FROM EARLY DAYS
Nature in religion is not new. The sun in his majestic daily journey and the silvery moon at night have ever been objects of veneration and worship. All the planets in our system have their god names. The Elements of Earth, Water, Air and Fire are in the Indian pantheon of gods. Mercury is the messenger of the gods, planetary Neptune is also the god of the sea. Pan is the god of all Nature. So men have revered Nature from time immemorial. Both the sun and the moon are the principal astrological factors in the planetary constellations, ruling the horoscopes, even the destinies some believe, of men. Also worshipped under various names and aspects are the Devas and Nature spirits, with their particular powers.
Our thesis, however, is not Nature as religion but Nature as the true basis for religion. It is hoped to show why.
With the advent of Western religions and the sophistries of Western learning and science these aspects of Nature in religion have tended to be regarded as superstition, and attitudes towards Nature have drastically altered. Man has become more and more arrogant, with an over-weaning confidence. He sees Nature as something to be conquered, tamed, subdued and made subject to his will. Incredible discoveries into the nature of matter have led the scientific investigator to feel that maybe in the not-too- distant future all Nature's secrets in that area will be unravelled. An antidote to all poisons, a cure for all the ills that beset mankind, will be found. He will be able to inbuild specific qualities into his constitution by his control of DNA and genes. He can already do this in the bodies of animals and plants. Perpetual glowing health with a longevity to his choosing is a possibility within the foreseeable future. This has not yet been accomplished but the building blocks of the techniques have been discovered.
These modern views and the trend of current thinking provide little justification for regarding Nature as the true basis for religious views and practices.
PHYSICAL AND NON-PHYSICAL CONCEPTS
However, there is another view. All our accustomed thinking about Nature has been from the point of view of our earth and of ourselves on it. We see Nature in her myriads of forms as an aggregate phenomenon with differing behaviour patterns in her parts. These are instanced by the rhythms of the seasons, of sleeping and waking, being born and dying.
Growth is apparent in all living things. There is a start to physical existence followed by infancy, adolescence, maturity, decay and eventual death. These are recognizable repetitions of a common theme. All living things are parts of Nature. The concomitant of life is the ability of its forms to reproduce themselves and that reproduction is consistent according to type, species, etc.
Another commonly acknowledged characteristic of Nature is its marvellous economy. This is instanced by the 'food chain' whereby all life forms are sustained by others. This food chain is of great significance. It is hierarchical: at the bottom of the scale is life in the lowliest of forms like the plankton in the ocean. Plankton feeders in many cases themselves become prey to non-plankton eaters. Little fish provide the food for larger ones. Birds and animals are also themselves prey to more developed and larger creatures. At the top of the food chain is man. With his cunning and sophisticated weaponry he has put himself in a position to dominate all life forms in the vegetable and animal kingdoms. This is a major factor in his arrogance.
As said, man's view of Nature is from his earthly point of view. As an earthling, an inhabitant of a natural environment which in the main he has so far learned to control or adapt to, he does not ordinarily feel threatened by it. His view, however, is limited almost wholly to the objective world.
Even from this point of view he can recognize the transcendence of, for example, the sun. Any form of energy that he has been able to make available to himself for industrial or even belligerent purposes in their most potent form, for example, nuclear energy, is totally eclipsed by the might of the sun in all its incredible power and glory, as indeed is anything he can do by the might of natural cataclysms.
Some men with a developed aesthetic sense can respond to the subtle beauties of Nature. They can appreciate the wonders of Nature around them.
This sense of appreciation, wonderment and even awe indicate a direction in which we might see Nature as the true basis for religion. They evoke our more refined perceptions and reactions; they relate to the inner subjective man.
Some factors concerning Nature which are to be considered here are not in the ordinary way even properly acknowledged as existing.
We see man in all departments of his being wholly as a creature of Nature. It is not too difficult to see that this is so as far as his physical being is concerned, but we are now postulating an inner nature, his feelings, his volitions, his ability to think, to respond to beauty, to be moved by inspiring music. The contention is that all these aspects of his being also derive from Nature. This must surely set us thinking in a new direction.
The key concept concerns what Nature is expressing, each in its own way, in all the infinity of forms she has evolved and which in aggregate constitute her physical or objective presence. This concept involves the further one of the ONE LIFE, as a universal dynamism. Everything manifests this One Life. A concomitant of this One Life is consciousness. There is only one consciousness expressed as the sentience or awareness of every one of Nature's forms, from lowest to highest, with consciousness 'expanding' as the evolutionary ladder is ascended.
Earlier we mentioned that each of the planets had its characteristic qualities and that these reflected into those of living things. According to the science of astrology this applies particularly in the case of man. It is contended that his inner nature derives from these planetary influences. To an astrologer this becomes an unquestionable fact. Our planets are natural bodies, albeit heavenly, and again it is contended that they are living entities. A similar contention ascribes life to them as to the sun. We see that for all living things to flourish on earth they must have their share of sunshine or some form of energy necessarily derived from the sun. In fact the sun is the source of life, with all that that means, throughout our solar system, which includes our planet "Gaia", with everything on it, and the other planets.
The sun itself is a living entity, and its radiations are those of life itself; hence everything on this planet is possessed of an energy either by internal motion as in atoms or as movement of links as in our bodies.
This One Life manifests in all the countless millions of life forms which range from sub-atomic particles to the largest inhabitants of the earth and on to the heavenly bodies themselves.
THE ONE LIFE
This One Life is alternately active and passive. It is active when the universe is manifest and inactive when it is not. The inactivity is a state of eternal 'Be-ness' but not of 'being'. The books describe this Be-ness as an Absolute Principle without any imaginable attributes or qualities. It cannot be defined by any name or description, but can be thought of as the Limitless, Endless or Eternal All-potential.
In manifestation things come into being and then these things have qualifications, characteristics, qualities, and dimension. One of these dimensions is time. Every 'thing', whether it be a subjective thing like a dream or an objective thing like a chicken, has a beginning and has an end. The smallest to the very largest thing that we can conceive of necessarily exists in time. Only the Absolute is totally independent of time. The point of even referring to this quite unknowable and unthinkable Absolute Principle, without any qualifications, is that it is THAT from which essentially everything, both of a subjective and an objective nature, comes, and to which at the end of periods of manifestation everything returns.
The Absolute can be regarded as Deity behind Nature. According to these ideas Nature is Deity manifest and ever-becoming. Ever-becoming is the process of spiritual growth and achievement through which all living forms, comprising all the kingdoms of Nature, pass in an aeons-long evolutionary journey. This ever-becoming is a total universal process, involving everything from sub-atomic particles to planetary globes, and even suns and galaxies.
This look at Nature, possibly a completely new one, is itself similarly ever-expanding. We have an idea now of ever-becoming as a process but a process which is, so to speak, on an ever-ascending arc involving continuous development and improvement, continuous expansion by cycles. All natural processes are cyclical, ever-proceeding along a cyclical axis. Wheels within wheels, ad infinitum, both small and large, but all progressing to a higher state, is the ever-growing order.
This process is one of progression; it is regarded as a law of cause and effect, whereby everything that is, is the result of what went before. All things and events have antecedents, which themselves become causes to later effects. The chain is continuous, unbroken, unbreakable and irreversible, but it has a moral aspect wherein motive is taken into account, it is inexorable. The consequences of an act are inherent in the act itself. Under this law the whole process of ever-becoming is beautifully and harmoniously ordered. It manifests equilibrium: if anything at any time gets 'out of line' it is inevitably put back to fulfil whatever purpose it has in the scheme of things.
Further, the law is such that not a single rung of the evolutionary stages can be avoided or missed.
The culmination of this universal process on our planet is man himself. He reflects it in his constitution. His physical body is made up of life forms developed in the lower kingdoms to a point where they have fitted themselves of become parts of his physical body. They have learned to fulfil various functions and to do so in harmony with the other parts. He is a marvellously constructed hierarchy of lives, each itself conscious but where the man as the aggregate of all these lives is an overriding unit consciousness.
This consciousness is the key factor in our thinking about the relationship between Nature and religion. Consciousness requires instruments or vehicles through which to operate. The nature and the degree of development of the vehicles determine the degree or 'quality' of consciousness which has its various modes, such as that of emotional feeling.
Unqualified consciousness - a rare condition in our humanity - is a direct derivative or undetached ray from the Be-ness of the Absolute - in manifestation. It is the highest possible faculty that man possesses. It is his very SELF. As said, however, it operates through vehicles or it would not have any meaningful 'existence; it would be ineffective. Its existence at highest level in man is that which gives rise to his sense of "I-ness", the centre of his being without which he would not know he was alive. He would not in effect have any being at all. In the ordinary human being in the ordinary way of life this supreme "I" becomes identified with a whole series of "I's" that comprise the numerous aspects of a man's character, i.e., what at any time he feels himself to be. The supreme "I" thereby becomes conditioned by, and submerged into, the great complexity of a human personality. This "I" is regarded as inseparable from the One Self of manifest existence. It becomes 'individual' merely by reason of the 'vehicle' through which it operates in every man.
Memo: the story goes on to discuss the liberation of the supreme "I" from all the little "I's" and that constitutes religion.
PLANES OF BEING
Jesus is reported to have said, "In my house there are many mansions". This could be taken as another way of saying that in the Cosmos there are a number of planes of being, the physical and some non-physical, to us subjective. It is said there are six of these non-physical planes. To each of these planes there is a corresponding Principle in man. The planes of being constitute the habitat of entities qualified to occupy them. The principles of man constitute in effect his faculties, each reflecting the nature of the planetary entities. The top two planes are a) the one that bestows consciousness and the dynamism of life to any form and b) its vehicle through which it can express itself at the highest level. Below those two there is a third c) which constitutes what is called mind, the mental principle, with two aspects: the higher which together with the two upper principles constitutes the Individuality, and the lower the personal mind. These three constitute a spiritual trinity. Below them are four principles, plus the lower half of the mental, which comprise the objective man, physical, psychic or lower mental.
There is only one mental principle the higher and lower are merely two aspects of it. The highest aspect relates to the two top principles and, so to speak, acts as a focus for them during life. The lower mind is that of the ordinary person in life, sometimes known as the concrete mind, calculating, comparing, evaluating, and is the vehicle for connective thinking. It is closely associated with memory recall but not with the storage of memory data. Below the lower mind, again in terms of principles, there is the desire or emotive principle, the place of passions, of likes and dislikes, ordinary affection. Below the desire principle are two life principles that endow the physical body with its living energies. One of the principles, next above the physical, also acts as an inner formative principle from which the physical body is periodically projected, with the form provided by that principle (Astral).
THE COMPLEX CONSTITUTION OF MAN
In a nutshell the whole constitution of man relates him by way of these principles directly to the planes of Nature and all the entities that comprise them. This is a very important aspect of the natural scene and is the justification for regarding Nature as the true basis for religions. It deals with man physical, man psychic and man spiritual.
The upper three principles of the man are regarded as spiritual, indeed as divine. They comprise only the elements of purest Spirit. They are said to constitute the immortal Individuality or Ego of man which persists through aeons of time, forever growing as a result of the spiritual experiences of successive, temporary, periodical personal lives. This is the inner mechanism of reincarnation. Personalities obviously come into being, have their period of existence and then die, but in the inner worlds the memory traces of the experiences of these personalities are retained. Where these experiences are of a truly spiritual nature they can be assimilated into the Egoic Individuality. With all other experiences, i.e., of the ordinary man. The spiritual Ego is not concerned but they have their effects. They persist from life to life until their energies are exhausted. They condition the character of the subsequent personalities-to-be, the new-born babies. Every baby comes into the world with its own personal characteristics and these are the result of its immediate previous life, maybe even earlier ones, along the chain of causative existences in the past.
The full justification of religion in terms of the natural data now being given out is complex, at least in the telling, but the principles are not too numerous or too difficult to assimilate.
LIFE HUMAN AND OTHERWISE IS CONTINUOUS
The personal man (of the four lower principles) lives a lifetime in which the outline circumstances are predetermined by the Law. What happens to him during a life bears the stamp of causes set up in past lives. The mechanism or the way in which this Law works is complex and we are warned not to try to over-simplify it in such terms as "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth". It does not work in this way.
In the course of many lives during which time the man is an evolving spiritual being he is not always guided by the highest of motives. His desires sometimes make irrepressible demands. On many occasions he acts selfishly to his own advantage, to the detriment of others. All these normal traits of the ordinary person accumulate, with some bad and some good effects. The bad effects are those which materialize, bring him discomfort and pain, and coarsen his nature. The good effects are those where in a long time he learns to control himself and act, if not altruistically towards other people, at least harmlessly. Altruism does come later and then the personality is beginning to be submerged. Over a long time this is a purificatory process. The less consideration for the personal "I" there may be in a person's make-up, the more the primal "I" of the Individuality can affect the consciousness of the personality. The man is then really starting to grow spiritually and establish, again in a very long time, what is sometimes called individuation may occur. Consciousness is then centred in the higher aspects of being (his Individuality proper). He then enters into a conscious state of freedom. This is the freedom referred to by Jesus in his saying "the truth shall make you free". The ramifications of this freedom are far-reaching. It is in effect the entry into the Kingdom of Heaven, not so much 'within' the man as his being it. Many a true mystic has had this experience, wherein he is 'one' with all creation and the powers behind it.
This is the real religious experience and it is quite independent of learning, dogmas or beliefs. The mystic knows in this state of enlightenment that he is the Cosmos in both its manifest and unmanifest states - he knows the reality of the Unity of the Universe, and all that is in it. There is nothing 'outside'.
The foregoing is a sketchy outline of the rationale behind the idea of Nature, in its broadest sense, as the true basis for religion. There are, however, other aspects to religion which are apparently not so far considered. These are what might be called the personal and social aspects. The personal includes solace, faith ... in the long run, devotion, sacrifice, benevolence, justice, a life everlasting hereafter, a feeling of community. The social aspects reflect this idea of community where all members are a family with a benevolent father ordering justly all things and whose will, whatever it may be, will always be done. There are congregational activities, participation in ceremonies or services, charity one to another with the community, the establishment and preservation of a corporate belief or faith shared by the faithful.
When related to Nature religion seems devoid of all these things but we must ask ourselves: how far are these personal and social feelings and activities the result of upbringing and conditioning, especially in the way in which they present themselves to us and as we feel them to be?
What in Nature is there worthy of our devotion? We have referred to a spirit/matter principle at the root of all manifestation. We have referred to the Law as Deity. As new concepts these do not evoke any strong feelings but in time they can engender fellow feeling when we come to realize that all things and creatures, including our fellow men, are sharing the One Life, and that this One Life in its highest aspects is indeed spirituality itself. We are genuinely all of one family: some of us young members, others older. The young ones are not so far along the evolutionary path as the older ones. As we have seen, this evolutionary path is in terms not only of objective physical existence but of subjective inner existence.
As far as each of us is concerned there will always be elder brothers farther along the path of development than we are. There will be those who manifest to a greater degree than we can such virtues as benevolence, sympathy and justice. Without worshipping them we can revere them; they can act as ideals to be aimed at; they can be examples to us in our living. If we are not lucky enough to know any such people in our ordinary lives we have a copious literature written by and about such entities. This can fire our imaginations and stir our aspirations to follow in their footsteps. Such great entities are those who are the heroes of the world's scriptures. That which relates such greater ones than we are to Nature is the evolutionary process.
In trying to understand the workings of Nature with its vast range of magnitudes and its infinite complexity the sure guide that the student has is that of the law of analogy: As it is above, so it is below, as is the great, so is the small. By this law we see that the processes of growth and development apply not only at all levels of being but to the inner and the outer aspects of existence. Things develop at objective level by improved forms and interiorly by expanding consciousness and thereby richness of experience. This applies to man particularly; his physical form may at the moment not be developing significantly but his inner nature grows, a) by experience and b) by the amount of effort that he puts into living.
One aspect of the law of analogy is that of the law of cycles. Everything comes into being and, having existed for a time, passes out of existence. During its lifetime it has been subjected to all the exigencies of life within its environment. This goes for plants, animals and man. As we have seen, man himself is a periodical phenomenon in each of his personal existences. They come and go as everything else does but behind them is the continuing thread of individuality growing on the fruits of each associated personal life. The man himself is this ever-growing spiritual entity, itself never separated from the grand spiritual of the whole nature process.
All personal qualities gradually develop, life after life, as they can manifest something of the growing spiritual entity that overshadows each such personal life. There is an expression that we are gods in the making. This is true except that in a sense we are gods already, but growing and maturing as we pass through all the phases of existence, both at physical and non-physical levels.
In the matter of solace or comfort enjoyed by those who feel themselves to be members of a family with a father-god to whom they can address prayers and supplication. In Nature, although there are entities far further along the evolutionary path than the average man is at the moment, it is said that none of these are objects for devotion or worship, even though for various reasons we may feel gratitude towards them. What then of prayer? We have seen that Nature's laws are inexorable, that is, they cannot be affected by prayer. We have also seen that the effects of an act are inherent in the act itself (where motive is taken into account). Whatever causes have been created by our actions must have their inevitable effects. This may sound somewhat ruthless but it is the Law. The lesson to be learned is that we must be careful of what we do because we cannot escape the consequences. This makes man responsible for what happens to him, either for good or for ill. As has been said, each man is his own law-giver.
At this time, amongst the peoples of the world, there is an almost overwhelming amount of sickness and disease, and infinite unhappiness as a consequence. All these misfortunes befall us according to the Law must have had their causes and the causes are not in viruses or germs. They are in our modes of living, in our selfishnesses and our indulgences, in our cruelties, and mostly stemming from ignorance of the Law. We have had guidance by many a religious precept but we have not heeded them. If we would eradicate this suffering we have to learn to live according to the Law, and that is in this instance the laws of Nature. Proper food, proper rest, clean self-control, living in all respects and probably most important of all right behaviour towards others, desisting from taking advantage, justifying our actions against wrong sets of values, injustices inflicted on our fellows, help not given where it could have been, depriving others of what is rightly their by force or trickery, the list is endless.
But now, to use a familiar phrase, we cannot get away with it. Everything we do or even say or think is indelibly stamped in Nature's memory.
Somewhere in the Christian scriptures or in a prayer there is the expression, "there is no health in us". In the light of what has just been said this is true, to the extent of the ills of the world's populations.
All this may seem gloomy and beyond our capacity to do anything about but it is not so. Throughout past ages mankind has been struggling along the evolutionary path. There have been wars and natural calamities, plagues, famines, but the earth and its human family have persisted through to now. There is a progressive dynamism, a reserve of healthy strength which overcomes all temporary disaster. So it is with man himself. He has a thread of invulnerable life, perpetually welling up in his being to restore hope and strength to meet and overcome all adversities in the long run. The long run here of course includes more than one lifetime but there is no cause for despondency or despair. Each of us has this reserve of strength and if we will call upon it, courage to see us through.
In the context of Nature as the basis of true religion, 'seeing us through' means seeing us through to the proper culmination of all our existences on earth and this means perfection. The perfectibility of man through the evolutionary process is one of the prime tenets of the natural process.
The principal postulates of the above thesis are in fact tenets of the Ancient Wisdom, Occultism, Esoteric Science or Theosophy as contained in many of the world's scriptures but more particularly in the writings of H.P. Blavatsky towards the end of the 19th century, and in passages from the writings of her Initiate Teachers. Some passages from this literature are quoted below.
REFERENCES TO NATURE IN THE H.P. BLAVATSKY COLLECTED WRITINGS back to top
p 102 In relation to the Cabala, or the compound mystic text-book of all the great secrets of Nature, we do not know of anyone in the present century who could have commanded a sufficient dose of that moral courage which fires the heart of the true adept with the sacred flame of propagandism - to force him into defying public opinion, by displaying familiarity with that sublime work.
p 108 Heirs to the early heavenly wisdom of their first forefathers, they keep the keys which unlock the most guarded of Nature's secrets and impart them only gradually and with the greatest caution.
p 380 But, in her eternal wisdom, Nature provides antidotes against moral as well as against mineral and vegetable poisons.
p 20 Nothing is stationary in nature; everything must advance or fall back, and an incurable drunkard, a debauchee wholly immersed in materiality, having never made the least effort towards the good, dead or living, will never make progress!
p 150 For it (meteorological prediction) shows: (a) that there are few secrets in nature absolutely inaccessible to man's endeavours to snatch them from her bosom; and (b) that Nature's workshop is one vast clockwork guided by immutable laws in which there is no room for the caprices of special providence.
p 283 Nature - say the Kabalists - opens to life all its doors, and closes them as carefully behind, to prevent life from every receding [e.g. blood in veins, sap in plants, etc., cannot flow backgrounds].
p 294 The preservation of corpses is a violation of the laws of nature;...
p 297 Nature is dual; there is a physical and material side, as there is a spiritual and moral side to it; and, there is both good and evil in it, the latter the necessary shadow to its light.
p 298 Nature is as good a mother to the cruel bird of prey as she is to the harmless dove. Mother nature will punish her child, but since he has become her co-worker for destruction she cannot eject him.
p 313 To the Kabalist and Hermetic philosopher, everything in nature appears under a triune aspect; everything is a multiplicity and trinity in unity, and is represented by him so symbolically in various geometrical figures.... And the ONE LAW in nature being perfect EQUILIBRIUM - they are eternal and co-existent.
p 314 ... the Deity can only be seen and conceived in objective nature - pure pantheism.
p 385 What has become of the particles of matter which composed the physical bodies of "man's predecessors on the earth"? They have long ago been ground over in the laboratory of Nature, and have entered into the composition of other forms. And the idea or design of the earlier forms has risen into superior idea or design which has impressed itself on later forms.
p 424 Some Orientalists rightly believe the name [Brahma] derived from the verb "brih", to grow or increase, and to be, in this sense the universal expansive force of nature, the vivifying and spiritual principle, or power, spread throughout the universe and which in its collectivity is the one Absoluteness, the one Life and the only Reality.
p 477 Mrs Britten, incautiously, as we think, uses the word "Elementary" to signify nature-spirits, or the forces of Nature.
p 31 The most perfect "Samadhi", the highest of the "Siddhis" of "Hatha-Yoga" can at best guide the subject to the threshold of the world of invisible matter, not to those of the world of spirit, where the hidden and subtler potencies of nature lie dormant until disturbed.
p 167 modern materialism ... rejects with the idea of a personal creator, every other intelligent principle in nature.
p 224 ... there is nothing impossible that in time there will be discovered a fifth, sixth and even seventh condition of matter, as well as seven senses in man, and that all nature will finally be found septenary, for who can assign limits to the possibilities of the latter!
p 226 Therefore, whether it is called Force of Matter, it will ever remain the Omnipresent Proteus of the Universe, the one element - LIFE - Spirit or Force at its negative, Matter at its positive pole; the former the MATERIO-SPIRITUAL, the latter, the MATERIO-PHYSICAL Universe - Nature, Svabhavat or INDESTRUCTIBLE MATTER.
p 263 What was in reality the much maligned and still more dreaded goat ... Why, simply Pan or Nature.
p 453 [The Arhat Esoteric Doctrine teaches that] UNIVERSAL LIFE ... Omnipotent only through, and in conjunction with, the immutable, eternal Laws of Nature which are thus the basis upon which Life works, it is not 'necessarily Omnipotent', per se.
p 502 In the economy of nature everything is in its right place, has its special purpose, and the same potentiality for good as for evil in various degrees - if we will but leave it to its natural course.
p 116 The processes of nature are acts of incessant borrowing and giving back.
p 337/8 What is meant by the Brahmajnani being beyond the reach of Karma can be fully realized only by a man who has found out his exact position in harmony with the One Life in nature;...
p 339 When an adept has placed himself en rapport with the universal mind he becomes a real power in nature....
This does not mean that a Mahatma can or will ever neglect the laws of morality, but that he, having unified his individual nature with Great Nature herself, is constitutionally incapable of violating any one of the laws of nature, and no man can constitute himself a judge of the conduct of the Great One without knowing the laws of all the planes of Nature's activity.
p 340/1 Now it is universally admitted that the whole system of Nature is moving in a particular direction, and this direction, we are taught, is determined by the composition of two forces, namely, the one acting from that pole called "spirit", and the other in the opposite direction. The very fact that Nature is moving shows that these two forces are not equal in magnitude. The plane on which the activity of the first force predominates is called in occult treatises the "ascending arc", and the corresponding plane of the activity of the other force is styled the "descending arc". A little reflection will show that the work of evolution begins on the descending arc and works its way upwards through the ascending arc. From this is follows that the force directed towards spirit is the one which must, though not without hard struggle, ultimately prevail. This is the great directing energy of Nature, and although disturbed by the operation of the antagonistic force, it is this that gives the law to her; the other is merely its negative aspect, for convenience regarded as a separate agent. If an individual attempts to move in a direction other than that in which Nature is moving, that individual is sure to be crushed, sooner or later, by the enormous pressure of the opposing force. We need not say that such a result would be the very reverse of pleasurable. The only way therefore, in which happiness might be attained, is by merging one's nature in great Mother Nature, and following the direction in which she herself is moving: this again, can only be accomplished by assimilating man's individual conduct with the triumphant force of Nature, the other force; being always overcome with terrific catastrophes. The effort to assimilate the individual with the universal law is popularly known as the practice of morality. Obedience to this universal law, after ascertaining it, is true religion, which has been defined by Lord Buddha "as the realization of the True."
p 355 For, all religions divested of their man-made theologies and superlatively human ecclesiasticism rest on one and the same foundation, converge towards one focus: an ineradicable, congenital belief in an inner Nature reflected in the inner man, its microcosm; on this our earth, we can know of but one Light - the one we see. The Divine Principle, the WHOLE can be manifested to our consciousness, but through Nature and its highest tabernacle - man, in the words of Jesus, the only "temple of God".
p 119 fn But you must know and remember one thing: we but follow and servilely copy nature in her works.
p 75 The aforesaid instances sufficiently show that the scientists's knowledge of nature is incapable of coinciding wholly and entirely with all that exists and may be found in it.
p 87 Nature never draws too harsh lines of demarcation, never builds impassable walls, and her unabridged "chasms" exist merely in the tame conceptions of certain naturalists.
p 182 This philosophy teaches that nature never leaves her work unfinished; if baffled at the first attempt, she tries again. [Isis]
p 292 No symbol to express evolution from its starting to its completion points would be possible without it [the number seven]. For the circle produces the point; the point expands into a triangle, returning after two angles upon itself, and then forms the mystical Tetraktis - the plane cube; which three when passing into the manifested world of effects, differentiated nature, become geometrically and numerical 3 + 4 = 7.
p 72 The super-natural does not exist in Nature, which is One, Absolute, and Infinite.
p 73 The truth of our doctrines rests on their philosophy and on facts of nature.
p 76 It is the metaphysics of Nature in her chaste nakedness, both physical, moral and spiritual, alone capable of explaining the apparent miracle by means of natural and psychic laws, and of completing the mere physiological and pathological notions of Science, and of killing for ever the anthropomorphic Gods and the Devils of dualistic religions.
p 299 Theosophy, on the contrary, teaches that perfect, absolute justice reigns in nature, though short-sighted man fails to see it in its details on the material and even psychic plane, and that every man determines his own future.
p 332/3 But, whether as substance, matter or effect, sound and light can never be divorced from their modes of manifesting through vibrations - as the whole subjective or occult nature is one everlasting perpetual motion of VORTICAL vibrations.
p 58 He [Dr Lewins] "cannot deny that there may be behind nature a 'cause of causes'*, but if so, it is a god who hides himself, or itself, from mortal thought. Nature is at all events vice-regent plenipotentiary, and with her thought has alone to deal."
*We Theosophists, who do not limit nature, do not see the "cause of causes" or the unknowable deity behind that which is limitless, but identify that abstract Nature with the deity itself, and explain its visible laws as secondary effects on the plane of Universal Illusion.
p 64 [Reference to Malkuth, or physical nature, also Earth]
p 168 "Is nature co-eternal with God?" It depends on what is meant by "nature". If it is objective phenomenal nature, then the answer is - though ever latent in divine Ideation, but being only periodical as a manifestation, it cannot be co-eternal. But "abstract" nature and Deity, or what our correspondent calls "Self-existent cause or God", are inseparable and even identical.
p 252 [Reference in article on Occultism to Nature's forces, etc. - not relevant]
p 254 But, no sooner is he "accepted" [as a chela] than his personality must disappear, and he has to become a mere beneficent force in Nature.
p 161 [Definition of religion.]
p 166 We have said that we believed in the absolute unity of nature. Unity implies the possibility for a unit on one plane, to come into contact with another unit on or from another plane. [Then follows a magnificent definition of Theosophy.]
p 167 But each and all [religions] are of divine, because natural and true origin;...
p 231 Every hitherto far-hidden truth, whether concealed out of sight by Nature's secretiveness or human craft, must and shall be unveiled some day or other.
p 375 Thus the principal states of nature are three positive and three negative, synthesized by the primeval light. The three negative states are  Darkness;  Cold;  Vacuum or Voidness. The three positive are  Light (on our plane);  Heat;  All nature. Thus Fire may be called the unity of the Universe. Pure cosmic fire (without, so to speak, fuel) is Deity in its universality; for cosmic fire, or heat which it calls forth, is every atom of matter in manifested nature. There is not a thing or a particle in the Universe which does not contain in it latent fire.
p 97 Truly, and you have but to repeat the Litany to the Virgin of the R. Catholic Church, to find yourself repeating ancient incantations to Adonaia (Venus),... or to the Magna Mater,... the Universal Mother of all Beings - because SHE IS MOTHER NATURE.
p 249 The "beacon-light" of Truth is nature without the illusory veil of the senses. It can be reached only when the adept has become absolute master of his personal self, able to control all his physical and psychic senses by the aid of his "seventh sense", through which he is gifted also with the true wisdom of the gods - Theo-sophia.
p 529/30 The circle hypothecates the absolute; the right line represents a metaphysical synthesis and the left a physical one. When Mother Nature shall have made of her body the horizontal line joining these two, then will be the moment of the awakening of cosmic activity. Until then, Purusha, the Spirit, is separated from Prakriti - material nature still unevolved.
p 583 ... it is the Karma of the individuals who receive the seeds by asking for them, that will repay or punish those who fail in their duties to their HIGHER SELF. Nature is every struggling even in its so-called inorganic and inanimate kingdoms, towards progress and perfectibility by production; how much more the nature of conscious thinking man!
p 638 Yet I had written there plainly enough about "useless drones" - those who refuse to become co-workers with nature and who perish by millions during the Manvantaric life-cycle; those (as in the case in hand) who prefer to be ever suffering in Avichi under Karmic Law than to give up their lives "in evil", and finally, those who are co-workers with Nature for destruction.
p 56/7 This represents the conquest of Spirit over Matter (the "Old Serpent" or the "Great Deep"), which by spiritual transmutation finally becomes subservient to the divine will of the glorified Initiate, and the "Gods" or powers of nature are conquered by the divine "Rebel", the Asura, the "Dragon of Wisdom", who fights against the Devas; i.e., the activity of Manas triumphs over the passivity of pure spirit.
p 75 fn In the Egyptian and other cosmogonies, the first septenary group of emanating potencies is called the "Virgins of Light" and is represented collectively by the six-pointed star; this star "refers to the six Forces or Powers of Nature, the six planes, principles, etc., etc., all synthesized by the seventh, or the central point in the Star." (S.D.I, 125)
p 154 Modern thought denies Divine Spirit in Nature, and the Divine element in mankind, the Soul's immortality and every noble conception inherent man.
p 181 Owing to the triumphant march and the invasion of civilization, Nature, as well as man and ethics, is sacrificed, and is fast becoming artificial.... Scarce a landscape in England but the fair body of nature is desecrated by the advertisements of "Pear's Soap" and "Beecham's Pills".
p 189 Not a sunny valley, not a shadowy grove left immaculate on the bosom of mother nature. And yet what marble fountain in fashionable square or city park, what bronze lions or tumble-down dolphins with upturned tails can compare with an old worm-eaten, moss-covered, weather-stained country well, or a rural windmill in a green meadow!...
Ancient civilizations have never sacrificed Nature to speculation, but holding it as divine, have honoured her natural beauties by erection of works of art, such as our modern electric civilization could never produce even in dream.
p 309 Nothing exists in the Universe but Substance - or Nature, say the latter [Buddhists].
p 310 ... Spinoza's Deity - natura naturans - conceived in his attributes simply and alone; and the same Deity - as natura naturata or as conceived in the endless series of modification or correlations, the direct outflowing results from the properties of these attributes, it is the Vedantic Deity pure and simple.
p 311 [Prakriti equated to Nature.]
p 347 ... the ancients for long ages,... discovered, that in order that the human Voltaic battery should decompose and analyse the occult properties of nature, it required in addition to the physical a second and spiritual brain. Such a brain is either a gift of nature ... or, it is acquired by a long and painful self-development.
p 10 fn Mr Tyndall shows Science "powerless" to solve a single one of the final problems of Nature and "Disciplined [read, modern materialistic] imagination retiring in bewilderment from the contemplation of the problems" of the world of matter.
p 17 Nature is dual in whatever she attempts,...
p 25 [Democritus said] ... magic was entirely confined to the application and the imitation of the laws and the works of nature....
And we find him [Democritus] not only disbelieving in and utterly rejecting miracles, but asserting that every one of those that were authenticated by eyewitnesses, had, and could have taken place, for all, even the most incredible, were produced according to the "hidden laws of nature".
p 62 ... while the former [Aryans] applied their Science of Correspondences to veil the most spiritual and sublime truths of Nature, the latter [Jews] used their acumen to conceal only one ... that of birth and generation.
p 63 It is upon these true Mathematics that the knowledge of the Kosmos and of all mysteries rests, and to one acquainted with them it is the easiest thing possible to prove that both Vaidic and Biblical structures are based upon "God-in-Nature" and "Nature-in-God", as the radical law. Therefore, this law - as everything else immutable and fixed in eternity - could find a correct expression only in those purest transcendental Mathematics referred to by Plato, especially in Geometry as transcendentally applied.
p 97 To realize the full comprehension of the Deific and the Abstruse enjoyed by the Ancients, one has to study the origin of the figurative representations of their primitive Philosophers. The Books of Hermes are the oldest repositories of numerical Symbology in Western Occultism. In them we find that the number ten is the Mother of the Soul, Life and Light being therein united. For as the sacred anagram Teruph shows in the Book of Keys (Numbers), the number 1 (one) is born from Spirit, and the number 10 (ten) from Matter; "the unity has made the ten, the ten, the unity"; and this is only the Pantheistic axiom, in others "God in Nature and Nature in God".
p 104 The secrets of nature generally cut both ways, and in the hands of the undeserving they are more than likely to become murderous. Who in our modern day knows anything of the real significance of, and the powers contained in, certain characters and signs ...
p 142 It is in Visvakarman, the "omniscient" who becomes (mystically) Vikartana, the "sun shorn of his beams", who suffers for his too ardent nature, and then becomes glorified (by purification), that the keynote of the Initiation into the greatest Mystery of Nature was struck. Hence the secret of the wonderful "similarity".
p 249 Logical and scientific observation of the phenomena in Nature, which alone leads man to the knowledge of eternal truths - provided he approaches the threshold of observation unbiased by preconception and sees with his spiritual eye before he looks at things from their physical aspect - does not lie within the province of the masses. The marvels of the One Spirit of Truth, the ever-concealed and inaccessible Deity, can be unravelled and assimilated only through Its manifestations by the secondary "Gods", Its acting powers. While the One and Universal Cause has to remain forever in abscondito, Its manifold action may be traced through the effects in Nature. the latter alone being comprehensible and manifest to average mankind, the Powers causing those effects were allowed to grow in the imagination of the populace. Ages later in the Fifth, the Aryan Race, some unscrupulous priests began to take advantage of the too easy beliefs of the people in every country, and finally raised those secondary Powers to the rank of God and Gods, thus succeeding in isolating them altogether from the One Universal Cause of all causes.
p 292 [The Rose], the noblest of Nature's symbols.... Like every other personification of Nature and the Earth she [Isis] is the sister and wife of Osiris, as the two characters answer to the personified symbol of the Earth, both she and the Sun being the progeny of the same mysterious Father, because the Earth is fecundated by the Sun ... It was the pre ideal of mystic Nature that was personified in the "World Virgins", the "Celestial Maidens", and later on by the human Virgin, Mary ...
p 466 No human born dogma, no institution, however sanctified by custom and antiquity can compare in sacredness with the dogma of Nature. The key of wisdom that unlocks the massive gates leading to the arcana of the innermost sanctuaries can be found hidden in her bosom only, and that bosom is in the countries pointed to by the great Seer of the past century, Emanuel Swedenborg. There lies the heart of nature, that bosom whence issued primeval Humanity and which is the cradle of man.
REFERENCES TO NATURE IN THE MAHATMA LETTERS TO A.P. SINNETT [CHRONOLOGICAL EDITION] back to top
p 2 ... the deific powers in man and the possibilities contained in nature (The Pioneer in London on the day of its publication)
p 6 At no time have more than a scarcely appreciable minority of men possessed nature's secret, though multitudes have witnessed the practical evidences of the possibility of their possession. The Adept is the rare efflorescence of a generation of enquirers;...
p 37 But you must know and remember one thing; we but follow and servilely copy nature in her works.
p 39 They [examples of real phenomena] have to prove both destructive and constructive - destructive in the pernicious errors of the past, in the old creeds and superstitions which suffocate in their poisonous embrace like the Mexican weed nigh all mankind; but constructive of new institutions of a genuine, practical Brotherhood of Humanity where all will become co-workers of nature, will work for the good of mankind with and through the higher planetary Spirits - the only "Spirits" we believe in.
p 55 ... the adept sees and feels and lives in the very source of all fundamental truths - the Universal Spiritual Essence of Nature. SHIVA the Creator, the Destroyer, and the Regenerator.
p 65 From thence, matter ground over in the workshop of nature proceeds, soulless back to its Mother Fount;... "the Spiritual Ego, he will ascend from star to star from one world to another, circling onward to rebecome the once pure planetary Spirit, then higher still, to finally reach its first starting point, and from thence - to merge into MYSTERY.
p 96 ... by the law of nature.
p 118 Nature follows the same groove from the "creation" of a universe down to that of a mosquito. In studying esoteric cosmogony, keep a spiritual eye upon the physiological process of human birth; proceed from cause to effect establishing as you go along, analogies between the birth of a man and that of a world.
p 132 Nature has linked all parts of her Empire together by subtle threads of magnetic sympathy, and, there is a mutual correlation even between a star and a man; thought runs swifter than the electric fluid, and your thought will find me if projected by a pure impulse, mine will find, has found, and often impressed your mind.
p 168 ... we recognize but one element in Nature (whether spiritual or physical) outside which there can be no Nature since it is Nature itself,* and which as the Akasa pervades our solar system, every atom being part of itself, pervades throughout space and is space in fact, which pulsates as in profound sleep during the pralayas, and [is] the universal Proteus, the ever active Nature during the Manvantaras;...
*Not in the sense of Natus "born", but Nature as the sum total of everything visible and invisible, of forms and minds, the aggregate of the known (and unknown) causes and effects, the universe, in short, infinite and uncreated and endless, as it is without a beginning.
p 272 Matter we know to be eternal, i.e., having had no beginning (a) because matter is Nature herself (b) because that which cannot annihilate itself and is indestructible exists necessarily - and therefore it could not begin to be, nor can it cease to be (c) because the accumulated experience of countless ages, and that of exact science show to us matter (or nature) acting by her own peculiar energy, of which not an atom is ever in an absolute state of rest, and therefore it must have always existed, i.e., its materials ever changing form, combinations and properties, but its principles or elements being absolutely indestructible.
p 272 In other words we believe in MATTER alone, in matter as visible nature and matter in its invisibility as the invisible omnipresent omnipotent Proteus with its unceasing motion which is its life, and which nature draws from herself since she is the great whole outside of which nothing can exist.
p 273/4 The real evil proceeds from human intelligence and its origin rests entirely with reasoning man who dissociates himself from Nature.
p 279 ... the infinite mind displays to them as to us no more than the regular unconscious throbbings of the eternal and universal pulse of Nature, throughout the myriads of worlds within as without the primitive veil of our solar system.
p 280 And it is likewise that same involuntary mechanical power that we see so intensely active in all the fixed laws of nature - which governs and controls what is called the Universe or the Cosmos.
p 317 We know of no phenomenon in nature entirely unconnected with either magnetism or electricity - since, where there are motion, heat, friction, light, there magnetism and its alter ego ... electricity will always appear,...
p 451 We were expected to allow the Occult forces to be treated in the same manner as their rind - physical forces in nature.
p 470 You ask us to teach you true Science, the occult aspect of the known side of nature; and this you think can be as easily done as asked. You do not seem to realize the tremendous difficulties in the way of imparting even the rudiments of our Science to those who have been trained in the familiar methods of yours.
p 502 To be in direct communication with the imagination of nature, one must be either asleep, intoxicated, in an ecstasy, cataleptic, or mad.
[The Master appends] And to be in direct communication with the intelligence of Nature one must become an Adept.
REFERENCES TO NATURE IN THE SECRET DOCTRINE, VOL I
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preface The aim of this work may be thus stated: to show that Nature is not "a fortuitous concurrence of atoms", and to assign to man his rightful place in the scheme of the Universe; to rescue from degradation the archaic truths which are the basis of all religions; and to uncover, to some extent, the fundamental unity from which they all spring; finally, to show that the occult side of Nature has never been approached by the Science of modern civilization.
p 5 Nature is therefore feminine, and, to a degree, objective and tangible, and the spirit-Principle which fructifies it is concealed.
p 7 ... because Parabrahman, being the "Supreme ALL", the ever-invisible spirit and Soul of Nature, changeless and eternal, can have no attributes; absoluteness very naturally precluding any idea of the finite or conditioned from being connected with it.
p 44 ... powers of Nature, which, anthropomorphized, have been worshipped as God and gods by the common herd of every age.
p 91 ... the diameter standing for Nature, or the feminine principle.
p 97 "Dots, Lines, Triangles, Cubes , Circles" and finally "Spheres" - why or how? Because ... such is the first law of Nature, and because Nature geometrizes universally in all her manifestations. There is an inherent law - not only in the primordial, but also in the manifested matter of our phenomenal plane - by which Nature correlates her geometrical forms, and later, also, her compound elements; and in which there is no place for accident or chance. It is a fundamental law in Occultism, that there is no rest or cessation of motion in Nature. see footnote 1
p 120 The radical unity of the ultimate essence of each constituent part of compounds in Nature - from Star to mineral Atom, from the highest Dhyani-Chohan to the smallest infusoria, in the fullest acceptation of the term, and whether applied to the spiritual, intellectual, or physical worlds - this is the one fundamental law in Occult Science.
p 149 ... nature runs down and disappears from the objective plane, only to re-emerge after a time of rest out of the subjective and to re-ascend once more. Our Kosmos and Nature will run down only to reappear on a more perfect plane after every PRALAYA.
p 152 It is idle to speak of "laws arising when Deity prepares to create" for: (a) law or rather LAW is eternal and uncreated; and (b) Deity is Law, and vice versa. Moreover, the one eternal Law unfolds everything in the (to be) manifested Nature on a sevenfold principle; among the rest, the countless circular chains of worlds, composed of seven globes, graduated on the four lower planes of the world of formation (the three others belonging to the Archetypal Universe).
p 181 It now becomes plain that there exists in Nature a triple evolutionary scheme, for the formation of the three periodical Upadhis: or rather three separate schemes of evolution, which in our system are inextricably interwoven and interblended at every point. These are the Monadic (or spiritual), the intellectual, and the physical evolutions. These three are the finite aspects or the reflections on the field of Cosmic Illusion of ATMAN, the seventh, the ONE REALITY.
p 181 "Nature", the physical evolutionary Power, could never evolve intelligence unaided - she can only create "senseless forms", as will be seen in our "ANTHROPOGENESIS". The "Lunar Monads" cannot progress, for they have not yet had sufficient touch with the forms created by "Nature" to allow of their accumulating experiences through its means. It is the Manasa-Dhyanis who fill up the gap, and they represent the evolutionary power of intelligence and Mind, the link between "Spirit" and "Matter" - in this Round.
p 218 fn The word Nature used there is in terms of characteristic or quality.
p 257 Nature is never stationary during manvantara, as it is ever becoming, not simply being; and mineral, vegetable, and human life are always adapting their organisms to the then reigning Elements, and therefore those Elements were then fitted for them, as they are now for the life of present humanity. It will be in the next or fifth Round that the fifth Element, Ether - the gross body of Akasa, if it can be called even that -will, by becoming a familiar fact of Nature to all men, as air is familiar to us now ...
p 276 It is on the acceptance or rejection of the theory of the Unity of all in Nature, in its ultimate Essence, that mainly rests the belief or unbelief in the existence around us of other conscious being besides the Spirits of the Dead.
p 277 The whole order of Nature evinces a progressive march towards a higher life. There is design in the action of the seemingly blindest forces. The whole process of evolution with its endless adaptations is a proof of this. The immutable laws that weed out the weak and feeble species, to make room for the strong, and which ensure the "survival of the fittest", though so cruel in their immediate action - all are working toward the grand end. The very fact that adaptations do occur, that the fittest do survive in the struggle for existence, shows that what is called "unconscious Nature" see footnote 2 is in reality an aggregate of forces manipulated by semi-intelligent beings (Elementals) guided by High Planetary Spirits (Dhyani-Chohans), whose collective aggregate forms the manifested verbum of the unmanifested LOGOS, and constitutes at one and the same time the MIND of the Universe and its immutable LAW.
p 310 ... the seven mysteries of Nature.
p 380 fn Having evolved himself [Brahma] from the soul of the world, once separated from the first cause, he evaporates with, and emanates all nature out of himself. He does not stand above it, but is mixed up with it; Brahma and the universe form one Being, each particle of which is in its essence Brahma himself, who proceeded out of himself.
p 381 fn The silent worship of abstract or noumenal Nature, the only divine manifestation, is the one ennobling religion of Humanity.
p 399 Mother Nature associated with the idea of the Virgin Mary.
p 431 But there are two distinct aspects in universal Esotericism, Eastern and Western, in all those personations of the female Power in nature, or nature - the noumenal and the phenomenal.
p 470 ... the "Maker" (fashioner or modeller) of all things; "without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men", who finally may be called, ..., the Alpha and the Omega of manifested Nature.
p 477 ... the daring explorer, who would probe the inmost secrets of Nature, must transcend the narrow limitations of sense, and transfer his consciousness into the region of noumena and the sphere of primal causes.
To effect this, he must develop faculties which are absolutely dormant - save in a few rare and exceptional cases - in the constitution of the offshoots of our present Fifth Root-Race in Europe and America.
p 480 On the question of the "Seven Governors", as Hermes calls the "Seven Builders", the Spirits which guide the operations of nature, the animated atoms of which are the shadows, in their world, of their Primaries in the astral realms - this work will, of course, besides the men of Science, have every materialist against it.
p 489 fn For the Occultists who say that the author of nature is nature herself, something indistinct and inseparable from the Deity, it follows that those who are conversant with the occult laws of nature, and know how to change and provoke new conditions in ether, may - not modify the laws, but work and do the same in accordance with those immutable laws.
p 555 fn The word "supernatural" implies above or outside of nature. Nature and Space are one.... phenomena ... can ... be produced by Forces generated within even limited spaces. [This note implies that even limited spaces are subjective ones and the forces are subjective such as an intention to raise or lower an are. The intention is in a different order of space from the arm.]
p 578 There is nothing profane in the universe. All Nature is a consecrated place, as Edward Young says: "Each of these stars is a religious house."
p 610 Science is, undeniably, ultra-materialistic in our days; but it finds, in one sense, its justification. Nature, behaving in actu ever esoterically, and being, as the Kabalists say, in abscondito, can only be judged by the profane through her appearance, and that appearance is always deceitful on the physical plane.... Now that they [scientists] have studied Nature in the length, breadth and thickness of her physical frame it is time to remove the skeleton to the second plane and search within the unknown depths for the living and real entity, for its SUB-stance - the noumenon of evanescent matter.
p 611/2 The exact extent, depth, breadth, and length of the mysteries of Nature are to be found only in Eastern esoteric sciences. So vast and so profound are these that hardly a few, a very few of the highest Initiates - those whose very existence is known but to a small number of Adepts - are capable of assimilating the knowledge. Yet it is all these, and one by one facts and processes in Nature's workshops are permitted to find their way into the exact Sciences, while mysterious help is given to rare individuals in unravelling its arcana. It is at the close of great Cycles, in connection with racial development, that such events generally take place. We are at the very close of the cycle of 5,000 years of the present Aryan Kaliyuga; and between this time and 1897 there will be a large rent made in the Veil of Nature, and materialistic science will receive a deathblow.
p 612 From the very beginning of Aeons - in time and space in our Round an Globe - the Mysteries of Nature (at any rate those which it is lawful for our race to know) were recorded by the pupils of those same, now invisible, "heavenly men," in geometrical figures and symbols.
p 640 There is a purpose in every important act of Nature, whose acts are all cyclic and periodical. But spiritual Forces having been usually confused with the purely physical, the former are denied by, and therefore, have to remain unknown to Science, because left unexamined.
p 641 There is a predestination in the geological life of our globe, as in the history, past and future, of races and nations. This is closely connected with what we call Karma, and Western Pantheists, "Nemesis" and "Cycles".
p 653 Most certainly chance is "impossible". there is no "chance" in Nature, wherein everything is mathematically co-ordinate and mutually related in its units.
p 668 If there were such a thing as void, a vacuum in Nature, one would find it produced, according to a physical law, in the minds of helpless admirers of the "lights" of science,... "Ether, Matter, Energy" - the sacred hypostatical trinity, the three principles of the truly unknown God of Science, called by them PHYSICAL NATURE!
REFERENCES TO NATURE IN THE SECRET DOCTRINE, VOL II
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p 42 Therefore Nature (in man) must become a compound of Spirit and Matter before he becomes what he is; and the Spirit latent in Matter must be awakened to life and consciousness gradually.
p 53 "The water-men, terrible and bad", who were the production of physical nature alone, a result of the "evolutionary impulse" and the first attempt to create man, the "crown", and the aim and goal of all animal life on Earth - are shown to be failures in our Stanzas.
p 56 Thus physical nature, when left to herself in the creation of animal and man, is shown to have failed.
p 65 But Venus is the later mythological variant of Gaia (or Gaea), the Earth, which in its higher aspect is Nature (Prakriti), and metaphysically Aditi, and even Mulaprakriti, the root of Prakriti or its noumenon.
p 68 fn At the expiration of these 300 million years, Nature, on the way to the physical and material, down the arc of descent, begins with mankind and works downwards, hardening or materializing forms as it proceeds.
p 73/4 ... all these numbers have their application in the most sacred and occult things and record the workings of Nature in her eternally periodical phenomena. There are never-erring, perpetually recurring numbers, unveiling, to him who studies the secrets of Nature, a truly divine System, an intelligent plan in Cosmogony, which results in natural cosmic divisions of times, seasons, invisible influences, astronomical phenomena, with their action and reaction on terrestrial and even moral nature; on birth, death and growth, on health and disease. All these natural events are based and depend upon cyclical processes in the Kosmos itself, producing periodic agencies which, acting from without, affect the Earth and all that lives and breathes on it, from one end to the other of any Manvantara. Causes and effects are esoteric, exoteric and endexoteric, so to say.
p 79 fn Secondary gods or temporary powers in Nature (the Forces) are doomed to disappear; it is only the spiritual potentiality in man which can lead him to become one with the INFINITE and the ABSOLUTE.
p 108 Atman or Purvaja (Protologos) .. The living Spirit of Nature.
p 109 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.
p 114 The Spirit, beyond manifested Nature, is the fiery BREATH in its absolute Unity. In the manifested Universe, it is the Central Spiritual Sun, the electric Fire of all Life.
p 153 Analogy is the guiding law of Nature, the only true Ariadne's thread that can lead us, through the inextricable paths of her domain, toward her primal and final mysteries. Nature, as a creative potency, is infinite, and no generation of physical scientists can ever boast of having exhausted the list of her ways and methods, however, uniform the laws upon which she proceeds.
p 159 ... these creators are like the numerous rays of the solar orb, which remains unconscious of, and unconcerned in, the work; while its mediating agents, the rays, become the instrumental media every spring - the Manvantaric dawn of the Earth - in fructifying and awakening the dormant vitality inherent in Nature and its differentiated matter.... Nature is a habit moved from itself, according to seminal principles; perfecting and containing those several things which in determinate times are produced from it, and acting agreeably to that from which it was secreted.
p 170 In his turn, man grew more physical, by re-absorbing into his system that which he had given out, and which became transformed in the living animal crucibles through which it had passed, owing to Nature's alchemical transmutations ... Once that Androgyne "humanity" separated into sexes, transformed by Nature into child-bearing engines, it ceased to procreate ... all this vital energy, scattered far and wide from him [man], was used by Nature for the production of the first mammal-animal forms.... Moreover, from the beginning of the Round, all in Nature tends to become Man. All the impulses of the dual, centripetal and centrifugal, Force are directed towards one point - MAN.
p 195 For Nature never proceeds by jumps and starts ...
p 216 fn "By which (human) nature lives", not even the animal - but the misguided, sensual and vicious nature, which men, not nature, created.
p 269 This is an allusion to the fruitless efforts of Earth or Nature alone to create real human men.
p 295/6 [Talking of the third eye] ... owing to the gradual disappearance of spirituality and increase of materiality (spiritual nature being extinguished by the physical), it became an atrophied organ ...
p 303 It was stated the Karma-Nemesis, whose bondmaid is Nature, adjusted everything in the most harmonious manner ...
p 420 there is one eternal Law in nature, one that always tends to adjust contraries and to produce final harmony. It is owing to this law of spiritual development superseding the physical and purely intellectual, that mankind will become freed from its false gods, and find itself finally - SELF-REDEEMED
p 446 Humanity is the child of cyclic Destiny, and not one of its Units can escape its unconscious mission, or get rid of the burden of its co-operative work with nature. thus will mankind, race after race, perform its appointed cycle-pilgrimage. Climates will, and have already begun, to change, each tropical year after the other dropping one sub-race, but only beget another higher race on the ascending cycle; while a series of other less favoured groups - the failures of nature - will, like some individual men, vanish from the human family without even leaving a trace behind.
p 462 The "King's Chamber" in Cheops' Pyramid is thus an Egyptian "Holy of Holies". On the days of the Mysteries of Initiation, the candidate representing the solar god, had to descend into the Sarcophagus, and represent the energizing ray, entering into the fecund womb of Nature.... Ashtoreth was in one sense an impersonal symbol of nature, the ship of Life carrying throughout the boundless the Sidereal Ocean the germs of all being.
p 472 Viraj and Horus are both male symbols, emanating from androgyne Nature, one from Brahma and his female counterpart Vach, the other, from Osiris and Isis - never from the One infinite God.
p 475 And though for the Pantheists and Occultists, as much as for the Pessimists, Nature is no better than "a comely mother, but stone-cold" - this is true only so far as regards external physical nature.... It is quite natural that the pessimistically inclined profane, once convinced of Nature's numerous shortcomings and failures, and especially of her autophagous propensities, should imagine this to be the best evidence that there is no deity in abscondito within Nature, or anything divine in her.... But the Occultists, who regard physical nature as a bundle of most varied illusions on the plane of deceptive perceptions; who recognize in every pain and suffering but the necessary pangs of incessant procreation; a series of stages toward an ever-growing perfectibility, which is visible in the silent influence of never-erring Karma, or abstract nature - the Occultists, we say, view the great Mother otherwise.... Is it not those only who have learnt the deceptive value of earthly hopes and the illusive allurements of external nature who are destined to solve the great problems of life, pain, and death?
p 492 The Secret Doctrine points out, as a self-evident fact, that Mankind, collectively and individually, is, with all manifested nature, the vehicle (a) of the breath of One Universal Principle, in its primal differentiation; and (b) of the countless "breaths" proceeding from that One BREATH in its secondary and further differentiations, as Nature with its many mankinds proceeds downwards toward the planes that are ever increasing in materiality. The primary Breath informs the higher Hierarchies; the secondary - the lower, on the constantly descending planes.
p 510 They (the Initiates) represented this Force, which presides at physical generation, under the mysterious form of God Pan - or Nature:...
p 512/3 Thus to the profane, the Astral Light may be God and Devil at once - Daemon est Deus inversus: that is to say, through every point of Infinite Space thrill the magnetic and electrical currents of animate Nature, the life-giving and death-giving waves, for death on earth becomes life on another plane.
p 595 It is the moon which is the guide of the occult side of terrestrial nature, while the Sun is the regulator and factor of manifested life,...
The latter [Quaternary] symbolizing by itself the "Heavenly Man", the sexless Adam-Kadmon viewed as Nature in the abstract, becomes a septenate again by emanating from itself the additional three principles, the lower terrestrial or manifested physical Nature,...
p 600/1 The 4 was called by the Pythagoreans the Key-Keeper of Nature, but in union with the 3, which made it seven, it became the most perfect and harmonious number - nature herself.... All the melody of nature is in those seven tones, and therefore is called "the Voice of Nature" [The diapason harmony is the melody as explained in the para. The distances between the planets can be arranged so as to form tones and semi-tones, according to Pythagoras.]....
For the Tetragrammaton is one with Nature ...
p 610 Each time, and with each new generation, he [man] became more solid, more physically perfect, agreeably with the evolutionary law, which is the Law of Nature. Death came with the complete physical organism, and with it - moral decay.
p 621 It is the knowledge of the natural laws that make of seven the root nature-number, so to say, in the manifested world - at any rate in our present terrestrial life-cycle - and the wonderful comprehension of its workings, that unveiled to the ancients to many of the mysteries of nature.
p 631 fn Surely nature has more than one physical aspect; for astronomy, astrology, and so on, are all on the physical, not the spiritual plane.
p 634 [After a list of seven types of water men] They all refer to the pre-human evolution of the water-men, "terrible and bad", by unaided Nature through millions of years, as previously described.
p 660 fn Theosophists will remember that, according to Occult teachings, Cyclic pralayas so called are but obscuration, during which periods Nature, i.e., everything visible and invisible on a resting planet - remains in statu quo. Nature rests and slumbers, no work of destruction going on upon the globe even if no active work is done. All forms, as well as their astral types, remain as they were at the last moment of its activity. The "night" of a planet has hardly any twilight preceding it. It is caught like a huge mammoth by an avalanche, and remains slumbering and frozen till the next dawn of its new day - a very short one indeed in comparison to the "Day of Brahma".
p 672 Now the Occultists, who trace every atom in the universe, whether an aggregate or single, to One Unity, or Universal Life; who do not recognize that anything in Nature can be inorganic; who know of no such thing as dead matter - the Occultists are consistent with their doctrine of Spirit and Soul when speaking of memory in every atom, of will and sensation.
p 669 We believe it because the first law in nature is uniformity in diversity, and the second - analogy. "As above, so below".
p 700 For - while accepting the old Hermetic axiom: "As above, so below" - we may well believe that as Nature on Earth displays the most careful economy, utilizing every vile and waste thing in her marvellous transformations, and withal never repeating herself - we may justly conclude that there is no other globe in all her infinite systems so closely resembling this earth that the ordinary powers should be able to imagine and reproduce its semblance and containment.
p 732 Thus, when we say that Nature provides for every animal and plant, whether large or small, we speak correctly. For, it is those terrestrial spirits of Nature, who form the aggregated Nature - which, if it fails occasionally in its design, is neither to be considered blind, nor to be taxed with the failure; since, belonging to a differential sum of qualities and attributes, it is in virtue of that alone conditioned and imperfect.
p 797 In treating of Cosmogony and then of the Anthropogenesis of mankind, it was necessary to show that no religion, since the very earliest, has ever been entirely based on fiction, as none was the object of special revelation; and that it is dogma alone which has ever been killing primeval truth. Finally, that no human-born doctrine, no creed, however sanctified by custom and antiquity, can compare in sacredness with the religion of Nature. The Key of Wisdom that unlocks the massive gates leading to the arcana of the innermost sanctuaries can be found in her bosom only; and that bosom is in the countries pointed to by the great seer Emanuel Swedenborg. There lies the heart of nature, that shrine whence issued the early races of primeval humanity, and which is the cradle of physical man.
^back Footnote 1. It is the knowledge of this law that permits and helps the Arhat to perform his Siddhis, or various phenomena, such as disintegration of matter, [and] the transport of objects from one place to another.
^back Footnote 2. Nature, taken in its abstract sense, cannot be "unconscious", as it is the emanation from, and thus an aspect (on the manifested plane) of, the ABSOLUTE consciousness. Where is that daring man who would presume to deny to vegetation and even to minerals a consciousness of their own. All he can say is, that this consciousness is beyond his comprehension.