The Key to Theosophy
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
The Key to Theosophy
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
The Unity of All in All
Q. Having told me what God, the Soul and Man are not, in your views, can you
inform me what they are, according to your teachings?
A. In their origin and in eternity the three, like the universe and all therein,
are one with the absolute Unity, the unknowable deific essence I spoke about
some time back. We believe in no creation, but in the periodical and consecutive
appearances of the universe from the subjective onto the objective plane of
being, at regular intervals of time, covering periods of immense duration.
Q. Can you elaborate the subject?
A. Take as a first comparison and a help towards a more correct conception, the solar year, and as a second, the two halves of that year, producing each a day and a night of six months' duration at the North Pole. Now imagine, if you can, instead of a Solar year of 365 days, eternity. Let the sun represent the
universe, and the polar days and nights of six months each-days and nights
lasting each 182 trillions and quadrillions of years, instead of 182 days each.
As the sun arises every morning on our objective horizon out of its (to us)
subjective and antipodal space, so does the Universe emerge periodically on the
plane of objectivity, issuing from that of subjectivity-the antipodes of the
former. This is the "Cycle of Life." And as the sun disappears from our horizon,
so does the Universe disappear at regular periods, when the "Universal night"
sets in. The Hindus call such alternations the "Days and Nights of Brahm ," or
the time of Manvantara and that of Pralaya (dissolution). The Westerns may call
them Universal Days and Nights if they prefer. During the latter (the nights)
All is in All; every atom is resolved into one Homogeneity.
Evolution and Illusion
Q. But who is it that creates each time the Universe?
A. No one creates it. Science would call the process evolution; the
pre-Christian philosophers and the Orientalists called it emanation: we,
Occultists and Theosophists, see in it the only universal and eternal reality
casting a periodical reflection of itself on the infinite Spatial depths. This
reflection, which you regard as the objective materialuniverse, we consider as a
temporary illusion and nothing else. That alone which is eternal is real.
Q. At that rate, you and I are also illusions.
A. As flitting personalities, today one person, tomorrow another-we are. Would
you call the sudden flashes of the aurora borealis, the Northern lights, a
"reality," though it is as real as can be while you look at it? Certainly not;
it is the cause that produces it, if permanent and eternal, which is the only
reality, while the other is but a passing illusion.
Q. All this does not explain to me how this illusion called the universe
originates; how the conscious to be, proceeds to manifest itself from the
unconsciousness that is.
A. It is unconsciousnessonly to our finite consciousness. Verily may we
… and (Absolute) light (which is darkness) shineth in darkness (which is
illusionary material light); and the darkness comprehendeth it not.
This absolute light is also absolute and immutable law. Whether by radiation or
emanation-we need not quarrel over terms-the universe passes out of its
homogeneous subjectivity onto the first plane of manifestation, of which planes
there are seven, we are taught. With each plane it becomes more dense and
material until it reaches this, our plane, on which the only world approximately
known and understood in its physical composition by Science, is the planetary or Solar system-one sui generis,we are told.
Q. What do you mean bysui generis?
A. I mean that, though the fundamental law and the universal working of laws of
Nature are uniform, still our Solar system (like every other such system in the
millions of others in Cosmos) and even our Earth, has its own program of
manifestations differing from the respective programs of all others. We speak of
the inhabitants of other planets and imagine that if they are men, i.e.,
thinking entities, they must be as we are. The fancy of poets and painters and
sculptors never fails to represent even the angels as a beautiful copy of
man-plus wings. We say that all this is an error and a delusion; because, if on
this little earth alone one finds such a diversity in its flora, fauna, and
mankind-from the seaweed to the cedar of Lebanon, from the jellyfish to the
elephant, from the Bushman and negro to the Apollo Belvedere-alter the
conditions cosmic and planetary, and there must be as a result quite a different
flora, fauna, and mankind. The same laws will fashion quite a different set of
things and beings even on this our plane, including in it all our planets. How
much more different then must be externalnature in other Solar systems, and how foolish is it to judge of other stars and worlds and human beings by our own, as physical science does!
Q. But what are your data for this assertion?
A. What science in general will never accept as proof-the cumulative testimony
of an endless series of Seers who have testified to this fact. Their spiritual
visions, real explorations by, and through, physical and spiritual senses
untrammeled by blind flesh, were systematically checked and compared one with the other, and their nature sifted. All that was not corroborated by unanimous and collective experience was rejected, while that only was recorded as established truth which, in various ages, under different climes, and throughout an untold series of incessant observations, was found to agree and receive constantly further corroboration. The methods used by our scholars and students of the psycho-spiritual sciences do not differ from those of students of the natural and physical sciences, as you may see. Only our fields of research are on two different planes, and our instruments are made by no human hands, for which reason perchance they are only the more reliable. The retorts,
accumulators, and microscopes of the chemist and naturalist may get out of
order; the telescope and the astronomer's horological instruments may get
spoiled; our recording instruments are beyond the influence of weather or the
Q. And therefore you have implicit faith in them?
A. Faith is a word not to be found in theosophical dictionaries: we say
knowledge based, on observation and experience. There is this difference,
however, that while the observation and experience of physical science lead the
Scientists to about as many "working" hypotheses as there are minds to evolve
them, our knowledgeconsents to add to its lore only those facts which have
become undeniable, and which are fully and absolutely demonstrated. We have no two beliefs or hypotheses on the same subject.
Q. Is it on such data that you came to accept the strange theories we find in
A. Just so. These theories may be slightly incorrect in their minor details, and
even faulty in their exposition by lay students; they are facts in nature,
nevertheless, and come nearer the truth than any scientific hypothesis.
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