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The Secret Doctrine, Volume 1:460-473

With Chapters XIV and XV, H.P. Blavatsky completed her analysis on Symbolism in the second part of "Cosmogenesis."

  1. (Chapter XIV). THE FOUR ELEMENTS: There is "One ELEMENT" in nature. It wears seven elements as its garments, but only five have manifested so far: Fire, Air, Water, Earth and Ether. The fifth element of Ether is not fully manifested since humanity is only in the Fourth Sub-Race of the Fifth Root-Race of the Fourth Round. But in the same way that the four elements compose and decompose "compound bodies," the fifth element also composes a body: the outlined form of the Manasaputra. It is not so much that the Manasaputra's form possesses an outline as it is that the motion of the Manasaputra outlines where it is in the sky of the mind's vision. H.P. Blavatsky noted that the "intelligible God" is born of Ether and Air. As human beings, we often think that we are using the elements as our vehicle. In fact, the elements equally use us as their vehicles. The element of Ether uses the Manasaputra as its vehicle. Now, the term Ether has been used in three main ways in theosophical literature 1) Ether is conflated with Aether, a higher type of "abode of the gods," per G. de Purucker's Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary 2) Ether is presented as the fifth element, a middle type of "abode of the gods" 3) Ether is placed in the Astral Light per G. de Purucker's diagram in Fountain-Source on page 437, a lower type of "abode of the gods." All three explanations are valid. For example, when the Manasaputra manifests in the Ether as the fifth element, it can also be spoken of as manifesting in the Astral Light. After all, Ether does mean "shining" or "fire," a description that fits any of these explanations. Finally, Ether was given the color of white in the Egyptian and Hebrew temples to signify the sky in which the Manasaputra maunders.

  2. (Chapter XV). ON KWAN-SHI-YIN AND KWAN-YIN: The elements even use the higher gods as their vehicles: Kwan-Shi-Yin is born from Fire and Water and will return to Fire and Water. If the superterrestrial Bodhisattvas with the assistance of the Manushya Buddhas rule over the Root-Races, the Dhyani-Bodhisattvas rule over the Earth globes, and the Dhyani-Buddhas rule over the Rounds, then Kwan-Shi-Yin is the "synthetic aggregation of all the planetary Spirits, Dhyani-Chohans" and the "synthetic aggregate of the Dhyani-Buddhas." That is, Adi-Buddha as a potential primordial force in the Central Sun sends its seven-fold impulse out as the semi-individualized Cosmical ray of Amitabha Buddha and a fully individualized Avalokitesvara relays its message actively to the evolving entities on the solar and planetary globes.Therefore, H.P. Blavatsky referred to this combination as the "Son identical with the Father." The mystery of the 5 and the 7 is contained in this idea. Avalokitesvara's position in relation to the Earth chain is the same as Maitreya Buddha's position in relation to the Root-Races. H.P. Blavatsky wrote that Maitreya Buddha will be the "last of the Avatars and Buddhas" in the "seventh Race." But at the same time Maitreya Buddha will be the second Buddha of the Fifth Root-Race just as the seedlings of the Seventh Root-Race begin to trickle into incarnation. Similarly, Avalokitesvara's position in relation to the Earth chain is the same as Zeus's position in relation to the human principles. Zeus is both the 5th and the 7th human principles. On the one hand, The Secret Doctrine 1:425-426 made it clear that Zeus "is not the highest god" (5th human principle) and The Secret Doctrine 2:419 linked him to "Manas" and "Kama." On the other hand, The Secret Doctrine 2:582 made it clear that Zeus, who is figuratively a "double 7," is the "father of all living" (7th human principle in its light and dark aspect). In The Secret Doctrine 2:776, Zeus functioned as the "deity" of the Fourth Root-Race precisely because he is the 5th and the 7th human principles. The 5th human principle is the stepped-down energies of the 7th human principle in mind; the 4th human principle is the stepped-down energies of the 7th human principle in matter. The great Titan Prometheus is the 6th human principle (buddhic) precisely because he is defined as an Agnishvatta, per The Secret Doctrine 2:411. In Aeschylus's 5th-century BC theatre feature Prometheus Bound in Verses 900-929, Prometheus knows that Zeus will one day be "humbled." He predicts that Zeus's "fall" will be "sure, shameful, unendurable." But this "fall" only relates to the 5th human principle, not the 7th human principle. After Prometheus's ascendancy to power, the rightful heir of the "celestial thunders" and "throne" ( Zeus as the 7th human principle) will reign supreme. We know it is the higher Zeus since it is "Dionysos-Bacchus" (the symbolic "7th" being equivalent to Osiris in The Secret Doctrine 2:420) who will bring in the new Root-Race, per The Secret Doctrine 2:416. The mystery of the 5 and the 7 is the mystery of God the Son and God the Father. The symbol of Kwan-Shi-Yin is simply its representation in the Asiatic religious tradition.


Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound and Other Plays, trans. Philip Vellacott (London: Penguin Books, 1961).

H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 2019). Purucker, Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary. Retrieved from

G. de Purucker, Fountain-Source of Occultism (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1974).

(Photo by Utku Ozen on Unsplash)

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