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This relates to the greatest problem of philosophy — the physical and substantial nature of life, the independent nature of which is denied by modern science because that science is unable to comprehend it. Thus our Earth, Malkuth, is both the Seventh and the Fourth world, the former when counting from the first globe above, the latter if reckoned by the planes. The difference between the two systems, taking the Kabala as contained in the Chaldean Book of Numbers, not as misrepresented by its now disfigured copy, the Kabala of the Christian mystics —the Kabala and the archaic esoteric Vidya, is very small indeed, being confined to unimportant divergences of form and expression.
The Shinto allegorical accounts of Cosmogony and the origin of man in Japan hint at the same belief.
We will now give in tabular form what the very cautious Eliphas Levi says in explanation of his diagram, and what the Esoteric Doctrine teaches — and compare the two. It is very evident that the French Kabalist either did not know sufficiently the real tenet, or distorted it to suit himself and his object. It has been stated before now that Occultism does not accept anything inorganic in the Kosmos. Reality: on that of manifested, hence illusive, being, its particles are fiery lives which live and have their being at the expense of every other life that they consume. This means that every new Round develops one of the Compound Elements, as now known to Science, — which rejects the primitive nomenclature, preferring to subdivide them into constituents. Mahometan mystics call it; water, that primordial fluid which was required, according to Moses, to make a living soul with. All the above is as practical as it is correct, save one error, which we will explain in the text further on. Akasa, then, is Pradhana in another form, and as such cannot be Ether, the ever-invisible agent, courted even by physical Science. These are the reasons why the Occultists refuse to give the name of Astral Light to Akasa, or to call it Ether. The elements, whether simple or compound, could not have remained the same since the commencement of the evolution of our chain.
The Second Round brings into manifestation the second element air, that element, the purity of which would ensure continuous life to him who would use it.
The Third Round developed the third Principle — Water; while the Fourth transformed the gaseous fluids and plastic form of our globe into the hard, crusted, grossly material sphere we are living on. An analogy between cosmic events in the descent of spirit into matter for the first half of a manvantara (planetary as human) and its ascent at the expense of matter in the second half, may here be traced.
For the present it may be as well to remind the reader that while the Moon-goddesses were connected in every mythology, especially the Grecian, with child-birth, because of the lunar influence on women and conception, the occult and actual connection of our satellite with fecundation is to this day unknown to physiology, which regards every popular practice in this reference as gross superstition. Starting upon the long journey immaculate; descending more and more into sinful matter, and having connected himself with every atom in manifested Space — the Pilgrim, having struggled through and suffered in every form of life and being, is only at the bottom of the valley of matter, and half through his cycle, when he has identified himself with collective Humanity.
Posted on September 13, 2013 by BPHTalk by Esther Ritman at a Spui 25 meeting on 12 September 2013 to promote the Enchanted Modernities. Over the past years the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica (also referred to as The Ritman Library) and the Center for History of Hermetic Philosophy (or HHP) have intensified their collaboration to raise the profile of Amsterdam as Hermetic capital of the world. The exhibition, which  partly focusses on some of the topics that will be discussed during the conference, will introduce visitors to the world of theosophy and anthroposophy in relation to the arts. The exhibition Beauty as the Imprint of the Cosmos consists of two parts: Aeon and Aenigma.
I would now like to give you a brief impression of the soon to be opening exhibition Beauty as the Imprint of the Cosmos. I’m starting with a photograph of Madame, a not so very well known portrait of a youngish looking Blavatsky, who founded the Theosophical Society in 1875. The BPH will also show the first edition of Blavatsky’s magnum opus The Secret Doctrine, which Kandinsky referred to in his essay Das Geistige in der Kunst of 1912. You are all familiar with the logo of Enchanted Modernities, which is derived from Besant’s Thought Forms, first published in 1901. In the exhibition you will also see the design which the theosopher, architect and designer Mathieu Lauweriks made for the Dutch theosophical periodical Theosofia. The conference also devotes attention to the artist Pamela Colman-Smith, whose tarot cards will be shown in the exhibition along with A.E. These tickets are made out to Minna and Mania Kacer, who both attended performances by Steiner. The two founding figures of the group were Maria Strakosch-Giesler, who was a friend of Kandinsy, and Irma von Duczynska, an artist and a feminist. This collage entitled Ein Weiser, A Sage, may allude to Steiner’s statement that ‘man sees the higher world with the back of his head’. Among the male members of Aenigma were Walter Besteher, some of whose gouaches we are able to show, and Josef Prinke.
We will be showing about one hundred items, 60 of which are drawings, woodcuts and gouaches. We hope to be able to welcome you all in The Ritman Library on Bloemstraat 13-19, Amsterdam soon!
The reincarnationists and believers in Karma alone dimly perceive that the whole secret of Life is in the unbroken series of its manifestations: whether in, or apart from, the physical body.
In the case of the last-mentioned, the Kabalistic works offer abundant proof of this statement. Thus Eastern occultism refers to our earth as the fourth world, the lowest of the chain, above which run upward on both its sides the six globes, three on each side. Pfoundes studied for nearly nine years in the monasteries of Japan the religion underlying the various sects of the land. Buddhi becomes conscious by the accretions it gets from Manas after every new incarnation and the death of man. The Soul (collectively, as the upper Triad) lives on three planes, besides its fourth, the terrestrial sphere; and it exists eternally on the highest of the three.
The astral through Kama (desire) is ever drawing Manas down into the sphere of material passions and desires.
Light (the Soul) personifies in clothing itself (with a body); and personality endures only when the garment is perfect. The body follows the whims, good or bad, of Manas; Manas tries to follow the light of Buddhi, but often fails.
The Monad becomes a personal ego when it incarnates; and something remains of that personality through Manas, when the latter is perfect enough to assimilate Buddhi.
Thus the two processes — for the two creations: the animal and the divine man — differ greatly. As to our outward physical bodies, the house of the tabernacle of the Soul, the Doctrine teaches a strange lesson; so strange that unless thoroughly explained and as rightly comprehended, it is only the exact Science of the future that is destined to vindicate the theory fully. Matter in the second Round, it has been stated, may be figuratively referred to as two-dimensional.


We are told that gigantic masses of carbon, which existed formerly spread in the atmosphere as Carbonic Acid, were absorbed by plants, while a large proportion of that gas was mixed in the water. And this may account for the flagrant discrepancies and unscientific statements found in Genesis. Eliphas Levi commits a great blunder in always identifying the Astral Light with what we call Akasa. For Pradhana, though said further on to merge into the Deity as everything else does, in order to leave the one absolute during the Pralaya, yet is held as infinite and immortal. Everything in the Universe progresses steadily in the Great Cycle, while incessantly going up and down in the smaller cycles.
So on this identical subject of the seven Prakritis or the seven zones of Brahma’s egg, the two accounts differ totally. And only during that Round will those higher senses, the growth and development of which Akasa subserves, be susceptible of a complete expansion. Without entering at length upon the description given of the higher lives, we must direct our attention at present simply to the earthly beings and the earth itself. Then the life-germs produce lives of another kind, which work on the structure of our globes. There have been two occultists only in Europe who have discovered and even partially applied it in practice, though its composition has always been known among the highest Eastern Initiates. It is proven that venom of the deadliest kind, whether called ptomaine, or leucomaine, or alkaloid, is generated by living men, animals, and plants. However it may be, one thing is sure in this: The knowledge of these primary causes and of the ultimate essence of every element, of its lives, their functions, properties, and conditions of change — constitutes the basis of magic.
As it is useless to discuss them in detail, we may only stop at present to discuss the lunar symbology casually, to show that the said superstition belongs to the most ancient beliefs, and even to Judaism — the basis of Christianity. It was the last and most fatal turning point from the highway of truth and divine knowledge into the side path of fiction, raised into dogma through human falsification and hierarchic ambition. Or Atheism, as other critics — the worshippers of a personal deity and believers in an unphilosophical paradise — are inclined to suppose? In the future manvantaras they will have risen to higher systems than our planetary world; and it is the Elect of our Humanity, the Pioneers on the hard and difficult path of Progress, who will take the places of their predecessors.
All these evolve and progress cyclically, passing from one into another, in a double, centrifugal and centripetal way, one in their ultimate essence, seven in their aspects.
Theosophy and the Arts in the Modern World conference which will take place from 25-27 September in Amsterdam. In the first decade of the previous century, a group of artists arose who sought to express ‘the spiritual in art’, as is also the title of a famous essay by Wassily Kandinsky. The first part offers a survey of some of the theosophical and anthroposophical works to have inspired modern abstract artists in the early 20th century. This particular ‘thought form’ is taken from the same work in Dutch, which was already translated and published the following year.
The tickets are part of the BPH’s anthroposophical collection, but until recently we were unaware that Mania was a member of the Aenigma group.
Aenigma alludes to the sense of the mysterious and the supernatural concealed behind visible reality, which these artists tried to capture in their work. Aenigma by the way burst through the glass ceiling already early on: eight out of twelve members were women.
A compete series of drawings of figures with coloured auras by this latter artist will also be exhibited. The entire system of the Kabalistic numerals is based on the divine septenary hanging from the Triad (thus forming the Decade) and its permutations 7, 5, 4, and 3, which, finally, all merge into the one itself: an endless and boundless Circle. Why not say that the astral reflects the good as well as the bad man; man, who is ever tending to the upper triangle, or else disappears with the Quaternary. It does not belong to this plane: it is but the ray of light eternal which shines upon and through the darkness of matter — when the latter is willing.
For the Monad or Jiva per se cannot be even called spirit: it is a ray, a breath of the Absolute, or the Absoluteness rather, and the Absolute Homogeneity, having no relations with the conditioned and relative finiteness, is unconscious on our plane. 297-303, the doctrine of the Codex Nazaraeus — every tenet of our teaching is found there under a different form and allegory.
That there exist in Nature Beings or Lives that can live and thrive without air, even on our globe, was demonstrated by the same men of science.
The faculties, or what is perhaps the best available term, the characteristics of matter, must clearly bear a direct relation always to the senses of man.
Now, if this be so, and we have to believe that all the Carbonic Acid which went to compose those plants that formed bituminous coal, lignite, etc., and went towards the formation of limestone, and so on, that all this was at that period in the atmosphere in gaseous form, then, there must have been seas and oceans of liquid carbonic acid? As already indicated, a partial familiarity with the characteristic of matter — permeability — which should be developed concurrently with the sixth sense, may be expected to develop at the proper period in this Round. The ozone of the modern chemists is poison compared with the real universal solvent which could never be thought of unless it existed in nature. Thus the idea that the human tabernacle is built by countless lives, just in the same way as the rocky crust of our Earth was, has nothing repulsive in it for the true mystic.
The same savant, Gautier, discovered an alkaloid in the fresh meat of an ox and in its brains, and a venom which he calls Xanthocreatinine similar to the substance extracted from the poisonous saliva of reptiles.
Paracelsus was, perhaps, the only Occultist in Europe, during the last centuries since the Christian era, who was versed in this mystery.
Thus the process is commenced by one cell robbing its neighbour of the source of its vitality when the supply is insufficient; and the ruin so commenced steadily progresses. With the Israelites, the chief function of Jehovah was child-giving, and the esotericism of the Bible, interpreted Kabalistically, shows undeniably the Holy of Holies in the temple to be only the symbol of the womb. The Watcher, or the divine prototype, is at the upper rung of the ladder of being; the shadow, at the lower.
The next great Manvantara will witness the men of our own life-cycle becoming the instructors and guides of a mankind whose Monads may now yet be imprisoned — semi-conscious — in the most intellectual of the animal kingdom, while their lower principles will be animating, perhaps, the highest specimens of the Vegetable world. Theosophy and the Arts in the Modern World, organized by Marco Pasi of the HHP center, will without doubt be mesmerizing Amsterdam.
They used drawings, paintings, but also sculptures and the applied arts to achieve their goal. II.) that the number seven, as well as the doctrine of the septenary constitution of man, was pre-eminent in all the secret systems.
We do not accept the classification except in this one particular, in order to show the points of agreement. Therefore, besides the material which will be needed for its future human form, the monad requires (a) a spiritual model, or prototype, for that material to shape itself into; and (b) an intelligent consciousness to guide its evolution and progress, neither of which is possessed by the homogeneous monad, or by senseless though living matter.
Pasteur found that many of the lower lives, such as Vibriones, and some microbes and bacteria, could exist without air, which, on the contrary, killed them.


That loose and figurative expression may be regarded — in one plane of thought, as we have just seen — as equivalent to the second characteristic of matter corresponding to the second perceptive faculty or sense of man.
But how then could the carboniferous period be preceded by the Devonian and Silurian ages — those of Fishes and Molluscs — on that assumption?
Those unable to penetrate beyond the dead letter of the Puranas, have occasionally confused Akasa with Prakriti, with Ether, and even with the visible Sky! But with the next element added to our resources in the next Round, permeability will become so manifest a characteristic of matter, that the densest forms of this will seem to man’s perceptions as obstructive to him as a thick fog, and no more. Thus Occultism disposes of the so-called Azoic age of Science, for it shows that there never was a time when the Earth was without life upon it. Nor can Science oppose the occult teaching, for it is not because the microscope will ever fail to detect the ultimate living atom or life, that it can reject the doctrine.
It is the muscular tissues, as being the most active organ in the animal economy, that are suspected of being the generators or factors of venoms, having the same importance as carbonic acid and urea in the functions of life, which venoms are the ultimate products of inner combustion. Had not a criminal hand put an end to his life, years before the time allotted him by Nature, physiological Magic would have fewer secrets for the civilized world than it now has. This is now proven beyond doubt and cavil, by the numerical reading of the Bible in general, and of Genesis especially. It is worse than useless to return to the question of implied atheism in that which is spirituality of a most refined character.
Part of the conference programme will be a guided tour of the exhibition Beauty as the Imprint of the Cosmos in The Ritman Library. It is known that Kandinsky and Mondriaan were inspired by the works of Blavatsky and that the first abstract work of art, a gouache by Kandinsky, came about as a result of his reading of The Secret Doctrine.
We owe this part of the exhibition to the generosity of Professor Reinhold Fath, who is one of the speakers at the conference.
The Adam of dust requires the Soul of Life to be breathed into him: the two middle principles, which are the sentient life of the irrational animal and the Human Soul, for the former is irrational without the latter.
They derived the oxygen necessary for their multiplication from the various substances that surround them. But these two linked scales of evolution are concerned with the processes going on within the limits of a single Round. Barometric pressure, moreover, must have exceeded several hundred times the pressure of our present atmosphere. Wherever there is an atom of matter, a particle or a molecule, even in its most gaseous condition, there is life in it, however latent and unconscious.
Earth will reach her true ultimate form — (inversely in this to man) — her body shell — only toward the end of the manvantara after the Seventh Round. And though it is not yet fully determined whether poisons can be generated by the animal system of living beings without the participation and interference of microbes, it is ascertained that the animal does produce venomous substances in its physiological or living state. Its Primary, the Spirit (Atman) is one, of course, with Paramatma (the one Universal Spirit), but the vehicle (Vahan) it is enshrined in, the Buddhi, is part and parcel of that Dhyan-Chohanic Essence; and it is in this that lies the mystery of that ubiquity, which was discussed a few pages back.
To see in Nirvana annihilation amounts to saying of a man plunged in a sound dreamless sleep — one that leaves no impression on the physical memory and brain, because the sleeper’s Higher Self is in its original state of absolute consciousness during those hours — that he, too, is annihilated. Like Visvakarman he has to sacrifice himself to himself in order to redeem all creatures, to resurrect from the many into the One Life. In the last decades there has been a lot of attention for the influence of theosophy on the big names in art history such as Kandinsky and Mondriaan. He supplied us with a number of first editions, graphic art and jewels after designs by Rudolf Steiner. True, again, that if the characteristics are accepted literally, then, since nothing material or physical, and therefore conditioned and temporary can be immortal — according to metaphysics and philosophy — it would follow that Akasa is neither infinite nor immortal. Astral Light, acting under the impulsion of powerful wills, destroys, coagulates, separates, breaks, gathers in all things. But the artists that we will be highlighting in the BPH in two weeks’ time have so far been largely overlooked by art historians, something which is true for all forms of theosophical and anthroposophical art.
You will even find a sort of comfy chair designed according to anthroposophical principles in which you are also allowed to sit down for a bit – try that in an average museum!
There is a curious work by Blanchard, on the Origin of Life, wherein he shows some strange contradictions and confusions in the theories of his colleagues, and which we recommend to the reader’s attention.
In the second chapter (the Jehovistic), plants and herbs are created before water, just as in the first, light is produced before the Sun. Our globe is, so far, in its Kamarupic state — the astral body of desires of Ahamkara, dark Egotism, the progeny of Mahat, on the lower plane.
The only approach to anything like a comprehensive conception of it can be attempted solely in the panoramic visions of the soul, through spiritual ideations of the divine monad. Certain germ-cells, such as those of yeast, develop and multiply in air, but when deprived of it, they will adapt themselves to life without air and become ferments, absorbing oxygen from substances coming in contact with them, and thereby ruining the latter.
Nor is the individuality — nor even the essence of the personality, if any be left behind — lost, because re-absorbed. The first man was called Kuni-to ko tatchi-no-mikoto, and five other names were given to him, and then the human race appeared, male and female. In the Sankhya philosophy, Purusha (spirit) is spoken of as something impotent unless he mounts on the shoulders of Prakriti (matter), which, left alone, is — senseless. For, however limitless — from a human standpoint — the paranirvanic state, it has yet a limit in Eternity.
The plants were created before they were in the earth — for there was no earth then such as it is now; and the herb of the field was in existence before it grew as it does now in the fourth Round. Once reached, the same monad will re-emerge therefrom, as a still higher being, on a far higher plane, to recommence its cycle of perfected activity. Though one and the same thing in their origin, Spirit and Matter, when once they are on the plane of differentiation, begin each of them their evolutionary progress in contrary directions — Spirit falling gradually into matter, and the latter ascending to its original condition, that of a pure spiritual substance. The human mind cannot in its present stage of development transcend, scarcely reach this plane of thought. He leads his reader through the most lovely, gorgeously blooming valleys, to strand him after all on a desert and barren rocky island.
In polarity, on the physical plane, two like poles will always repel each other, while the negative and the positive are mutually attracted, so do Spirit and Matter stand to each other — the two poles of the same homogeneous substance, the root-principle of the universe. That, which is neither Spirit nor matter — that is IT — the Causeless CAUSE of Spirit and Matter, which are the Cause of Kosmos.
These fought, and a great heat was developed by the encountering and collision, which produced rotation.



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