As I understand it, this living electricity is also the bridge to the higher triangle. (manas, buddhi, atma) on a microcosmic plane. However, the corpse of Fohat can only act on a physical plane.

Side note:
To visualize the components of a electrical circuit we use symbols in electrical engineering and I find it absolutly fascinating how close they are to occult symbols. The symbol attached stands for the perfect source of current (DC). At the first part of Cosmogenesis, Blavatsky discribed the divided cirlcle as:
„the separation of sexes by natural evolution“.
So this symbol shows how current emerges out of the male/female (or +/-) division.
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

Postby Polyhymnia » Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:24 pm

To add to the very rich discussion I must take it to 3.6: "The Root of Life was in ever drop of the ocean of immortality (amrita) and the ocean was radiant light, which was fire and heat and motion. Darkness vanished and was no more. It disappeared in its own essence, the body of fire and water, of father and mother."

My mind immediately went to the secret fire in alchemy, or kundalini. I went searching and the first thing I found was this:
"In his book Alchemy, Franz Hartmann states that we all carry this Secret Fire within us. “In many theosophical works,” he writes, “the Secret Fire of the alchemists is described as kundalini, the ‘serpentine’ working power in the body of the acetic. It is an electric, fiery, occult or Fohatic power, the great pristine form which underlies all organic and inorganic matter. H.P. Blavatsky calls it ‘an electro-spiritual force, a creative power which, when aroused into action, can as easily destroy as it can create.’"
Here is the link to the entire article, but I feel that paragraph is the only thing relevant to this specific passage. https://www.alchemylab.com/secret_fire.htm

Now I'm unsure if this first mention of the "Light" (or Omnipresent Spiritual Ray) is Blavatsky first making mention of kundalini energy, or perhaps this fire will come to us later on in future stanzas, but I found it interesting food for thought. I think it fits, though! From the notes:
"Before our globe became egg-shaped (and the Universe also) 'a long trail of cosmic dust (or fire mist) moved and writhed like a serpent in Space.' The 'Spirit of God moving on Chaos' was symbolized by every nation in the shape of a fiery serpent breathing fire and light upon the primordial waters.."
.. leading us to the image of the ouroboros. Serpent fire. Kundalini.

My apologies if this was something everyone already came to and I'm just being captain obvious. I had alot of catching up to do, so when I found this I became super excited because something clicked and all of a sudden it all made a little more sense for me.
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

Postby Smaragd » Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:13 pm

Cerastes wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:59 pm
Side note:
To visualize the components of a electrical circuit we use symbols in electrical engineering and I find it absolutly fascinating how close they are to occult symbols. The symbol attached stands for the perfect source of current (DC). At the first part of Cosmogenesis, Blavatsky discribed the divided cirlcle as:
„the separation of sexes by natural evolution“.
So this symbol shows how current emerges out of the male/female (or +/-) division.
I like the coldness of electronic schematics, though I rarely have had the ability to watch them with an appreciating and interpretive eye for I've been busy sweating and cursing trying to bring my synthesizer mods working. :D
Polyhymnia wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:24 pm
To add to the very rich discussion I must take it to 3.6: "The Root of Life was in ever drop of the ocean of immortality (amrita) and the ocean was radiant light, which was fire and heat and motion. Darkness vanished and was no more. It disappeared in its own essence, the body of fire and water, of father and mother."

My mind immediately went to the secret fire in alchemy, or kundalini.
Further on 3.8-3.9 we seem to be nearing alchemy through the same chain of manifestation. I wonder how kundalini differs from Fohat? The differentiation from unmanifested Primal matter towards the material spheres is explained. The chain goes in following fashion cold light-flame-fire-heat-moisture of the Mother Sea and all of these "qualities" sort of belong to the previous and following quality reaching from spirit to matter. These elemental symbols, I take, to be also the qualities of Fohat - the electricity, which seems to bring the eternal in to eternal manifested movement. I suppose we can search for these different qualities of gasses and light and flame by our psycho-physical senses and imagination — hear them in music for example.

"Primordial matter, then, before it emerges from the plane of the never-manifesting, and awakens to the thrill of action under the impulse of Fohat, is but “a cool Radiance, colourless, formless, tasteless, and devoid of every quality and aspect.” Even such are her firstborn, the “four sons,” who “are One, and become Seven,” —the entities, by whose qualifications and names the ancient Eastern Occultists called the four of the seven primal “centres of Forces,” or atoms, that develop later into the great Cosmic “Elements,” now divided into the seventy or so sub-elements, known to science."

Elements as atomic centers are divided in to different qualities, sharing the center but manifesting different aspects of it. Thus we get different metals holding a special connection to certain planets. Here we arrive to the basic ideas of alchemy I suppose.
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

Postby Cerastes » Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:36 pm

Smaragd wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:13 pm
I like the coldness of electronic schematics, though I rarely have had the ability to watch them with an appreciating and interpretive eye for I've been busy sweating and cursing trying to bring my synthesizer mods working. :D
In my experience electronic devices work best with a mixture of cursing, coffee and cynicism so you are already got the basic principles of engineering. :P
I was about to write a longer text about electricity as an energy and the relation to occult systems but it was very too weired and nerdy to share it. Maybe, if I find a way to verbalzie this in an understandable way, I will put it on the forum sometime.
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