This group focuses onthe study of H. P. Blavatsky’s magnum opus, The Secret Doctrine.
Study Resources: http://www.universaltheosophy.com/secret-doctrine-study/
The Secret Doctrine Study Group is investigating HPB’s central work through themes and key ideas. We are not going through the book sequentially. Instead we are trying to cover broad themes to help students gain a foothold in the key ideas of the work. Passages from the book will be posted periodically. Students are encouraged to study the passage, and the full section of the book to which it belongs if they so desire.
The Gupta Vidya: The Secret Doctrine by Topics
July 25, 2016 at 5:57 pm #1410
The Gupta Vidya
The Tree of Knowledge SD i page339-341
Intitation SD i 569-574
The Sacred Fires SD ii 105-110
Self-Redemption SD ii 409-422
Illumination The Theosophist 1879
The Beacon-Light La Revue Theosophique , 1889
The Path Lucifer, 1890
The Seven Dhyanis Transactions of the Blavatasky Lodge, 50-53
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The Gupta Vidya: The Secret Doctrine by Topics
ModeratorTN July 25, 2016 at 6:10 pm #1414
From the Section Called Tree of Knowledge page 339 SDi
The one prevailing, most distinct idea ― found in all ancient teaching, with reference to Cosmic Evolution and the first “creation” of our Globe with all its products, organic and inorganic (strange word for an Occultist to use) ― is that the whole Kosmos has sprung from the DIVINE THOUGHT. This thought impregnates matter, which is co-eternal with the ONE REALITY; and all that lives and breathes evolves from the emanations of the ONE Immutable ― Parabrahm = Mulaprakriti, the eternal one-root. The former of these is, so to say, the aspect of the central point turned inward into regions quite inaccessible to human intellect, and is absolute abstraction; whereas, in its aspect as Mulaprakriti ― the eternal root of all, ― it gives one some hazy comprehension at least of the Mystery of Being.
ModeratorTN August 11, 2016 at 12:02 am #2016
From the Section Called Tree of Knowledge page 341
The fragments of the systems that have now reached us are rejected as absurd fables. Nevertheless, occult Science ― having survived even the great Flood that submersed the antediluvian giants and with them their very memory, save in the Secret Doctrine, the Bible and other Scriptures ― still holds the Key to all the world problems.
Let us apply that Key to the rare fragments of long-forgotten cosmogonies and try by their scattered parts to re-establish the once Universal Cosmogony of the Secret Doctrine. The Key fits them all. No one can study ancient philosophies seriously without perceiving that the striking similitude of conception between all ― in their exoteric form very often, in their hidden spirit invariably ― is the result of no mere coincidence, but of a concurrent design: and that there was, during the youth of mankind, one language, one knowledge, one universal religion, when there were no churches, no creeds or sects, but when every man was a priest unto himself. And, if it is shown that already in those ages which are shut out from our sight by the exuberant growth of tradition, human religious thought developed in uniform sympathy in every portion of the globe; then, it becomes evident that, born under whatever latitude, in the cold North or the burning South, in the East or West, that thought was inspired by the same revelations, and man was nurtured under the protecting shadow of the same TREE OF KNOWLEDGE.
PeterModeratorPeter August 30, 2016 at 7:51 pm #3166
The imagery of the Tree reminded me of what the Secret Doctrine states about the Sons of Wisdom who incarnated in the early part of our 3rd Root Race in this round. The Sons of Wisdom produced by Kriyasakti a progeny call ‘the Sons of the Firemist.’ This is what HPB says about it:
“It was not a Race, this progeny. It was at first a wondrous Being, called the “ Initiator,” and after him a group of semi-divine and semi-human beings. . .
“The “ Being ” just referred to, which has to remain nameless, is the Tree from which, in subsequent ages, all the great historically known Sages and Hierophants, such as the Rishi Kapila, Hermes, Enoch, Orpheus, etc., etc., have branched off. . . .
“And it is he again who holds spiritual sway over the initiated Adepts throughout the whole world. He is, as said, the “ Nameless One ” who has so many names, and yet whose names and whose very nature are unknown. He is the “ Initiator,” called the “ great sacrifice.” For, sitting at the threshold of light, he looks into it from within the circle of Darkness, which he will not cross ; nor will he quit his post till the last day of this life-cycle. Why does the solitary Watcher remain at his self-chosen post ? Why does he sit by the fountain of primeval Wisdom, of which he drinks no longer, as he has naught to learn which he does not know — aye, neither on this Earth, nor in its heaven ? Because the lonely, sore-footed pilgrims on their way back to their home are never sure to the last moment of not losing their way in this limitless desert of illusion and matter called Earth- Life. Because he would fain show the way to that region of freedom and light, from which he is a voluntary exile himself, to every prisoner who has succeeded in liberating himself from the bonds of flesh and illusion. Because, in short, he has sacrificed himself for the sake of mankind, though but a few Elect may profit by the great sacrifice.
“It is under the direct, silent guidance of this Maha — (great) — Guru that all the other less divine Teachers and instructors of mankind became, from the first awakening of human consciousness, the guides of early Humanity. It is through these “ Sons of God ” that infant humanity got its first notions of all the arts and sciences, as well as of spiritual knowledge ; and it is they who have laid the first foundation-stone of those ancient civilizations that puzzle so sorely our modern generation of students and scholars.”
(SD I 207-208)
ModeratorTN August 15, 2016 at 11:11 pm #2190
Intiation: SD i page 569
… the ancient Initiates, who were followed more or less closely by all profane antiquity, meant by the term “ATOM,” a Soul, a Genius or Angel, the first-born of the ever-concealed CAUSE of all causes; and in this sense their teachings become comprehensible. They claimed, as do their successors, the existence of Gods and Genii, angels or “demons,” not outside, or independent of, the Universal Plenum, but within it. Only thisPlenum, during the life-cycles, is infinite. They admitted and taught a good deal of that which modern Science teaches now — namely, the existence of a primordial “World-stuff or Cosmic Substance,” from which worlds are formed, ever and eternally homogeneous, except during its periodic existence, when it differentiates its universal diffusion throughout infinite space; and the gradual formation of sidereal bodies from it. They taught the revolution of the Heavens, the Earth’s rotation, the Heliocentric System, and the Atomic Vortices—Atoms—in reality Souls and intelligences. But those “Atomists” were spiritual, most transcendental, and philosophical Pantheists. It is not they who would have ever conceived, or dreamt that monstrous contrasted progeny, the nightmare of our modern civilized Race; namely—inanimate material, self-guiding atoms, on the one hand, and an extra-Cosmic God on the other.
ModeratorTN September 21, 2016 at 6:30 am #3476
It may be useful to show what, in the teachings of the old Initiates, the Monad was, and what its origin.
Modern exact Science, as soon as it began to grow out of its teens, perceived the great, and, to it, hitherto esoteric axiom, that nothing—whether in the spiritual, psychic, or physical realm of being—could come into existence out of nothing. There is no cause in the manifested universe without its adequate effects, whether in space or time; nor can there be an effect without its primal cause, which itself owes its existence to a still higher one—the final and absolute cause having to remain to man for ever an incomprehensible CAUSELESS CAUSE. But even this is no solution, and must be viewed, if at all, from the highest philosophical and metaphysical standpoints, otherwise the problem had better be left unapproached. It is an abstraction, on the verge of which human reason—however trained to metaphysical subtleties—trembles, threatening to collapse. This may be demonstrated to any European who would undertake to solve the problem of existence by the articles of faith of the true Vedantin, for instance. Let him read and study the sublime teachings on the subject of Soul and Spirit, of Sankârachârya (Viveka Chudâmani) *, and the reader will realize what is now said.
SDi page 569-570
ModeratorTN October 10, 2016 at 7:59 pm #3591
This was known to every high Initiate in every age and in every country: “I and my Father are one,” said Jesus (John x. 30). ‡ When He is made to say, elsewhere (xx. 17): “I ascend to my Father and your Father,” it meant that which has just been stated. It was simply to show that the group of his disciples and followers attracted to Him belonged to the same Dhyani Buddha, “Star,” or “Father,” again of the same planetary realm and division as He did. It is the knowledge of this occult doctrine that found expression in the review of “The Idyll of the White Lotus,” when Mr. T. Subba Row wrote: “Every Buddha meets at his last initiation all the great adepts who reached Buddhahood during the preceding ages . . . every class of adepts has its own bond of spiritual communion which knits them together. . . . . The only possible and effectual way of entering into such brotherhood . . . . is by bringing oneself within the influence of the Spiritual light which radiates from one‘s own Logos. I may further point out here . . . . that such communion is only possible between persons whose souls derive their life and sustenance from the same divine RAY, and that, as seven distinct rays radiate from the ‘Central Spiritual Sun,’ all adepts and Dhyan Chohans are divisible into seven classes, each of which is guided, controlled, and overshadowed by one of the seven forms or manifestations of the divine Wisdom.” (“Theosophist,” Aug., 1886.)
SD i page 574
ModeratorTN November 16, 2016 at 5:57 pm #3816
From the Secret Fires Section: SD ii page 109-110
This fire is the higher Self, the Spiritual Ego, or that which is eternally reincarnating under the influence of its lower personal Selves, changing with every re-birth, full of Tanha or desire to live. It is a strange law of Nature that, on this plane, the higher (Spiritual) Nature should be, so to say, in bondage to the lower. Unless the Ego takes refuge in the Atman, the ALL-SPIRIT, and merges entirely into the essence thereof, the personal Ego may goad it to the bitter end. This cannot be thoroughly understood unless the student makes himself familiar with the mystery of evolution, which proceeds on triple lines — spiritual, psychic and physical.
That which propels towards, and forces evolution, i.e., compels the growth and development of Man towards perfection, is (a) the MONAD, or that which acts in it unconsciously through a force inherent in itself; and (b) the lower astral body or the personal SELF. The former, whether imprisoned in a vegetable or an animal body, is endowed with, is indeed itself, that force. Owing to its identity with the ALL-FORCE, which, as said, is inherent in the Monad, it is all-potent on the Arupa, or formless plane. On our plane, its essence being too pure, it remains all-potential, but individually becomes inactive: e.g., the rays of the Sun, which contribute to the growth of vegetation, do not select this or that plant to shine upon. Uproot the plant and transfer it to a piece of soil where the sunbeam cannot reach it, and the latter will not follow it. So with the Atman: unless the higher Self or EGO gravitates towards its Sun — the Monad — the lower Ego, or personal Self, will have the upper hand in every case. For it is this Ego, with its fierce Selfishness and animal desire to live a Senseless life (Tanha), which is “the maker of the tabernacle,” as Buddha calls it in Dhammapada (153 and 154). Hence the expression, “the Spirits of the Earth clothed the shadows and expanded them.” To these “Spirits” belong temporarily the human astral selves; and it is they who give, or build, the physical tabernacle of man, for the Monad and its conscious principle, Manas, to dwell in. But the “Solar” Lhas, Spirits, warm them, the shadows. This is physically and literally true; metaphysically, or on the psychic and spiritual plane, it is equally true that the Atman alone warms the inner man; i.e., it enlightens it with the ray of divine life and alone is able to impart to the inner man, or the reincarnating Ego, its immortality. Thus, as we shall find, for the first three and a half Root-Races, up to the middle or turning point, it is the astral shadows of the “progenitors,” the lunar Pitris, which are the formative powers in the Races, and which build and gradually force the evolution of the physical form towards perfection — this, at the cost of a proportionate loss of spirituality. Then, from the turning point, it is the Higher Ego, or incarnating principle, the nous or Mind, which reigns over the animal Ego, and rules it whenever it is not carried down by the latter. In short, Spirituality is on its ascending arc, and the animal or physical impedes it from steadily progressing on the path of its evolution only when the selfishness of the personality has so strongly infected the real inner man with its lethal virus, that the upward attraction has lost all its power on the thinking reasonable man. In sober truth, vice and wickedness are an abnormal, unnatural manifestation, at this period of our human evolution — at least they ought to be so. The fact that mankind was never more selfish and vicious than it is now, civilized nations having succeeded in making of the first an ethical characteristic, of the second an art, is an additional proof of the exceptional nature of the phenomenon.
Grace CunninghamParticipantGrace Cunningham December 1, 2016 at 3:19 pm #3926
When the Secret Doctrine speaks of a triple evolution: (“proceeds on triple lines — spiritual, psychic and physical.”) I am not sure what it means by “psychic”? What is the psychic dimension referring to? Please explain this in simple every day experience terms?
Russ LawParticipantRuss Law December 4, 2016 at 12:50 am #3958
Seems to me the term “psychic” here is used broadly, and might be thought of as evolving intelligence or soul. In SD Volume 1 page 181 the three lines of evolution are described as the Monadic, the Intellectual, and the Physical, pointing out that these three lines of evolution are “inextricably interwoven and interblended at every point.” The Intellectual suggests mind, the realm of thought, will, and feeling. We experience the world in and through the mind, our joy and suffering ultimately take place within the mind, the meaning we are able to extract from our experience arises through thought and reflection. Human evolution being, we might say, essentially moral – it would seem that the “psychic” aspect of evolution is that which is in the trenches, engaged in the struggle. Perhaps we could–no doubt rather crudely–compare the three lines of evolution to Krishna, Arjuna, and the field of battle, Arjuna representing the higher, aspiring aspect of the lower mind. So from this point of view, we could say that efforts made in the direction of self-discipline, overcoming our ego-centeredness, embracing a more universal and compassionate attitude towards others, provide the very force of evolution.
Odin TownleyParticipantOdin Townley December 4, 2016 at 5:26 am #3959
Some useful info in the Ocean:
The Ocean of Theosophy, Chapter 7:
The course of evolution developed the lower principles and produced at last the form of man with a brain of better and deeper capacity than that of any other animal. But this man in form was not man in mind, and needed the fifth principle, the thinking, perceiving one, to differentiate him from the animal kingdom and to confer the power of becoming self-conscious. The monad was imprisoned in these forms, and that monad is composed of Atma and Buddhi; for without the presence of the monad evolution could not go forward.
Also, The Ocean of Theosophy, Chapter 16:
The highest order of clairvoyance — that of spiritual vision — is very rare. The usual clairvoyant deals only with the ordinary aspects and strata of the Astral matter. Spiritual sight comes only to those who are pure, devoted, and firm. It may be attained by special development of the particular organ in the body through which alone such sight is possible, and only after discipline, long training, and the highest altruism. All other clairvoyance is transitory, inadequate, and fragmentary, dealing, as it does, only with matter and illusion. Its fragmentary and inadequate character results from the fact that hardly any clairvoyant has the power to see into more than one of the lower grades of Astral substance at any one time. The pure-minded and the brave can deal with the future and the present far better than any clairvoyant.
Pierre WoutersModeratorPierre Wouters December 4, 2016 at 7:10 pm #3960
from a general perspective we might even say that from the astral up to Buddhi everything can be considered psychic as all these principles – whether micro or macrocosmic – are manifested within “matter”. The psychic sometimes gets a little bit of a bad rap – idem ditto for kama or the physical – but they have to be approached within the proper context. HPB in the Secret Doctrine, I:176 and Five Years of Theosophy, p. 273 et seq points out that the 7 kingdoms belong to the sub-natural stage of evolution! The psychic is sometimes also called the semi-divine.
“”There are seven kingdoms. The first group comprises three degrees of elementals, or nascent centres of forces—from the first stage of differentiation of (from) Mulaprakriti (or rather Pradhâna, primordial homogeneous matter) to its third degree—i.e., from full unconsciousness to semi-perception; the second or higher group embraces the kingdoms from vegetable to man; the mineral kingdom thus forming the central or turning point in the degrees of the “Monadic Essence,” considered as an evoluting energy. Three stages (sub-physical) on the elemental side; the mineral kingdom; three stages on the objective physical * side—these are the (first or preliminary) seven links of the evolutionary chain.”
“Preliminary” because they are preparatory, and though belonging in fact to the natural, they yet would be more correctly described as sub-natural evolution. This process makes a halt in its stages at the Third, at the threshold of the Fourth stage, when it becomes, on the plane of the natural evolution, the first really manward stage, thus forming with the three elemental kingdoms, the ten, the Sephirothal number. It is at this point that begins:—”A descent of spirit into matter equivalent to an ascent in physical evolution; a re-ascent from the deepest depths of materiality (the mineral) towards its status quo ante, with a corresponding dissipation of concrete organism—up to Nirvana, the vanishing point of differentiated matter.”
* “Physical” here means differentiated for cosmical purposes and work; that “physical side,” nevertheless, if objective to the apperception of beings from other planes, is yet quite subjective to us on our plane.”
“Like alone produces like. The Earth gives Man his body, the gods (Dhyanis) his five inner principles, the psychic Shadow, of which those gods are often the animating principle. SPIRIT (Atman) is one—and indiscrete. It is not in the Tiaou.” SDI:227
- This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Pierre Wouters.
Russ LawParticipantRuss Law December 5, 2016 at 4:21 am #3962
Very difficult for me to understand the term “sub-natural evolution” . Is it sub-natural in the sense that it is preparatory, and that the fully natural evolution only takes place when a degree of self-consciousness has awakened? i.e., the possibility for “self-induced and self-devised efforts?”
I wonder also if “psychic” might also broadly relate to what is described on page 175 vol 1 as the “plane of Mentality” of which she says there is “no plane in the whole universe with a wider margin, or a wider field of action in its almost endless gradations of perceptive and apperceptive qualities, than this plane, which has in its turn an appropriate smaller plane for every “form,” from the ‘mineral’ monad up to the time when that monad blossoms forth by evolution into the DIVINE MONAD.” Mentality here suggests evolving intelligence or soul.
Odin TownleyParticipantOdin Townley December 5, 2016 at 5:16 pm #3965
According to The Secret Doctrine it took (and presumably still taking) “thousands of generations of Seers” to check, test and verify the evolutionary workings of nature. This from Summing Up Vol. 1:272-3:
The Secret Doctrine is the accumulated Wisdom of the Ages, and its cosmogony alone is the most stupendous and elaborate system: e.g., even in the exotericism of the Puranas. But such is the mysterious power of Occult symbolism, that the facts which have actually occupied countless generations of initiated seers and prophets to marshal, to set down and explain, in the bewildering series of evolutionary progress, are all recorded on a few pages of geometrical signs and glyphs. The flashing gaze of those seers has penetrated into the very kernel of matter, and recorded the soul of things there . . .
That it is the uninterrupted record covering thousands of generations of Seers whose respective experiences were made to test and to verify the traditions passed orally by one early race to another, of the teachings of higher and exalted beings, who watched over the childhood of Humanity. That for long ages, the “Wise Men” of the Fifth Race, of the stock saved and rescued from the last cataclysm and shifting of continents, had passed their lives in learning, not teaching. How did they do so? It is answered: by checking, testing, and verifying in every department of nature the traditions of old by the independent visions of great adepts; i.e., men who have developed and perfected their physical, mental, psychic, and spiritual organisations to the utmost possible degree. No vision of one adept was accepted till it was checked and confirmed by the visions — so obtained as to stand as independent evidence — of other adepts, and by centuries of experiences.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Odin Townley.
JamesParticipantJames December 7, 2016 at 2:09 am #3980
I think you are correct in saying ” evolving intelligence or soul. ” That describes it well. The Soul/intelligence aspect is the mediator between Spirit and Matter.
The three fire here are exoterically are called Spirit – soul – body.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by James.
ModeratorTN December 12, 2016 at 7:58 pm #4002
Self-Redemption SD ii 409-410
The foregoing teachings of the SECRET DOCTRINE, supplemented by universal traditions, must now have demonstrated that the Brâhmanas and Purânas, the Yâthâs and other Mazdean Scriptures,down to the Egyptian, Greek, and Roman, and finally to the Jewish Sacred records, all have the same origin. None are meaningless and baseless stories, invented to entrap the unwary profane: all are allegories intended to convey, under a more or less fantastic veil, the great truths gathered in the same field of pre-historic tradition. Space forbids us from entering, in these two volumes, into further and more minute details with respect to the four Races which preceded our own. But before offering to the student the history of the psychic and spiritual evolution of the direct antediluvian fathers of our Fifth (Aryan) humanity, and before demonstrating its bearing upon all the other side branches grown from the same trunk, we have to elucidate a few more facts. It has been shown, on the evidence of the whole ancient literary world, and the intuitional speculations of more than one philosopher and scientist of the later ages, that the tenets of our Esoteric Doctrine are corroborated by inferential as well as by direct proof in almost every case. That neither the “legendary” giants, nor the lost continents, nor yet the evolution of the preceding races, are quite baseless tales. In the Addenda which close this volume, science will find itself more than once unable to reply; they will, it is hoped, finally dispose of every sceptical remark with regard to the sacred number in nature, and our figures in general.
ModeratorTN December 28, 2016 at 8:14 am #4150
The Seven Dhyanis Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge: 50-53
Q. What is the real difference between the Dhyani-Buddhas in the orthodox and the esoteric conceptions?
A. A very great one philosophically. They are—as higher Devas—called by the Buddhists, Bôdhisattvas. Exoterically they are five in number, whereas in the esoteric schools they are seven, and not single Entities but Hierarchies. It is stated in the Secret Doctrine that five Buddhas have come and that two are to come in the sixth and seventh races. Exoterically their president is Vajrasattva, the “Supreme Intelligence” or “Supreme Buddha,” but more transcendent still is Vajradhara, even as Parabrahm transcends Brahmâ or Mahat. Thus the exoteric and occult significations of the Dhyani-Buddhas are entirely different. Exoterically each is a trinity, three in one, all three manifesting simultaneously in three worlds—as a human Buddha on earth, a Dhyani-Buddha in the world of astral forms, and an arupa, or formless, Buddha in the highest Nirvanic realm. Thus for a human Buddha, an incarnation of one of these Dhyanis, the stay on earth is limited from seven to seven thousand years in various bodies, since as men they are subjected to normal conditions, accidents and death. In Esoteric philosophy, on the other hand, this means that only five out of the “Seven Dhyani-Buddhas”—or, rather, the Seven Hierarchies of these Dhyanis, who, in Buddhist mysticism, are identical with the higher incarnating Intelligences, or the Kumâras of the Hindus—five only have hitherto appeared on earth in regular succession of incarnations, the last two having to come during the sixth and seventh Root-Races. This is, again, semi-allegorical, if not entirely so. For the sixth and seven Hierarchies have been already incarnated on this earth together with the rest. But as they have reached “Buddhaship,” so called, almost from the beginning of the fourth Root-Race, they are said to rest since then in conscious bliss and freedom till the beginning of the Seventh Round, when they will lead Humanity as a new race of Buddhas. These Dhyanis are connected only with Humanity, and, strictly speaking, only with the highest “principles” of men.
Q. Do the Dhyani-Buddhas and the Planetary Spirits in charge of the globes go into pralaya when their planets enter that state?
A. Only at the end of the seventh Round, and not between each round, for they have to watch over the working of the laws during these minor pralayas. Fuller details on this subject have already been written in the third volume of the Secret Doctrine.
But all these differences in fact are merely functional, for they are all aspects of one and the same Essence.
Q. Does the hierarchy of Dhyanis, whose province it is to watch over a Round, watch during its period of activity, over the whole series of globes, or only over a particular globe?
A. There are incarnating and there are watching Dhyanis. Of the functions of the former you have just been told; the latter appear to do their work in this wise. Every class or hierarchy corresponds to one of the Rounds, the first and lowest hierarchy to the first and less developed Round, the second to the second, and so on till the seventh Round is reached, which is under the supervision of the highest Hierarchy of the Seven Dhyanis. At the last, they will appear on earth, as also will some of the Planetary, for the whole humanity will have become Bodhisattvas, their own “sons,” i.e., the “Sons” of their own Spirit and Essence or—themselves. Thus there is only a functional difference between the Dhyanis and the Planetary. The one are entirely divine, the other sidereal. The former only are called Anupadaka, parentless, because they radiated directly from that which is neither Father nor Mother but the unmanifested Logos. They are, in fact, the spiritual aspect of the seven Logoi; and the Planetary Spirits are in their totality, as the seven Sephiroth (the three higher being supercosmic abstractions and blinds in the Kabala), and constitute the Heavenly man, or Adam Kadmon; Dhyani is a generic name in Buddhism, an abbreviation for all the gods. Yet it must be ever remembered that though they are “gods,” still they are not to be worshipped.
Q. Why not, if they are gods?
A. Because Eastern philosophy rejects the idea of a personal and extra-cosmic deity. And to those who call this atheism, I would say the following. It is illogical to worship one such god, for, as said in the Bible, “There be Lords many and Gods many.” Therefore, if worship is desirable, we have to choose either the worship of many gods, each being no better or less limited than the other, viz., polytheism and idolatry, or choose, as the Israelites have done, one tribal or racial god from among them, and while believing in the existence of many gods, ignore and show contempt for the others, regarding our own as the highest and the “God of Gods.” But this is logically unwarrantable, for such a god can be neither infinite nor absolute, but must be finite, that is to say, limited and conditioned by space and time. With the Pralaya the tribal god disappears, and Brahma and all the other Devas, and the gods are merged into the Absolute. Therefore, occultists do not worship or offer prayers to them, because if we did, we should have either to worship many gods, or pray to the Absolute, which, having no attributes, can have no ears to hear us. The worshipper even of many gods must of necessity be unjust to all the other gods; however far he extends his worship it is simply impossible for him to worship each severally; and in his ignorance, if he choose out any one in particular, he may by no means select the most perfect. Therefore, he would do better far to remember that every man has a god within, a direct ray from the Absolute, the celestial ray from the One; that he has his “god” within, not outside, of himself.