The Key to Theosophy
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
The Key to Theosophy
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
On God and Prayer
Q. Do you believe in God?
A. That depends what you mean by the term.
Q. I mean the God of the Christians, the Father of Jesus, and the Creator: the
Biblical God of Moses, in short.
A. In such a God we do not believe. We reject the idea of a personal, or an
extra-cosmic and anthropomorphic God, who is but the gigantic shadow of man, and not of man at his best, either. The God of theology, we say-and prove it-is a bundle of contradictions and a logical impossibility. Therefore, we will have nothing to do with him.
Q. State your reasons, if you please.
A. They are many, and cannot all receive attention. But here are a few. This God
is called by his devotees infinite and absolute, is he not?
Q. I believe he is.
A. Then, if infinite-i.e.,limitless-and especially if absolute, how can he have
a form, and be a creator of anything? Form implies limitation, and a beginning
as well as an end; and, in order to create, a Being must think and plan. How can
the absolute be supposed to think-i.e.,to have any relation whatever to that
which is limited, finite, and conditioned? This is a philosophical, and a
logical absurdity. Even the Hebrew Cabala rejects such an idea, and therefore,
makes of the one and the Absolute Deific Principle an infinite Unity called
*)Ain-Soph (Greek: toh pan, epeiros), the boundless or limitless, in and of
nature, the non-existing that IS, but that is not a Being.
In order to create, the Creator has to become active; and as this is impossible
for absoluteness, the infinite principle had to be shown becoming the cause of
evolution (not creation) in an indirect way-i.e., through the emanation from
itself (another absurdity, due this time to the translators of the Cabala) of
How can the non-active eternal principle emanate or emit? The Parabrahman of the Vedantins does nothing of the kind; nor does the Ain-Soph of the Chaldean
Cabala. It is an eternal and periodical law which causes an active and creative
force (the logos) to emanate from the ever-concealed and incomprehensible one
principle at the beginning of every Mah -Manvantara, or new cycle of life.
Q. How about those Cabalists, who, while being such, still believe in Jehovah,
or the Tetragrammaton?
A. They are at liberty to believe in what they please, as their belief or
disbelief can hardly affect a self-evident fact. The Jesuits tell us that two
and two are not always four to a certainty, since it depends on the will of God
to make 2 × 2 = 5. Shall we accept their sophistry for all that?
Q. Then you are Atheists?
A. Not that we know of, and not unless the epithet of "Atheist" is to be applied
to those who disbelieve in an anthropomorphic God. We believe in a Universal
Divine Principle, the root of all, from which all proceeds, and within which all
shall be absorbed at the end of the great cycle of Being.
Q. This is the old, old claim of Pantheism. If you are Pantheists, you cannot be
Deists; and if you are not Deists, then you have to answer to the name of
A. Not necessarily so. The term Pantheism is again one of the many abused terms, whose real and primitive meaning has been distorted by blind prejudice and a one-sided view of it. If you accept the Christian etymology of this compound word, and form it of pan , "all," and theos , "god," and then imagine and teach that this means that every stone and every tree in Nature is a God or the one God, then, of course, you will be right, and make of Pantheists
fetish-worshippers, in addition to their legitimate name. But you will hardly be
as successful if you etymologize the word Pantheism esoterically, and as we do.
Q. What is, then, your definition of it?
A. Let me ask you a question in my turn. What do you understand by Pan, or
Q. Nature is, I suppose, the sum total of things existing around us; the
aggregate of causes and effects in the world of matter, the creation or
A. Hence the personified sum and order of known causes and effects; the total of all finite agencies and forces, as utterly disconnected from an intelligent
Creator or Creators, and perhaps "conceived of as a single and separate
force"-as in your encyclopedias?
Q. Yes, I believe so.
A. Well, we neither take into consideration this objective and material nature,
which we call an evanescent illusion, nor do we mean by Nature, in the sense of
its accepted derivation from the Latin Natura(becoming, from nasci, to be born).
When we speak of the Deity and make it identical, hence coeval, with Nature, the
eternal and uncreate nature is meant, and not your aggregate of flitting shadows
and finite unrealities. We leave it to the hymn-makers to call the visible sky
or heaven, God's Throne, and our earth of mud His footstool. Our deity is
neither in a paradise, nor in a particular tree, building, or mountain: it is
everywhere, in every atom of the visible as of the invisible Cosmos, in, over,
and around every invisible atom and divisible molecule; for it is the mysterious
power of evolution and involution, the omnipresent, omnipotent, and even
omniscient creative potentiality.
Q. Stop! Omniscience is the prerogative of something that thinks, and you deny
to your Absoluteness the power of thought.
A. We deny it to the absolute, since thought is something limited and
conditioned. But you evidently forget that in philosophy absolute
unconsciousness is also absolute consciousness, as otherwise it would not be
Q. Then your Absolute thinks?
A. No, it does not; for the simple reason that it is Absolute Thought itself.
Nor does it exist, for the same reason, as it is absolute existence, and
Be-ness, not a Being. Read the superb Cabalistic poem by Solomon Ben Jehudah Gabirol, in the Kether-Malchut, and you will understand:
Thou art one, the root of all numbers, but not as an element of numeration; for
unity admits not of multiplication, change, or form.
Thou art one, and in the secret of Thy unity the wisest of men are lost, because
they know it not.
Thou art one, and Thy unity is never diminished, never extended, and cannot be
Thou art one, and no thought of mine can fix for Thee a limit, or define Thee.
Thou art, but not as one existent, for the understanding and vision of mortals
cannot attain to Thy existence, nor determine for Thee the where, the how and
the why …
In short, our Deity is the eternal, incessantly evolving, not creating, builder
of the universe; that universe itself unfolding out of its own essence, not
being made. It is a sphere, without circumference, in its symbolism, which has
but one ever-acting attribute embracing all other existing or thinkable
attributes-itself. It is the one law, giving the impulse to manifested, eternal,
and immutable laws, within that never-manifesting, because absolute law, which
in its manifesting periods is The ever-Becoming.
Q. I once heard one of your members remarking that Universal Deity, being
everywhere, was in vessels of dishonor, as in those of honor, and, therefore,
was present in every atom of my cigar ash! Is this not rank blasphemy?
A. I do not think so, as simple logic can hardly be regarded as blasphemy. Were
we to exclude the Omnipresent Principle from one single mathematical point of
the universe, or from a particle of matter occupying any conceivable space,
could we still regard it as infinite?
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