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Theosophical Tenets: Analogy and Correspondence

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    ModeratorTN
    Keymaster

    Theosophical Tenets: Analogy and Correspondence

    Analogy is thus the surest guide to the comprehension of the Occult teachings. . . .
    Everything in the Universe follows analogy. “As above, so below”; Man is the microcosm of the Universe. That which takes place on the spiritual plane repeats itself on the Cosmic plane. Concretion follows the lines of abstraction; corresponding to the highest must be the lowest; the material to the spiritual. — The Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 173, 177

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Theosophical Tenets: Analogy and Correspondence


  • ModeratorTN
    Keymaster
    ModeratorTN

    “The Universe is worked and guided from within outwards. As above so it is below, as in heaven so on earth; and man — the microcosm and miniature copy of the macrocosm — is the living witness to this Universal Law, and to the mode of its action. We see that every external motion, act, gesture, whether voluntary or mechanical, organic or mental, is produced and preceded by internal feeling or emotion, will or volition, and thought or mind. As no outward motion or change, when normal, in man’s external body can take place unless provoked by an inward impulse, given through one of the three functions named, so with the external or manifested Universe. The whole Kosmos is guided, controlled, and animated by almost endless series of Hierarchies of sentient Beings, each having a mission to perform, and who — whether we give to them one name or another, and call them Dhyan-Chohans or Angels — are “messengers” in the sense only that they are the agents of Karmic and Cosmic Laws.”

    — H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 274


  • ModeratorTN
    Keymaster
    ModeratorTN

    What the student has first to do is to comprehend these axioms and, by employing the deductive method, to proceed from universals to particulars. He has then to reason from the “known to the unknown,” and see if the inductive method of proceeding from particulars to universals supports those axioms. This process forms the primary stage of true contemplation. The student must first grasp the subject intellectually before he can hope to realise his aspirations. When this is accomplished, then comes the next stage of meditation which is “the inexpressible yearning of the inner man to ‘go out towards the infinite.’” Before any such yearning can be properly directed, the goal, to which it is to be its aim to run, must be determined by the preliminary stages. The higher stage, in fact, consists in realising practically what the first steps have placed within one’s comprehension. In short, contemplation, in its true sense, is to recognise the truth of Eliphas Levi’s saying: —

    To believe without knowing is weakness; to believe, because one knows, is power.

    Or, in other words, to see that “KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.” — “Contemplation”, Theosophist, 1884.


  • ModeratorTN
    Keymaster
    ModeratorTN

    This world is part of a definite system having the sun as center. The evolutionary stream proceeds upon one definite plan for each manvantara. In order to carry this out all evolved objects and things must evolve upon one plan. All the forces must work from one center out to the various smaller centers, and in this the law of correspondence is seen. The sun being the center, it must have a correspondence in every concrete form or system found within the whole collection of objects in the sun’s sphere of action. The sun must be the center of life then for the solar system, and so its currents and forces are said to correspond to the heart in man which is his center of physical life and force. The circulation of the blood through the human body must correspond to something higher in the solar system. This is found in the cosmic blood which circulates through space and is of course nothing like our blood in appearance. This “cosmic blood” is the life-giving ether spreading in space. It enters the body of man and there vitalizes his blood by means of his breathing. The sun focalizes for his system the whole plan and force of such evolution in order to carry that plan and force into operation through appropriate channels in all the planets which he governs. By reading Instruction No. I, a good idea may be gained of the proper use of the Law of correspondences. WQJ

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by  ModeratorTN.

  • ModeratorTN
    Keymaster
    ModeratorTN

    How to Study the Secret Doctrine: Part II

    If, as has been claimed, the three fundamental propositions constitute a key to the study of the Secret Doctrine, the student should endeavor to apply these not merely to the philosophy as a whole, but to each and every department and special topic and to the linking of these together. Only by so doing can the true relations between the latter be found, and the place and importance of each in respect to the whole. It must therefore be borne in mind that these propositions apply to the whole manifested Cosmos, to Universes, worlds, and men, to all planes of the Cosmos as well as to all kingdoms of Nature; that back of all manifestation is the One Reality, one common Source; that guiding all manifestation is one Universal Law; and that the working of this one Law and the line of evolution are fundamentally the same in all cases.

    A study of the great systems of ancient philosophy would show that underlying each are these same propositions, or some phases of them which, although differently expressed, embody the same fundamental ideas. In some instances these have been put into the form of aphorisms, which to a great extent are the keynotes of the systems in which they are so expressed. Such, for instance, are the following: “As above, so below”, from the Hermetic school of philosophy; “Man is the Microcosm of the Macrocosm”, from the ancient Hindu philosophy; both of these aphorisms are expressions of what is known as the “Law of Correspondences” which was used by all the great Hindu philosophers and to a greater or less degree by more modern writers, e.g., some of the early Church Fathers, and by Boehme, Swedenborg, and others. It will easily be seen that these aphorisms are dependent upon the fundamental propositions of the Secret Doctrine, and in a measure contain or imply the latter. Then there is the Cabalistic saying, “A stone becomes a plant; a plant, a beast; a beast, a man; and man, a god”. This particular statement is, however, only a partial statement of the third proposition; it is only a partial statement of evolution. It goes further than the modern scientific statement of evolution in that it does not stop at man, but it makes no statement of the stages of evolution preceding the mineral; it only begins at the lowest point of the cycle of evolution, omitting the elemental kingdoms on the downward arc. The above statements and many others are constantly referred to in the Secret Doctrine, and by presenting these fundamentals in different aspects the student who learns to connect them together is better enabled to comprehend the methods and working of Nature and also that to us most vital problem — man’s place in Nature. Furthermore, these various statements furnish an additional argument for the Wisdom Religion’s being the fountain of Truth from which all streams of Truth have sprung.

    On Analogy and Correspondence, from ‘How to Study the Secret Doctrine’ by J.H. Fussel


  • ModeratorTN
    Keymaster
    ModeratorTN

    How to Study the Secret Doctrine: Part II
    If, as has been claimed, the three fundamental propositions constitute a key to the study of the Secret Doctrine, the student should endeavor to apply these not merely to the philosophy as a whole, but to each and every department and special topic and to the linking of these together. Only by so doing can the true relations between the latter be found, and the place and importance of each in respect to the whole. It must therefore be borne in mind that these propositions apply to the whole manifested Cosmos, to Universes, worlds, and men, to all planes of the Cosmos as well as to all kingdoms of Nature; that back of all manifestation is the One Reality, one common Source; that guiding all manifestation is one Universal Law; and that the working of this one Law and the line of evolution are fundamentally the same in all cases.

    J.H. Fussel


  • ModeratorTN
    Keymaster
    ModeratorTN

    The Law of Correspondences
    From a Talk by Robert Crosbie

    Theosophy, October, 1920

    “Law of Correspondences” is a greater subject than people are liable to suspect; yet we all know something of correspondences in the simple facts of nature—the seven colors of the spectrum, the seven notes of the scale. Each color of each octave corresponds to the same color of another octave. We see only a certain number of rates of vibration, but above the number perceptible to us are those too fine for us to perceive with our physical senses, and, also below, are vibrations too coarse for our perception. ‘We stand in the middle, as it were, of a great range of perceptions, aware of only a portion of the universe in which we live. The same is true with regard to sounds——from the note do up to Si; do corresponds to every other do in the seven octaves which we are able to perceive physically; but these seven octaves are merely a portion of all the great octaves of nature above us and below us. There is correspondence between the high and the low throughout all nature, because the great Center of Life, of Consciousness, of Perception is the same in every being of what ever grade; and because from within that Center proceeds all action. The use of the power to act which is inherent in that Center is the cause of all manifestation.


  • ModeratorTN
    Keymaster
    ModeratorTN

    The Law of Analogy, by Sarah Corbett
    The Law of Analogy
    Behold how like the moon reflected in the tranquil waves, Alaya is reflected by the small and by the great, is mirrored in the tiniest atoms, yet fails to reach the heart of all.—The Voice of tile Silence.

    The Law of Analogy, or as it is sometimes called the Law of Correspondence, is the fundamental idea in the Esoteric Philosophy, and its right application is the key-note to all Esoteric study. It is by means of this law that we can proceed from the known to the unknown, and thus widen the circle of our knowledge. The same changeless laws of evolution and involution are at work in an atom, a man, a world, a universe; and if we rightly understood the meaning of one moment of our lives, we should understand the whole. Thus the saying of Emerson, “There is no great and no small in the Soul that maketh all,” may be applied both to time and space. As applied to time it suggests that all cycles—Manvantaras, Kalpas, Rounds, Races, Lives—are formed essentially on the same plan. There is a period of irresponsible innocence, a fall into matter, and a conscious rise towards spiritual things. As applied to space it tells us that atoms, men, globes, are in their inward nature essentially the same; they have their seven Principles, they have their Brahm, Vishnu and Shiva, they have each a world of entities over which they preside. Here is indeed a clue to the meaning of Universal Brotherhood, but something more than brain intellect is needed to comprehend it, and that is why it remains for so many of us unrealized and beyond our reach.


  • Gerry Kiffe
    Moderator
    Gerry Kiffe

    What is the main obstacle to thinking analogically? Are analogy and correspondence tools to awaken intuition?


    • Peter
      Moderator
      Peter

      That’s an interesting question, Gerry. I’m not sure there is an obstacle to thinking analogically given that people use it in almost every sphere of life and field of knowledge. Perhaps the obstacle arises when it comes to what areas of study that analogical thinking should be applied. For example, someone who doubts the reality of any metaphysical truths is unlikely to see the value of ‘as above, so below’, yet they may well use analogy on an everyday basis to understand or explain, say, scientific ideas and principles.

      Yes, we could say that analogy is an aid to intuition. It’s also an aid to rational thought. In a way, it allows rational thought and intuition to work together and supplement each other. In some cases, for example, we may not be able to make use of analogy and correspondence until we have at least a reasonable mental grasp of the subject matter under study. As HPB wrote in her Preface to The Key to Theosophy, ‘To the mentally lazy or obtuse, Theosophy must remain a riddle.’ At the same time, the use of analogy and correspondence can lift rational thought out of the merely linear mode of thinking and logic by providing a depth and breadth to our endeavours at understanding.

      ~~


      • Ramprakash ML
        Participant
        Ramprakash ML

        I like the concluding remark :

        “ At the same time, the use of analogy and correspondence can lift rational thought out of the merely linear mode of thinking and logic by providing a depth and breadth to our endeavours at understanding.”

        So very true. If ONE, not many, or, One in many and many in One is true, then many are the many aspects of that One, and, therefore, every thing is an image of the One, and every process and working in the universe bears an analogical relation to every other

        St Paul said that this world of ours is an enigmatic mirror of pure Truth


        • Peter
          Moderator
          Peter

          That’s nicely put, Ram. It also provides a hint to at least one of the ways we might understand the assertion Tat Tvam Asi (That thou art), from our other conversation thread.

          ~~

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