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Noetic Discrimination


 Spirit and Matter, Purusha and Prakriti, are the primeval aspects of the Logos. The separation between spirit and matter, subject and object, is an integral part of the illusion or maya of manifestation. To every state of ideation there corresponds exactly a plane of substance. Every grade of consciousness is a stratum of matter. Spirit and matter are two modes of apprehension of one reality. The seeming contrast between spirit and matter increases as one moves downwards from the homogeneous to the heterogeneous. Those who see each other as bodies experience difficulty in meditation in seeing each other as rays of light, let alone as rays streaming from a single source in metaphysical space. What is difficult for human beings in general is an essential yardstick of human growth, perfectibility and spiritual progress. Upon each plane of manifestation there is a whole host of intelligences emanated from primal sets of hierarchies. Every human being, as an incomplete incarnation of the Manasaputras, is a self-conscious agent capable of summoning the hierarchies and commanding their emanations through the recognition of affinity with the highest aspects of each. At the exalted level of enlightened beings who have transcended the dualities and polarities inherent to manifestation, there is no sense of separation from each other because they have dissolved all separateness from the One.

 At all times a thinking individual is either active or passive to a greater or lesser extent. Either one is impelled from outside by secondary emanations and elementals, by external forces and mental winds, by emotional currents and all sorts of reverberation in the universe, or one acts from within without on the basis of a continuously maintained self-awareness of the dignity of descent from the Manasaputras, the self-conscious gods hidden behind the screen of time. When one acts from the depths of silence tapped by meditation, with mature deliberation and cool precision, one becomes a serene master of all the vestures and the sovereign ruler of one's divine sphere. With the strength of noetic discrimination in the service of one's sacred responsibility as a Manasic being, one can engage in authentic thinking, willing and feeling. Or one may be obscured, forgetful of one's glorious human stature, acting as a semi-automaton, a creature of habit, viewing every jolt of emotion as a sign of vitality or as an uncontrollable stimulus. One could mistake the volition induced by the movement of life-atoms for a deliberate act of visualization which is creative in the context of cosmic unity and harmony. Every person has the prerogative of a thinking being, potentially capable of an intense interiorization that empties itself, while mirroring divine thought. Or one could merely function as a mind conditioned by memory and sensation, a passive instrument of fleeting impressions, past and present, which are devoid of real meaning. The more one does the one, the less one does the other. The longer one is involved in confused cerebration, the harder it is to rise to the plane of pure ideation. Thus there is a critical choice at each moment for every human being. Through daily meditation and calm reflection, the individual must generate the energy needed to reverse the polarities of the vestures and refuse to function as a creature of circumstance, thereby becoming an initiator who assumes the full burden of responsibility for every thought, feeling and act of will.

The Secret Doctrine is a rare guide to regenerative meditation. The Proem provides ancient glyphs and symbols which can aid meditation by showing an archetypal logic to the cosmic process of manifestation. At all levels the Mundane Egg signifies a sphere that is a collection of radii from a single centre. One's centre of consciousness at the beginning of the day can have a bearing upon one's state of consciousness throughout the day and at dusk, thus affecting the ensuing day. The radii emanating from the centre of consciousness within every human being are related to the hidden Germ in the Root. This pertains not only to every single mind-being, but to the entire totality of mind-beings on a planet, in a solar system and ultimately in the cosmos, which comprises myriads of galaxies. The arcane teaching is difficult as it presupposes the coadunition of many levels of subtle matter. Human beings mature in inverse proportion to the degree to which they materialize the concept of motion. Spiritual adolescence consists in imagining that one is active when one is merely running around. Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of auspicious beginnings, is seemingly immobile but is intensely active in the power of ideation, unlike Karthikeya, who circles the globe, riding on a white horse. The highest kind of energy can be generated through the most intense concentration. Any person could take physical breathing as an analogue to the systole and diastole of the universe, the ceaseless rhythm of cosmic ideation. Such meditation is so far removed from mundane concepts of cerebration and cogitation that one can only move towards it by negating every framework and model employed by the analytical mind.

 When the chela is ready for initiation by the guru, he receives the instruction needed for radical transformation of his subtlest vestures. The ancient Catechism teaches that Space, the Germ in the Root and the Great Breath are all one. The conceptual separation between the three is only an accommodation to the limitations of one's understanding, which seems to need a sequential succession of states. Mundane consciousness is caught up in ordinary time, experienced as a succession of moments. But once one transcends the hypnotic illusion of momentary succession and gains some experience of eternal duration, one begins to see that space, potentiality and motion are interconnected. Eternal Space, the Germ in the Root and the Great Breath are metaphysically abstract but causally fundamental in comparison with all differentiated modes. It is necessary when one begins a day to recognize that there was a night before and there is a night ahead. When one initiates a stream of activity one should salute those souls that are leaving the earth and those that are waiting to come into incarnation. Most people can barely bring a modicum of significance to daily living, still less can they continually include within their horizon all beings, embodied and disembodied. When one is a little child one may readily recognize that there are old people, and when one is old, one should be actively aware of little children. As one grows, one may deliberately gain mental and moral strength from those who are younger and older. This idea is so far removed from what is normally called egotism that it does take a tremendous leap in one's entire conception of reality to be able to visualize these things. If one meditates upon the most abstract conception of space that one can generate, going beyond the galaxies, beyond all that is visible, and reaches as far as one can, including in that awareness space wherein there are no universes, one is spiritually awake. At the highest level one is most alive when in a state of total concentration, able by the power of abstraction and visualization to see beyond manvantaras to pralayas where universes are naught.

 The unbroken ring or circle has its centre everywhere and its circumference nowhere. Nicholas of Cusa declared that one ought not even to speak on the subject of God until one has studied the mathematics of infinity. We need to give adequate attention to the relationships of meaning, assimilation and growth. The ratios are important, particularly the ratio of the amount of time one gives, while manifesting, to the unmanifest. This is the basis of depth. One may plumb the depths in thinking, feeling and willing only by remaining more securely in the realm of the unmanifest even while manifesting. One must attribute less and less importance to birth in the realm of the manifest while gaining a greater and greater sense of active awareness of the vast boundless Unmanifest. Then one can know mighty Men of Meditation, those Exemplars of endless compassion. They are Masters of the metaphysical algebra of the highest states of consciousness, which to them are as natural as breathing, but which to the ordinary human being are terra incognita, the realm of the unknown.

 The noetic calculus encompasses a dynamic universe extending from the atomic to the infinite, bound together on every plane by currents that radiate from the depths of silence and non-being.

 Almost five centuries B.C. Leucippus, the instructor of Democritus, maintained that Space was filled eternally with atoms actuated by a ceaseless motion, the latter generating in due course of time, when those atoms aggregated, rotatory motion, through mutual collisions producing lateral movements. Epicurus and Lucretius taught the same, only adding to the lateral motion of the atoms the idea of affinity – an occult teaching.

The Secret Doctrine i 2

To place an atom, or an aggregation of atoms, in rotatory motion, and from rotatory motion to generate further lateral movements, would be like spinning a top, which then begins to travel horizontally while spinning. This happens to myriads and myriads of atoms. Today we encounter theoretical constructs like "proton" and "neutron", but their antecedents are to be found in ancient systems of philosophical atomism. The presupposition of these systems was that if one seeks to go beyond rotatory and lateral movements, one must grasp a basic principle at work, which is more fundamental than the second law of thermodynamics.

 The principle of affinity is essential to those who are ready to understand the alphabet of magic, magnetism, purification and real control. All the hierarchies involve the most incredibly subtle and complex affinities in the universe. There must be one universe as everything is connected with everything else, but at the same time it is a complex whole, with immense variety and functional specialization. There are different pathways that establish channels of direct affinity. Nonetheless, there is but one electric pulsation, one Fohatic attraction, throughout the cosmos, primarily on the plane of thought. There is also a veil upon that Fohatic motion on the physical plane. To be able to get to the core of this principle of universal affinity means to heighten spiritual awareness. This principle is prior to the pair of opposites called attraction and repulsion because they are the obverse and reverse of one kind of affinity. Through dislike one is bound up with that which one dislikes. This is pervasive in the arena of emotions, which differ from true feelings.

 People have positive and negative tendencies, and the more they become thinking beings, the more they can experience conscious control over polarity. A time may come when they can polarize at will the medium of reflection so that they can beneficently magnetize everything they contact. Above all, they must polarize their own subtle vestures. Anyone who seeks to grasp the root of the connection between affinity and energy should reflect upon the Platonic etymology of the Greek term for Deity.

 Plato proves himself an Initiate, when saying in Cratylus that [click for Greek] is derived from the verb [click for Greek], "to move," "to run," as the first astronomers who observed the motions of the heavenly bodies called the planets [click for Greek], the gods.... Later, the word produced another term, [click for Greek] – "the breath of God."

The Secret Doctrine i 2

In Greek the verb is more important than the noun. When one can see the integral connection between divinity and motion, one can self-consciously divinize and make sacred everything one perceives, while manifesting a deep and unspoken awareness of the unmanifest immortal Self. Real affinities are so noumenal that they have nothing to do with the realm of externals. They involve the most delicate tuning of the subtlest vibration in one's being to the rhythm of the noumenal cosmos reflected in myriad ways in visible nature. This attunement can only be brought about through one-pointed meditation upon the Triad, the higher Self and the Mahatmas. One cannot meditate upon Atma-Buddhi-Manas of the Guru without entering into the One. If one were to meditate intently upon the Triad, one will also come closer to the Guru. As Gautama taught, the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha are one. A person who comes to see the three as one has become a pilgrim and entered the stream. Those who have not entered the stream engage in wasteful disputation. Just as the babe has no sense of the harshness of the boundary of the personal ego, one who has entered the stream dissolves egotism in its purifying waters.

 The Mahatmas, the Vajrasattvas, the Diamond-Souled, who have overcome all Ahankara and fused the sixth and the seventh principles, use the fifth principle of cosmic ideation called Manas to become one with Mahat. Merging the Atman and Manas into Buddhi, they are Bodhisattvas who are both Atmic and Manasic, and then they become full Mahatmas merged with the Absolute. At that level they are Anupadaka, parentless. Because the One is self-existent, they are self-existent, one with the universal Spirit, Svayambhu, that which generates itself ceaselessly. The mystery of the Anupadaka is also the mystery of how the Dhyani Buddha on the seventh plane emanates a Bodhisattva on the sixth plane. Such a Bodhisattva, seen only by the developed intuition of awakened chelas, projects the Manushi Buddha into the world of time. A Manushi Buddha in a form is the visible representative of the hidden Bodhisattva overbrooded by the Dhyani Buddha, each accessible on the appropriate plane of consciousness when the seeker is consubstantial with and receptive to the great heart, the great mind, the diamond-souled Vajrasattva of the Vajradhara – "he who holds the vajra". This concerns the sublime experiences of progressive initiation.

 In the long history of Eastern philosophy these mystical states have been partially intimated in different schools of thought, resulting in various dialectical interpretations. In the protracted debates between the Yogacharya and the Madhyamika schools, some of the Madhyamikas stressed the immense chasm between the One and the many. Like Parmenides in Plato's dialogue, they insisted that the One without a second cannot have any relationship whatsoever to the many. Between the One and the many there is an unfathomable abyss. For many people with authentic but conditional aspirations, this teaching is cold and remote. It is hardly surprising that most people settle for a simple dualism of subject and object, spirit and matter, and then hope to be saved by some god or saviour. There are also those who try to be subtle in a middle course, but end up by using monism on behalf of dualism. In the Yogacharya school of Aryasanga, which was originally esoteric though in time it did become exoteric, it was recognized that Alaya, the state of voidness, is the basis of everything visible or invisible. Though eternal and immutable in its essential nature, it is reflected in every object of the universe. It is also reflected in what may be called the mind of Nature, yielding Alayavijnana, the storehouse of eternal ideation, sometimes called Akasa. This is the divine energy-field that begins where Mulaprakriti ends and which in its highest aspect is Daiviprakriti. In its lowest fourfold aspects it becomes what is called the pure as well as the polluted astral light.

 The importance of the Yogacharya teaching for the individual is suggested in the following statement:

 In the Yogacharya system of the contemplative Mahayana school, Alaya is both the Universal Soul (Anima Mundi) and the Self of a progressed adept.

The Secret Doctrine, i 49

The Adept has a golden vesture which is consubstantial with the golden egg of the universe. While this must be mysterious to the finite mind which thinks in terms of physical space, at the level of the noumenal one is dealing with light-energy and subtle consubstantiality and different conceptions of space-time. There is so high a level of mirroring that it is not reflecting as normally understood. There is so great a coadunition of the luminous egg of the universe and the luminous sphere of the Mahatma that the two are essentially the same.

 He who is strong in the Yoga can introduce at will his Maya by means of meditation into the true Nature of Existence.

The Secret Doctrine, i 49

 The Yogacharya school pointed to those yogins who by the act of dhyana, deep spiritual meditation, are able to generate at will the energy-field of the cosmic egg. Their potent ideation reverberates throughout all three worlds. It not only awakens and enlightens every plant, stone, mineral and atom, but also the whole earth, "the great globe itself", as well as the minds and hearts of all the monads who constitute one single family. Immense are the powers of such a yogin. Any person who wishes to enter into the states of consciousness symbolized by the fifth, the sixth and the seventh must in the fourth principle create the germ of bhakti. Not only devotion, gratitude, loyalty and love, but also hunger and thirst for Divine Wisdom and Divine Life are the graces of the self-regenerated. When these become the constant, unuttered, inaudible hum of the heart, then a chela may become capable of receiving the light-energy that flows in and through every atom touched by the thought, the will and the feeling of the Mahatma. This is a profoundly sacred teaching, which draws attention to the Knowers of the Secret Doctrine (Gupta Vidya), Brahmajnanis, Tattvajnanis, Brahmarishis, Mahatmas, Dhyani Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Manushi Buddhas, the great Teachers of all humanity. From the Teaching to the Teacher is an ancient axiom, which may be used as an infallible mantram.

Hermes, March 1980
by Raghavan Iyer

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