In "Summing Up" following the Seven Stanzas, H.P. Blavatsky recapitulated six of the main themes in The Secret Doctrine.
The Secret Doctrine is the accumulated Wisdom of the Ages": The "Wise Men" of the Fifth Root-Race in the Fourth Round spent their lives in "learning," checking and re-checking with one another the "independent visions of great adepts." No "vision" of "one adept was accepted till it was checking and confirmed by the visions--so obtained as to stand as independent evidence--of other adepts, and by centuries of experience." The members of the Theosophical Society work under the direction of the Maha-Chohan of the Fifth Root-Race. Our task, even in limited ventures, is to mirror these "Wise Men" in research and vision. In the Winter Solstice 2022 edition of The Spiral Path, the Editor asked, "How should we conduct ourselves? What should we do each day in the face of myriad choices and directions possible?" The choice is one's own, but the extent to which we conduct ourselves according to the rules of the Brotherhood laid down by the Maha-Chohan, the closer we move towards him. In the process, as William Q. Judge asserted in Letters That Have Helped Me on page 61, an individual may find his own teacher--a chela of higher degree--who guides the aspirant as a surrogate for the "Real Master."
There is "One homogeneous, divine SUBSTANCE-PRINCIPLE": The One Principle is omnipresent, eternal, boundless, and immutable. Since it is boundless it is infinity of substance. Being immutable it lacks disintegration. As eternal it produces nothing. In its omnipresence no monadic point exists outside of it. The One Principle conceptualized as the substance of this infinity stretching to the limits of our imagination can be described as an unborn Kosmic atom--a "giant atom of the infinitude above," per H.P. Blavatsky's Collected Writings 5:152. Like the astral-physical atoms of the manifested Universe that display themselves as both a wave and a particle, the unborn cosmic atom presents itself, as the latent design within these astral-physical atoms, in two ways (using Buddhist terminology): ultimate reality and conventional reality. Ultimate reality is the divine "PRINCIPLE" as Causeless Cause; conventional reality is its reflection in divine "SUBSTANCE."In The Secret Doctrine 1:14, ultimate reality is the emptiness of "Be-ness" whereas conventional reality is the fullness of "Being." The unborn Kosmic atom is labelled a "Principle" precisely because it impresses its Be-ness on Being as the one universal law throughout the fabric of itself.
The Universe is "the periodical manifestation of this unknown Absolute Essence": Parabrahman and Mulaprakriti are "One, in reality, yet two in the Universal conception of the manifested." As the underbelly of the immaculate white disk (1st Logos) and residing in its shadow, Mulaprakriti (2nd Logos) is the source of the first manifestation. She even hides the Father from his own Son. For this reason, Mulaprakriti is equated with "Ignorance," the highest of the twelve limbs of dependent origination, in many Buddhist texts. In The Secret Doctrine 1:14, she is "bare subjectivity," which means her darkness has not yet been occluded by the light of her Son, Mahat (3rd Logos). Her "subjectivity" rests within itself, as opposed to being shared by Mahat in the secondary Universe during its periodical manifestation.
The Universe is "called, with everything in it, MAYA": Everything in the Universe is Maya, or illusion, because the 3rd Logos is both cause of cognition and the interior object that appears in cognition. It is subject and object at once; it appears within the internal cognition that itself has created. H.P. Blavatsky advised us in The Voice of the Silence on page 1 to seek out the "Thought Producer." We then see "that light which no wind can extinguish, that light which burns without a wick or fuel," per The Voice on page 4. But the light of the 3rd Logos does not appear as it really exists, as previously explained in Collected Writings 12:678, and therefore becomes the "great Slayer of the Real" in The Voice on page 1. In Collected Writings 12:545, the individual must turn his consciousness ever inward from the "central point" when a "conjunction of Manas and Buddha" takes place and he reaches "regions quite inaccessible to human intellect" or the "absolute abstraction" of Mulaprakriti in The Secret Doctrine 1:340.
Everything in "the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is CONSCIOUS": Mulaprakriti herself is "bare subjectivity" in The Secret Doctrine 1:14. Her children can be nothing other than conscious. In the biography of Grace F. Knoche in the Theosophical Encyclopedia on page 357, she emphasized that "theosophical work" takes place within "each person's consciousness." Theosophy is a stream of consciousness philosophy. Ancient gods like Osiris do not merely belong to one stage of life, but they flow upwards and downwards through all the stages of life. This stream of consciousness philosophy is perhaps the best explanation behind the construction of The Secret Doctrine.
The Universe is "worked and guided from within outwards": Initiation is the process of interior experiences becoming outwardly manifested. In her March 1938 article "A Dream" in The Theosophical Forum, Grace F. Knoche related a dream that she experienced early in life. She floated in "blue water" which cascaded down a "cliff" before a "sheer precipice of yellow sandstone." At the bottom of the cliff there were "alluring figures" in the "blackness" beckoning her to her doom. To her horror, she faced two choices: climb the precipice or die in the fall towards the blackened figures. With all the strength of her soul she made "one titanic effort" and "invisible arms" seemed to lift her body out of danger. These invisible arms belonged to the Manasaputra reaching from "within outwards" to assist her from its own invisible depths. H.P Blavatsky wrote in The Secret Doctrine 1:277 that the "whole order of nature evinces a progressive march towards a higher life."
H.P. Blavatsky, Collected Writings, Vol. 12 (Wheaton: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1980).
H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 2019).
H.P. Blavatsky, The Voice of the Silence (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1992).
Grace F. Knoche, "A Dream," The Theosophical Forum (March 1938). Retrieved from theosociety.org.
Philips S. Harris, ed., Theosophical Encyclopedia (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 2006).
Scott Osterhage, ed., "Purpose and Conduct," The Spiral Path (Winter Solstice 2022). Retrieved from the theosocietyamsec.org
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