The Fourth Stanza begins with the people of the oozing pores. Viewed from different perspectives, the term can be a reference to the First, Second, or Third Root-Race. H.P. Blavatsky titled the Fourth Stanza "Creation of the First Races," but these "First Races" also include the earliest Sub-Races of the Third Root-Race. The First Root-Race extends into the Third Root-Race. This is an important point. It becomes especially relevant when studying the Sub-Races of the Fifth Root-Race in The Secret Doctrine 2:433-435. On the people of the oozing pores, H.P. Blavatsky asked, "For who of those who have witnessed the phenomenon of a materializing form oozing out of the pores of a medium or, at other times, out of his left side, can fail to credit the possibility, at least, of such a birth?" Fortunately, the 12th century AD Islamic philosopher Ibn Tufail captured through allegory, though more rooted in fact than myth, the evolution of humanity into the Lemurian Third Root-Race in his story of Hai bin Yaqzan as told in The Journey of the Soul. At the close of the The Journey on page 62, Ibn Tufail conceded, "In these few pages we have covered the secrets with a thin veil or cover which can easily be broken by those who are worthy. Yet the veil will thicken for the unworthy and prevent them going any further." For this reason, this commentary prefers Riad Kocache's translation. In comparison to other translations, Kocache's version simply comes alive with meaning. It is important, after all, since the name of the lead character, Hai bin Yaqzan, translates, "Alive Son of Awake!"
The main story of Hai bin Yaqzan starts with his birth on pages 3-8 and closes with his enlightenment on pages 46-52. His birth relates to the first two Root-Races leading into the Lemurian age, and his enlightenment relates to the nearly speechless Third Root-Race "covered with hairy animal skins, whose body was largely shrouded in long flowing hair which had never been cut," per page 55. There are two theories as to Hai bin Yaqzan's birth: he is either born through spontaneous generation or from the mud of the Earth on a "belt of low land on the island." As to the first theory, he may have been spontaneously generated because he is "formed without parents."This theory accounts for his birth in the First Root-Race. As to the second theory, the Earth is muddy because it has not yet fully solidified even by the Lemurian age. Further, he is born on the belt of an island as the descending lands from the North Pole into the northern Atlantic Ocean. This theory, a slight advancement on spontaneous generation, accounts for his birth in the Second Root-Race. On the Earth, there is bubbling mud like "boiling water." In this bubbling mud, Hai bin Yaqzan is conceived. One bubble is formed first, divided into "two parts by a thin membrane." Each part, the upper and the lower, contain a "subtle airy substance possessing certain exceptional qualities of mildness to which the spirit which comes by the command of the Lord could cling, in such a way as to make it impossible to discern--either by the senses or the intellect--that they were separate." This division corresponds to H.P. Blavatsky's depiction of the "physical" heart in its three-fold and four-fold combination as a "copy on the terrestrial plane of the model or prototype above" in The Secret Doctrine 2:91-92. The "spirit" under the "command of the Lord" is one of the Agnishvattas at the "Heart" of the "Dhyani-Chohanic Body" that incarnates in man.
When the "Spirit" or the Agnishvatta enters the bubble, "all Powers" submit and bow down before it. The entrance of the Agnishvatta enables the human being to think. Then "adjacent" (meaning a common side) to the first bubble a second bubble forms. This second bubble contains "a gas similar to that in the first bubble but of somewhat greater density." It sub-divides into three parts. Then a third bubble is created on the other side of the first bubble with even more dense and subservient gases. These are the "three rudimentary elements" of the "first Race" but with "no fire as yet" in The Secret Doctrine 2:107. H.P. Blavatsky added in The Secret Doctrine 2:113, "Rudimentary man, having been nursed by the 'air' or the 'wind,' becomes the perfect man later on" when "with the development of 'Spiritual fire,' the noumenon of the 'Three in One,'" he acquires the "Wisdom of Self-Consciousness." Gradually, the "Spirit" through "heat" melts the first bubble into a "pineal shape" and a "dense fleshy body" accretes around it. This is the "heart," though in the earliest formation of the human organs the heart and the brain are in the same place. The brain takes over the "sense function" and the liver takes over "nourishment," both connected by the middle principle of the Agnishvatta. At this point, Hai bin Yaqzan as an embryo is ready to be born. The bubbling mud around him cracks open like an egg and the new infant as the Second Root-Race cries out.
In the beginning, Hai bin Yaqzan does not possess fire in an outward physical sense. On page 14, he sets out to find it. Later, he realizes that he does not possess fire in an inward spiritual sense. He sets out to find it in order to become the "conscious 'thinking unit'" of the Third Root-Race, per The Secret Doctrine 2:91. H.P. Blavatsky wrote in The Secret Doctrine 2:102 that the "primitive man was, when he appeared, only a senseless Bhuta or a 'phantom.'" Early man needed a "Living Fire." And so Hai bin Yaqzan embarks on his journey into the heavens. After experiencing "total annihilation, absorption, true arrival and union" (G. de Purucker's "dissolution of the constitution" in The Four Sacred Seasons on page 83) on his journey away from the Earth on page 48, he sees "the highest sphere" like the "image of the sun as seen in a polished mirror," but it is "neither the sun nor the mirror nor is it anything other than them." It is the immaculate white disk reflected into the Central Sun. It is a vision of the Via Straminis and the Seraphim in G. de Purucker's Fundamentals on page 341. On his return journey to Earth, just below the highest sphere, Hai bin Yaqzan sees the "sphere of the fixed stars." Paradoxically, this sphere is not the same as the "essence of the highest sphere" and yet in its "essence" it holds as much "glory, beauty and pleasure" as the highest sphere. It is like the image of the sun in a polished mirror. In Fundamentals on page 341, it is a vision of the Cherubim. Then he sees the "sphere of Saturn," which is neither the same nor different from the "essence he had seen before." It is like the sun in a polished mirror. This is a vision of the Thrones in Fundamentals on page 341. Then Hai bin Yaqzan descends into the other planetary spheres (since Saturn is the gateway into the solar system from the galaxy) and sees that each planet is a reflection of the sun in a mirror just like all the other spheres through which he has traveled. This is a vision of the Dominations, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, and Archangels in Fundamentals on page 341. He arrives at the "world of creation and decay" (the Planet of Death) and sees that all of it is "within the bowels of the sphere of the moon" (kama-rupa). Here, he sees "essences that belonged to bodies which were still with him in the world of creation" (the earthly physical and psychological apparatus created by the lunar molds of the Moon). He perceives himself as one of the "seventy thousand faces" staring back at him. And he feels the essences of the deceased who had been "dead and gone." Then horror strikes him as he notices "non-material essences" like "rusted mirrors" turning their "faces" away from the "polished mirrors which reflect the sun" in "ugliness," "error," "unending pain," and a "sighing" that he would never forget. It is a "torture chamber" of fire (the Mineral world) where the lamentable entity is "ripped by saws of attraction and repulsion" (Avichi). This is a vision of the Angels in Fundamentals on page 341. Finally, he sees the world of the Elementals who appear and disappear at will, "forming and then vanishing." These are the "hurried creations" of nature, and it is a "calamity."
Ibn Tufail closed his account of Hai bin Yaqzan's initiation with this beautiful passage on page 51, "The sun and its light, its form and formation; the mirrors and the images reflected in them--none of this can take form without a body and without a body cannot exist. All these manifestations require the presence of bodies and cease to manifest when the bodies are destroyed." H.P. Blavatsky spoke of mankind's need for a "Living Fire." Equally, the "Living Fire" needs mankind. As she explained in The Secret Doctrine 2:88, the human soul is a "compound of the same and the other." The "OTHER" is the "Angel" incarnated in him. The "Angel" is a scintillating spark from the "universal MAHAT." This "universal MAHAT" is as "one with the Universe" and "whether we call him Brahma, Iswara, or Purusha, he is a manifested deity," per The Secret Doctrine 2:108. So, the human being is god (the Brahma of the Universe), man (the Agnishvatta of the solar Sun), and animal (the human soul of the Earth globe) at once. They are a unity, however close or loose the connection being dependent upon the cycles and man's free will. They endure as a unity throughout the entire 311 trillion years of the Maha-Manvantara or Great Age.
H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 2019).
G. de Purucker, The Four Sacred Seasons (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1979).
G. de Purucker, Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1979).
Abu Bakr Muhammad Bin Tufail, The Journey of the Soul: The Story of Hai bin Yaqzan, trans. Riad Kocache (London: The Octagon Press, 1982).
(Photo by Zarah V. Windh on Unsplash)