The Newsletter of the Northwest Branch of the Theosophical Society
January 2003 Vol. 5 Issue 11
The Northwest Branch is considering adding another public meeting to its schedule. The current monthly meeting is an open discussion centering on a different topic each month, announced beforehand. Those who are interested in discussing a particular topic at these meetings are encouraged to send their suggestions to the Branch for consideration.
Due to recent requests we are also thinking about starting an additional meeting, perhaps twice a month, focused around reading a theosophical work -- either during the meeting or beforehand -- with discussion centered around theosophical concepts and teachings. Those interested in attending such a study group should email at firstname.lastname@example.org, write, or leave a phone message for the Branch regarding their interests, suggestions, and the times they would be free to attend. The members of the Northwest Branch will get back to those who express an interest. Thank you for your continuing support of the Theosophical Society!
According to theosophy, although Neptune, its twin Uranus, and tiny companion Pluto are held in the gravitational embrace of the Sun, they do not belong to the family of the seven sacred planets which as conscious living entities cooperate in the building and subsequent evolutionary history of our Earth. Whereas Uranus belongs to the "universal solar system" of visible and invisible planets comprising the solar constitution, Neptune and Pluto are celestial visitors which intruded into the outer reaches of our system, perhaps during the chaos of solar and planetary formation billions of years ago. Just as the planets have captured some of their moons, the sun may have captured the embryonic Neptune when it passed sufficiently close to "the universal solar system on its own plane of being." This may account for several of the peculiarities of Uranus and Neptune observed by interplanetary spacecraft Voyager 2 and noted over a hundred years ago by theosophical founder H. P. Blavatsky in her masterwork The Secret Doctrine:
There is a whole poem on the pregenetic battles fought by the growing planets before the final formation of Kosmos, thus accounting for the seemingly disturbed position of the systems of several planets, the plane of the satellites of some (of Neptune and Uranus, for instance, of which the ancients knew nothing, it is said) being tilted over, thus giving them an appearance of retrograde motion. -- p. 101
The true Eastern Occultist will maintain that, whereas there are many yet undiscovered planets in our system, Neptune does not belong to it, his apparent connection with our sun and the influence of the latter upon Neptune notwithstanding. This connection is mayavic, imaginary, they say. -- p. 102n
Nor do the two last discovered great planets depend entirely on the Sun like the rest of the planets. Otherwise, how explain the fact that Neptune receives 900 times less light than our Earth, and Uranus 390 times less, and that their satellites show a peculiarity of inverse rotation found in no other planets of the Solar System. At any rate, what we say applies to Uranus, though recently the fact begins again to be disputed. -- p. 575
This solar process of cometary and planetary capture is comparable to the micro-universe of the atom that captures and discards electrons. Eventually, Neptune and perhaps Pluto will leave the solar system after their karmic visit has ended.
The same river of lives emanating from the sun sustains both the living being of Neptune and ourselves here on Earth, billions of miles away. And just as a visitor can affect the nature of family interactions at home, our celestial visitor Neptune affects the magnetism of the entire solar system -- as will its departure. -- Andrew Rooke
"Hierarchies: Pattern in Nature?" is our subject. We will be discussing such questions as: How is the universe organized, and how are its various parts interconnected? Do human and other beings reflect in themselves the organization of the greater wholes they help form? What do universal patterns say about us and our life? How do spiritual, conscious, vital, and other invisible aspects of life relate to the visible world and to each other? How useful are analogies for the universe such as divine hierarchies, the Great Chain of Being, a machine, organism, or hologram, etc.? What about systems theory, holarchy, and other scientific descriptions? Come and share your ideas!
Open to the public, unsectarian, non-political, no charge.
The topics for the monthly discussion group for the next few months are:
February 20: God, God's Will, and Karma
March: How Can We Find Peace?
Between the divine and the phenomenal universe which we sense with our physical apparatus of understanding there is a vast collection or aggregate of hierarchies, in their turn composed of steps or degrees, or scales of beings and things, interconnecting, without disjunction or separation, indissolubly bound together. How could it be otherwise? Is anyone insane enough to suppose that something can be separate from the All, from infinitude, and find a spot somewhere outside of infinity, outside of everything, where pure "nothing" is?
These hierarchies are not merely infilled with living entities, but are themselves composed of these living entities. Without them they would not be, because these living entities are they.
The modern theory of the cosmos, as outlined more particularly in astronomical science, gives us a good picture of the hierarchical structure of the cosmos from the standpoint of the physical plane. Our universe (that is the space comprised within our galaxy) is not the only universe. There are myriads of universes, similar in physical nature to our own, existing outside the bounds of the Milky Way. Each one of such universes we may call a cosmic molecule composed of the various solar systems which we may call cosmic atoms; while the planets which revolve around any central solar luminary are like cosmic electrons. Our earth is one of such cosmic electrons, so far as our own solar system is concerned. It is an atomic planet forming part of the aggregate of our solar system, which in its turn is one of the atoms of our own universe -- a cosmic molecule.
The greater universe is thus a vast organism, a living entity, a quasi-infinitude of worlds, which together form the cosmic atoms, or the cosmic molecules if you will, of some vast entity surpassing human imagination. And just as in man the atoms which form his body are ensouled by the man himself and yet themselves are living entities, possessing in the minute all that man possesses, so the cosmic atoms and cosmic molecules -- the "island-universes" which bestrew space -- are ensouled by the life of the vast supergalactic entity, and yet are themselves living beings.
The physical body of the universe is but the united manifestation and effect of these hierarchies of invisible beings as we sense them in their work; and so in turn the human body is representative of such a hierarchy, composed of the multitudes of little lives which form that body. Subtract those little lives from that body, and what remains? There is no body. It is these little lives which are the body, which manifest the person; and he is the oversoul of these hosts of infinitesimals which form his bodies, outer and inner. He in his higher self is also their divine inspiritor, invigorator, and vitalizer. The rule of unity is universal.
It is along any hierarchy, great or small as the case may be, in all its steps or grades or stages, that are transmitted the spiritual and divine powers flowing from within, which hold any universe in their grip, which govern its actions, which motivate its procedures, which actually form it and make it what it is; and each such hierarchy is the manifestation of an individuality, of the hierarch, the supernal entity at the head of any such scale or ladder of life or of being.
But is this hierarch "God"? If so, then there are many Gods, as the ancients truly said; because such hierarchies are numberless; interlocking, interwoven, interacting, and forming the vast fabric and web of life, which in its aggregate is the universal cosmos surrounding us.
Worlds as well as men are built on inferiors, yet each one of these inferiors is not absolutely but relatively so. Each is in itself a learning entity, forming a part of the vehicle in which a living being manifests and which is in the process of building -- for what? For becoming a fitter and nobler vehicle for self-expression, for the unfoldment of the spiritual self in the inmost of its nature.
The worlds and we sprang from the heart of Being; and we, in the inmost of the inmost, in the deepest depths of our natures, are that heart of the universe. In it are all things, all mysteries and the solutions of all mysteries, wisdom ineffable, because it is the eternal universal life, boundless, inexpressible, unknowable. An ultimate we may never reach; always are there veils to pass behind into the greater splendors.