Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

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Cerastes
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

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3. FROM THE EFFULGENCY OF LIGHT -- THE RAY OF THE EVER-DARKNESS -- SPRUNG IN SPACE THE RE-AWAKENED ENERGIES (Dhyan Chohans): THE ONE FROM THE EGG, THE SIX AND THE FIVE (a); THEN THE THREE, THE ONE, THE FOUR, THE ONE, THE FIVE -- THE TWICE SEVEN, THE SUM TOTAL


As darkness is the original state of the universe and as I understand it, the ray of light is the beginning of manifestation. Obviously every state of cosmogenesis or deity has been given a number here and Blavatsky tries to find numerical parallels to the spiritual tradition of different cultures.
The circle with the dot in the middle is no number as it is the unmanifested universe.
1 (circle with dot) coming from the world egg (circle without dot) 0 ->10
10-65= Number of the first-born deity. 21 or 3 x 7
(In the Kaballah it is the value of JHVH)
31415 or 14/ 2 x 7 refers to the circle because the relation of the diameter to the circumference is 1:3,1415 (->U= 2πr or πd)
I assume that the 3 x 7 deities created the lower 2 x7.

The great circle of “pass not” represents the borders of consciousness or understanding for humanity. This reminds me on the ritual circle that is used as a “do not pass” protection when working with certain entities. In a way, this seems a to be a very saturnal symbol as it stands for limitation and marks the ending of things. The gatekeeper to pass not area may be the higher knowledge that Blavatsky constantly mentions.
AND THESE ARE: THE ESSENCES, THE FLAMES, THE ELEMENTS, THE BUILDERS, THE NUMBERS, THE ARUPA (formless), THE RUPA (with bodies),AND THE FORCE OR DIVINE MAN -- THE SUM TOTAL. AND FROM THE DIVINE MAN EMANATED THE FORMS, THE SPARKS, THE SACRED ANIMALS, AND THE MESSENGERS OF THE SACRED FATHERS (the Pitris)WITHIN THE HOLY FOUR.*
The divine man is the sum of the sum of the essence, the flames, the elements, the builders, the numbers and the arupa and the rupa. I'm not entirely sure what is meant by “divine man” in this context. But obviously the manifested universe emanated from the divine man, so maybe this refers to the relation of the 3x7 and 2x7 deities again.
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

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Aquila wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:29 pm
In the second book of the Secret Doctrine there is more about the arch-angels who refused to create and that instead of creating they decided to "fall in matter", and to incarnate in man. I think this repeats the idea of the so called fallen angels as mankind's higher beings.
...the Secret Doctrine teaches that the Fire-Devas, the Rudras, and the Kumâras, the “Virgin-Angels,” (to whom the Archangels, Michael and Gabriel, both belong,) the Divine “Rebels”...preferred the curse of incarnation and the long cycles of terrestrial existence and rebirths, to seeing the misery, even if unconscious, of the beings who were evolved as Shadows out of their Brethren, through the semi-passive energy of their too spiritual Creators. If “man's uses of life should be such as neither to animalize nor to spiritualize, but to humanize Self, to do so, he must be born human not angelic. Hence, tradition shows the celestial Yogîs offering themselves as voluntary victims in order to redeem Humanity, which was created god-like and perfect at first, and endow him with human affections and aspirations.
So would the arch-angels who refused to create be completely different than the sacred four (the arba-il)?! I don't know how I completely missed the four that wouldn't manifest.
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

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Cerastes wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 2:34 pm

As darkness is the original state of the universe and as I understand it, the ray of light is the beginning of manifestation. Obviously every state of cosmogenesis or deity has been given a number here and Blavatsky tries to find numerical parallels to the spiritual tradition of different cultures.
The circle with the dot in the middle is no number as it is the unmanifested universe.
1 (circle with dot) coming from the world egg (circle without dot) 0 ->10
10-65= Number of the first-born deity. 21 or 3 x 7
(In the Kaballah it is the value of JHVH)
31415 or 14/ 2 x 7 refers to the circle because the relation of the diameter to the circumference is 1:3,1415 (->U= 2πr or πd)
I assume that the 3 x 7 deities created the lower 2 x7.
The numbers is what absolutely lost me. In my notes I have a crude diagram of the central spiritual sun and from it the 7 divine sons, or the 7 rays, emanating through from the ocean of light (absolute darkness) into the world of matter for further emanation and evolution into the seven hierarchies of being, which correspond to the planets. I had to very much oversimplify and pretty much ignore her use of the numbers for now, because I'm quite stuck on their significance.

Cerastes, you're amazing. The way your brain works is a marvel to me.
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

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Apologies for being late with this again. Didn't have time for this as much as I thought I would, being on the road and on a "holiday" the whole week. Thus there's a bit half baked ideas here so critique is very welcome.
Polyhymnia wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:09 pm
Aquila wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:29 pm
In the second book of the Secret Doctrine there is more about the arch-angels who refused to create and that instead of creating they decided to "fall in matter", and to incarnate in man. I think this repeats the idea of the so called fallen angels as mankind's higher beings.
...the Secret Doctrine teaches that the Fire-Devas, the Rudras, and the Kumâras, the “Virgin-Angels,” (to whom the Archangels, Michael and Gabriel, both belong,) the Divine “Rebels”...preferred the curse of incarnation and the long cycles of terrestrial existence and rebirths, to seeing the misery, even if unconscious, of the beings who were evolved as Shadows out of their Brethren, through the semi-passive energy of their too spiritual Creators. If “man's uses of life should be such as neither to animalize nor to spiritualize, but to humanize Self, to do so, he must be born human not angelic. Hence, tradition shows the celestial Yogîs offering themselves as voluntary victims in order to redeem Humanity, which was created god-like and perfect at first, and endow him with human affections and aspirations.
So would the arch-angels who refused to create be completely different than the sacred four (the arba-il)?! I don't know how I completely missed the four that wouldn't manifest.
I interpret the Kumarâs or the Virgin-Angels to be the seven sons or maybe certain (Venereal?) aspects of them and their virginity to be sort of folding of the creation that allows them to truly help the created creatures by impressing themselves in more straightforward manner to the consciousness of those who have prepared themselves for this work. "The Kumaras, for instance, are called the “Four” though in reality seven in number, because Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatana and Sanat-Kumara are the chief Vaidhâtra (their patronymic name), as they spring from the “four-fold mystery."


Stanza 4.III

To simplify the Sloka, it seems to be about the Holy Four which is the triad Father-Mother-Son and the shadow — the manifested. The 1065 is the "duad in monad forming a triad" which is the Father-Son-Mother creating the Essences (the Sons of the Son — the 7 Angels or Dhyan Chohans) and the Elements. Through the Angels and Elements the Triad manifests the shadow of this ever living core described by the latter sequence of numbers (Pi) — sort of a second crystallized diameter in the confines of the circumference.

a)
The 1065 seems to be showed here as the basis of all creation. It points to the everchanging spirit-matter which in its plastic nature is unchanging rock on which the phenomenal outward shadows crystallize and become subjects of time which in its fuction mirrors the prosess. Thus the shadow matter - our concrete matter - is in its nature subject to change, while in suspension delayed from its core existence - the spirit which "moves" with the speed of lightning.

b)
The latter numbers tell about the hierarchies of Dhyan Chohans and the powers they rule over. The sequence of the numbers seems to follow a sort of inclusive rhythm where every segment of emanation holds on to the unity of all. Thus the sequence becomes easily baffling as the reader may suppose the emanation to make clear separations, but here it seems to be still very integral.

As the parentless Anupadaka first creates the line which is fructified by the son (the center point (& the triad or giving birth to it?)) the number sequence changes anagrammatically. I tend to interpret this to be the cause of the Solar Pitris ie. the Sacred Fathers or Arch Angels or Dhyan Chohans withholding from reproduction. Thus the sequence has to change and it seems to do so in an inverse manner - as if the creation folds on itself; from the triad of the Son we circle the five numbers backwards in the manner of Pi 3-1-4-1-5 when the plan written in the name of the Elohim was 1-3-5-1-4.

3 The Builders
1 The Numbers
4 The Arupa
1 The Rupa
5 The Force or Divine Man

c)
The Force or Divine Man is once again a sort of all ecompassing whole that has its function to pass the still quite integral(?) emanation to lower levels. I might be mistaken (a bit half baked idea, that I should study more when I have more time) but I'm keen to see the "(in)folding" happening exactly here and the Stanza itself seems to mark it as the names can be read backwards and in this fahsion, at least some of them, seems to match the emanations of the Divine Man:
The Forms - The Rupa
The Sparks - The Arupa
The Sacred Animals - The Numbers
The Messengers of The Sacred Fathers - The Builders
Within the Holy Four - the Elements

The Flames and the Essences won't impress themselves to lower aspects in a similar fashion I guess.
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

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Smaragd wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:09 pm

b)
The latter numbers tell about the hierarchies of Dhyan Chohans and the powers they rule over. The sequence of the numbers seems to follow a sort of inclusive rhythm where every segment of emanation holds on to the unity of all. Thus the sequence becomes easily baffling as the reader may suppose the emanation to make clear separations, but here it seems to be still very integral.

Ah, this breakdown does seem to cast some light on this for me. Just another place I need to learn how to expand my mind and think beyond the confines of my own brain's need for logic. I will reread with this in mind.

One thing I've been wondering is if Blavatsky ever goes on to name the Dhyani Chohans or if that's just open to interpretation throughout the different belief systems.

In the theosophy wiki, I found an article about the seven rays, and there's a few examples, but it seems that it's "the seven rays according to.." so I'm taking that to mean she doesn't outright name them.
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

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Polyhymnia wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 3:57 pm
One thing I've been wondering is if Blavatsky ever goes on to name the Dhyani Chohans or if that's just open to interpretation throughout the different belief systems.


One hilarious aspect (I mean, something for a more scholarly temperamented to despair for) in the old theosophy is that even if something is named explicitly, it does not necessarily mean that to be so. There are many "veils" in the texts; many texts which state Blavatsky as the author are not her work only; she changes the way things are handled and named from book to book; and especially the second generation of the theosophical teachers tried so hard to cement some things into immovable doctrines that they accidentally (?) created many blocks of orthodoxies which might not have meant that way at all before. So even if the Dhyan Chohans would be mentioned by name somewhere does not mean that these are the "true" names. The term Dhyan Chohan is a title, after all: much like when we talk about "Master" in SoA, that might mean quite many things at once.

This said, I would suggest that the old Sanskrit names of Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatana and Sanat-Kumara could, in a way, from the perspective of our world & solar system (as the Secret Doctrine mentions it mostly handles things), be taken to be names of those Dhyan Chohans who are named at all, and that there are beyond them the three unnamed ones. But if someone says rather than no, these are names for the entities of a different hierarchy, well, that is at least as valid an opinion. Funny thing of Blavatsky's theosophy is that she uses language with a lot of absolutes, but actually this too is often a veil, and there is more more nuanced and multifaceted system behind, the system where the minor and major rounds and names collide and become each other in different permutations. (Just one example: She condemns strongly any kind of tantric practice, while at the same time her Tibetan teaching was also a form of tantra.)
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

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Stanza IV.4.

The commentary goes through the layers our speech consist of for it relates to the metaphysics of the macrocosm as well, pointed towards by the Stanza, and draws our attention to the magical powers therein. It is emphasized that every word, consisting of letters and their numerical values, creates a sort of matrix of meaning echoing the depths of metaphysical realities and thus ignorance of these matters tend to be fatal to one who speaks them in haste manner. We create ourselves by the names and words we spell out as they move through our being, for example by being impressed to the waters our subtle bodies are made of.

The spiritual mind (6th sense) is said to be unexpressable by noisy or uttered speech. I take this means that all the 6 principles (although a more primitive(?) sense based model is gone through where buddhi and manas are over the 5 senses that nonetheless seem to be in correspondence with the 7 principles as the commentary states the Breath being the synthesis of the Seven Senses, which is in its esoteric side the septenary or The Army of the Voice; the sense model being the seven of the seven I guess) need to be expressed together for the prâna (life force) to shine as part of the expression. This goes back to the story where there is "noisy" bickering between speech and mind relating to pride and their natural hierarchy, resulting the personification of speech loosing its connection to prâna.
Training the lower faculties of speech by themselves detached from spiritual work is thought as harmful to our health and a form of Hâtha, separating itself from the holistic approach that is Raja yoga. Reminds me of many historical fallen leaders who have trained their oration capabilities to over run their view over others and gained a place of power only to fall in ruin.
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

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Nefastos wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 4:39 pm


One hilarious aspect (I mean, something for a more scholarly temperamented to despair for) in the old theosophy is that even if something is named explicitly, it does not necessarily mean that to be so. There are many "veils" in the texts; many texts which state Blavatsky as the author are not her work only; she changes the way things are handled and named from book to book; and especially the second generation of the theosophical teachers tried so hard to cement some things into immovable doctrines that they accidentally (?) created many blocks of orthodoxies which might not have meant that way at all before.
Despair, yes! I don't think I've read any other work that has shaken my confidence so very much to the core the way the Secret Doctrine has. Just when I think I'm feeling things start to click, I read something else that perhaps I missed or overlooked, or one of my fellow students brings up, and I'm lost all over again. I feel this is going to be a two steps forward, one step back kind of journey, and that's okay. I just have to remember that it's not just frustrating to me, and that my confidence is being shaken because I'm not keeping my ego as in check as I should be. Thank you for the suggestions going forward!
"Limited love asks for possession of the beloved, but the unlimited asks only for itself." -Kahlil Gibran
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

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Polyhymnia wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 8:10 am
Just when I think I'm feeling things start to click, I read something else that perhaps I missed or overlooked, or one of my fellow students brings up, and I'm lost all over again. I feel this is going to be a two steps forward, one step back kind of journey, and that's okay.
I also think that whatever sense each of us can make from these are the most important pieces for us personally. And on top of that we can build and rebuild from the notions others make. It's quite a labour we've taken upon ourselves with this reading circle! Nevertheless I've enjoyed it immensely as I've occasionally reached a playfully creative areas from my often darker despairings in the areas of kama kamas.
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

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Yes, you are so right, Smaragd! I will just enjoy the process :) I keep meaning to reply to your last bit of insight written above, but my mental energy is obliterated from the practice on the weekend. Every time I start, my brain goes "buh" and nothing much more happens. Hopefully my brain power returns by the end of this week! Maybe even sooner. C'mooooon, Mars energy!
"Limited love asks for possession of the beloved, but the unlimited asks only for itself." -Kahlil Gibran
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