(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The Web Of The Universe"

03 > DO 

164727 



OSMANIA UNIVERSITY LIBRARY 

Call No. /TZ> ' &I1-1-W Accession No$f j ' 
Author 



This book should be returned on or before the date last marked below. 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 



THE WEB OF THE 
UNIVERSE 



An Occult Theory of Sub-stance, of Man's Origins and the 
Source of his Creative Powers 



By 
E. L. GARDNER 




THE THEOSOPHICAL 
PUBLISHING HOUSE, LONDON 

68 GREAT RUSSELL STREET 

LONDON 

W.C.I 



Made and Printed by the Replika Process in (treat Britain bv 

PERCY LUND, HUMPHRIES G? CO. LTD. 

12 Bedford Square, London, W.C.i 
and at Bradford 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PACE 

I " FATHER-MOTHER SPIN A WEB " 9 

II SOME DESCRIPTIVE DEFINITIONS - - - 13 

III THE WEB 30 

IV MAN AND THE ELEMENTAL KINGDOMS - - 39 
V CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE DIMENSIONS OF SPACE 50 

VI MAN'S ORIGINS 60 

VII CREATIVE ENERGY : LUNAR, TERRENE AND SOLAR 76 

APPENDIX : OUR SOLAR SCHEME 91 



CHARTS, DIAGRAMS AND ILLUSTRATIONS 

NUMBER PAGE 

1. Chart of the Planes, Human Principles and Bodies 

with their Eastern and English names 14 

2. Chart of the first four Chains of Globes 16 

3. The Regular Figures of Form (Platonic Solids) - 

facing page 26 

4. The Cube and Octahedron and the Six-Armed-Cross 27 

5. The Web : a perspective view, and detail | 

6. The Web : in greater detail ) - 3 2 

7. The Web : the three-fold force in the physical atom 34 

8. The Physical Atom; a clairvoyant's rendering 35 

9. The Space-Lattice theory of the physicist 38 

10. The Kingdoms of Nature; Elemental to Human 40 

11. The Three Dimensions ..... 54 

12. Our Seven Rounds and Archetypal Man - facing page 66 

13. Mineral Form : Ice Crystals 67 

14. Sound Figures (Voice) ...... 67 

15. Plant Form : Human Nerve structure 69 

16. 70 

17. Animal Form : Cell structure in Bone 

18. Cells in the Blood 

19. A single-celled Animalcule 

20. Globigerina (Lines) 72 

21. Volvox (Basket-work) 72 

22. Tree Form built by the Voice - - facing page 72 

23. Solar and Terrene Forces ..... 78 
24- ..... 80 
25. Man's relation to the Creative Forces 82 

Appendix : Diagrams illustrating our Solar Scheme 91, 95 and 99 



facing page 71 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

My grateful thanks arc due to Mr. John Murray for permission 
to use two illustrations (Nos. 15 and 16) from Halliburton 's Hand- 
boot( of Physiology, and to the Christian Herald Co., Ltd., for the 
two Voice Figure Illustrations (Nos. 14 and 22) from Mrs. Hughes' 
book, The Eidophone Voice Figures. 

Also my great indebtedness and sincere thanks to Mr. H. I. 
Hammond for the special diagrams, Nos. 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 12, 23, 24 
and 25, which elucidate so graphically the relations of the Web and 
its contents, and to the friends who have generously assisted in 
the revision of the text. 

E.LG. 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

CHAPTER I 
" FATHER-MOTHER SPIN A WEB " 

HE Stanzas of Dzyan, from which the title of this 
J- chapter is taken, are reputed to be the most ancient 
occult writings in existence. They are described as ". . . an 
archaic Manuscript a collection of palm leaves made im- 
permeable to water, fire and air, by some unknown process ". 
Upon them Madame Blavatsky based her book The Secret 
Doctrine and many extracts from them are quoted in both 
volumes. 
Frequently the term the Web appears in the Stanzas : 

" The Seven were not yet born from the Web of Light. . . . 

" Father-Mother spin a Web whose upper end is fastened 
to Spirit, the Light of the One Darkness, and the lower one 
to its shadowy end Matter; and this Web is the Universe, 
spun out of the Two Substances made in One. . . . 

" It expands when the Breath of Fire [spirit] is upon it; it 
contracts when the Breath of the Mother [matter] touches 
it. ... When it is cooling it becomes radiant " . . . etc. 
(From Stanzas II and III.) 

It may well be that this Web, with spirit and matter for 
its warp and woof, is the parent of the Universal Mind, that 
world of Mind which, following the results of recent scien- 
tific research into the nature of physical material, is being 
so widely inferred to-day. 

As above, so below and the infinitely large may often be 
found reflected in the infinitely small, as a whole landscape 
in a dewdrop. The cocoon spun by many of the humblest 

9 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

of creatures as a sacrificial provision for the welfare of their 
progeny would appear to be itself a minute reflection of 
that vast and glorious sacrifice made by the Creator, the 
Father-Mother of our Solar Universe, that a planetary system 
might be successfully cradled and so become manifest. 

The Stanzas proceed to outline a vast scheme of evolu- 
tionary processes in which the One becomes Three and then 
Seven; the sequences which follow are also based on recur- 
rent septenary systems. 

The states of consciousness possible to man and the pri- 
mary modifications of natural forces, as well as the worlds of 
the Solar System with which we are concerned, are each 
said to be seven in number. Similarly, septenates are said to 
mark every branch of manifestation all are sequences of 
seven factors. The seven colours of the light spectrum and 
the octaves of music are among the many correspondences 
which may be taken as familiar examples. 

Accepting the monistic theory of One Life, let us attempt 
the contemplation of One becoming Seven. This, if we grant 
the possibility of motion and therefore the possibility of 
manifestation within the One, is comparatively easy. Let a 
pencil point touching a paper surface represent One. Move 
the point and a line appears. At once the number three is in 
evidence, the two termini of the line, themselves two points, 
and the line itself. Two extremes are there and the relating 
line between them. As the principal permutations of three 
factors are numerically seven, the septenate system of mani- 
festation seems at least reasonable. Assuming three factors 
for example, A, B and C, to be equal in value they can 
be arranged in order of dominance as ABC, ACB, BAG, 
BCA, CAB, CBA, six in all; to these add their synthesis with 
" no one before the other " and we have the seventh. The 
formula is 1x2x3 + 1= 7. Within the seven, relation- 
ships may be noted of 3 to 4 and of 2 to 5, both of significance. 

Another illustration will assist here. Man, as a construc- 
tional creator, uses his hands. Though his creations are 

10 



" FATHER-MOTHER SPIN A WEB " 

extended indefinitely by means of tools and machines, all he 
makes derives from the hands; they are the original creative 
instruments. Now the whole arm is divisible into three parts 
the upper arm, the lower arm and the hand. We have 
therefore in this example a main group of three and the 
third member of this trinity, the hand, is divided further 
into five, the fingers. This last group of five is the imme- 
diately active creative agent. Such an analogy, or corre- 
spondence, affords some assistance to an understanding of 
the Three-in-One relationship of the original creative prin- 
ciple. The upper arm, for instance, is the seat of power 
for its septenary group; the lower arm is adaptable and flex- 
ible, is anatomically dual, and is capable of skilful direction; 
the five-fingered hand is the actively creative medium. Here 
is a close resemblance to the description of the One becoming 
Seven. 

From a study of the occult instructions the inference is 
irresistible that in the arm and hand of man, viewed as his 
means for the creation of forms at the physical level, we have 
a true correspondence, as far as it goes, with the plan of 
Creative Manifestation. Of the seven planes and principles 
of a Solar System, two are said to be hidden; " in Silence 
and Darkness " are the terms used with reference to them; 
five are actively manifest. Hence the statement, so common 
in certain eastern philosophies, that we live at present in a 
five-fold universe. 

In our example, if we assume for a moment the point of 
view of one of man's creations, say a piece of sculpture, then 
to it the upper and lower arm would be " beyond ", out of 
view, for the five-fingered hand would appear to be the 
immediate and only creative cause of its existence. Similarly, 
to us, within and about us is evidence of a five-fold creative 
activity. We are conscious (not necessarily self-conscious) 
in five different states of consciousness or planes, namely, 
physical, emotional, mental, intuitional and volitional; the 
corresponding five occult centres in man are more or less 

ii 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

active and we have five senses or avenues of contact with the 
physical world. 

Two planes and two principles, the Divine and Monadic, 
(Adi-Anupadaka) are at present beyond, unknown, "in 
silence ". But a vast work of theirs, indeed that which makes" 
the very field of our five-fold manifestation possible, would 
seem to be the Web spun by them within which and by 
means of which, as a scriptural phrase has it, we live and 
move and have our being. They are the two subtler and 
most deeply occult principles of our Solar Universe and are 
symbolised by Father-Mother in the Stanzas quoted. They 
support the whole as the arm carries the hand. A description 
of the pattern and the function of their Web is attempted in 
this book. 



12 



CHAPTER II 
SOME DESCRIPTIVE DEFINITIONS 

IN the later Stanzas of Dzyan there is a description, heavily 
veiled in symbolism, of the process by which forms come 
into manifestation and of the elaborate seven-fold scheme of 
evolution in which our human consciousness is taking its 
assigned part. 

In an appendix to this book a summary is given of the 
vast cycles of manifestation known as Chains and Rounds in 
modern occult writings. The summary is necessarily in very 
general terms, but a perusal will enable the reader to grasp 
in broad outline the nature of some of the closely guarded 
secrets imparted in olden times to the initiates of various 
Mystery Schools under stringent vows of silence. The veil 
of secrecy has been lifted from time to time, as minor cycles 
have run their course, and we are to-day at liberty to examine 
and analyse and, so far as may be possible, to test some of the 
instructions given. Although these are said to be the result 
of experienced investigation the student is invariably advised 
to receive the information as hypothetical and theoretical 
only, till enabled by his own researches to accept or reject. 
Till then a suspended judgment is the wisest course. This 
interpretation of the Web of the Universe is submitted in all 
sincerity but with the same reservation. 

In order to avoid misunderstandings this chapter is devoted 
to giving a few descriptive definitions of some more or less 
familiar terms that are used in this book and are met with 
frequently in occult literature. A chart also is given (No. I) 
which displays the seven-fold and the five-fold relationships 
of the Worlds and the Principles of Man.* 

* The reading and study of this chapter and of the appendix may be post- 
poned if preferred. They are both explanatory of terms used and reference can 
be made to them as required. They arc not essential, though useful, to the 
general exposition. 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

CHART OF THE WORLDS OR PLANES AND THE 

HUMAN PRINCIPLES AND BODIES 

CORRESPONDING 



OUR SOLAR SCHEME : SEVEN-FOLD SYSTEM 



Eastern Terms 

The Monad's J* 
Birth-Place 1 
^ 



BUDDHI 

MANAS 

KAMA 

SHARIRA 



English Terms 
DIVINE 
MONADIC 
SPIRITUAL 
INTUITIONAL 
MENTAL 

EMOTIONAL (ASTRAL) 
PHYSICAL 



THE FOURTH CHAIN OF THE SOLAR SCHEME: OUR 
TERRENE CHAIN: A FIVE-FOLD SYSTEM 



1. The fATMA 

2. Higher Ego -{ BUDDHI 

3. Self [MANAS i 

3. The f MAN AS II 

4. Lower Personality! KAMA 

5. Self } LINGA 



Synthesis in 
Form 



SHARIRA 

( STHULA 
<t SHARIRA 



SPIRITUAL 
INTUITIONAL 
THICKER MENTAL 



1 



LOWER MENTAL 
EMOTIONAL (ASTRAL) 
ETHERIC PHYSICAL 



DENSE PHYSICAL 



We are said to be in the Fourth or Middle Round of our Terrene 
Chain: hence, during our present occupation of our planet Earth, we are 
functioning at the densest levels of our whole Scheme. As four planes 
only are normally used in the same Round Cycle it follows that, during 
this world-occupation, humanity is consciously engaged actively on the 
levels of the Lower Mental, the Astral and the two divisions of the Physical. 
Beginning now, however, to climb in consciousness the upward arc of the 
cycle, the Higher Mental is the spiritual principle ahead as the next goal 
to reach. Thus the following gives the current and immediate relation- 
ships 
Higher Self Ego HIGHER MENTAL (Buddhi-Manas) 



Lower Self 



Personality 



LOWER MENTAL BODY 
EMOTIONAL (ASTRAL) BODY 
ETHERIC PHYSICAL BODY 



Synthetic Vehicle: DENSE PHYSICAL BODY 



Number One 



SOME DESCRIPTIVE DEFINITIONS 

LIFE 

Spirit undifferentiated. The One Life. God. 

CONSCIOUSNESS 

A ray of the One Life separated from the ocean of life by 
association and identification with Forms. Hence awareness, 
a vague and diffused consciousness, is awakened. Examples : 
The Mineral, Plant and Animal Kingdoms on an increasingly 
conscious scale. 

SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS 

The very definite and clear-cut association of Life or Spirit 
with a form-body, a personality, is the means by which con- 
sciousness distinguishes between itself in its own separate 
abode or body and in all other bodies and thus is individu- 
alised and becomes /^//-conscious. Example : Humanity. 

THE POSITION OF OUR EARTH 

Four of the seven Chains of our Scheme are shown diagram- 
matically on Chart No. 2. This is to illustrate the statement 
that the seven globes of Chain IV are manifest in four planes 
only and these the densest of our Scheme. 

In the first Chain of our Solar Scheme, its one and only 
globe was of mental material. The whole vast period of 
that first Chain's work, in terms of form, was the creation of 
a single planet and its modest contents. The second Chain 
had three globes of form and the third had five. Being 
now on the fourth Chain of the Scheme we profit greatly 
from the work of our predecessors on the first three Chains 
and have seven planets of material form to use, built of the 
material of four planes. Chart No. 2 displays this in 
a diagram that Mr. A. P. Sinnett* always insisted was the 
only correct way to depict the successive Chains of Globes- 



* Esoteric Buddhism, by A. P. Sinnett, was one of the very first Theosophical 
publications in the west. 

15 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 



Mental 
Astral 
Phys. I 
Phys. II 



OUR TERRENE SCHEME 

CHAIN I II III IV 

o o o o o 



o o Chains V, VI, VII 

in future 
o o 



One Three Five 
Globe Globes Globes 



o o 

o 

Seven 
Globes 



> Q ur earth. 



Number Two 

Whether these material globes, in their inter-relations 
within each Chain, be regarded as concentric (Steiner) or 
spatially separate (Sinnett and Leadbeater) does not here 
concern us; the important feature is that the first world to 
be built and hence the first and earliest plane of form is 
stated to be mental. It may therefore reasonably be inferred 
that all material globes of form arise from modifications of 
what Mmc. Blavatsky called Lower Manas (The Lower 
Mind or Mental II.). This is the subtlest of the worlds of 
form. 

FORMS AND THE FORMLESS 

As the successive Chains of globes are described as being 
always concerned with four planes it is obvious, from Dia- 
gram No. 2, that the work of the First Chain, though possess- 
ing but one globe of form, is also on three planes above the 
lower mental. But all above the lower mental is held to be 
of a " formless " nature. Let us therefore attempt to dispose 
of the difficulty which may very naturally arise from the use 
of the word " formless ". 

This word has been frequently used to distinguish the 
inner or subtler spiritual planes, that is, the divine life un- 
manifested to normal vision, from that of material form 
and a rather puzzling conception is thereby offered to the 

16 



SOME DESCRIPTIVE DEFINITIONS 

student. Formlessness implies no thing, no separated feature 
of manifestation whatever, yet several of such planes are 
named and these presumably differ! The explanation is 
however not far to seek and we need to be at the outset 
entirely clear as to the reason for the use of this somewhat 
misleading descriptive term. An analogy will most easily 
clarify the position. Consider the relation of a pencil point 
to paper as an illustration of the connection between the 
higher and the lower mental planes. The pencil point can 
very reasonably be called formless : but it is capable of creat- 
ing form on paper. Move the pencil point and under a skilled 
hand an elaborate form-design emerges. If it be conceived 
as moving with extreme rapidity we should witness what 
would approximate to an instantaneous drawing, and ap- 
parently ex nihilo \ Endow the pencil point in imagination 
with the speed of light and we should approach a comparison 
with the inter-action of the higher and lower mental prin- 
ciples for the higher mental centre apparently can move at 
that prodigious speed. 

Man, being a reflection of the universe in miniature, also 
has his formless spiritual nature, and the bodies of form 
which it uses make up his personality. From the point of 
view of this personality (for we are at present largely confined 
to these slow and ponderous personal bodies of physical, emo- 
tional and mental material), we can best picture higher men- 
tal activity as due to a brilliant point of light. This expresses 
the human spiritual self, the spark of the divine flame; this 
is the true centre of consciousness of a human being however 
much, in ignorance of his true nature, he may be identified 
with bodies of form. The human spirit is formless in itself, 
as is the pencil point, but capable readily of creating form on 
the screen of the lower mind and a form, too, of three 
dimensions that has a considerable " lag " of persistence, like 
the lag of an impression on the retina of the eye. 

Many a similar analogy could be employed such as the 
light from a cinema lantern and the screen on which the 

17 B 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

picture is thrown. The light is formless until it is arrested and 
held. Both light and screen are needed for the creation of a 
flowing picture. The two together provide the mechanism 
for the manifestation of forms. The light symbolises the 
higher, the screen represents the lower mind. It is by the 
study of such analogies that the term " formless " becomes 
understandable. 

THE ELEMENTS AND TATTVAS 

Authorities in occultism describe the three worlds of form, 
physical, emotional and mental, as distinguishable by their 
specific " measure " or " tattva ". This refers to the mode of 
motion, the rhythmic movement, the measure, of their mate- 
rial composition, for the units of each are said to have a 
dominant and characteristic tattva. The ancient occult 
teaching that material is really motion or energy, though 
commonplace to-day, is less than fifty years old in our western 
science. These measures or tattvas have their minor corre- 
spondences again on each plane, and those with which we are 
most familiar are the sub-states of physical material which 
we call solid, liquid and gaseous. Concerning the larger 
divisions of our three-fold world the solid (prithivi) tattva is 
dominantly characteristic of the physical, the liquid (apas) 
tattva of the astral, and the gaseous (tejas) tattva of the 
mental. Another series in correspondence are the so-called 
elements of nature earth, water, fire and air. Each has a 
significant sign or symbol a square, a crescent, a triangle. 
The following chart displays these correspondences : 

Plane PHYSICAL EMOTIONAL MENTAL 

Element EARTH WATER FIRE 

Tattva PRITHIVI APAS TEJAS 

Phys. sub-state SOLID LIQUID GASEOUS 

Symbol of Tattva SQUARE HALF-CIRCLE TRIANGLE 

Geometrical Figure CUBE ICOSAHEDRON OCTAHEDRON 

NOTE : With reference to the element " air ", at present fire and air 
are almost interchangeable terms. Cold flame is an occult term for air 
on certain occasions, on others air (vayu tattva) is classified as a higher 
element than fire. In our own present cycle, the deepest in material form, 
air is fire grown cold, hence the correspondence of true fire with the 
" mental " in this chart. 

18 



SOME DESCRIPTIVE DEFINITIONS 

In The Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, 273, H.P.B. states that the 
" correct order for esoteric purposes is fire, air, water, earth," 
Esoteric purposes means the order in which, in the beginning 
of our cycle, they manifested. Fire first and the tejas tattva, 
its measure of motion, has a triangle for its symbol. The tri- 
angle in this connection may be taken as the flat figure repre- 
sentative of the octahedron, the occult geometrical " unit " of 
the mental world. The appropriateness of this octahedral 
correspondence with the mind will emerge in our study. 

OUR THREE-FOLD PLANET 

That our familiar material world is not only physical but 
has a mental and emotional content too, also of material, 
may quite well be inferred from the fact that man has a 
mental and emotional nature in addition to a physical body. 
But thought and feeling have been so related to and indeed 
identified with the brain and nervous systems that the infer- 
ence is by no means universally made. 

A difficulty which prevents a general acceptance of this 
view is doubtless the concept of a material mind; yet 
recorded experiences of consciousness, apart from the phy- 
sical brain and body and quite independent of both, are many 
and increasingly frequent. 

The concept of our world as three-fold means that in com- 
bination with the physical earth there are also worlds (or 
planes) interacting with it of mental and emotional material. 
This is a logical assumption to-day in the light of our modern 
knowledge concerning material itself, for, resolved into 
energy as it is, the long standing materialistic concept of the 
universe disappears. 

Energy, Motion, Life, call it what we will, alone remains 
and a fuller understanding of many a mental and emotional 
problem would follow if the concept of energy was extended 
to include extremely subtle varieties of material whose tattvas 
or measures of vibratory response were emotional and mental 
in quality. As differences in the elements of physical material 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

are now known to be due to differences in wave motions or 
energy, an extension of the same concept provides us with 
the distinction between one interpenetrating world of experi- 
ence and another, which is relatively easy to comprehend. 

In this connection a very appropriate analogy and example 
is afforded by the Radio System and a wireless receiving set. 
When an efficient set is tuned in to a particular programme 
every other is ignored. Though capable of reproducing 
many programmes, all of which are being broadcasted at the 
same time, one alone comes through. This obviously de- 
pends entirely on the degree of selectivity of the machine. 

Very similarly, on the large scale of the planes of nature, 
though we live in three material worlds at once we are con- 
scious with clarity and precision of one only, the physical. 
We are at present, fortunately, unable easily to tune into the 
other two. Control and mastery of mind and emotion, that 
is, selective skill in listening in to these worlds of experience, 
are essential to avoid confusion and its possible consequence 
insanity. Hence though the mental and emotional planes 
are interwoven intimately with the physical they are very 
naturally translated and interpreted in the terms of our fami- 
liar physical senses and physical brain consciousness. Of 
the three worlds separated from each other by differences of 
wave motion only, as an examination of the Web will ex- 
plain, two are not clearly apprehended and known by them- 
selves as yet. We function in them directly after what we 
call " death ", and the intermediate periods between physical 
incarnations have special value for this reason. While in 
physical bodies however this selective skill and distinction 
still awaits the development of other faculties probably the 
sixth and seventh senses. 

PERSONALITY 

This term is used in the literal sense of per sona, the mask 
behind or within which the real man acts. The personality 
technically consists of the abodes or bodies in which a man 

20 



SOME DESCRIPTIVE DEFINITIONS 

normally lives and includes therefore the physical, emotional 
and mental bodies of a human being functioning on corre- 
sponding planes. These three planes or worlds in combina- 
tion, as has just been said, constitute our material earth 
planet. 

HIGHER AND LOWER SELF (See Chart on page 14) 

These terms are convenient and perhaps permissible as dis- 
tinguishing the spiritual principles of man from the personal. 
But they arc unfortunate in the implied disparagement of the 
so-called " lower ". The spiritual principles of man, the 
spiritual, intuitional and higher mental, derived from the 
One Life, owe whatever self-realisation they attain to their 
formal projection into the bodies that we call the personality 
(the lower self). This latter is the mirror in which alone 
spirit can see, apprehend and hence know itself. To view 
the personality as " lower " in the sense of inferior is as 
though we exalted the lantern of a cinema theatre and dis- 
paraged the screen which alone enables the picture to be seen 
at all. Both the spiritual focus of light, the Ego, and the 
Personality that reflects the focused light are equally neces- 
sary to the Source of Light, the One Life. Hence we should 
not allow the terms higher and lower to connote superiority 
and inferiority. With this reservation the terms may be 
accepted as conventionally useful. 

SUBJECTIVE AND OBJECTIVE 

Subjective experiences are those which are interior, or 
seemingly interior, to oneself, that is, are within one's own 
consciousness, such as experiences of thinking and feeling. 
Though every experience may be claimed to be subjective in 
essence, as indeed is obviously the case, it is usual to define 
as objective that part of the environment which is recognised 
in experience as being environment. This is to say that, from 
a state of complete subjectivity in which we began, humanity 
has succeeded in relating clearly a certain group of inner 
experiences to an external world, namely, the physical. 

21 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

Hence the physical world is commonly held to be objective. 
Further, with many, the physical body itself is becoming 
objective as consciousness, by withdrawal, succeeds in 
externalising its reactions. With still further success on these 
lines, though it will be much later for most of us, the emo- 
tional and mental worlds will become objective and known 
as environment. 

Objectivity of the emotional and mental worlds is now 
called psychism, or psychic faculty, and is often accidental and 
embarrassing to the individual if this inner sight has been 
opened prematurely without adequate control and under- 
standing of the situation. In due course the race will be nor- 
mally and rationally psychic, which means that, in their turn, 
man's own emotional and mental bodies will be known as 
not being the real Self. Thus the process upon which 
humanity is at present engaged is apparently an ordered 
withdrawal as the objective environment increases and the 
subjective field diminishes. 

Consciousness is amply compensated for this seeming 
transfer from subjective to objective by its increasing sensi- 
tiveness and speed of response to contacts made. Put in 
another way, consciousness withdraws from a periphery, to 
which it has been " tempted " by the bodies it uses, to a centre, 
whence it emerged from Life as a point of living light, and 
brings with it on its return the jewel of great price, the faculty 
of responding to the whole content of the objective worlds at 
will. 

That point of living light, a unit of subjective conscious- 
ness, by identifying itself with bodies succeeds in " becoming 
a sphere ". Then, on the return journey, it proceeds to 
externalise the sphere, beginning with the outermost layers, 
and thus breaks down the great illusion of its identification 
with matter. The point thus first becomes the sphere and 
then re-becomes the point. 

By thus realising the material worlds of the physical, the 
emotional and the mental as being objective to itself, the 

22 



SOME DESCRIPTIVE DEFINITIONS 

eternal spark regains the tremendous facilities of a point of 
life with the whole content of the sphere at its service. That 
attainment ultimately spells omnipresence the first of the 
divine faculties to be unfolded in man. 

PERMANENT ATOMS AND SKANDHAS 

Permanent atom is the technical term applied to that atom 
or unit of each of the personal planes (mental, astral or phy- 
sical) which is retained life after life for the use of the rein- 
carnating spirit or ego and which contains within itself the 
record of all past experience. It therefore provides the plan 
on which the new body for the use of the egoic consciousness 
on each plane may be accurately built for the next incarna- 
tion. 

For many students the difficulty of this theory has been the 
retention of the permanent atom by consciousness while 
functioning on higher planes. Where, for instance, is the 
physical permanent atom when one is in devachan? How 
can an atom of a material plane be held there ? 

The difficulty is however more apparent than real, though 
in some quarters it has led to a rejection of the whole theory 
of the permanent atom as an adequate explanation of con- 
tinuity in human evolution. But one would be equally justi- 
fied in rejecting the equator or the north pole on the score 
that neither has ever been exhibited in support of an explorer's 
claim. The answer is of course that these terms all indicate 
a locus, a position, a focus of power, not a thing. 

In illustration, place an ordinary bar magnet underneath 
a paper covered with iron filings and the fragments of iron 
will at once display themselves in a formal pattern. They 
obey the forces playing within the magnet's sphere of influ- 
ence. Move the magnet about and all the iron filings within 
the field of the magnet respond. The iron fragments change 
but the regular form-pattern continues the same. The mag- 
netic forces of the bar determine the response. Similarly 
the magnetic field of the human point of life compels a 

2 3 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

corresponding response at the atomic level of the plane. To 
change the simile the skill of an artist in painting does not 
reside in his paint and implements, he does not need to carry 
a " permanent " pencil or crayon about with him, the colour 
and tools he uses respond to the living magnetic field of his 
creative ability. The human aura in devachan displays the 
permanent atom in terms of lines of force just as the active 
field of a magnet may be seen by a clairvoyant without any 
material filings. 

Skandhas are those deeply impressed formations, in any 
plane, made by human consciousness and held more or less 
intact by the elemental life of the same plane over the interval 
between lives. They tend to attach themselves again to their 
human creator when next he appears at the same level, as they 
naturally are in tune with him and possibly with him alone. 
The skandha is thus an artificial form held intact for a more 
or less lengthy period and may function as a mere tendency 
and influence or act as a veritable " dweller on the threshold ". 

The permanent atom and the skandhas are the formal 
responses to the behaviour of consciousness; lack of skill is 
represented by deficiences and possibly a tendency to distor- 
tion. While being a useful convention as a term, the perma- 
nent atom really represents a formal pattern imposed by the 
electric, magnetic or vital forces which constitute the active 
field, the aura, of a human being when using the personal 
planes. 

THE PLATONIC SOLIDS AND THE OCCULT CROSS 

Our sense impressions are normally so direct, precise and 
familiar that we take very much for granted that things are 
what they seem until maybe an analysis is prompted by 
some startling statement we read or hear concerning the illu- 
sions to which our senses are subject. Then perhaps for a 
while we ponder the shadowy nature of material things 
and, if introspective, on the unreality of the world we live in. 
Matter is said to be very different from that which we believed 



SOME DESCRIPTIVE DEFINITIONS 

it to be : our physical senses have deceived us thoroughly in 
this : material is really energy exhibiting itself, simply energy 
and mental at that ! 

In recent years the reduction of material things into terms 
of the mind has been the theme not only of philosophers, 
religiously minded and otherwise, but of the practical and 
exacting scientist. 

" The universe shows evidence of a designing or control- 
ling power that has something in common with our own 
individual minds.' 5 " The universe can be best pictured as 
consisting of pure thought. " " If the universe is a universe 
of thought then its creation must have been an act of thought." 

wrote Sir James Jeans in 1934 in The Mysterious Universe 
(pp. 124-137). And Sir J. A. Thompson concluded a contri- 
bution to The Great Design, published in 1934, with these 
words : " we are led from our own mind back and back to the 
Supreme mind, ' without whom there was nothing made that 
was made V Similar reflections are to be found in many 
current scientific articles. 

It is therefore an opportune moment to consider the rele- 
vant information at hand from metaphysical and occult 
sources and to point to the conclusions which may fairly be 
drawn. 

First we must touch on the well-known regular figures of 
geometry known as the Platonic Solids, five in number, 
which have in each case equal facets, equal angles and equal 
lines. These five regular solids are here illustrated (No. 3). 

The tetrahedron, or four-sided figure, with which the 
series begins is also their basic form, as the four others may 
all be constructed on combinations of the tetrahedron as 
shown in the illustration. 

Size is of no consequence; minute or huge the characteris- 
tics apply. It is therefore the interior structure that counts 
and this is based on a centre whence lines ray out equally 

25 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

spaced. Such a figure is shown in No. 4, with six lines spring- 
ing from the centre and touching the points of an octahedron, 
the interior structure thereby forming a solid cross. About 
the same cross a cube also can be built, because the octahedron 
and the cube are complementary figures. The cube has six 
sides and eight points (vertices) whereas the octahedron has 
eight sides and six points (vertices). 

In occult science these regular figures are held to be symbols 
of the Five Planes of Nature, thus : 

Tetrahedron Atma : Dodecahedron Buddhi : Octahe- 
dron Mental : Icosahedron Astral : Hexahedron (Cube) 
Physical. 

The implication is that the shape of the figure is related 
intimately to the mode of motion, the tattva, that differenti- 
ates one plane from another. In the definition given of the 
tattva it will be remembered that the distinction between the 
planes is one of motion, of specific vibratory measure called 
a tattva, the planes differing radically in this respect. The 
regular figures symbolise this distinction. In the tetrahedron 
a flat equal-armed cross is suggested by its lines. Place, for 
example, two match sticks across each other at right angles 
in the middle, then raise one a short distance and in imagina- 
tion connect the four extremities of the matches a tetrad is 
formed. (Note, for example, the tetrahedron illustrated on 
the second line of the illustration opposite). Two tetrahedra, 
interlaced together as also shown, give the regular figure of 
the cube if the eight points of the two interlocked tetrads be 
joined. They indicate the octahedron too if the eight points 
are taken as the middle of eight equilateral triangles, for the 
triangles will precisely fit together and an eight-sided regular 
figure will be duly formed. 

Further, inasmuch as both the icosahedron and dodecahe- 
dron are built up on five interlaced tetrads (as shown on the 
third line of the illustration), it is clear that all the regular 
figures owe their formation to simple or compound crosses. 

26 



SOME DESCRIPTIVE DEFINITIONS 

In other words, in terms of form, all the regular figures owe 
their origin to a cruciform base. 

The widespread symbolism of the cross, far ante-dating 
the Christian era, has been consistently used to typify the 
descent of life into matter or form and thus life's crucifixion 
or imprisonment. The adoption and use of the cross-symbol 
is well justified, for its origin may be traced, as we shall see, to 
the Web woven by Father-Mother, the planetary web that is 
itself at the very root of material and hence of form. 

Of the regular figures it is the octahedron that is of imme- 
diate interest in our study. 




Number Four 

The six-armed cross inside, with arms of equal length at right 
angles to each other, exactly fits each of these solid figures. In the 
Octahedron the six arms touch the points and in the Cube the six 
arms touch the middle of the facets. The two crosses are of the 
same size. 

The appropriateness of the eight-sided regular figure, the 
octahedron, as representing the mental principle appeals at 
once by virtue of its double-pyramid appearance. No figure 
could more aptly indicate the dual character of mind the 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

higher and lower a duality, yet a unity. We need to 
examine this regular figure closely. 

The Octahedron has eight faces, each an equilateral tri- 
angle, and six points. The six points represent the extremities 
of a three-dimensional cross formed by three intersecting lines 
at right angles to each other. We have therefore in the inte- 
rior supporting structure of the octahedron, at the heart of 
and indeed the cause of its being, three lines of extension 
which correspond with what are popularly known as the 
three dimensions of space. A central junction-point is 
common to the three lines and this point well symbolises the 
connecting link or portal between a world of form, repre- 
sented by the regular figures, and the higher and formless 
planes of life. In the diagram No. 10 this point corresponds 
to the junction portal between Mental I and II. In the 
division of the mental plane into higher and lower, three 
sub-planes are allocated to the higher and four to the lower. 
We will number them from the atomic or finest downwards 
i, 2, 3, and 4, 5, 6, 7. Those called the 4th, 5th, 6th and yth 
sub-planes in this classification constitute the field of the 
Lower Mind H.P.B.'s Lower Manas. The intimate rela- 
tion of these four sub-planes respectively with the junction- 
point and the three intersecting right-angular lines is very 



6- 
5- 



5 
6 



7 
28 



SOME DESCRIPTIVE DEFINITIONS 

appropriate, especially as the junction-point the bridge or 
link between higher and lower answers exactly to the 
characteristics of every " 4th ", for the fourth term of any 
septenary series exercises the function of a bridge. It links 
together two opposites, in this case the higher and lower 
mental planes. Such a link or bridge is a very important 
factor in septenary systems. 



Let us now attempt to visualise the truly amazing web or 
fabric supporting the mental, the astral and the physical 
planes, the substance for all the forms of the three worlds, the 
canvas on and within which, as in a mirror, life projects its 
own picture. 



29 



CHAPTER III 
THE WEB 

THE basic pattern of the Web is the six-armed Cross of 
the octahedron, infinitely repeated, and appears as a 
maze of exceedingly fine lines, interlaced in an infinitesimal 
rectangular texture, ablaze with tiny points of brilliance 
where die lines cross, filling, * permeating ' all space and 
serving as the foundational structure for all material a 
vision of mystery and wonder. 

" Father-Mother spin a Web . . . this Web is the Uni- 
verse ... it expands with Fire ... it contracts . . . 
Fohat traces spiral lines . . . Thought is the rider ... an 
Army of the Sons of Light stands at each angle . . . said 
the Flame to the Spark thou art my image, I have clothed 
myself in thee ... it journeys through the worlds . . . 
stops in the First and is a Metal, a Stone ... it passes into 
the Second and behold a Plant . . . the Plant becomes a 
Sacred Animal . . . from the combined attributes of these 
Man the Thinker is formed. . . ." Stanzas Dzyan Ill-VlI. 

It may be reasonably inferred that the Father-Mother (of 
the Stanzas of Dzyan) are no other than Adi-Anupadaka 
(See No. i, p. 14), the two highest principles of our Solar 
Scheme, and that the Web actually represents, is indeed their 
personal aspect or Lower Self. Such visions of the immedi- 
acy and intimacy of the Divine Spirit as in Tennyson's 
" Closer is He than breathing and nearer than hands and 
feet " would seem to derive their inspiration from this 
omnipresent offspring of Solar parents. 

This Web would seem to be the major of ** the enormous 
mysteries connected with Lower Manas " to which H.P.B. 
referred (S.D. ///, 592), for it provides the background, the 

30 



THE WEB 

basic foundation for all manifestation as we know it. The* 
junction-points of the three-dimensional crosses very aptly 
represent the middle of the mental plane, the junction of 
higher and lower manas, the threshold of the form-worlds, 
for they are the very portals of approach between spirit and 
matter. The One Life becomes Many in terms of form 
as it alights at these portals of the Web to begin its far-reach- 
ing excursion into the realm of separated form experiences. 
The mechanism of the Web permits and invites an im- 
mensely elaborate oratorio of manifestation yet itself 
throughout remaining unaffected, unaffected as the strings 
of a harp may be regarded as unchanged by the melody 
arising from them. Rigid too as the strings of a well-tuned ' 
musical instrument yet with an infinitely varied capacity of 
vibration. 

An examination of the Web reveals that this vast fabric 
woven by the Father-Mother of our system is relatively fixed/ 
static, immovable. It is a unity which we all share, as rail- 
way trains share a permanent way and motor-cars the roads. 
Forms, whether of thought pulses, astral waves, or physical 
spirals, all play through the Web as waves do through water, 
wind through grass or corn, as the circling lights of a Picca- 
dilly advertisement. The water, the grass and corn, the 
light-bulbs of the advertisement, not one of these moves for- 
ward though they all appear so to do. And the forms which 
use the Web are similar. All are modifications of the Web, 
all use this responsive net-work, and all are, in a certain and 
obvious sense, illusory. Thought seems to have the charac- 
teristics of electric pulses through a wire, the emotions are 
wavelike and undulatory, and physical matter shapes itself in 
rings and spirals, in unclosed spheres something like a thread 
of cotton wound round a pencil. Hold a length of cotton at 
both ends tightly, take a round pencil and turn the thread 
once or twice round it and then move the pencil to and fro, 
and the spiral of thread moves retaining accurately its shape 
though flowing along the cotton. Such illustrations and 

3 1 



I 




w 

o 



w 

ffi 



O 
H 
O 

PH 



| 




Q 

O 



w 

w 

H 



H 

< 



B. 





W 'T 1 

> H 



w 
> 



O 

s^ 

Ul ^> 

S W 

w 2 
S S 



THE WEB 

experiments assist one to build an intellectual conception of 
the Web though nothing within the range of our slow- 
moving sense apparatus can convey the exquisite perfection 
and delicacy of this skeleton framework, the stage on which 
the living forms of consciousness dance in the ballet of life. 

It must be clearly understood that the Web is sub-stance : 
it is not itself that which we know as material but stands 
under material. That which we call material is motion of 
or within the Web in three characteristic modes. The Web 
itself is the necessary and amazingly adequate background; 
it corresponds in purpose to the canvas of the painter, the clay 
of the sculptor, language for the poet, the orchestra for the 
musician, to the screen at the cinema, the carrier wave for 
broadcasting. All these are the sub-stance that is necessary 
for art to manifest, that enables creation to be, to exist, to 
stand forth. On the larger scale the Web corresponds to the 
Aether of Space, to Mulaprakriti, to the Feminine Aspect. 
In relation to the physical, astral and mental planes, the Web 
is as the very Root of Matter. 

The three jnodes of motion in the Web, the three tattvas, 
offer a fascinating field of study. Thought, as initiated by 
humanity when the higher-mind plays on the Web, moves 
in straight lines and tends to reproduce itself on touching 
another mental body much as the lines of light from a lan- 
tern slide reproduce the picture on reaching the screen. 
Whether the reproduction is " received " by another's mind 
depends entirely on development and acquired skill. In our 
present cycle the reproduction by the large majority is usually 
ignored because of preoccupation, or is received merely as a 
quite unconsciously registered influence. 

The basic physical units (the occultist's ultimate physical 
atoms), which in their aggregate make up what we call phy- 
sical matter, are produced by atmic force operating in spirals. 
The wires of the Web do not move but the power current pur- 
sues apparently a curved course, leaping spirally from junc- 
tion-point to junction-point, dividing into three in between, 

33 c 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

passing along three connecting lines, to join up again at the 
diagonally opposite corners of the cube. 




The path taken by the triple force current is shown in the figures 
above. The arrows indicate the three directions taken, which may 
be described thus 

One Third (say Red) travels Width-Height-Depth 
One Third (say Yeo) travels Height-Depth-Width 
One Third (say Blue) travels Depth- Width-Height 

34 



THE WEB 

It will be noted that each colour is at right angles to the other two 
all the way and each traverses the three dimensions. Further, if a 
large number of models, in wire, similar to the above left-hand 
figure, are assembled together, then it will be found that a triple 
line, of the three colours, is traced in all directions. At the cross 
over points only do the colours unite and the dominance of one 
causes the spiral bias. 

The flashes of light when the junction-points are touched 
by the triple current alone mark the path taken, and these 
appear like streaming beads of light in lines spirally curved. 
Three lines or pulses of this atmic force play side by side and 
occasion in some way, possibly by induction, an additional 
group roughly parallel with themselves hence is produced 

Number Eight 




A CLAIRVOYANT S VISION OF AN ULTIMATE PHYSICAL ATOM 

35 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

the physical atom itself, a complicated group of swiftly turn- 
ing wavelets through the Web. 

The apas tattva, the astral, is quite different. This alone 
appears to be an actual vibratory movement of the lines as 
shown in Nos. 5 and 6. Buddhi-Astral are the life side of 
the egoic and personal principles respectively and profoundly 
affect the content of the Web. The impetus given at one 
junction appears to be transmitted through the elastic frame- 
work as a sound-wave is transmitted from one molecule to 
another in air or steel. Such waves are those of emotion, which 
are longitudinal in the framework of the Web. Electrical 
pulses of thought and the spiral units displaying physical 
inertia are, so to speak, the boundaries or extremes of the acti- 
vity in the Web. Buddhi-Astral impulses constitute the life 
side and are the important content of the Web, though very 
dominantly astral in this cycle. Man, as the bridge between < 
the spiritual and the personal, has to forge the union 
of these two principles, Buddhi-Astral, in himself and this 
he must achieve through thought and action, through the 
mind and the physical body, on the stage of the Web. 
* The lines of which this intricate mechanism is composed 
are seemingly rigid, taut-strung, yet exquisitely delicate and 
fragile. The fragility is an illusion, however, due to the 
superlative sensitiveness of the glowing lines lines which are 
not as a continuous thread but are the effect produced by 
pulses of force of inconceivable number and rapidity. The 
lines are spaced regularly apart, though the spacing must be 
far smaller than even the order of atomic measurement.* 

The Web appears to be relatively perfect in construction 
perfect that is in the sense that a craftsman's tools may be per- 
fectly suited to his craft. The trained and the untrained 
workman though using exactly the same tools produce very 
different results. The quality of the work turned out obviously 
depends on the craftsman's skill. The same is it with any 

* Divide a length of one inch into five hundred million parts, then one part 
is the estimated radius of a hydrogen atom, the physicist's basis of atomic 
measurement. 



THE WEB 

musical instrument, say a finely built organ : the result when 
the organ is used turns on the skill of the musician; the organ 
is the same for beginner and expert. Applying these analogies 
to the Web and our very amateur use of its wonderful con- 
tent, the situation becomes clear, especially as we may well 
regard the Web as an exquisitely tuned and responsive 
musical instrument. It is we who make the disharmonies, 
the strains and distortions; these are no more inherent in this 
sub-stance of the worlds than faulty discords in the instru- 
ments of an orchestra. 

Such is a theory of the structure and nature of the under- 
lying field, the basic canvas for the pictures of form. It is 
this that furnishes the sub-stance on which everything in the 
three worlds of the mental, astral and physical is built. For 
the material of these worlds consists purely and wholly of 
movements within the Web pulses, waves and spirals 
which play freely and easily over and through the Web, 
governed and limited only by the laws of its construction and 
the skill of consciousness. 



The figures reproduced overleaf have an interesting bear- 
ing on our subject for they illustrate the extensive research 
work being devoted to the structure of physical material. 

The schematic representation of the atoms in a cubic 
crystal such as of rock salt or of potassium chloride are 
taken from the Chemical Society's Transactions, by Sir 
William Bragg. They show the structure of crystalline 
forms. Such forms are said to be based on what are called 
space-lattice patterns. It is significant that a modern theory 
of spatially extended physical units should demand a back- 
ing, a ground-plan as it were, of the cubic and regular spaced 
character described As being that of the Web. 

37 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 




Number Nine 

A propos of this and the possibility of something more than 
physics being involved, the contribution of the Rt. Hon. 
General Smuts to a discussion on The Evolution of the Uni- 
verse (Britt. Assoc. 1931) is worth quoting. Referring to die 
view a philosopher might take of the recent discoveries in 
science, he said : 

". . . the physicists, working merely with their own tools 
and their own incomparable technique and looking for no 
more than the metrical units which subtend this universe, 
have indeed, like the man who looked for asses and found a 
king, found much more than they have looked for. The 
units they have discovered will constitute not only a world of 
physics but, in the end and at far removes, also a world of 
life and spirit. . . . 

" These units, particularly the electron and quantum, have 
an almost meta-physical aspect : they are physics infected 
with thought. . . . 

" Thus it comes that the ultimate units are not purely phy- 
sical or material but point to an undifferentiated primitive 
world matrix which includes both the physical and thought 
characters of the world." 

" An undifferentiated primitive world matrix " surely here 
is a finely intuitive grasp and understanding of a vast truth. 

38 



CHAPTER IV 
MAN AND THE ELEMENTAL KINGDOMS 

THE Web, described in the last chapter, is viewed as the 
field or basic structure in which all involutionary and 
evolutionary processes take place. The great waves of Life 
from the Solar Logos, pregnant with the urge towards mani- 
festation in form, are called during their first three stages of 
descent " elemental kingdoms ". The relation of these three 
kingdoms to those which are further advanced, such as the 
mineral and plant, is shown on diagram No. 10. The first 
elemental kingdom, shown as at the formless level, from our 
point of view is quite homogeneous in its nature though bear- 
ing within it a pulsing, driving urge towards formal experi- 
ence.* 

The life of the second elemental kingdom, represented in 
the same chart as on the way down to the third and the 
mineral kingdom, is best viewed as an almost undiff erentiated 
ocean of consciousness with the divine urge to achieve separa- 
tion into units aflame within it. Its field, that is its habitat and 
home, is the Web associated with our earth. Its primary and 
impelling function is to seize any and every opportunity 
afforded to enclose a movement within the Web with an 
envelope that will veil the agitation off from the undifferen- 
tiated ocean, and then to appropriate the isolated portion and 
intensify its life. Thus is the elemental life enabled to acquire 
a temporary abode for independent experiences. A form, any 
sort or shape of form, is its never-ceasing quest. 

* As the human kingdom is the only other that touches the same level it is 
humanity only that is able adequately to assist the first elemental kingdom to 
descend. Every high inspiration to which human expression is given in con- 
crete mental terms also aids the first elemental kingdom. The benefit is mutual 
though the goal of each kingdom is very different. 

39 




8 



H 



D 
H 



MAN AND THE ELEMENTAL KINGDOMS 

The purpose of this diagram is to show the inter-relations of the 
kingdoms of nature and the field covered by each. The formless 
world of Life is shown as above the horizontal line marking the 
middle of the mental plane. The first elemental kingdom (the 
name given to Life at the higher mental level before consciousness 
or awareness is born) and developed humanity are the only two 
kingdoms that share this. Life there is represented in the diagram 
by points of light. Passing across the bridge (the cross at the 
middle of the mental plane described in Chapter III), Life enters 
the second elemental kingdom of the lower mental plane, the 
subtlest part of the three-fold world of form. The descent is con- 
tinued, as shown by the arrows, to the third elemental kingdom 
and on to the turning point of the whole vast cycle, the mineral 
kingdom. With the stabilising assistance of dense physical bodies 
Life becomes more and more consciously aware as it passes 
through plant and animal forms and acquires astral and mental 
bodies in addition to the physical. In the human kingdom these 
three personal bodies are more or less well defined and self-con- 
sciousness is achieved. The difficult task now before man is that 
of establishing self-consciousness at the higher mental level and, 
with it, the realisation of his true nature. 

Throughout, a pioneer humanity, few in number and during 
the earlier stages not of our own human hierarchy, lead the way. 

On the evolutionary cycle, with individuality achieved, man 
again contacts these elemental kingdoms, for they use the same 
planes and material forms as those of which his bodies are 
made. It is the elemental essence, the life of the first, second 
and third elemental kingdoms, which supplies him with his 
mental, astral and physical " elementals ". 

Trained by long association with animal bodies in earlier 
cycles it is the " elemental " which instinctively and with 
mechanical precision controls the so-called automatic func- 
tions of the body such as digestion, circulation, etc. 

The mental body of a human being may be likened to the 
disturbed water around a swimmer in a lake. The water 
immediately near is thrown into agitation, into small waves, 
which travel outwards with diminishing force. The dis- 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

turbed water around the swimmer, though part of the lake 
and not really, of course, to be separated from it, nevertheless 
is comparatively in a state of isolated agitation. The water 
so disturbed well serves to illustrate what is meant by a mental 
body. This simile is particularly applicable concerning the 
mental plane because of the reaction as described above of the 
elemental life. Seizing the opportunity with eagerness it 
isolates and emphasises the locus of disturbance, and this 
becomes an enclosed abode, a body, which to human con- 
sciousness with mental sight is a perfectly clear mental 
form. 

In the same fashion every thought, itself an electric genera- 
tion within the limits of the mind-body, tends to become 
separated, though in the great majority of cases it will be 
speedily dissipated because of the slightness of motive and 
consequent lack of stability. But if the same type of thought 
be repeatedly strengthened it is quite possible and indeed 
common for the elemental life to achieve a semi-independent 
department in the mind-body where this specialised activity 
may remain isolated. The human mind may thus become 
partitioned within itself, indeed frequently is. Hence the 
origin of fixed ideas, prejudices, divided personalities, com- 
plexes of every kind, which modify and colour anything 
received that is allied to that department of thought much as 
tinted glasses colour the light seen. 

The emotional element in all such happenings and experi- 
ences must be included in our understanding of these phe- 
nomena, for the third elemental kingdom of the astral plane, 
itself one stage nearer its objective, the mineral kingdom, aids 
and abets its brother the elemental life of the second kingdom 
(manas) and gains an intense measure of experience itself by 
sharing the forms so diligently manufactured by the human 
mind both without and within itself. 

In view of the perfectly legitimate drive of these two ele- 
mental kingdoms towards separated forms and hence keener 
experiences, it is obvious that this downward or outward urge 

42 



MAN AND THE ELEMENTAL KINGDOMS 

of the elemental life of the bodies has to be met and overcome 
by human consciousness. Humanity, on the upward arc, 
seeking unity and brotherhood, is in an exceedingly difficult 
situation. Everything is alive and the life of the very 
vehicles he has to use in that upward climb is itself headed 
in the opposite and downward direction. Man has not 
only to overcome this contrary motion but has himself to 
mount by its aid. It is very much as if one were faced with 
the task of walking up an escalator that was moving down ! 
Doubtless, given a sufficient incentive, such a climb would be 
managed readily. But the incentive in the case of man has 
to be evoked from within himself, and even when evoked 
must be followed by intimate experience and knowledge to 
become compelling. An understanding of the meaning of 
Good and Evil can arise in those who grapple with and solve 
the problem of man's relation to these elemental forces. Both 
the elemental life and man are using the mysterious Web; it 
is their common field, but their objectives are at opposite 
poles. 

Including as it does all human and elemental experience, 
the emotional and mental content of the Web at large con- 
stitutes the equivalent of the term the racial unconscious in 
present day psychology. The individual human conscious- 
ness establishes a relationship between itself and the content of 
the Web through mento-astral activity. This is greatly 
assisted by the isolating agility of the elementals and by their 
repetitive habits, which we call automatic thinking. The 
relationship is thus secured by means of a floating form, the 
individual's own auric body, which moves freely and easily 
through the Web. The idea of a relatively fixed shape mov- 
ing in changing material has been illustrated already by the 
movement of a twist of string around a pencil. A further 
illustration is that of the shape given to a quantity of dry 
leaves and dust by a scurrying wind. The vortex of air is 
outlined clearly by the rapidly changing particles. So does 
the auric body of man (his astro-mental body) move through 

43 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

the Web, its shape being determined by his own habitual 
reactions to his environment. 

Whenever the attention of an individual wanes, and ceases 
to vivify any part of his auric body, this drops away from the 
field of his immediate conscious perception and becomes more 
or less unconscious, though still potentially linked to his auric 
life through the previous contact. This is the personal uncon- 
scious, which can be recalled into direct focus, with greater or 
less difficulty, according to the conditions so much investi- 
gated by psycho-therapists. 

Light can be thrown upon the intricate nature of the un- 
conscious mind if the constitution of the Web and the play of 
the individual mind through it are taken into consideration. 
All beyond the periphery of the personal mind is in the ocean 
of pulsing life in the Web, and yet can play upon the indivi- 
dual because mento-emotional contacts between the world- 
mind and the individual consciousness are continually being 
made at the psychic levels in addition to the familiar sense- 
contacts of physical experience. 

Any response, slight or vivid, made by the man's own men- 
tal and emotional aura to this surrounding ocean would seem 
naturally to arise " in his mind " involuntarily. At present 
physical contact by the senses of hearing, touch, sight, taste 
and smell alone are easily cognised as external. Yet by a 
very little cultivation of one's interior mental and emotional 
faculties, as apart from the physical, the existence of this vast 
exterior ocean of active thought and emotion can be verified. 
And in a very interesting manner too, for one needs only to 
concentrate intently on a particular subject of interest and the 
mental body becomes tuned in to thought pulses and emo- 
tional waves allied to that subject. Distance, though not 
negligible, is not very marked under these conditions, but 
results depend apparently on the degree of sensitivity to 
which the mind is trained. Responding thus to world- 
thought on similar lines and wave-lengths one's knowledge 
and understanding may expand, theoretically, to an extent 

44 



MAN AND THE ELEMENTAL KINGDOMS 

that is unlimited or rather, limited only by the content of the 
world's Web. This exercise is of course something more 
than mere introspection, more than an exploration of one's 
own mental content.* 

Fortunately, perhaps, extreme sensitivity is difficult to 
achieve. The world would be a very trying place in which to 
live were it easy ! But the process can be tested amply enough 
and proved by anyone exercising some perseverance. We all 
share the world's unconscious mind together. 

Similarly but conversely man's individual mind can influ- 
ence the contents of the Web profoundly. The higher mind 
with its flashing speed can mould forms in mental material 
on the responsive and retentive canvas of the Web as readily 
and easily as the voice modifies the carrier wave from a broad- 
casting studio. As the beam from a lantern illumines the 
darkness of night so may the inner light, focused by the 
higher mind, illumine and clarify the mental atmosphere of 
the Web. Much of this is however for the future, for 
thought-power demands the leaven of wisdom and the subtler 
worlds still await scientific exploration by man. 

The separating veil between a man's mental body and the 
ocean of semi-conscious life composing the second and third 
elemental kingdoms is both valuable and necessary, but it 
also contributes a serious obstacle to release. Its value is 
inestimable during man's earlier incarnations because the veil 
isolates consciousness and compels concentration and self- 
awareness. This very virtue tends however later to make for 
self-assertion, egotism and a generally aggressive attitude if 
the separative effort of the elemental life is not understood 
and combated. 

The reiterated advice given so constantly in truly occult 
teachings which urges the cultivation of poise and balance, 
the well-known middle way of Buddhism, is given partly 
because the premature breaking down of this protective veil 
is fraught with danger. Even the thinning of the veil risks 

This state is called meditation " with seed " in the Patanjali Sutras on Yoga. 

45 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

a too easy contact with the numerous thought-forms and 
emotional surges of the inner planes unless the individual 
mind is in some measure already controlled. One of the early 
steps in gaining such control appears to be the achievement 
of a certain flexibility of mental habit in place of frozen fixi- 
ties, followed by the development of deliberately self-chosen 
thinking. One's mind then responds to and entertains 
thoughts and feelings only of one's very own choosing. This 
is an extremely difficult task because of the intense activity of 
the elemental life both within and without the personal veil. 
" As hard to curb as the wind ", exclaimed Arjuna of the 
Ehagavad Gita, and all who try it are inclined to echo his 
complaint ! 

But one immense consolation at least emerges from a study 
and appreciation of the mysteries of the Web it is that the 
normal condition of the Web is static. It is not the* instru- 
ment that is responsible for annoyance or pleasure but the 
player. It is not the basic fabric that we have to control but 
a fellow-user, to wit, the second elemental kingdom, another 
traveller, one moreover who is destined to become the most 
obliging and obedient servant conceivable and a marvellously 
skilful craftsman under the creative direction of man. The 
relationship between humanity and the elemental kingdoms 
may become similar to that between a highly skilled con- 
ductor and a finely trained orchestra. 

The relation of the higher mind to the lower has been de- 
scribed as resembling that between a pencil point and paper 
the pencil point being formless yet capable of building form. 
This relationship is so true that we must pursue it further. 
The activity of the higher mental is in fact and deed the 
activity of a point, a focused point of light. The appropriated 
atom of the mental plane, called the mental permanent atom, 
is as a lens, a flashing centre of activity, focusing the buddhic 
ray of light from the monad. When a human being is on the 
way to a re-incarnation the field of force playing within the 
Web assembles a mental sheath or body, which body tends to 

46 



MAN AND THE ELEMENTAL KINGDOMS 

limit and concentrate the range of the permanent atom and 
slow down its tremendous natural speed. But however 
highly organised that appropriated mental body may become, 
throughout all incarnations and all experiences the egoic 
mental centre remains in itself a free though focused point of 
light. This remains true no matter how successful may be 
its identification with bodies and a personality. 

The identification of the point of mental consciousness with 
its forms is really and merely a deeply printed illusion of con- 
sciousness, an illusion that has to be transcended at long last 
in the human kingdom by the /^//-imposed discipline of 
meditation. As a focus of buddhic light, and hence of the 
very nature of light, the higher mental centre can move with 
the speed of light. This terrific speed is the main obstacle to be 
overcome in the change from life to consciousness, from mere 
life at large to life aware that it is alive. Therefore the value 
of the Web, the net, in which the souls of men are caught, as 
Egyptian symbology has it. 

The limitations imposed and the privations experienced in 
the forms of the personality built in the Web compel com- 
paratively slow and ponderous responses. The privations at 
length achieve the purpose set : life passes into consciousness 
(awareness) and consciousness into self-awareness until, in 
humanity, as more and more freedom is achieved, release 
from the illusions imposed by forms becomes possible. 

From these illusions it is however desperately difficult 
entirely to escape. The active higher mental centre is by now 
so supremely skilful in the art of producing forms easily and 
readily in the responsive medium of its department of the 
Web that to withdraw, consciously to withdraw, from the 
mentally complexed net is exceedingly hard. For that mat- 
ter, in terms of the greater cycles and the unfoldment of the 
powers latent in human consciousness, this achievement of 
withdrawal is a task quite legitimately to be achieved in 
future cycles by the vast majority. But it can undoubtedly 
be done now. The physical world for humanity is already 

47 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

objective, the physical body itself is becoming objective; 
release from identification with the astral and mental bodies 
will render them objective too and the self can then be 
realised as spirit. 

Karma, usually translated as the law of cause and effect, 
reaction to action, becomes now more readily understand- 
able. Every personal activity in the Web, whether mental, 
emotional or physical, modifies the corresponding vibra- 
tional measure of the Web, the tattva of the plane. And the 
law is that every such modification is subtly and indissolubly 
connected with its creator until unravelled and dissipated. 
Skandhas, as they are called, are simple or severe distortions 
in the Web, held intact and separate by the eager elemental 
life, which by their very origin and nature are tuned in to 
their creator and tend to react on him. Action and reaction 
are equal and opposite and the fruits of his personal action 
may be either " good " or " bad ". Strain or distortion is 
occasioned if there be any element of personal attachment 
to the thought, feeling or deed. It may be of trifling 
moment or strongly impressed, easily rectified or of long 
duration. Only in the case of action initiated utterly self- 
lessly, that is, with no hooking back of the interest or intention 
upon its creator, is there no magnetic tie and that means 
that the motive is buddhic, i.e., it has its origin in the uni- 
versal consciousness, and such an action is that of a Saviour.* 

Yet personally motived action, with a full content of selfish 
acquisitiveness, has its indispensable place in the early stages 
of human consciousness to ensure that the mental and 
emotional bodies shall be well defined and rigidly limited, in 
order firmly to foster and establish clear cut individualisation. 
Hence the succession of legitimate incentives cited in the 
ancient laws of conduct for the four castes : (i) Sensory Plea- 
sure, (2) Wealth, (3) Fame, (4) Service. 

Unless individuality be thoroughly well-founded there is 

* " Having abandoned attachment to the fruit of action . . . he is not 
doing anything although doing actions." Bhag. Gita 4.20. 



MAN AND THE ELEMENTAL KINGDOMS 

apt to be an absence of personal incentive, few " mistakes " 
and little real experience. The Satanic Hierarchy, the mighty 
Asuras, fortunately have successfully guarded against many 
failures arising from this cause among our own human hier- 
archy by the intensity with which individual consciousness 
has been developed under their tutelage; its price however 
is that their very success has bred a momentum from which 
we find it hard in this cycle to attain release. 



49 



CHAPTER V 

CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE DIMENSIONS OF 

SPACE 

T? NTERING on the cycles of involution and evolution, 
XL Life in the first instance alights at the junction-point 
portals of the Web and then proceeds to explore and annex its 
new and entrancing territory. The procession through the 
kingdoms of form is led by skilled human pioneers who, on 
the previous Chain of Globes, had had experience in form 
mastery. A new land, the dense physical world, has in the 
course of this Chain to be entered, inhabited and mastered, 
as also the already familiar corridor of approach through the 
lower mental, the astral and the etheric. 

The mineral, plant and animal forms, built up during 
vastly extensive periods of time, permit life to apprehend the 
three dimensions of space in succession. Indeed not till the 
true archetypal form of the human being is attained is the 
whole of spatial extension embraced. 

To understand this mystery it is necessary to pause here and 
consider the problem of consciousness in relation to the 
dimensions of space. Forms are built from a centre outwards 
the first centres to be used being those innumerable junc- 
tion-points of the Web prepared by Father-Mother. Here 
life begins its journey through the forms of the kingdoms 
of nature and spends the whole of the first Round in achiev- 
ing the unit of organised form the cell. In the second 
Round the cell has become the unit of form growth as the 
result of the inter-play of the third and second Aspects of 
the Solar Logos. Though there is a deal of overlapping, for 
life knows no absolute boundaries, we may take it that the 
mineral form is dominant in the first Round, the plant form 
in the second and the animal form in the third. In the 

50 



CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE DIMENSIONS OF SPACE 

fourth Round, the present one, the human form is at length 
achieved though not as we know it till the third and fourth 
Races of our own world occupation. 

The building and establishment of the earlier kingdoms 
is described therefore in Theosophical literature as having 
taken the first three Rounds of our Chain to accomplish 
and even they are held to be comparatively rapid recapitula- 
tions of the vast work of the first three Chains. When in the 
fourth Round our world was reached, the first three Root- 
Races again rapidly recapitulated the work of the three earlier 
Rounds, hence not till the fourth Race was reached on the 
earth was positively new work undertaken. And in the 
fourth Race, following the successful and long-prepared-for 
" descent " of the human form, the whole three-dimensional 
world of the mental, astral and physical planes is at length, 
through the elaborate mechanism of the truly human being, 
for the first time within Life's grasp. 

That the succession of the kingdoms described above and 
the final arrival of human consciousness in a human form 
may be clearly followed it will be useful to trace the successive 
advances made by Life through the forms of the kingdoms 
to its ultimate victory over the so-called three dimensions of 
space. Incidentally the real meaning of what is meant by a 
fourth dimension may emerge. 

By the term dimensions of space we really mean extensions 
of matter, and if we analyse this latter term we shall resolve 
it into motion of a point or points motion in three directions 
that we call height, breadth, and depth. These popularly are 
the three dimensions of space and mathematically, not 
actually, may be regarded as arising in succession height 
being due to the motion of a point in one direction, which 
we call a line; breadth being due to the motion of this line 
at right angles to itself, which we call a surface; and depth 
being the movement of this surface, again at right angles 
to itself, which we call a solid. These are the three dimen- 
sions. 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

The fourth dimension theory is that there may be a further 
movement at right angles to the three-dimensional solid 
figure, a movement or extension obviously not possible to 
trace, but nevertheless, it has been claimed, following as a 
natural, reasonable and logical sequence to the first three 
movements. A wealth of delightful and fascinating analo- 
gies has been built up on the imagined relations of the inhabi- 
tants of flatland, i.e., a two-dimensional world with those of 
a one-dimensional world on the one hand and our three- 
dimensional world on the other. The theory has the air of 
being based on the essence of sound reasoning; it is attractive, 
explanatory, and at first somewhat captivating. Yet is it none 
the less misleading and fallacious, for it is an attempt to 
identify the attributes of Life with the figures of Form and, 
however willingly we grant that behind the words fourth 
dimension there stands something that is real, it is of impor- 
tance that that reality should be described in terms of Life or 
consciousness and not be regarded as a further extension of 
matter or Form. (" Time " in this connection is another story.) 

Without pausing to inquire what becomes of the funda- 
mental simplicity of the unity on which the Universe is based 
if dimensions are multiplied ad infinitum, let us examine 
briefly the popular argument. The approach to the imagin- 
ary fourth dimension by its advocates is usually by way of the 
first, second and third. The reader is introduced to an 
imaginary linear world and then to a flatland of two dimen- 
sions, described in detail and with much ingenuity, and thus 
on to our own familiar world the land of solids. By the 
help of numerous analogies the student is instructed to attempt 
a conception of a four-dimensional world. At first sight all 
the difficulty appears to reside only in this last effort, but a 
little thought will convince one that the linear world and 
flatland are just as impossible of conception! In terms of 
form they can themselves have no independent existence. To 
picture flatland the reader is invited to imagine a plane sur- 
face with paper squares and triangles upon it, or smooth water 



CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE DIMENSIONS OF SPACE 

with the thinnest of films moving over it. Quite a comfort- 
ably easy task, but it is not flatland because all such super- 
imposed divisions involve at once a third dimension. 

A three-dimensional world of form is indeed the only one 
conceivable, for a line is die boundary of a surface and has no 
existence apart from a surface; a surface is the boundary of a 
solid and has no existence apart from a solid. The solid form 
contains the three dimensions, and all manifest not succes- 
sively but together, springing equally and simultaneously full- 
grown from the Creative Source, for they correspond to the 
triune nature of the One Life, to the triple attributes of every 
unity. 

Now consider the relation of Life to Form and we shall 
readily understand the succession of the dimensions in terms 
of consciousness and what is meant by the fourth factor. 

Life enters the threefold form world impelled, first, to re- 
spond to it through the vehicle adopted achieving conscious- 
ness, awareness, in the process and then to master it. Life 
may be depicted on the preliminary formless level as centred 
in nuclei or points of pure being (jivas) whose Will-to-live 
finds its field of expression in Form for all that may be en- 
countered within the ring-pass-not of the form worlds is to be 
rendered subject to that Will. These points of Being become 
units of consciousness on meeting the resistance offered by 
material, though the growth of the quality of awareness is 
slow. 

The whole journey may be regarded as accomplished in 
seven stages and the succession is best expounded with the 
help of diagram No. n. 

(A) On the threshold of the Form World. Life is diagram- 
matically represented as a point, " Will ", which is about to 
commence its experiences. The point is localised in the junc- 
tion of the cross which itself is at the foundation of the form 
worlds. Alighting here life has its first experience of con- 
sciousness or awareness by reason of the resistance offered by 

53 



DIAGRAM ILLUSTRATING THE PROGRESS 
OF CONSCIOUSNESS THROUGH THREE -DIMENSIONAL FORM; 
ULTIMATELY BECOMING* THE FORM. (POINT TO SPHERE) 
A Q 



i v 1 





Consciousness reaches the 



A --FORMLESS 

fl.C D E-F - THREE-DIMENSIONAL FORM 
CONSCIOUSNESS,- POINT, LINE,, &c 



Number Eleven 



CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE DIMENSIONS OF SPACE 

the veil of matter. Position is achieved, little else. Concious- 
ness is of the slightest for " God sleeps in the Mineral ". 
This slight consciousness however means a probing in the 
three directions or extensions of matter and hence the begin- 
nings of mineral form centres, axes of vibration, geometrical 
activity. Life in the mineral kingdom has attained localisa- 
tion or position and some, but very little, conscious extension. 
Hence its symbol is the point that which has position but no 
magnitude. 

(J3) Continuing its excursion and succeeding in definitely 
appropriating an extension along a single line, the pioneering 
Life identifies itself with it and senses one dimension : that 
is, it becomes conscious by its ability, through a single line as 
a vehicle, to respond slightly to one mode of motion. This is 
linear consciousness and the kingdom of which this is typical 
is the vegetable. We may trace this to-day in the vegetable 
life which, starting from a centre (seed), clothes itself in a form 
that strikes down and up. Through the earlier progress of 
this kingdom these thrusting extremities of root, stem and 
branches, traversing one dimension, may be regarded as the 
sensitive organs of plant consciousness. 

(C) The third stage, C in the chart, corresponds to animal 
consciousness, to which two dimensions are objective. Con- 
sciousness is feeling its way forward, living the more keenly 
as sensation increases. Sensation awakens desire and aversion 
and these enhance experience so that consciousness tends con- 
tinually to identify itself more thoroughly with its instrument 
of sensation. The visual organ of the animal body presents 
consciousness with only a flat picture; and, as the average 
animal is unaided by any considerable mental development, 
perception must necessarily be limited to height and breadth 
the conscious outlook being thus practically superficial. 
The diagram therefore depicts this consciousness as two- 
dimensional. 

(D) In the next period of development the three dimensions 
are apprehended by virtue of the development of mentality 

55 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

height, breadth and depth begin in a measure to be all 
objective. Self-consciousness becomes established as the 
human form, held at the archetypal level in the Divine Mind, 
is projected outward and descends into formal manifestation. 
Life in the human kingdom responds to the three modes of 
motion, embraces the three dimensions, functions through 
three vehicles, effects relations with the whole of the threefold 
world of form and is enabled thereby to distinguish between 
its own densest vehicle and others. This achieved awareness 
of isolation from other forms spells self-apprehension. The 
unit of consciousness itself remains always as a living point 
only and is engaged throughout the outward journey (in the 
diagram, A, B, C and half-way through D) in becoming 
acquainted and identified with the three-dimensional world 
of form, learning through its appropriated and intimate 
vehicle to vibrate in sympathy with its environment. It is 
essential to remember that it is awareness, consciousness, that 
progresses through the form dimensions and not the forms 
themselves; they are, strictly speaking, always three-dimen- 
sional. 

At this periphery of the form-worlds the attention of the 
unit of Consciousness is devoted to externals, i.e., to the 
environment. This is the inevitable result of the long and 
successful training received in its journey from the point stage 
to an apprehension of the three-dimensional solid, through- 
out which the spiritual urge has been outwards. Broadly 
speaking, this is the position of humanity to-day. The re- 
turn journey has now to be undertaken; for, after the critical 
self-conscious stage is successfully established following the 
apprehension of the threefold world, there follows the task 
of mastery and subjection. " Matter must become the obe- 
dient servant of the Spirit." 

(E) We come now to the crucial part of this exposition, for 
this step is the first on the return journey and corresponds 
to that usually associated with a fourth dimension erron- 
eously so called, for the process is clearly one involving the 

56 



CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE DIMENSIONS OF SPACE 

partial mastery of our three-dimensional world of the three 
planes and is not a further excursion of consciousness through 
another extension of form. 

To appreciate this stage it is necessary to pause in order first 
to understand clearly the mechanism involved in sense-res- 
ponse. Let us take the sense of sight as typical. On the phy- 
sical level we " see " because the retina of the eye responds 
to light and shade. It is this reproduction made by our appro- 
priated vehicle that enables us to see. And, if we examine it, 
we shall find that the visual reproduction amounts only to a 
picture in two dimensions, and even this is due entirely to 
light reflected from the surface of the object. So much for 
the mechanical process which represents but a part of the art 
of " seeing ". To this part the man applies his mentality and 
having by its means acquired three-dimensional perception 
at once interprets the simple picture in terms of perspective, 
imposing depth by the action of his mind. In other words 
the retinal picture is reproduced in the mind body a 
material vehicle as already described and displayed there in 
three dimensions; and moreover the object is seen, not by 
means of an external light, projecting a flat picture only, but 
by virtue of its own luminosity. At present the vast majority 
of humanity see the exterior of the object only; but actually 
the content of the whole is reproduced, for the interior of 
the three-dimensional image presented is within the mind 
too. 

The point of Consciousness, which is the true man, plays 
freely within his own vehicle and can view this image in any 
part or as a whole at will. The measure of his training will 
determine the accuracy of the reproduction and the value of 
his perception. In the process of developing interior sight 
there are certain to be many errors of reading. The stand- 
point assumed by a trained consciousness whcrefrom to view 
such a reproduction within the subtle vehicle of his own mind 
is naturally the centre and the whole interior of the image 
is displayed to such a consciousness at once. Front, back, sides 

57 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

and interior are all equally perceived and hence there is 
abundant possibility of confusion and misunderstanding. 
Nature provides, however, a valuable corrective, which saves 
the situation. Just as in the physical eye there is a minute spot 
on the retina affording intense focal definition the enor- 
mous benefits of which by the way we hardly appreciate so 
in the astro-mental vehicle there is a centre of special visual 
sensitiveness. Playing through this localised centre Consci- 
ousness gains clarity at the cost of some limitation a cost 
very well worth incurring. For instead of attempting the 
impossible task of grasping the three dimensions at once, as 
might be inferred, Consciousness masters one dimension at a 
time. It becomes itself depth, so to speak, by virtue of the 
flashing speed of the 4t point " of life, and thus senses every- 
thing displayed in terms of two dimensions. Hence in the 
diagram () Consciousness is shown as being the dotted 
line (depth) and as seeing objectively only breadth and 
height. This becoming means in practical terms that the 
higher mental point of consciousness responds to the whole 
of depth very rapidly and yet consciously. The so-called 
fourth-dimensional Consciousness is really a return to two- 
dimensional objectivity with the acquisition of one dimen- 
sion mastered. Consciousness in short has become a third 
part of its environment and can reproduce this third 
correctly, instantaneously and completely at will. 

(F) The next step, the mastery of another dimension 
breadth, is perhaps rather difficult to follow intellectually, 
though a simple illustration will assist, for at this step two 
dimensions become consciously assimilated, one only remain- 
ing objective. Take a page of print and hold it so as to fore- 
shorten it to extreme by looking almost at the bottom edge; 
the whole of the text of many lines will be foreshortened 
apparently into one line one dimension. The experiment 
faintly suggests stage F if it be further supposed that the ex- 
panded consciousness can read the whole page as if it were the 
one line. At this stage two dimensions will have been mas- 

58 



CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE DIMENSIONS OF SPACE 

tered and form phenomena may be comprehended in one 
synthetic dimension only. 

(G) Consciousness at this stage is represented as having taken 
the final step of the series. Three dimensions are now mas- 
tered and the formless level is again attained. The units of 
life are responsive to all within the limits of the ring-pass-not, 
they are masters of all the forms of the threefold world, they 
can consciously move at the same or a greater speed than can 
material and hence can embrace within themselves all the 
possibilities of the three extensions of matter. The Points in 
this sense are omnipresent and hence have become the Sphere. 
Consciousness is thus shown as having traced its way 
through the kingdoms, encountering and grappling with the 
resistances of worlds of form, apprehending their threefold 
character in successive stages. At the limit of its outward 
sweep Consciousness achieves awareness of itself and proceeds 
to the mastery of Forms in similar successive stages, inversely 
this time, by transmuting their extensions into conscious 
interior experience. 



59 



CHAPTER VI 
MAN'S ORIGINS 

THE theory that Man is the product and capital of an 
end-on evolutionary column, rising in a more or less 
sequential series from earlier kingdoms of nature, held the 
field in the nineteenth century. Though challenged now 
from many angles, particularly from the results of biological 
and anatomical research, the theory has not yet given place 
in the popular mind to any other as acceptable nor to any- 
thing seemingly so well founded. Yet the many theoretical 
structures, based on the facts and inferences of Lamarck's and 
Darwin's works, have been found wanting, indeed no wholly 
satisfactory edifice has arisen from them. 

In the Secret Doctrine ', published in 1889, Mme. Blavatsky 
challenged the current theories. She wrote : 

" The esoteric teaching is absolutely opposed to the Dar- 
winian evolution, as applied to man, and partially so with 
regard to other species." S.D. II, p. 689. 

" That man was not the last member of the mammalian 
family, but the first in this Round, is something that Science 
will be forced to acknowledge one day." II, p. 164. 

" The Occult Doctrine maintains that the mammalians 
were a later work of evolution than man." //, p. 190. 

" Man has been on earth, in this Round, from the begin- 
ning." //, p. 265. 

This is a revolutionary view to-day even though in every other 
theory of man's origin many flaws have been found and 
exposed. 

That the ape is descended from man, is indeed decadent 
man, has long been suspected though the more widely held 
view still is that man and ape derive from a common stock. 

60 



MAN'S ORIGINS 

Mme. Blavatsky's statements are far more searching. If they 
can be shown to be even theoretically sound a vista opens to 
the sources of human origins which may well deserve the 
term spiritual. Their revolutionary character need not deter 
us in view of the many reversals of opinion that already have 
been adopted. 

Consider for a moment the reversals we consistently have 
made as consciousness functions in an increasing measure at 
the higher mental level and hence becomes more detached 
from the forms immediately at hand. It is a commonplace 
of modern psychology that when an unconscious condition is 
genuinely externalised and we see ourselves definitely as 
separate from it all its values tend to be altered. So in the 
history of human thought. As we have developed the capa- 
city for larger views, concepts based on previous experiences 
frequently have had to be reversed. The flat earth of our early 
personal judgment, for instance, has long become a sphere; 
our planet is not, as once was vigorously believed, stationary 
and geocentric but circles round the sun ; the consciousness 
of a child is not now regarded as an empty vessel requiring 
to be filled so much as an abounding treasure-house needing 
release; medical treatment and healing generally are becom- 
ing more and more an interior mental and emotional art 
concerned with psychological processes, in place of a purely 
exterior physical science; the penal code is beginning to 
recognise the need for education in place of mere reprisal; the 
very Deity is vacating the distant skies for the heart of man; 
these and many other reversals are evidences of the rectifi- 
cation of earlier errors as our view-point advances. To reverse 
the position of man on the evolutionary ladder and place him 
on the top-most rung, precedent to any form-manifestation as 
we know it, may well prove to be the solution of the many 
problems relating to his origin. 

The occult teaching in its broadest application is indeed 
that man himself represents the archetype whence all 
nature's forms derive. 

61 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

Almost in these words H.P.B. sums up her views on human 
origins. In one passage, after lengthy references to many 
ancient myths, sagas and legends, most of them claimed to be 
concerned with the same mystery teaching, she states : 

". . . all have an identical meaning and relate to the pri- 
mordial Archetypal Man, the Creative Origin of all things." 

S.D., Vol. I, p. 478., 

and " . . . these represent primarily the Archetypal Man, 
the Protologos." p. 380. 

A note here is necessary respecting the application of the 
term Man. It is used in the Secret Doctrine to include a great 
deal more than a human being as we know him. To-day 
man is our own fourth Creative Hierarchy and wears the 
familiar human form. To the occult student the term man 
denotes a state of consciousness and not a particular form. 
The man of any period is given this title because he performs 
a particular function, that of bridging the highest forces con- 
tacted in that cycle to the lowest. In the chart that follows 
an attempt is made to show the work of the various humani- 
ties or Creative Hierarchies of the four Chains already mani- 
fested in our Solar Scheme. From this it will be seen that the 
forms used by each humanity are the pioneer experiment of 
the Chain : once achieved they are thrown off by the pioneer 
and used by less evolved types of consciousness. The suc- 
cessful humanity of the period moves on to other creative 
efforts. 

This chart shows the relation between members of the 
human kingdom and the forms used on the four Chains of 
our Scheme. It is said that, though the greater number of a 
successful humanity from a Chain of globes may pass on to 
other spheres of activity, a part elects to stay and assist the 
Life of the succeeding Chains and fill particular Offices in 
their government, as Asuras, etc. 



MAN'S ORIGINS 



CHAIN I 

Part of the humanity 
of this Chain are now 
the Asura Hierarchy 
and three kingdoms in 
advance of our 
own human kingdom. 



Mineral-like forms were 
made and inhabited by 
pioneer humanity on 
the mental plane. 



On the phys. plane of 

our world similar forms 

are densified and now 

inhabited by mineral 

life. 

(Illus. No. 13.) 



CHAIN II 

Part of this humanity 
are now the Agnish- 
vatta Hierarchy and 
two kingdoms in ad- 
vance of ours. 



Plant-like forms were 
made and inhabited by 
pioneer humanity on 
the astral plane. 



On the phys. plane of 

our world similar forms 

are densified and now 

inhabited by vegetable 

life. 

(Illus. Nos. 15 and 16.) 



CHAIN III 

Part of this humanity Animal-like forms were On the phys. plane of 

are now the Barhishad made and inhabited by our world similar forms 

pioneer humanity on 



Hierarchy and one 

kingdom in advance of the etheric plane. 

ours. 



are densified and now 
inhabited by reptilian 
animal life. 



CHAIN IV 

Our present day hu- 
manity. 



Human forms were 
made and inhabited on 
the current Round IV. 
From the earliest and 
subtlest of human 
forms it is said that our 
mammalia are all de- 
rived. 



During its first three 
Rounds this Chain re- 
capitulated rapidly the 
work of the 3 preceding 
Chains. On Round IV 
all types of forms reach 
the physical plane. 



The above classification does not imply that there are any sharply defined 
boundaries; for allowance must be made for the wide divergencies and 
overlapping demanded by the Life . As the archetypal human form gradually 
descended from the higher mental plane to the dense physical frequent 
advances were made far beyond the forms related to the Chain cycles above. 
On Chain III for instance it is said that human forms on the etheric plane 
and verging on the dense physical were achieved by advanced human beings 
of that Chain. The above chart should be taken as indicating averages only. 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

The statement that man stands at the head of the stream 
of life, is the origin himself of nature's forms, is indeed start- 
ling; yet a familiar analogy gives point and reason to this 
view. An architect, in process of designing a building, men- 
tally pictures a plan and an elevation, with their embellish- 
ments, and then reduces these three-dimensional conceptions 
to the symbols of line and colour on two-dimensional paper. 
Various craftsmen then interpret the design given and 
embody it in physical material. The mental creation comes 
first, then the design symbolised in line and curve, then the 
edifice. The architect begins his pro j ection into ob j ecti vity by 
creation on the mental level, and the mental forms, three- 
dimensional on their own plane, are as objective there as the 
finished building is in the physical world. 

Thought of this nature always precedes physical action and 
the occult student recognises that such deliberately created 
mental forms are as independently real and self-contained in 
the architect's mental field as the later construction in stone 
and timber is in the physical world. All this, of course, may 
be applied to the creative activity of every artist whatever his 
medium. One point in this analogy needs specially to be 
stressed and that is that the artist's mental creation is of the 
nature of an archetype. This means that it is an original type 
or form-pattern from which certain structures may be pro- 
jected by action. Experiments or try-outs with the structure 
in a physical medium, whether the artist be architect, painter, 
poet or musician, will result in many modifications, many 
changes, till the artist achieves some measure of success in 
portraying an aspect of his creation. Whatever the final 
result the archetype is the mental model from which the 
result is derived and is the cause of its appearance, though a 
host of such projected exhibits may be needed adequately to 
manifest the original archetype. 

The application of this analogy is far reaching, but there is 
probably little need to labour it for the sequence of mental 
conception to physical expression is within the experience 



MAN'S ORIGINS 

of all and quite familiar. Substitute for the architect in our 
analogy a Super-Being who, having conceived of a solar 
system and carried it into manifestation to the stage of a 
thought-form of our world, constructs in thought a living 
miniature of his own creative capacities, namely archetypal 
man, to serve as a progenitor for the living forms of that 
world and we have a picture somewhere near the theory 
submitted. 

A diagram displaying the successive stages of descent of the 
archetype and its successful projection at the fourth stage 
will assist in following this sequence. (See No. 12). 



Let us now look a little more closely at the forms built and 
used as bodies by the human hierarchies of the earlier Chains. 

The first globe to be manifested in form was, as already 
shown (Chart No. 2), of mental material, based on th*~ Web 
and serving the purpose of a planetary mind. This was the 
field wherein manifestation began, for it provided the mirror 
in which subjective Life could reflect itself as objective Form. 
Life, or Light, became focused therein. It is arrested by this 
fabric and gyrates, flashing from focused centres along 
radii and around orbits. 

6 5 E 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 



The numbers i to 7 indicate the seven successive Rounds of our 
Chain. Archetypal man is shown as gradually achieving clear 
re-presentation in physical material. In Round I the form that we 
now call the mineral was established by pioneer man at the mental 
level and was the dominant factor in that Round. In Round II 
the plant form at the astral level was the most significant form. 
In Round III similarly the animal up to and including the rep- 
tilian type, at the etheric level, was the focal experiment. In 
Round IV the erect human form in physical material is established, 
and is maintained through the next three Rounds till the end of 
the Chain. Solar energy plays continuously from above and, 
after Round II, lunar and terrene energy from below. The centres 
awakened and localised in the physical body, itself a miniature 
synthesis of the whole, are named in the last column of the diagram. 

In the fourth Round the ist, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Root-Races 
of our current world occupation were rapid recapitulations 
of the completed work of the earlier Rounds. Hence the 
figures 5, 6, 7, symbolising the later Rounds, must be understood 
as indicating developments very much of the future, and success- 
fully to be achieved, for the majority of our human race, only in 
the 5th, 6th and 7th Rounds respectively, hence not on this globe 
in the present Round except by the adventurous few. Our 5th, 
6th and 7th Root-Races are and will be merely brief rehearsals of 
the great play set to be staged in the last three Rounds. 



66 




I 



Number Thirteen 




VARIETIES OF ICE CRYSTALS 



MAN'S ORIGINS 




Number Fourteen 
SOUND FIGURES PRODUCED BY THE VOICE 

Geometrical figures, outlined in sand, produced by the vibra- 
tion of a glass or rubber disc will be familiar to many. A violin 
bow drawn across the edge of a glass plate or the human voice 
sounded into a vessel covered with rubber sheeting are the usual 
means employed to obtain the effects illustrated in No. 14 above. 
Mrs. Watts Hughes, many years since, carried out some fascinating 
experiments in the production of such forms with the voice, in sand 
or fine powder, as also in a semi-fluid medium. The above repro- 
duction of voice figures and the beautiful tree form, No. 22, are 
from her monograph, Eidophonc Voice Figures. The form build- 
ing power of the waves of sound which can be generated by the 
human voice is in close illustration of the relation of Life to Form, 
of the Cosmic Breath to the fabric of the Web. The resemblance 
of these voice-built forms to crystal and plant structures is very 
striking and lends significance and meaning to the many occult 
references to the voice as being the real creative agent. 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

The Sons of Light referred to in the Stanzas of Dzyan were 
human monads, and their first vahan or body, built in the 
first Chain, we should now describe as having the form of the 
mineral kingdom, with centres, angles, axes, etc., first con- 
structed in a purely mental world on the first and simplest 
plan. 

Though astral and physical worlds and bodies have since 
been added to the mental, we still, as humans, originate 
thought on these same principles. In the course of the cycles 
we have registered innumerable experiences in the spark-like 
centres of the mentally active Web which still consistently 
arrests and reflects our life. At the touch of our attention 
these centres light up in our mental bodies and re-display to 
us as spectators the scenes and incidents there registered, and 
we say " I remember " this or that. The memory-lag of the 
Web resembles the vision-lag of the retina of the eye, though 
much more durable. 

Thought-forms, humanly created, are based on these cen- 
tres and axes of growth and expand or fade as the light of our 
attention ensouls them or is withdrawn. Mental propaga- 
tion is somewhat analogous to fission, for telepathy tends to 
excite in another's mind the same form or feeling as is experi- 
enced by the producer an occurrence, by the way, which is 
much more frequent than is supposed. Our physical means 
of communication corresponding to this is, at present, almost 
exclusively by the use of language and the pen. The British 
Broadcasting Corporation provides an excellent example of 
propagation on mental lines though here the medium and 
mechanism are at the etheric and physical level. Each active 
receiving set reproduces the original "thought" exactly as 
thrown out unless the receiver is faulty, as many a human 
mind is, and then the original form is distorted proportion- 
ally. 

The first ajdumbratipn of archetypal man is thus seen 
achieving position in the Web little more. Man is no- 
dimensional at this stage. " A dimensionless image " Mme. 

68 



MAN'S ORIGINS 

Blavatsky calls him. (Vol. I, p. 199,) As pioneer he establishes 
and endows centres and radii, and passes on, leaving his foot- 
steps to guide and assist the younger life to follow. The 
mineral form is thus founded. 

In the second Chain the Sons of Light, a humanity two 
generations earlier than ourselves, had their chief centre of 
activity on the astral globe, in addition to the mental, of that 
Chain. A clothing of fluidic material with membrane and 
envelope is assembled. The plant form appears and a medium 
for feeling and warm emotion is added to the mechanism of 
cold thinking. 

The circulatory and lymphatic systems of the later physical 
human body are adumbrated at this stage, for in the early 
plant forms of the mento-astral worlds vascular structure is 
achieved. The astral world is of such a nature as to permit of 

Number Fifteen 




CELL OF THE HUMAN CEREBRAL CORTEX 

6 9 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

the projection of the fluidic circulatory system inherent in the 
archetype. 

Number Sixteen 




CELL FROM THE HUMAN CEREBELLUM 

From Halliburton s Physiology 

Man's nervous and circulatory systems are obviously suggestive, 
on the form side, of plant growths. Roots are represented by the 
brain and stem and foliage by the spinal cord with its extensions 
and proliferations. All these are of the plant type in construction. 
Coupled with the ancient occult symbol of the Ashvattha-Tree, 
with roots in the heavens and foliage on earth, the " reversed " 
direction of the nervous structure is significant, for it suggests 
in itself man's " descent " from the heights. That man in the 
second Chain, by building forms in the astral and etheric media, 
set the pattern of vegetable processes and hence was their originator 
and creator, is the theory here advanced. The life of the younger 
kingdom, following in man's steps, adopted the forms and ela- 
borated and specialised them as they " descended " and hardened 
into the denser physical medium. 

70 



JS 

I 

z 




c 

a a 

H 

9 3 

js a 

o o 

-s-a 



t5 



a s 

- 8 a 

fl rt 

^ a 

-3 & 



s 
z 

V4 

JJ 



Oi 

2 Er 

<U 

S .S3 

z |^- 

"3 J3 
S - 

1^ 



S<u 
> V 

1) Qj 

" I 3 
I 
I ^ 





I 

3 
g 



o 
S 

rj 4-1 

,|l 
1 3 

CJ 

3 u 
'3 ^o 

4-1 

ll 

Jj 

4) CO 

| ^ 

"o 
3 I 

it 



CJ 

W) 






*TJ G 

.0 



MAN'S ORIGINS 

The implication of the foregoing is therefore that the phy- 
sical human form as we know it must be regarded itself as 
the direct representative of the " creative origin of all things ". 
The physical body of man is, even to-day, compared with 
many plant and animal forms, simple, unextended, unspecial- 
ised. Nevertheless it contains within itself every potentiality. 
Not till the physical plane is reached and the fourth hierarchy, 
our own, is in action, is the archetypal form brought right 
through and projected in the outermost world of our Solar 
Scheme. 

In each Cycle it is the human archetypal form, manifesting 
successively on the mental, astral and etheric planes, whence 
all other forms derive. 

In the earlier Rounds and Cycles of our Solar Scheme it was 
the preceding hierarchies of humanity who played the arche- 
typal part. Propagation was by methods of fission on the 
mental globe, by budding on the astral world and by sweat- 
born extrusion in the etheric (moon) period. These remain 
the characteristic methods of mineral, plant and some ani- 
mal forms to-day. During the cycles mentioned it must 
be noted that the human form, the progenitor, is described 
as composed " of the most tenuous matter compatible with 
objectivity ". 

Thus, as man descended gradually into materiality he 
periodically threw off from him fragments and essences (the 
Sanscrit terms are translated into dust and sweat) which, 
seized by junior grades of life, were developed along their 
own specialised lines in plant and animal directions. Ulti- 
mately arriving in his own completed physical form, more 
flexibly constructed and less prone to specialisation than 
many which had been cast aside, man classifies the ani- 
mals, plants and minerals as of younger kingdoms of 
nature. 

When thrown off the younger forms tended to materialise 
comparatively rapidly. As the fragments of hot iron falling 
in sparks from the smith's forge cool and harden more 

7 1 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

quickly than the hot bar itself, so the younger life, seizing the 
extruded substance from the astral and ethereal human 
frame, cooled and materialised long before man himself did 
in the physical world. Hence the abundant traces in this 
world of plant and animal forms prior to those of man. 

Number Twenty Number Twenty-one 



w 

&ft 



In the development of animal forms a stage resembling a maze 
of lines branching from a central nucleus is a reminder of the 
mineral type. An example of such is the illustration of a marine 
animalcule, the globigerina, above. Also a specimen of the open 
" basket-work " pattern frequently met with in the microscopic 
life of the pond and stream, the volvox. Students will be re- 
minded of the " lines " and " basket-works " description of the 
higher bodies of man in their early stages. Much of this early 
work in the building of animal forms was done on the third 
Chain. 

MAN'S RELATION TO THE MAMMALIA 

Madame Blavatsky points out that in this Round our own 
humanity has been the progenitor of mammalian forms. 
(S.D. Vol. //, 164, 265.) 

Our humanity, the fourth, has been vastly assisted by stand- 
ing, so to speak, on the shoulders of the preceding; and it is 

72 



Number Twenty-two 




A FORM BUILT IN A SEMI-LIQUID MEDIUM 
BY THE HUMAN VOICE 



MAN'S ORIGINS 

always to be remembered that the preceding humanities used 
as their densest bodies the forms of what are now the younger 
kingdoms. In physical gestation to-day, for instance, a 
human being travels the whole of the course traced since the 
beginning. Long practice by recapitulation has ensured an 
exquisite skill and an amazing expedition. In a few months 
of embryonic growth the reincarnating ego, the life force 
behind the new physical body, passes through all the stages 
from a " structureless moneron " to the marvellous organism 
of a newborn child. Throughout that period of rapid changes 
the thrusting pioneer life is human. During these few months 
stages are passed through corresponding to plant, fish, reptile 
and early mammal, indicative of the time when man, func- 
tioning in such forms in a suitable environment, left them 
behind to be seized upon and used by the appropriate life- 
stream which followed after him. 

It is a statement readily accepted to-day that no animal 
or plant has in its bodily anatomy anything other than that 
which man similarly possesses. Bone for bone, muscle for 
muscle, nerve for nerve, all are to be found in the human 
body though in many an instance undeveloped, unex- 
tended. Plant and animal have specialised and extensively 
elaborated parts of their human inheritance in a way that 
man has never attempted. Prof. Wood Jones pointed out, 
many years ago, that the arms of man have never been used 
for walking; that the foot of man is a simple structure and 
remains so while in many animals it has been immensely 
specialised as, for example, in the horse; that the vertebrae at 
the base of man's spine have never been extended into a tail; 
that the jaw of the human is typically human and not a retreat 
from the projected animal jaw; and that the so-called vesti- 
gial organs in the human body are just as reasonably to be 
regarded as original parts which have never been extended. 
The Professor's anatomical researches led him to assert 
that man has probably always been the contemporary of 
the animals and not a successor a very significant state- 

73 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

ment though not entirely adequate in the view of occult- 
ists.* 

Other authorities might be cited concerning the non- 
specialised character of the human body. The tendency to 
recognise this is quite marked in current thought. For 
instance, in a B.B.C. talk published in the Listener, Nov. 
2ist 1934, Gerald Heard spoke on the subject Man, the 
Non-Specialist. Mr. Heard pointed out truly enough that 
man is a tool-using creature and that tool-making has 
adequately served man in providing clothing, shelter, food 
produce, locomotion, etc., hence he has never needed to 
specialise his limbs. 

The principle enunciated, founded on Man as the arche- 
typal, original model, covers and relates these views and 
explains much more. Man as the archetype bears within 
himself the potentiality of all extensions and every user of 
the human form shares this immense inheritance. Each 
main division of the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms 
emerging from the archetypal form at the mental, astral, 
etheric or dense physical levels, as the case might be, would 
develop and extend its qualities of specialisation along its own 
line to the fullest extent of its vital and partially conscious 
drive. Life, being always the driving urge, builds the forms 
and extends them each strictly according to the limit of 
capacity. Each specialised line, bovine, equine, canine, 
feline, etc., achieves a wholeness determined by its purpose, 
each elaborating some aspect of the original human form far 
beyond that needed by the unspecialised and hence ever 
adaptable human frame. 

According therefore to the occult tradition the human sig- 
nature is to be found on the forms of the kingdoms of nature 
everywhere. As the archetypal author of all, man has 
" named " all. His own physical body is a representation in 
physical terms of the archetypal man; it is a body of com- 

* The Problem of Man's Ancestry, by F. Wood Jones, Prof. Anatomy, 1918, 
London University. 

74 



MAN'S ORIGINS 

parativcly simple construction and fitted especially, if it can 
be said to be specialised at all, to serve as a medium for 
human thinking. The stable and yet adaptable physical 
body and the dense world in which man is now functioning 
enable him to externalise his mental processes by means of 
action in the mirror -like Web with precision and so to master 
them. In this mastery the stupendous powers of mentality 
may be dis-covered and the spiritual nature of his own life 
realised. 

This is the occult theory of man's origin, reversing the 
popular conceptions of evolution by placing man as the 
ancestor, in terms of form, of the mineral, vegetable and 
animal kingdoms of nature as well as, of course, his own. 

" Occultism teaches that no form can be given to anything 
whose ideal type does not already exist on the subjective plane 
. . . our human forms have existed in the Eternity as 
ethereal prototypes . . . these supersensuous moulds con- 
tained, besides their own, the elements of all the vegetable 
and animal forms of this globe. Therefore, man's outward 
shell passed through every vegetable and animal body before 
it assumed the human shape/ 1 S.D., Vol I, p. 303. 



75 



CHAPTER VII 

CREATIVE ENERGY: LUNAR, TERRENE AND 

SOLAR 

WE speak of generating stations and power houses, of the 
triumphs of industrial machinery, of the invention of 
high explosives and mighty engines of war and need occa- 
sionally to be reminded that man can create dc novo no force, 
no energy, no power whatever. Not one single foot-pound 
of energy can he in truth create. By the skilful use of nature's 
elements he can collect and confine existing forces of a certain 
order and can then distribute the temporarily imprisoned 
power, such as steam and electricity, along specially prepared 
channels to do his chosen work. Mdn can create new forms 
but never new forces. 

Sun, moon and earth provide in exhaustless abundance the 
power on which he can draw and by far the larger propor- 
tion still remains to be utilised. All is said to be within human 
reach, for the occult definition of man is that he is the being, 
in any Chain of globes, who links highest spirit and lowest 
matter. Adopting this definition it follows that man is the 
focus and provides the vehicle for forces playing both from 
lofty heights and deeply involved depths; he stands between 
two extremes and his task is the building of a bridge which 
shall span the gulf, a bridge that can be no other than himself 
in his own perfected consciousness. 

The sun, representative in manifestation of the first Aspect 
of the divine Life, is the source of creative energies operating 
from " above "; the moon and earth, representing the third 
Aspect, are the source of creative energies operating from 
" beneath ". Humanity represents the second Aspect and it 
is Its task to forge the link which shall achieve the three-fold 
re-union. 



CREATIVE ENERGY : LUNAR, TERRENE AND SOLAR 

Though the familiar terms moon, earth, sun; lunar, ter- 
rene, solar are convenient to use, it is of course the Life mani- 
festing through these spheres which is the dominating factor. 
The sun is held to be the immediate vehicle of a mighty Being 
known as the Solar Logos. His three Aspects in manifesta- 
tion within the solar system differ in their importance and 
dominance during rhythmic space-time periods. To the first 
Aspect is attributed the creative Power of the system; to the 
third Aspect the creative Activity concerned with planetary 
involution and the production of forms; and the second 
Aspect, with Wisdom as its attribute being dual in func- 
tion, is said to operate with the third Aspect in the earlier 
cycles during the arc of involution, and with the first Aspect 
during the later cycles on the upward arc. It will be noted 
that, in the occult view, the sun and the earth and moon 
also represent vastly more than the totality of the physical 
properties they exhibit. 

The moon, the relic of the one physical planet of Chain III, 
is claimed to have been the immediate parent of our earth. 
Its disintegration and the transfer of much of its educated 
material to the building of our world is the explanation of 
the very intimate relationship between this satellite and the 
earth, as also of the very similar qualities of the lunar and 
earthborn forces. Indeed lunar and terrene are now prac- 
tically synonymous in this connection. The early Rounds of 
our Chain witnessed this transference from moon to earth 
together with the charging of the huge battery of the earth by 
the third Aspect of the One Life. 

In Round I the initial building of the new earth-globe seems 
to have been the principal task. Solar energies of the first 
Aspect in the character of destroyer assisted in the disintegra- 
tion of the moon planet, to be followed by the concentration 
of its material around its successor. Then, through the por- 
tals of the Web opened by the descending Life, the kingdoms 
of nature, led by human craftsmen, slowly developed their 
forms, and the electric charging of the earth began. The 

77 




8 



CREATIVE ENERGY : LUNAR, TERRENE AND SOLAR 

mineral form was dominant in Round I and the plant form in 
Round II. Throughout this second Round the charging of 
the earth proceeded rapidly and continued during Round III 
until the earth became an enormously charged battery of 
energy. In Round IV, the present period, the development 
of the human form in physical solidity on our earth as we 
know it to-day (a projection of the archetypal human model 
in simple terms) has been achieved and the earth battery 
now begins slowly to discharge. 

In figure 23, the sun, the body of the Solar Logos, is shown 
as in the centre of the Web constituting the field of solar manifesta- 
tion. For simplicity, our planet the earth alone is included together 
with its satellite. The energy stored within the mass of the earth 
has been collected during the first three Rounds, mostly during 
Round II via the forms of the then plant kingdom. During the 
early part of Round IV it has been held and stabilised in the 
mineral kingdom and now begins very slowly to be released. In 
the Vth, Vlth and Vllth Rounds the release accelerates. 

Of the forces .distributed by the sun at the present time 
directly to the present-day evolutionary forms of the king- 
doms of nature, the less potent are shared by all in terms of 
warmth, prank currents and chemical action. The inner- 
most, the finer and more intense, are modified (and to some 
extent intercepted) by certain orders of devas.* Humanity 
alone can respond to these, and only as the higher mind, the 
spiritual principle, awakens. 

Diagram No. 25 is an attempt to indicate the vast 
cyclic processes whereby this task is accomplished, coupled 
as it necessarily is with the expansion, or rather release, of 
divine powers at present latent in man. 

The immense fertility of the earth to-day is due largely to 
the gradual release of the energies stored within itself. The 
forms used now by mineral, plant and animal life all derive 
a sturdy vitality from the earth. From the sun also the forms 

* Non-human agents of nature. 

79 



CREATIVE ENERGY : LUNAR, TERRENE AND SOLAR 

of the plant, animal and human kingdoms obtain a fiery sus- 
tenance in an increasing measure which each is able to use 
according to its growth and capacity. 

Solar energy is here diagrammatically shown as being conducted 
through to the earth during the first three Rounds. The solid 
arrows touching the periphery of the circles represent solar energy 
reaching the earth. Through the early involutionary forms of the 
kingdoms of nature, mineral, plant and animal, on the mental, 
emotional and etheric planes respectively, the energy was trans- 
formed and accumulated in the earth. Therein it became locked 
up coiled up is an expression used as in a charged battery. 

Lunar and terrene forces together nourish and support the 
personal bodies of man and are indispensable to their welfare. 
Indeed, just as in the plant kingdom roots are extended down- 
wards first to secure a firm hold on the earth and water of 
bodily form before the upward thrust into the realm of sun 
and air is undertaken, so with man. The forces which 
strengthen and secure the grip of consciousness upon the per- 
sonal life are the influences to which he first responds. This 
response, the result of a so-called temptation (as a familiar 
theological allegory has it) being achieved, human indivi- 
dualisation is won and established. 

The successful shaping of formal bodies is attained under 
the shadow of the Lords of the Moon, the Barhishads, who 
were the hierarchical tutors of humanity in the control of phy- 
sical forms, and of the Asura Hierarchy, whose tremendously 
difficult task of persuading our young hierarchy to enter the 
material " coats of skin " has earned for them the allegorical 
title of Satan. 

The creative forces derived from the moon and the earth 
are by their nature unconscious within humanity; they are 
accepted and used primarily by the life of the elemental king- 
doms functioning within human and animal bodies, and are 
automatic, vegetative and magnetic. Their influence in man's 
animal nature is displayed in the instincts of self-preservation, 

81 F 




J! 



CREATIVE ENERGY : LUNAR, TERRENE AND SOLAR 

possessiveness, jealousy and greed, all accentuated in the early 
animal forms used by our hierarchy in Round III and legiti- 
mately inherited by the animal kingdom at large. 

The numbers i to 7 indicate the successive Rounds of our Chain, 
as in diagram No. 12. They also serve on a much smaller scale to 
indicate the seven Root-Races of our present world-occupation. (In 
this minor correspondence the circles I to 3 will represent in racial 
terms a rapid recapitulation of the Rounds and the circles 5 to 7 
will represent brief racial rehearsals of the work of the future 
Rounds.) 

The earth is shown as being charged by the sun during the long 
involutionary period and as discharging during the last three 
Rounds. In Round 4 a state of comparative stability obtains, for 
on the earth during this Round the turning point of the vast cycle 
is reached and passed. 

The human form becomes dominant on Round 4 and its arrival 
is represented in the diagram by the white spot on the top of the 
middle circle. The arrows within this circle point downwards to 
mark the strong pressure of the terrene creative forces during this 
middle cycle. Nevertheless the solar influence begins to be potent 
and is represented by the dotted line traced directly from the sun 
to the human kingdom. In the cycles 5, 6 and 7 (slightly in the 
Root-Races, powerfully in Rounds) the solar influence in an 
accelerating degree leads to consummation in the human hier- 
archy in the 7th Round. 

Through the human personal bodies the earth currents cir- 
culate by way of the sympathetic nervous system and the 
basic chakram of the spine connected with the sexual life. 
Rising normally as far as the heart they contribute to bodily 
strength and virility, to a good healthy tone and ample vigour 
of body. Their play can be stimulated by certain practices 
which may lead to feelings of intense physical well-being and 
exaltation. Some risk however lies in this direction notwith- 
standing the physical power obtained, because of the strong 
reaction of the sensory and instinctual emotions amounting 
to glamour. The terrene forces make for the health and 

83 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

vigour of the purely animal nature and an excess of them 
tends to stimulate the automatism of the elemental tendencies 
to the detriment of the truly human. 

The position in which humanity finds itself to-day is some- 
what critical in that the two opposite forces, terrene and solar, 
both of stimulating vitality and power in the human body, are 
nearly balanced. It is, too, increasingly within the range of 
human volition to decide as to what proportion of each shall 
be used. The lunar and terrene forces however have a tre- 
mendous momentum owing to their pressing dominance in 
the past on the involutionary arc, and this tends to out-weigh 
and obstruct the subtler influences of the solar light. 

The power currents derived from the moon and earth as 
described are of such an easy flowing, accustomed, every-day 
character that they are utilised in the course of ordinary per- 
sonal living too naturally and automatically to arouse any 
special interest or attention except perhaps in the few who 
are philosophically inclined. But they can, unfortunately, be 
augmented and increased by adopting certain specific exer- 
cises. Some knowledge of such practices, dignified some- 
times by the name magic, carries over from far-distant 
Atlantean times, and fragments of such information are a 
commercialised product that may be purchased even to-day 
as witness many an advertisement in our periodicals offer- 
ing the secrets of " power " for sale. The mark that brands 
them and informs the inquirer invariably and unmistakably 
of their nature is an association with money-making success 
and sexuality. A trace of these, early or late in its disclosure 
and however disguised, is sufficient evidence to condemn 
them as unworthy. The practices belong to the lunar cults of 
earlier Races, their value is outgrown, and the experiences 
engendered are retrogressive. 

A significant feature introduced into the Mystery cere- 
monies by the hierarchical tutors of humanity, when the 
solar influences dawned in consciousness, was the symbolic 
marriage of solar and terrene energies. The original actors 



CREATIVE ENERGY : LUNAR, TERRENE AND SOLAR 

in such a rite were, in the ritual of the true Mysteries, officials 
of the highest rank, the lofty nature of the divine fires invoked 
being thus emphasised. Therefrom one may trace the idea of 
the indissolubility of the marriage tie a veritable truth at the 
spiritual levels to which it referred but of little application in 
purely physical terms. Degeneration into phallic depths has 
marked many of those rites which, originally, were of a mag- 
nificent and lofty splendour. Even to-day a school of psy- 
chology, and one of the most widely popular, traces the 
creative fire in man to one source only, namely to the terrene 
hence the prominence and overshadowing importance of 
sex in its conclusions and teaching; a half-truth. Fortunately, 
other schools, of increasing repute, recognise the higher facul- 
ties of man, the will and insight, as pertaining to and expres- 
sive of the Self, and their definitions of the Self are very close 
to a recognition of its spiritual nature and origin. 

The work of the first three Rounds being completed and the 
fourth Round being half-way through, it follows that in the 
middle of our present world-occupation the turning point of 
the whole vast cycle of our Scheme was reached and passed 
and the upward arc begun. Individual consciousness having 
been established firmly in a body of dense material in the 
fourth Race on this earth, release from the bonds of matter 
is begun in our present fifth Race cycle, and the lost word of 
spiritual consciousness may again be heard. 

A dramatic event of the first importance accompanied the 
turning point of the cycle, according to the occult tradition, 
for at this time there came the Lords of the Flame from the 
Venusian Planetary Scheme to take over the Inner Govern- 
ment of our world and to become the directive force in the 
evolution of our planetary life. The spark of mind was sti- 
mulated into activity and awakened in man, the higher mind 
being the first of his truly spiritual principles to respond. 
Their advent is probably the deeply hidden origin of the 
Chrestos and Solar Myths telling of the descent of a Saviour, 
an Avatar, a God. 

85 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

By this coming the action of the solar energies in the human 
race was profoundly stimulated, for mind was and is the pri- 
mary vehicle of the solar forces. 

In relation to the physical body, the crown of the head is 
the power centre in man where solar energies are focused and 
whence they are directed and distributed. Fortunately for us 
the high potencies of solar fire can be consciously invoked 
and used only by a mind which has been in consider- 
able measure disciplined and clarified. Humanity is not 
yet widely self-conscious concerning these high contacts, 
though their influence is abundantly registered in the 
very numerous charitable and altruistic movements found 
in all civilised countries at the present time. The free play 
of solar forces waits always on some measure of personal 
sacrifice. 

The inner solar forces drawn directly from the sun are thus 
beginning to function in humanity. Entering through the 
head they also reach the heart and there, combining with the 
terrene stream, endow humanity with the promise of awaken- 
ing powers which may indeed be illimitable in their scope. 
In the heart of man is the real at-one-ment made, by the link- 
ing of the Life forces of the first and third Aspects, for man, 
in his collective capacity as the fourth Creative Hierarchy, is 
the living Bridge in our vast Solar Scheme. Of interest- 
ing significance here is the story told in the old mystery drama 
of the birth of the Christ-Child in a stable or cave, for the cave 
of the mystery teaching corresponds to the home of the 
animal, the heart of man. Highest and lowest meet in the 
heart. 

Two sources of creative power are thus within man's con- 
scious reach to-day, for he stands midway, so to speak, between 
the solar " fire " and the terrene " water ", olden names for 
the two cosmic forces. Both are necessary and vital to 
humanity, for unless both are accepted, used and balanced, 
the true human stature cannot be attained. To distinguish 
clearly between solar and terrene sources of power is difficult 

86 



CREATIVE ENERGY : LUNAR, TERRENE AND SOLAR 

until some lucid and impersonal thinking and feeling have 
been practised, coupled with a certain detached analysis of 
oneself. The only real test available for a student's use is the 
validity of his own experience honestly interpreted. Distinc- 
tions on broad lines are easy to classify and the following 
tables indicate some of these as examples : 

Prompted from lunar and terrene creative sources : 

Thinking of an automatic, repetitive character; mechanical 
reverie, idle day-dreaming, etc. 

Instincts of self-protection, self-interest, acquisitiveness, tend- 
ing to fear and cowardice. 

Hunger and thirst; sexual desire. 

Dictates of the conventional conscience. The passive psychic 
medium. 

Sympathetic nervous system. Learning by rote. Copying. 

In religious discipline, negative precepts such as the Jewish 
ten commandments. Penances. 

Prompted (inspired) from solar creative sources : 

Self-initiated thought. 

Intuitive love, loyalty, probity, courage, truthfulness, etc. 

Creative art in music, poetry, dancing, etc. Invention. 

Controlled psychism of the Seer. 

Cerebro-spinal nervous system. Breathing (partially). 

In religious discipline, the golden rule. Meditation. 

The creative power from the sun is, comparatively, but 
slight at present though ultimately to be as readily and natur- 
ally accepted as that from " beneath ". To strengthen the 
solar flow, indeed to recognise it at all for what it is, demands 
self-directed and voluntary effort. Such effort has its own 
magic and its own specialised methods. 

In a search for guidance the student will find a large 
variety of ancient myths and cults to interest him, mystery 
teachings and ceremonies picturing the relation of sun to 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

moon and man's relation to both, of the sacrifice of solar 
energies on the cross of matter, of death and resurrection (or 
re-birth), dramatised usually by the help of a liberal cast of 
deities who personify god-like and human attributes. Among 
them may be traced many a hint and much instruction con- 
cerning a practice which appears again and again in later 
periods and in all faiths. This is the withdrawal of the 
individual consciousness from the dominance of sensa- 
tion and emotion and other earth-born stimuli and the 
deliberate cultivation of contact with an interior light, an 
inner vision, the dis-covery of a spiritual centre, of the God 
within. Instruction in this has accompanied the turn of 
the cycle of manifestation from the downward to the upward 
arc. 

The science of the union of individual consciousness and 
the solar Life is called to-day, both in east and west, the 
science of yoga. It is in effect the science of the union of the 
terrene forces with the solar, the re-union of the third and 
first Aspects of the one Life through man for man bears 
within himself the sacred fire of the second Aspect which 
alone can link the twain. Thus, through man, solar energy 
can dominate and control the instinctual life drawn from 
lunar and terrene sources. By self-directed and voluntary 
effort contact may be established with the solar centre in the 
head, the seat (in physical terms) of the higher consciousness, 
the higher self. It is in and from this centre, strictly speaking 
in the higher mind, that the higher creative powers of the 
solar Life are focused, reflected and expressed through our 
present human consciousness. 

Efforts on these lines have been confined in the past to the 
few who were capable of the consistent struggle and selfless- 
ness demanded. To-day, since the turn of the cycles is well 
past its half-way mark, many may contact and distribute the 
inner light if they will. The veils of bodily form are begin- 
ning to wear thin and the awakening into activity of long 
dormant faculties under the influence of the finer grades of 



CREATIVE ENERGY : LUNAR, TERRENE AND SOLAR 

the solar light begins. Privation has done its work, com- 
pelling concentration, and humanity in many directions is 
claiming true self-awareness as its birthright. Understand- 
ing discrimination is the first step in yoga awakened spiritu- 
ality follows close upon its heels. 

The theme of all mystery ceremonies has been and is the 
dis-covery and awakening of that centre of spiritual life, the 
focus of divinity, in every human being. Though man shares 
the one and universal Life pervading all that is manifest and 
actually is immersed in it, the birth and realisation in human 
consciousness of die immanence of the solar light is 
always the discovery as of a light within the centre is a 
dis-covered sanctuary of light within one's very being. The 
sacrifice by the terrene personality of its long-accustomed first 
place in the interest and attention of consciousness is the 
prelude to a release of the solar creative forces, and these, in 
the course of the cycle, may make of truly self-conscious man 
a Prometheus LTnbound. 

" There is an inmost centre in us all 

Where truth abides in fulness; . . . and to know 
Rather consists in opening out a way 

Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape 
Than in effecting entry for a light 
Supposed to be without." 

Paracelsus, BROWNING 

The field of manifestation we have attempted to envisage 
presents itself as a stupendous unfoldment of power on a 
pattern at once simple and immensely complex. Simple inas- 
much as it proceeds on the lines of a constantly repeated 
design and hence can be elucidated with the key of corre- 
spondences; yet complex to an infinite degree by reason of the 
interweaving and overlapping of its patterns as consciousness, 
born from Life amid the friction of opposing forms, strives to 
attain the secret of being. From our study there may emerge 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

perhaps a fuller understanding of the lofty and pioneer role 
played by man on a stage of finely tuned sub-stance prepared 
and furnished with all the material properties needed for 
Life's manifestation and experience. 



90 



APPENDIX 
OUR SOLAR SCHEME 




CHART I 

THE Ten Schemes of the Solar System are displayed in the above 
Chart diagrammatically. Each Scheme is shown separately with 
its seven Chains. The Ten Schemes are all in manifestation to- 
gether, each proceeding on its own lines. The seven Chains within 
each Scheme are actually successive, only one Chain of globes 
being in existence at one time. The globes of these chains are also 
displayed separately simply for the sake of clarity; strictly they can 
be regarded as " separate " only in the fourth Chain of each series. 
Of the ten Schemes, seven only are represented by physical 
globes, hence three are unnamed. The One Solar Life is function- 
ing in all, but is at different stages of growth and development in 

9 1 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

the different Schemes, and hence the Schemes differ in age or stage 
of development. The Chain of globes in each Scheme that is in 
manifestation now is known by the name of its densest planet. 
These are the Seven Sacred Planets of occult literature, of which 
our earth is one. 

Omitting the Vulcan and Neptunian Schemes, about which 
little information is given, the eldest and most advanced appears 
to be that of Venus, the second is the Terrene, our own, and 
Jupiter comes next. 

Though the Life streams of the Schemes are not inter-con- 
nected directly these last-named three are related somewhat inti- 
mately. In the interests of the cosmic economy of the mighty 
Solar System, Venus has vitally assisted and is assisting our Ter- 
rene evolution. We may infer that similar help will be extended 
by us to the Jupiterian in due course. 

With regard to the differing and special task of each Scheme 
very little is intimated. We might possibly and reasonably sur- 
mise the principle and plane, or group of both, with which each is 
particularly concerned, but it would be largely speculative and 
merely academic. So we may turn to the fuller information relat- 
ing to our own Scheme and present Chain. 

OUR TERRENE SCHEME 

In each Planetary Scheme there are seven successive incarnations 
or circuits of the great Life Waves from the Solar Logos. 

On each Chain, from the first onwards, all the stages of con- 
sciousness known as the kingdoms of nature, from the elemental 
to the human, are present. The broad rule appears to be that, for 
the span of a Chain, a given impulse of the Logoic consciousness 
functions through the forms of one kingdom only. 

Success with these forms means that in the next succeeding 
Chain that same impulse of consciousness qualifies to enter the 
forms of the next higher kingdom. It should be always remem- 
bered that there are no hard and fast dividing lines and hence con- 
siderable over-lapping arises, but the general rule is that the Life 
Wave of the Logos overshadows the forms of one kingdom of 
nature and then passes on in the next chain to overshadow the next 
and more evolved kingdom, e.g., the Life Wave that used the 

92 



APPENDIX 

mineral forms in a First Chain will enter and use plant forms in a 
Second Chain period. 

Owing to varying experiences the step from one kingdom to the 
next may occur at any period during a Chain's progress. This 
tendency becomes especially pronounced when the middle period 
of a Chain is approached. Such overlapping becomes confusing 
unless the flexibility of the evolving life is held in mind together 
with the underlying law. 

The field of action differs for each Chain, but in each four 
planes only are touched. 

Chain I. Called Brahmah's Body of Darkness. Field of 
Action : Atma, Buddhi, H. Manas and L. Manas. Lower Mental 
was the densest and the crux. 

Chain II. The boundaries are lijc planes and the Chain is 
known as Brahmah's Body of Light. Field of Action : Buddhi, 
H. Manas, L. Manas, Astral. 

Chain III. Bounded by the higher sections of form planes and 
called Brahmah's Body of Twilight. Field of Action : H. Manas, 
L. Manas, Astral, H. Physical. 

Chain IV. Of the seven Chains comprising our Terrene 
Scheme, it is the fourth on which we find ourselves to-day. The 
present Chain sees the turning point of the Scheme as a whole and 
is known as Brahmah's Body of Dawn. Field of Action : 
L. Manas, Astral, H. Physical and Dense Physical. 

The student should note that the field of experience open to any 
one kingdom on a Chain is not identical with that of its successor 
on the next. The field differs and hence the experiences are dis- 
similar. The consciousness functioning through the plant king- 
dom of our second Chain, for instance, would have very different 
experiences from the plant consciousness of the third Chain, for 
the latter would have a new and denser plane as its basic material. 
The life within each of the kingdoms of our planet to-day, there- 
fore, has followed its own unique course. 

One of the seven paths open to the successful humanity of any 
Chain is that of assisting the evolving life of the following Chain. 
Indeed, if this path be chosen it seems that the assistance is ren- 
dered to at least the three following Chains of the Scheme. The 
humanity of Chain I of the Terrene system for instance, known as 
the 5th Creative Hierarchy (vide infra), is still in touch with our 

93 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

Scheme. The Asuras, as they are designated owing to the office 
they at present fill, have influenced our humanity through the 
mental, particularly the lower mental, principle. The 6th Hier- 
archy, the Agnishvattas of the 2nd Chain, influences us through the 
emotions and intuitions, the Barhishads of the 3rd Chain assist and 
have always assisted us in the building of bodies. 

The interest and the application of all this to us lie in its indica- 
tion of our responsibilities to the younger kingdoms of the mineral, 
plant and animal. For, obviously, applying the Chain-Kingdom 
rule, our own relation to the animal kingdom is similar to that of 
the Barhishads to us. Our relation to the plant life is that of the 
Agnishvattas to us, and to the mineral that of the Asuras to us. 
Our present and ordinary attitudes to those lower kingdoms is 
evidence of the major law of correspondence stated above. Our 
attitude to the mineral life for instance is quite naturally and un- 
affectedly one of cold detached mentality. The emotional nature 
is seldom stirred and, except in the case of jewels perhaps, rarely 
stimulated. To the flowering plants, and vegetation generally, 
our relation is just as naturally emotional. Concerning the ani- 
mals, H.P.B/s statements regarding the bodily legacy humanity 
has left to them (S.D. Vol. 77) are illuminating indeed. Thus in 
the study of the Chains and the inter-relation of the Hierarchies is 
to be found the key to the understanding of our intimate responsi- 
bilities to the evolving life of the kingdoms below us. 



94 



APPENDIX 
THE SEVEN CHAINS OF THE EARTH SCHEME 




CHART II 

Assisted by Chart II our study of the Terrene Scheme can be 
continued to better advantage. The seven successive Chains of 
globes, expressing the form side of manifestation, are clearly dis- 
played, and the periods of pralaya (the life side) are indicated by 
the spheres between the Chains. 

From a previous Scheme of an earlier System the life com- 
mences on Chain I, and all the Kingdoms are therein represented. 

The seven kingdoms are the ist, 2nd, and 3rd Elemental King- 
doms, Mineral, Plant, Animal and Human. These are all en- 
gaged in the work of Chain I. Seven circuits (Rounds) of the 
globes in a Chain are made, under the general superintendence 
and within the mighty being of the Root-Manu. A Chain of globes 
may indeed be regarded as the Root-Manu's bodily form, an incar- 
nation as it were. 

95 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

At the conclusion of the work of a Chain the Life is gathered 
into the aura of the Seed-Manu for a vast cosmic sleep of assimi- 
lation and recuperation. Therein, during the interchain pralaya, 
the consciousness of the kingdoms is smoothed out, disentangled 
and adjusted, and made ready to engage in the work of the next 
Chain of globes. The Seed Manu's aura is sometimes represented 
in regular bands of colour to suggest the ordered harmony result- 
ing from the pralaya or rest period. 

The following tables epitomise certain information given : 

THE OCCULT GOVERNMENT OF THE TERRENE SCHEME : 

1. The Logos of the Solar System, the Life of the 10 Schemes. 

2. The Ruler of the Earth Scheme. (One of the Spirits before 

the Throne.) 

3. The Root and Seed Manus of a Chain. 

4. The Root and Seed Manus of a single Round. 

5. The Lord of the World. 

6. The Buddhas. 

7. The Manu (form) and the Bodhisattva (life) of a Root-Race. 

THE HIERARCHIES AND THEIR CHAINS : 

Chain I : The Fifth Creative Hierarchy : 7 Globes Atma 
to Lower Mental. 

II : The Sixth Creative Hierarchy : 7 Globes 
Buddhi to Astral. 

III : The Seventh Creative Hierarchy : 7 Globes H. 
Mental to H. Physical. 

IV: The Fourth Creative Hierarchy: (Our Hu- 
manity) 7 Globes L. Mental to Dense 
Physical. 

THE GOAL SET FOR HUMANITY OF EACH CHAIN : 

Chain I : The First Initiation. (4th Hierarchy then in 

Mineral Kingdom.) 
II : The Third Initiation. (4th Hierarchy then in 

Vegetable Kingdom.) 
III : The Fourth Initiation. (4th Hierarchy then in 

Animal Kingdom.) 
IV : The Fifth Initiation. (4th Hierarchy in 

Human Kingdom.) 



APPENDIX 

The attainment of the goal set qualifies for entrance on one of 
the seven paths of service : 

THE SEVEN CHOICES BEFORE THE PERFECT MAN : 

1. Remains with Humanity as an official of the Hierarchy. 

(Form.) 

2. Remains with Humanity as a " Nirmanakaya ". (Life.) 

3. Joins the Devas or Angelic Hosts. 

$. Joins the " Staff Corps of the Logos ". 
5. Prepares the work of the next Chain. 
6 & 7. Enters Nirvana. 

Though the Chains are successive, each representing practically 
a reincarnation of the last, no sudden ending or beginning must 
be assumed. On the last Round of a Chain, as the concentrated 
effort of the Root-Manu passes from Globe A onwards, the earlier 
globes dissolve (instead of retiring merely into obscuration as on 
previous Rounds) and their principles are carried over to the con- 
struction of corresponding globes of the succeeding Chain. Hence 
the work of the new Chain is begun long before that of the last is 
concluded. Even now, for instance, though we are only half-way 
through the 4th Chain, the preliminary work of the 5th is already 
in hand. 

After the period of pralaya the life of the kingdoms passes on 
from the Seed-Manu to the Root-Manu in a regular sequence and 
a general rule may again be noted. The earlier Rounds of a 
Chain furnish the field most suited for the younger and less 
advanced grades of consciousness of all the kingdoms and the later 
Rounds for the more advanced and older. Hence much of the 
more evolved life taken over by the Seed-Manu towards the close 
of a Chain is not passed on to incarnation on the succeeding 
Chain till a late period in that Chain. An environment corres- 
ponding in a measure to that experienced in the last Chain is 
usually first secured. This means that the most advanced indivi- 
duals and units of life do not enter a succeeding Chain till its 
middle period or even later. 

Indeed we may gather, for instance, that some of the most 
evolved of the third Chain are only now coming in on the fourth 
globe of the fourth Round of this. 

97 G 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

The Chain-Kingdom rule referred to earlier (one kingdom for 
the term of one Chain) should be understood as meaning in nearly 
all cases 7 Rounds, for these 7 Rounds may frequently be spread 
over two Chains for the reasons set out in the last paragraph. 

DEVA AND HUMAN : 

In the middle period of the mineral kingdom it seems that Life, 
having then arrived at its deepest immersion in form, divides into 
two streams. One follows on through the jewels and tl^n, 
through grasses and cereals, on to insects, birds and all winged 
creatures. Leaving the dense physical plane at this last stage the 
next and later steps are taken among the dcva hosts. The other 
stream of Life, following through the metals and on through 
mosses, shrubs, trees, etc., reaches the mammalia in the animal 
kingdom and thence from the seven types of domesticated animals 
at length the human. This outline is given to indicate that a suc- 
cessful Hierarchy includes highly developed beings of both the 
human and devic (angelic) type. 

A very interesting and instructive fact may be inferred from 
the occult teaching concerning the relations of the Deva and 
Human evolutions. Though parallel streams of life their relative 
importance changes. First the Deva, then the Human, in any 
cycle seems to be the practice. The dominant life of Chains I, II 
and III was that of the Devas and Nature Spirits. In comparison 
the Human throughout appears to have been subordinate, though 
tending strongly towards a balance as the Scheme proceeded. In 
the 4th Chain this relation becomes gradually reversed and Man 
must fill the role of pioneer and leader. The half-way point of 
balance is passed and humanity is slowly assuming control very 
litde conscious at present, however, of his powers. The present 
experiments in harnessing nature, so evident in the machinery 
of our current civilisation, are a slight earnest of the future. 

The Coming of the Kumaras, members of the humanity of the 
Venus Scheme, to take over the charge of the Earth inaugurated 
this reversal. We are witnessing the change taking place at this 
very period of the 4th Round's course. Its tremendous import 
for our humanity cannot be over-estimated and the recognition 
and understanding of our task should enlist the attention of every 
student of occultism. 



APPENDIX 



THE SEVEN GLOBES OF THE EARTH CHAIN 



LOWER 
MENTAL 



ASTRAL / 



PHYSICAL 




ASTRAL 



'PHYSICAL 



PHYSICAL 

CHART III 

The life of the kingdoms is passed on to the Earth Chain of 
globes from the aura of the interchain Seed-Manu. The Root- 
Manu in charge of the Chain accepts the younger life first and the 
first Round, commencing on globe A, is begun. The seven globes 
appear each to be separate and distinct on this the 4th Chain and 
the life stream makes the Round from globe A to G and then 
repeats the circuit in the second and subsequent Rounds. 

Three Rounds of the globes have been made and the fourth is 
in progress now, the life being concentrated on globe D. Indeed 
it is the prodigious concentration of the Root-Manu on the globes 
in turn that occasions the circuit. The globes from which the life 
has passed on remain in slight activity only in obscuration it is 
called till the life stream reaches them again in the next Round. 

99 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

A correspondence to much of this is found in our own person- 
ality. The sleep of the physical body at night denotes the transfer- 
ence of activity to the next subtler vehicle. The physical body is 
in obscuration till the morning. Similarly for brief periods during 
the day, if the mind be exercised in thought alone, the physical 
body is out of focus, obscured. Concentration decides the instru- 
ment that shall be active. 

A study of the Earth Chain is a study in essence of the whole 
Scheme. Just as in embryology one may trace the evolution of 
the physical form through all the earlier stages of development 
from the simple cell, so in the first three Rounds of our Chain the 
work of the first three Chains is recapitulated. On these Rounds 
certain work is done rapidly that took untold ages of effort on the 
earlier Chains. The Scheme works onwards to the climax of its 
involution in the fourth Round of its fourth Chain. 

In the fourth Round our humanity takes a share in the pioneer 
task of the building of the new forms. In this respect the Round 
differs from all the preceding, and the narrative outlined in the 
S.D., Vol. II, Part III, is of profound interest to-day. 

The Rounds are the big and important divisions of a Chain's 
manifestation. 

During the fourth Round balance and adjustment are achieved 
and three final Rounds comprise the synthetic culminating work 
of the Chain. The urge of the life on the first three Rounds is 
towards the outermost of vehicles and principles the physical; 
the urge on the three last is to return towards the innermost. The 
middle, the present, Round is involved in the keen struggle attend- 
ing the use and mastery of the densest body touched in the whole 
Chain. 

The fifth Round, the first of the synthetic three, is concerned 
with the Mental principle and its perfection. This entails the com- 
plete development and use of the causal body (the spiritual, the 
" celestial " body) as an instrument of self-consciousness and the 
unfolding of the divine faculty of omnipresence. The fifth Round 
too, it is said, witnesses the " day of judgment " a period of sort- 
ing out and adjustment in which those Egos offering no promise 
of attaining the goal of the Chain are withdrawn from further 
participation in its work. In the aura of the Seed-Manu they are 
said to await the development of the next Chain to a suitable point 

100 



APPENDIX 

Before they can proceed further. The sixth Round is concerned 
with the Intuitional principle, and its perfection leads to omni- 
science. The seventh Round similarly with the Will, the per- 
fection of which principle means omnipotence within the limits 
of our Scheme. Such an attainment as this is so vast as to be in- 
comprehensible at present, yet contained in the simple precept 
" Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father . . ." (Matt. V, 48) 
and in the promise of another ancient scripture " the soul of 
man is immortal and its future growth and splendour have no 
limits ". 

The following table sets out in brief the inter-relations men- 
tioned : 



7 Sub-Races 


i Root-Race 
i World-Period 
i Round 
i Chain 
i Scheme 


7 World-Periods - - - 
7 Rounds 





7 & 3 Schemes - - - - The Solar System 

The Sub-races are like children in a family they are successive 
in birth and then are contemporary; for instance, the five sub-races 
of the fifth Root-Race are all numerically represented to-day in 
the world. 

The Root-Races similarly. The third (Black), fourth (Yellow), 
and fifth (White) are the humanity of to-day, in incarnation. 

The Globes again similarly, though here the dominance of one 
is more pronounced. 

The immediate application of all this to our own times is that 
just as the first three Races of our earth were recapitulatory of the 
earlier Rounds, so the last three Races are anticipatory of the work 
to be accomplished on the fifth, sixth and seventh Rounds. That 
which will be the common achievement of average humanity in 
these later Rounds is just possible of achievement by individuals 
of our humanity to-day. The division of the sexes that occurred 
in the third Race corresponded to a similar process in the third 

101 



THE WEB OF THE UNIVERSE 

Round, and the fifth Round will see the complementary reuniqrf 
in the divine hermaphrodite. Our fifth Race foreshadows this in 
the case only of the loftiest of our humanity. 

We are in the fifth Root-Race (and the fifth sub-race of that) 
and hence particularly is the principle of Mind dominant with 
its limitation and illumination. The lower mind in the previous 
Race, in association with the emotional nature (form and life), 
was developed to a marvellous degree of automatic responsiveness 
to sensation. Everything sensed is recorded indelibly in the lower 
mind though we may not realise it in waking consciousness. Tnis 
amazing aptitude of the lower mind is the triumphant culmina- 
tion of the work of the earlier Rounds in general and of our own 
first four Races in particular. The methods employed may be 
traced by the student intent on pursuing this study in greater 
detail, assisted by the symbolism of the world religions as set out 
in the S.D. The mystery of the subconsciousness (the subject 
of so much psychological research to-day) and its faculty of pas- 
sive retentiveness are both revealed in such a study. 

The fifth Round task is the realisation by humanity of the 
powers of the higher mind in conjunction with the lower their 
union in short. That which applies to average humanity in terms 
of Rounds may be anticipated by individuals in terms of Races 
here and now. 

The Mind is the instrument of understanding, and the occult 
teaching implies that it must be prepared for its mission of serving 
as the channel of wisdom before that sixth Round when Wisdom 
will be arrayed in all her glory. 

The advent of the sixth sub-race of this the fifth Root-Race and 
the fact that from it the great sixth Root-Race will be born makes 
the study of the Rounds of immediate application. Evidence of 
the spirit of service and co-operation is not wanting and, though 
we live in early times comparatively, the ancient wisdom points 
the way of progress unerringly for those who will sec. 

E. L. G. 



1 02 



REFERENCES 

The Secret Doctrine, Vols. I, II, III - H. P. BLAVATSKY 
(Third Edition) 

A Study in Consciousness - - - ANNIE BESANT 

First Principles of Theosophy - - C. JINARAJADASA 

The Inner Life C. W. LEADBEATER 

Growth of the Soul - - - - A. P. SINNETT 

The Library, The Theosophical Society, 50 Gloucester Place, 
London, W.i, 

Theosophical Publishing House, 68 Great Russell Street, London, 
W.C.i.