Monday, 25 November 2019

Introduction to the Metaphysics of the Secret Doctrine 1/3

Parabrahm, Kosmos, Be-Ness, Space, Motion, The Great Breath
The Secret Doctrine presents an extensive scheme of spiritual evolution, from the universe to the planet earth, including humanity and all life on it. The metaphysical aspect, Cosmogenesis, is particularly intricate. The following posts aim to give a basic presentation of the basic concepts derived from the introductory chapters.

One could begin by positing a cosmological presentation in terms of a basic duality of Spirit and Matter, Heaven and Earth in mythology, Purusha and Prakriti in Indian terms.
For instance, this duality is elaborated in at least five basic ways:

Parabrahm
Mulaprakriti
Spirit
Matter
Absolute Divine Spirit
Absolute Divine Substance
Divine Thought
Primordial Substance
Cosmic Ideation
Cosmic Substance

Moreover, certain complexities emerge rather quickly, this spirit-matter duality takes on subtle distinctions as all forms of primordial substance are of a quite spiritual, abstract nature in themselves and are never conceived as separate from divine thought. And as we shall see, the form of primal matter has at least five different aspects. Moreover, the presentation aims at being dynamic and holistic and so we are given some basic sketches of the interaction of spirit and matter in the transformation and creation process of the universe.
Therefore, pains are taken to avoid a hard dualism, therefore the paradoxical unity of the two principles are stressed regularly. The unity of Parabrahm and Mulaprakriti and the corresponding unity of Cosmic Ideation and Cosmic Substance are fundamental paradoxical notions: ‘’The manifested Spirit; Absolute, Divine Spirit is one with absolute Divine Substance: Parabrahm and Mulaprakriti are one in essence. Therefore, Cosmic Ideation and Cosmic Substance in their primal character are one also’’ (Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine I, 337).
Hence, we get a glimpse of matter and spirit dynamically interacting in a sevenfold process where matter is perceived as various forms of energy. A fundamental point that we need to keep in mind, and which is often pointed out, is that Cosmic Substance and Cosmic Ideation are two facets of the one Absolute Existence: ‘’In modern language, the latter would be better named cosmic ideation — Spirit; the former, cosmic substance, the latter. These, the Alpha and the Omega of Being, are but the two facets of the one Absolute Existence’’ (SD I, 326).
Since the SD aims to explain the creation and evolution of the universe and solar system, various terms are presented to explain Parabrahm from the perspective of a manifesting universe; and so despite being an ineffable, abstract principle, paradoxical, beyond comprehension  and yet encompasses everything, much effort is spent on attempting to explain the concept and so various terms are proposed to explain different aspects. In dealing in metaphysics, the terms are very fluid and intuitive. We’ll try to present the essential terms and explanations in order of ontological priority.
1-Parabrahm
A short definition is given as follows :
Parabrahm (Sk.). “Beyond Brahmâ”, literally. The Supreme Infinite Brahma, “Absolute”—the attributeless, the secondless reality. The impersonal and nameless universal Principle (Theosophical Glossary).
The Hidden Deity or Unrevealed Deity:
In various traditions, there is a notion of a Hidden Deity; Tsi-Tai (China), Great Extreme (Confucious), Anu (Near East), En-Soph (Kabbalah) are some examples (SD I, 356-57).
A- Kosmos
a- The collective, infinite, eternal Kosmos in its totality
Parabrahm is, in short, the collective aggregate of Kosmos in its infinity and eternity, the “that” and “this” to which distributive aggregates can not be applied.* (SD I, 6)
Kosmos (Gr.). The Universe, as distinguished from the world, which may mean our globe or earth (Theosophical Glossary).
b- All-inclusive Kosmos, infinite cosmic space in its highest spiritual sense (SD I, 6).
B-Be-Ness
Be-ness. as the term Sat is applied solely to the absolute Principle, the universal, unknown, and ever unknowable Presence, which philosophical Pantheism postulates in Kosmos, calling it the basic root of Kosmos. It is, as said, absolute Be-ness, not Being, the one secondless, undivided, and indivisible All—the root of all Nature visible and invisible, objective and subjective, to be sensed by the highest spiritual intuition, but’ never to be fully comprehended (Theosophical Glossary).
a- The term Be-Ness is coined to denote the nature of pure abstraction, a rootless root, with no relation to finite being.  (SD I, 14).
b- From Be-Ness, the metaphysical concepts of Space, Motion and the Great breath follow from this (SD I, 14).
C-Space
a-As the Absolute All, the description for this term is similar to that of Kosmos.
Space is neither a “limitless void,” nor a “conditioned fulness,” but both: being, on the plane of absolute abstraction, the ever-incognisable Deity, which is void only to finite minds,* and on that of mayavic perception, the Plenum, the absolute Container of all that is, whether manifested or unmanifested: it is, therefore, that absolute all (SDI, 8)
b- Space is called the Seven-Skinned Eternal Mother-Father: To denote the holistic, multi-modal nature of Parabrahm as Space as the One Reality present in seven levels of being (SD I, 9).
c-Space can be included in a trinity of terms (similar to the trinity of  Space, Motion, Great Breath) along with the Germ in the Root and the Great Breath, what ever was, ever is, and ever will be (SD I, 9).
D-Motion
a-In terms of positing an abstract absolute principle from manifestation, motion is considered to be the next highest principle. It is important to note that these explanations deal with an Abstract concept as well as a corresponding manifested concept, Noumenal and Phenomenal.
Intra-Cosmic motion is eternal and ceaseless; cosmic motion (the visible, or that which is subject to perception) is finite and periodical. As an eternal abstraction it is the EVER-PRESENT; (SD I, 3).
b-The principle of universal motion as an expression of the Unrevealed Deity is considered  as a living Fire with Light, Heat, Moisture as the cause of all natural phenomena (SD I, 3).
E-Great Breath
From this principle of simple motion, the binary notion of the Great breath, as found, for example, in the simple aspect of breathing, becomes the third aspect of Parabrahm.
a-The second principle of the Secret Doctrine describes it as the universal law of periodicity as found in the alternation of day and night, life and death, sleeping and waking (SD I, 17).
b-It is described as one absolute attribute of Kosmos, Space and Motion (SD I, 2).
c-The idea of a cosmic out-breathing and inhalation correspond to the Indian concepts of Manvatara and Pralaya, considered as a macrocosmic in-breathing and out-breathing process (SD I, 4).
d- The Second Principle of the Secret Doctrine describes this notion in the context of the eternity of the Universe, with recurrent periods of creation and destruction (SD I, 4).
“With regard to its body or Cosmic organization, though it cannot be said that it had a first, or will ever have a last construction, yet at each new Manvantara, its organization may be regarded as the first and the last of its kind, as it evolutes every time on a higher plane . . . . “ (SD I, 3).
F-Various Other Terms
Various other terms are used to describe it, such as the One-unknown ever present God in Nature to try and explain its abstract nature.
a- Some terminology from western philosophy are evoked: The Unknowable, the Causeles Cause, the Eternal, the Unknowable (SD I, 4).
b- Other terms are given to distinguish it from a concept of First Cause: Abstract All, the “Causeless One Cause,” the “Rootless Root, the One Reality, the one life (2) (SD I, 15).

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