Theosophy's Origin of the Universe

Discussion in 'Alternative' started by Nick the Pilot, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Hi everybody!

    Brian and I thought it would be good to look at the Theosophical verson of how the universe was created.

    The story is contained in a poem called The Stanzas of Dzyan.

    Link: http://www.comparative-religion.com/forum/the-stanzas-of-dzyan-7045.html

    The poem is full of confusing symbolism, and is difficutl to read. For example, the first line reads:

    "The Eternal Parent wrapped in her ever invisible robes had slumbered once again for seven eternities."

    We will be taking a look at the story, a little at a time. The story now starts:

    ~~~

    Total Non-Activity

    In the beginning … there was no beginning that we can comprehend. This story deals with an incredibly long period of time. Universes come and go. We can only say this story deals with a period of time with "no conceivable beginning nor imaginable ending"*. Our story deals with the beginning of our universe. It actually begins before that, during the period after the previous universe had ended, and before our present universe had begun.


    * The Secret Doctrine, vol 1 p 43
     
  2. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Thanks for the thread - much appreciated. :)

    An initial skim looks like it's dealing with a cyclical universe - ie, it comes into being, it goes out of being, it comes into being...

    However, is that a reader flaw due to translation? I'm presuming the Stanzas of Dzyan originate in a non-English language? In which case, were they channelled, or do they have a recorded history before the Theosophy Society?

    Also, you mentioned something about reading in Constellations in the Genesis account - would it be possible to provide pointers on where this perception originates, please?
     
  3. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Brian, you asked,
    "...is that a reader flaw due to translation?"

    --> No, that is the correct interpretation of the Theosophical version. Although whether it is the same universe each time is a matter of interpretation.
    "I'm presuming the Stanzas of Dzyan originate in a non-English language?"

    --> They do.
    "In which case, were they channelled, or do they have a recorded history before the Theosophy Society?"

    --> They were channeled into English. It is said Initiaties have had access to the Stanzas since humanity started, but this is the first time the Stanzas have been made available to everyone. (I must add a caveat: This is the first time parts of the Stanzas have been made available to everyone. The entire poem is still not available.)
    "Also, you mentioned something about reading in Constellations in the Genesis account - would it be possible to provide pointers on where this perception originates, please?"
    --> "See Genesis ch. ii., v. 19. Adam is formed in verse 7, and in verse 19 it is said: ... for the animals mentioned in chapter i. are the signs of the Zodiac, ..."
    Blavatsky.Net
    link: Blavatsky Net Foundation
     
  4. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Hi everybody!

    It must be said that these are only one man's interpretations of the Stanzas. Many parts can be interpreted in different ways. Indeed, many parts have multiple meanings. In the end, each person must interpret the Stanzas in their own way. Happy interpreting!

    My subjective interpretation now continues:

    ---

    What were the conditions like, before our universe began? It is difficult to describe. Perhaps it is easier to describe what did not exist, rather than to describe what did exist. Time did not exist — at least time as we know it. This brings us to a contradiction; Was the interval between universes measurable? How can such an interval be measured, if time did not exist? Yet, time did not exist.
     
  5. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    The basic duality of Nature (Spirit and Matter) did not exist. The pilgrimage of consciousness into the physical Universe (culminating in the manifestation of the Earth and humanity) had not yet begun. “Naught was”*.

    ---

    * The Secret Doctrine, Shloka i-1-6
     
  6. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    We can think there was no form of anything existing. But there was — the ONE LIFE. Also called the Absolute, it is said to be, “eternal, invisible, yet Omnipresent, without beginning or end … unconscious, yet absolute Consciousness; unrealizable, yet the one self-existing reality….”*. It is the one constant, unchanging from universe to universe.

    ---

    * The Secret Doctrine, vol 1 p 2
     
  7. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    The Absolute is often referred to as Darkness. This is perhaps the best way describe it — it cannot be described in any other way. It is something totally beyond the understanding of man. It is as if it were behind a dark cloak, impervious to any examination by man. To our finite understanding it “appears quite impenetrable....” *. Everything rested within the Absolute in a state of “Non-being” **.

    ---

    * Blavatsky, H. P., The Secret Doctrine, vol 1 p 56

    ** Blavatsky, H. P., The Secret Doctrine, vol 1 p 2
     
  8. Bruce Michael

    Bruce Michael New Member

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    Hi Brian,
    The language of the Stanzas is Senzar. HPB says she is actually holding the book. She could read books in the "Astral Light"- which means they were back to front..

    The Stanzas do describe an outbreathing and an inbreathing. They are largely incomprehensible without the commentary (and even then).

    I find in Steiner's Occult Science an Outline, a clearer picture.

    Best Regards,
    Br.Bruce
     
  9. Bruce Michael

    Bruce Michael New Member

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  10. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    -- Un-awakened Matter --

    It is important to note the state of “matter” during this time. There is a form of matter called “pre-cosmic pre-matter” that “existed” even during this period of “non-existence”. Imagine, if you will, a speck of today’s ordinary dirt. Many years ago, science started telling us dirt is composed of atoms — objects too small for the human eye to see. We could not imagine objects smaller than atoms. However, we then learned that atoms have sub-particles called protons, neutrons, and electrons. We then believed these to be the smallest particles possible. However, we then learned that there are sub-particles called quarks, etc., that are even smaller. We then believed these to be the smallest particles possible. On the contrary, science is now telling us of even smaller particles called strings, which are part of a new sub-atomic theory called String Theory. (We can only wonder what science will tell us “strings” are composed of, but that is still a long way off in the future.)

    Consider then, if we were to divide atoms into their sub-particles, then into smaller sub-particles, again and again, we would eventually come to a substance that cannot be divided anymore. This is the basic substance that “existed” even during the rest-period between universes. (This substance is also called “virgin matter”, from which we get the name “Virgin Mary”.) Let’s call it “pre-matter”. Pre-matter rested during the period of Non-Being between universes, along with everything else.
     
  11. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    One more aspect of our present physical universe needs to be considered — spirit. Was there spirit during the pre-universe period of Non-Being? Yes and no. Spirit and matter had not yet begun to exist. They were merely two opposites of the same principle, two opposites which had had not differentiated yet from their common source — pre-matter.
     
  12. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Spirit and matter were ready to appear. Pre-matter had not yet awakened to activity, in a process that can only be described as “expanding from within without”*. Time was in the midnight of non-existence.

    ---

    * Blavatsky, H. P., The Secret Doctrine, vol 1 p 4
     
  13. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    -- A New Universe Begins --

    Pre-Matter has often been described by the metaphor Water. Darkness moved over the pre-universal Waters, thrilling the Waters to activity.
    “And Darkness was upon the face of the Deep” (Genesis 1:2).
    Thus energized, pre-matter was ready to produce spirit and matter.
     
  14. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Pre-Matter “thrilled into activity”*. It “swelled, expanding from within without, like the bud of the lotus”**. This means that pre-matter (Father-Mother) differentiated into Father and Mother. Reality had changed into a Duality. Spirit and Matter had now appeared. Time had now reached the sunrise of another spiritual Day.

    ---

    * Blavatsky, H. P., The Secret Doctrine, Shloka i-3-1
    ** Blavatsky, H. P., The Secret Doctrine, Shloka i-3-1
     
  15. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    There is another way to look at it. Spirit came forth from out of the Darkness. A single ray of Light shot forth. Everything was now concentrated on the Light that had appeared — Darkness now disappeared into the background. The Ray dropped into the Waters. The one Ray became many rays.


    Behold the appearance of “the radiant child of the two, the unparalleled refulgent glory: bright space son of dark space”* which emerged from the depths of the great dark waters. The brightness of the Son, the Child shone forth.
    “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given....” (Isaiah 9:6) ​
    For unto us an entire universe was born. It is important to make two observations.

    1. The universe emanated from virgin matter. From this we get the saying, “Christ was born from the Virgin Mary.”

    2. There have been other universes: the Son has had many siblings.

    We had now reached the full brightness of a noon of the spiritual Day.

    ---

    * Blavatsky, H. P., The Secret Doctrine, Shloka i-3-7
     
  16. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    The metaphor of pre-matter as water is useful, because it helps us to visualize it as water with millions of tiny waves. The Light reflected off the waves, creating millions of tiny reflections — untold millions of Sparks from the single Spirit. These Sparks were the first differentiation of Pre-Matter. The new, periodic universe had appeared.
     
  17. pohaikawahine

    pohaikawahine Elder Member

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    Nick - I will be interested in following your interpretation of the Stanza of Dzyan .... I have studied the Hawaiian chant of creation for well over 40 years and you may be interested to know that the first part of the chant takes place in the time of "po" (darkness) and consists of seven "wa" (which can be interperted as periods of time) ....this would be similar to book 1 the creation of the cosmos and the next part of the chant takes place in the time of "ao" (light) which would be the creation of humanity ....

    our chant starts (in english)

    When space turned around the earth heated
    When space turned over, the sky reversed
    When the sun appeared standing in shadows
    To cause light to make bright the moon

    When the Pleiades are small eyes in the night
    From the source in thew slime.earth formed
    From the source in the dark, darkness formed
    From the source in the night, night formed
    From the depths of darkness, darkess so deep

    Darkness of day
    Darkness of night
    Of night alone

    Did night give birth
    Born Kumulipo in the night, male
    Born Po'ele in the night female ....... and goes on for over 2000 lines

    Our legends also tell of the creation such as the luminious egg carried by a bird ....

    the spinning of the web (i-3-10 father-mother spin a web whose upper end is fastened to spirit and the lower one to its shadown end, matter) is found in many cultures .... it is usually associated logically with the story of the spider .... but from my interpretations the "web" represents a part of our brain called the "arachnoid - this is the layer of the brain that lies between the dura mater (hard mother or outermost layer of the brain) and the pia mater (tender mother) which is the innermost layer of the human brain .... the arachnoid (which lies between the coverings of the brain) (can also be referred to as the "net" or the "shroud"*) transmits frequencies or vibrations from the 12 pairs of cranial nerves which operate the system of seven energy centers in the body ..... when I look at the passages in the Stanzas of Dzyan I see several levels of meaning ....I just wanted to share a few thoughts and I wish you great joy on this special journey .... he hawai'i au, pohaikawahine

    *"shroud" - I also believe this is connected with the inner meaning of the shroud of Jesus. The inner chamber of the brain (in Hawaiian we might refer to it as the "ahu" or an alter) covered by the shroud or "veil" is also sybolized in the wedding ceremony when the male and female energies merge (father and mother) to open the brain to revelations or visions or the "light" .... a gland called the pineal gland is located there (which I also interpret to the the place called piniel where one sees g-d face-to-face) ....
     
  18. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Pohaika Wahine, Aloha kakahiaka kaua. You said,
    "...the first part of the chant takes place in the time of "po" (darkness) and consists of seven "wa" (which can be interperted as periods of time)...."
    --> Wow, that is the same as Theosophy.
    "...and the next part of the chant takes place in the time of "ao" (light) which would be the creation of humanity ...."
    --> I wonder, does the Hawai'ian religion take into consideration the idea of sequential universes? Is there a continuous cycle of the light disappearing and reappearing?
    "Our legends also tell of the creation such as the luminious egg carried by a bird .... "
    --> My belief system also refers to the beginning of the universe via the metaphor of an egg.
    "...from my interpretations the "web" represents a part of our brain called the "arachnoid"...."
    --> I think "web" can refer to many things on many different levels. To me, web first refers to what I call the various planes of existence (physical plane, astral plane, etc.) It seems to me the various planes of existence existed before humans existed.
    "The inner chamber of the brain ... a gland called the pineal gland ... the place called piniel where one sees g-d face-to-face) ...."
    --> Theosophy teaches that the pineal gland used to be the center of psychic abilities. This ability has disappeared over the centuries, and will eventually return. It sounds like we have the same idea on this topic.
     
  19. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Hi everybody!

    Pohaika Wahine's coments are well-timed, as I was just about to use the metaphor of a web:

    The Universe was spun out of spirit and pre-matter. It is referred to as the spinning of a web. The Sparks (the Web) expanded and became radiant. They scattered, to eventually return to their Mother (pre-matter) at the end of the Great Day (at the end of the universe).

    Spirit's flame (the Ray that was emitted) merged with coldness of pre-matter. That act created energy. This living energy linked each one of the individual points of light with the “sea” of existence.
     
  20. pohaikawahine

    pohaikawahine Elder Member

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    aloha e nick - you asked " I wonder, does the Hawai'ian religion take into consideration the idea of sequential universes? Is there a continuous cycle of the light disappearing and reappearing?" - what I shared is not really hawai'ian religion, it is simply a way of life and understanding of our place in the universe and the creation - the inner meaning of the chant(s) and legend(s) tell us about who we are and are place in the world(s) - when you started this thread you indicated that the poem or book of dzyan is full of confusing symbolism and is difficult to read -

    as far as I can tell it can be read on several levels - it the sacred meaning that you seek in reading the symbolism and other meanings within the poem - there is a link to an ancient path of wisdom shared by many cultures and religions as well as "ways of life" - I have spent over 40 years unveiling the inner meaning (some would call it the huna) of the chants and legends of hawaii and now I include other cultures , religions and/or ways of life - right now I am fully imersed in the Torah which strikes a cord deep within my soul ....

    as for the idea of sequential universes, what I see is the reference to the emerald tablets which speak to "as without, so within" or some would say "as above, so below" - the sequential universe is the world that we access when we move the energy into the center of our brain (that place called pineal) and return to the source - in the chant of creation that I referred to (the Hawaiian one) is called the Kumulipo - the deep darkness, the teacher, the source - when we return to the ancient ocean (kaaumoana) we return within ourselves and that is what the poem of dzyan is also telling us - it is no accident that there are seven stanzas - seven is the completion of a cycle -

    "the eternal parent wrapped in her ever invisible robes had slumbered once again for seven eternities" - the energy must cycle through the seven energy centers in the body, the knowledge lies hidden beneath the seven veils (or invisible robes), the eternal parent is always with us ..... even the Torah is referred to as a woman whose knowledge is deeply buried and one must see beneath her outer robes or meanings to know her .... the "Song of Songs" tells you how to find her (but she is elusive) .... just as the hidden meaning in the poem of dzyan is elusive ....

    have you read "Initiation" by Elisabeth Haich - it will give you clues to theosophy, Chapt 39 "we will meet again" - "if you want to achieve true knowledge ... you must first learn to know yourself. You have to know what you yourself are" ..... "I know very well that I'm a woman", I reply with dignity. The stranger smiles insolently, but I continue undisturbed: 'The outer form is only the mantle of the inner being. When oneknows the inner being and when is the inner being, he uses the outer form only as an instrument but does not identify himself with it? The body is only the robe of the self. You wear clothing too, and yet you are not the clothing." She also references the twelve sets of twins (as far as I can tell a reference to the twelve pairs of cranial nerves) .... so much right in front of our eyes but we cannot see because we use the outer eyes .... the poem of dzyan tells us how to move into the darkness and begin to see with our inner eye ....

    you will also enjoy the "emerald tablet" and I'm waiting for a better translation of the Voynich manuscript - the Torah also has several levels of meaning and they are beautiful as they are unveiled ..... enjoy your search .... he hawai'i au, poh
     

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