The universe comes into being "from within outwards". It exists on different levels in the inner worlds.
From the worlds of Ideation it proceeds as archetypes, becoming more and more defined and substantial
as it passes down, now as prototypes, through the formative planes; finally it is projected into objectivity
on the physical level in the forms we know. The process is cyclical: all things come and go in due season,
governed by those laws that are aspects of the one Universal Law.
Man's origins reflect the cosmic process: his higher spiritual principles arise in the formless planes of
being; his lower ones reflect the lower quaternary of manifested existence, taking physical form during
his life on earth.
It is hardly possible to proceed further without referring in some detail to the Three Fundamental
Propositions - the essence of the Secret Doctrine - which Mme Blavatsky lays before us in the Proem of
The Secret Doctrine. Here we give only a few extracts from pages that should be studied in their entirety.
The Secret Doctrine establishes three fundamental propositions:
(a) An Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable PRINCIPLE on which all speculation is
impossible, since it transcends the power of human conception and could only be dwarfed by
human expression or similitude ...
To render these ideas clearer to the general reader, let him set out with the postulate that there is
one absolute Reality which antecedes all manifested, conditioned, being. This Infinite and Eternal
Cause ... is the rootless root of "all that was, is, or ever shall be". It is of course devoid of all
attributes and is essentially without any relation to manifested, finite Being. It is "Be-ness"
than Being (in Sanskrit, Sat), and is beyond all thought and speculation.
This "Be-ness"is symbolized in the Secret Doctrine under two aspects. On the one hand, absolute
abstract Space, representing bare subjectivity, the one thing which no human mind can either
exclude from any conception, or conceive of by itself. On the other, absolute abstract Motion
representing Unconditioned Consciousness ...
Further, the Secret Doctrine affirms:
(b) The Eternity of the Universe in toto as a boundless plane; periodically "the playground of
numberless Universes incessantly manifesting and disappearing", called "the manifesting stars",
and the "sparks of Eternity". "The Eternity of the Pilgrim" is like a wink in the Eye of Self-
Existence ... "The appearance and disappearance of Worlds is like a regular tidal ebb, flux and
This second assertion of the Secret Doctrine is the absolute universality of that law of periodicity,
of flux and reflux, ebb and flow, which physical science has observed and recorded in all
departments of nature. An alternation such as that of Day and Night, Life and Death, Sleeping and
Waking, is a fact so common, so perfectly universal and without exception, that it is easy to
comprehend that in it we see one of the absolutely fundamental laws of the universe.
Moreover, the Secret Doctrine teaches:
(c) The fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-Soul, the latter being itself an
aspect of the Unknown Root; and the obligatory pilgrimage for every Soul - a spark of the former -
through the Cycle of Incarnation (or "Necessity") in accordance with Cyclic and Karmic law, during
the whole term. In other words, no purely spiritual Buddhi (divine Soul) can have an independent
(conscious) existence before the spark which issued from the pure Essence of the Universal Sixth
principle - or the OVER-SOUL - has (a) passed through every elemental form of the
world of that Manvantara, and (b) acquired individuality, first by natural impulse, and then by selfinduced
and self-devised efforts (checked by its Karma), thus ascending through all the degrees of
intelligence, from the lowest to the highest Manas, from mineral and plant, up to the holiest
archangel (Dhyani-Buddha). The pivotal doctrine of the esoteric philosophy admits no privileges or
special gifts in man, save those won by his own Ego through personal effort and merit throughout
a long series of metempsychoses and reincarnations ...
Secret Doctrine (I 17, I 42, I 82). The Divine Plan, by Geoffrey Barborka, offers a detailed commentary on these three Propositions. GAF
It will be seen at once that the content of these Propositions is inexhaustible, as they embrace the totality
of the cosmic process. Let us consider briefly a few of the terms here placed before us.
Space, in Esotericism, is not the room occupied by things or stuff, as in common usage, nor is duration
an extended period of time. If we survey the heavens on a clear night, we may wonder how far in any
direction space extends. Even if we push thought or imagination to its very limits, we find no answer. But
in this instance we are thinking of space as an extension of something measurable, a plenum which
accommodates the heavenly bodies; we are granting it size, dimension. Esoteric space is dimensionless.
To help ourselves to discover what this might mean, let us look within at the objects of our thoughts and
ask: what is the size of an imagined planet or an imagined orange? and where are they? We discover
that the images have no dimension in terms of physical measurement, and no location, other than
wherever we happen to be. The experience of these truths can be enlightening and liberating.
in the Proem explains the meaning of the word "Pilgrim" as used in these Propositions:
"Pilgrim" is the appellation given to our Monad (the two in one) during its cycle of incarnations. It is
the only immortal and eternal principle in us, being an indivisible part of the integral whole - the
Universal Spirit, from which it emanates, and into which it is absorbed at the end of the cycle. Secret Doctrine (I 16 fn, I 45 fn, I 82)
Motion is explained by Mme Blavatsky as the equivalent, in the material plane, of "the 'Breath' of the One
Existence", which is applied "only to the spiritual aspect of Cosmogony".
The One Eternal Element, or element-containing Vehicle, is Space, dimensionless in every sense;
coexistent with which are - endless duration, primordial (hence indestructible) matter, and motion -
absolute "perpetual motion" which is the "breath" of the "One" Element. This breath, as seen, can
never cease, not even during the Pralayic eternities. Secret Doctrine (I 55, I 85, I 125)
Metempsychosis adds an important element to the idea of reincarnation. Repeated life-experiences do
not, of themselves, imply soul-growth, and indeed reincarnation is sometimes seen, although mistakenly,
to be merely the return of a personality. The addition of the term metempsychosis shows that the
significance of reincarnation lies not in the fact of the re-assumption of a human personality by the Ego
but in the soul-growth, the development of faculty, that is effected by each such return. Repetition without
progress has little value; each new opportunity of earth-life offers the conditions for a further flowering of
the potentialities of the Ego.
One of the universal symbols used to represent the becoming of the universe is that of the egg.
Therefore, it is found in every world-theogony, where it is largely associated with the serpent
symbol; the latter being everywhere, in philosophy as in religious symbolism, an emblem of
eternity, infinitude, regeneration, and rejuvenation, as well as of wisdom. The mystery of apparent
self-generation and evolution through its own creative power repeating in miniature the process of
Cosmic evolution in the egg, both being due to heat and moisture under
the efflux of the unseen
creative spirit, justified fully the selection of this graphic symbol. Secret Doctrine (I 65, I 95, I 134)
Sloka 3 of the third Stanza introduces the egg-symbol to convey the sense of becoming from that which
"DARKNESS" RADIATES LIGHT, AND LIGHT DROPS ONE SOLITARY RAY INTO THE
WATERS, INTO THE MOTHER-DEEP. THE RAY SHOOTS THROUGH THE VIRGIN EGG; THE
RAY CAUSES THE ETERNAL EGG TO THRILL, AND DROP THE NON-ETERNAL (periodical)
GERM, WHICH CONDENSES INTO THE WORLD-EGG. (a)
(a) The solitary ray dropping into the mother deep may be taken as meaning Divine Thought or
Intelligence, impregnating chaos. This, however, occurs on the plane of metaphysical abstraction,
or rather the plane whereon that which we call a metaphysical abstraction is a reality. The Virgin
egg being in one sense abstract Egg-ness, or the power of becoming developed through
fecundation, is eternal and forever the same. And just as the fecundation of an egg takes place
before it is dropped, so the non-eternal periodical germ which becomes later in symbolism the
mundane egg, contains in itself, when it emerges from the said symbol, "the promise and potency"
of all the Universe. Though the idea per se is, of course, an abstraction, a symbolical mode of
expression it is a symbol truly, as it suggests the idea of infinity as an endless circle. It brings
before the mind's eye the picture of Kosmos emerging from and in boundless space, a Universe
as shoreless in magnitude if not as endless in its objective manifestations. The simile of an egg
also expresses the fact taught in Occultism that the primordial form of everything manifested, from
atom to globe, from man to angel, is spheroidal, the sphere having been with all nations the
emblem of eternity and infinity - a serpent swallowing its tail. To realize the meaning, however, the
sphere must be thought of as seen from its centre. The field of vision or of thought is like a sphere
whose radii proceed from one's self in every direction, and extend out into space, opening up
boundless vistas all around. It is the symbolical circle of Pascal and the Kabalists, "whose centre
is everywhere and circumference nowhere", a conception which enters into the compound idea of
this emblem. Secret Doctrine (I 64, I 94, I 133)
This symbolic account of cosmic beginnings is consistent with what we know as the natural creative and
procreative process at the physical level. The Hermetic axiom says, "As above, so below". The converse
must equally be true, "As below, so above", and in the study of principles this can provide a useful key.
The story of the genesis of man as we now see him is understandable in terms of his occult constitution.
He is a sevenfold entity, his seven principles represented in the three aspects of Spirit, Soul and Body,
these three being directly related to the three evolutionary streams - the Monadic, the intellectual and
psychic, and the physical. Monads in themselves are highest spirit, but they require appropriate vehicles
through which to express their developing powers. These vehicles can of necessity give expression only
to such aspects of spirit as it is in their nature to do. On world-chain after world-chain, wave after wave of
Monads reach, and then pass through, all phases of the human stage, proceeding onwards into
Always we must keep in mind that central element of evolutionary law, "from within outwards". As it
operates in the cosmos, so it operates in man. In introducing the subject matter of the second volume of The Secret Doctrine, the becoming of man, Mme Blavatsky informs the reader that "the Secret Doctrine
postulates three new propositions", the second of these being "the birth of the astral, before the physical body, the former being a model of the latter". This applies equally to the individual as to the race of
The first race of men were, then, simply the images, the astral doubles, of their Fathers, who were
the pioneers, the most progressed Entities from a preceding though lower sphere, the shell of
which is now our Moon. Secret Doctrine (II 115, II 121, III 122)
During the first three Rounds on our Globe, these Fathers or Ancestors, the Lunar Pitris, were
recapitulating the developmental stages through which they had passed on the Lunar Chain.
Evolutionary law compelled the lunar "Father" to pass, in their monadic condition, through all the
forms of life and being on this globe; but at the end of the Third Round, they were already human
in their divine nature, and were thus called upon to become the creators of the forms destined to
fashion the tabernacles of the less progressed Monads, whose turn it was to incarnate. Secret Doctrine (II 115, II 121, III 122)
As we are here concerned with origins rather than later development - a long story indeed! - we may
simply summarize this portion of our study with words which, if heeded, will provoke a desire to make
further acquaintance with the text:
The mystery attached to the highly spiritual ancestors of the divine man within the earthly man is
very great. Secret Doctrine (II 81, II 85, III 90)
but it is from the spiritual ancestors that man as we now know him obtained all his principles.