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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M.

The Theosophical Seal
A Study for the Student and Non-Student
by Arthur M. Coon
This book is dedicated to all searchers for wisdom
Published in the 1800s

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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
" am happy to introduce this present =olume8 the contents of which ori!inally appeared as a series of
articles in The American Theosophist ma!a>ine. Mr. Arthur Coons careful analysis of the Theosophical
Seal is hi!hly recommend to the many readers who will find here a rich store of information concernin!
the meanin! of the =arious components of the seal
Symbolo!y is one of the ancient keys unlockin! the mysteries of man and #ature. 0.P.*la=atsky in The
Secret &octrine refers a!ain and a!ain to the hidden meanin!s re=ealed in symbol to the one who
possesses the keys of understandin!. )rom time immemorial man has set his mark upon his work that
thereby he mi!ht be known throu!h his artefacts. Always that mark has re=ealed the man who made it8
his nature8 his uni?ueness8 and his stri=in! after distant !oals. #ations8 too8 ha=e adopted :marks:
symbolic of their purpose and destiny. And8 howe=er unnoticed or misunderstood they may be8 the
symbols remain as reminders of =eiled truth to those who can see.
Man is always sub@ect to the intimations of his di=inity8 and by si!ns and symbols he both seeks to
eApress his perceptions of his inner realities and is awakened to them by the outer symbols. Modern
psycholo!y is makin! respectable8 as well as =alid8 these inner promptin!s. Symbolo!y is a!ain
becomin! acceptable as a le!itimate means for interpretin! the true nature of thin!s. )or a symbol8
whether eApressed in someones dream8 or as a trademark of a brand of soap8 whether it be the /reat
Seal of a nation8 or a form eApressin! the creation of a uni=erse8 is the =isible representation of a reality8
be it ob@ecti=e and eAternal8 or sub@ecti=e and belon!in! to an inner realm of =erities.
To members of the Theosophical Society8 as well as to countless non,members8 the Theosophical Seal
with its motto8 :There is no $eli!ion 0i!her than Truth:8 is e=erywhere e=idence of the Societys
eAistence. "t is a distin!uishin! bad!e8 representati=e of the character of the Theosophical Society. More
than @ust a distin!uishin! mark8 the Seal symbolises the truths of the Ancient 6isdom which the
Theosophical Mo=ement was desi!ned to promul!ate in the modern world8 and somethin! of the mission
and hi!h destiny of the Society in the pure transmission of those truths.
To those students who wish to probe more deeply into the symbolism of the Seal8 this book will furnish a
=aluable !uide. )or the first time in our literature material has been brou!ht to!ether in a sin!le work to
trace the scattered threads of meanin! that lie behind all of the elements of the Seal. Mr. Coons
scholarship is thorou!h and painstakin!8 his analysis percepti=e.
"n launchin! this =olume it is hoped that a more profound understandin! of the Seal and of the li=in!
$eality which it represents will be en!endered in those who enter into its study.
a!es S."er#ins8 a past President of the Theosophical Society in America
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
"t is usually accepted that the first re?uisite in writin! is a thorou!h knowled!e of the sub@ect. "ndeed most
eAperts on the art of writin! hold that a knowled!e of the sub@ect is a :must: in the list of a writers
?ualifications. 0e is certainly eApected to speak with authority.
0owe=er8 upon the completion of this series of studies on the sub@ect of symbolism8 " can make no such
claim. " am somewhat in the position of a student of plant life who !oes to a stran!e forest in search of
rare floral specimens. 0e may wander around8 apparently aimlessly8 stoppin! here and there to di!8 to
eAamine8 to photo!raph, he may e=en !et lost, until the end of the day forces him to !ather up his
implements8 his notebook and sketches and !o home. 0e looks o=er the result of his labours with
mis!i=in!s. 6hat more beautiful specimens has he missedB 6hy hadnt he taken other directions, other
%f all the =olumes that ha=e been written8 or are yet to be written8 on the sub@ect of symbolism8 one must
choose his material8take his own particular path8and find his own particular specimens. Many will be
missed8 and e=en those which he finds must bear the stamp of his own eAamination and his own point of
=iew. 0e has not difficulty in findin! or !atherin! enou!h material. 0is difficulty seems to be in tryin! to
label or classify the ma>e of symbols which he finds e=erywhere. Take other branches of research8
history8 science8 tra=el, these may be catalo!ued and classified under many headin!s. 6hen he tries to
use this method on symbolism, to ta! symbols as to type8 to pi!eonhole them as to meanin!s8 to
catalo!ue their sources, he enters a field difficult for the mind to follow. The reason for this is probably
due to the fact that symbolism8 like mysticism8 deals with thin!s intan!ible and illusi=e and which
therefore seem to the mind to border upon unreality. The mind likes to deal with thin!s and facts.
%f course there are certain broad classifications of symbols such as alle!ory8 fable8 myth8 si!n8 fi!ure8
etc.8 but none of these seems to fit my purpose. The tendency is always stron! to make an outline and fit
the material into it. There is always somethin! satisfyin! about an indeA8 and a sense of accomplishment.
1ou !et the feelin! that8 ha=in! made up a list of topics8 your @ob is practically done. There is a feelin! of
security too8 for if you stay on your predetermined plan8 like a path throu!h the woods8you are sure not to
!et lost. And yet this security8 as in most fields of accomplishment8 is the price of freedom. An outline can
become a kind of fence or wall keepin! out other ideas which may try to !et in. "t can also ser=e the
purpose of keepin! your own ima!ination from !ettin! out. 6hile if you keep on the path you will not !et
lost8 you will surely miss a lot of thin!s. So8 aside from certain !eneral headin!s which ser=e more as
!uide posts than as an outline8 these studies follow a rather windin! path. " be!an my search throu!h all
a=ailable literature on the sub@ect8 reluctantly resistin! the temptation to roam all o=er the field. (ndless
sortin!8 classifyin!8 cuttin!8 rewritin! a!ain and a!ain resol=ed the material into some se?uence of titles
and subtitles.
The ?uestion which comes first to mind is8 what is a symbolB A home,made definition mi!ht read2 a
sin!8mark8 fi!ure8 picture or story which brin!s or su!!ests to the mind some fact or idea other than that
which appears. 6ebster puts this thou!ht more concisely2 :that which su!!ests somethin! else by
reason of relationship8 association8 con=ention8 etc.: This definition allows a wide latitude. A thousand
people mi!ht look at the same ob@ect8 and each would be reminded of somethin! utterly different. "t is as
if the ob@ect were a lodestone which drew forth a mental ima!e out of the well of each persons =ast
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eAperience. Take any ob@ect, a tree8for instance. The si!ht of a tree may in=oke as many mental pictures
as there are obser=ers2 a picnic in the park8 Christmas mornin! with the children8 the old homestead8a
landmark8 the lumber camp or the old sawmill8 a nest of birds8 the /arden of (den8 the family tree and
the human race8 ad infinitum. *esides the many types8 si>es and species of trees8 the idea
:tree:becomes a composite symbol embracin! or callin! up endless mental ima!es This is a
characteristic si!nificant8 as we shall see many times8of all symbols.
&iscoursin! upon the sub@ect of symbolism8 Manly P.0all writes8 :A symbol always means what we think
it means:. And a!ain8 :Symbols chan!e their meanin!s accordin! to the le=el of intelli!ence upon which
the interpreter functions:. CSee Lectures on Ancient Philosophy8 published in 1D4D8 pp. 5118 519E
"n a sense8 we are li=in! in a world of symbols. (=erythin! around us is a =isible manifestation of an idea
which has its true home in another world. "t is often difficult to draw a line between the symbol and the
non,symbol. The ordinary thin!s about us may seem real and permanent8 or as chan!in! and shiftin!
reflections of inner and permanent realities. 3uotin! a!ain from Mr. 0alls book8 :6hen the mind comes
instincti=ely to re!ard forms as the outer !arments of realities8 !reat strides ha=e been taken in the
rationalisation of the entire nature. Man be!ins to know 8 as soon as he di=ests himself of the illusion that
the uni=erse is material and matter the di=ine reality:. And a!ain8 :*y studyin! symbols8 men learn about
themsel=esF for they read into the fi!ures their own hopes and aspirations8 their own concepts of
uni=ersal order8 their own understandin! of di=ine a!ency. .ife itself is a symbol8 and each must interpret
it accordin! to the con=ictions of his own soul:. C"bid8 pa!es 5118 514 and 548E
0ow easily the contemplation of symbols draws us into realms of metaphysical speculation ?uite outside
of our normal mode of thinkin!G Somewhere " came across this succinct statement8 :Symbols are
windows throu!h which the mind looks into other worlds of reality:. Manly 0all adds the touch of beauty
to this thou!ht. :Symbols:8 he says8 :are keyholes to doors in the walls of space8 and throu!h them men
peer into eternity:. CLectures on Ancient Philosophy8 published in 1D4D8 pa!e 548E. *ut to !et back to
Consider for a moment the realm of music. 6e casually think of music as somethin! which we :hear:. 1et
it has its symbols Ca human in=ention to be sureE whereby music may be written upon pa!es and
preser=ed for others to reproduce. "t has its own alphabet of symbols2 notes8clefs8 bars8 sharps8 flats8
accents8 etc.8 uni=ersally accepted as the lan!ua!e of music. A composer8 with his ear attuned to a realm
which may be thou!ht of as the natural home of pure music8 :hears: a symphony. 0e transfers what he
:hears: onto paper by means of these symbols. An artist reads these symbols8 and with his trained eye
and fin!ers or =oice8under the impulse of an ima!ination8 interprets these markin!s8 re,creatin! the
ori!inal inspiration, its tone and tempo8 its melody and harmony. This brin!s me to the conclusion8which
must be ob=ious the more we think about it8 that there are two !eneral classifications of symbols. %ne
class8 by far the most easily reco!ni>ed8 are those in=ented by man himself for the purpose of more
?uickly or more economically con=eyin! his thou!hts to others. These are about us e=erywhere and
occupy so common a place in our intellectual li=es that we take them for !ranted.
.an!ua!e itself8 written or spoken8 is made up of symbols. The first primiti=e characters were copied from
#ature2 birds8animals8 ri=ers8 trees8 etc.8 car=ed upon rocks or temple walls depict a crude epic in tribal
and national history. "n the entire animal kin!dom this articulate use of symbols is peculiar to man
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
alone8comin! into bein! with the ad=ent of the mental faculty in the early dawn of the human race. The
ori!in and deri=ation of words has become a speciali>ed field of research. Some etymolo!ists assert that
the letters of certain alphabets8 notably the ancient (!yptian8 0ebraic and 0ellenic8were shaped8 both as
to form and sound8 to eApress certain ideas or concepts. )or eAample8 the sound of the letter :A: is made
by the out!oin! breath and therefore si!nifies power. "ts written form is said to represent the :bull: and
thus represents stren!th. The literature upon the ori!ins of letters8 words and lan!ua!es is most
intri!uin!8 and the ?uest for clues reads like a detecti=e mystery.
6e could recall endless eAamples of this first class of symbols. Science8 for instance8in its many
ramifications8has in=ented an intricate system of codes and fi!ures to represent its measurements and
formulas. Mathematics is an easy illustration of the use of these si!ns. 0ow elaborate would it be to
eApress a problem if one had to write it out all in words. Physics 8chemistry8 astronomy8 etc.8 each has a
si!n lan!ua!e of its own8 without which it would re?uire lon! and tedious eAplanations to con=ey the
thou!ht eApressed in a sin!le character. Characteristic of these si!n symbols is that they ha=e been
in=ented by man to con=ey an eAact meanin! which has been predetermined. %ne may :interpret: the
result of a formula or an e?uation 8but not the intent of that si!n by which the result is attained.
An eAception to this !eneral principle mi!ht be found in the si!ns used in astronomy to desi!nate the
planets8and certain of the constellations8or :houses: of the Hodiac. This may be accounted for by the fact
that the science of astronomy is a foster,child to the more ancient :science: of astrolo!yF and of course it
inherited its ancient symbols. These si!ns8 comin! from anti?uity8posses the characteristics of those
symbols which we shall place in our second classification, that is8 they seem to be endowed with certain
si!nificant ?ualities inherent in their =ery shapes and their positions and arran!ements in relation to one
another. These si!ns are made up of lines8 an!les8 cur=es and circles so arran!ed as to !i=e the
essential =alue or idea of each fi!ure its particular and si!nificant meanin! by reason of this
arran!ement. .et me illustrate what " mean.
The Point would be thou!ht of as ori!in8source or spirit. The Circle would represent the field of
manifestation in time and space. 6hat then would be more natural than that the point within the circle
should represent the sun8 source and ori!in of life within our solar systemB The Cross8 in contrast to the
Circle8si!nifies he purely material side of #ature and is therefore associated with the human body and
materialistic ?ualities. 6hen8 therefore8 the cross abo=e the circle is made to desi!nate our own earth8we
read into that si!n the idea that on our planet8material considerations o=ershadow the spiritual. The same
si!n in re=erse Ccircle abo=e crossE is used to desi!nate the planet -enus and would su!!est the idea of
spiritual =alues predominant. CAstrolo!ers from anti?uity ha=e pointed to -enus as the beneficent and
friendly planetE. The arc or se!ment of a circle is assi!ned to the moon. "t may be thou!ht that this fi!ure
had its inception in the crescent shape of the ?uarters of the moon itself. 'ndoubtedly8those who
assi!ned the arc as the symbol of the moon had in mind its reflecti=e ?ualityF for as their astrolo!ers
claimed8 the peculiar ?uality of the moon is to reflect or accentuate whate=er planetary or stellar influence
it may transit. Si!nificantly8 while the sun si!nifies the spirit of man8 the moon is associated with his soul
or psyche.
&urin! the last half century a number of books ha=e been written usin! mathematics and !eometric
fi!ures to interpret the uni=erse form the point of =iew of its inner sources and laws. Prominent amon!
these were two books by Claude *ra!don 8 a modern #eo,Platonist8who used these fi!ures in a ma>e of
patterns and desi!ns to illustrate a philosophy of idealism. 0e wrote )our &imensional -istas and A
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Primer of 0i!her Space8 followin! 0intons and %uspenskys works on hi!her dimensional space and its
relationship to life. .ines8 an!les and cur=es8 formin! e=ery concei=able !eometric pattern in compleA
combinations and arran!ements are desi!ned to show that the outer world of #ature and the inner world
of Spirit are intimately and intricately interrelated. This interrelationship between the inner and the outer,
the #oumenon and the phenomena, finds it eApression throu!h !eometric fi!ures. They ha=e called it a
new Symbolo!y of the spiritual life. The idea behind this form of eApression is that in=isible forces,
includin! thou!ht and emotion, produce =ibrations in the rarer media which surrounds us and which may
be cau!ht or fiAed8 so to speak8 in a particular series of !eometric fi!ures. Music 8 the most etherial or
fluid of the arts8 mi!ht thus be compressed or fro>en within a composite fi!ure made up of cubes8!lobes8
tetrahedrons8pentahedrons8 etc.8 fantastic arran!ements. The term:Architecture is fro>en music: became
a popular eApression. This term really ori!inated a century earlier by the /erman #eo,Platonic
philosopher )rederick -on Schellin! CPhilosophie der +unst8 pa!es 9I<, 9D5E. The idea of interpretin!
the uni=erse and life in terms of mathematics has been taken up by modern philosophers8 with the
benefit of the ad=anced science of physics8 and forms an approach to the sub@ect which has a close tie,in
with science itself.
Manly P.0all8 in his :Symbolism8 the 'ni=ersal .an!ua!e:. C.ectures on Ancient Philosophy:E makes
some interestin! obser=ations on the meanin!s of lines8 cur=es8 an!les8 etc.. 6ritin! about caricatures8
he shows that e=ery phase and de!ree of human emotions and character may be portrayed by the
correct usa!e of lines. *y the con=eA8 conca=e or an!ular lines8little idiosyncrasies of character may be
emphasi>ed out of their normal proportions8 depictin! personal traits otherwise unsuspected. As e=ery
artist knows8 lines8,hori>ontal8 =ertical8 obli?ue8 con=eA and conca=e, as applied to the human face Cand
fi!ureE tell a story beyond the power of words. Today this art has a uni=ersal appeal throu!h the medium
of the cartoon. 6it8 satire and criticism8 throu!h the art of su!!estion8 become by far more potent than
direct statement, and a=oid the dan!er of incrimination. The lan!ua!e of lines may be summari>ed
briefly2 strai!ht lines and an!les denote stren!th and are therefore masculineF cur=ed lines and arcs
eApress beauty and su!!est the feminine.
Symbolism plays an important part in the worlds !reat literature8 particularly %riental literature. Myth 8
alle!ory8 parable and !lyph are uni=ersally reco!ni>ed techni?ues in portrayin!, and preser=in!, spiritual
or philosophic truths. Some of the most profoundly beautiful literature the world has e=er known8 written
thousands of years before the Christian era8 comes to us from "ndia8 cradle of the ancient Aryan race.
The Puranas8 'panishads and /ita contain not only the supreme laws of the spiritual life and rules for
attainin! union with /od8 but also the story of cosmo!enesis, of the creation and e=olution of the
uni=erse and of man. All of this is told in epic form8 usin! alle!ory and myth. "n what better way could the
sublimity of these truths ha=e been preser=ed o=er the thousands of years of the infancy of the human
raceB %ur own *ible is an outstandin! eAample. Serious and sincere students a!ree that many of the
stories of the *ible are meanin!less8 not to say fantastic8 unless interpreted in the li!ht of symbolism2 The
Serpent and the /arden of (den8 #oahs Ark8 Jonah in the 6hales *elly8 Joshua and the 6alls of
Jericho , to mention a few which e=eryone knows. To translate these remarkable stories as history is to
miss completely the profound truths so thinly =eiled. Symbolically8 we may read in them the pil!rima!e of
the human soul throu!h its rounds of manifestation8 the cosmo!enesis of life and form in our solar
system8 the way of perfection and the e=entual reunion of man with /od. The !reatest tra!edy of
Christendom is the blunder of the western world in ha=in! read its sacred scriptures only as history or
!eo!raphy. "t seems most appropriate to insert here another ?uotation from Manly 0all2 :Symbols are
formulated to clarify truths which in their abstract form are incomprehensible. "dolatry consists in the
inability of the mind to differentiate between the symbol and the abstract principle for which it stands:.
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C.ectures on Ancient Philosophy8 pa!e 41E
A moment a!o " separated symbols into two classes2 those which were man,in=ented8 and those which
seemed to contain within themsel=es certain intrinsic =alues. "t is to the latter that we shall now direct our
attention8 because it is of these that the Theosophical Seal is composed. These are the symbols made
up of certain fundamental !eometric fi!ures2 such as the point8 the line8 the trian!le8 the s?uare8 or cross8
the circle, and of course their three dimensional counterparts8 the cube8 the sphere8 the tetrahedron8 etc.
, forms and shapes which came into eAistence coincident with the appearance of a uni=erse. )or this
reason we may call them uni=ersal. "t is said that :/od /eometri>es:. That must mean that in the
creatin! of 0is uni=erse8 all forms of life8 from rock crystals8plant structures and animal prototypes ha=e
been built upon Cor e=ol=ed alon!E definite !eometric patterns. Science has of course confirmed this idea
in its disco=eries of the !eometric structure of the cell8 the molecule and the atom. These elemental
!eometric fi!ures ha=e sometimes been referred to as the :playthin!s of the !ods:. 6e may ri!htly call
them a :di=ine alphabet:8 for it is their infinite =ariations and combinations which make up the pattern of
Creation and by which Creation may be interpreted. *ut who can say what these fi!ures really mean, the
point8 the line8the circle8the s?uare and so onB They seem to be as eternal as Spirit itself. *y what
authority do we presume to interpret their ultimate si!nificanceB "n attemptin! to attribute definite
meanin!s to them8 we feel that we are treadin! upon holy !round8 yet somehow instincti=ely we feel that
each of these fi!ures8 taken separately8 represents its own specific idea and is the instrument for a
distincti=e type of force. " reali>e that in sayin! this " seem to be steppin! o=er into another world. "t is
e?ui=alent to sayin! that these fi!ures are the ob@ectification8 or crystalli>ation in matter 8 of ultimate
ideas. "f that is so8 their many combinations must conceal a wisdom which may ri!htly be called di=ine.
And it is to the search for this wisdom that this =olume is dedicated.
6hen we look upon the thin!s about us8 we normally consider them in their relationship to oursel=es. %ur
outlook upon life may be called :e!ocentric:. 6e are in the center of our own world and e=erythin!
rotates about us. %ur method of !ainin! knowled!e of thin!s is analytical, that is8 we pick them to pieces
to find out what they are made of and what makes them tick. "n the study of symbols8 a new method
seems to be called forth. 6e step out of oursel=es into a world which is uni=ersal. "nstead of eAaminin!
these symbols as we would ob@ects in a laboratory under a microscope8 we seem to identify oursel=es
with them and8 if we may use the term8 absorb their hidden wisdom. 6e ha=e been so used to reasonin!
thin!s out. %ur new approach must be sub@ecti=e rather than ob@ecti=e as if these thin!s were part of
us8instead of outside. 6e seem now to need a new faculty, the faculty of intuitionF for this new lan!ua!e
is indeed the lan!ua!e of the !ods.
" ha=e fre?uently been asked8 :6here can " find a book which tells me all about these symbolsB: " wish "
knewF " am still lookin! for that book. There are many =olumes which contain mines of information8 but
these mines ha=e to be worked with pick and sho=el. The Theosophical Society8 in its brief history8 has
produced a =ast field of literature embracin! science8 philosophy and reli!ion, as well as mysticism and
occultism. The Secret &octrine by Madame 0.P.*la=atsky is an almost ineAhaustible source. *esides the
Theosophical Society8 there are other contemporary mo=ements which emphasi>e some particular phase
of this uni=ersal teachin!2 The Christian Mystics8 the $osicrucian )ellowship8 the Masonic %rder8 to name
only a few. " ha=e tried to eApress my !ratitude to these many sources in my :Acknowled!ements:. Csee
end of this documentE
May " share a secret. A few moments a!o " hinted that a sustained and persistent thou!ht about an idea
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
may sometimes act as a kind of ma!net which calls forth8as from the well of our own subconscious
nature8 information lon! since for!otten. "t may e=en attract to itself kindred thou!hts8 as from some
uni=ersal mental reser=oir. Such concentration of attention often leads8 by de=ious paths perhaps8 to the
source where such information may be found. %ften to :dream: about a ?uestion with sufficient patience
and endurance will call to mind the title of a book8 an eAact pa!e8 or e=en a ?uotation which will su!!est
the desired answer. 0owe=er8 " am not at all su!!estin! that such :dreamin!: takes the place of
persistent di!!in!.
%ne more thou!ht. 6hile acknowled!in! my !ratitude and indebtedness to the many source of
information and to the teachin!s of Theosophy8 " wish to emphasi>e the fact that certain of the
interpretations based upon this information are my own. "t should be made clear that the thou!hts
eApressed in the followin! studies do not necessarily reflect the teachin!s of the Theosophical Society8
eAcept for the fact that Theosophy is a compilation of many teachin!s !athered from sources both
ancient and modern8 and that acceptance of any of its teachin!s is not a prere?uisite to membership. My
one ob@ecti=e in the writin! of these studies has been to a=oid =a!ueness and ambi!uity8 and so far as
possible to stri=e for clarity and definiteness. 1et in this8 there is the real dan!er of seemin! to be
do!matic. These symbols belon! to the eternalF and while our thinkin! about them may be clear8 it should
not be fiAed. 6e may be definite8 but not final.
This book should not be looked upon as a teAt book8 in the ordinary accepted meanin! of the term.
Students may8 and " hope will8 follow me in their search for hidden meanin!s and new interpretations.
The followin! pa!es ha=e8 as they say8 only scratched the surface. At all times " ha=e tried to take the
reader with me in my searchin!s so that we may search to!ether. "n so doin! " belie=e that we shall each
feel the thrill of disco=ery8 and finds new windows of understandin! openin! before our minds. " belie=e
too that there is a far !reater power in su!!estion than in a definite statement of factF for thereby each
searcher feels that he is openin! up his own window upon a realm where ideas seems real and infinitely
more eAcitin! than are their shadows in the world of thin!s. The Theosophical Seal may thus become for
each such a window throu!h which he may8 from time to time8 catch !limpses of that Theo,Sophia, that
&i=ine 6isdom which8 as the Psalmist wrote8 :mi!htily and sweetly ordereth all thin!s:.
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
&OO' -(- A DI)IN$ *AN+UA+$
" am Alpha and %me!a8 the be!innin! and the endF the first and the last. ....$e=. 442 15
The fore!oin! words were put into the mouth of &eity by the author of the *ook of $e=elation. " do not
suppose there is another book in the whole world about which so much has been written and so little
understood. There is one point8 howe=er8 which is ?uite uni=ersally accepted8 and that is that the
Apocalypse was written in cipher and conceals many truths hidden within a series of cryptic symbols. To
read the words of this book at their face or surface =alue is like readin! a score without hearin! the
music. Since the entire *ook of $e=elation must be looked upon as a compleA crypto!ram8 we may
conclude that this one statement has more to it than the words imply. %f course St. John wrote this occult
treatise in the /reek lan!ua!e8 and his use of the first and last letters of the /reek alphabet has
therefore the ob=ious meanin! as repeated in the rest of the ?uotation8 :the first and the last:. "f St. John
had written the book in 0ebrew8 we wonder8 would he ha=e written8 :" am Aleph and Thao: or in an
(n!lish translation8 " am A and H:B Suspectin!8 therefore8 that this statement8 e=en as the entire book8 is
deeply cryptic, or shall we say esoteric, we look beneath its surface to disco=er its hidden truth.
6hat particularly lies behind these two letters Alpha and %me!a8 aside from their position as bein! the
be!innin! and endin! of the /reek alphabet8 or their (n!lish counterparts A and %B 6hat special
si!nificance lies in the statement of the Supreme *ein!8 :" am A%:B
"n ancient times8 each letter of the alphabet contained a particular meanin!8 and words were formed by
puttin! these letters to!ether in certain combinations to build up an idea or a concept. This method is
entirely forei!n to us 8 and for that reason it is difficult for the modern student of the ancient scriptures to
make true interpretations. %ur twenty,siA (n!lish letters mean nothin! in themsel=es8 and ha=e meanin!
only as they are put to!ether to make words, the meanin!s of which are usually inherited from one of
se=eral mother ton!ues. Modern lan!ua!es !row and chan!e with the idiom of a people. Todays slan! is
found in tomorrows dictionaries. 6ith the early lan!ua!es8 this was different. The 0ebraic alphabet8 from
which the 0ellenic is deri=ed8 consists of twenty,two letters8 each letter possessin! a meanin! as
eApressed by its form and a power eA eApressed by its sound. "t is said that the 0ebrews brou!ht many
of their traditions and reli!ious ideas from (!ypt and Chaldea. This is true also of their lan!ua!e. The
mysteries of (!ypt and the ma!ic of Chaldea and Persia are buried within their word formations. (ach
letter contained not only an idea or a conceptF it also had a certain power as represented by a numerical
=alue. The correspondence between letters and numbers was a sacred science known only to sa!es and
:wise men:.
There li=ed in /reece8 between the years 984 and 900 *.C.8 a philosopher named Pytha!oras8 who is
remembered in history particularly for his contributions to mathematics and music. Most of his teachin!s
had to do with numbers. 0e was the first to teach that the earth and the planets are round and rotate
about a central sun. 0e tau!ht8 moreo=er8 that there eAists a mathematical relationship between the
radius of their orbits8 their masses and their speeds8 which relationship he con=erted into a !eometrical
e?uation. 0is teachin!s re!ardin! the laws of mathematics embraced other dimension of bein! than the
three commonly accepted8and his sayin!8 :the music of the spheres: was a phrase used to indicate an
Pa!e 11
The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
occult relationship between his planetary e?uation and music. "ndeed it was he who disco=ered that
musical tones ha=e definite numerical interrelations8 and his diatonic scale is still the basic of modern
western music. 0e formulated and tau!ht the first part of (uclidean !eometry 500 years before (uclid.
0e tau!ht that the world is built upon the power of numbers8 that all li=in! thin!s ha=e their own uni?ue
rate of =ibration8and that all relationships can be eApressed numerically. "t was he who named /od :The
/reat /eometrician:. "n his school at Crotona8 he tau!ht also the =alue and power of the letters of the
alphabet. 0e claimed that the world is built upon =ibration8 and since =ibration produces form8 there
eAists a definite relationship between the letters of the alphabet8 !eometric forms and numbers. This
:science: was kept ali=e throu!hout the middle a!es by the +abbalists8 and has been preser=ed for
modern students of the mysteries throu!h the Book of Zohar and the Kaballah of Numbers.
Tribute has been paid8 and will be paid many times durin! the course of this series of studies8 to The
Secret Doctrine by 0.P.*la=atsky8 first published in the year 18888 for its ineAhaustible wealth of source
material. Mention must also be made of two books written durin! the first ?uarter of this century by
&octor ).0omer Curtiss8 entitled The Key to the Unierse and The Key of Destiny. "n these two =olumes
he has brou!ht to!ether many related ideas drawn from far and wide. 0is painstakin! work in co,
ordinatin! these ideas and elaboratin! upon them is a ser=ice which deser=es the !ratitude of e=ery
student. 0e wrote8 :.etters8 either written or spoken Cform or soundE awaken certain potencies8 and are
a=enues throu!h which certain cosmic forces operate in the worlds of manifestation: CThe +ey to the
'ni=erse8 pa!e <8E. " should like to mention too a well,documented little book written by .eonard
*osman8 Amen8 The +ey to the 'ni=erse. 0e has drawn from many sources to make a case for the
sacred word of the ancient Aryan8 :Aum:8 and its Jewish Cand ChristianE counterpart8 :Amen:. Throu!h
his analysis and interpretation of the 0ebraic and /reek letters8 as they are deri=ed from their Sanskrit
and (!yptian ori!ins8he brin!s interestin! sideli!hts to the idea that each letter has its own uni?ue and
inherent meanin!.
T,$ *$TT$RS -AO-
"t is ?uite uni=ersally a!reed that the letter :A: C0ebrew8 :Aleph: and /reek :AlphaE represents ori!in8
source and causati=e power. Phonetically the sound :A: CahhGE is that of breath fillin! the mouth and
!oin! out. Some authorities claim that the shape of the letter :A: was made to represent the head of a full
in order to eApress the idea of domination and leadership. )or this reason it has been associated with the
astrolo!ical si!n Taurus. "n 0ebrew8 the :Aleph: si!nifies:out!oin! breath: and represents /ods creati=e
power. "t was the ori!inal :6ord: which brou!ht forth a uni=erse. "t was the spirit CbreathE of /od which
:mo=ed upon the face of the waters Cprimordial substanceE:. "t is also the symbol of life8 for it is recorded
that :/od breathe! into his CmansE nostrils the breath of life and man became a li=in! soul:. Si!nificantly
the :A: is the first sound uttered by the new,born babe. The letter :A: sound represents /ods
causati=e8creati=e powerF and indeed on all le=els and de!rees of manifestation it implies the inner
causati=e and creati=e life ener!ies. :The letter A represents the reality behind anythin! and any bein!.
"t represents the inner self of man8 or the reality behind the uni=erseF /od as Causati=e8 (ssential8
Potential Power8 that which we call spirit:. CAmen" the Key to the Unierse8 by .eonard *osman8 pa!e D8E
"n the 0ebrew8 the term :A*A: meant :)ather: and was so used epithetically to refer to /od. )abre
d%li=et8 in his 0ebraic Ton!ue $estored8 says of Aleph that it represents :uni=ersal man8 the rulin! bein!
of earth. "t characteri>es unity8 the central point8 abstract principle of a thin!. As si!n8it eApresses power8
stability8 continuity. "ts number is 1: CSee Amen" the Key to the Unierse8 pa!e 48IE. The Si!nificance of
this statement will be apparent presently.
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
The last letter of the /reek alphabet8 :%me!a:8 is so bound up both in form and meanin! with the
numerical nau!ht and the !eometric circle that our complete consideration of its si!nificance must be
momentarily deferred to include those two factors. 6e may note that the letter :%: alludes to
manifestation as opposed to pure spiritF or perhaps we should say8it implies spirit in manifestation. "t is
rather the :field: or limitations throu!h which spirit eApresses itself. "f we think of :bein!: as spirit an!
matter8 the :%: represents its ne!ati=e polarity. This is not to say that the letter :%: represents strictly the
material side of bein!8 but rather spirit or life in its out!oin! aspect. "f :A: is causati=e8 :%: is formati=e. "n
this sense we may think of it as the feminine or :Mother: principle of &eity , e=en as the letter :A: is the
:father: principle. Therefore8 by placin! the two letters to!ether8 we ha=e a word which si!nifies the union
of spirit and matter8unitin! the two poles of bein! , /od as :)ather,Mother:.
The temptation cannot be resisted at this point to di!ress for a moment to eAplore a most fascinatin!
sideli!ht on this idea of the di=ine name. "n many of the ancient lan!ua!es8notably the 0ebraic8 which as
we know embodied certain (!yptian characteristics8 letters , and particularly the =owels , were
interchan!eable. This interchan!eability occurs sometimes in our modern lan!ua!es. )or eAample8 :-:
and :6:8 :": and :J:8 :T0: and :H:8 :A: and :%: fre?uently eAchan!e places. A chan!e in =owels often
chan!es the root word from a =erb to a noun8 a noun to a =erb8 the tense8 the number8 etc.. )or instance8
the =owels8 o8 18 a8 in the root word :sn!: chan!e the noun :son!: to the =erb CpresentE :sin!:8 and to
CpastE :san!:. This practice was commonly in use in formin! 0ebrew words. "ndeed8 unless on
understands this usa!e8 it is impossible to make a true translation into (n!lish. "t should not seem
stran!e therefore to find in the 0ebrew the same root word used with different =owels8 and sometimes
consonants8 to denote =aryin! shadin!s of the same fundamental idea.
Take the letters :A%:8 which we saw a moment a!o represented the di=ine name 8 :)ather,Mother,/od:.
6e chan!e the :A: to :": Cthe 0ebrew 1od8 itself bein! a sacred letter meanin! /odE and we ha=e the
word :"%: , a =ariation of the root :A%: which also implies the name of &eity. A!ain we substitute:J:8 :T0:
or :H: for :": and we ha=e certain root syllables which are uni=ersally reco!ni>ed as names of deity or of
di=ine sons or heroes2 J%,=e8 H(,us8 T0,os8 &(,os8 J(,ho,=ah8 J(,sus8 JA,cob8 J%,seph8 etc.. A further
re=ealin! sideli!ht may be thrown upon the suffiA used in namin! heroes or :sons: in the scriptural story.
6e are indebted to the research of Al=in *oyd +uhn into (!yptian ori!ins for the interpretation of the
suffiAes :saph:8 :seph:8 :suph: or :sus: as meanin! :heir:8 :prince:8 or :son: as applied to their national
heroes C The Lost Li#htE . $ememberin! that the Jews absorbed much from their (!yptian capti=ity8 we
may assume that many of the names of their heroes bear the mark of this herita!e8 :"%,sef: becomes
:Joseph: Cprince of /odE8 :"sa , "ah: Cprophet of /odEF and8 most si!nificant8 we couple the di=ine name
:A%: Cchan!ed to :"(: or :J(:E with the (!yptian suffiA :sus: meanin! :heir: or :son:8 and we ha=e the
truly sacred name Cor titleE of :J(,S'S:.
T,$ NUM&$R (.
"f8 as Pytha!oras claimed8 there eAists a definite relationship between the letters of the alphabet8
!eometric forms and numbers8 it is but natural to assume that the letter A is related to the number 1 ConeE
and the letter % to the number 0 Cnau!htE8 and that the combined A% therefore corresponds with the
number 10 CtenE. That this relationship is not a mere accident is attested not only by the many references
to this association8 but by an analysis of the numerals themsel=es. The fact is that it is most difficult to
talk about the numbers 1 and 0 without at the same time referrin! to the letters A Cor "E and %8 and
!eometrically8 the point and the circle. "t has been said that while the point and the circle represent the
Pa!e 15
The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
idea of the immanence of /od8 the two letters:A%: represent 0is wisdom8and the number 10 is the
measure of 0is power. .on! before the present numerical CArabicE system was in use by
mathematicians8 in ancient /reece and "ndia the number 10 was held sacred8 where its ori!ins and
=alues were known only to priests of the temple and initiates into their mystery schools. The number 10 is
the basis of our decimal system Cfrom the /reek :deka:E8 without which our entire scheme of
mathematics would be impossible. The number 1 is the be!innin! and source of all numbers8 @ust as the
point is the be!innin! and source of all forms. 0ence it mi!ht be looked upon as :father:. The 0 Cnau!htE
is the end8 the consummation. "t is infinity8 in which all numbers are contained. Their union C10E is the si!n
of completion , the be!innin! and the end united.
"t is no mere coincidence that the tenth letter of the 0ebrew alphabet is :1od:8 most sacred of letters. "t
coincides with the /reek :"ota: and our letter :":. "n Masonic symbolism 8 1od C E is the :All,Seein!,(ye:8
the si!n of /od. Albert Pike8 in his !reat work8 $orals an! Do#ma8 says8 :The principle called )ather is
completed in 1od... the most occult of all the letters. The Supernal 6isdom is 1od F who is therefore
called )ather of )athers2 wherefore 1od is the be!innin! and end of all thin!s:. CPa!es ID4,ID5E "t is the
:": or Self8 whether small or !reat. "t is the center of the *la>in! Star8 the emblem of omniscience. To the
(!yptian initiates8 it was the emblem of %siris the creator. "t is the first letter of the four,lettered 0oly
#ame :"0-0:. ).0omer Curtiss8 associatin! the 1od with the number ten8 says8 :1od8 representin! the
acti=atin! Principle of all life manifestations8 symbolically stands for the reincarnatin! (!o...its !reater
cycles indicated by the additional ciphers C1008 10008 etc.E: CThe Key to the Unierse8 pa!e 59<E
representin!8 in unendin! spirals8 the attainment of wisdom and power8 as it rises to hei!hts of !reater
perfection and closer union with its ultimate Source. As 1od in the uni=ersal sense is the si!n of /od8 in
man it si!nifies his Spirit or Monad8 the (!o8 or :":. 0.P.*la=atsky8 speakin! of the potency of numbers8
says of the number 102 :"t is from this number 108 or Creati=e #ature8 the Mother Cthe occult cipher8 or :0:
e=er procreatin! and multiplyin! in union with the unit :1: or the spirit of lifeE that the whole uni=erse
proceeds:. CThe Secret Doctrine8 5rd (dition8 -ol. 1.8 pa!e 141E
The famous Tetraktys of Pytha!oras was another symbol portrayin! this same idea. "t was held sacred
because its form as an e?uilateral trian!le contained 10 :1odsG: These 1ods Cor pointsE were so arran!e
with four alon! each side of the trian!le8 and with each row of four numbered consecuti=ely8 that their
separate sums totalled 10. This form was called the mystic &ecad and was known as the number of the
:"neffable #ame:8 because it eApressed the unity of perfection and completion in the numbers 18 48 5 and
7. The sacredness of the number 10 is e=idenced also in the Sephiroth of the +abbalists as representin!
the 10 (manations of &eity8 and the perfection of a sublime wisdom.
"f we would search the whole uni=erse for some symbol which most truly eApresses the nature of /od as
)irst Cause and )ather8 we must choose the Point. %f /od as Absolute *ein! there can be no likeness or
similitude either on earth or in hea=en. %f the Absolute nothin! can be said. 6e may only call it T0AT. "t
has no attributes sa=e that it is (ternal8 Chan!eless and Causeless Cause. "t is inherent in all thin!s and
per=ades all space. "t is the $oot Principle from which emanate both Spirit and matter. 1et the point is the
symbol which most nearly represents /od as Absolute *ein!8 for the point has neither form nor
dimension8 and has therefore no eAternal eAistenceF yet it is potentially e=erywhere and is the be!innin!
of all forms and the source of all dimensions.
Pa!e 17
The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
"t is especially of /od as )ather C0ebrew8 +etherE8 )irst (manation of the Absolute8 that the point is
symbol. As the )ather is Spirit or )irst Cause8 the point is that in=isible source form which proceed all
forms. 6e may therefore ri!htly consider the Point as the first letter of our symbolical alphabet. 6hat :1:
is to numbers8 and :A: to letters8 the Point is to all !eometrical forms8 The point8 as does the number 18
represents unity. Pytha!oras called it the :Monad:8 the indi=idualised spirit of man.
:The dot:8 says Manly 0all8 :is the first departure form thin!s as they eternally are. "t is the first illusion of
the self8 the first limitation of space8 e=en as spirit is the first limitation of self. The dot8 or sacred island8 is
the be!innin! of eAistence8 whether that of a uni=erse or man .. The dot is spirit8 and its symbol in the
Chaldaic 0ebrew is the 1od ... The dot symbolises the cause F the line the meansF and the circle the
end ... The line therefore is the symbol of the dot in !rowth or motion:. A!ain he said8 :/od is the dot8 the
first island floatin! in and upon the permanent depths of unlimited eAistence:. C.ectures on Ancient
Philosophy8 pa!es 48 78 4<E
6e come now to the Circle. The circle is no number8 yet it contains all numbers. "t is the nau!ht8 the
cipher8 or sepher8 from which all numbers proceed and into which they all e=entually resol=e. "t is All8 for it
has neither be!innin! nor endin!. "t is the point eApanded to infinity. %f all symbols8 the circle is the most
mystical8 for it is the symbol of infinity and eternity, of boundless space and endless time.
The circle is the :rin!,pass,not: which establishes the limits of manifestation8whether of a man or of a
uni=erse. "ndeed8 it is the symbol of that manifestation8 e=en as the point is the symbol of T0AT which
has no manifestation. "f the point8 as we said8 has no dimension8 the circle contains all possible
dimensions. The point e=er retreats within itself8 out of time and spaceF the circle8 e=er eApandin! into
infinite time and space8 embraces all thin!s. The point symbolises T0AT which is the cause and potency
of life8 the circle symbolises that primordial substance out of which all forms are created. "t has been
called many names2:chaos:8 :=oid:8 :waters of space:8 in Sanskrit :Mulaprakriti: Cundifferentiated
substanceE8 :ni!ht: or :nau!ht:. "t is %me!a8 the Cosmic Mother8 source of all forms. 6hen &eity uttered
the mystic formula8 :" am Alpha and %me!a:8 0e mi!ht ha=e said8 :" am the 'ltimate Source both of life
and formF " am the uni=ersal )ather,Mother.
Pascal is reported to ha=e said8 :/od is a circle whose center CpointE is e=erywhere and whose
circumference nowhere2. The union of these two symbols8 the point and the circle , or the point within the
circle , becomes the most potent of symbols. "t is the symbol of life encased in material formF the life,
!erm within the seed or e!!F the di=ine spark or monad within manF /od within 0is uni=erse. "t is the
:Tree of .ife: in the midst of the :/arden:. "n still more ancient scriptures8 it is the :Jewel in the .otus:. "n
occult human anatomy8 it is the symbol of the hidden force centers in the body8 the :Chakras:.
Astronomically8 it represents our sun. "t contains the secret truth of /od "mmanent , /od the Absolute in
manifestation. The point within the circle is the si!n of power , "nfinite 6ill released as a creati=e force.
6e know of no better way to summarise what we ha=e said than to present it in the form of a
mathematical formula2
The letters :A: and :%: united8 become :A%:8 Cor "%E8 the Sacred #ame.
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
The numbers :1: and :0: united8 become :10:8 the Sacred #umber.
The Point and the Circle united8 become %8 the Sacred Symbol.
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
"n the be!innin! /od created the hea=en and the earth. .............../enesis 12 1
6ith this simple and direct statement be!ins the worlds most famous *ook. 6ithin these ten words is
locked earths !reatest mystery. 0ere is a statement blindly accepted on faith by reli!ionF denied and
re@ected by science. &id a &i=ine *ein! create a uni=erse and all li=in! thin!s out of nothin!F or is matter
the one primordial substance form which eAistence has sprun!B *etween these two eAtremes of thou!ht
lies concealed the most profound Truth. " ha=e chosen these lines as the theme of the present study for
two reasons. )irst8 because they contain a truth so rudimentary as to lie beyond the possibility either of
proof or contradiction. "ndeed8 the simplest statement of truth is often so fundamental that it is utterly
impossible to formulate one sin!le sentence in its defence. Can it be that there is %ne 'ltimate Truth so
eAalted as to be beyond the power of the intellect to comprehend8 while all lesser truths are merely parts
of of that %ne Truth and therefore relati=e to each otherB 6hen Jesus stood before Pilate in the hall of
@ud!ement8 Pilate asked 0im8 :6hat is truthB:. That ?uestion has been re=erberatin! down the centuries.
"t is the cry of the human intellect reachin! out into the infinite for ultimate truth.
Any statement of :Truth: must be predicated by the idea of :$eality:.%b=iously what is true must be real8
and what is unreal must be untrue. *ut what is realityB "f there is one thin! which is the ob@ect of
uni=ersal search8 it is reality. To the scientist8 matter is the one and only reality. %nly that which can be
obser=ed by the senses8 aided by mans mar=ellous instruments8 measured and tested in his laboratories
, only matter8howe=er attenuated and ethereal8is the one ultimate reality. All else is unreal. To the
mystic8the de=otee or the yo!i8 /od or Spirit is the one reality. All thin!s relati=e to matter and time are
but temporal and e=entually cease to be8 and are therefore illusory and unreal. The outer senses are
limited in their capacity to discern truth. %nly the inner faculties of the spirit can really penetrate the heart
of reality.
This brin!s me to the second reason for usin! the openin! sentence in the *ible as the key,note of this
study8 and that is because as we try to contemplate the full si!nificance of its meanin! there comes to the
mind a whole multitude of dualities. 6e mi!ht e=en =enture that from this one thou!ht there come all
possible dualities , and opposites.
)or here we ha=e the two eAtremes of opinion re!ardin! reality. *etween these opposin! poles of
thou!ht8the scientific and the mystic8 we find e=ery ran!e of philosophic and reli!ious belief. 6e ha=e
come to think of the two ultimate realities as spirit and matter. *ut this conclusion fails utterly to sol=e the
mystery. The source of bein! lies beyond both spirit and matter. There cannot be two )irst Causes. 1et it
is ?uite impossible for the mind to concei=e of Absoluteness without at the same time embracin! the idea
Pa!e 1I
The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
of manifestation. *ut it is possible to concei=e of spirit and matter as emanatin! from this Absoluteness8
this 'ndifferentiated *e,ness.
1et it is not spirit and matter which is the first pair of ultimates but spirit and motion. "f we reason for a
moment we shall see that it is motion which is the first creati=e act. Spirit mo=edG Motion precedes matter
rather than bein! the result of matter. Science a!rees with the occult teachin!s that matter8 howe=er
dense or solid8 may be reduced to motion This reduction of all matter in the uni=erse to motion would
@ustify the theory held by many that matter is an :illusion: and an :unreality:. This line of thou!ht could run
in a =icious cycle8 and :reason: the sub@ecti=e world out of eAistence. %ur sense of reality re?uires a
radical ad@ustment.
Since the =ery first act of &eity is motion8there comes with that action the concept of space. Action
predicates motion8and motion implies space. 6ithout space the idea of mo=ement is impossible.
Mo=ement must !o somewhere. Space brin!s the idea of eAtension which is its measure. A!ain8the idea
of mo=ement in space brin!s with it the idea of time. 0owe=er swift the motion8 a time element entersF
and with time comes its measure duration. The idea of a di=ine creation brin!s into our minds a whole
series of dual concepts2 Spirit,Matter or Spirit,Motion8 Motion,Space8 Space,time8 (Atension,&uration.
(ach would be unthinkable without its twin counterpart.
6hen we think of reality in relation to time8 many problems immediately appear2 for instance8 past8
present and future. 6e are li=in! in a time,world which is ceaselessly slippin! past us. Actually we li=e in
a point which we call the present. All that we really ha=e is this :now:. 1et the moment we think of it8that
instant of :now: has become the :past: and a million new instants out of the :future: ha=e taken its place8
and as relentlessly ha=e disappeared into the past. This :past: we ha=e only as memoryF the future eAists
for us only in anticipation. 6e ha=e been told that only the :now: is real. *ut does this :now: embrace
past8 present and futureB 6e are like passen!ers on a train mo=in! across a =ast countryside. 6here we
are at any !i=en moment is :now:. "n this sense8 time is an illusion8 because our :now: is continually
slippin! past us as our train mo=es swiftly on into the :future: *ut our reason tells us that the whole
countryside was there before we arri=ed8and that it remained there after we had !one by. The illusion
was within oursel=es.
And thou!h we may reco!nise this elusi=eness for what it is8 we ne=er for a moment think of it as an
unreality. 6e could hardly eApect reality to be conditioned by our co!nisance of it. 6ho can say where
reality be!ins and endsB And what is its relation to time and eternityB "s there an :eternal: outside of
timeB Put this ?uestion another way. (ach of us has at one time asked , do we step out of time into
eternity at the moment of deathB %r is time but a finite se!ment of eternity marked off by the mo=ement
of certain hea=enly bodies8mush as we see ob@ects from the window of a fast,mo=in! trainB 6hen did
time be!in8 and will it e=er cease to beB 6hat8 after all8 is eternityB 0as there always been an eternityB
Pa!e 18
The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
Some hints as to the answers to these ?uestions may appear to us as we search to!ether for the mystery
of the .ine8 the second symbol of our symbolical alphabet.
As we look at the world about us it is difficult to think of anythin! which does not possess a dual set of
essential ?ualities or characteristics. The =ery comin! of an ob@ect into eAistence automatically brin!s
with it a duality. "t is as if each unit of manifestation becomes split or di=ided by that =ery act. "ndeed8 the
word :eA,ist: C.atin 8 eA,estE su!!ests :to be out of:. 6e may infer from this that manifestation is the
ob@ecti=i>ation of an inner or sub@ecti=e reality8which is another way of sayin! that e=erythin! eAists in the
mental or spiritual world before its appearance in material form. This naturally brin!s us to our startin!
point , we mean this literally as well as fi!urati=ely8 for the point is the most nearly perfect symbol of that
)irst Cause or Principle from which all thin!s proceed. :"n the be!innin!: the point pro@ected itself into the
line. The phrase :"n the be!innin!: refers not so much to the time se?uence as the causati=e , one
followin! another as cause and effect. )abre d%li=et8 in his %ebraic Ton#ue &estore!8 translates this first
word in the *ible as :At,first,in,principle:8 :hiero!lyphically :8 as he says8 :represented by the point within
the circle:.
"n the statement of creation ?uoted from /enesis8 so nai=ely accepted by millions of people and as
casually re@ected by the materialist8 there lies8 as we ha=e intimated8 a sublime truth. The :accepted:
opinion implies that a &eity8 wholly apart and separate from 0is uni=erse8 by a mere :6ord:8 brou!ht forth
that uni=erse out of nothin!8 complete with e=ery type of life and form. The scientist8 on the other hand8
re@ects this theory as contrary to natural law and reason8 and holds that the uni=erse is solely the product
of e=olutionary processes in which an eAternal deity has no place. 0e postulates an ori!inal primordial
substance out of which life and form8 o=er untold millennia ha=e slowly e=ol=ed. "t is true that he has no
solution as to the ori!in of this :primordial substance:. C This problem is discussed in !reater detail in
Chapter 188 :The Serpent Swallowin! its Tail:E Somewhere between these two ideas8 or perhaps
embracin! each of them8is to be found the truth each is seekin!.
6e be!in our discussion with the assertion that /od Cusin! the term in the sense of :The Absolute:E8
bein! All8 there can be nothin! outside of or apart from 0im. *efore this Absolute can become manifest8
there must first be mo=ement or motion8 which implies eAtension in time and space. 0ow can we
presume to describe this creati=e processB 6e may say that &eity di=ides 0imself8 or more accurately
polarises 0imselfF that is8 0e separates 0imself into two aspects or phases , one8 that aspect of 0imself
which e=ery remains the %ne (ternal /odF the other that aspect of 0imself which is to become 0is
manifestation or creation. 6e recall a line from the ancient 0indu poem of the $ahabharata8 in which the
Supreme *ein! is ?uoted as sayin!8 :0a=in! per=aded this whole uni=erse with one fra!ment of Myself8 "
remain:. CThe Bha#aa! 'ita8 ;8 74E
"t will be noted that /od first created :the hea=en and the earth:. The author Cor /enesisE !oes on to say8
:And /od said8let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters8 and let it !ii!e the waters from the
waters .... and /od !ii!e! the li!ht from the darkness:. Clearly the contrastin! terms :hea=en and
Pa!e 1D
The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
earth:8 :li!ht and darkness: refer to this uni=ersal duality , the words :hea=en: and :li!ht: si!nifyin! the
spiritual realm8 while :earth: and :darkness: allude to manifestation. The line of separation , the
:firmament: di=idin! the :waters from the waters: , is that ima!inary line where the :abo=e: meets the
:below:8 where spirit touches matter8 where life becomes form and form embodies life. "t is an aAiom
which defies contradiction that all manifestation is dual. Science is disco=erin! that in e=ery form8
howe=er :dead:8 there is embodied a hidden life. "t has :split: that minutest particle of matter8 called the
atom8 and found locked therein a force and ener!y beyond the capacity of man to measure. These
disco=eries confirm the teachin! of the Ancient 6isdom that within e=ery form8 howe=er minute8 there
resides a fra!ment of the di=ine life.
The =erb :created: contains a three,way concept2 The %ne who creates8 the action itself8 and the ob@ect
created. /od8 as Absolute *ein!8 by an internal actiity polarises 0imself and8 in the process whereby
manifestation comes into bein!8 we find that aspect of 0imself which we call Spirit actin! upon that other
aspect of 0is nature called matterF and it is out of the interaction and union of these two opposin! poles
of 0is *ein! that al thin!s come into eAistence. The positi=e pole of *ein! is Spirit8 .ife8 Power8
Causati=e or Acti=atin! Principle. The ne!ati=e pole of *ein! is Matter8 Substance8 $eproducti=ity or
)ormati=e Principle. Thus the %ne becomes two2 /od as )ather or Creati=e .ife Principle and /od as
Mother or )ormati=e Principle8 by whose union all li=in! forms come into bein!. An honest appraisal of
this dual concept of &eity in manifestation should brin! reli!ion and science closer to!ether.
6hile 'nity is the essential characteristic of &eity or Spirit8 &uality is the =ery essence of manifestation.
Spirit and matter8 as opposite poles of the %ne $eality8 become reflected in numberless pairs of
opposites. This duality is found also in the uni=ersal law of attraction and repulsion. "t is by the eternal
interplay or balance of those twin forces , centrifu!al and centripetal , that the uni=erse is upheld and
sustained. Should one predominate8 e=ery particle in the whole uni=erse would break into an infinite
number of separated pieces8 each flyin! away from e=ery other. Should the other force pre=ail8 the entire
mass would contract into a solid core of inconcei=able hardness. The =ery eAistence of matter seems to
depend upon the continued operation of these two laws. Man also embodies this fundamental duality. "n
essence he is a unity8 an indi=iduality8 a Monad. "n his manifestation he is twofold2 on the one hand he is
spirit or e!o8 which is the likeness of his di=ine ParentF and on the other he has a physical or animal
nature which is his inheritance from his earth mother. St.Paul reco!ni>ed this duality in our natures when
he said8 :As we ha=e borne the ima!e of the earthly8 so shall we bear the ima!e of the hea=enly:.
Thus do reli!ion and science find their @ustification and completion in each other. (ach complements the
other to tell the whole story of creation. Science is the approach to the one truth throu!h the in=esti!ation
and knowled!e of thin#s and of their infinite relationships. $eli!ion is the attempt to comprehend and
interpret the uni=erse in terms of spirit.
T,$ *IN$
%f all !eometrical fi!ures8 the .ine most ade?uately symbolises what we ha=e been attemptin! to put into
words. "n our precedin! study8 we saw that the Point was the si!n of /od the )ather8 the )irst Cause or
Pa!e 40
The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
Principle of *ein!. The .ine8 on the other hand8 represents /od in 0is capacity as the Creator of 0is
uni=erse , &eity becomin! manifest in and throu!h 0is creation. "t represents /od in action or motion8
e=en as the line is formed by the point in motion. "f the point represents /od as Bein# 8 the line depicts
0im as Becomin#. "t is the symbol of the first act of creation.
)rom what has been said8 as well as from e=idences yet to be presented8 the line may ri!htly be called
the secon! letter of our symbolical alphabet. The line has one dimension8 eAtension. Annie *esant writes8
:The Point8 speakin! symbolically8 =ibrates between center and circumference8thus makin! the .ine
which marks the drawin! apart of Spirit and Matters:8 CA Stu!y in (onsciousness8 pa!e <E to which
/eo.S.Arundale adds :the two poles between which is spun the web of a uni=erse:.CThe Lotus )ire8 pa!e
1IIE .:The .ine: 8 he adds8 :is one of the most mar=ellous of symbols:. Pytha!oras is ?uoted as sayin!
that 8 :as the point corresponds to unity8 the lines corresponds to the number two or duality8 because it
was produced by the first motion of indi=isible nature8and formed the @uncture between two points:. CThe
Secret Doctrine8 5rd (dition8 -olume,1,8 pa!e <I9E. :The .ine:8 writes Manly 0all8 :is the symbol of the
dot in motion .... . "t is the brid!e connectin! cause with effect ... it is the outpourin! of cause into effect:.
CLectures on Ancient Philosophy" pa!es 78 408 78E
The line is the :6ord: which was :in the be!innin!:. :Thus is be!innin! to be born the finite from the
infiniteF from the undifferentiated infinity8 manifestation. "n the be!innin! is the .ine which is the 6ord of
the e=olutionary process:. CThe Lotus )ire" pa!e 1IDE. The line is the rule or !au!e by which all thin!s
are measured. /eor!e Arundale brin!s this thou!ht to life. :The .ine is the &i=ine Measure8the 1ardstick
of descent and ascent of the .ife,to,be:. 0e continues8 :#au!ht is outside of it. All is !o=erned by it. All
conforms to it. (=erythin! is measured by it:. CLotus )ire8 pa!e 1D5E
T,$ )$RTICA* *IN$
.et us look at the -ertical .ine and the 0ori>ontal .ine. The =ertical line is the symbol of /od descendin!
to earth. "t is e?ually the symbol of man ascendin! to hea=en. "t is at once the path up which mans
hopes and aspirations ascend to /od8 and the path o=er which /ods power and blessin! descend to
man , mans aspiration and /ods benediction. The =ertical line is the si!n of the &i=ine "ncarnation8 of
the :6ord made flesh:8 of /od becomin! man. "t is also the symbol of of human ascension8 of man
become di=ine. %=er this line flow the life currents whereby man is nourished and sustained. 6e ?uote
a!ain from The .otus )ire ... :The =ertical .ine is the line of -italisation8 -i=ification. The hori>ontal .ine
is the line of Manifestation8 )ecundation:. A!ain he writes8 :The =ertical .ine itali*es8 the hori>ontal .ine
e+uilibrates: .CThe Lotus )ire8 pa!es 418,41DE :The =ertical .ine would seem to be the channel of force
for /od the )ather8 while the hori>ontal .ine is the channel of force for /od the Mother:. C The Lotus )ire8
pa!e 445E.
As there is polarity in a bar of steel8 so do we =isualise polarity in this =ertical line "ts upper end reachin!
hea=enward is positi=eF its lower and restin! upon earth is ne!ati=e. "t is the north and south pole upon
which the earth rotates. Man8in his physical aspect8fits this symbolism. 0is spinal column is his =ertical
line. The north pole is the hea! reachin! toward hea=enF his south pole is the feet planted firmly upon
Pa!e 41
The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
earth. /eor!e Arundale says8 : The spinal column ... is the outward and =isible symbol of the .ine ... This
is the spine of the uni=erse,to,be ,, the .ine which pulsates from #orth to South: . CThe .otus )ire8 pa!es
The =ertical line thus becomes the :link: between the :hea=en abo=e: and the :earth beneath: ,, between
spirit and matter. "n man8 it it is what occultists call the Antahkarana8 that in=isible link or :sil=er cord:
between the hi!her and the lower sel=es. "t has been poetically called the :&i=ine Co=enant: which links
man eternally with /od. "t is indeed the :Path: upon which the disciple may meet his Master8 and upon
which he must tra=el to his own &i=ine Self , the (ternal Monad. "t is the path of e=olution and of
initiation. "ts purpose is fulfilled in the statement of Jesus8 :#o man cometh unto the )ather but by Me:.
And when man shall ha=e come to his )ather8 or when the disciple shall ha=e found union with his
Master8 or the lower self shall ha=e become one with his 0i!her8 then shall the :Path:8 the line8 ha=e
disappeared8 and only the point8 the Self remain. :The K=erticalL .ine re=eals to us /od in 0is !lorious
limitation as Man ... 0e descends into a hea=en 8 and builds an earth that Man may climb to 0im in
hea=en The .ine re=eals the *e!innin!8the 6ay and the (nd:. CThe Lotus )ire8 pa!e 90<E.
"f the =ertical line is the symbol of mans relation to /od8 the hori>ontal line is the symbol of mans
relation with man. *y the first there is established the )atherhood of /od8 by the second is affirmed the
*rotherhood of man. As one is the link between man and /od8 the other is the eternal bond between
man and manF and if by the former we ascend to /od8 by the latter we reach outward in ser=ice and
sacrifice to all creatures. The hori>ontal line is thus the si!n of balance and e?uality. "t encircles the earthF
it stretches to the outermost limits of the uni=erse.
"t is by the interplay of these two sets of lines8the =ertical and the hori>ontal8 that all forms are wrou!ht8
as if an "n=isible 6ea=er8 sittin! at 0is loom8 by the swift handlin! of 0is shuttles8 wea=es an e=er,
chan!in! pattern of infinite compleAity and beauty. "n the 6eb of .ife8 these two lines8 the =ertical and the
hori>ontal8 may be looked upon as representin! respecti=ely time and space,duration and eAtension, the
warp and woof in the intricate pattern of conscious eAistence. /eor!e Arundale certainly penetrate the
heart of this mystery of the lines. 0e wrote8 :The =ertical .ine descends into the hori>ontal .ine as an
infinite soul enters a limited body. The Cross is thus Ka symbol of the L incarnated soul:. :The =ertical .ine
symbolises "nfinitude. The 0ori>ontal .ine typifies .imitation:. CThe Lotus )ire8 pa!e 481E
6e shift for the moment our perspecti=e. "t may be said that these two lines become mans a!eless
creed. 'nitin! to form the Cross8 they declare his relationship both to /od and to his fellow man. Therein
is affirmed his sonship and his brotherhood. "n another sense we may say that the =ertical line8 as his link
with the Spiritual8 represents the )atherF while the hori>ontal line8 as his bond of union with his brothers8
represents the Mother. These two unite to form the cross8the oldest symbol known to man , si!n of Spirit
Pa!e 44
The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
enshrined in matter , portrayin! the &i=ine Sacrifice whereby all li=in! thin!s come into bein!. The simple
act performed by millions of Christians in makin! this si!n of the cross8 knowin!ly or unknowin!ly8 affirms
its timeless creed and in=okes its hidden power and wisdom.
At the risk of unduly prolon!in! this discussion " feel impelled to in@ect a final concept. "t is this. (ach
fi!ure in our symbolic alphabet embodies8 as we ha=e seen8 a definite idea and a de!ree of power. (ach
possesses and su!!ests8 in a mystical sense8 a series of special =irtues. %n the idea and the power
inherent in the point and in the line we ha=e dwelt at some len!th. )or the followin! thou!hts as to their
respecti=e =irtues we are a!ain indebted to /eor!e Arundale. The =irtues of the Point he says8 are
:Silence8 $eser=e8 3uietude8 6ill8 Peace8 Poise8 /race8 &i!nity8 Self,restraint8 Attenti=eness. The Spirit
of Creation8 /lory of "nfinity8 'nity of .ife:. The =irtues of the .ine are2 :Aspiration8
Steadfastness8Perse=erance8 Poise8 *alance8 %rder8 -irility8 6ill,"ncarnate8 +in!ship:. CThe Lotus )ire8
pa!e 547E
T,$ *$TT$R -&-
6e turn our attention to the letter :*: C/reek :*eta:8 0ebrew :*eth:E. The association of the letter :*: with
the line and number 4 is not at firsthand so ob=ious as is that of the letter :A: with the point and the
number 1. 1et we shall see that there is a =ery definite correspondence. .et us look first to its shape or
form. The letter :*: is made by drawin! a strai!ht =ertical line and then affiAin! two circles8 one abo=e the
other8 to the ri!ht of this line. This is most si!nificant. The upper circle would represent the :hea=en
abo=e:8 the lower the :earth beneath:. :"n the be!innin! /od created the hea=en and the earth:. And the
=ertical line is the :co=enant: which @oins hea=en and earth8the upper with the lower8 spirit with soul8
macrocosm and microcosm8 man with /od. "n his book The +ey to the 'ni=erse8 ).0omer Curtiss ?uotes
(liphas .M=i as sayin!8 :The Cletter: *eth represents hiero!lyphically the hea=en and the earth. "t
represents the Spirit of /od born upon the water sand the fecundation of matter by spirit:. C,p. cit.8 p.D1E.
The form of the letter :*: thus represents the idea of duality in the manifested uni=erse. $eferrin! to the
0ebrew :*eth: &r. Curtiss continues8 :0iero!lyphically *eth stands for the mouth of man and is referred
to 6isdom ... "ts radical meanin! is house or birthplace:. C-bi!.8 p.D1E. 'ni=ersally it represents the womb
of nature8 the secret sanctuary of /od8 from which there comes into manifestation e=ery creati=e thou!ht
of the &i=ine Mind.
.eonard *osman8 in his little book8 Amen8 the Key to the Unierse8 has eApressed some interestin!
obser=ations. :The letter * is the sound,symbol of that which is internally de=eloped CbutE not eApressed
or sent forth ... "t is a sound of internal acti=ity8 a de=elopment within an enclosed space ... The letter
*eth8 literally house CrepresentsE that in which there is some kind of internal acti=ity8 and from which
somethin! or somebody is eApected to come forth ... There is the idea of innerness8 of internal
de=elopment8 that which !oes on within somethin! as if preparin! to come forth:. C,p.cit.8 Pa!es <I,I7E
This eApresses most si!nificantly the inner meanin! of the letter :*: both as to its form and sound. The
0ebrew letter :*eth: means literally :house: or :dwellin!: , an enclosed space within which there dwells
spirit8 life or potential acti=ity. )amiliar eAamples may be found in such word,combinations as :*eth,
Pa!e 45
The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
&a=id:8 house of &a=idF :*eth,le,hem:8 house of breadF :*eth,el:8 house of /od8 etc. &%li=et !i=es it an
additional meanin! as si!nifyin! :mouth:8 the or!an of sound or speech. 6e may e=en relate :*eth: to
the human body in which dwells the spirit or life , the word :body: bein! deri=ed from the root :bod:8
meanin! abode or dwellin!.
The real correspondence Cbetween the line and the letter :*:E lies in its phonetic or sound =alue. 6e saw
that the sound of the letter :A: was that of out!oin! breath. A00G became the first creati=e sound. 6e
saw that there was a direct relationship between :breath: and spirit. These8 like the point8 are undefined
and unlimited. The sound of the letter :*: is made in two steps. )irst the lips are li!htly closed while a
pressure of air is built up within the mouth. There is yet no sound. Then suddenly the mouth and lips are
opened and the built,up internal pressure of air is e@ected with a sli!ht eAplosi=e force. The first creati=e
force has taken shape8 the first sound has become a word. This is eAactly what the symbol of the line has
meant , the brin!in! down of the creati=e force8 the :6ord made flesh:.
This brin!s to li!ht a most si!nificant thou!ht. 6e su!!est that the relationship between the point and the
line finds a correspondence in the relationship between =owel and consonant. "n a sense =owels are like
the point , they are sound only8 without measure or limit. The point finds its definiteness8its meanin!8 its
manifestation e=en8 in the line. The sound of the =owel may correspond with force8 ener!y or e=en lifeF
but until that force or life is limited and measured by the consonant8 it is still inarticulate as re!ards
meanin!8 definition or form. The consonant thus becomes the line which establishes or fiAes the limits or
boundaries to the sound8 and words come into bein!. 6ords are formed by the limitation of sound ,
measure8 shapin! 8 colourin! sound to produce an idea. The power of sound becomes he wisdom of
form. Sound must be8 as it were8 cut off into len!ths and shaped in order to eApress meanin! and
wisdom. Sounds become articulate as they are hemmed in by consonants. The consonants of the
alphabet are the limits or boundaries8 actually the model into which the force or life8 as eApressed
throu!h the =owels8 can be poured. As life must be eApressed throu!h form8 so sound8 to become
articulate8 re?uires the union of consonant and =owel. 6e think of the =owel as Spirit or .ife represented
by the PointF while the consonant su!!est to us matter or form as measured by the .ine.
To epitomise our study of the .ine symbol2
/od is within8 as well as beyond 0is uni=erseF for there is nothin! outside of 0im
The Point in motion8 becomin! he .ine8 is the symbol of Spirit becomin! matter
Matter and Motion are essentially one.
Time and Space are only those fra!ments of (ternity and "nfinity which the .ine can measure.
-owels to be articulate must be limited by consonants. .ife to be co!ni>ed must be embodied in form.
/od created a uni=erse by limitin! 0is essential nature.
A fra!ment of the "nfinite descends from :0ea=en: that an immortal soul may be born on :earth3.
Pa!e 47
The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
T,R$$4 T,$ SACR$D NUM&$R
6hile a discussion of the number Three naturally preludes a study of the "nterlaced Trian!les8 we feel
that it cannot be entirely omitted from its natural se?uence of position in the &i=ine Alphabet. )or this
reason this chapter will contain only those ideas necessary to preser=e this continuity. The student is
therefore referred to the later chapter of this book under the headin! of :The "nterlaced Trian!les: for a
more complete study. "t will be impossible also to a=oid certain repetitions of thou!hts which seem
e?ually necessary for the clarity of the sub@ect under the headin!s of :A &i=ine .an!ua!e: and :The
"nterlaced Trian!les:.
"n all #ature the word :finale: has no place. The end of a day8 a season8 a year is only the pause before
the entrance of a new day8 season or year. And yet the :new: day or year is not new eAcept in the sense
of bein! another se!ment in the procession of time. There are no new causes which do not ha=e their
roots in yesterdays e=ents. Cause and effect operate continuously on al le=els from the mental to the
physical. (ach day is not a new bead8 separate from others on an endless thread. #atures books are not
closed with the endin! of each season. The countless seeds and dormant thin!s only await the returnin!
warmth to continue their halted careers. (ach mornin! brin!s with it yesterdays problems , sol=ed or
unsol=ed. 6e merely turn the pa!e of our bookF the plot is unbroken. 6e play our parts in a ne=er,endin!
drama whose !amut spans the eAtremes of tra!edy and comedy. .ife has no final curtain. The causes
set in motion yesterday become todays happenin!sF and todays decisions become tomorrows
directions, whether tomorrow be a day or an incarnation. Someone once remarked that if the final curtain
at the conclusion of a tra!edy were to be raised a!ain8 the audience would witness a comedy , and ice
These obser=ations on the continuity of life and #ature are called forth by the realisation that the
fore!oin! chapter of this book is in itself utterly incompleteF and this is because of the fact that the
conclusions eApressed therein are only half true. "n that chapter nothin! is settled8 and the whole
ar!ument is left dan!lin! in the air. "t is as if in a play we ran! down the final curtain on the second act
instead of the third. This second act CchapterE presented merely the =arious threads of the plot CproblemE8
not their solution. The intent of the present chapter will be to !ather up these =arious loose threads and
to indicate a direction and a purpose.
The statement that all manifestation is dual is only half the story. &uality is a truism only as it is a process
which leads to a third state. The first state is unity or bein!F the second is duality8 which is becomin!F the
third state of triplicity is fulfilment or completion. " think it may truly be said that e=erythin! in the
manifested uni=erse8 from our hi!hest concept of &eity to a !rain of sand8follows a threefold pattern. The
!eometrical fi!ure which represents this truth is the trian!leF and we may conclude that the trian!le is the
si!n which is the third letter of our symbolical alphabet. 6e shall eApect8therefore8to find a definite
relationship between the trian!le and the number three8and also8 we may su!!est8 with the letter C Cor /,
/reek :/amma:8 0ebrew :/imel:E.
*efore continuin! our search for these associations and relationships8 we shall first pause to consider
certain problems left unanswered in our pre=ious discussion. 6e said that :"n the be!innin!: /od in 0is
act of creation8 di=ided Cor polarisedE 0is nature into spirit,matter. The %ne becomes two. As a result of
that separation Cin the truest mystical sense8 the &i=ine SacrificeE manifestation comes into bein!F and
Pa!e 49
The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
with that manifestation there appears on all le=els an infinite host of dualities. And yet8 all of these
dualities8 from the ori!inal duality :spirit,matter:8 are incomplete in themsel=es. "f we eAamine these
dualities we shall see that they are also triplicitiesF for on e=ery le=el of manifestation we can think of no
duality which does not possess a third ?uality or characteristic. .et us start with that first fundamental
duality, so easy to talk about8so difficult to comprehend, spirit,matter. *y the term matter we mean that
primordial substance8 which the scientist calls :aether:: or :source material:8 distributed e=erywhere
throu!hout space. The ancient Aryans called it $ulaprakriti CSanskritE8 meanin! :the root principle of
matter:. *y the term spirit we mean that ultimate reality or life principle which we may only call :/od:
The human mind can concei=e of neither spirit nor matter as not possessin! some kind of form or
shape8howe=er etherial that may be. *etween these two poles of bein! there eAists e=ery concei=able
type of li=in! forms. "t must be accepted that e=ery form is the product of this union of spirit and matter8
and without such union form could not eAist. %ccult science has tau!ht8 and modern science now
confirms8 that there is no form8 howe=er minute or dense8 that does not contain some de!ree of spirit8 in
the form of ener!y or force. %n the other hand8 we can hardly think of life eAcept that life be embodied in
some form.
"f we !o throu!h the entire !amut of dualities we find that each is complete only as it is seen as a
triplicity. Take the dual concept of matter.motion. (ach would be inconcei=able without the third idea of
space. And a!ain8 space.matter brin!s with it the idea of time. A!ain unitin! the twin concepts space.
time we ha=e the relationship of measure. And the measure of time.motion must be eApressed by a
threefold definition as !istance.!irection.!uration. 6e mentioned a while back that the duality8 spirit,
matter8 becomes the triplicity spirit.matter.form. 6e ha=e su!!ested that the union of spirit.matter"
produces life. #ow we ha=e another duality8 life.form. "t is true that we cannot reco!nise or know life
unless that life manifests throu!h some form. "t is only throu!h the union of life and form that !rowth and
e=olution are possible. "t is by the constant interplay of matter and ener!y or matter and spirit8 that all
substances become known to man. %n the lower le=els of manifestation the union of matter and ener#y
produces a/areness0 on the hi!her le=els the union of life and form produces the triplicity2 life.form.
The phenomenon of electricity illustrates this principles8 re?uirin! the union of its positi=e and ne!ati=e
polarities for its manifestation. %r a!ain8 the twin forces of attraction and repulsion or contraction and
eApansion result ine?uilibrium or law throu!hout the physical uni=erse. "n a later chapter8 many of the
triplicities both in #ature and in the spiritual realm are catalo!ued. The threefold pattern is repeated in the
realm of consciousness. 6e say8 :" am ":8 or :" am the Self:F and we see that world outside of us which
we know as the :not,Self:8 between the :Self: and the :not Self:8 there is a continuous relationship which
is :consciousness:.
"f we eAtend this idea to the realm of reli!ion8 we find that our hi!hest concept of /od fulfils this threefold
pattern. The Trinity concept of &eity is as old as mans thou!hts. 0owe=er8 since this idea will be the
sub@ect of a detailed study in a later chapter8 we shall pass it by for the moment with the obser=ation that
when the Creator put down fra!ments of 0imself into this world of manifestation to become the seeds of
a future humanity8 there was inherent within each of those :fra!ments: the desire or ur!e to reunite with
its parental Source. "n the early a!es of the race this ur!e was but dimly felt and was eApressed in
primiti=e reli!ious rites. "n time this ur!e8 this desire to unite with /od8 became an absorbin! passion and
the theme of e=ery reli!ion. The word :reli!ion: itself Cre,li!areE means to :bind back:8 and su!!ests the
Pa!e 4<
The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
connotation that reli!ion8 in its hi!hest sense is a relationship or co=enant between man and /od , thus
completin! another trian!le2 'o!. man . reli#ion.
"n e=ery a!e and in e=ery race the number three has been held sacred8 associated always with the
concept of &eity8 spirit or life. $eferences in the *ible to the number three are too numerous to be
coincidental. The most ob=ious of these are the allusions to Jesus bein! :three days in the tomb:. 0e
0imself referred prophetically to 0is three days burial as a si!n or symbol. :There shall no si!n be !i=en
Kto this !enerationL but the si!n of the prophet Jonas2 )or as Jonas was three days and three ni!hts in
the whales bellyF so shall the Son of man be three days and three ni!hts in the hearth of the earth.:
C$atthe/ 142 5D870E. A!ain 0e said8 :&estroy this temple8 and in three days " will raise it up:. C1ohn 42 1DE
6hat Jesus really meant by these remarks Caside from a purely historical implicationE has been the
sub@ect of endless con@ecture. Amon! other thin!s8 may we su!!est a reference to the three !reat sta!es
of e=olution of life upon our planet before that life emer!ed as manB
The life of /od descendin! to earth enters first the mineral kin!dom. Then for three lon! days and ni!hts
it lies literally buried in the mineral 8 =e!etable8 and animal kin!doms. Then on the fourth day Ca!eE8 the
life of /od is :resurrected: in human form as the true di=ine ima!e. %r a!ain we mi!ht consider this :si!n:
of the three days of burial in a mystical sense as referrin! to the birth or resurrection of spiritual
consciousness. &urin! the infancy of the race8 consciousness lies buried in mans physical nature.
&urin! the adolescence of the race8 consciousness is associated with the emotions. As the race
approaches maturity8 consciousness is identified with the mind. Then on the fourth day8 consciousness
rises to its own realm8 the awareness of its own spiritual nature. .ike most symbols8this allusion to three
days and three ni!hts may contain other and more eAalted interpretations. 6e may note in passin! that
accordin! to the *iblical record8 Jesus was only two ni!hts in the tomb80is resurrection occurrin! on the
mornin! of the third day8 celebrated as (aster.
%ther references to the number three in the *ible will readily be recalled. Jesus was 50 years old C5 A 10E
when 0e be!an 0is ministry which lasted 5 years. There 5 sons of Judah who stood unharmed in the
:)iery )urnace:. Three :6ise Men: sou!ht the Christ Child. The three disciples with Jesus on the Mount
of Transfi!uration said8 us build three K5L Tabernacles:. The 5 Christian =irtues are listed as :faith8
hope and charity:.
6e ha=e referred to the fact that ancient philosophers and mystics ha=e tau!ht an association between
numbers and letters of the alphabet as well as with !eometric fi!ures. 6e saw that the number 18 the
letter A and the point are related. Also we ha=e presented e=idence to show an association between the
number 48 the letter * and the line. 6e shall not be surprised then to find e=idences !arnered from
ancient sources to indicate that this series of relationships also follows with the number 58 the trian!le
and with the third letter of alphabet. 6e may point out that this =ery association between numbers8 letters
and !eometric fi!ures repeats our threefold pattern2 its number eApresses its powerF its letter su!!ests its
idea or wisdomF its form re=eals its measure.
Since the trian!le is one of the inte!ral parts of the Theosophical Seal8 we shall for the moment defer our
study of this symbol until we consider the interlaced trian!les CSee *ook - of this documentE. .et us take
a look at the third letter of the alphabet8 :C: C/reek :/amma:8 0ebrew :/imel:E and eAamine its relation
to the first two letters :A: and :*:. "f8 as we ha=e seen8Aleph represents spirit or acti=atin! principle8 and
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
*eth su!!ests form or !enerati=e principle8 we may conclude that /imel is the relationship between the
two, the ma!netic link which unites them. 6e may think of it not only as the force which unites the two
but also the result of their union. "n #ature it is the adhesi=e principle. "t is the form or which in which
spirit and matter are united. "t is e?ually the infinitude of li=in! forms which proceed from this union. "f we
may use a sin!le word to eApress the intrinsic meanin! of this letter it is :link: or :union:. 'sin! the
human family as the li=in! eAample of this concept8 it is the :lo=e: principle which unites father and
motherF and it is also the child or product of this union. (Apandin! this idea8 we may say that it is the link
between personality and soul8 between animal body and di=ine spirit. "n a later study we shall follow
these many relationships into the cosmic or di=ine realms where they re=eal a uni=ersal pattern whose
symbol is the trian!le.
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
:And the city lieth fours?uare:. &eelation 234 35
The first impression we !et8when we come to consider the S?uare and the number 7 is that we ha=e
stepped down into another world. " say :stepped down:8 for our minds ha=e been dwellin! in ima!ination
upon a hi!h plane of spiritual speculation. The symbol of the point" the line and of the trian#le dealt with
the word of spirit8that which Plato called the #oumena. Those thou!hts relati=e to di=ine thin!s lifted our
attention to a world of law and causation abo=e and beyond the physical. *ut when we come to consider
the s?uare Cor the three dimensional cubeE we come down into the world of thin!s and e=ents round
about us. 6e !et a similar impression of down,to,earth stability when we think of the number 7. The
s+uare and the number 7 ha=e been linked to!ether in ancient symbolismF and to!ether or separately8
always ha=e reference to mundane8 in contrast to spiritual8 matters. This is not to say that the number 7
and the s?uare refer to physical thin!s only8to the eAclusion of non,physical or spiritual ideas. "f the
emphasis is upon the physical world8 there is yet a definite thou!h subtle su!!estion or allusion to the a
noumenal or ideal world. This relationship is somethin! akin to that of a solid ob@ect to its ima!e in a
mirror. The reflection may not be a realityF but it is the ima!e of a reality. %ne is reminded of Platos ca=e
alle!ory in which the shadows upon the wall seemed real to those who cast them so lon! as they kept
their eyes upon them, yet were disco=ered to be unreal the moment they turned they eyes to the li!ht
which came throu!h the ca=es openin!.
"n !eneral we may conclude that the symbol of the S?uare Cor the CubeE and its numerical si!n8 the
number 78 alludes to the realm of manifestation rather than to those causes and forces behind
manifestation. They refer to the form or body rather than to the indwellin! life. They symbolise the
unierse" not in a physical sense only8 but as relatin! to its laws and acti=ities, rather than to an
indwellin! spirit or an o=ershadowin! creator. And yet we see implied in this symbol a state of bein!
which is surely beyond the physical8 a state which has its reality in the sub@ecti=e rather than in the
ob@ecti=e world. 6e sense in the s?uare a kind of mental or spiritual prototype towards which the present
and imperfect state of thin!s is e=ol=in!. There is thus implied in this symbol an ob@ecti=e world Cin which
is included man and his entire social and political structureE which is in the process of e=ol=in! toward or
of approachin! an ideal or sub@ecti=e state of bein!8 which is perfect and permanent. "n connection with
this idea we reco!nise the phrase :'topia: or :the #ew Jerusalem: or e=en :the +in!dom of 0ea=en:.
Students of Masonry will reco!nise the recurrin! allusions to the s?uare in the teachin! and rituals of its
de!rees as referrin! to that state of perfection which is the ideal of human character and of society as a
whole. 6e percei=e in the Masonic apron of white lambskin with its trian!le o=er the s?uare the thou!ht
of mans spirit as bein! abo=e and in control of his physical nature. 6e are reminded that his soul is
master of his personality. 0ere the s?uare represents the pattern of purity and rectitude8 of @ustice and
brotherhood which is the si!n of the ideal man8the true Master Mason.
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
*iblical Alle!ory abounds in references to the s?uare and the number 7. The one which appeals most
forcibly to the ima!ination is the reference to four beasts which appears in the *ooks of (>ekiel and
&aniel and in the Apocalypse. These beasts are =ariously described as ha=in! four sides8 four faces8 four
win!s88 etc.8 and with such similarities as necessitate a common interpretation. "n the Book of 6*ekiel
CChapter 1E we read that out of the midst of the whirlwind8 the cloud and the fire came the likeness of four
li=in! creatures. :And e=ery one had four faces and four win!s... As for the likeness of their faces8they
four had the face of a man8 and the face of a lion8on the ri!ht side2 and they four had the face of an oA on
the left sideF and they four had also the face of an ea!le:. The account in the Book of Daniel =aries
somewhat in its ima!ery2 :)our !reat beasts came up from the sea ... The first was like a lion8 and had
ea!les win!s ... a second8 like to a bear ... and another like a leopard8 which had ... four win!s KandL four
heads ... a fourth beast8dreadful and terrible and stron! eAceedin!ly:. CDaniel IE. "n the Book of
&eelation we read2 :"n the midst of the throne and round about the throne8 were four beasts full of eyes
before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion8and the second beast like a calf8 and the third beast
had a face as a man8 and the fourth beast was like a flyin! ea!le: C&eelation 72 <,IE. 6e note that the
four beasts of &eelation are identical with those in the Book of 6*ekiel.
6hat mysteries these symbols conceal8 only a seer or a prophet mi!ht fully understand. "t is with eAtreme
humility that we attempt e=en to su!!est an interpretationF but what we do su!!est has si!nificant
bearin! upon our immediate study. Some *ible students ha=e interpreted these :four beasts: as the four
writers of the !ospels2 Matthew8Mark8 .uke and John. "t is possible that this idea may ha=e been the
inspiration behind the architecture in many churches where the likeness of a bull8 a lion8 an ea!le and a
man appear at the four corners of the altar or sanctuary. 6hile this theory could concei=ably eAplain the
four beasts in the =ision of St. John in &eelation" it could hardly be true of the (>ekiel story which
occurred some fi=e hundred years before the four !ospels were written. So we must look elsewhere for
their real interpretation.
T,$ %OUR -SI+NS-
0alf buried in the sands of (!ypt lies a stran!e monster made of stone. )or how many centuries this
creature has kept silent watch before the !reat Pyramid of /i>eh8 only the ima!ination can fathom. This
beast in stone has the body and paws of a lion and the bust and face of a man. The purpose of this
famous SphinA is one of the eni!mas of the a!es8 %b=iously its destiny is linked with that of the /reat
Pyramid itself8 which was built as the tomb8not of +hufu or Cheops as was formerly supposed8 but of
%siris8.ord of the celestial world. "t is now known to ha=e been a temple for the ancient (!yptian
mysteries. "ts four trian!ular sides rise from a s+uare base and it was known as :The Temple of .i!ht:
K Many =aluable works ha=e been written on the /reat Pyramid. The interested reader is referred to two
small =olumes for instructi=e and easy readin!2 $iracle of the A#es by 6ord Smith8 and The Secret of
Ancient 6#ypt by (rnest /.Palmer. L SphrinA,like animals ha=e been unco=ered by archaeolo!ists in
/reece8 Assyria and Phoenecia. These were usually car=ed on walls or at the entrance of temples8
su!!estin! some reli!ious si!nificance.
Astronomers ha=e di=ided the sidereal uni=erse into four ?uarters8with the >odiacal si!ns of Aries8
Cancer8 .ibra and Capricorn at the corners or cardinal points. (arly (!yptian and Chaldean astronomers8
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
howe=er8 placed on their calendars the constellations of Taurus8.eo8 Scorpio and A?uarius as occupyin!
these cardinal positions. "t is an astronomical fact that due to the !radual shiftin! of the earths pole8 the
e?uinoAes chan!e 50 de!rees in approAimately e=ery 48190 years. The followin! ?uotation from The
Secret Doctrine by 0.P.*la=atsky 8 places the date of the chan!e abo=e mentioned at about 5100 *.C.
:6hen the Accadian calendar was arran!ed and the Accadian months were named8 the sun ... was not8
as now ... in Aries8 but in Taurus. The rate of the precession of the e?uinoAes bein! known8 we learn that
at the =ernal e?uinoA the sun was in Taurus:. KThe Secret &octrine8 -ol. ""8 pa!e I54L And a!ain we read
in the same work8 :... four beautiful stars K constellationsL were placed as !uardians at the four corners of
the world:. KThe Secret &octrine8 -olume "8 pa!e I4<L. These four stars were of course the four
constellations2 Taurus8 .eo8Scorpio and A?uarius. "t will be noted that in many of the older >odiacs the
si!n Scorpio was replaced by A?uila C.atin for (a!leE8 so we ha=e here represented in the hea=ens at the
four an!les the bull8the lion8 the ea!le and a manG
T,$ %OUR AN+$*S
6e can hardly assume8howe=er8 that the writers of these *iblical alle!ories merely had in mind subtle
allusions to astronomical constellations. Surely in their references to :four beasts:8 :four horns:8 :four
wheels full of eyes:8 etc.8 there was hidden a more profound si!nificance. )or some hints as to the
meanin! of this mystery we must turn to the ancient esoteric records as !athered and interpreted by
0.P.*la=atsky in The Secret Doctrine. 6e find many allusions to :)our $e!ents of the four corners of
earth:8 to:the $ulers of the #orth8 South8 (ast and 6est:8 and :four winds or forces of earth:. These
:$ulers: or :$e!ents:8 we are told8 are four !reat An!els or &e=as who act as A!ents of /od8 and not
only manipulate !reat cosmic forces8 but also carry out 0is laws of @ustice in the minutest detail in the
races of men. "n eastern esoteric philosophy they ha=e been called the :.ords of +arma:8 who administer
the laws of cause and effect8of action and reaction8on e=ery human le=el. They are the :)our beasts
before the throne: in the *ook of $e=elation8 :full of eyes withinF and they rest not day and ni!ht:. The
Church refers to them as the :$ecordin! An!els: who record the thou!hts and deeds of men and of
nations in the :*ook of .ife:. This description of course implies that nothin! is too !reat or too small or yet
too hidden to escape their eternal =i!ilance.
The thin! which is si!nificant to this study8 whether we consider these :four beasts: as the four cardinal
si!ns of the Hodiac or as the :four $e!ents: of the earth8 is that they are ?uite definitely associated with
the uni=erse in its eAternal manifestation8 with the physical world and its laws and with the actions and
relationships of its inhabitants. 6e may therefore draw two conclusions2 first8 that 7 is the number which
is the si!n of all mundane thin!s8 that is8 pertainin! to earth or matterF and second8that the S?uare8
symbol of stability and solidarity8 as well as bein! earths !eometrical counterpart8 is its !oal and symbol
of perfection. They are number and symbol of man as an outer manifestation of an inner and spiritual
6e call to mind a few of the many witnesses to the idea that both #ature and man are essentially
fourfold. There are four seasons of the solar year8four ?uarters of the day8 hour and minute. There are
four cardinal points of the compass. The circles is di=ided into four se!ments of D0 de!rees each. The
early /reek philosophers tau!ht that there are four elements2 earth8 water8 air and fire. Science classifies
Pa!e 51
The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
the matter of the physical world into four states2 solids8 li?uids8 !ases and ethers. "n #ature there are the
four kin!doms2 mineral8 =e!etable8 animal and human. Man as a personality may be looked upon as
fourfold2 the physical body8 the etheric double8 the emotional body and the mental body. Pytha!oras
eApressed this same idea in his famous Tetraktys. This is a trian!le in which were placed ten points
CyodsE or numbers from 1 to 108 so arran!ed that there were four alon! each of the three sides within the
trian!le and one in the center. %n whiche=er side the trian!le stands8there are four points at the
base8representin! mans lower 3uaternary8 while the rows of three8 two and one abo=e type his threefold
spiritual nature. 6e may easily see that the Pyramid of /i>eh8 the Tetraktys of Pytha!oras and the
Masonic apron are adaptations of the same symbol of the Three and the )our or the Trian!le and the

A few thou!hts8 in passin!8 on the formation of the number 7 and the s?uare. 6ith pencil and paper we
make a simple eAperiment. 'pon the !iameter of a circle Crepresentin! manifestationE we construct a
trian#le C representin! spiritE. #eAt8 in the lower half of the circle8 with the diameter as base8 we construct
with dotted lines an in=erted trian!le as representin! the reflection of spirit in matter, and we ha=e a
s+uare. ).0omer Curtis writes8 :The S?uare is !enerated not only by the reflection of the Trinity in matter8
but also by unitin! the four ends of the cosmic cross. /eometrically the fi!ure 7 is formed by @oinin! the
ri!ht arm of the cross with the upper apeA:. K+ey to the 'ni=erse8 pa!es 15<,15IL
T,$ %OURT, *$TT$R
6e turn our attention now to the fourth letter of the alphabet8 :&: C0ebrew:&aleth:8 /reek :&elta:E. "t is
not at first too e=ident @ust what is the association between this letter and the number 7 and the s?uare.
"n shape8 it mi!ht be ima!ined that the capital :&: resembles a s?uare. *ut this8 it would seem8 is a
superficial likeness. To disco=er the real association between letter and si!n8 we enter the realm of
metaphysics. "n the illustration abo=e we saw the lower trian!le in the circle as bein! a reflection or
ob@ectification of the upper trian!le. This idea Cof the lower bein! a reflection of the hi!herE is definitely
su!!ested in the 0ebrew :&aleth:. :&aleth: contains two thou!hts2 one of di=ision8the other of
nourishment. 6e see all manifestation as in a process of continuous di=isionF and8 as part of this di=idin!
process8 there is the idea of an inner replenishment or nourishment8 as from an inner and ineAhaustible
source. 0ence this symbol :&aleth: has been sometimes referred to as the :Cosmic breast:.
)abre d%li=et8 in his !reat work8 The %ebraic Ton#ue &estore!" says of :&aleth:2 :"t appears that in its
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
hiero!lyphic acceptation it was the symbol of the uni=ersal ?uaternaryF that is to say8 of the source of all
physical eAistence. As symbolic ima!e it represents the breast8 and e=ery nourishment and abundant
ob@ect. As !rammatical si!n it eApresses in !eneral abundance born of di=ision2 it is the si!n of di=isible
and di=ided nature ... e=ery idea of abundance and di=ision8 of propa!ation8 effusion and influence. "ts
arithmetical number is 7:. K%p. Cit.8 pa!e 518E
%n first thou!ht it would hardly seem that the /reek letter :&elta:8 aside from bein! the fourth letter8
contributes anythin! of =alue to our sub@ect. 1et a little meditation re=eals that it adds Colour and tone to
the same theme. #amed after8 and shaped like8 the delta of a ri=er8 it connotes that precise point where
the ri=er :di=ides:8 and throu!h that di=ision its water flow into the sea. 6e may see in this natural
phenomenon the symbol of that mystic point or channel throu!h which the :$i=er of .ife: flows outward
from its ineAhaustible and in=isible source to nourish and replenish the whole manifested world. Students
of the occult anatomy of man will readily reco!nise an association with the centers or chakras CwheelsE
within the body whereby the inner forces flow outward to !i=e life and !rowth and powers to the human
instrument. 6e may note this symbol on e=ery le=el of eApression as typin! that instrument of transition
whereby the inner reality becomes an eAternal manifestation. 6e may see it as the written pa!e or as the
spoken word which translates wisdom into knowled!e and understandin! for all mankind. "t is the
instrumentality of art whereby the hidden di=ine !lory is transformed into harmony and beauty in the form
of music8paintin!8sculpture8 etc.. 6e are reminded of a most si!nificant fact in connection with the
:$ays:8 that is the fourth which is the ray of the artist who sees Cor hearsE beauty and harmony upon the
inner or di=ine realms and eApresses what his inner senses percei=e in the worlds of form. A!ain we may
reco!nise this :delta: symbol in #ature in the root8 stem and branch upon which !rows flower and fruit for
the enrichment and nourishment of all life. May we not therefore affirm that /od or Spirit in manifestation,
whether it be in the sidereal uni=erse8 upon our earth8in the kin!doms of #ature8or in man himself , is
known by the si!n of the s?uare and the number 7B "n the mind of the Creator8 all manifestation eAists as
an ideal or :state,of,perfection,to,be: in an archetypal world8 towards which state all creation is e=er
mo=in!. "t must ha=e been this ideal world8 the =ision of the :world,that,is,to,be:8 that St. John saw as
:the city that lieth four s?uare:.
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
(-($1T0"#/ which we said about the S?uare could as truly be said about the Cross8 althou!h with
certain si!nificant differences. .ike the s?uare8 the numerical =alue of the cross is 7. The cross di=ides
the circle into four e?ual se!ments8 the day into four parts and the year into four seasons. "t marks off
sidereal space into four cardinal points2 #orth8 (ast8 South and 6est. .ike the s?uare it is definitely
linked with the physical uni=erse and in that sense with time and space. "t also types man as a
personality within a physical body as distinct from soul or spirit. 0owe=er8 the underlyin! difference in the
philosophy of the S?uare and the Cross8 it seems to me8 lies in the distinction between the static and the
dynamic8 between finality and infinity.
T,$ ",I*OSO",/ O% T,$ CROSS
The s?uare types a uni=erse which is e=ol=in! towards a state of perfection8a state8 howe=er8 which is
fiAed and final. "t represents a creation which is e=er in the process of becomin! or mo=in! towards a far,
off ideal. $eli!ion en=isa!es a !oal towards which each one of us8 and humanity as a whole8is tra=ellin!.
"ts prophets and seers en=ision a perfect society which will one day appear on earth8 and such
eApressions as a :new hea=en and a new earth:8 the :#ew Jerusalem:8 etc.8 ha=e cau!ht the ima!ination
of poet and preacher. This idea of eAistence is8 unless one be an out and out materialist8 the rational =iew
of thin!s. (=en the most pessimistic amon! us must accept e=olution as a pro!ressi=e mo=ement
towards a newer state8 althou!h he may deny a !oal or a direction. Some perpleAin! ?uestions pu>>le
the open mind2 "s this !oal the endB "s this state of perfection finalB &oes this 'topia8 once realised8
remain throu!hout eternity as a blissful state in which stru!!le8 chan!e8 pro!ress is unknownB &oes
e=olution reach a !oal8 howe=er distant8 and then cease fore=erB
6e =isualise the s?uare as the symbol of an ideal manhood which is the ultimate !oal of the human race.
And yet this ideal or prototype8 far ahead as it is8 contains a sense of finality. %nce it is attained8 it is
finished8 complete. The history of the human race becomes a series of tableauA in lifes natural museum8
each tableau a little nearer to the idea of perfection8 which in the pro!ression of time will ultimately be
attained. The s?uare8 as the symbol of this ideal of perfection8 is both its measure and its limitation.
#othin! can be beyond perfection8unless by some metamorphosis the nature of the thin! be chan!ed8
and a new idea of perfection be established. The concept of perfection implies an end or completion.
.ike the s?uare8 the cross is the symbol of the uni=erseF but of a uni=erse in which /od is immanent in
e=ery star and e=ery atom. "t is the symbol of man8 both collecti=ely as humanity and indi=idually as a
personalityF yet of man within whose body is buried a fra!ment of &eity. The cross is particularly the
symbol of the form side of #ature8 but it is also the symbol of the life imprisoned within that form. This
distinction can be !raphically illustrated by makin! a simple little drawin!. )irst we draw a s?uare. #ow
assumin! this s?uare to be a cube8 we proceed to open it up as one would a cardboard boA. 6e draw a
s?uare abo=e the first one to represent the top of the boA. Then we trace a s?uare on each side of the
ori!inal one. These will be the sides opened out. )inally we spread out the front and the bottom by
placin! two s?uares beneath the central one. 6hat we now ha=e is the cube unfol!e! in the form of a
.atin Cross, symbol of the form unfolded to release the imprisoned life8 symbol also of man unfoldin! his
inherent di=ine nature.
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
0ere is the distincti=e philosophy of the symbol of the cross. "t represents a uni=erse which is dynamic8
continually eApandin! under the pressure of the life force within it. "t types not only an ideal or !oal of
perfection towards which man and the uni=erse is e=ol=in!8 but an ideal or !oal which is itself e=er
eApandin!8 e=er mo=in! in unendin! spirals throu!hout infinity. This idea of endless continuity of life is as
difficult for the finite mind to !rasp as it is to concei=e of the known uni=erse to be in a state of infinite
eApansion throu!hout an eternity of time. "n this thou!ht we approach the =ery heart and source of bein!.
That an eternal process of motion or of e=olution and unfoldment is takin! place in man8 in the race and
in the uni=erse is a philosophy which must fill the mind with awe and wonder. 6e !rasp at an ultimate
!oal2 but where is an ultimate and fiAed !oal in a uni=erse which is infiniteB )or e=ery !oal which the
mind can concei=e is but the startin! place form which we look to a new !oal. "t is said that : we are
becomin! what we are:8 yet that =ery state of :bein!: which :what we are: is also :becomin!: somethin!
infinitely more than our hi!hest conception of what we shall be.
)or this reason the cross is a dual symbol of Sacrifice and Death8 for it embodies the idea of life or spirit
as imprisoned or buried in the tomb of matter. "t is the symbol of the &i=ine "ncarnation8 of /od
descendin! to earth and becomin! man. "t is no less the symbol of %ope and Life 8 for it is the symbol of
the resurrection of life from its material bonda!e. "t su!!ests humanity bein! raised to di=inity. Throu!h it8
spirit is e=er eApandin!8 e=er :becomin!: free. )rom its center of bein!8as typed by the rose in the cross8
life flows out alon! its four arms into infinity.
There are of course many types of the cross. The /reek or 0ermetic Cross with its four e?ual arms is
perhaps the most ancient. Primiti=e peoples8 obser=in! the sun as it ascends from the winter solstice
crossin! the e?uator to its northernmost point at the summer solstice8 then retracin! its path8 saw that it
formed in the hea=ens a cosmic cross8 its four arms markin! off the four ?uarters of the known
uni=erse8its =ertical line reachin! north and south8 its hori>ontal line stretchin! east and west to the far,
flun! limits of the uni=erse. A =ariant of this is the St. Andrews Cross with arms crossin! dia!onally. "t is
the union of these two crosses placed one upon the other which forms the *ritish 'nion Jack. "t is
interestin! also to note that these two crosses are used in mathematics as the addition and the
multiplication si!ns.
Se=eral =ariants of the cross ha=e been used in heraldry and in ecclesiastical insi!nia8 the Patte Cross
CaE is formed as within a circle somethin! like the meridians and parallels upon the earth. Akin to this is
the Maltese Cross CbE which consists of four trian!les set with points to!ether formin! a s?uare. Perhaps
the cross most commonly used in this connection is the Cross )leury8 or )leur de .ys CcE

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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
so called from the fact that each arm is di=ided at the end into three pointed se!ments resemblin! the
petals of a flower. This Cross refers especially to the Third .o!os Cin Christian nomenclature the 0oly
/host or the Third PersonE and represents the threefol! power of Spirit flowin! out into a fourfol!
uni=erse. This particular cross is most commonly found embroidered upon tapestries and ecclesiastical
=estments8 car=in!s upon church furniture8 interior and window decorations and o=er cathedral doors.
This form of the cross calls to mind its uni=ersal, that is8 catholic or cosmic, si!nificance. %ther forms of
the cross are the Swastika CdE and the Tau CeE8 each of which carries a messa!e distincti=ely its ownF and
since each of these crosses forms an inte!ral part of the Theosophical Seal8 they will be the sub@ect of
special studies. The form of the cross with which the Christian world is most familiar is the .atin Cross CfE
in which the lower section is twice the len!th of the upper section or the arms.

The Cross8 in the minds of most of us8 is associated with the Christian reli!ion. #e=ertheless history has
pro=en that it was not ori!inally a Christian symbol. Car=in!s upon rocks and walls of ca=es are e=idence
that as a reli!ious symbol it is =astly older than Christianity. 6e may correctly assume therefore that
Christianity appropriated the cross and made it her own particular symbol. That is to say8the idea of the
Cross as a Christian symbol of hope and =ictory had its ori!ins a!es before the crucifiAion of Jesus. 6e
say this8 not in any sense of irre=erence8but with a deep con=iction that due to the essential nature of the
cross8the death of the Christos8 followin! the pattern of the &i=ine Sacrifice throu!hout all a!es8 could
only ha=e taken place upon a cross.
)or Christianity was !i=en to mankind as the latest in the line of mystery reli!ions8 a fact lost si!h of after
the disappearance of the /nosis. .ike all mystery reli!ions8she =eiled her truths under the !uide of
alle!ory and symbol. That men ha=e mistaken the symbol for the reality is the !reatest tra!edy of the
a!e. 6e may truly say that Christianity dramatised8 historically in the life of Jesus8 and continuously
throu!h her rituals8 the !reat cosmic or uni=ersal truths which are embodied in the symbol of the Cross.
)or the critic to deny the historic reality of the Christian drama and its :dramatic personae: because he
learns that it fits into the mould of a uni=ersal or cosmic pattern is as illo!ical as it would be for the
scientist8 beholdin! in the atom under his microscope a miniature solar uni=erse8 to deny the eAistence of
that atom on the !rounds that it :copies: the lar!er pattern. "ndeed8 of no other reli!ion upon our planet8
at least in the memory of man8 can it be said that it presents its philosophy and its theolo!y C" use this
word in a uni=ersal senseE in the pattern of a di=ine or sacred drama , a pattern which loses nothin! of
truth or uni?ueness because it is a replica Cin timeE of that drama of creation whereby worlds and all li=in!
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
forms come into bein!.
0owe=er8 the 2:descent: of spirit into manifestation8 the :"ncarnation: or :the 6ord made flesh: , these
words eApress only half the story of the Cross. 6e ha=e su!!ested that the cross is a dual symbol. "t
represents /od descendin! to earth8 the :&i=ine Sacrifice:. "t also represents man ascendin! to /od8 the
eternal :$esurrection:. So the other half of the story of the cross pictures the /ay of the return. The :6ay
of the cross: is not only the way to Cal=ary. "t is the way whereby the Spirit CSonE of /od8 ha=in!
descended to earth to become man8 throu!h definite :sta!es: or initiations CeApansions of
consciousnessE ascends a!ain to become di=ine. This is the heat of e=ery true reli!ionF Christianity has
dramatised this in the life of Jesus. 6e mi!ht truly say it is her complete and only story.
6e ha=e only to look into the world about us to see how the hiero!lyph of the cross types #ature in so
many of her phases. The earth rotatin! upon its aAis di=ides the day into four ?uarters8 and the sun risin!
in the east8crossin! the meridian8 and settin! in the west8 forms what we mi!ht call the Mundane Cross ,
its arms eAtendin! outward in time and space. A!ain8 the rotation of the earth around the sun8passin! as
it does throu!h the twel=e si!ns of the Hodiac8draws a circle or ecliptic within which is inscribed another
cross. The hori>ontal line of this cross eAtends from Aries to .ibra8 its =ertical line from Cancer to
Capricorn8 into unthinkable distances8 and they form in the hea=ens the Sidereal or Celestial Cross.
Combine with this the annual motion of the earth by the inclination of its aAis formin! the twel=e months
and four seasons of the solar year and we ha=e what mi!ht be called the Cosmic Cross eAtendin!
outward in time as well as space. 6e may trace a series of correspondences between the Mundane and
the Cosmic Crosses. )or instance8the 4 A 14 hours of the day and the 14 months of the year8 the four
?uarters of the day and the four seasons of the year find many close relationships2 mornin! and
sprin!time8noonday and summer8afternoon and autumn8 midni!ht and winter. Poets often ha=e related
the a!es of man with the ?uarters of the day and the seasons of the yearF youth with mornin! and sprin!8
maturity with noontime and summer8 middle a!e with afternoon and autumn8 old a!e with midni!ht and
.ike many of the older reli!ions8 Christianity has not hesitated to fit the critical points of its drama upon
this cosmic cross. At the winter solstice8 the sun reaches his most southern point. 0e stands still.
&arkness co=ers the land and !rips it in its icy hand. )ear and hopelessness paralysed the primiti=e
mind. The sun is dead8 and with his death all life has departed from the earth. After three days
C&ecember 49thE he be!ins his northward @ourney. 0e is reborn. Then as he rises a!ain into the
hea=ens8the whole earth be!ins to respond to his life,!i=in! rays. At the sprin! e?uinoA he crosses the
earths e?uator and days and ni!hts are e?ualF and at the summer solstice he reaches his most northerly
point 8hesitates for a moment to be!in to retrace his path southward. At the autumnal e?uinoA he !athers
in the har=est and prepares a!ain for his death and burial. The reli!ions of all peoples8from the most
primiti=e to our own8 ha=e fiAed these cardinal points of the solar cross as the times of their most sacred
festi=als. And should we be surprised to learn that Christianity has chosen the points from which start the
=ertical and the hori>ontal lines of the solar cross in settin! the dates of its two ma@or festi=als, Christmas
and (asterB "t is said that Plato8 contemplatin! this solar cross eAclaimed :The world soul is crucifiedG:
6hen one thinks of the Cross8 particularly the .atin Cross8 he thinks instincti=ely of Christianity8 so
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
closely identified are they in the public mind. And yet it is a matter of historical record that in the early
centuries of the Christian Church8 the cross was not uni=ersally its symbol and did not become so until
the fourth century when 8 under the decree of the (mperor Constantine8 it became the official symbol of
the church. Accordin! to le!end it was on the e=e of the !reat battle which was to decide the fate of the
$oman (mpire in the west that there appeared in the hea=ens a flamin! cross and abo=e it the words8
:"n 0oc Si!no -inces:. The followin! day Constantines army was =ictorious8and belie=in! that the /od of
the Christians was on his side8 he became a champion of the new reli!ion and established the Cross as
its official emblem.
The CrucifiA8 howe=er8 now uni=ersally used by the $oman branch of the Church8 did not appear until
three centuries later. $elics from the early churches and from the catacombs re=eal a .atin Cross /ithout
a fi!ure upon it. The followin! is ?uoted from /erald Masseys The Natural 'enesis4
The =alue of the Cross as a Christian symbol is supposed to date from the time when Jesus
was crucified. And yet in the Christian icono!raphy of the catacombs no fi!ure of a man
appears upon the Cross durin! the first siA or se=en centuries. There are all forms of the
Cross CeAcept the crucifiAE , the alle!ed startin! point of the new reli!ion. &urin! some siA
centuries after the Christian era8 the foundation of the Christian reli!ion in a crucified
$edeemer is entirely absent from Christian artG The earliest known form of the human fi!ure
on the cross is a crucifiA presented by Pope /re!ory the /reat to the 3ueen of .ombardy8
whilst no ima!e of the Crucified is found in the catacombs of $ome earlier than the se=enth or
ei!ht century. There is no Christ and no CrucifiedF the Cross is the Christ. The Cross8 not the
Crucified8is the primary symbol of the Christian Church. The Cross8 not the Crucified8 is the
essential ob@ect of representation in its art8 and of adoration in its reli!ion. And that Cross is
pre,Christian8is pa!an and heathen8in half a do>en different shapes. &urin! these centuries
the Cross stood for the Christ8 and was addressed as if it were a li=in! bein!. "t was !iini*e!
at first and humanised at last KSee The Natural 'enesis" -" 728. 3uoted in The Secret
Doctrine" by 0.P.*la=atsky8 ""8 pa!e <408 Third (ditionL
1et for thirteen centuries the CrucifiA has held8 and still holds a sacred place in the hearts of millions of
de=otees to whom it is a re=ered symbol of the Christian faith. 6hat does this implyB 6e recall that the
/nosis disappeared from the Church about the same time that the CrucifiA replaced the plain Cross. 6e
must assume that as the Christian teachin! be!an to appeal more and more to the masses of the people8
the esoteric or mystery teachin!s were !radually lost si!ht of by the Church )athers and emphasis was
more and more placed on the historical and materialistic aspect. The CrucifiA fulfilled this new emphasis
in that it appealed to the emotional part of man rather than to the intellectual. The CrucifiA !raphically
keeps before the mind the dramatic rather than the philosophic aspect of the Cross.
Two ?uestions come to our minds. "f it is true that Christianity presents its reli!ious truths throu!h the life
story of Jesus in the form of a &i=ine &rama8 should not the Cross with the corpus affiAed be considered
its true symbolB %n the other hand may we not assume that8when the day comes when the /nosis or the
inner mysteries will be restored to their ri!htful place in the Christian teachin!s8the plain or .atin Cross
will return as the Churchs ri!htful symbolB The answers to these ?uestions may lie in the thou!ht that the
Christian &rama itself is the symbol of a uni=ersal or Cosmic &rama whereby8 throu!h the (ternal
Sacrifice of /od8the uni=erse and all li=in! thin!s come into bein!.
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
These ?uestions brin! to mind a most interestin! eAperiment made a number of years a!o by a !roup of
in=esti!ators under the !uidance of C.6..eadbeater. 6hoe=er has read any of .eadbeaters many books
on the sub@ect of the Ancient 6isdom and of Christianity will know of his accomplishments as a Seer and
%ccultist and of his numerous contributions to a deeper understandin! of the many truths concealed
within its sacred scriptures. They will know too that durin! many years8 perhaps many li=es8 throu!h
determined and persistent effort he had de=eloped certain inner or psychic faculties enablin! him to
eAtend his consciousness backward in time to contact ideas and e=ents lon! since past K$ead the
Science of Seership by /eoffrey 0odsonL Ponderin! upon the relati=e si!nificance of the Cross and the
CrucifiA in Christian Symbolo!y8 this !roup determined to learn which of these two held first place in the
realm of causations. "t is said that .eadbeater had eApected to find the fi!ure disappear lea=in! only the
plain cross. 0owe=er8 and to his !reat astonishment8the cross itself faded away lea=in! the fi!ure of a
/od with arms outstretched , not in a!ony of dyin! but , in blessin!.
1et a little thou!ht will con=ince us that in the ultimate8 the cross is the symbol8 and man8 son of hea=en
and earth8 is the reality. 0owe=er8before the eyes are able to behold that reality in its completeness8 they
must look8 as throu!h a !lass8 upon the symbol. 6hen man emer!es from the darkness of i!norance into
the li!ht of wisdom8 and his eyes become accustomed to the reality rather than the shadow8 the symbol
fades and he alone remains. :"t is by no means unnatural:8 writes C.6..eadbeater8 :that the descent of
the &i=ine Man into matter should be symbolised by the bindin! of the body to the cross:. NThe (hristian
(ree! by C.6..eadbeater8 pa!es D0,D5L
Any study of the cross would be incomplete without considerin! its purpose and =alue as a :si!n: of
de=otion and prayer so uni=ersally used by millions of worshippers throu!hout the Christian world. 6e
ha=e been thinkin! of the cross as a symbol made of wood8stone or metal8 printed or car=ed , that is as
somethin! fiAed and inanimated. 6e wish now to consider it as an action or mo=ement made by the
hand o=er the self or o=er another person or o=er an ob@ect.
Made o=er the self8 this :si!n: si!nifies an act of blessin! or a prayer for help and protection in some
difficulty. 6hen made o=er another person it is supposed to in=oke protection or healin!. "n certain
reli!ious rites such as baptism8 confirmation8unction8 etc.8 it is used o=er another person to in=oke &i=ine
for!i=eness8 purification8stimulation or some definite intent in the mind of the officiant. 6hen the si!n: is
made o=er certain ob@ects8 particularly in the performance of litur!ical acts8 it is considered to impress
upon such ob@ects certain bene=olent influences8 or to brin! upon the possessor protection or !ood
fortune. 0ere we lea=e the plane of philosophy and enter the realm of the occult. 6e are forced to
reco!nise either one of two points of =iew. This act of makin! the :Si!n of the Cross: is purely a carry,
o=er from a past superstition and its effect upon us is merely psycholo!icalF or there are certain mental or
spiritual forces en!endered or released throu!h the performance of this action8 not otherwise present in
ordinary mo=ements of the hands. "n other words8 is the :Si!n of the Cross: a reli!ious !esture as an act
of recollection or beliefF or is it an act of ma!ic ?uite outside the realm of normal eAperienceB 6e ha=e
been lookin! upon the cross ob@ecti=ely as somethin! outside of oursel=es. 6e now consider it
sub@ecti=ely as a power or force within ones self capable of accomplishin! certain ob@ecti=e results.
The attitude of the Christian world is di=ided upon this sub@ect. There are those who feel that all ritualism
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
is useless and =alueless and that mans contact with /od is to be found directly throu!h his own heart.
%n the other hand there are those who feel that the way to /od and the claim upon 0is blessin! is more
readily realised throu!h orderly and co,operati=e rituals. The purpose and =alue of ritualism in reli!ious
worship is a sub@ect which cannot be discussed at this point. K See The Science of the Sacraments by
C.6..eadbeaterL The ob=ious intent of ceremonialism is to still the mind and the emotions that they may
become attuned and therefore recepti=e to spiritual influences. "f as we may suppose the efficacy of this
!esture is enhanced by the intent and the earnestness of the one who makes it8 we may ri!htly wonder if
without such stron! intent the =alue of the action diminishes to a =anishin! point. "n other words8is there
=irtue in the action itself apart from the will or desire of the one who performs the actionB 6e shall
consider this problem from as impartial and unpre@udiced a point of =iew as we can. "n the first place we
feel that the millions who make the si!n of the cross neither know nor suspect a modus operandi behind
their action. The thin! is done with the spontaneous automatism of breathin!. The !esture is associated
=a!uely8 especially if accompanied with a prayer formula or rubric8with the :Trinity:.
%ur approach to an understandin! of the problem must be predicated by an assumption that behind this
act there is a sincerity of intent and a re=erent de=otion on the part of the worshiper. "n his mind there
eAists8 consciously or unconsciously8 a certain idea 8 which repeated a!ain and a!ain8becomes for him a
miniature creed. 6e look to the fundamental philosophy behind the lines which comprise the cross. The
=ertical line represents /od the )ather8not in a far,off 0ea=en8but descendin! to earth. "t is the .ife
Principle or Spirit impre!natin! matter. "t is /od "ncarnate as :The Son:8 the :6ord made flesh:. The
hori>ontal line represents the matter of the 'ni=erse8 C.atin $aterE the Mother as the recepti=e or
!enerati=e aspect of &eity. The union of these two lines is the si!n of Man8 who in his spiritual nature is
the Son of 'o!" while in his form aspect is the son of the earth Thus the =ertical line descends and
crosses the hori>ontal line and an infinite soul enters a finite body. "n the mo=ement of the hand upward8
touchin! the left shoulder and the ri!ht8 the son of man rises a!ain into his spiritual estate as Son of /od.
%f course8 the one who makes this :si!n: o=er himself thinks of none of these thin!s. 0e thinks of /od as
)ather sendin! down 0is blessin! on behalf of 0is Son who ha=in! descended to earth !a=e 0imself as
the sacrifice whereby we may also rise with 0im to !lory. These and kindred thou!hts are packed
to!ether in this si!n as a kind of miniature creed. There is also the idea of bein! linked with /od or with
our own hi!her Self8 the si!n itself bein! the si!n of union or addition8 as eAemplified in the mathematical
:plus:.'sually the :si!n: is made8 whether o=er the self or another8 to!ether with repetition of the :6ords
of Power:. 6e say8 audibly or silently8 :"n the #ame of the )ather8 and of the Son8 and of the 0oly /host:.
"n the association of the !esture with the words of this mantram lies the key to its powerF and a study of
the correspondences implied !i=e us an understandin! of the =alidity of its source and the method of its
operation. "ndeed it mi!ht be said without eAa!!eration that an understandin! of the correspondences
between /od and #ature and between /od and man is the A*C of occult wisdom. KSee a detailed study
of these relationships made in this *ook - under the headin! :"nterlaced Trian!les:.L *riefly stated8 the
head8 typifyin! the seat of the intelli!ence or will8 is related to the :)ather: aspect of /od8 the &i=ine 6ill.
The physical heart is the seat of mans purest lo=e and is therefore associated with the lo=e aspect of
/od or the :Son:. 'ni=ersally the heart is the symbol of lo=e. Similarly the arms and shoulders alludin! to
man in his manifold acti=ities types /od in 0is Acti=ity or Creati=e aspect8 known in Christian terminolo!y
as :the 0oly /host:.
6hen therefore while touchin! the forehead with the fin!ers of the ri!ht hand we say8 :"n the #ame of the
)ather:8 then brin!in! the hand to the heart Cor solar pleAusE we way8 :and to the Son:8 then finally
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
touchin! the left and ri!ht shoulders we conclude with :and of the 0oly /host:8 there is created an
interlockin! mechanism whereby8 throu!h the similitude of his own threefold spiritual nature8 man in=okes
the threefold power of /od. 6e thinks of a key which opens a lock by the eAactness of its correspondin!
contours8 for mans Spirit is the =ery ima!e of /od whose 6ill8 .o=e,6isdom and Creati=e Acti=ity find
their correspondin! : ima!e and likeness: reflected in his own personal nature , puttin! in his hands the
key wherewith he may unlock the "nfinite.
(=idence that the si!n of the cross is more than Christian may be found in two ?uotations from 0.P.
.*la=atskys The Secret Doctrine. She writes2
:.on! before the cross or its si!n were adopted as symbols of Christianity8 the si!n of the
cross was used as a mark of reco!nition amon! Adepts and #eophytes8 the latter bein! called
Chrests , from Chrestos:.
She then ?uotes (liphas .M=i8 the )rench +abalist8 as sayin! that "nitiates into that order use the si!n
:Carryin! his hand to his forehead8 said8 To Thee0 then he added8 belon#0 and continued8
carryin! the hand to the breast8 the Kin#!om0 then to the left shoulderF 9ustice0 to the ri!ht
shoulder8 an! mercy0 then he @oined the two hands8 addin! throu#hout the #eneratin# cycles:.
KSee The Secret Doctrine -olume ""8 pa!e 9D5 ,Third (ditionL.
"n the same =olume Cpa!e 988E speakin! of the Tau Cross8 she refers to the use of the si!n of the Cross
made by the Prophet (>ekiel :o=er the men of Judah who feared the .ord: C6*ekiel D27E. :The .ord said8
/o throu!h the city KJerusalemL and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that si!h and cry for all
the abominations that be done in the midst thereof:. "n the -ul!ate *ible this :Mark: was translated
:Si!mum Thau: Csi!n of the (!yptian Cross:.
)inally8 may we eApress a few thou!hts on the rationale of this action and su!!est some answers to the
?uestions8 whatB whenceB and howB " say su!!est8 for who can really know , much less describe , the
true nature of the reality behind phenomenaB )irst there is the power of tradition. Tradition8 whether we
are aware of it or not8 eAerts an influence upon our li=es. .on! continued and oft,repeated thou!hts ha=e
their effect upon the mental atmosphere about us. 6e ha=e only to enter the ?uiet hall of an old colle!e
to feel our own thou!hts stirred by the profundity of wisdom that seems to eAude from its =ery walls. 6ho
has strolled throu!h the silent corridors of an ancient cathedral and has not come under the spell of an
influence which automatically turns his thou!hts to meditation and his heart to prayerB "n much the same
way thou!h perhaps infinitely more subtle may we concei=e a kind of psychic or spiritual reser=oir built
up and sustained by countless millions of acts of de=otion and worship o=er the centuries. Such a
reser=oir of spiritual power is8 we are assured by occultists a =ery real thin! Throu!h the laws of affinity
and attraction e=ery fer=ent prayer and sincere aspiration8 accompanied by this traditional si!n of the
cross8 reaches up to tap this reser=oir of spiritual and mental power.
Since the fundamental idea of the cross is spirit descendin! into matter8 it is therefore the si!n of the
:"ncarnation: and is particularly associated with the :Son: aspect of /od. "f we follow this lo!ic from the
hi!hest spiritual le=el down to earth we may reali>e that8 aside from historical association of Jesus and
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
the cross8 there is this timeless association of the cross with the 'ni=ersal Christ who is the =ery
embodiment of the :Son: aspect of /od upon our planet. 6hen therefore the Christian Church8 throu!h
its rituals and symbols use the :Si!n of the Cross:8 it is thereby both eApressin! and recollectin! this
ancient and inner linka!e with its true spiritual 0ead. )or if it is !ranted that spiritual =alues ha=e a place
in the world and throu!hout the uni=erse8 we must admit the rationality and the reality of this power of the
"t may ri!htly be claimed therefore that the Cross is the Christs own particular :Si!n:8 and that as .ord of
6isdom as well as of .o=e8 0is consciousness is e=er aware of each occasion when it is made with true
sincerity and de=otion. The :Si!n: therefore becomes a key to unlock 0is own !reat reser=oir of spiritual
power. "ndeed it puts one in temporary rapport with 0im and eAerts a claim upon 0is blessin!. "t is silent
in=ocation which becomes both an instrument and a channel for the callin! down and the distribution of
this Christ force. "t may be said8 in all re=erence8 that he who with true sincerity makes this :si!n: o=er
another person or o=er an ob@ect does so in the momentary capacity as 0is representati=e. A!ain
students of the occult anatomy of man know that mans body is surrounded Cand interpenetratedE by an
etheric counterpart or :double: which acts as the medium of contact and assimilation of the in=isible and
spiritual forces. They know too that in this etheric double there eAist certain chakras or force centersF one
at the top of the head8 one at the brow8 one at the throat8 one at the heart8 etc.. These chakras
differentiate this force to the particular function of the ductless !lands as the physical recipient and a!ent
of its use in the body. 6hen therefore an officiant or ordained priest makes the si!n of the cross o=er the
head8the brow8 the throat and the heart Cas in baptism8 confirmation8 unction8etc.8E he is thereby
eAercisin! a particular impetus to the specific type of force represented by that center KSee
C.6..eadbeaters The (hakras and The Science of the Sacraments;
0ow may one measure the power of the Cross or enter into the heart of its mysteryB Shall we say that if
its essential si!nificance is sacrifice8 its meanin! is limitation8 loss8 deathB "n this word is implied
somethin! infinitely more. Surely when we unite these two .atin words :sacre,facio: Cmake sacredE we
are therein assertin! that the =ery life of /od comes down to man in order that it may thereby lift man up
to /od.
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&OO' 6-T,$ TAU

C,A"T$R -7-
T0( TA' is the central fi!ure of the Theosophical Seal and the heart of its messa!e. "n this symbol is
contained the purpose of life and the assurance of the ultimate =ictory of life o=er death. *efore enterin!
upon this new study8 howe=er8 we wish to brin! into closer focus two aspects of the Cross which were
touched upon but li!htly in the precedin! chapters, The Philosophic Cross and the Mystic Cross8 to form
a more ade?uate backdrop a!ainst which to =iew the messa!e of the Tau. "n dealin! with these two
sub@ects it may seem difficult to separate in our minds those thou!hts whose source is eAternal to
oursel=es from those which ha=e their ori!in within our own consciousness. "nstead of talkin! about
somethin! outside of oursel=es8 we find that we are meditatin! upon certain concepts of reality which
seem fundamental to an understandin! of our =ery eAistence )or who can know the mystery of bein!8
much less tell it to anotherB (ach must turn his !a>e into the depths of his own bein! if he would find the
truth of *ein! which is uni=ersal.
There is a remark in the Preface to this book to the effect that no man can e=er know ultimate truth8 for
the reason that ultimate truth8 bein! infinite8 can ne=er be fully co!ni>ed by the finite mind. This thou!ht
may at first seem to be a contradiction of the *ible statement8 :1e shall know the truth:. And yet a little
thou!ht will re=eal that the :truth: which we can know must be relati=e8 based upon human concepts and
chan!in! relationships. 'ltimate truth must e=er be outside of the realm of manifestation and compared
to nothin! outside of itself. Jesus said8 :#o man hath seen /od at any time: C1ohn 12 18E. 0e a!ain said8
:#o man knoweth the )ather: C$att. "i2 4IE. "t must be ob=ious that no one can really know the Absolute.
%nly the Absolute can truly know "tself. And yet reli!ion would be a barren futility if man had no hope of
e=er knowin! /od. *ut the /od which he can know8 e=en as the truth which he can know8 is that part of
&eity which he can see throu!h the lens of his own personality, to him no less real and true. 6e in the
6est8 for instance8 known /od as )ather8 Son and 0oly /hostF or to translate2 &i=ine 6ill8 .o=e and
Creati=e "ntelli!ence8 or Creator8 Preser=er and &estroyer, terms which the mind of man can
"n like manner the cross as a symbol is beyond the capacity of the finite mind to fully understand. 6e
think of it as applyin! to a specific idea and so limit its interpretation. "n pre=ious chapters we considered
the cross as a symbol both of the material uni=erse8 its eAtension in time and space8 and of man as a
physical personality. %ur present study will be that aspect of the Cross which symbolises the relationship
of the eAternal uni=erse to the =ery source of its bein!. 6e ask oursel=es the ?uestion8 :6hat is the
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source and reality behind the physical uni=erseB: Science answers8 :(=olution:. $eli!ion answers8
:Creation:. Somewhere between these two answers, perhaps embodyin! somethin! of each, lies the
truth. 6e shall be!in by considerin! a few concepts taken from an ancient scripture8 concepts so
fundamental as to defy contradiction either by science or reli!ion.
'nknown a!es before the *ook of /enesis was written there appeared amon! the peoples of Central
Asia a :book: so ancient that no one today knows its ori!in or its author. "t is called the Book of D*yan
C:&>yan: meanin! :di=ine wisdom:E. This :book: consists of palm lea=es8 treated with a secret
preser=ati=e8 upon which were inscribed in :Sen>ar: Ca secret sacerdotal ton!ue known only to "nitiatesE
a treatise on cosmic e=olution8 the ori!ins of man and of the human race KThe Se=en Stan>as of this
work called :Cosmo!enesis: became the basis for The Secret Doctrine by 0.P.*la=atskyL Tradition has it
that this book is so ancient that the sacred books of all ci=ilisations , 0indu8 (!yptian80ebrew8 Chaldean8
etc. , were taken from it. As one reads8 he is carried backwards8 or inwards8 in ima!ination until he seems
to touch the consciousness of the Creator. 0e senses as in a dream uni=erses yet unborn8 and seems to
en=ision thin!s,to,be before they are concei=ed in the womb of time. )or time itself has not yet come into
bein!. 6e read2 :The (ternal Parent8 wrapped in her e=er in=isible robes8 had slumbered once a!ain for
se=en eternities.: #ote here the su!!estion of a recurrence of manifestation and non,manifestation. #ote
also that the :Parent: is referred to as :her:. "t is only as the Absolute or Pure *ein! is eApressed as a
duality8 :)ather,Mother:8 can *ein! become Manifestation and therefore knowable. To continue2 :Time
was not8 for it lay asleep in the infinite bosom of duration. .... &arkness alone filled the boundless all.: "n
our own scriptures we read8 :And the earth Kuni=erseL was without form and =oidF and darkness Kni!htL
was upon the face of the deep: C'enesis 124E.
6e cannot help but note the points of similarity in these two ancient formulas of creation2 one 0ebraic8
the other from the earliest Aryan peoples in central Asia. The Stan>as continue8 :#au!ht was.... Alone the
one form of eAistence stretched boundless8 infinite8 causeless8 in dreamless sleep... There was neither
silence nor sound8 nau!ht sa=e ceaseless eternal breath.: :#au!ht: is the circle of infinity within which
all,that,is,to,be eAists potentially. Manifestation had not come into bein!. Symbolically :nau!ht: is
synonymous with :ni!ht: of 'enesis. :*reath: is the indication of potential motion or sound and the first
act of creation. This :breath: is not yet =ibration8 but the source of =ibration. "t is the :6ord which was in
the be!innin!:. The 'enesis account co=ers the neAt sta!e in one brief sentence2 :And the Spirit CbreathE
of /od mo=ed upon the face of the waters.: And from the :Stan>as:8 we read2 :-ibration... thrills throu!h
infinitude... sweeps alon!8 touchin! with its swift win! the whole uni=erse8 and the /erm that dwelleth in
darkness2 the darkness that breathes o=er the slumberin! waters.....:. This :/erm: is the :Seed: of
'enesis" the di=ine :idea: of Plato8 which was implanted in this primordial sea8 this :=ir!in: substance
called by the ancients $ulaprakriti.
0ere in all the beauty of ima!ery is pictured the first act of creation. Could any statement of Jeans8
*er!son or (instein so thrill the ima!ination or so accurately state the process of creati=e,e=olution in the
comin! to birth of a uni=erseB 6hat other words could so describe that state of primordial substance out
of which all forms were to appear as8 :the &eep:8 :the 6aters:8 :the Sea:B This is truly the :uni=ersal
mother:8 the :=ir!in matter:8 the :(ternal parent:8 symbolically eApressed by the hori>ontal line of the
The time has come to awaken the slumberin! :=ir!in: from her sleep. That which philosophers call
ener!y or life,principle , )ather or Spirit , mo=es. :-ibration thrills throu!h infinitude:. :The spirit KbreathL
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of /od mo=ed upon the face of the waters.: Truly and re=erently8 we may think of this in a uni=ersal
sense as the :"mmaculate Conception:F and the phrase :born of the -ir!in Mary:8 so dear to Christians
e=erywhere8 has cosmic as well as creedal si!nificance. "n a philosophical sense thus we interpret Mary
C.atin , $are" meanin! the SeaE as the 'ni=ersal Mother of all li=in! forms8 beautifully dramatised in
many reli!ions as the -ir!in Mother. This mo=ement or descent into matter has been referred to as the
:(ternal Sacrifice: of /od whereby life and form come into bein!. /od Transcendent has become /od
"mmanent. Thus the =ertical line cuttin! across the hori>ontal line forms the cross8 the cross of sacrifice
whereby all thin!s become truly sacred. To record this :descent: of spirit into matter in all its ramifications
would fill many =olumes. 0ere we cut swiftly across aeons of time. The uni=erse had already !one
throu!h its periods of condensation and solidification formin! in the process se=en worlds or planes of
#ature consistin! of denser and denser matter8 down to the =ery lowest or densest. This is our physical
uni=erse. The process took unknown a!es of time beyond the possibility of measure. 6e mi!ht think of
spirit or life as becomin! more and more clothed in the matter of the planes8 until upon reachin! the
densest8 the lowest physical8 it lies buried or entombed in rock and crystal. 6e mi!ht also en=isa!e the
:ima!es: or :!erms: Cin the abo=e ?uotationsE as bein! clothed in e=er denser material8 becomin! on the
hi!her mental le=els the archetypes of all thin!s,that,are,to,be8 finally to be buried as :seeds: within
dense physical matter.
6e know that the first chapter of 'enesis was not written as history or as a bio!raphy of our first parents.
$ather was it an ancient formula of a cosmic creati=e,e=olutionary process8 a process so =ast that its
:days: or a!es must be measured in billions of years. The fire,mist formin! into !reat whirlin! clouds of
!aseous =apours became in turn dense fo!s obscurin! the face of a planet comin! to birth8 condensin!
!radually into boundless oceans8 from which =as continents were e=entually thrown up by belchin!
=olcanoes. :An 0e called the dry land earth and the !atherin! of the waters seas.: 6here are now those
di=ine ideas8 ima!es of all li=in! thin!s,that,are,to,be which took shape so freely in those rarer8 more
spiritual realmsB Those li=in! emanations of the Creati=e Mind now lie embedded in rock8 earth and
water8 to all appearances8 dead. Spirit truly has died8 symbolically crucified upon the cross of matter.
The foremost minds today accept as truth the idea that matter and ener!y ha=e a common ori!in8 they
are the positi=e and ne!ati=e poles of a sin!le8 thou!h unknown8 substance. They see a dual process
takin! place2 ener!y or force solidifyin! and becomin! matter8 and matter in turn bein! con=erted into
ener!y. The most lo!ical step must be the disco=ery that the whole uni=erse as we see it is the
condensation of a substance so rare that it must be considered pure spirit. Moreo=er8 it must be
reco!ni>ed that this rarer medium is endowed with form,creatin! and life,!i=in! power. $eli!ion has all
but for!otten this formula and has substituted the idea of :creation: out of nothin!8 %n the one hand we
ha=e the *ible story of creation as interpreted by many eAponents of reli!ion to mean that all thin!s came
into bein! by di=ine fiat or :word:. %n the other hand we ha=e the theory of e=olution as the ori!in and
source of all li=in! forms from matter only. *etween these two orthodoAys there is8 or seems to be8 an
impassable chasm. 6hen science disco=ers and reli!ion remembers this inolutionary process8 there
shall be built a brid!e between reli!ion and science8 and creation and eolution shall be reco!ni>ed as
two phases of the one process.
&eeply si!nificant therefore become the words of 'enesis 42 7,98 :The .ord /od made... e=ery plant of
the field before it /as in the earth" and e=ery herb of the field before it #re/.: 0erein lies the secret
o=erlooked by both reli!ion and science8 namely8 that in order for li=in! forms to eole" that is8 to
pro!ressi=ely mo=e toward a hi!her type or form8 these same forms of life must first ha=e been implanted
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as di=ine ideas8 that is8 to ha=e inole! into matter. 6e attach new si!nificance to that statement of
Jesus8 :#o man hath ascended up to hea=en but he that came down form hea=en: C1ohn 52 15E. 0ow
easy then for both reli!ion and science to accept as truth the idea that e=ery li=in! form contains buried
within it the ima!e of that which it is one day to become. As the seed buried in the earth8true to the ur!e
of its locked,in ima!e8 awakens to become its fulfilment8 so the seed or :!erm: implanted in e=ery li=in!
form follows the di=ine ur!e to become the eApressed fulfilment of that di=ine ima!e. The processes of
#ature and the eAperiences of earth eAistence are the forces which awaken the slumberin! life and stir it
to awareness and e=entual consciousness. Thus the dual process of "n=olution and (=olution8 of life
descendin! and forms ascendin!8 completes our Philosophic Cross.
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
C,A"T$R 8
P0".%S%P01 is concerned chiefly with speculations as to the ori!ins of thin!s8the nature of life8 its
purpose and !oal. "t is not so much interested in the indi=idual life as life in the abstract. "t talks of man in
the sense of humanity8 rather than in the sense of you and me. 1et each one of us is particularly
interested in the ?uestion8 :6hat about meB 6here do " fit into the scheme of thin!sB 6hen or where did
" be!in as a separated indi=idual and what is my own indi=idual !oalB 6ill this self which " know as :":
one day cease to eAist and become mer!ed in the uni=ersal, lost as an indi=idual8 as a drop is lost in the
oceanB &oes that point which is :": e=entually become absorbed in the circle of infinityB: "t will be our
purpose in this study to probe into the ori!in8 purpose and end of life in its indi=idual aspect8 rather than
its uni=ersal. The answers to these ?uestions would seem to brin! us into the realm of reli!ion. %ur
contemplation upon this matter will take the road symbolically of the Mystic Cross.
Two e=ents measure the span of e=ery human life8birth and death. %ne is the door throu!h which man
enters this earth life8the other is the door throu!h which he makes his eAit. (=eryone is familiar with those
lines from Shakespeares As <ou like it4
All the worlds a sta!e8
And all the men and women merely players.
They ha=e their eAists and their entrances....
At birth he enters upon this sta!e under the play name of John Smith. 6hen the curtain falls8 his part as
John Smith ends. "t is ?uite ob=ious to e=eryone that the actor eAisted under his own name before he
became John Smith in the play8 and that he will not cease to eAist as an actor after the final curtain has
fallen. "t is also true that he has played many parts before8 and that he will continue to play many other
parts under as many different names in the future. Throu!hout these many parts he8 the actor8 eAists as
an indi=iduality and li=es a life of his own :off the sta!e:. 6hen he assumes the role of a character in the
play8his own true nature is for the time bein! set asideF and when the play is ended the character ceases
to be and his own life as an actor continues.
This is an eAcellent illustration of what happens in actual life. The :": Csoul or e!oE is the actor8 this earth
life is the sta!e8 the personality is the character in the play. 6hen the :": is born into this world as a
personality8 the :": is8 so far as the play is concerned8 completely absorbed by the personalityF and when
the personality dies8the :": continues Coff sta!eE his own life. The =ast ma@ority of people are so
en!rossed in this :play: of life that the fallin! of the final curtain seems death. Their attitude towards the
sub@ect of life and death is in=erted. The personality appears to be the self and it seemin!ly is born and
dies. "f one mi!ht say that the self dies8 it is when he assumes the mask of a personality and enters the
sta!e door of this earth life.
This all seems =ery simple and easy to understand so far as the personality is concerned. *ut what about
the :":8 the true self or e!oB 0ow and when does he enter into the pictureB And if he ha=e a be!innin!8
may he not therefore also one day cease to beB 6hat is his purpose and !oalB "f the :": is the actor who
steps upon the sta!e a!ain and a!ain to play his parts8 may we assume that he the true self Cthe actorE is
Pa!e 7I
The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
himself but a character in a !reater drama in which his many earth li=es are but brief scenes in some
lar!er playB 6e may well ask the ?uestion2 whence did he8 the true self come8 and into what realm will
he make his final eAitB As there are two e=ents which mark his be!innin! and endin! as a personality in
each earth life8 so in a lar!er way may we en=ision two correspondin! e=ents of !reater ma!nitude which
mark his entrance and eAit as a soul or e!o in a drama in which the :": as a di=ine actor plays his part. "n
other words8 the personality is born and dies many times while the soul or e!o remains. 6ould it
therefore follow that in a lar!er cycle8 the soul would ha=e its be!innin! CbirthE and its endin! CdeathEB
0ere a!ain8 orthodoA reli!ion and material science seem to be in stubborn conflict. %ne teaches that the
:": or soul was created by /od at the time of its birth in a physical body. After its one brief span it departs
to an afterlife8 which may be one of eternal misery or eternal bliss accordin! to its beliefs or compliance
with certain prescribed rites while in the body. The other teaches that the soul or consciousness is a
product of e=olution and has eAistence only in the physical brain )or our true answer we turn to the
Ancient 6isdom8 tau!ht by sa!es and mystics throu!hout the a!es in mystery schools and in the worlds
sacred scriptures8 and now for the first time in history presented openly to all peoples of the world under
the name of Theosophy.
"n the precedin! chapter8 with the aid of the worlds most ancient writin!s8 includin! our own scripture8we
attempted to understand somethin! of the =ast creati=e processes whereby the uni=erse with its teemin!
forms of life came into bein!. 6e saw that by the action Cmo=ementE of spirit upon primordial substance
Cmulaprakriti or the :=oid:E the matter of our uni=erse8 plane by plane from the rarest spiritual down to
densest physical8 came into bein!. The neAt sta!e in the process was the descent of the .o!os C:6ord:E
into that matter8 impre!natin! it with 0is life in order that al li=in! forms mi!ht come into eAistence. 6e
saw too that by the power of this 6ord ideas or seeds of all thin!s,to,be were impressed upon the matter
of the hi!hest or di=ine realm. These seeds8 descendin! into the lower worlds of consciousness8 became
the ima!es or prototypes of all future forms of life. This creati=e process was called inolution. Then
slowly these life,!erms8 slumberin! in densest matter8 by the stimulus of outer forces be!an to awakenF
and in obedience to the ur!e from within8 eApressed themsel=es in e=er increasin!ly responsi=e forms.
This is the process called eolution whereby these li=in! forms8 followin! the pattern of the thou!ht,
ima!es8 ascended throu!h #atures many kin!doms8 until finally8 crownin! her work of untold a!es8
anthropoidal man appeared. "t was at this point that the first of the two e=ents8 mentioned a moment a!o8
took place. 'p to now there had appeared no li=in! creature about which it could be said that it was
:made in the ima!e of /od:. 6hen this wa=e of e=ol=in! life,forms had reached a hei!ht beyond which it
could not rise by its own power alone8 an important e=ent happened , the most important up to this time
upon our planet. This e=ent was the comin! of what the ancient scriptures call the :Shinin! %nes:8 the
:Sons of /od:. These *ein!s ha=e been called by many names2 :Sparks of the &i=ine )lame:8
:)ra!ments of /od:8 :(manations of Ain,Soph: or :Monads:. They ha=e sometimes been referred to as
the :fallen an!els:. Some scholars of the Ancient 6isdom see in this e=ent the real truth behind the
le!end of the :)all of Man:. This is the true Spirit of man8 the &i=ine (!o or Soul. This is the "mmortal Self
of whom the sa!es wrote2
#e=er the spirit was born2
The spirit shall cease to be ne=erF
*irthless and deathless and chan!eless
$emaineth the spirit fore=er
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CThe Son# (elestial interpreted from the Bha#aa! 'ita by Sir (dwin Arnold.E
This is the di=ine actor who steps upon the sta!e of life8 his acts bein! countless incarnations. "n this idea
may be found another brid!e upon which the material scientist and the orthodoA reli!ionist may meet. )or
on the one hand we ha=e the e=olution of forms whereby a suitable body is preparedF and on the other
hand we ha=e an immortal soul :descended:8 not from an ape8 but from /od. The nature of the soul and
the manner of its appearin! will be discussed n *ook - under the headin! :The "nterlaced Trian!les:.
The comin! CdescentE of these di=ine sons8 and their so@ourn in the lower re!ions C:0ades: of the /reeks8
:Amenti: of the (!yptiansE has been the sub@ect of myth and le!end of all peoples since the be!innin! of
time. This is a theme which has been immortalised by sa!e and poet. 6e may see it in the 0ebraic
le!end of the Children of "srael wanderin! :forty years in the wilderness:. "t is ?uite ob=iously the
meanin! behind the parable of the :Prodi!al Son: who left his fathers home and tra=elled:into a far
country:. 6e recall the (!yptian myth of %siris as ha=in! been slain and his body dismembered8 and the
pieces scattered o=er the land. These pieces or :fra!ments: of &eity were the Monads8 spirits of men
which later were to be !athered to!ether Cre,memberedE throu!h the efforts of his son8 0orus. Jesus
mission on earth was to :!ather up the fra!ments that nothin! be lost:. Somethin! of this idea may be
seen in the ritual of the (ucharist wherein the 0ost C*ody of /odE is broken and a :fra!ment: dropped
into the chalice8 symbol of the soul of man.
The cynic mi!ht be tempted to ask8 :6hat is the purpose of this pil!rima!eB 6hat is its destinationB "f the
soul be di=ine why not remain in that ori!inal state of blissB: %ur answer must be found in #ature. Take
the seed. 'nless the seed fall into the earth and be buried8 :"t abideth aloneF but if it die it brin!eth forth
much fruit: C1ohn 14247E. The analo!y of course is ob=ious. This earth life is the !round. 'nless this
di=ine seed which is mans spirit fall into the earth and be buried Cin a physical bodyE :it abideth alone:
and remains fore=er unconscious of its own nature and purpose. *ut if it descends into this world where
stru!!le and sorrow are intensified by the necessity and the will to o=ercome the obstacles and
difficulties8 it thereby de=elops its own inherent faculties8 now latent and dormant8 into acti=e powers.
After many li=es8 durin! which he is !radually awakened to the purpose of life and to his own inner di=ine
nature8 like the prodi!al son he says8 :" will arise and !o to my )ather:.
This reco!nition of his own true nature and of his purpose is the turnin! point in his @ourney. 0e learns for
the first time that he is not only somethin! more than this personality8 but somethin! infinitely more than a
soul. 0e is a Spark of the &i=ine )lame8 a Son of /od8 as St. John said8 :*elo=ed8 now are we the sons
of /od:. 0e realise that he has a !reat work to perform. 0e be!ins to see8 indistinctly at first8 a path lyin!
before him. That work must be done upon himself8 and the path upon which he must tra=el lies within
himself. 0e cannot see the !oal8 but he knows that there is a !oal8 and from this moment forward he
knows no other purpose than the attainment of that !oal. 0e learns that he li=es not for himself but for all
creatures8 for the di=ine life which he disco=ers in himself dwells e?ually in e=ery other. 0e accepts the
command of the Master8 :*e ye therefore perfect e=en as your )ather which is in hea=en is perfect:. This
is his challen!e. 0e now takes his destiny into his own hands. 0e knows that this perfection is not
attained by wishin!8 that the =ision is now the !oal. There must be many labours8 many conflicts within
himself8 many failures. 1et he ne=er loses si!ht of the direction of his path. %ft,times upon some hi!her
!round he seems to catch faint !limpses of his !oal. Tremendous steps lie before him. The attainment of
selfless lo=e8 the balancin! of compassion and dispassion8the purifyin! of all desires8 the consciousness
of unity and inner relationship with all that li=es8the trainin! of his mind that it may become an instrument
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
of the Self2 these are but a few of the steps ahead of him. %=er many hills and =alleys the path stretches
until far in the distance he sees the outline of a cross8 and he knows that one day he too must make the
supreme sacrifice8 that by the power of the Christ within him he must renounce e=en the indi=idual self
that he may become one with that /reater Self of which he is a part. And with that renunciation will come
the realisation that althou!h his own indi=idual self has eApanded to become with the Supreme Self8 he
has lost nothin! but !ained All. "n the infinite circle of bein! there is always his own indi=idual center of
consciousness. That is is the Mystic Cross whose base rests within his heart and whose upper bar is lost
in the clouds of !lory.
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C,A"T$R 9
S"#C( the Tau is a =ariant of the Cross8 much that has been said about the one is therefore applicable to
the other. And yet8 in many ways8 the Tau has a herita!e uni?uely its own. 6e usually think of the Tau as
comin! to us from ancient (!ypt8 but8 as we shall see8 its ori!ins were rather cosmopolitan , or should we
say international. At the outset8 howe=er8 we shall take a ?uick re=iew of the indi=idual letters that !o to
make up this symbol. )irst we take the point8si!n of /od as Absolute8 Potential *ein!. The point
eApanded becomes the circle8 si!n of infinity and eternity. "t is That which is all,inclusi=e and all,
per=adin! Spirit. The hori>ontal line is the point in motion formin! the material aspect of bein!. The
=ertical line represents Sprit or .ife as descendin! into manifestation. *riefly8 the two lines crossin!
si!nify the manifested uni=erse as distinct from pure Spirit. Put these si!ns to!ether in a certain order
and we ha=e the most mystic of all symbols8 the ancient and sacred Tau.
Much may be learned about a fi!ure or a symbol by studyin! its form and shape8 its phonetic and
articulate =alues as sound8 as well as its ancestral and traditional usa!es. Strictly speakin! the Tau is a
fi!ure like our capital :T: or the .atin Cross without the upper bar. Actually the :T: with the circle abo=e it
was called in (!yptian the :Ankh: or the :CruA Ansata:8 that is8 the Cross with a handle. 6ebsters
"nternational &ictionary says of the Ankh that it is a :Tau Cross with a loop at the top8 used as an attribute
or sacred emblem symbolisin! !eneration or endurin! life:. )irst then8 we will consider the Tau proper or
the :T: part of the symbol. The term :Tau: as used in this chapter will si!nify this capital :T:. "ndeed the
word :Tau: is the /reek name for the letter :Tee:. "n the 0ebrew8 the :T: is written:Thao:.
The :Thao: si!nificantly is the 44nd letter of the 0ebrew alphabet. This =ery fact throws a most
interestin! sideli!ht upon this letter. Philolo!ists reco!nise the 0ebraic as bein! one of the most cryptic of
all lan!ua!es. (=ery letter had an eAact meanin!8 or more correctly a !roup of related meanin!sF and
words were built up of letters placed in such an order as to represent an entire phrase or a combination
of ideas. The initial letter of the word !a=e its keynote and was therefore the most important. (ach
0ebrew letters also had a numeral =alueF that is8 each letter not only represented an idea but was also
associated with a number which represented its work or power. The +abbalah cryptically calls these 44
letters the :si!nature of /od:. 6hen8 therefore8 the :T: CThaoE was placed at the end or as the 44nd letter
of the 0ebrew alphabet8 it was done to embody a certain idea or truth. Accordin! to the science of
numbers8 reco!ni>ed and tau!ht by many of the mystery schools8 44 is the number of completion and
perfection. "t is the number of the Master8 e=en as 11 is the number of the &isciple.
Albert Pike8 in his !reat work on Masonic symbolism $orals an! Do#ma" !i=es an interestin! =iewpoint.
:The .etter :T:8 he says8 :as the last letter of the sacred alphabet represents the end and perfection of
the :/reat 6ork.: A!ain he writes8 :"n ancient times the mark of the Tau was set upon those who had
been ac?uitted by their @ud!es8 as the si!n of innocence: Cpa!e 907E. 0e reco!ni>ed the Tau or the Thao
therefore as the si!n of mastery and of a work completed.
"t is si!nificant also to note that the Book of &eelation" most mystical of all Christian writin!s8 has 44
chapters8 and that in the 44nd and final chapter there is !i=en the =ision of #ew Jerusalem8 the City of
(ternal Peace. Thus 44 is not only the number of the Master8 or one who has attained perfection8 but
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also of that realm or state of bein!8 whether a far,off paradise or within the human heart8where peace
fore=er dwells. And he who has found this peace shall ha=e en!ra=ed upon his forehead and in his heart
the Thao or Tau8 the si!n of =ictory8 e=en as the .ord had commanded (>ekiel C6*ek. D278 -ul!ate Trans.E
to !o throu!h the streets of Jerusalem and mark the Si!num Tau upon the foreheads of the faithful.
Those who are familiar with the formation of words know that by the deletion8 addition or substitution of
certain letters8 the meanin! of a word may be altered and yet retains its basic root idea. Take our letter
:T: pronounced Tee. "f we insert the letter :$: after :T: we ha=e the word :Tree:8 in all mystery
lan!ua!es8 the symbol of .ife and 6isdom. C#ote2 The Tree in the midst of the /arden of (den.E The
Tree si!nificantly has been used synonymously with the Cross. The writer of the Acts of the Apostles
wrote8 :6hom ye slew and han!ed on a tree: CActs. 9250E. A!ain8by insertin! the letter :0: between :T:
and :$: we ha=e the sacred number Three8 si!n of the di=ine Trinity. #ow if we delete :$: we ha=e the
pronoun Thee8 used only in a special form of address8 as an ascription to &eity. Then a!ain by
substitutin! :%': for :((: we ha=e the pronoun Thou 8 used uni=ersally as a form of address to /od.
#ow if we take the 0ebrew letter spelt Thao and by substitutin! :(: for :A: and addin! the masculine :S:
we ha=e the word Theos meanin! /od. The same transformation could be made with the particle:The:.
%ne mi!ht add scores of instances of the use of this :Thao: in words ha=in! an allusion to &eity.
6e are tempted to call attention to one more instance of the usa!e of the double :T0: in formin! the
name of &eity. This comes from )abre d%li=ets %ebraic Ton#ue &estore! C pa!e 7<9 E and refers to the
0ierophant or "nitiator in the ancient (!yptian mystery ritual8 Thoth 0ermes8 /od of 6isdom. 0e says8
:The Ancient (!yptians8 in consecratin! the letter :T0: to T0,%,T0 0ermes8 held it as the symbol of
'ni=ersal Mind.:
Turnin! for a moment to the form of the Tau as the letter :T:8 0.P.*la=atsky in The Secret Doctrine !i=es
an interestin! study. She says8 :the letter T is a double8 formed of two fi!ures. The one on the ri!ht side
is the form of the /reek letter !amma8 COE meanin! earth life C/aia meanin! earthE. "t is said that
initiates into the /reek mysteries called the Tau8 /ainios8 meanin! son of /aia. The fi!ure on the left
side forms the number I8 symbol of eternal or di=ine life. Thus we ha=e in this double !lyph T the union
of these two ideas8 son of earth and di=ine life as si!n of the perfected man in whom the hi!her and the
lower aspects are in perfect balance Ksee 5rd (dition8 -olume ""8 pa!e <49E
0owe=er8 the most fascinatin! of all studies on the form of the Tau Cthat is8 the AnkhE8 and the study
which re=eals its truest meanin! is to be found in the relati=e positions of the Tau CTE and the circle C%E. "n
the science of etymolo!y8 when two or more letters or root syllables are con@oined8 we ha=e a new word
whose connotation is somethin! more than a combination of their separate meanin!s. Similarly8 when we
place two or more numbers to!ether8 we produce somethin! more than the =alue of the sum of the
se=eral di!its. 6e ha=e a new number whose =alue is determined by the position of the di!its in relation
to each other. )or eAample8 if we chan!e the position of the di!its .01 to 108 we ha=e multiplied its
ori!inal =alue by 18000. The same reasonin! holds true in combinin! two or more !eometrical fi!ures or
symbols. 0ere we ha=e a symbol composed of the letters :T: and :%:8 or more correctly the tau CTE and
the circle C%E. Thinkin! back upon the indi=idual meanin!s of these two si!ns8 if we should place the
cross abo=e the circle8 we ha=e a si!n which would si!nify a state in which material considerations
predominate o=er the spiritual. The circle upon the cross would be a crucifiAion. The cross within the
circle would su!!est a state in which the material and the spiritual were in conflict8 or at least in balance
in this connection it is interestin! to note that astronomically this is the symbol of our earth8 while the
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
cross placed obli?uely o=er the circle in the form of a spear is the si!n of the war planet Mars. The si!n
for -enus8 planet of lo=e and beauty8 is the circle abo=e the cross si!nifyin! a state in which spirit
predominates o=er mater. "nterpretin! the essential meanin! of the tau with the circle C%E of infinity o=er
the CTE of life in manifestation8 we ha=e the si!n of the re!eneration and purification of the personality8 the
=ictory of the spirit o=er the lower nature and the attainment of Masterhood or /odliness. Albert Pike8 in
his book $orals an an! Do#ma so fre?uently ?uoted8 writes that :as the symbol of the Tau CTE represents
life8 so when the circle C%E symbol of eternity is added8 it represents (ternal .ife.: CPa!e 909E.
%ur case for the profundity and sanctity of the Tau symbol would be incomplete if we failed at this point to
call in as witness the numerical =alue of one C1E and the nau!ht C0E KSee Alpha an! ,me#a" *ook 18
Chapter 1 of this documentL . 6e say that numerically their union as ten C10E is the di=ine number of
perfection8 si!nifyin! the completion of a cycle of manifestation. Combined as letters :": and :%: we ha=e
the root syllable which in the 0ebrew and (!yptian means di=ine son or heir8 Cas in "%,seph and "(,S'SE.
/eometrically8their union forms the sacred symbol which is the si!n of =ictory and triumph, the =ictory of
Spirit o=er matter8 the triumph of .ife o=er death. "t is the si!n of the resurrection of the Christ principle
out of the tomb of the animal nature. "t tells the story of mans triumph o=er sin and of his spiritual
re!eneration. "t is the :Si!num Tau:8 placed upon the forehead of the disciple8 as a si!n that he has
entered the :Path:.
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C,A"T$R :
T,$ "AT,
:0ast thou not entered the TauB:
%#( of the characteristics of all sacred scriptures is that much of their teachin!s are written in code. That
is to say that the author8 by the use of certain :key: words or phrases8 often conceals a meanin! not
intended for the casual reader. Such words are8 as we said8 :keys: and are intended to su!!est to one
initiated into this method of concealin! truths too sacred for the many to understand8 ideas entirely
unrelated to the literal conteAt. The *ible8 as e=eryone knows8 contains much of alle!ory8 poetry8 parable8
fi!ure of speech8 etc. Many of its stories8if taken as actual history or literal bio!raphy8 become
unintelli!ible and unnatural. These same stories8 if read symbolically8 contain metaphysical and occult
teachin!s. Aside from8 or in addition to alle!ory8 parable8 etc.8 there are certain eApressions which are
more than fi!ures of speech which the student of esotericism may reco!nise as ha=in! special and
si!nificant reference to some phase of the inner or spiritual life. As an illustration of this8 take such words
as door8 !ate8 threshold8 portal8 way and path8to name a few8 which fall into this cate!ory. 6e may
reco!nise other eApressions such as kin!dom8 babe8mount8 etc.8 as ha=in! an additional meanin! for the
disciple8 beyond the literal or e=en the alle!orical implication. The phrase8 :Path of 0oliness:8 :Path of
Perfection:8 :Path to /od:8 :6ay of the Cross: so often heard are common eApressions8 reco!ni>ed by
e=eryone as desi!natin! a certain way of life. As an eAample we read8 :%pen ye the !ates that the
ri!hteous nation may enter in:8 :lift up your heads8 % ye !atesF and be ye lift up8 ye e=erlastin! doors.:
These are of course fi!urati=e eApressions to su!!est entrance into a kin!dom or state of perfection
Jesus often referred to 0imself as :The 6ay:. %nce 0e said8 :" am the door:. #ote another si!nificant
statement8 :(nter ye at the strait !ateF.... because strait is the !ate8 and narrow is the way8 which leadeth
unto lifeF and few there be that find it.: As fi!ures of speech such statements are unmatched for their
beauty and clarity. Their symbolical or alle!orical meanin!s are reco!ni>ed by e=eryone.
And yet all of these terms8door8 !ate8 portal8 threshold8 way8 path8 are eApressions which contain special
importance to students of the inner mysteries )or it is known that e=ery one of the !reat reli!ions on our
earth had had its mystery schools wherein the inner or esoteric truths were tau!ht to the few who were
ready to recei=e them. Christianity8 e=en at its inception 8 had an inner body of truths which were not
!i=en to the public. Jesus said to 0is disciples8:'nto you it is !i=en to know the mystery of the kin!dom of
/odF but unto them that are without... in parables:. %ne of these esoteric teachin!s is that there eAists
under /od in the celestial sphere a hierarchy of Spiritual *ein!s who act as a!ents of 0is will to carry on
the =ast infinitude of 0is operations in a li=in!8 e=ol=in! uni=erse. Many of the world reli!ions reco!nise
such a spiritual hierarchy of di=ine or semi,di=ine *ein!s and ha=e !i=en to them =arious names and
descriptions. The *ible =ariously refers to them as An!els8 Archan!els8 Thrones 8 &ominations8
Principalities8 Powers 8 Cherubim and Seraphim8 sometimes !i=in! the Archan!els names such as
/abriel8 Michael8 'riel8 etc.. Acompanion to this thou!ht is the teachin! that upon our planet earth there
eAists a :body: of @ust men made perfect:8 an assembly or :communion of saints:F who constitute a
:spiritual brotherhood: of those of our humanity who ha=e attained perfection so far as this world is
concerned8 and who li=e henceforth as !uides and teachers of mankind. As in &eelation" :these are they
which .... ha=e washed their robes and made them white:8 and who stand e=er in the presence or
consciousness of /od. This :*rotherhood: is in a broad sense an or!ani>ation known in the occult world
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as :The /reat 6hite .od!e:. "ts members are known as :Masters of the 6isdom:8 and are affectionately
called :(lder *rothers:8 because of the fact that They once stood where we now stand8 and throu!h
many li=es of selfless ser=ice to humanity and by the perfectin! of Their own inner natures8 ha=e arri=ed
at that point in e=olution where They can best ser=e /od by helpin! others to tra=el this :Path:.
"n esoteric parlance8 the term :Path: is used in a specific sense to desi!nate the particular steps or
sta!es which the candidate or disciple must pass in order to attain this state of Masterhood. These
:sta!es: are called :"nitiations: and are indications that he has fulfilled certain inner re?uirements in the
spiritual life. There are four of these !reat "nitiations8 and ones final passin! indicates that he has risen
as St. Paul puts it to the :measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: K There are other "nitiations8 but
these lead to realms and work beyond our earth.L These four sta!es are =ariously called :doors: or
:!ates: and one approachin! is said to be :on the threshold: or :at the portal: and when he has been
officially accepted8 he is said to be :on the Path:. There are of course many steps leadin! up to the first
:!ate:8 as there are many steps between each of these sta!es.
The *ible abounds in subtle references to this path8 and the steps and sta!es which lead to this
:kin!dom of hea=en:. "ndeed Jesus whole life8 from birth to ascension8 became in a =ery real sense 8 a
mystery drama depictin! this :6ay of the Cross:. 0is birth in a man!er depicts the first initiation 8 wherein
the initiate is called a :babe:. This is sometimes referred to as the :second birth: and is said to be
heralded by a :Star in the (ast:. The passin! of the second sta!e is dramatically represented in Jesus
life by the *aptism and si!nifies the o=ercomin! of all worldly temptations. The third sta!e in the drama is
called the Transfi!uration8in which he becomes conscious that he is one with the Supreme8 or as the
0indus call it8 :one with *rahman:. The fourth sta!e is the /reat $enunciation8 wherein the little self is
fore=er destroyed. "t is the CrucifiAion of e=erythin! worldly. The disciple or candidate stands utterly
alone. "n that one terrible moment of darkness8 not only the world8 but /od 0imself seems to ha=e
deserted him. The temple =eil is rent in twain. #othin! is now hidden from him. 0is consciousness takes
in the world8 the uni=erse. 0e knows the secrets of e=ery mans heart8 and he takes upon himself e=ery
mans burden. )inally he cries8 :"t is finished:. 0e is taken down from the Cross and buried. Then after
three days in the :tomb: follows the $esurrection. 0e is no lon!er bound by earthly fetters. 0e is master
o=er life and death. 0e is now a :Master of the 6isdom:. althou!h he has passed from earth 8he yet
remains upon or within it as a helper and sa=iour of men. )ore!oin! hea=en he has made the :/reat
$enunciation:.KThe student is referred to Annie *esants 6soteric (hristianity:.;
These sta!es are known in all reli!ions under other names and with a difference of emphasis8 yet with
enou!h similarity to lead one to belie=e that they follow a common pattern. About the year <00 *.C. "n
China a man named .ao,T>e brou!ht forth a philosophy which he called :Tao Te Chin!: which was the
way of uni=ersal harmony8or the way of the !ood life. 0e who follows this Tao C6ayE would not only
eAperience peace and happiness in this life but reach a hea=en of eternal bliss and harmony. Taoism
became a powerful influence upon Chinese thou!ht and character8 an influence which has persisted
throu!h many chan!es of reli!ious beliefs.
"n 0induism8the oldest of earths !reat li=in! reli!ions8 there are still bein! tau!ht many systems of yo!a8
whereby the yo!i or de=otee may throu!h meditation and contemplation attempt to attain :liberation: and
union with *rahman. "n the ancient Book of D*yan Csee Chapter -" of this document8 :The Philosophic
Cross:E there appear a series of precepts to neophytes upon enterin! and followin! the:Path:. These
instructions were translated into (n!lish by 0.P.*la=atsky in The =oice of the Silence . )ra!ment " ends
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
as follows2 :0ast thou not entered Tau8 the path that leads to knowled!e, the fourth truthB:
These four truths ha=e been adapted by *uddhism as the :four modes of truth: which lead to the Pat
h. They are listed as2
Truth #o. 1 +' , Assemblin! of misery8 walkin! in darkness.
Truth #o.4 T' ,, Assemblin! of temptation8 callin! down past karma.
Truth #o.5. M' ,The destruction of temptation8 wipin! out karmic debts.
Truth #o.7 TA' ,Consciously entered upon the Path
:*eholdG thou hast become the li!ht8thou hast become the sound8 thou art thy Master and thy /od :
C?uoted from the -oice of the SilenceE
KThe whole sub@ect of the :Path: from the point of =iew of 0indu
philosophy is dealt with in a fascinatin! way by Annie *esant in her book
The Path of Discipleship;
6hen we look to ancient (!ypt8 reco!ni>ed by many to ha=e been the home both of the mysteries and of
symbolic ritualism8 we find there that the Tau or the Ankh8 was definitely used in its secret ceremonials as
a symbol of this Path particularly associated with the fourth !reat initiation. That ancient and mysterious
Book of the Dea!" for many centuries thou!ht to be a treatise on :the afterlife:8 is now known to be an
eAposition of the life of the soul CKhuE in its @ourney throu!h the underworld of :Amenti: which is really this
earth,life. Moreo=er8 modern students of (!yptolo!y and of the /reat Pyramid ha=e furnished proof that
the book is in fact a secret ritual or rubric of a mystery drama of initiation wherein in an elaborate and
secret ceremonial the candidate passes throu!h the se=eral doors or portals which lead him e=entually to
the fourth and final sta!e in which he is :raised: from the dead and :passes: into the realm of eternal
.i!ht. ; Al=in *oyd +uhn8 in his book8 The Lost Li#ht " has made an eAhausti=e study of the (!yptian
Book of the Dea! as well as of many parallel ?uotations from the *ible. As a result of these studies he
has confirmed the conclusions of other scholars that both the Book of the Dea! and the /reat Pyramid of
/i>eh were associated with a sacred ritual of initiation8the purpose of which was to lead the candidate on
a mystical @ourney throu!h the darkness of earth to the .i!ht of (ternal Spirit.<
The followin! description of this initiation ceremony is based upon Manly P.0alls Lost Keys of $asonry
;0all Publishin! Co. Third $e=ised (dition8 1D4D< Certain similarities between this ceremony and the life
and crucifiAion of Jesus cannot be o=erlooked8 althou!h antedatin! it by hundreds8 perhaps thousands of
years. 0ere the candidate is pictured as bein! crucified upon a cross8 hands and feet tied to its bars8 and
the cross placed abo=e an open tomb. Then later the candidate was buried and remained within the tomb
for :three days and three ni!hts.: 'pon the mornin! of the fourth day8 with the risin! of the sun8 he was
fi!urati=ely raised from the dead. The hierophant who raised him from the tomb held in his hand the
symbol of the Tau and wore upon his shoulders a lions head. %ther descriptions of this ceremony picture
it as takin! place in the +in!s Chamber of the /reat Pyramid of /i>eh8 called the :Temple of .i!ht:. 0ere
the candidates :lifeless: body lay sealed in the stone sarcopha!us for :three days and three ni!hts:.
*efore the hour of dawn of the fourth day8the still entranced body was carried to the entrance of the
temple where the rays of the risin! sun shone upon his face. 'pon either side of him stood two initiators2
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
one assumin! the role of the !od %siris8 wearin! as a mask the hawks head8 symbol of the sunF the
other wearin! the mask of the ibis,headed Thoth,0ermes8 !od of wisdom. And upon the candidates
breast lay the sacred Tau.
0ere and there throu!hout the *ible we find hints too pointed as to lea=e any doubt as to their hidden
allusion to this e=ent of the mystic crucifiAion. "n the Book of 1oshua C824DE there appears this cryptic
statement2 :The +in! of Ai he crucified upon a tree:. The Septua!int renderin! of this passa!e reads8
:...0e suspended upon a double cross:. A!ain in Numbers C492 7E8 -ul!ate translation8appear these
words8 :Crucify them before the .ord a!ainst the Sun:. ;0.P.*la=atsky8 The Secret Doctrine" 5rd (dition8
-ol. ""8 pa!es 988,98D< Such phrases and many others in the *ible appear meanin!less unless it be
assumed that they contain hidden allusions to some metaphysical e=ent. "t will be remembered that the
tree is ?uite uni=ersally the symbol of life and wisdom and as such is synonymous with the cross or the
tau. 6e remember too the e=ent in the :wilderness: when Moses raised the !olden serpent upon the
:tree: or tau8 and that this symbol thereby became a healin! power to the Children of "srael who !a>ed
upon it. 0ere is unmistakably a !lyph representin! the crucified Sa=iour,/od upon the tree who becomes
for all peoples the /reat 0ealer.
+nowin! that Moses spent the early years of his life in the court of the Pharaoh of (!ypt8 it is natural to
assume that he was familiar with the teachin!s of its sacred temples8 and may e=en ha=e been an initiate
into its mysteries. "t would therefore follow that he would ha=e brou!ht much of these teachin!s with him
and tau!ht them to his people in the form of alle!ory and symbol. "t should not be surprisin! therefore to
find that the 0ebrew mystery schools should follow the same fundamental pattern in their initiation
ceremonials. "t is eAtremely si!nificant to students of the mysteries that Jesus should ha=e fulfilled in his
three years of public life8e=en in its historical details8 this uni=ersal pattern of initiation8 established by the
spiritual hierarchy of our planet. 6hen the rulers of "srael asked Jesus for a :si!n: of 0is Masterhood 0e
said8 :there shall no si!n be !i=en to it8 but the si!n of the prophet Jonas2 )or as Jonas was three days
and three ni!hts in the whales bellyF so shall the Son of man be three days and three ni!hts in the heart
of the earth: C$att. 142 5D,70E. #o less than twenty,one times in the Ne/ Testament was it said of 0im8
:that it mi!ht be fulfille! which was spoken by the prophet...:. These statements are deeply si!nificant as
referrin! to the fulfilment and completion of a 'ni=ersal &rama.
Besi!e an ancient shore a primitie stan!s /ith his back to the settin# sun. %e #a*es intently
at his o/n sha!o/ upon the /hite san! before him. Presently he stoops an! /ith his fin#er
traces a fi#ure in the san!. -t is a fi#ure like the :T: (ross /ith a circle aboe it. )or a fe/
moments he stan!s #a*in# at this fi#ure /hich he has !ra/n" as thou#h a reelation /ere
about to burst upon his min!. Then stretchin# out both arms" he obseres his o/n sha!o/ in
the form of a cross e>ten!in# alon# the shore0 an! to his ama*ement he sees that the fi#ure
/hich he has trace! /ith his fin#er in the san! is the symbol of his o/n sha!o/.
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
@ithin the seclusion of a sha!e! #roe a mystic sits in silent me!itation. %e contemplates the
@ay of the (ross an! union /ith 'o!. %e enisions the Path stretchin# on before him" its
steps an! sta#es lea!in# up/ar! to !isappear in mists of infinity. Some/here beyon! lies the
#oal. As he me!itates" there comes the realisation that this Path is really /ithin his o/n
consciousness. -ts steps an! sta#es are the trials an! ictories oer his o/n lo/er nature.
This !rama of initiation is enacte! /ithin his o/n heart. %e an! the Path are ,N6.
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&OO' -=- T,$ S0ASTI'A

C,A"T$R (.
T0( Swastika occupies a position in the Theosophical Seal within the small circle at the top where the
serpent swallows its tail. 'pon a blue back!round it presents at first si!ht an appearance of serene
tran?uillityF yet after a few moments contemplation upon its form and implied motion8it is found to be the
center and source of ceaseless and untirin! acti=ity. %f all of the symbols comprisin! the Seal8the
swastika is the only one whose special characteristic is motion. %thers eApress states of bein!2 the
relationship between spirit and matterF the nature of man and his relationship with /odF the soul and its
path to perfectionF /od as (ternal8 "nfinite SpiritF /od manifestation as the :6ord made flesh:. The
swastika is the si!n of /od as the &i=ine Creati=e )ire in the uni=erse
*efore8 howe=er8 becomin! in=ol=ed in the philosophy of the swastika, to attempt to disco=er somethin!
of its hidden or esoteric meanin! , we shall look to its anti?uity and place in history. 6hether from the
point of =iew of time or history the cross or the swastika is the more ancient8 we may ne=er know. *oth
are known to ha=e come down to us from earliest e=idences of ci=ilisation. Specimens of the swastika on
pottery and stones ha=e been found in ca=es and tombs in e=ery part of the !lobe8 not only in the old
world Cso,calledE8 but also throu!hout the western hemisphere. Ancient China8 "ndia and (!ypt held it as
a sacred symbol and placed it in the tombs of initiates or :!reat souls:. )ollowin! the trade routes
between Asia and (urope8 it found its way throu!h the Middle (ast8 by cara=an or con?uerin! armies to
/reece and $ome. Many e=idences in the catacombs of $ome indicate that in the early days of the
Church8 it was held as a Christian symbol. )rom $ome it found its way northward into Austria and
The followin! from The Secret Doctrine by 0.P.*la=atsky CThird (dition8 -ol. ""8 pa!e 10<E !i=es further
e=idence of its a!e and uni=ersality. :So ancient is the symbol Kof the swastika L and so sacred8 that there
is hardly an eAca=ation made on the sites of old cities without its bein! found. A number of such
terracotta discs ... were found by &r. Schliemann under the ruins of ancient Troy ... proof that the ancient
Tro@ans and their ancestors were pure Aryans.: "t is found on the heart of the ima!es and statues of
*uddha8 in Tibet and Mon!olia. ... %ne finds it with the old Peru=ians8 the Assyrians8 Chaldeans8 as well
as on the walls of the old,world Cyclopean buildin!sF in the catacombs ... at $ome where , because the
first Christians are supposed to ha=e concealed themsel=es and their reli!ion , it was called (ru>
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
Dissimulata. Accordin! to &e $ossi8 the swastika from an early period was a fa=ourite form of the cross
employed with an occult si!nification which shows the secret was not that of the Christian cross. %ne
swastika in the catacombs is the si!n of an inscription which reads Kin /reekL :=italis =italia: or life of
life.: ; The Secret Doctrine" 5rd (dition8 -ol. ""8 pa!es <1D,<40. 3uoted from /erald Masseys The
Natural 'enesis" 3" pa#e 728A
A!ain 0.P.*la=atsky writes8 :The swastika is found headin! the reli!ious symbols of e=ery old nation. "t is
the :6orkers 0ammer: in the Chaldean Book of Numbers8 which striketh sparks from the flint CSpaceE8
those sparks becomin! 6orlds. "t is Thors 0ammer8 the ma!ic weapon for!et by the &warfs a!ainst the
/iants , the pre.cosmic Titanic )orces of #ature.: ;-bi!." Pa#e 3B7] She further eAplains that this &i=ine
0ammer has been :de!raded into the mallet or !a=el : of Masonry where its power is e=en there
:sufficient to dissipate the darkness:.
)rank C.0i!!ins8 )ellow of the $oyal #umismatic Society8 .ondon8 in an eAcellently illustrated booklet8
The (ross of the $a#i published in 1D14 C$o!er *rothers8 #ew 1orkE8 has made an eAtensi=e collection
of coins and documentary e=idence to pro=e that the swastika has been a sacred symbol not only in
ancient China8 "ndia8 Persia8 Chaldea8 as well as (urope and Africa8 but also amon! the ori!inal :"ndian:
nati=es of MeAico8 Central and South America. (n!ra=ed on coins8 car=ed on stones8 baked on clay
tablets8 wo=en in bead patterns8 it symbolised the sun and the solar system, e=idence that in the
Americas unknown centuries before the comin! of the white man8 there eAisted ci=ilisations in which
knowled!e of the rotation of the planets about the sun was uni=ersally known .
"n our own day we ha=e seen this ancient and re=ered symbol de!raded into an emblem of hate and
selfish lust and a banner of tyranny and torture in the hands of the #a>is. "t is true that the form of the
swastika chosen by 0itler as his special emblem in his mad try for world con?uest was the left,handed
=ariety. Many ancient and primiti=e peoples ha=e considered the swastika as a talisman or lucky charm ,
that is the ri!ht,hand kind. Tradition has it that people belie=ed the left,handed or backward rotatin!
swastika to be an e=il or unlucky charm8 while the forward or clockwise rotatin! emblem was an influence
for !ood.
Since the swastika is closely linked with e=olution8it may well be that the forward motion means pro!ress
toward a !oal8 while the backward motion si!nifies retro!ression. 0owe=er that may be8 it can be stated
with certainty the memory of the use of the swastika8 as an emblem of #a>ism8will in future a!es ha=e
faded into obli=ionF white its true meanin! as a symbol of the hidden :fire: or :spirit: within all
manifestation8 from the atom to a solar uni=erse8 will become increasin!ly re=ealed to humanity as it
climbs painfully toward its !oal.
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
C,A"T$R ((
T0( Swastika is a =ariant of the CrossF but when we try to eApress its meanin!8 its particular philosophy8
we come upon somethin! illusi=e and intan!ible. And yet the swastika is said to be the most
comprehensi=e of all symbols. "t is the least mysterious because it is a whirly cross and represents
action8force8 ener!y. AT the same time it is the most mystical of symbols because its power belon!s
rather to spirit than to form. This paradoA may be eAplained8 at last intellectually8 by sayin! that the
swastika partakes of the nature of the circle and of the cross. "f we should inscribe a cross within a circle
and then should erase a section of the circumference on one side of each of the arms8 there would
remain a swastika. /eo. Arundale8 has described this relationship in his book8The Lotus )ire4 :The
Swastika cannot be separated from the Circle8 for it takes upon itself the properties of each8 and
combines the two into one symbol.: 6e mi!ht su!!est that the swastika born of the circle and the cross8
forms a symbolic trinity.
%ur first step therefore in attemptin! to fathom its mystery must be to trace its ancestry from these two
parents. *riefly8 the circle with its in=isible center represents the )ather or SpiritF and the cross8
uni=ersally the symbol of form8 eApresses the Mother aspect of bein!. *ut when we contemplate the
swastika8 we see the form aspect !radually fade and disappear and in its stead we come to that which is
the source of form. "t is as thou!h the swastika were the creator of form8 instead of form in itself.
"n tryin! to penetrate any symbol in order to disco=er its inherent or hidden characteristic8 attention must
be paid to its shape and the relationship of its parts. Consider for a moment the plain or /reek Cross. 6e
recall that the symbol of the s?uare si!nified form , whether of a uni=erse8 a world or man. 6e saw that
this :form: had an implied motion8 that is8 as approachin! an ideal or prototype which contained within it
the idea of finality or perfection , an end which was fiAed and static. Then we saw that the cross8 formed
by the intersection of the =ertical and hori>ontal lines8 also typified the form side of bein!8 but of form as
eAtendin! and eApandin! alon! its four lines into infinity. "n the swastika8 howe=er8 we find an implied
motion8not as an eAtension from a center outward in a line8 but as in a circle around its own center. /eo.
Arundale called it the :6heel of .aw8 of Sound8 )ire and .ife8 of Creation and (=olution :. CSee The Lotus
)ire pa!e 547E
.ike the cross8 the swastika is intimately related to the manifested uni=erse. $otatin! about its center8 it
represents a world re=ol=in! around a central sun8 its four arms formin! four ?uarters of that circle in
space8 and indicatin! the four points of the compass , north8 south8 east and west. Similarly8 in a time,
space sense8 as the earth swin!s throu!h the sidereal hea=ens8 its arms measure the year into its four
seasons reachin! out to the four cardinal si!ns of the Hodiac. Ancient symbolo!y linked these four si!ns
with the famous :four beasts: of 6*ekiel and &eelation" and also to the =arious forms of the sphinA
found in ancient temples and on the sands of /hi>eh. C"n a pre=ious study we found that these :si!ns:
and :beasts: were related occultly to the :)our Silent 6atchers: or :)our $ecordin! An!els:8 sometimes
called the :)our $e!ents of the #orth8 South8 (ast and 6est:.E "n yet another sense they are related to
the four elements2 earth8air8 fire and water.
'nlike the cross8 or rather in addition to the characteristics of the cross8 the swastika intensifies these
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
characteristics and brin!s them to life. 3uotin! a!ain from The Lotus )ire by /eo. Arundale2 :"n this
symbol of the Swastika is re=ealed the mar=ellous acti=ity of .ife8 of Man becomin! /od ... a re=ol=in!
KfieryL Cross ... The Swastika whirls because /od has set in motion the 6heel of the .aw ... " see8
therefore8 as substance of this whirlin! Swastika8 a .aw,.i!ht,.ife .... which !i=es a =ery special
appearance of restlessness to the mo=ement of the Swastika:. Cpa!es 4478 449 and 4<IE.
/eo.Arundale makes another interestin! comparison between the characteristics of the cross and the
swastika. The cross eApresses the characteristics of Sacrifice8 Truth8 .aw8 $i!hteousness8 (Aperience8
*alance and Stability. The swastika eApresses Coura!e8 &arin!8 -enturesomeness8 .awfulness8
Sal=ation and 6ell,bein! CPa!e 547E.
0.P.*la=atsky says that2 :The Swastika is the most philosophically scientific of all the symbols8 as also
the most comprehensible. "t is the summary in a few lines of the whole work of creation8 or e=olution ...
-erily many are its meanin!sG "n the macrocosmic work8 the 0AMM($ %) C$(AT"%#8 with its four
arms bent at ri!ht an!les8 refers to the continual motion and re=olution of the in=isible +osmos of )orces.
"n that of the manifested Cosmos and our (arth8 it points to the rotation in the Cycles of Time of the
worlds aAes and their e?uatorial beltsF the two lines formin! the Swastika8 meanin! Spirit and matter8the
four hooks su!!estin! the motion in the re=ol=in! cycles:. KThe Secret Doctrine" 5rd edition8 -ol. ""8 pa!es
105,107 A "n Teutonic le!ends8 the swastika is called :Thors 0ammer:8 symbol of #atures creati=e
forces. "t is also referred to as the :0ermetic Cross:.
As a symbol of creation and e=olution8 /eo.Arundale has this to say in The Lotus )ire" :The =ertical .ine
descends into the hori>ontal .ine as an infinite soul enters a limited body. The Cross is thus the
incarnated soul8 and in the Swastika we ha=e the symbol of its !rowth: Cpa!e 481E . . : .... the =ertical
.ine would seem to be the channel of force for /od the )ather8 while the hori>ontal .ine is the channel of
force for /od the Mother8 so that the Cross itself symbolises that union of )ather,spirit with Mother,spirit
which8 as it were8 !i=es birth to the Swastika , the spirit of the Son8 who whirls 0is way throu!h the
e=olutionary process8 is the e=olutionary process: Epa!e 445E. 0e ?uotes from Pranaa.=a!a4 : The
chakra8 or whirlin! disc8 is the swastika8 the cross of fire8 which in rapid rotation has each an arm blown
backwardsF ... also as a symbol of creati=e fire8 the electric cross or wheel .... the swastika KrepresentsL
creation in time8 the whirlin! arms si!nifyin! succession: Cpa!e <91E.
6hether we think of those whirlin! =ortices of force which make up the microscopic atomF the se=en
forces centers CCalled ChakrasE of the physical body which control its mar=ellous processes of !rowth
and e=olutionF or macrocosmic re=olution of planets around a central sun Cthe :wheels within wheels: of
6*ekiel and &eelationA the Swastika or 6hirlin! Cross is uni=ersal symbol.
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
C,A"T$R (6
P($0APS the most re=ealin! disco=ery in our study of these symbols is that there eAists a relationship
between them and the :Persons: or :Aspects: of the &eific Trinity. The idea of &eity manifestin! as a
Trinity is a fundamental concept with many of the worlds !reat reli!ions8 past and present8and need not
be pursued here ;See *ook - under the title :The "nterlaced Trian!les: for a detailed study of /od as a
Trinity< 6e think of the Point in the center of the Circle as typifyin! the first aspect of /od as )ather. 0is
characteristic is 6ill or Spirit. The Cross is uni=ersally associated with the idea of sacrifice. %utwardly it
implies sufferin! and sorrow8 repentance and contemplation. "t is the si!n both of death and resurrection.
(soterically it embodies the idea of the :descent: of /od or Spirit8and 0is embodiment in form. "t is
therefore the :si!n: of the Second Aspect of /od which in Christianity is called :the Son: , the Second
.o!os or the Second Person of the Trinity.
The Swastika on the other hand8 for reasons to be brou!ht out in this study8is associated with the Third
Person of the Trinity8 the 0oly /host. "n other reli!ions this aspect of &eity appears =ariously as *rahma
the Creator of the uni=erseFThor8 whose :0ammer striketh sparks in space:F -ulcan8 creator of earths
elementsF )ohat8 a Tibetan term desi!natin! the uni=ersal =ital force manifestin! as electric ener!y.
These are but names to personify that most elusi=e yet e=erywhere present phase of /ods nature as:
the Creator:. The function Cwe should say one of the functionsE of the Third .o!os, the Third Person of
the Trinity ,we are told in the ancient scriptures8 is the creation of the elements8the atoms of primordial
matter and the impre!natin! of this matter with 0is .ife and (ner!y8 !i=in! it the properties of becomin!
li=in! or!anisms and forms.
The swastika is the symbol of this creati=e process. 3uotin! a!ain from the The Lotus )ire" by /eo.
Arundale2 :The Swastika is symbol of the Creati=e )ire of the Third .o!os8the 0oly /host or *rahma:
Cpa!e <59E. :6ithin the heart of each atom is to be seen a flamin! cross CP.<79E. :)ew world symbols:8
writes 0.P.*la=atsky8 :are more pre!nant with real occult meanin! than the Swastika .. "t is the emblem of
the acti=ity of )ohat8 of the continual re=olution of the :wheels: and of the four elements8 the Sacred
)our8 in their mystical8 and not alone in their cosmical meanin!F further8its four arms bent at ri!ht an!les8
are intimately related to the Pytha!orean and 0ermetic scales. %ne initiated into the mysteries of the
meanin! of the Swastika can trace on it with mathematical precision the e=olution of +osmos ... Also the
relation of the seen to the unseen and the first procreation of man and species.: ;The Secret Doctrine"
5rd edition8-olume ""8 pa!e <41<
.ike the cross8 the =ertical line of the swastika represents the =italisation aspect of life8while the
hori>ontal line eApresses life in manifestation "n our time,space uni=erse8the one is related to time8 the
other to space. These two principles are the :woof and warp: in the loom of the Creator as 0e wea=es
the intricate and e=er,chan!in! tapestry of life. "n a mystical , yet truly re=erent , sense the =ertical line
mi!ht be said to typify /od the )ather8 who descendin! crosses the hori>ontal line8 symbol of the
uni=ersal Mother8 formin! the cross8 symbol of :the Son:8 that is to say8 of all li=in! or!anisms.
Annie *esant carries this idea to a point where it sheds some li!ht on that mystical statement in the
Christian Creed. ; The #icene Creed reads in part8 :the 0oly /host8 the .ord and !i=er of life8 who
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
proceedeth from the )ather and the Son:.< . She writes8 :Then the Point8 with the .ine re=ol=in! with
it8=ibrates at ri!ht an!les to the former =ibration8and thus is formed the Cross8 still within the Circle8 the
Cross which thus proceedeth from the )ather and the Son8 the symbol of the Third .o!os8 the Creati=e
Mind8 the di=ine Acti=ity now ready to manifest as Creator. Then 0e manifests 0imself as the acti=e
Cross8or Swastika.: ; A Stu!y in (onsciousness" "ntroduction8 pa!e I <
The Swastika therefore is the symbol of a li=in!8 mo=in!8 e=ol=in! unit of life8 be that unit an atom or a
solar system. "t is that creati=e fire within all li=in! thin!s 8which breaks throu!h e=ery barrier and
limitation to build anew and nearer to the likeness of its destined !oal. "n the mind of man it is the fire
which makes him a creator in art8 in literature8 in music8mechanics8healin! and indeed e=ery phase of
human acti=ity. "t is the fire within his own bein! which ur!es and torments him to become a !od.
A new understandin! is shed upon the creati=e process as told in the first chapter of 'enesis. The
phrase :"n the be!innin!: refers not so much to the time element as to the se?uence of causationF for the
process of creation is continuous and refers to the comin! into manifestation of thin!s already eAistin! as
:seed: in an archetypal world8 or to put it in other words8 as ides in the &i=ine Mind. This entire process is
so poetically stated in a sin!le sentence8:An the Spirit of /od mo=ed upon the face of the waters. And
/od said8 .et there be .i!ht.:
Throu!hout this :=oid: or :darkness: there appear innumerable points of li!ht8 like holes in the en=elopin!
ni!ht. These whirlin! centers of fire fill or press back the emptiness of space. &own from the hi!hest or
dimension,less le=els8 these re=ol=in! points of li!ht become whirly =ortices of li!ht8 more and more
compleA8 until upon reachin! the atomic le=el in the world we know they become the physical atoms
known to science. "t is ob=ious that these microscopic units of such tremendous ener!y are not units of
solid matter as we think of it8 but char!es of electric fire whirlin! at inconcei=able =elocities. And it is out
of the infinite =ariety of combinations of these =ortices of fire or li!ht that the whole matter of our physical
world is formed. :And there was li!ht.: This creati=e e=olutionary process is a continual process8 and
throu!h all a!es the swastika has been its symbol. The burstin! the bomb at 0iroshima flashed upon the
eye of the world the inconcei=able power locked up in those ultramicroscopic units of force. 6hat has not
been learned is that these atoms are as electrodes in this material world8 connected by intan!ible and
indi=isible wires to that &i=ine Source of All Power8 whose name is Spirit.
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
&OO' ->- T,$ S$R"$NT

C,A"T$R (=
T0( Serpent swallowin! its tail surrounds and encloses all the other symbols in the Theosophical Seal. "t
is perhaps the most mysterious and illusi=e of all the fi!ures which make up the Seal. 6e shall a!ree8 "
think as we !o on8 that this is true. There are two distinctly separate aspects to this serpent symbol. %ne
is the serpent itself2 mysterious8 illusi=e8 :subtle:8 pro=ocati=e8challen!in!. The other idea arises from its
form or shape on the Seal , coiled in a circle and in the act of swallowin! its own tail. An impossibilityG
And yet it happens8and has happened continuously as we shall see8 throu!hout the uni=erse of time and
space. This aspect will be held for the final chapter. Meanwhile we shall attempt to follow the serpent in
its many fascinatin! ramifications.
All the indi=idual fi!ures which !o to make up the Theosophical Seal8 with the one eAception on the
serpent8 seem to be endowed with8 or at least to eApress certain definite deific attributes or uni=ersal
?ualities . (ach represents8 if we may recapitulate for a moment8 a certain aspect of &eity8 some phase of
/od in manifestation. The Point8 which has no dimension8 represents /od as Spirit8the )ather or the )irst
.o!os. The .ine , both the hori>ontal and the =ertical , would indicate the dual aspect of /od in
manifestation2 Spirit,Matter8 .ife,)orm8 )ather,Mother. This is portrayed in the Cross as the &i=ine
Sacrifice8 /od incarnate8 the :6ord made flesh:8 the Son or the Second .o!os. The Tau is the symbol of
mans path or return to /od. The Swastika is the whirlin! fire of Spirit in 0is creati=e aspect as the 0oly
/host8or the Third .o!os. "n the interlaced Trian!les is typed /od as a Triune *ein! and man in 0is
ima!e and likeness.
The serpent symbol descends from this hi!h realm of di=ine contemplation. "nstead of pointin! to those
deific ?ualities8whether human or uni=ersal8 it brin!s to mind @ust the re=erse. )rom a classic hea=en of
law8 order and harmony we ha=e descended into a world of confusion8 straddle8 chaos. A new element
has crept into the sublime atmosphere of the !ods8 the element of en?uiry and doubt, en?uiry after the
sources of truth and doubt concernin! all authority. 6ith the entrance of the serpent8 order and beauty
ha=e !i=en way to human passions2 desires8 !reed8 ambitions8 selfish lo=es and hates. The simple laws
of bein! ha=e become compleA and complicated problemsF and man has in=ented stran!e theolo!ies to
attempt to sol=e and to escape from them. Such words as sin8 e=il8 punishment8 hell8 redemption and
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
sal=ation ha=e entered into the human =ocabulary to bind mens hearts and minds in fear and i!norance.
And yet8 in the face of this anti,spiritual influence which throu!h the a!es has been attributed to the
serpent8 we shall find that it holds a =ery definite and important place in mans e=olution , in the whole
uni=erse for that matter. "n spite of the blame and recriminations which ha=e been heaped upon it for
e=erythin! which is wron! with man and the world and in spite of all the e=il that has popularly been
belie=ed about it since the temptation of (=e in the /arden of (den8 there is e=idence8 we belie=e8 to
pro=e that the serpent as a symbol contains allusions to truth so deeply occult as to deser=e our
profoundest study.
*y what incredible per=ersion of human lo!ic has man succeeded in de=isin! a doctrine which purports
to place the cause of his ori!inal :fall: and the entire blame for his subse?uent propensity for e=ildoin!
upon this creature which crawls in the dustG Around it ha=e been wo=en more myth and fable and in our
own :enli!htened: a!e more reli!ion do!mas than about any other symbol. The serpent is ne=ertheless
of all fi!ures in=ented by the fathers of our race the one most appropriate for preser=in! for posterity the
deeper meanin!s of the eternal stru!!les !oin! on within the human mind between his lower and hi!her
natures. %f all symbols8 this is said to be the most mystical8 and like Satan who is re!arded as its
personification8 the least understood.
The serpent winds its way throu!h myth and sacred scriptures of all peoples of all a!es. Throu!hout8 the
serpent and the dra!on seem to ha=e been used interchan!eablyF where one word is used8 the other
could be substituted in many instances without alterin! the meanin!. %ur thou!hts naturally turn to
classic literature8 to the myths of /reece8 $ome8 (!ypt8 Chaldea8 "ndia and China for the many eAamples
which come to mind. 6e ha=e read stories in hi!h school teAtbooks without realisin! that they wea=e a
story fundamental to mans physical and spiritual e=olution. 6ith no thou!ht of any inner or esoteric
meanin!8 these :myths: become meanin!less fairy tales. 6e instincti=ely think that way back in time8
before history be!an8there were those :6ise Men:8 (lders of our race who de=ised these #ature symbols
and alle!ories in order to teach subtly infant humanity the truths of mans own physical and spiritual
nature. The more so is this thou!ht impressed upon our minds when we find the sameness of pattern in
the myths of all peoples , included amon! them the 0ebraic le!ends recorded in the %ld and #ew
Testaments8 often mistakenly re!arded as history.
Perhaps the most outstandin! eAample of this similarity may be found in the cases of the !olden apples
of 0esperides and of the :fruit: from the tree in the midst of the /arden of (den. The former were
!uarded by a hundred,headed dra!on. The story is recounted as the :(le=enth .abour of 0ercules:. "t
seems that 0ercules Cborn of a di=ine father and an earthly motherE must slay this dra!on before he
could possess the !olden apples of di=inity.
The sacred !arden8the forbidden fruit8the serpent or dra!on placed in the !arden as !uardian o=er the
co=eted fruit8 the theft of the fruit by a mortal ha=in! a di=ine father, these are some of the parallelin!
aspects of the two stories8 fairly solicitin! an impartial and comparati=e study of their subtler meanin!s.
Another of the myths of /recian ori!in which eApresses the !uardian idea was that of the sleepless
dra!on which watched o=er the /olden )leece. "t was necessary for Jason to subdue this dra!on before
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
he could procure the /olden )leece. 6e are reminded of the slayin!s of dra!ons by the +ni!hts of +in!
Arthur in their search for the 0oly /rail8 or of the heroes Sie!mund8 *oewulf8 Si!uard8 etc.8 in northern
mytholo!y. The dra!on would seem to type mans lower animal nature8 while the /olden )leece80oly
/rail8 etc.8 would symbolised his soul or di=ine nature. The story is told of the infant 0ercules and his twin
brother "phikles. "t seems that Amphitryons wife had twins , one was his own8 and the other the son of
Heus. Amphitryon was @ealous and wished to learn which of the boys was his own and which had a di=ine
father8 so he placed two serpents in the crib. "phikles fled. 0ercules stran!led the two serpents. The
student will find a situation here parallelin! the *ible story of Jacob and (sau. These latter were twins.
(sau was his fathers :first born:8 while Jacob type the di=ine linea!e. Jacob ac?uired the birthri!ht of his
brother (sau and his fathers blessin!. 6e mi!ht see in one of the physical =ehicle CbodyE8 while in the
other the reincarnatin! soul8 the di=ine (!o. %ne is born of an earthly mother8 the other of a di=ine
"t is only the di=ine nature that can con?uer and control the lower serpent forces. (arly in the history of
the earth8 the !reat python came up out of the mire and swamp and spread e=il and pestilence o=er the
land. Apollo8 son of Heus8 came down to earth and slew the serpent8 restorin! li!ht and health to mortals.
0e is known as !od of the sun. "n the (!yptian =ersion of this heiro!ram8Typhon slew %siris8 !od of the
sun and cut his body into fourteen pieces and scattered them o=er the land. 0orus8 %siris son8 came to
earth and slew the serpent Typhon8 and after restorin! his fathers body8 became the !od of the sun. The
parallelism between these myths and certain aspects of Christian theolo!y can hardly be o=erlooked.
Jesus8 the di=ine Son8 came to earth to destroy the power of the dra!on.
%ne could !o on indefinitely throu!h these ancient :myths: to find the serpent or dra!on as typin! the
forces of e=il and obstruction. And yet there are other aspects of this serpent !lyph which su!!est many
layers of interpretation. Albert Pike8 in his book on Masonic symbolism8 $orals an! Do#ma" !i=es many
e=idences which show that the serpent held a si!nificant place in the Mystery Schools of the ancient
world. Pluto8 !od of the underworld was represented as seated on a serpent8as was Serapis of (!ypt.
The sacred basilisk was the royal ensi!n of the Pharaohs.
"n the temple of %siris there is a tablet on which is represented a basilisk erect with horns on its head and
between the horns a disc. The serpent in connection with a disc or !lobe is found upon monuments of
many nations. Aesculapius8 son of Apollo8 was the !od of medicine and healin!. 0e is pictured as
carryin! a club,like staff with a serpent Csymbol of reno=ationE coiled around it. KSee chapter ;-"8
:Symbol of the &i=ine 0ealer:.L Serpent fi!ured prominently in the Mysteries of *acchus and of (leusis.
"n (!ypt the serpent used in its mysteries8 when eAtended8meant &i=ine 6isdom8 with its tail in its mouth
si!nified (ternity. The Celtic &ruids built their temples of hu!e stones arran!ed in the form of a serpent.
These temples were ori!inally called Circs or +erks Cmeanin! circlesE 8 the word bein! forerunner of the
+irk CchurchE. "n the Hodiac of the hea=ens8 the serpent holds a prominent place amon! the circle of
animals. The northern constellation of &raco8 like a ri=er windin! throu!h the wintry *ear8 !irdles the
uni=erse8 e=en as in (!yptian hiero!lyphics the serpent encircles the mundane e!!. "n 0indu mytholo!y
the kin! of e=il demons was called #a!a8 kin! of serpents. 6e may trace in this word the 0ebrew word
nachash" meanin! serpent.
The 6ncyclopae!ia Britannica adds corroboration to these e=idences from many sources. "t claims that
:the similarity of the #orthern C(uropeanE and the %riental Snake myths seems to point to some common
ori!in in an anti?uity too remote to be eAplored:.
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The dra!on has been for unknown a!es the national symbol of the Chinese people and plays an
important part in Chinese art. These unusual dra!on symbols represent powers of the air and type the
deified forces of #ature of the Taoist reli!ion. The serpent in folklore arises from e=ery corner of the
!lobe8 from the #ew 6orld as well as the %ld and it is often difficult for scholars to separate superstition
from myth8 the latter bein! built around pure symbolism. The serpent tradition flows out of e=ery type and
class of people , in its arts8 its reli!ion8its superstitions and its ma!ic rites. )amiliar in custom and le!end
are the healin! powers of the serpentF and in many countries , especially in /reece and (!ypt , the
serpent has been a symbol of the healin! art.
6e are particularly interested in the serpent lore which we find in our own scriptures. "n referrin! to
certain of the *ible stories as myths8 there is intended no irre=erence to the sacredness of their sourceF
for while a myth may ha=e no basis in history 8 its =ery nature and purpose is to re=eal to man truths too
profound for him to !rasp in their naked purity. Jesus 0imself used this method in teachin! 0is many
followers. "t is said that :without a parable spake he not unto them:. "n the *ible the serpent makes his
appearance on the scene at the be!innin! of the third chapter of 'enesis immediately followin! the story
of creation. 0is manner of entrance has been one of the stumblin! blocks in the way of the rational
thinker in acceptin! Christian theolo!y based upon the fall of manF for the idea of a serpent holdin!
con=ersation with our first parents upon the conse?uences of eatin! the fruit forbidden by their Maker
strikes all rationalists as bein! so ridiculous as to brand the rest of the creation story as e?ually fantastic.
"t is8 howe=er8 the opinion of many scholars that the entire creation story8 includin! the snake episode8
was not ori!inal with Moses8 but was a re=ision of much earlier traditions handed down from *abylonian
sources8 bein! themsel=es repetitions of more ancient Sumerian traditions. K Mr..eonard *osman has
written an interestin! analysis of this sub@ect in his little book8 The Book of 'enesis Uneile!" The
&harma Press8 .ondon.L Mystic and occult scholars hold that the whole story is a !lyph wherein is
portrayed a cosmic formula of creation. *e that as it may8 the rationalists are ?uick to admit that the
serpent eApressed a subtle bit of wisdom when he said8 :/od doth know that in the day ye eat thereof8
then your eyes shall be opened8and ye shall be as !ods8 knowin! !ood and e=il:. 6ise old serpentG
6hen Moses was preparin! to lead the "sraelites out of (!ypt8 the .ord !a=e him and his brother Aaron a
ma!ic trick with which to con=ince the Pharaoh that the /od of Moses was the true /od. Aaron was to
cast his rod upon the !round and it would instantly become a serpent. The Pharaoh8 not wishin! to be
outdone8 called his ma!icians and commanded them to do the same8 which they did8 and the ma!icians
rods became serpents also *ut8 behold8 Aarons rod swallowed up the ma!icians rods. Then there is the
ama>in! account of the serpent of brass which Moses placed upon a pole for the people who had been
bitten by snakes to look at. "t is said that those who did look were healed of their poison. KSee Chapter
;-"8 :Symbol of the &i=ine 0ealer:8 for details on this story.L
The eAit of the serpent form the pa!es of the *ible is as dramatic8if not as romantic8 as its entrance. .et
the words of the author of the &eelation tell of its tra!ic endin!2 :And there appeared a !reat wonder in
hea=enF a woman clothed with the sun8 and the moon under her feet8 and upon her head a crown of
twel=e stars... And there appeared another wonder in hea=enF and behold a !reat red dra!on8 ha=in!
se=en heads and ten horns8 and se=en crown upon his heads.... And there was a war in hea=en... And
the !reat dra!on was cast out8 that old serpent8 called the de=il8 and Satan8 which decei=eth the whole
world2 he was cast out into the earth8 and his an!els were cast out with him.... And when the dra!on saw
that he was cast into the earth8he persecuted the woman which brou!ht forth the man child.... And the
serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman .... And the dra!on was wroth with the
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woman8 and to make war with the remnant of her seed ... And " saw an an!el come down from hea=en
8ha=in! the key of the bottomless pit and a !reat chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dra!on8 that
old serpent8 which is the &e=il and Satan8 and bound him a thousands years. And cast him into the
bottomless pit ....: "t would seem that the :woman: had finally cau!ht up with the serpent of (den.
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C,A"T$R (>
S/M&O* O% $)I*
6"T0 =ery few eAceptions8 the serpent8 both in mytholo!y and in sacred scriptures8 brin!s to mind the
idea of ad=ersity8 pestilence8 famine8 sin8 sorrow8 sufferin! and death. The serpent itself is supposed to
be crafty8 sly8 cunnin!8 subtle8 enticin!8 deceitful and poisonousF and has been termed the tempter8 the
obstructor8 the destroyer8 the : an!el of death : and of the bottomless pit. )rom him there eAudes an
influence which is noAious8 noisome8 harmful8 unwholesome8 corrupt and pernicious. "n other words8. he
is the epitome of e=il.
6hile it is not our purpose to pass o=er li!htly the sub@ect of e=il8 or to make apolo!ies to the serpent for
that matter for his association with e=il8 we do want to try to apply some strai!ht thinkin! both to the
serpent and the e=il of which he is the symbol. 6e see the results of e=il all around us2 misery 8
unhappiness8 po=erty8 fear8 hate8 wretchedness and u!liness in its many forms. *ut what is e=il in itself8
and what is its cause B Are !ood and e=il relati=e terms8 or is e=il fiAed and non,=ariable and not affected
by time8 place or circumstance B "s its presence in the world the responsibility of an (=il %ne =ariously
called the &e=il and Satan B "s sin inherited by the human race like some dread disease8 from our first
parents B "s it true that mankind is under a : curse : from which there is no escape sa=e by some form of
blood sacrifice B "n our endea=our to brin! some clear thou!ht to these problems8 we wish to a=oid
in=ol=ement in any of the theolo!ies re!ardin! sin8 condemnation8 repentance8 for!i=eness and sal=ation.
These problems are the pro=ince of reli!ions. %ur role is strictly that of an in=esti!ator8 a searcher for
truth. "n presumin! to furnish answers to these ?uestions we feel that we are somewhat in the position of
those indi=iduals of dubious mentality who : rush in where an!els fear to tread :. The problem of e=il has
been the sub@ect of ecclesiastical debate for centuries. Philosophies8 psycholo!ies and theolo!ies ha=e
been built around it. The answers to the ?uestion : 6hat is e=il B : ha=e been le!ion. St. Paul8
Schopenhauer8 #iet>che8 )reud8 Mary *aker (ddy and countless others ha=e !rappled with it. 0e would
be e!otistical indeed who thou!ht to co=er in a few para!raphs what prophets and poets from Moses and
Job to &ante and Milton ha=e written =olumes about8 and upon which annually millions of sermons are
preached in churches and syna!o!ues throu!hout the world.
Another point must be touched on before enterin! into a discussion of so contro=ersial a sub@ect as the :
problem of e=il :. "t should be made clear that8 althou!h the sub@ect matter !rows out of a consideration of
the serpent which forms part of the Theosophical Seal8 the opinions eApressed herein are those of the
author and are in no way to be considered as doctrines of the Theosophical Society. The Society has
many teachin!s but only one creed , if we may use that term , the creed of 'ni=ersal *rotherhood. 1et8
while acceptin! full responsibility for the conclusions arri=ed at8 humble acknowled!ement is !i=en to
those sa!es and teachers whose writin!s ha=e been a storehouse of source material.
6e ha=e su!!ested that as a symbol the serpent refers to our human rather than to our di=ine ?ualities.
"n a sense then man partakes of the : curse : placed upon the serpent8 for his di=ine part or Spirit8
identifyin! itself with that part of him which is : of the earth : is thus : condemned : to li=e in an animal
body and share its laws and conflicts. "t would seem therefore at first !lance8 that e=il made its
appearance in the world as a result of this conflict between the laws of the Spirit and those of the flesh.
"ndeed8 our earliest record of primiti=e peoples establishes the fact that their idea of e=il had its roots in a
belief8 common to all8 in the duality in #ature. Primiti=e man saw e=erywhere about him a conflict to the
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death between two opposin! forces. %ne was bene=olent8 !ood2 warmth8 sunshine8 sprin!8 summer8
!entle rain8 food8 shelter8 health8 etc. The other force was malefic8 e=il2 cold8 darkness8 winter8 storm8
flood8 famine8 disease8 war and death. 0e saw himself as the =ictim cau!ht between these two forces8
and his heart was filled with a dread fear of the unknown. #ot knowin! their source8 he personified these
forces as !ood and e=il spirits8 and sou!ht by rites8 sacrifices and !ifts to propitiate the one and appease
the other .
The idea of two opposin! principles or causes in #ature8 ha=in! different natures and opposite in their
effects8 one producin! li!ht and !ood and the other darkness and e=il8 is seen as one of the principal
bases of e=ery reli!ion. There has thus been established the do!ma of two opposin! principles in #ature8
which contrary to each other produce in man the miAture of !ood and e=il. %ut of this tradition of two
opposin! forces in the uni=erse there has naturally arisen the idea of two opposin! *ein!s of e?ual or
nearly e?ual power8 one bene=olent and the other male=olent. To what eAtent this tradition has filtered
into and has become part of our current reli!ious beliefs re?uires no proof. True8 we recite our creed
declarin! our belief in the %ne /od8 the : Maker of hea=en and earth :8 but then with a definite
reser=ation we modify this %mnipotence and force 0im to relin?uish part of 0is power and authority to a
ri=al8 whose a=owed purpose is the obstructin! and undoin! of 0is work. 1et8 were we to deny the
eAistence of this ri=al who has usurped part of the di=ine omnipotence8 would we not feel a sense of
irre=erence as thou!h our faith were challen!ed B Such a denial would be an admission that we are not
only sufferin! from the !reatest hoaA perpetrated upon the human race8 but that we oursel=es ha=e
actually created this : (=il %ne :8 and ha=e endowed him with the power to harm and destroy us. And
after all ha=e we not8. perhaps unwittin!ly8 created a con=enient scape!oat for our misdeeds and failin!s
by puttin! upon an ima!inary demon the load of blame for our i!norance and shortcomin!s B
6hat is the answer to this seemin! paradoA B "f /od is all powerful and all wise8 how is it that 0e permits
this e=il C or its personification8 the &e=ilE to hold such power o=er mens li=esB "t is true that we li=e in a
uni=erse in which duality is an established fact. "n all manifestation there are pairs of opposites 2 spirit,
matter8 life,form8 mind,body8 positi=e,ne!ati=e8. male,female8 hi!her,lower8 hea=en,earth8 e=en !ood and
e=il. The list could be eAtended indefinitely. These opposites are fundamental to the =ery eAistence of
bein!. Man8 as a part of this uni=erse8 partakes of this duality. The sin8 if sin there be8 comes8 it seems to
me8 in callin! one !ood and the other e=il. %n this point we must a!ree with our Christian Science friends
who declare that : all is !ood :. $obert *rownin! wrote8
/ods in his hea=enF
Alls ri!ht with the world.
The world has come to maturity since thenG "t looks upon such pronouncements as : nai=e : 8. and out of
tune with the : facts of life :. 6hat *rownin! saw was a hea=en and earth in which fundamentally
e=erythin! was !ood. "t is written2 : /od saw e=erythin! that 0e had made8 and behold8 it was =ery !ood
:. "f we admit that /od is the source and author of both spirit and matter8 it is presumptuous on our part to
call one !ood and the other e=ilF or to say that life is of /od8 while the body CfleshE is of the de=il. )or if
the body is the temple of the indwellin! life or 2spirit8 it cannot of itself be e=il. "nto this error ha=e fallen
those who see in the flesh an enemy8 and so mortify and punish the body in order thereby to attain
"f we need proof that there is no basis for the belief that the body is in itself naturally e=il or the source of
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
e=il8 we may look to the animal kin!dom. Animals li=e wholly8 or almost so in the bodily or physical
consciousness8 and follow the laws of the flesh F and yet we hardly !o so far as to say that an animal has
committed a : sin :. 6hen an animal follows his own !roups instincts in his relations with other animals8
includin! humans8 it is followin! the normal laws of its kind. There is no thou!ht of morality or sin. 1et if a
man were to follow those same instincts8 the sense of morality8 !uilt and sin enters the picture. The
difference would seem to lie in the fact that man8 e=en the lowest sa=a!e8 has somethin! which the
animal does not. That is the intellectual faculty or the mind,principle which enables him to reason8
analyse and discriminate the faculty8 in other words8 of knowin! : !ood and e=il:. May we not conclude
therefore that : e=il: comes into bein! with the ad=ent of the mindF and that : sin : is solely the product of
mans wron! thinkin!8 feelin! and desirin!. There are indeed certain modern schools of thou!ht which
hold that e=il8 and e=erythin! which that word mi!ht imply8 is unreal8 sa=e only as it is temporarily brou!ht
into eAistence by mans own erroneous thinkin!. 6e mi!ht ?uote from Shakespeare in corroboration of
this idea from 0amlet2
There is nothin! either !ood or bad8
*ut thinkin! makes it so.
And in Pro=erbs we read8 : As a man thinketh in his heart8 so is he :. This seems to lift our problem out of
the physical realm into the mental.
St. Paul8 writin! to the $omans8 comes to !rips with the problem of sin. : 6hat shall we say then B he
asks8 : "s the law sinB /od forbid. #ay8 " had not8 known sin8 but by the law. .. .)or without the law sin
was dead.: 6e mi!ht restate this sentence8 : )or without the law8 there is no sin :,a most si!nificant
statement8 as we shall see presently. St. Paul !oes on8 : )or .... the law is spiritual2 but " am carnal : Cthat
is8 a union of spiritual and physicalE. : " find then a law8 that8 when " would do !ood8 e=il is present with
me. ..*ut " see another law in my members Kof the bodyL8 warrin! a!ainst the law of my mind KspiritL8
brin!in! me into capti=ity to the law of sin which is in my members KbodyL : C$omans I2 I8 88 178 418 45E.
6hat is this : law : without which : sin is dead :,this law which is : in my members : constantly warrin!
a!ainst my : mind : B
There is one law which is beyond and inclusi=e of all other laws,at least all laws of life and morality,and
that is the law of e=olution8 the law of unceasin! pro!ress towards some end towards which all creation
mo=es. This !oal can be none other than that of perfection8 or completeness,of becomin! di=ine. This
implies a purpose and a direction. And this " think brin!s us to the key to the problem of e=il. "n order to
!et a lon! ran!e =iew of this problem of e=il we must look back to the be!innin!s of the human race.
Accordin! to the esoteric teachin!s8 the earliest races were non,physical. That is8 they were etherial in
their nature and had not yet come down into physical manifestation. %f these races there is left no trace.
The emer!ence of the first physical man upon our planet occurred unknown millions of years a!o. 6e
ha=e reconstructed his likeness from relics found in ca=es and rock strata. The primary purpose or ur!e
behind this infant humanity was the buildin! of a physical body able to sur=i=e the tremendous stru!!les
with his en=ironment. "n order to accomplish this it was necessary for him to de=elop the ?ualities of self,
preser=ation. "n his stru!!le for self,preser=ation and the other primiti=e ur!es it was necessary for him to
fi!ht for himself at the eApense of all others. "t was by puttin! his stren!th and cunnin! and sa=a!ery
a!ainst others that he could not only sur=i=e but !ain personal power and supremacy. All the crimes
known to man were put to his use to accomplish his own ends. (=erythin! which contributed to that end
was to him necessary8 and therefore !ood. Should he fail to use these primal instincts he would cease to
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Slowly8 out of these stru!!les a!ainst the elements of #ature and for his sur=i=al and supremacy o=er his
own kind8 the ?ualities of feelin! and emotion were !radually de=eloped. At first animalistic8 the feelin!s
of passion8 hate8 @ealousy8 fear8 etc.8 !radually took on mental ?ualities of cunnin!8 deceit8 a=arice8
selfishness8 pride8 etc.8 ?ualities which e=en today are buildin! up a keen mind and a stron! personality.
The trend up to now has been di=ersity8 a !oin! outward from a center8 the buildin! of stron! and
powerful indi=iduality. The point which " want to make is that in the early days of the human race8 in fact
until comparati=ely recently8 the direction of its e=olution has been toward matter8 that is8 away from spirit.
Man has used e=ery ener!y and force at his command to build up a stron!8 ru!!ed body and personality.
This outward or downward motion is in=olution or in=ol=ement in matter8 and the laws therefore which
produce and aid that in=ol=ement are beneficial. The whole process mi!ht be likened to a circle. 6hen it
has reached its lowest or midmost point it re=erses its direction and be!ins to climb upward. That which
was in accordance with the di=ine purpose on the downward arc is opposed to it on the upward arc F and
that which is in line with the di=ine will on the upward arc was opposed to it on the downward. 0a=in!
reached its lowest or densest enfoldment in matter8 humanity now starts its upward climb. Mans direction
is now re=ersed.
'ntil now his law was separateness8 self,centredness8 self,assertion8 self,possession. A new law comes
into bein!8 the law of lo=e and sacrifice8 of unity and brotherhood. The direction is now away from matter8
toward spirit. 6hat was !ood for him on his downward @ourney8 is now harmful or e=il. 0ence the :
warrin! :8 as St. Paul said8 : within my members :. To yield to these downward forces now would be to
him a : sin :. The law of !rowth is the o=ercomin! of obstructions. This is true in the physical world and it
is e?ually true in the spiritual world. The athlete stru!!les with e?uipment in a !ymnasium to de=elop a
stron! physical body. .ife is like a !ymnasium in which e=ery man stru!!les a!ainst the Cso,calledE forces
of e=il8 and it is by resistin! them8 wrestlin! with them8 o=ercomin! them8 that he !ains spiritual powers.
*ecause spirituality may be !ained only by the o=ercomin! of its opposite8 materiality8 who shall say that
these downward pullin! forces are in themsel=es e=il B As we contemplate the scheme of /od in its
entirety8 may we not find that what we thou!ht was e=il8 is in the end !ood , !ood because it fulfils its
purpose of forwardin! our e=olution B
/ood and e=il must then be considered as relati=e terms8 a matter really of polarity or direction. 6hat
was once beneficial to mans !rowth and e=olution8 later becomes for him an obstacle and : e=il:. 0is :
sin : would be in yieldin! to those forces which tend to pull him downward or backward. )or his direction
is now upward or spiritward. )or him8 toward matter is e=il8 toward spirit is !ood.
The whole story2 howe=er8 is not so simply stated. Se=eral sets of problems arise and our study of the
symbol of e=il would be remiss if we failed at least to mention one or two. "n its attitude toward reli!ion8
and therefore toward : e=il:8 the world seems to be di=ided rou!hly into two camps. %n the one hand
there are those to whom reli!ion is an outward, !oin! thin!. Their hi!hest worship is ser=ice8 and
de=otion is eApressed in acts of mercy. These people re!ard e=il as somethin! to be dealt with.
Somethin! must be done about it. The world must be chan!ed. The conditions which breed and nourish
e=il must be remo=ed. There must be or!anisations to eradicate e=il by the buildin! of institutions of
learnin!8 healin!8 material well,bein!8 etc. There must also be institutions for reclaimin! the e=ildoer or
meetin! out @ustice and mercy. 6e cannot escape the world and its responsibilities8 the worlds problems
are our problems8 we are our brothers keeper.
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Then there are those8 and their number is le!ion8 to whom reli!ion is an indi=idual thin! and e=il is strictly
an indi=idual problem8 which can be found and rooted out only by searchin! within the self. The world
bein! material is inherently e=il8 and to them the body itself is continually at war with their hi!hest
aspirations. Man needs must spend so much time and ener!y tryin! to o=ercome the influences of the
world and of the flesh that the most desirable state would seem to be that which is free from the world8 its
problems and responsibilities. 0is method is to retreat e=er within8 physically and mentally and to escape
from the demands of the world about him8 to find peace and shelter in seclusion and inner communion.
)or spirit only is the !ood and the real. Matter is the ne!ation of spirit and is therefore unreal or an
illusion and an enemy to !ood. Therefore to deny the body8 mortify the flesh8 disre!ard its demands. seek
the !ood by prayer8 meditation8 fastin!8 he escapes from earths prison8 and finds freedom of pure spirit.
0is supreme @oy comes from detachment from all earthly thin!s and union only with the SelfF for whate=er
separates8 detracts or hinders the realisation of this union is e=il. 0is feelin! for others is toward
detachmentF compassion chan!es to dispassion. 0e shuts his eyes to others hardships8 and his ears to
their cries for sympathy. "nwardly he says8 : .et each learn his own lessons and find his own way. Am "
my brothers keeper B :
*y purposely eAa!!eratin! these two attitudes8 we ha=e emphasi>ed their directions. 6e know of course
that each has much of !ood. %ne looks outward toward the circumference. The other looks only toward
the center. Surely there is a middle !round which embraces both the attitudes. 0umanity must reali>e
that it shares the nature of the world e=en as it shares the nature of spirit. %ne is its Mother e=en as the
other is its )ather. 6ho can say that he has no responsibility for the worlds e=ilsB (=ery u!liness is an
open challen!e to e=ery man. A !reat sa!e once wrote8 : "naction in a deed of mercy becomes an action
in a deadly sin.: K)rom the *ook of the /olden Precepts8 ori!inally written in Sen>ar unknown centuries
before Christ. Translated by 0. P. *la=atsky in The -oice of the Silence.L
&etachment must be balanced by the idea of unityF dispassion must be tempered by compassion. %n the
other hand8 the reco!nition of the e=il in the world outside of us must point to the fact that its source and
ori!in lies within our own minds. (ach must seek out and destroy the e=il in his own consciousness8 if he
would eradicate the e=il from the world. "n the final analysis the world problem becomes the indi=idual
problem. The one must be identified with the other , the circle absorbed by the point. This realisation
must ultimately fulfil the desi!n and intent of the symbol of the serpent swallowin! its tail.
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
C,A"T$R (?
T0(S( three words ha=e terrified the superstitious for a!es8 or at least since the be!innin! of the
Christian (ra. Are they names !i=en to an (=il %ne B %r are there three (=il %nes B "f so8 what is their
distinction B Many appellations ha=e been !i=en to him C or themE in sacred scriptures2 the Ad=ersary8 the
&estroyer8 the Accuser8 the Tempter8 the Prince of this world8 the Prince of &arkness8 the An!el of the
*ottomless Pit8 the )allen An!el8 and of course Serpent and &ra!on. At one time Jesus referred to the
e=il one as *eel>ebub8 the prince of de=ils. Today he is familiarly referredP to as the : %ld *oy 8. or the :
%ld #ick :. " suppose that &ante and Milton had a !reat deal to do in popularisin! this archenemy of man8
/od and reli!ion. At any rate this indi=idual8 be he an!el or demon8 has played and continues to play a
conspicuous part in much of our Christian theolo!y. 6e certainly ha=e cause to ?uestion the purpose and
function of this e=il one in the scheme of thin!s upon our planet. &oes : he : rank neAt in power to , in
actual practice wieldin! more power than the Almi!hty B "t is our hope in the present study to clear up8 or
at least to throw some li!ht on this persona!e of e=il.
%ther world reli!ions8 it is true8 besides Christianity and Judaism had their : e=il: deities. Ancient /reece
had Pluto8 !od of the underworld. 0is $oman counterpart was 0ades8 after whom the infernal re!ion was
named. "n ancient (!ypt Set C or SethE was the principle of darkness8 ni!ht or e=il. 6e may see in the
word : set : the root stem used later by the 0ebrews in the word : sat,an :. "n the Scandina=ian myths8
.oki was the personification of e=il and the enemy of %din. Ahriman8 head of e=il spirits Cdai=asE in
Horoastrianism8 was the archenemy of Ahura Ma>da. This list could be eAtended indefinitely. %f course
each of these : !ods : was a member of a compleA pantheon and was dele!ated only such powers as
related to his particular pro=ince or responsibility. The 0ebraic Satan8 on the other hand8 seems to ha=e
stepped into the world after the supreme /od had created it8 and for the purpose of obstructin! and
destroyin! 0is work. /od seems to ha=e been forced to yield or to share part of 0is power. "t is
interestin! to note that the word : de=il: did not appear in the %ld Testament8 and : Satan : was not e=en
mentioned until the time of +in! &a=id C1 Chron. 412 1E. "t may come as a surprise to many Christians
that neither the &e=il nor Satan was mentioned in connection with the temptation of (=e by the Serpent.
The first time that Satan appeared prominently in the *ible was in the Book of 1ob. "t seems that /od
wanted to : pro=e : the loyalty of this !ood man8 so 0e called Satan from his : !oin! to and fro in the
earth : and challen!ed him to do his worst up to Cbut not includin!E the takin! of his life8 to try to make
Job deny /od.;The student of symbolism will reco!nise a parallel case in the : .abours of 0ercules :. <
This stran!e e=ent is recorded in 1ob. "2 <8 : #ow there was a day when the sons of /od came to present
themsel=es before the .ord8 and Satan came also amon! them.: .ater on .uke puts the followin! words
into the mouth of Jesus2 : ..." beheld Satan as li!htnin! fall from hea=en : C.uke 102 18E. Throu!hout the
Ne/ Testament the words Satan and &e=il seem to be used interchan!eably. )or instance in Luke 7 2 9 it
is written that the &e=il took Jesus up into a hi!h mountain 2 and after he had been tempted Jesus
answered him :/et thee behind me Satan :. And &eelation8 Chapters 14 and 408 speaks of the dra!on8
that old serpent8 which is the &e=il and Satan.
*efore we can make much headway in tryin! to understand the problem8 it is necessary to clarify the
terms8 Satan8 &e=il and .ucifer8 and to disentan!le8 so far as possible8 some of the erroneous
implications which ha=e clun! to these words out of the dark past. The effort of the early churchmen to
popularise the teachin!s of the *ible by throwin! out the /nostics and much of the esoteric teachin!s
which they could not understand8 resulted in robbin! it of its true inner meanin!s lea=in! in many cases
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
merely the alle!ory or parable in which these teachin!s had been clothed. Such a spotli!ht of !lamour
has been flooded upon this : (=il %ne : that he has become the !an!ster, type hero,a kind of super,
world,enemy number one. The fact that sin is8 after many centuries8 still rampant in the world8 thou!h
often dis!uised by the mask of refinement8 is due in part at least to the comfortable human tendency of
placin! the blame for the worlds e=ils upon a mythical : e=il one : instead of where it belon!s ,in the
thou!hts of man himself.
.et us consider this appellation of : Satan :. "t is inconcei=able that /od8 who is %mnipotent and the
Source of all life and bein!8 should be placed in a position where he relin?uishes part of 0is power to
another (ntity who in turn uses that usurped power to destroy 0is work and to obstruct 0is plan. 6ho
then is this Satan and what is his place in the scheme of thin!s B
6e search the sacred scriptures of past a!es8 the Ancient 6isdomF and there we find si!nificant
passa!es8 half,=eiled statements su!!esti=e of truths so deeply intermin!led with the occult as to defy
the mind to translate into concise thou!ht patterns. 6e can only piece to!ether fra!ments of ideas to
build some basic conclusions. )irst of all we find that life has one purpose8 one law8 and that is e=olution.
This means a continual pro!ress of the indi=idual toward a state of perfection , a continual mo=ement
and chan!e toward a far,off !oal. This presupposes the immortality of the indi=idual self8 althou!h it may
eApress or manifest itself in successions of bodies or personalities. "t is by means of the ceaseless
stru!!le of the self within the personality to con?uer and to rebuild its en=ironment that it !rows into an
understandin! of its purpose and nature. This e=olution is ordinarily a slow process8 because the human
race learns its lessons reluctantly and only after many errors. 0owe=er8 there are here and there those
who stand out from the multitude8 like !iant trees abo=e the forest8 who throu!h special efforts o=er many
li=es8 ha=e achie=ed a !reater measure of perfection. True !reatness is not an accident of birth8 nor is it
inherited from human parents. "t is a possession earned by the self in many li=es and which it brin!s with
it at each new birth. "t seems to be the uni=ersal law that this pro!ress toward perfection is !ained only
by the surmountin! of obstacles and of sol=in! the problems in each earth life.
There is a ?uotation8 familiar to e=eryone8 most applicable here2 : 6hom the. .ord lo=eth 0e chasteneth :
C%eb. 142 <E. "f we apply this thou!ht to the story of Job mi!ht we not find it to be within the realm of
reason to suppose that a Supreme "ntelli!ence8 reco!nisin! in this man the potentialities of a !reat soul8
would in 0is !reat wisdom and lo=e place difficulties and obstacles in his way as a challen!e to him to
achie=e that !reatness B *ut what about @ustice and the idea that sinners are punished and the ri!hteous
rewarded B There is no idea here of punishment or reward. "t is the !iant tree that bears the brunt of wind
and storm. 6e are assured that thou!h 8Satan hurl a mountain in the path of a truly ri!hteous man8 /od
has placed within him the coura!e and 2stren!th to subdue it. So we may concei=e that in the !reat plan
of /od for mans perfectin!8 Satan plays a purposeful part. Marie Corelli !limpsed somethin! of this
profound truth in her book8 The Sorro/s of Satan. "n that remarkable story Satan8 althou!h he always
tried to lead men astray8 ne=ertheless re@oiced whene=er he failed.
Albert Pike8 in his work on Masonry 8 calls Satan the: !enius of matter alone. Satan8 apparently the
tempter to e=il8 ultimately becomes the tester of mans stren!th8 and therefore the !reat initiator :.
;Morals and &o!ma8 p. 9<98 Southern Jurisdiction of the 'nited States. < 0. P. *la=atsky confirms this
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thou!ht. She writes8 :As an ad=ersary the opposin! Power re?uired by the e?uilibrium and harmony of
thin!s in #ature8 as Shadow is re?uired to make still bri!hter the .i!ht8 as #i!ht to brin! into !reater relief
the &ay8 and as Cold to make one appreciate the more the comfort of 0eat8 so has Satan e=er
eAisted. ...As Kan offshootL from the same trunk of the Tree of *ein!. : ;The Secret &octrine8 5rd (d.8
-olume "8 p. 775.< A!ain in $orals an! Do#ma8 Albert Pike says8 : The Ancients postulated two causes or
principles of different natures and opposite in their effects8 one sheddin! .i!ht and /ood and the other
&arkness and (=il. This was admitted in all theolo!ies8 and formed one of the principal bases of all
reli!ions.: Cp. <<1E
"n tryin! to contemplate di=ine thin!s it is often a help to draw analo!ies from #ature and circumstances
about us. Consider an2 earthly !o=ernment. 6e see a sin!le head2 a president8 kin! or premier. 'nder
him there are ministers and a cabinet8 ambassadors8 representati=es8 administrators of law and @ustice
and many others. So we may concei=e somethin! of the di=ine hierarchy. The ancient 0ermetic slo!an8
:As abo=e8 so below :8 could here be re=ersed to read8 : as below8 so abo=e :. The Christian Church as
well as Judaism has always reco!ni>ed spiritual or semi,di=ine bein!s called an!els8 archan!els8 etc.
There are in the *ible the (lohim Ca plural word meanin! : !ods :E as well as the : se=en an!els before
the throne :. The +abalah speaks of the : Se=en Sephiroth :. Then we read in 1ob that the : sons of /od
: came before 0im to report on their work and : Satan came also amon! them :. (soteric tradition
confirms the idea of a !raded hierarchy of spiritual or non,physical bein!s ran!in! from the lowliest
nature spirit up to a Solar .o!os. These creatures8 hi!h and low8 actin! under the law of the one absolute
/od as 0is a!ents8 carry out2 the supreme will in its multiform acti=ities throu!hout 0is uni=erse. This
ancient teachin!8 known heretofore only to initiates of the Mystery Schools8 has in our day been !i=en to
the world under the name of Theosophy.
)rom the ancient records we may deduce the followin!2 Satan is a name8 or rather a title8 !i=en to one of
these : a!ents :. "n the early dawn of human e=olution it became his unpleasant duty to lea=e his hi!h
estate and to descend to earth in order to brin! to infant humanity the li!ht of reason. To do this it
became necessary for him to assume the role of : Ad=ersary :8 puttin! before man difficulties8 problems
and : temptations : with which he must wrestle in order to !ain stren!th and wisdom in o=ercomin! them.
This is the : fall : spoken of in many of the worlds scriptures. 3uotin! from the ancient Puranas8 0. P.
*la=atsky writes8 : The !ods who had fallen into !eneration : whose mission it was to complete di=ine
man8 are later on represented as &emons8 (=il 8 Spirits and )iends at war with /od.: KThe Secret
&octrine8 5rd (d.8 -ol. "8 p. 474. LThe phrase : fallen into !eneration : used in these ancient scriptures
would imply a comin! down into incarnation in order to brin! to the infant race8 or to awaken in it8 the
mind,principle8 the principle of reason and discrimination. $ecall that Satan8 in the !uise of the serpent8
said to Adam and (=e8 : 1e shall be as /ods knowin! !ood and e=il:.
The idea of one of the : sons of /od : brin!in! down the .i!ht or )ire from hea=en is a =ery ancient
tradition. The /reeks !a=e this : son : Cof HeusE the name Prometheus8 literally )orethinker. 0. P .
*la=atsky a!ain writes8 : 0ence the alle!ory of Prometheus8 who steals the &i=ine )ire so as to allow
men to proceed consciously on the path of Spiritual (=olution8 thus transformin! the most perfect of
animals on (arth into a potential /od. ...0ence also the curse pronounced by Heus a!ainst Prometheus8
and by Jeho=ah KJo=eL a!ainst Satan his rebellious son : K The Secret &octrine8 5rd (d.8 -ol. "8 p. 499.L
The curse bein! that this : an!el of li!ht : be : chained : to the : rock : of materiality buried in human or
mortal form in sacrifice CpunishmentBE for his action.
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). 0omer Curtiss8 in his book The $essa#e of A+uaria KThe Curtiss Philosophic *ook Co.8 1D588
6ashin!ton8 &. C Lelaborates this theme. : Satan or Saturn is referred to in 1ob as one of the sons of
/od Carchan!elsE who8 because of his office becomes the Tester8 the Ad=ersary8 the Accuser8 and the
"nitiator.: "dentifyin! Satan with Saturn8 he writes8 : Some day man will learn that Saturn is one of the
sons of /od : one of the dra!ons CserpentsE of wisdom8 and that only throu!h his testin!s and pro=in!s
can the .i!ht of Mind become the .i!ht of 6isdom : .There are many instances also in The Secret
Doctrine where Satan and Saturn are identified as one and the same bein!. KThe term : Saturn : used
here does not refer to the planet of that name8 but to the : influence : or obstructi=e force associated with
it. L The ancient 0indu scriptures say that the uni=erse is composed of three realities8 or rather three
aspects or eApressions of %ne $eality,Sat8 Chit and Ananda. Ananda is interpreted as *liss8 the
Supreme Self or .ifeF Chit as 'ni=ersal ConsciousnessF while Sat is the world of manifestation. "t can
hardly be a coincidence therefore that the root syllable in both Sat,an and Sat,urn is the ancient root
word representin! the : 6orld of Thin!s :8 or the matter side of bein!. 6e will recall too that the (!yptian
Set C or SethE was the !od of the underworld8 that is8 of the dense physical world. Jesus called Satan the
: prince of this world : C1ohn 142 51EF and St. Paul refers to him as the : !od of this world : C-- (or. 72 7E.
The true meanin! of Satan is perhaps best eApressed in the title : .ucifer :. This name appears but once
in the *ible8 and si!nificantly alludes to his : fall : from hea=en. : 0ow art thou fallen from hea=en8 %
.ucifer8 son of the mornin!G : C-sa. 172 14E Albert Pike has this comment8 : .ucifer8 the li!ht, bearer G
Stran!e and mysterious name !i=en to the spirit of darkness8 .ucifer8 Son of Mornin!G "t is he who bears
the li!htG : KMorals and &o!ma8 p. 541.L &r. 0omer Curtiss8 in his The -oice of "sis writin! of .ucifer
makes this distinction2 : Satan CSaturnE is the obstruction8 the Tester8 the "nitiatorF while .ucifer is that
aspect of the same force which confers the crown of =ictory to those who con?uer and the !ift of
immortality .: KThe =oice of -sis8 p. 47I8 1D558 The Philosophic *ook Co.. 6ashin!ton8 &. C. L The =ery
name : .ucifer : meanin! : li!ht,bearer : fires the ima!ination. 0e has been called : Star of the Mornin! :
C-enusE8 the : &ay Star :8 the : Shinin! %ne :. 0e could ha=e been none other than one of the (lohim8 an
archan!el or messen!er of /od who brou!ht to earth the : fire of hea=en :8 the : li!ht of the mind :8 the :
creati=e fire of kundalini :.
*efore lea=in! this tenet of Satan8 which 0. p . *la=atsky called the : most profoundly philosophical
conception of ancient thou!ht :8 we cannot resist the temptation to ?uote briefly from the appendiA : The
Secret of Satan : in Anna +in!sfords bookP The Perfect 6ay8:K3uoted in The Secret &octrine8 5rd (d.8
-ol. "8 pp. 475,D. LAnd on the se=enth day. .. there went forth from the presence of /od a mi#hty
An#el"..And /od !a=e him dominion o=er the outermost sphere Kthe dense physical worldL ... Many
names hath /od !i=en him CSatanE8 names of mystery 8 secret and terrible. ...The Ad=ersary because
Matter opposeth Spirit. ..)or Satan is the ma!istrate of the Justice of /od. ..'pon him CSatanE only is the
shame of #eneration. ..0e hath entered into bonda!e Kto matterL ...The !lory of Satan is the shadow of
the .ord C/od in the manifested worldE. : This reminds us of a most si!nificant phrase often ?uoted in
occult works8 Deus est Demon -nersus.
"n the !reat spiritual drama in which Jesus played the principal part8 as well as in the drama of Job and
other ,l! Testament : heroes :8 it was Satan who played the role of the !reat Tester or "nitiator8 and the
command : /et thee behind me Satan : are pass, words of =ictory. #eedless to add that these words are
as potent today as then.
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T,$ D$)I*
The : &e=il : is perhaps the most popular appellation for : his Satanic Ma@esty : F and to all intents and
purposes these two are one and the same bein!. As we ha=e said8 the eApression : the &e=il: did not
appear in the ,l! Testament8 while it is also true that in the Ne/ Testament the terms seem to be
synonymous and used interchan!eably. 0owe=er8 in spite of this seemin! identity8 there may be found
e=idence and reason to persuade us that there is a basic difference. %ur precedin! study on : the
problem of e=il: !i=es us a clue. Throu!hout the entire uni=erse8 as in all #ature8 there is found a duality
or pairs of opposin! laws and forces8 e?ualisin! and balancin! each other. "n the moral sphere8 these
opposin! forces are reco!ni>ed as : !ood : and : e=il :. %ne is the ur!e or force which leads towards
spirit8 pro!ress and e=olutionF the other is the force which pulls toward matter8 which retards and
obstructs e=olution. #ot only8 as we said sometime back8 were the forces of destruction and e=il deified
by the early primiti=es8 but8 throu!hout the Christian era and down to our own day8 ha=e those primiti=e8
dri=in! and destructi=e emotional forces such as fear8 terror8 superstition8 hatred8 lust8 !reed8 etc.8 been
attributed to some e=il !enius. Acts of =iolence and outra!e ha=e easily been blamed upon the &e=il. 6e
need not !o too far back in history to find e=idences of this terrible superstition in which mens minds and
emotions ha=e been whipped to a fren>y in the belief that an e=il spirit or demon has cast a spell upon8 or
obsessed8 an innocent =ictim. The Christian Church has not been free of this !uilt. "t has not only !i=en
e=il a name8 but a crown and sceptre of ma@esty. "ndeed e=il has been deified to the eAtent that : (=il:
has become : &,e=il:8 the Super &emon or !enius of all that is bad in the world.
"t is only in recent times that we ha=e reco!ni>ed the cumulati=e power of human thou!ht. Psycholo!ists
acknowled!e mass emotionalism as a powerful a!ent for !ood or e=il. The passion of a mob has swept
men to commit such crimes as would be abhorrent and unthinkable to him as an indi=idual. Con=ersely
he has risen to hei!hts of coura!e and self,sacrifice on wa=es of mass hysteria and reli!ious
emotionalism. Added to this reco!ni>ed law of mob psycholo!y8 there is another most si!nificant
phenomenon of the mental world8 known for a!es to occultists and students of the ancient wisdom8 but
only recently acknowled!ed by a few eAperimental psycholo!ists2 that is8 that e=ery thou!ht produces a
definite effect in the mental atmosphere of the world. This effect eApresses itself in two ways. %ne is a
direct force which !oes to its ob@ecti=e like an arrow brin!in! !ood or e=il. The other is the creation of a
form or shape made of the subtler matter of the mental world. This : thou!ht form : persists to be
dischar!ed into the mind of a con!ruous recipient or is destroyed by the thou!ht form of a definitely
opposite nature. 6ithout !oin! into the dynamics of this mental phenomenon8 we mi!ht say that e=ery
cruel8 =icious and hateful thou!ht and emotion which ori!inates in the mind of man !oes out into the
mental atmosphere to create a cloud of potential e=il. As like attracts like8 these thou!ht forms
accumulatin! for incalculable a!es o=er the entire world ha=e !enerated =ast concentrations of e=il
influence. "t is a possibility therefore that the con!enital and the moron Cas well as many normally : !ood
: indi=idualsE ha=e but to open their thou!hts to dwell upon the pleasurable aspect of some e=il act8 or the
desire to eAperience it8 much as one would : tune in : to a radio set8 and an o=erpowerin! flood of e=il
tendencies would pour into the =ictims mind sweepin! him on to uncontrollable actions.KSee The 0idden
Side of Thin!s by C.6.. .eadbeater 8 Theosophical Publishin! 0ouse8 Adyar8 Madras8 "ndia.L Since man
has created this )rankenstein monster of e=il8 he needs must !i=e it a name F hence the : de=il: has
become the !eneric term for all that is e=il in the world. 6e must hasten to addP howe=er8 that we ha=e
shown only one side of the picture. True and noble thou!hts are e?ually as powerful in creatin! in the
mental world a reser=oir of !ood which ser=es as a bulwark a!ainst the encroachin! e=il. Surely the li!ht
of understandin! and the practice of uni=ersal *rotherhood will one day dissipate this cloud of e=il and
with it its fraudulent impersonator8 the &e=il. K6e ha=e purposely a=oided reference to the reli!ious
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
aspects of this problem8 for one could easily become in=ol=ed in the many theolo!ical an!els8 re?uirin!
many =olumes.L
3 "O0$RS O% DAR'N$SS 3
*efore closin! this chapter it seems necessary to consider for a moment another phase of this sub@ect of
Satan and the &e=il. 6e find the abo=e eApression : Powers of &arkness : fre?uently used8 particularly in
occult and metaphysical writin!s8 to refer to the powers of e=il which retard e=olution and8 somewhat
=a!uely8 to any persona!es connected therewith. The eApression has this ad=anta!e8 that it embraces a
more uni=ersal idea of e=il and a=oids any su!!estion of an anthropomorphic : (=il %ne :. And too8 the
terms : Satan : and : &e=il: carry a load of reli!ious superstitions. The =ery utterance of these names
brin!s the odour of brimstone , or at least sulphur . The term : Powers of &arkness : or : The &ark
)orces : seems to lift the idea of e=il and its causation out of the realm of old world superstitions and of
the supernatural onto a le=el where it can be considered rationally and philosophically. "ndeed in the li!ht
of a more mature understandin!8 the : Powers of &arkness : should not be considered to be either e=il or
bad. 6hether we think of these : )orces : as representin! certain bein!s under a !reat hierarchy8 or in a
more psycholo!ical aspect as bein! a kind of =ast reser=oir made up of mans e=il thou!hts8 as was
considered under the subheadin! : The &e=il:8 they certainly ha=e to do with mans e=olution.
6hen we think of the two sides of #ature8 we must also accept the =iew that they are both di=ine8 for
both !row out of the %ne True (Aistence. As we su!!ested8 e=olution resembles a circle8 and as it
reaches its nadir or midmost downward point it re=erses its direction climbin! upward. Those forces
which eApressed the di=ine will on the downward arc are opposed to it on the upward8 e=en as those
which were seemin!ly opposed to it on the downward arc8 are workin! with it on the upward. 6hat we
call the: &ark Powers : are they who worked /ith the law of e=olution on its downward arc8 but work
a#ainst its upward climb. The : forces : which are now constructi=e or on the side of spirit or life are
called : white : F while the : forces : which obstruct and disinte!rate are classed as : dark :. "t is the
uni=ersal law of e=olution that pro!ress is made only by opposin! and o=ercomin! obstacles. .ooked at
from this point of =iew8 the : Powers of &arkness :8 forcin! e=olution by their =ery opposition8 are in the
o=erall process carryin! out the &i=ine 6ill.
%ccult tradition says that what is called the !ark side of #ature consists of !reat hierarchies of bein!s.
The hi!hest of these are of stupendous intelli!ence8 workin! with a full and complete consciousness of
the di=ine plan8 eAercisin! their destructi=e and materialisin! powers8 thus : aidin! : the di=ine purpose
by seemin! to thwart it. "n this sense the phrase : &ark )orces : mi!ht seem to be synonymous with
Satan and his an!els. "n this connection8 all that we said under the subheadin! : Satan : would apply
here. 0owe=er8 there is another idea embraced within the meanin! of : Powers of &arkness : not at all
co=ered by the words : Satan : and : &e=il:. This has reference to certain human indi=iduals8 whether de,
ceased or in incarnation8 who in this earth life or durin! many past earth li=es ha=e definitely lined
themsel=es on the side of e=il. The term : *rothers of the Shadow : is often applied to those indi=iduals
who ha=e allied themsel=es with the destructi=e forces of the world. Many such indi=iduals ha=e worked
to de=elop certain inner or occult faculties for their own personal power and for the furtherance of their
own selfish purposes. They are said to be on the : .eft hand path :. 0owe=er8 it is said that they pay little
or no attention to ordinary people of the world only as these people may be affected and harmed by
those calamities and disasters brou!ht about by their e=il plottin!s. The worlds history of wars and
tyrants recounts the names of many of these : *rothers of the Shadow :. 6e are told that8 with a few
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terrible eAceptions8 the time e=entually comes when these people be!in to reali>e that the di=ine law of
pro!ress and unity cannot fore=er be opposed8 and so after endurin! !reat sufferin! to eApiate their e=il
purposes and deeds8 @oin the ranks of those on the upward or ri!ht hand path. A noted instance of such
an indi=idual is found in the *ible in The Acts. The leader of a !an! 8of murderers of the early apostles
was one day blinded by a flash of li!ht and a =oice was heard to say8 : 6hy persecuteth thou meB "t is
hard for thee to kick a!ainst the pricks :. That man became 8Christs !reatest apostle. Then there was
Judas called "scariot8 who went and han!ed himself upon a tree.
These : *rothers of the Shadow : ha=e in truth carried a !reat part of the burden of the worlds e=olution8
makin! by the =ery tra!edy of the work they do and their !reat sorrow8 the eApiation which the e=il has
demanded. Certainly the crucifiAion of Jesus could not ha=e taken place8 nor could the !reat Christian
&rama ha=e reached its climaA without a Judas.
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
C,A"T$R (7
S/M&O* O% T,$ DI)IN$ ,$A*$R
6( hardly think of the serpent as a symbol of healin! F and yet it is the one type of the serpent symbol
which has come down to our own day. .e!end has it that Aesculapius8 the !reat healer8 son of Apollo8
used as his symbol the serpent entwined upon a staff. "t is said that in the siAteenth century this symbol
of the healin! art was chan!ed to the Caduceus8 staff of 0ermes CMercuryE8 which consisted of two
serpents entwined around a rod surmounted by a pair of win!s. To this day8 the Caduceus is the symbol
of modern medicine.
The serpent has been so much associated with sin and e=il that we are scarcely aware of its more
beneficent aspects. 6e readily accept the idea of a duality in manifestation8 that there are two sides to
#ature and in e=ery concei=able aspect of the uni=erse. So are there two aspects of the serpent symbolF
and Satan and e=il !i=e way to its more positi=e aspect as the &i=ine 0ealer.
%ne of the hi!h spots in the story of the Children of "srael durin! their forty years of wanderin! in the :
6ilderness : was that of the healin! of a !eneral epidemic of snake bites by means of a : bra>en serpent
: placed upon a pole. 6hether we look upon this story as a historical happenin! or as purely alle!orical
makes no difference so far as the intent of this study is concerned. The account of the e=ent reads as
follows2 : And Moses made a serpent of brass8 and put it upon a pole8 and it came to pass8 that if a
serpent had bitten any man8 when he beheld the serpent of brass8 he li=ed : CNumbers 41 2 DE. The
ordinary and apparent lesson of this story is the power of faith to heal. *esides this surface connotation
there are se=eral implications in this brief statement which re?uire deeper en?uiry .The first si!nificant
thin! which challen!es our attention is the fact that the serpent was : lifted : abo=e the heads of the
people. The serpents which bit the people and caused them to die crawled upon the !round. The serpent
which was : lifted up : !a=e health and life. The occult si!nificance of this will be considered presently.
"n his book The Truth about 6olution an! the Bible8 ). 0omer Curtiss has a chapter on : The Serpent
Power :.KThe Curtiss Philosophic *ook Co.8 6ashin!ton8 &.C.8 1D54.L "n it he points out a number of
si!nificant thin!s. 0e writes8 : The serpent is the symbol of the Cosmic Creati=e force. "t finds its
eApression on all le=els of manifestation. %n the physical le=el it manifests as the procreati=e or seA,
force. "t is the per=ersion of this force which leads to de!radation and death. %n the spiritual le=el it is the
Christ,force,that =i=ifyin!8 fructifyin! power throu!h whose action all thin!s are brou!ht into
manifestationF that penetratin! .o=e, 6isdom which is the !reat unifier and healer of all li=in! thin!s. This
force is the !reat creati=e power in #ature and the most potent factor in mans e=olution.:
Another point of special si!nificance is the statement that the serpent was lifted upon a : pole :. This term
could as easily be interpreted symbolically as : rod :8 : staff :8 : tree :8 or e=en : cross :.
"n a deeper spiritual sense this rod or staff is the $od of Power8 symbol in all reli!ions and myths of /ods
power descendin! to earth. "n mans hand it is that re!eneratin! power which can chan!e the face of a
planet or transform man into a !od.KSee Chapter ""8 : Symbol of the -ertical .ine :. L The serpent upon the
pole in the wilderness is a foreshadowin! of the cross upon which hun! the crucified Sa=iour8 the /reat
Pa!e 81
The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
0ealer of mankind. "ts prophetic implications can hardly be doubted in the li!ht of that cryptic statement
of Jesus C1ohn 52 17E 2 : And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness8 e=en so must the Son of
man be lifted up : F and its se?uence of hope for all mankind8 C1ohn 142 54E2 : And "8 if " be lifted up from
the earth8 will draw all men unto me.: This !reat symbol will be considered presently in its mystic or
occult sense as referrin! to a power hidden in e=ery man.
There is yet another aspect to this serpent in the : 6ilderness : which has a subtle si!nificance8 that is8
that it was said to be a bra*en serpent which was lifted upon a pole. The particular si!nificance of this
?ualification is not e=ident until we analyse the ori!inal 0ebrew word here translated : serpent :. This
word is nachash8 translated many times in the *ible as : brass :. 3uotin! a!ain from &r. Curtiss book8
6olution an! the Bible8 : The 0ebrew word Nachash translated in this one instance as serpent is the
same word that is translated many times afterwards as brass. The root meanin! of the word #achash is
di=ine eAperience . Moreo=er the word translated be!uile in the (den story is nasha whose root
meanin! is to lift up .: 6ea=e these two thou!hts into the teAt of Moses story and we mi!ht restate the
sentence8 : And e=ery man who looked Cupon the serpent of brassE was lifted up into a :&i=ine
(Aperience .:
"t re?uires no ima!ination to see the similarity between Moses serpent of brass upon a pole and the staff
of the !od of healin! Aesculapius with its serpent entwined. "t is si!nificant too that in comparati=ely
modern times this symbol of the healin! art was chan!ed to the Staff of 0ermes CMercuryE with its two
serpents entwined. *efore we can fully understand the depth of meanin! which lies hidden within this
win!ed : Staff: known as the Caduceus8 as well as the Serpent of Moses8 it is necessary to consider
certain phases of the occult anatomy of our own bodies. Modern occult research has confirmed the
teachin!s of the ancient philosophers that within the human body there are se=en : force centers :
composed of etheric matter. These : centers : are not only ad@acent to certain ner=e !an!lia8 but in some
way8 not yet known to physiolo!y8 are closely associated with the ductless !lands. "n the ancient writin!s
these : centers : were called chakras8 a Sanskrit word meanin! rotatin! wheels.KThe followin! eAposition
of this sub@ect is based upon C. 6. .eadbeaters book8 The Chakras.L
6ithin recent years medical science has disco=ered the ductless !lands and is !radually learnin! the
=alue and function of these or!ans in the human anatomy. 6hat the anatomists ha=e not yet learned is
that each chakra has a definite functional relationship with a particular !land. This function seems to be
to take the force from sunli!ht and the air Ccalled by the ancient PranaE and to transform this ener!y into
body =itality8 then to pass it on throu!h the !lands o=er the ner=ous system and the blood stream. (ach
chakra forms a link of etheric matter between mans inner and his outer =ehicles , that is8 between his
mental and astral bodies and the physical. Throu!h this linka!e certain types of force flow from his
subtler bodies into the physical. This force8 comin! from within himself8 affects the body in =arious ways
throu!h the !lands and the ner=ous system. "t mi!ht be stated that the chakras specialise the type of
force flowin! throu!h for a particular function in the !rowth8 health and de=elopment of mans body and in
a hi!her sense affectin! the e=olution of his own consciousness. This acti=ity is stimulated and
accentuated by yet another and alto!ether different type of force which flows up the spinal column.
Althou!h this subtle force was known by the ancients and its : awakenin! : reco!ni>ed as producin!
certain effects upon the psyche and spiritual nature8 it remains as yet unknown to modern science. " say :
yet :8 for medical science will one day disco=er a new and tremendously important =alue connected with
the human spinal column.
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This subtle force is known to occult science as an elementary force be!innin! at the $oot Chakra at the
base of the spine. There it seems to become di=ided or polarised into two types which mi!ht be
characterised as masculine,feminine or positi=e,ne!ati=e. "t is interestin! to note that this polarity is
re=ersed in male and female bodies. These two forces ,called in Sanskrit -!a and Pin#ala or feminine
and masculine , follow the spinal column in a kind of twistin! motion8 one be!innin! on the ri!ht side and
the other on the left8 touchin! in turn each of the se=en chakras in their ascent8 to form a series of cur=es
not unlike the entwinin! of two serpents. The second crossin! is at the Spleen Chakra where it acts upon
the Prana8 the =itality which comes from the sun. The third crossin! is at the solar pleAus or the #a=al
Chakra8 closely associated with the feelin!s and emotions. The fourth crossin! is at the 0eart Chakra
:where the power of uni=ersal lo=e is stimulated. The fifth8 the Throat Chakra8 awakens the power of
clairaudience and a certain de!ree of creati=e ima!ination. The siAth Chakra at the *row arouses
conscious clair=oyance8 and awakens the intuiti=e faculty. The se=enth and hi!hest center is the Crown
Chakra at the top of the head Cthe inner si!nificance of the halo pictured o=er the heads of saintsE. This is
the center of the spirituali>ed will and the power to lea=e the body at will and in full consciousness. "t
should be understood that these chakras are dormant in e=ery human bein!. "n the natural course of
e=olution8 this awakenin! is a slow process re?uirin! many incarnations to accomplish. 0owe=er8 when a
man reaches a certain sta!e in his e=olution he may8 by special trainin! in self ,discipline and meditation
and with the aid of his Master8 accomplish this result in a few8 or e=en a sin!le lifetime. "n this case8 the
force rises up the spine in a sin!le stream8 awakenin! these di=ine powers one by one on its ascent.
This spirituali>in! force which ascends in man from the base of the spine to the top of the head has been
!i=en by the ancients the name Kun!alini or the Serpent )ire. *y the liftin! up of this force within the
body8 man de=elops his own latent !odlike ?ualities8 fulfillin! the prophecy of the Serpent in (den8 :1e
shall be as !ods :. This is the bra>en serpent which Moses Cthe "nner $ulerE lifts up in the 6ilderness
Cthe human personalityE. 6hat more fittin! symbol than the Caduceus of Mercury8 messen!er of the
!ods8 could be de=ised by man to depict this sacred truth. 0ere the two serpents entwine themsel=es
about a staff surmounted by a !lobe from which eAtend a pair of win!s. The si!nificance of this symbol
can hardly be missed. The staff or rod is the spinal column8 sometimes referred to as the : ladder of life :8
its 55 se!ments or =ertebrae bein! 55 run!s or steps. 6e may see here an association with the 55
de!rees in Masonry or with the 55 years in the life of Jesus. The ancient 0indus referred to the spinal
column as Brahma!an!a or the : stick of *rahma :. The !lobe at the top of the staff is the uni=ersal
symbol of spirituality. C6e may compare this !lobe with the circle at the top of the letter T in the Tau.E The
outspread win!s represent the liberated Self or Spirit.
Such is the mystery of the *ra>en Serpent8 symbol of the Christ lifted upon the cross to become for all
men the power of re!eneration and resurrection,the &i=ine 0ealer.
CSpecial acknowled!ement is accorded The Secret &octrine by 0. P. *la=atsky for many of the thou!hts
presented in this study8 too numerous to note indi=idually.E
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
C,A"T$R (8
60(# Jesus bade 0is disciples to be : wise as serpents : CMatt. 102 1<E8 it is incredible that 0e could
ha=e su!!ested that they be cunnin!8 wily and deceitfulG "n ancient "ndia8 Na#a was the serpent of
wisdom. "n The Secret &octrine wise men or adepts are fre?uently referred to as Na#as. The term is a
kind of nickname or title and was intended to eApress re=erence and !reat respect. "n China8 Chaldea
and ancient (!ypt the Na#as CserpentsE were worshipped as incarnations of wisdom. (=idences of this
re=erence is found also in records of Central and South America.
The =ery first encounter with the serpent in the *ible certainly portrays him as a creature of considerable
wisdom. 6e read8 : #ow the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the .ord /od had
made. And he said unto the woman. .. 1e shall not surely die2 )or /od doth know that in the day ye eat
thereof Kthe fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the !ardenL8 then your eyes shall be opened8 and ye
shall be as !ods8 knowin! !ood and e=il: C/en. 52 1,9E.
"n his book8 The +ey to the 'ni=erse8 ). 0omer Curtiss writes : Many students do not obser=e the proper
distinction between the words subtil8 which is used to describe the serpent Cin (denE8 and subtle which
has ?uite a different meanin!. Accordin! to the Standard &ictionary subtil means P ha=in! fine structure8
not !ross or denseF rarified8 refinedF attenuatedF etherial8 hence penetratin! as a subtil perfume : while
subtle is used as an attribute of mind in the dero!atory sense of crafty . 6e see therefore that the
serpent is not represented ChereE as crafty and enticin! but as an etherial force.: Cp. 51E
#ot only must the serpent be : lifted up :8 but our minds also must be lifted up to a new comprehension of
the mysteries embodied in this aspect of the serpent symbol. "t is an idea which eludes definition or
=erification. %ne can at best only feel that it is true. 0. P. *la=atsky hints at this interpretation scores of
times in The Secret &octrine.
Solomon8 in a beautiful word poem on wisdomF tried to define it. 0e wrote 2
)or 6isdom is more mo=in! than any motion F
She passeth and !oeth throu!h all thin!s by reason of her pureness.
)or she is the breath and power of /od8
And a pure influence flowin! from the !lory of the Almi!htyF
Therefore can no defiled thin! flow into her.
)or she is the bri!htness of the e=erlastin! li!ht8
The unspotted mirror of the power of /od.
And the ima!e of 0is !oodness.
)or she is more beautiful than the sun8
And abo=e all the order of the stars.
0e that lo=eth wisdom lo=eth life8
And they that seek her early shall be filled with @oy.
0e that holdeth her fast shall inherit !loryF
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
And wheresoe=er she entereth8 the .ord will bless
KThe *ook of the 6isdom of Solomon8 Chapter I.L
)or what is this wisdom8 this subtil serpent forceB "t is inherent in all thin!s8 yet is contained by none F
eAtendin! in all dimensions8 yet ha=in! of itself no dimension. .ike spirit it eAists in all forms8 all states of
bein!8 influencin!8 chan!in!8 refinin!8 beautifyin!8 perfectin! all forms and all actionF yet in itself it is
affected neither by form nor action. "t abideth throu!h all space8 yet is neither limited nor conditioned by
spaceF it eAists throu!hout all eternity8 yet time has neither effect upon it nor power o=er it. 6isdom is of
the essence of the (ternal. .ike lo=e8 its other self8 it maketh all thin!s new. 0ow is wisdom attainable8
how wooed and made ones ownB *y the analy>in! of e=ery eAperience with dispassion and humilityF by
testin! all knowled!e whether it be true or falseF and by discernin! the difference between pure action
which is of the will and reaction8 which is purely reciprocal. "t is the essence of all eAperience8 all action
and all knowled!eF and all eAperience8 action and knowled!e are in turn sanctified by it. (nterin! into
e=ery moti=e and purpose8 it has power to melt e=ery difficulty and to sol=e e=ery problem. "t is a
re!eneratin!8 transformin!8 recreatin! and purifyin! a!ency8 thereby placin! the stamp of nobility upon
him who embraces it. "t is the hi!hest title !i=en to man upon our planet8 a :Master of the 6isdom :.
6e may remember that in our precedin! study we saw that the 0ebrew word nachash8 translated :
Serpent : both in the (den story and in the 6ilderness story8 esoterically means a : &i=ine (Aperience :8
while the 0ebrew nasha interpreted : be!uiled : means : to lift up :. "n the li!ht of this translationP a new
understandin! is born in our minds. 6e see here a symbol of a transformation takin! place in our own
natures,the distillation of the eAperiences of life until they become for us a : di=ine eAperience :. There is
no ma!ic in mans re!eneration sa=e the ma!ic of the hourly8 daily8 yearly sublimination of his own
eAperiences in the body8 until their essence is con=erted into wisdom. Man de=elops his innate di=ine
?ualities8 much as a seed de=elops into the pattern of the tree8 only by di!estin!8 assimilatin! and
absorbin! the eAperiences of earth until they become purified8 transformed8 ele=ated into spiritual
wisdom. 6isdom is not a !ift of the !odsF but somethin! which each must earn by the continual liftin! up
of the essence of his eAperience eAtracted throu!h pain and laborB hope8 and disappointment8 sorrow
and happiness until his own finite wisdom rises to meet /ods infinite 6isdom.
(=ery man may thus become a priest before the altar of his own consciousness8 whereon e=ery earthly
eAperience8 touched by the fire of spirit8 may be transformed throu!h the miracle of transubstantiation
into pure wisdom. "n this (ucharist of daily li=in!8 the wine of eAperience8 poured into the chalice of our
hearts8 may be transmuted into the sacred blood or .o=e, 6isdom. (ach may become an alchemist in
the laboratory of his own life transmutin! the base metal of his lower nature into the !old of spiritual
powers. The lead of his earthly nature is bein! daily transformed in the crucible of li=in! into the !old or
&i=ine 6isdom.
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
C,A"T$R (9
6( lea=e the Serpent in its symbolic aspect of e=il and sin8 Satan and the &e=il8 and in its more occult
,sense as the &i=ine 0ealer and &i=ine 6isdomF and we approach an entirely new phase eApressed in
the ,symbol of the serpent swallowin! its own tail. 'p to now the serpent has been =ery personal in his
relations with man. 0e has entered the field of reli!ion8 of morality8 of the spirituali>ation of mans own
inner nature8 and the 0ealer and *rin!er of &i=ine 6isdom. There is nothin! personal or reli!ious in this
new symbol8 eAcept only as man and reli!ion may be interested in the (ternal and the "nfinite. 6e enter
a realm of purely speculati=e philosophy. "f we would try to describe the meanin! of the serpent in the act
of swallowin! its own tail8 we would use these two words8 (ternity and "nfinity. These two words8 how,
,e=er8 re?uire certain definiti=e ?ualifications. 6hat can the human mind know of eternity and infinity
eAcept that one embodies a =ery lon! time and the other eAtends to8 and beyond8 the limits of our
comprehension B Many !reat minds ha=e wrestled with this idea of eternity and infinity and their relation
with time and spaceF and it would be folly to presume to do more than what has already been so
ade?uately done. )or these two ideas8 unendin! time and immeasurable space8 present many problems
to our minds8 not immediately apparent. To say that time and space are illusions and eternity and infinity
are realities does not sol=e the problem. "n fact8 eAcept for those mystics who dream of escapin! from
this ob@ecti=e world8 this idea only adds confusion to our thinkin!. )or if time and space are illusions8 then
the whole manifested uni=erse has neither reality nor purpose. "ndeed we mi!ht say that time and space
came into bein! with manifestation. C6e are thinkin! here of physical manifestation8 for there must be
other dimensions of bein! re?uirin! new codes of measurement. E
)irst of all8 we consider this symbol of the serpent swallowin! its tail as a circle. A circle immediately
establishes in our minds somethin! fiAed and limited. 0owe=er eAtended the circumference8 it is
somethin! which the mind can comprehend. "t becomes the boundary of a uni=erse8 the : $in!,pass,not
: beyond which that uni=erse may not eAtend or the time cycle settin! the limits of the endurance of a
uni=erse. The 0indus called this time cycle a Man=antara or a Maha , Man=antara. The circle limits or
sets aside a certain field in the Cosmos in which a Solar .o!os may brin! forth and e=ol=e 0is particular
uni=erse. -ast as that uni=erse may be8 so lon! as the human mind concei=es of it in terms of space and
time8 it must ha=e its limits,its circumference. "t must also be true that8 howe=er lon! the Man=antara C or
Maha, Man=antara , !reat cycleE8 there must come a time CEf dissolution8 which the 0indus term Pralaya
or period of rest and cessation of Cosmic acti=ity. 6e shall consider this idea of recurrin! cycles of
manifestation presently. Certainly space and time8 as represented by the circle8 are measurable and
therefore limited.
The serpent,swallowin!,its,own,tail symbol presents an entirely different concept. There is the idea of the
2finite bein! : swallowed : by the "nfinite8 8of time bein! : swallowed : by the (ternal. This brin!s to mind a
story from ancient mytholo!y. Cronos8 !od of time8 son of 'ranos and /aea Chea=en 2and earthE8 is said
to ha=e swallowed his children. Saturn8 his .atin counterpart8 was known as : father time :. 6e are aware
of course that all thin!s which na=e their ori!in in time are thus e=entually swallowed by their own father.
And yet the ?uestion mi!ht be asked8 : "f time came into bein! with manifestation8 how can it cease to be
so lon! as manifestation 8eAists B : The answer must be that time is an aspect of manifestation. "f in
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
/ods omniscience8 the be!innin! and end C: " am Alpha and %me!a8 the be!innin! and the endin! :E are
percei=ed as one8 then to any lesser consciousness8 this 6hole would be seen only in part8 and part
succeedin! part8 unrollin! in time8 as the unwindin! of a film in a cinema. Time is the 2se?uence whereby
whate=er eAists in the (ternal,that is8 as potential ideation,emer!es into ob@ecti=ity. The (ternal8 by its
=ery nature ne=er be!an and can ne=er end8 else its name is a contradiction. Time must be a se!ment of
the (ternalF and if one be !i=en the status of reality8 the other imposes upon that reality merely its own
limitations. Man mi!ht be ,said to be li=in! in two worlds at once. 0e li=es in the (ternal #ow containin!
within him the ima!e of what he shall be. 0e li=es also in the world of time8 becomin! and e=ol=in! into
the fulfilment of that ima!e. 6hen the serpent shall ha=e swallowed its tail8 the Circle of : becomin! :
shall ha=e disappeared into the Point of : bein! :.
Space and Time are always spoken of in the same breathF and in fact one is inconcei=able without the
other. 6e can hardly think of distance without at the same time thinkin! of duration8 and duration implies
speed8 which brin!s us back a!ain to the idea %f time. Space is in a sense more readily understandable
than time,at least time in the abstract, because it deals with physical thin!s. "t is that unknown substance
which theoretically eAists e=ery, where between ob@ects re!ardless of distance8 and in which all ob@ects
eAist. A dweller in the ocean mi!ht concei=e of the water in which he swims as space8 yet that space is
an infinitesimal part of the !reat sea which eAtends for incalculable distances. "t is difficult to think of
space as eAtendin! into infinity without at the same time concei=in! the probability of hea=enly bodies as
occupyin! limitless distances in it. Science today =isuali>es a uni=erse which is in rapid motion8 e=er
eApandin!8 e=ery particle small or !reat mo=in! pro!ressi=ely outward alon! countless radii toward
circumferences which are themsel=es eApandin! into infinity. The term : our eApandin! uni=erse : has
become a popularly accepted idea. Sir James Jeans su!!ests that all of the nebulae are recedin! from
us at tremendous speeds. 1et he is inclined to think that they are not mo=in! throu!h space but with
space8 and eApresses the concept of space as e=erywhere eApandin! uniformly. 0e asserts2 : #ot only is
space almost inconcei=ably lar!e8 but is continually becomin! lar!er .: KThrou!h Space and Time8
Macmillan Co.8 1D57. LMr. )red 0oyle se=eral years later8 in tryin! to eAplain how space can be infinitely
eApandin! fore=er8 makes this momentous statement8 : " find myself forced to assume that the nature of
the uni=erse re?uired continuous creation,the perpetual brin!in! into bein! of new back!round material.:
KSee The #ature of the 'ni=erse8 0arper and *rother8 #. y .8 1D90.L "n other words8 he says that new
space Cor matterE is continuously bein! created. Comin! from an eAponent of the most modern scientific
thou!ht8 this statement is most si!nificant. 0owe=er8 he lea=es un, answered the ?uestion8 where does
this : back!round material: come from8 and by what a!ency is it : created : B
Science now reco!ni>es the fact that the matter of our uni=erse is not fiAed and static8 but that there is a
continuous flow Cwe should say ebb and flow Q of what we think of as force into matter8 and =ice =ersa.
.et us consider this thou!ht for a moment. 6e know that what is commonly called matter is made up of
incalculable numbers of atoms which are themsel=es composed of swiftly re=ol=in! lines of some kind of
force or ener!y. 6e are told that an atom resembles a miniature solar system with its. Protons and
electrons in rapid rotation in relati=ely astronomical orbits. There is nothin! : solid : in the old sense of the
word. The borderline between matter and ener!y is certainly a =ariable one. "n the li!ht of this accepted
fact8 it is but an easy step towards the conclusion that matter and ener!y Cor spiritE ha=e a common
ori!in8 that they are the opposite poles of one $eality. 6e may say that : spirit : is in a continuous
process of becomin! : matter :8 and that : matter : reciprocally flows back into : spirit :. The door of eAit
and entrance from either state :of eAistence to the other must be a point so minute that it can be
reco!ni>ed only mathematically. )i!urati=ely it mi!ht be said that the ob@ecti=e world is literally bein!
swallowed by the point,symbolically eApressed as the serpent swallowin! its tail. 6e push our en?uiry
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
beyond the limitations of scientific knowled!e and we enter a field in which the measure of the truth or
reality of our findin!s must be the de!ree in which they are co,related with the hi!hest reaches of our
thinkin!. %ur search leads us out of the ob@ecti=e world of sense,perceptions into the sub@ecti=e realm of
consciousness where the intuition must replace the outer senses in makin! appraisal of the rationality of
our @ud!ements. This is a realm8 too8 in which @ud!ement must be limited by the intellectual back!round
and capacity of each indi=idual mind.
The problems of truth and reality at once present themsel=es. 6hat is realityB 6e percei=e that what is
real to one may not be real to anotherF and what is real at one time may be unreal at another. The whole
uni=erse8 includin! oursel=es8 is constantly chan!in!. "s e=olution a mo=ement from unreality toward a
!oal of reality B Can the human mind know truth8 or can truth be reali>ed only when one has attained
ultimate reality B Philosophy and reli!ion ha=e wrestled with these problems and ha=e presented many
conflictin! answers. The true8 or let us say the P8 truest :8 answer must be that which inte!rates the
known : facts : of the ob@ecti=e world with our hi!hest concepts in the world of consciousness8 an
understandin! of which must resol=e most of our problems. And8 as is usually the case8 the answers to
many of mans most pu>>lin! problems are often so simple as to be o=erlooked entirely.
.et us put this idea to the test. An answer so simple as to dissol=e all compleAities mi!ht be stated 2 all
thin!s come from /od who is the ultimate source of e=ery phase of eAistence. Could any statement be
simpler B "t is almost nai=e8 childish. .et us analy>e it. "t would be inconcei=able to think of anythin! in
the uni=erse without a causation. 1et8 if we push an ,effect back to its cause and backwards throu!h an
e=er recedin! series of causes8 we must ultimately come to that Causeless Cause. 6e postulate T0AT
which is behind all manifestation. 6antin! 52 better name8 we call it A*S%.'T( *("#/. To this *ein!
N*e,ness would be a better wordE there can be no attribute8 description or name. #o ad@ecti=e can modify
or ?ualify it. The ancients called it T0AT. 0a=in! neither form nor shape it eAists e=erywhere and
throu!hout all eternity. &wellin! alone upon the di=ine plane there is contained within it the potency and
measure of all concei=able forms. &wellin! e?ually on all planes below its own8 it endows all forms with
potency and life. Per=adin! and penetratin! all thin!s8 it is both "mmanent and Transcendent. "nfinite and
(ternal8 it is the source and ori!in of both time and space. And yet it is far from us neither in time nor
space8 for it per=ades e=ery particle of our bein! and consciousness. 0a=in! neither be!innin! nor
endin!8 e=ery moment of our life is part of its eternity. #o particle of matter is too dense or too etherial but
that it has its =ery eAistence in this Absoluteness. Could any concept be more simple or yet more pro,
found B The poet &er>ha=in8 attemptin! to eApress this concept of /od8 writes in part 2
*ein! abo=e all bein!s G
6hom none can comprehend8 and none eAplore F
6ho fillest eAistence with T01S(.) alone G
(mbracin! all,supportin!,rulin! oer,
*ein! whom we :call /od. ... and know no moreG
K)rom %de to /od by /. $. &er>ha=in8 Poet,.aureate to Catherine "" of $ussia. L
%ut of this Absoluteness8 manifestation comes into bein!. The Absolute =eils 0imself with a !ossamer
=eil of spirit,matter8 for the =ery act of becomin! polari>es 0is nature and for the first time there appear
spirit and matter. .There can be no manifestation8 howe=er rarified and : spiritual:8 without these two
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
poles8 positi=e and ne!ati=e8 of (ternal *ein!. )rom the hi!hest di=ine le=el to what appears to be the
densest physical8 /od clothes 0is *ein! in e=er denser !arments8 wo=en from the woof and warp of this
dual essence of 0imself. $eality becomes more and more obscure8 and ultimate Truth becomes broken
into many fra!ments. 6ith this concept in mind: who can say where $eality ends and unreality be!ins B
"f spirit and matter are thus dual aspects of &eity: then it must be conceded that each shares 0is reality8
for each comes into eAistence simultaneously. The de!ree of our claim to distin!uish the unreal from the
real must be contin!ent upon our reco!nition of this basic truth8 namely the polarity of all manifestation.
6here now are those who see in this world of ob@ecti=ity only illusion or those who would rele!ate
e=erythin! below spirit to unrealityB Spirit itself8 to come into eAistence at all8 must set itself off from the
'ltimate by a separatin! film of attenuated matter. 6e are inclined to thin2k of reality as toward unity8 and
unreality toward separateness. 'nity and separateness must be a matter of the direction of our =ision2
unity looks inward toward ultimate bein! F di=ersity or separateness looks outward alon! the radii of
manifestation. $eality embraces both directions. The illusion8 if such there be8 is in the inade?uacy of our
own minds to e=aluate properly ob@ects and e=ents of the ob@ecti=e world and to distin!uish them from
our own fancies and hallucinations. Moreo=er the human senses8 bein! limited by their own =ibratory
capacities8 see ob@ects =ery incompletely8 thus creatin! ima!es in our minds which are far from reality.
"llusion would seem to arise from the tendency to confuse our own imperfect thou!ht forms with those :
ima!es : created by the &i=ine "ntelli!ence. Truth is that concept which lines up with reality on any le=el
of manifestation. 6e can only know truth in the de!ree of our ability to percei=e reality.
All truth below Absolute or 'ltimate Truth can be only partial truth. 6e may !o so far as to say that any
truth which our minds can know is relati=e truthF nor must we allow our minds to fall into the error of
assumin! that partial or incomplete truth is untruth. Surely in the fullness of time8 as the finite is
swallowed up in the "nfinite8 partial and relati=e truths will be swallowed up in ultimate Truth. Time and
Space will disappear into (ternity and "nfinity. Manifestation returns to Absolute *ein!. So the 2serpent
swallows its tail.
6e now look at our problem alon! another radius and consider the relationship between the idea of
*ein! and of *ecomin!. *ein! would seem to su!!est a state of eAistence in which there is al, ways
tran?uillity8 bliss8 perfection. *ecomin! su!!ests mo=ement8 effort8 !rowth. %ne would assume a !oal of
life which is fiAed and finalF the other . a pro!ress toward that !oal. 1et if we assume that *ein! is the
!oal of humanity and *ecomin! a mo=ement toward it8 then we must think of humanity as ha=in! : fallen
: from *ein!. *ein! is chan!eless and eternalF *ecomin! is of the essence of time and motion. *ecomin!
is the e=olutionary process to,: ward *ein!. Postulatin! a : fall : from *ein!8 and that descent takin! the
form of an arc8 *ecomin! is the ascent toward the apeA of *ein!8 an unfoldment of what we are into what
we shall be. Symbolically8 *ein! is a Point8 the potentiality of infinite possibilityF *ecomin! is the .ine or
radius eAtendin! toward infinite attainment.
The statement is often heard8 : 6e are becomin! what we are :. This statement is not actually true.
"f it were8 we should be standin! still8 or at least !oin! around in a circle and returnin! to our startin!
point. 6here then would be our pro!ress B The actual meanin! would seem to be8 : 6e are becomin!
actually what we are potentially :. .ife seems to be a series of !oals. As soon as one !oal is attained it
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
disappears and another looms8 as if the state of : *ein! : which is our !oal of : *ecomin! : is itself
pro!ressin! toward a new state of : *ein! :. 6e complete our cycle to a new !oal8 but a !oal which has
itself mo=ed to a more eAalted position , an endless spiral of : *ecomin! :.
An acceptance of this idea should eApand our idea of the !oal of life and remo=e the thou!ht of finality.
Surely one of the sources of criticism a!ainst Christian doctrinism is its teachin! that mankind will one
day Cafter deathE reach a state wherein pro!ress as we understand it comes to a standstill fore=er. (=ery
man will ha=e reached a !oal8 =aryin! accordin! to his particular state of moral8 intellectual and spiritual
de=elopment8 which state is fiAed and final. There is postulated a : place : Chea=en or hellE in which the
soul basks in a state of eternal bliss or is damned to torment and torture fore=er. Could we en=ision the
!oal of humanity as a state in which e=ery indi=idual will reach only a partial de!ree of perfection and
thereafter be condemned to remain in status ?uo throu!hout all eternity B Surely after a few million years8
e=en of hea=enly bliss8 some un!rateful souls would become restless and lon! for a chance to work8
stru!!le and e=en suffer a!ain to e=ol=e within themsel=es additional powers of perfection. This =ery idea
of eternal sta!, nation must be abhorrent to the human mind where not e=en the motion of time could
relie=e the monotony of eternal chan!elessness. 6hat a spectacle of unfinished hopes and purposes G
6e en=ision then a concept of the uni=erse which should be acceptable both to science and to theolo!y F
for the physical uni=erse will be seen as /od in manifestation. And when we reali>e that manifestation is
dual embracin! spirit and matter as opposite poles of one $eality8 we shall understand that e=erythin!
that eAists is made up of a union of these two essential elements of reality , life and form. To &eity
lookin! outward upon 0is manifestation8 the uni=erse must be seen as the positi=e idea and spirit the
ne!ati=e F while to man lookin! upward8 spirit must seem positi=e and the ob@ecti=e world ne!ati=e , each
in itself !ood. )or : /od saw e=ery thin! that he had made8 and behold8 it was =ery !ood : C/en. 12 51E.
This brin!s us to a thou!ht which must be the underlyin! basis of all philosophyF and that is that /od or
.ife alternately brin!s 0imself C or "tselfE out of the state of non,manifestation into manifestation8 non,
eAistence !oin! out from itself into eAistence. 0ere pure *ein! or non,eAistence is the ne!ati=e aspect
while eAistence or *ecomin! is the positi=e. 1et the chan!e from one state to the other brin!s no chan!e
in its essential reality. 6e mi!ht think of this outward or downward flow of /ods life as "n=olution8
wherein the di=ine ideation becomes more and more buried in denser and denser matter. Then upon
reachin! the nadir of its out!oin! arc8 the direction of its flow is re=ersed8 and the return motion be!ins.
This new direction of life is (=olution. "n this process .ife builds form after form8 mo=in! e=er nearer to
the &i=ine "ma!e.
Mankind8 in this process of becomin!8 mo=es from matter toward spirit8 spirit bein! the direction and the
doorway throu!h which the indi=idual returns to his source8 and throu!h which all manifestation returns to
pure *ein!. The !reat cycle of manifestation has ended. There follows a period of non,manifestation8
wherein all ob@ecti=ity is withdrawn into a state of pure *ein! in preparation for the out!oin! of a new and
more !lorious cycle of *ecomin!.KThe ancients termed this entire process of the ebb and flow of the
di=ine life a Man=antara or a : &ay of *rahma :. The period of non,manifestation or the withdrawal of life
was called Pralaya or the : #i!ht of *rahma :. The estimated len!th of this period8 accordin! to the
ancient records8 in solar years ran into ten fi!ures CThe Secret &octrineE. L
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
6e may find a =isual eAemplification of this sublime idea in the mo=ements of the hea=enly bodies8
wherein planets re=ol=e about suns8 suns about stars 2and entire uni=erses of stars re=ol=in! about some
unknown centerF and beyond this our own stellar uni=erse or !alaAy may be found countless millions of
!alaAies8 some in the process of bein! born8 others on the way to disinte!ration and eAtinction.KSome
idea of the eApanse of the known uni=erse may be !athered from the followin!2 The distance from our
sun to the nearest !alaAy beyond our own : Milky 6ay : is estimated to be I008000 li!ht years8 while the
faintest nebula which can be photo!raphed in the Mt. 6ilson hundred inch telescope is so distant that its
li!ht takes 17080008000 years to reach us. -ide Sir James Jeans Throu!h Space and Time. L 6hat
symbol could so appropriately embody so sublime a conception of our uni=erse in its cyclic period of
manifestation as the Serpent swallowin! its tailG
6e see this cyclic pattern repeated on lower le=els. The year with its four seasons2 sprin! sees the
outpourin! of uni=ersal life forces8 and all dormant seeds and forms sprin! to life. At midsummer they
flower into maturity8 at autumn ripen into fruit and seed. 6inter brin!s a withdrawal of the =ital forces8 a
slowin! down of !rowth8 a storin! up of food and ener!y for a new cycle of !rowth and a period of
dormancy8. and rest. The day follows the cyclic period at briefer inter=als. Mans life on earth repeats the
same pattern. 0e comes out of the in=isible into incarnation as a babe Cas a seed planted in an earthly
bodyE. The mornin! Csprin! timeE of life brin!s forth the =ital ener!ies of !rowthF noonday CsummerE
de=elops the inherent pattern of beauty in flower and bloom in physical and mental characteristics.
Afternoon CautumnE brin!s the har=est of personal perfections. 0is inherent characteristics and latent
powers ha=e matured Ce=ol=edE into acti=e mental and spiritual maturity ,,understandin!8 sympathy8
wisdom and @ud!ement. The ni!ht CwinterE of life withdraws his =ital powers. There comes the departure
of the personality CmanifestationE throu!h the process called death into the in=isible world. Then follows a
period of !estation and assimilation of the eAperience of life8 and the preparation for a new incarnation8
and a new cycle of lifes acti=ities. 6e may =iew the cycle of earth life as part of a still !reater cycle of the
di=ine Spirit.
6e ha=e followed the cycle of the personal life from birth to death. 6e now follow the course of the lar!er
cycle of the soul or e!o8 that inner or true Self which persists throu!h countless manifestations or
incarnations in a series of personalities. 6ithout !ettin! in=ol=ed in the processes8 we may say that the
soul of man Chereinafter called the : (!o :E as the indi=iduali>ed Spirit8 descends directly from the
Spiritual 6orld KSee The #ature of the Soul for a description in detail of this process. Published by The
Theosophical Society in America8. 6heaton8 "llinois. L to be!in his lon! pil!rima!e in the worlds of matter
and consciousness. The reason and purpose of this pil!rima!e throu!h the worlds of manifestation is
that he may8 throu!h his contact with and con?uest of his en=ironment8 de=elop his inherent
characteristics into conscious powers. )or many incarnations durin! which his entire attention is directed
to the de=elopment of a stron! and ru!!ed personality8 he has completely lost si!ht of his spiritual ori!in8
and e=en of lifes purpose and his own destiny. After countless incarnations he !radually awakens to the
reali>ation that he is essentially a spiritual bein! inhabitin! a body of flesh8 for the sole purpose of
!rowin! into the likeness of his )ather. 6ith this awareness comes an eApansion of his own
consciousness and a !rowin! understandin! of life and his relationship with others.: More and more he
be!ins to identify himself with his (!o. 0e be!ins to reco!ni>e his inner unity with others and with that
sense of unity a !rowin! reali>ation of brotherhood8 until his world eApands to take in all li=in! thin!s.
)rom within his bein! a !reat compassion and impersonal lo=e sur!es up8 unitin! him with life on all
le=els. 0e be!ins to lose his sense of separatenessF and yet with the reali>ation of unity with all8 his own
indi=idual center becomes more definitely and di=inely real.
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
0ere a!ain these cycles within cycles8 incarnations swallowed up in Spiritual *ein!8 eAemplify the
2symbol of the serpent swallowin! its tail.
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
&OO' ? - T,$ INT$R*AC$D TRIAN+*$S

C,A"T$R (:
T0( study of the interlaced trian!les has purposely been placed at the end of this book. #ot that we think
that the interlaced trian!le is more important than the other fi!ures of the Theosophical Seal8 but we feel
that in it is contained the synthesis and the summation of the Seal as a whole. (ach of the symbols
comprisin! the Seal presents its own particular messa!e. The (!yptian Tau8 which is a =ariant of the
Cross8 represents the resurrection of Spirit o=er matter8 the triumph of .ife o=er death8 and the Path of
Perfection and &iscipleship. The Circle is the si!n of di=inity and spirit or manifestation and the uni=erse.
The Swastika within the Circle is the whirlin! fiery Cross8 symbol of the &i=ine )ire8 the creati=e power in
an atom8 in man and in the uni=erse. The Serpent swallowin! its tail and encirclin! all the others is the
symbol of (ternity and "nfinity. "f the Seal were a temple8 these are its outer court. The interlaced
trian!les are the innermost shrine8 the holy of holies wherein is concealed the =ery nature of *ein! and
mans relationship with /od. 6here shall we be!in B 6hat shall we say as to the nature of /od8. of the
uni=erse and of man B 0ow can we describe the infinitely compleA system of interrelationships which
eAist between /od8 0is uni=erse and man B 6ith what !au!e can we measure or compare mans kinship
with &eity B
The answer to these ?uestions is to be found in the fi!ure of the intertwined trian!les. 0ere is the key
which8 as we shall try to pro=e8 unlocks the mystery of *ein! and Manifestation. 6e see in the trian!le a
pattern or mould into which all thin!s8 whether in hea=en or on earth8 may be CsymbolicallyE cast. "t is the
common denominator CnumericallyE of e=ery aspect of manifestation. "t is the fi!ure by which e=ery facet
of reality may be e=aluated and related. "t is the Rmeasure of all thin!s =isible and in=isibleP and at the
same time the !au!e of the relationship of one with the other.
" suppose the most fundamental concept of &eity of which the human mind is capable is that 0e is one.
1et when the idea of &eity is eApressed in terms of 0is attributes8 that is8 0is relation to a uni=erse8 the
%ne becomes ThreeF and we find uni=ersally the concept of /od as a Trinity. This is true of all the !reat
reli!ions of the world8 with possibly one eAception8 "slam. (=en the 0ebrew8 of all reli!ions mono, theistic8
in its secret writin!s tau!ht that the one /od8 throu!h 0is (manations8 becomes first three8 then se=en
and: ten,the Sacred Sephiroth. The followin! statement from the +abalah is pertinent to the sub@ect2 :
The &eity is one8 because it is infinite. "t is triple8 because it is e=er manifestin!.:
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
To the Christian8 0e is )ather8 Son8 0oly /hostF to the 0indu8 0e is *rahma8 -ishnu8 Shi=a or Creator8
Preser=er8 &estroyer. "n the ancient (!yptian Trinity8 the relationship was definitely on the family pattern8
%siris8 "sis8 0orus8 or )ather8 Mother8 Son. Many other appellations8 perhaps less personal8 ha=e been
!i=en to the Supreme. The ancient /reeks called him )irst .o!os8 Second .o!os and Third .o!os C.o!os
meanin! 6ordE. The Masonic *rotherhood knows 0im as the /ood8 the *eautiful and the True.
'ni=ersally 0e is reco!ni>ed as the %mnipotent8 the %mniscient and the %mnipresent.
6e obser=e this same pattern in its philosophical application. There is first the ob@ecti=e world about us ,
the world of thin!s. Second there is the +nower or the SelfF and third there is an awareness or
consciousness of the Self of his en=ironment8 the world of thou!ht. The ancient 0indus called these three
worlds Sat8 Chit8 Ananda. C6e shall refer to these terms in a followin! chapter.E )ittin! our pattern to
more modern thou!ht we ha=e the trian!le of Spirit,.ife,Matter or .ife,Consciousness,)orm. "n the purely
physical world8 we find that matter is known by its three ?ualifications8 stability , mobility , rhythm or
inertia , ener!y , law.
Space does not permit the catalo!uin! of all of the triplicities found in #ature. 0ere are a few of the more
ob=ious. .i!ht is broken up into three primary colors , red8 yellow and blue. Philosophers see the
uni=erse as limited by Time and Space8 and Measure as the relation between them. 6e may e=en say
that : Measure : is three dimensional8 namely , &istance8 &uration and &irection. : Time : itself falls into
the threefold cate!ory of Past8 Present and )uture. -ibration is translated to us in three modes ,motion8
sound and color. %ur physical world is made up of three elements , !ases8 li?uids and solids F and the
infinite =ariety of forms resultin! from their combinations are mineral8 =e!etable and animal. 6hat we call
electricity is a power resultin! from the union of a positi=e and a ne!ati=e current. .ookin! o=er the whole
field of manifestation8 we find the trian!le as the !eometrical pattern8 with the number three as the
numerical measure or !au!e of its manifold phenomena.
)inally we come to consider man himself. 6hen we attempt to apply the rule of the trian!le to him8 we
come upon a most si!nificant disco=ery , albeit a secret known to initiates of the Mystery Schools of all
a!es , that man is a microcosm8 little uni=erse. "n him is contained in miniature the =ast macrocosm.
Made in the : ima!e of /od :8 his spiritual nature is an emanation of the threefold nature of /od. This :
likeness : to /od as )ather8 Son and 0oly Spirit is a triad of three principles8 eApressed as 6ill8 .o=e ,
6isdom and Creati=e "ntelli!ence. The ancient 0indu term for this human triad is Atma8 *uddhi8 Manas.
St. Paul reco!ni>ed man as a threefold bein! when he said that he is8 a : Spirit8 Soul and *ody :. The
personality8 which is the Soul or (!o eApressed or incarnated in the three lower worlds of mental8 astral
and physical matter8 is also a triad composed of mind8 emotions and physical body.
0ow intricate is mans relation with the uni=erse about him and how intimate is his relationship with /od
will be the sub@ect of future studies. 6hat could more truly eApress this relationship8 with its infinite
correspondences of parts8 culminatin! in identification and e=entual union8 than the symbol of the inter,
twinin! trian!les B
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
+ree# (st *oAos 6nd *oAos =rd *oAos
$Ayptian Osiris Isis ,orus B
'ether Cho#!ah &inah
UniDersal O!nipotence O!niscience O!nipresence
or or or or
UniDersal Creator "reserDer DestroyerB
,indu &rah!a )ishnu ShiDaB
Christian %ather Son ,oly +host
Masonic The +ood The &eautiful The True
StrenAth 0isdo! &eauty
or or or
0ill *oDe-0isdo! &eauty
,indu Iccha nana 'riya
Spirit *ife Matter
or or or
*ife Consciousness %or!
,indu Ananda Chit Sat
"hilosophy The Self Consciousness $nDiron!ent
Man - St. Paul Spirit Soul &ody
"ersonality &ody $!otions Mind
Soul- ,indu At!a &uddhi Manas
Stability Mobility Rhyth!
or or or
Inertia $nerAy *aC
,indu ESatF Ta!as RaGas SattDa
= 0orlds of Manifestation "hysical Astral Mental
$le!ents of Nature Solids *iHuids +ases B
%or!s in Nature Mineral )eAetable Ani!al B
UniDersal Concepts Ti!e Space Measure B
Measure Duration Distance Direction
Ti!e "ast "resent %uture B
)ibration Motion Sound Color B
"ri!ary Colors- *iAht Red /elloC &lue B
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
C,A"T$R 6.
T,$ NUM&$R T,R$$
%#( who listens with appreciati=e en@oyment to the playin! of a symphony must be aware of a definite
plan in its structure and composition. There is first of all the underlyin! central theme8 the o=erall mood
which the composer intended to con=ey and which !i=es to the whole a certain color or tone. 0e is aware
too that the entire composition is di=ided into parts or : mo=ements :8 each ha=in! its own particular
theme. "n turn8 each of these parts is made up of =arious minor themes or =oices8 !i=in! a richness of
=ariety and color to the : mo=ement :. A!ain and a!ain repeated8 in swiftly chan!in! combinations and :
keys :8 wea=in! a pattern of mood or idea8 the : mo=ement : reaches its climaA. )inally8 wo=en and united
into one dominate theme8 these =aried =oices rise in a crescendo of beauty and harmony8 !i=in! the
composition its one distincti=e motif or tone, the one theme which stands out clear and triumphant in a
!rand finale.
The Theosophical Seal is such a musical symphony , a symphony of ideas. )irst one note8 then another
and another8 repeated a!ain and a!ain in =aried combinations or patterns8 now in one key and now in
another until8 like an unfor!ettable refrain8 one idea emer!es8 unmistakable and clear. The symbol of the
intertwined trian!les is a : mo=ement : in this symphony8 and the number three is its particular note or
theme. %ne can hardly think of the trian!le without associatin! it with the number three.
Throu!hout all a!es8 three has e=er been held as a sacred number8 associated always with some
concept of &eity. To the ancient philosophers all numbers were sacred8 each possessin! its uni?ue =alue
and power. They held that numbers were also associated with letters of the alphabet as well as with
!eometric fi!ures. This cate!ory of the association of letters with both numbers and !eometrical forms
repeats our threefold pattern2 its number re=eals its powerF the letter defines its thou!ht or idea8 its form
!i=es it body or measure. 6e instincti=ely look to the ancient 0ebrews who eAcelled in attributin! to
numbers and to the letters of the alphabet with which they were associated definite philosophical or
reli!ious ideas. 1et )abre d%li=et8 in his masterful work The %ebraic Ton#ue &estore!8 asserts that the
0ebraic sources of arcane wisdom antedated the historic Jews by many centuriesF and scholars assure
us that the cradle of all knowled!e and culture can be traced to the early Aryans of "ndia. The fact
remains that the science of numbers and the philosophy of letters came to us throu!h the secret Mystery
Schools of ancient eastern ci=ili>ations.
This whole idea was brou!ht to its hi!hest point of perfection8 both as a philosophy and as a science by
Pytha!oras8 renowned for his contribution to mathematics and music. 0e is known to ha=e been an
initiate of the Mystery Schools of /reece and (!ypt and probably of "ndia8 besides ha=in! a knowled!e
of occult science. 0e tau!ht that : numbers are symbols of di=ine realities8 eternal =erities which eApress
themsel=es periodically in the world of ob@ecti=ity. : The world is built upon the power of numbers :8 he
said. A!ain he is reported as sayin!8 : Cosmos was produced by !eometry8 followin! the proportion of
numbers.: 0e claimed that : the doctrine of numbers had been re=ealed to man by the Celestial &eities :8
and that : the world had been called forth out of chaos by sound or harmony8 and constructed accordin!
to the principles of musical proportion :.K The +ey to the 'ni=erse by ). 0omer Curtiss8 Chapter ". L "t
was .Pytha!oras also who !a=e to the world the chromatic scale in music. 0e tau!ht that the relationship
between music and numbers eAtends to the distances and orbits of the hea=enly bodiesF and the
statement : music of the spheres8, stems from this re=elation.
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6e shall recapitulate briefly a few of the points made in this connection in the early chapters of this book.
)or instance8 we saw that the number 1 is closely associated with the letter : A : CAlephE8 and represents
unity. "n the +abalah8 it is called the first (manation or Crown C+etherE. "ts !eometric fi!ure the Point8
which ha=in! no dimension8 is yet the source of all forms. Aleph is considered the acti=e principle of
&eity8 the Spirit or )ather. "t is si!nificant that phonetically8 : A : is the sound of eAhalin! breath8 CaahhGE
and : breath : is uni=ersally the symbol of life.
The number 4 naturally si!nifies duality. "t is the : 1 : polari>ed. %b=iously it must be associated with the
letter : * : C*ethE. The 0ebraic character *eth si!nifies : house : or : body :8 hence it is the : abode : or
=ehicle for spirit. As Aleph si!nifies the acti=e principle8 *eth is associated with the passi=e or !enerati=e
principle of bein!. "t represents the uni=erse of matter8 the Mother aspect of &eity. The Point in motion
becomes the .ine8 which must be the natural symbol of this duality.
6hen we turn to the number 58 our eAposition of its si!nificance cannot be stated so simply. "t ?uite
naturally follows that it bears an association with the third letter of the 0ebrew alphabet / or /imel. "t
need hardly be repeated that the trian!le is uni=ersally the symbol for the number 5. So our task is to find
the relationship which must eAist between the number 58 the letter / and the trian!le. "t should be
prefaced here that what we say in this connection must be purely speculati=e8 and its rationality @ud!ed
more by the intuition than the mind. Consider the trian!le with its three sides. The two sides or lines
emanatin! from the apeA or point of unity represent duality. The third line8 unitin! the two to form the
trian!le8 implies a union and a relationship.
(nlar!in! upon this idea in reference to the letters2 if we assume that Aleph is the spirit or acti=e
principle8 and *eth the form or !enerati=e principle8 /imel must therefore be the relationship between
these two8 the ma!netic link which unites spirit and form. "t mi!ht therefore be likened to the life force
!enerated by the union of the two. "n this sense /imel Cand8 of course8 the number 5E may be said to be
the : link : between the )ather and the Mother8 hence the Son. Carryin! this idea a little further8 it may be
considered the link between the personality and the soul8 between spirit and matter8 between the animal
body and the di=ine spirit.
Some students ha=e associated the letter /imel with the camel8 not so much for phonetic reasons8 but
because that animal was8 in ancient days8 the : carrier of life :8 and hence the actual link between centers
of ci=ili>ation. This eAplanation mayor may not be superficial. At any rate it was considered by the
ancients as the : hook : Cnote the shape of the letter : / : E or : link : unitin! two ideas.
$eferrin! to man8 it would not be difficult to relate this letter to Manas8 the principle of abstract thou!ht8
which is in a sense his link between his hi!her and lower principles. CManas is the third principle8 startin!
from abo=e. E "n this sense8 it has been associated physically with the throat8 the center of articulate
speech8 the center which chan!es sound into words and transforms power into intelli!ence. "t is the
power which lifts man from an animal to di=inity , the power of the creati=e mind. Since Aleph is
associated with : breath :8 and *eth with the : mouth : throu!h which breath flows8 it is but a step further
to think of /imel as associated with the : throat :8 the or!anism or principle which transforms breath or
sound into articulate speech.
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"t takes but a little ima!ination to lift this series of relationships between the number 5 and the letter /
into the di=ine realm and to co,relate it with the Third Principle or Person of the Trinity8 the 0oly /host.
)or as the : )ather : is Spirit8 CAtmaE8 the : Son : is life,form C*uddhiE8 so may we concei=e of the 8 :0oly
/host : as Creati=e "ntelli!ence CManasE. "n Masonic symbolism the letter : / : is considered sacred as
the si!n of /od8 the /reat /eometrician of the uni=erse. #one other but that (Aalted *ein! who is the
Third Aspect of /od8 the 0oly /host8 can fill that title. )or it is 0e who is the &i=ine Creator8 the : /reat
/eometrician :8 by whose desi!n and measure the uni=erse is builded. The root : /eo : comes from the
/reek : /ea : meanin!: the earth :8 and the : !eo,metrician : is one who : measures the world :.
"t is said that the trian!le is the first !eometric fi!ure8 for three is the fewest number of strai!ht lines that
can enclose a fi!ure. The trian!le not only is the measurin! !au!e of the earth8 but of the hea=ens also.
"n a literal sense8 the trian!le is the means by which =ast distances8 both in time and in space may be
accurately measured. )rom two points on its base8 the distance of the farthest star may be ascertained.
The pattern or the theme stands out clear and unmistakable. The Trian!le Cor the #umber ThreeE
becomes uni=ersally the measure of man and of the uni=erse about him. And what is infinitely more
important8 when two trian!les become superimposed one upon another to form the intertwined trian!les
of the Theosophical Seal8 they become not only the measure but also the symbol of a relationship
between spirit and matter8 between life and form8 finally becomin! the perfect si!n of the union of soul
with2 spirit , of man with /od.
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C,A"T$R 6(
T,$ M/ST$R/ O% T,$ TRIAN+*$
T0($( are two methods by which any sub@ect may be studied8 the deducti=e and the inducti=e. %ne
be!ins with the uni=ersal and descends to particularsF the other takes the parts one by one and
reconstructs the whole. *y the deducti=e method8 we premise a knowled!e8 at least a theoretical
knowled!e of the whole8 and then proceed from !eneral principles to : deduce : certain specific truths.
The inducti=e method8 on the other hand8 takes thin!s as we find them8 puts them to!ether and from the
parts builds the whole. 'ni=ersals thus become the sum of all the particulars. The first method mi!ht be
called the philosophic8 because it be!ins with the premise of certain conclusions8 considered as self
,e=ident. The other belon!s to the modem scientific method8 because it takes nothin! for !ranted which
cannot stand the test of proof.
"n a study of symbols such as we are makin!8 we find oursel=es usin! first one method and then the
other. %r8 perhaps8 because of the more or less speculati=e nature of the sub@ect8 the two methods of
2approach may at times seem to mer!e. "n our immediate study we shall copy perhaps more closely the
scientific approach8 in that we shall be!in with the detail and proceed from that to an o=erall conclusion.
At the same time we mi!ht be accused of bendin! our lines of thou!ht a little to fit a premise already
assumed. That is a risk we shall ha=e to take.
Consider the trian!le8 or any concei=able form for that matter. "f we reduce it to its minutest detail8 we
come to the : Point :. The point8 ha=in! no dimension8 has a mathematical eAistence only. And since it
has no physical eAistence8 its fi!ure must be purely hypothetical. 1et all dimensions start with the point:
and all forms are eAtensions of it. "t is8 therefore8 the most appropriate symbol which the mind can
concei=e as representin! the )irst Cause. Since it fills all space and permeates all thin!s8 it is the one :
fi!ure : which su!!ests "nfinity or Absolute *ein!.
The =ery first act in the process of creation or manifestation is motion. Call it =ibration8 sound8 or the :
word :,it is motion. The : Point : of Absolute *ein! mo=es to become Manifestation. This mo=ement
produces the .ine. Thus8 another factor 2appears simultaneously with this act of motion , the factor of :
duality :. A few eAamples of known phenomena will establish this statement8 at least as a workin!
theory .Take matter itself. The scientist tells us that the minutest particle of matter is dual in respect of its
properties. That is8 it has form or shape and it contains locked within it a force or ener!y. Consider that
familiar phenomenon called electricity. "t comes into manifestation as a force only when that mysterious
substance becomes di=ided into two modes of eApression called : positi=e and ne!ati=e :.
(=ery school boy knows that the earth is held in its orbit around the sun by the action of two forces
workin! opposite to each other , the force of attraction and the force of repulsion. So far as the scientist
can determine8 these twin forces operate throu!hout the known uni=erse8 and are responsible for its
e?uilibrium and stability. %ne force rushes outward from a center8 and without an opposin! force to
restrain it8 all ob@ects would perpetually fly apart. The other is a cohesi=e force. "t is the force of attraction
or !ra=itation by which all ob@ects in the uni=erse , howe=er minute or distant8 are drawn toward each
other. 6ithout the counteraction of the opposin! force of repulsion8 all thin!s in the uni=erse would be
crushed toward a common center .
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These simple illustrations could be multiplied a thousand,foldF but they ser=e to point out a truth which
must be self,e=ident8 namely8 that whene=er manifestation comes into bein!8 whether of a thin! or of an
idea8 that manifestation appears as a duality. *ut this is only half of the truth. The other half is that with
the comin! into bein! of this : duality :8 there appears simultaneously a third factor8 which is the law or
relationship between the two. The whole truth is that manifestation is always and e=erywhere triple. That
this is a law uni=ersally inherent in e=erythin!: whether physical8 mental or spiritual8 we shall attempt to
su!!est throu!h the illustrations already presented.
6e know that electric current re?uires two wires8 one positi=e and the other ne!ati=e. (ither one without
contact with the other is impotent and harmless. "t is only when the two currents are united by means of a
switch that power comes into bein! in the form of li!ht8 heat or ener!y .The positi=e and ne!ati=e
currents remain inacti=e until a : flow : is made possible by their union.
This eAample illustrates a fundamental law which is operati=e at all le=els. Take life,life in the abstract
sense is unthinkable. 6e cannot reco!ni>e or know life unless that life manifests throu!h some form.
There must be somethin! which is ali=e. "t is only throu!h the union of life and form in whate=er de!ree
that !rowth or e=olution is possible. "t is in the constant interplay of matter and ener!y8 or matter and
spirit8 that all substances become known to man. %n the hi!her le=els8 it is in the union and interaction of
life or spirit with matter or form that consciousness comes into bein!.
6e mentioned abo=e two laws or forces8 which so far as science knows8 eAist throu!hout the whole
uni=erse , the twin laws of attraction and repulsion8 sometimes called centripetal and centrifu!al force.
(ither of these forces without the compensatin! action of the other would brin! immediately chaos. *y
their union and proper balance a state of e?uilibrium and law comes into bein!. "t is because of the union
of these two opposin! forces that the eAact position of the moon and earth and all of the planets in
relation to the sun can be foretold for thousands of years. The mind can concei=e of no ob@ect8
circumstance or idea which does not fall into this triple cate!ory. "f we think of the twin concept of Time,
Space8 the =ery conception includes a third element8 a relationship which is their : measure :,whether we
call it duration8 distance or direction. 6hen we think of our ob@ecti=e world as restin! upon those twin
pillars8. Matter and (ner!y8 we cannot shut from our mind the thou!ht of a .aw by which the two are
ineAorably @oined. A!ain8 as we think of our world as peopled by the countless types of li=in! creatures8
we find a law of polarity into male , female which is the !uarantee of the preser=ation of the species.
Throu!hout the infinite =ariety of li=in! forms there is found this perpetuatin! trinity2 father,mother,
6ho is there that cannot say in his heart8 : " am ":8 or : " am the Self :8 thus identifyin! himself by this
statement with the =ery root of bein! B 0e looks out upon the uni=erse about him and says8 : That is not
":. As in his lon! e=olution he dissociates himself more and more from his en=ironment8 he comes to the
time when he looks upon his body8 his emotions and e=en his mind as the : not,Self :8 himself remainin!
e=er that which is : within :. 6ith an e=er increasin! reali>ation of this distinction8 there e=ol=es within his
innermost bein! an increasin! awareness of his true relationship with the world outside him. The trian!le8
thus8 becomes the measure of this relationship8 between the : Self : and the : not,Self : in terms of an
eApandin! consciousness.
(Apand this idea to embrace the infinite. 6hen /od8 the 'ni=ersal )ather8 wills to send forth into a world
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, already prepared throu!h aeons of !eolo!ic e=olution8 )ra!ments of 0imself to become the Seeds of a
future humanity8 there was inherent within each )ra!ment the desire or ur!e towards an e=entual reunion
with its Source. )or lon! a!es8 throu!h the lower !rades of life8 this ur!e was but dimly felt8 so deeply
buried was it within the stru!!les for primiti=e eAistence. /radually this ur!e be!an to assert itself in
feeble !ropin!s after the : unknown : and in faint !limmerin!s of a : beyond : and of a : hereafter :. The
first primiti=e reli!ious instinct !rew out of these !ropin!s. &own throu!h the a!es as mankind e=ol=ed8
this instincti=e desire to search for his ori!ins and to find a destined !oal !rew into an absorbin! passion.
The )ra!ment which came forth from the )ather8 like a seed8 contained within itself the promise of an
ultimate fulfilment. As a sprin! of hope wellin! up eternally from within the heart of man8 this ur!e of the
self to unite or to be : bound back : to its Source is the hidden theme of e=ery reli!ion. 0erein is re=ealed
another trian!le of relationship2 /od,man,reli!ion.
)rom this a plan e=ol=es which is uni=ersal. "t is inherent in all thin!s. "t takes shape in the ob@ecti=e
world and within our own consciousness. "t is the pattern by which all thin!s come into bein!8 both
sub@ecti=ely and in the world outside of us. "t is the method of creation8 whether in the mind of &eity or
of man. (=en our most abstract thou!ht follows the lines of this threefold pattern8 for there must be the
thinker8 the thou!ht8 then the thin! thou!ht about. This is the eternal
Trian!le. 6e =isuali>e the %ne .ife or Spirit as a Point of *ein! enterin!
the Circle of Manifestation. 6e =isuali>e also this line of motion as takin!
two directions as it enters the circle8 to form the apeA of a trian!le.
0owe=er far these two di=er!in! lines may tra=el within the circle of
manifestation8 there eAists a definite law of relation, ship between them.
(ach line will represent the two aspects of bein!2 positi=e and ne!ati=e8
spirit and matter8 or force and matter8 etc. )rom this di=ision of the one into
two there comes the ur!e to reunite. This ur!e or law would form the third
side or base of our trian!le. Thus our first !eometric fi!ure becomes the
uni=ersal !au!e or measure of e=ery creati=e act8 whether that act
pertains to the world of thin!s or the world of consciousness.
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C,A"T$R 66
T0( reli!ion of the people of "ndia8 more than that of any other race or nation8 ancient or modern8 is
closely identified with its philosophy. *asically8 it may be stated8 their reli!ion was and is their philosophy8
and =ice,=ersa. 6hile it is true that on its lower le=els8 the many8 and to us8 stran!e !ods of their reli!ion8
present to the western mind a confusion and compleAity8 ne=ertheless8 it must ne=er be for!otten that8
e=en to the lowest caste 0indu8 e=ery deity not only personifies certain elements of #ature and principles
of bein!8 but are symbols8 in its many phases of manifestation8 of an ultimate reality.
)or the reli!ion of "ndia8 whether 0induism8 *uddhism or Jainism8 is in its truest sense mono , theistic.
Ask any 0indu who /od is8 and his answer will be somethin! like this2 : The 'nknowable Cause8 the %ne
Absolute Principle8 the 'ltimate $eality behind all manifestation :8 or simply : T0AT :. #o scientist8
howe=er materialistic8 could ?uarrel with that definition. &espite his !ods8 many and stran!e8 the 0indu
sees them as phases or aspects of the %ne $ealityF and8 thou!h he may worship and re=erence &eity
under many names and !uises8 he reco!ni>es in each a mode of eApression of Absolute *ein!.
0owe=er8 upon this simple statement of belief8 there rests a compleA superstructure of what seems to
the occidental mind to be nothin! less than superstition and idolatry. "n order8 therefore8 to properly
e=aluate this reli!ion , philosophy8 particularly in its relation to our sub@ect8 we shall try to classify or
correlate certain of the deities with states or sta!es or manifestation8 and to indicate ways in which they
fulfill8 or shall we say8 pro=e the uni=ersality of the pattern of the interlaced trian!les.
"t would be useless8 not to say confusin! at this time8 to attempt to enumerate the many names attributed
to &eity , names handed down throu!h ancient -edas and Puranas8 and often hardly distin!uishable
from names !i=en to the A=ataras and Sa!es. )rom amon! the names or titles of &eity8 three stand out
?uite distinctly as bein! the three representati=e aspects or the %#(8 namely8 *rahma8 -ishnu and Shi=a.
The first of these names8 while the most widely known in the west as in the east8 is the most difficult to
describe ade?uately. The root from which *rahm, or *rahma is deri=ed si!nifies !rowth or eApansion.
0ence it could include the ideas of emanation and e=olution.
"ndeed8 the term *rahma has two interpretations which are ?uite distinct from each other. "f we transcend
all manifestation and try to find the root of eAistence8 the Causeless Cause of action and the source of all
that is8 and is to be8 we come to : T0AT : which has neither be!innin! nor endin!8 and is beyond both
time and space. "t is the Substance behind or within all manifestation8 and the *ein! C*e,nessE beneath
all substance. "t C0eE is the %#(8 'ncreated8 the 'nborn8 whom the 0indu calls *rahman or *rahma
Calways written in this sense in the neuter with a short final : a :E. )rom this *rahma8 the Absolute8 there
appear three2 *rahma8 -ishnu and Shi=a8 often referred to as the : Creator8 Preser=er and &estroyer : of
the uni=erse.
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0ere we ha=e the term *rahma8 with the lon! ,final : a : si!nifyin! the masculine8 as representin! the
Creati=e Aspect of &eity8 as distinct from *rahma CneuterE as eApressin! Pure *ein!. 0enceforth8 in this
study8 it will be *rahma CmasculineE8 the Creator8 who will be meant in references to that title. As Creator8
*rahma is the di=ine Thinker8 from whose mind is pro@ected the ima!es or prototypes of all thin!s that are
to be. CCompare /enesis 42 9 2 : The .ord /od made. ..(=ery plant of the field before it was in the earth8
and e=ery herb of the field before it !rew.:E 0e is the /reat Artificer8 and Architect of the uni=erse. 0e is
the &i=ine Alchemist8 buildin! m 0is laboratory the atoms of the elements and establishin! the laws of
their acti=ity and relationships. The ancient /reeks called this process the : )or!e of -ulcan :. 0e is
moreo=er the force behind the e=olutionary process in #atureF and on a hi!her le=el the intelli!ent
principle in all forms of life8 the di=ine fire of creati=e thou!ht. 6hile the work of *rahma is particularly
associated with the laws and relationships of thin!s in the physical uni=erse8 in the hi!her realms 0is
power is manifested in the relationship between minds8 as "ntelli!ence or 'nderstandin!.
Much of the culture of the early Aryan race has been lost to usF and what has reached us has been by
way of some of the most profoundly beautiful poetry the world has known8 the -edas and Puranas.
)or a!es handed down by word of mouth8 these hymns to the !ods were finally committed to writin!
centuries before the Christian era. As sublime a philosophy as the human mind has been able to
concei=e has8 throu!h these a!es8 lain hidden beneath an intricate ma>e of symbol and alle!ory. %ne of
these ancient hymns was dedicated to the /od -ishnu and was called the -ishnu Purana. "ts colorful
lan!ua!e describes the /od as ha=in! incarnated under many names and forms. Si!nificantly8 one of the
forms by which 0e is portrayed is the : fish :.
0. P. *la=atsky8 writin! in The Secret &octrine8 says that the *rahmanas connect their :Messiah :8 the
eternal A=atara -ishnu8 with the si!n of the )ish and of the &elu!e. The /reat &elu!e8 accordin! to her8
shows humanity alone on : (arth in the Ark of sal=ation towed by -ishnu in the shape of a monstrous
fish.: ; The Secret &octrine by 0. P. *la=atsky8 5rd (d.8 -ol. ""8 pp.54<,I. <This symbol should not seem
too stran!e to the western world8 since the *ible contains many allusions to the si!n of the : fish : and
the : sea :. Si!nificantly8 this symbol enters fre?uently in the life story of Jesus. The esoteric student will
find in the story of the feedin! of the multitude with : fishes : a deeper meanin! than appears on the
surface. The story of Jonah bein! swallowed by a : bi! fish : is ob=iously symbolical. Joshua8 a prototype
of Jesus8 was the son of #un8 the word meanin! a : fish :. "t is recorded that the early Christians in the
catacombs of $ome were known to each other by the si!n of the : fish : F and to this day the bishops
mitre has the shape of a : fishs head :.
"n some of the stories in the Puranas8 -ishnu is pictured as ridin! upon a se=en,headed Serpent or
&ra!on8 which carries 0im throu!h a : Man=antara: from : pralaya : to : pralaya :. The serpent or dra!on
uni=ersally is the symbol of 6isdom. A!ain the Purana relates that -ishnu : strides throu!h se=en
spheres of the uni=erse in three strides :. 0. P. *la=atsky !oes on to su!!est that the se=en spheres are
se=en rounds8 se=en aeons8 or se=en planesF the : three strides : represents the fallin! of the .o!os as a
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ray of li!ht8 first into the spirit8 then into the soul8 and then into the physical form. %r perhaps in a more
esoteric sense8 the : three strides : may hint at the: 'nknowable becomin! the %ne8 the %ne becomin!
many8 and the many a!ain becomin! %ne :. The ancient Aryans re!arded the trian!le with its apeA
pointin! down as the symbol of -ishnu8 or /od in incarnation.
The name -ishnu comes from the root =ish8 meanin! : to per=ade : or : to enter into the nature of the
essence :.;The Secret &octrine by 0. P. *la=atsky8 5rd (d.8 -al. "8 p. 5I. 4 "bid.8 -ol. "8 p. 7D9. < 0ence
-ishnu is the /od incarnate, both in #ature and in human form. 0e is the &i=ine Spirit8 both as an
abstract principle and as the Preser=er and /enerator of .ife. 0e is thus associated with the : Son : or
the :Second Person : of the Christian Trinity.
Shi=a represents &eity in its purest spiritual nature. "t is 0e who sends forth into the world of
manifestation )ra!ments of 0imself8 as seeds bearin! within themsel=es in embryo the pattern of 0is
likeness and the essence of 0is nature. "n the Puranas 0e is called : The /reat &estroyer :. "n The
Secret &octrine8 0. P. *la=atsky writes8 : Shi=a8 the &estroyer8 is the Creator and the Sa=iour of Spiritual
Man8 as he is the !ood !ardener of #ature. 0e weeds out the plants8 human and cosmic8 and kills the
passions of the physical8 to call to life,the spiritual man.: 0e destroys thin!s under one form8 to recall
them to life under another more perfect type.
"n the !reat cycle of .. outbreathin! : and .. in , breathin!:8 with the passin! of a ..Man=antara: or .a. day
of *rahma :8 Shi=a withdraws 0is life from the world of manifestation8 and all forms die :. 0ence 0e is
known as ..The /reat &estroyer :. "n a lesser cycle8 at the close of an incarnation8 the spirit withdraws
from its =ehicle8 and the body dies :. "n this sense8 the spirit in man may also be called his : destroyer :.
*rahma,-ishnu,Shi=a thus represent the Supreme trian!le of 0indu trilo!y8 with *rahma8 the
'nknowable or Absolute8 as the central in=isible point. ."n comparin! this 0indu Trinity with the Christian
Trinity8 we note that in the 0indu the order is re=ersed2 :that is8 the usual listin! of the Christian Trinity is :
)ather8 Son and 0oly /host : or ..)irst8 Second and .Third Persons :8 but the order of the 0indu Trinity
would be ..*rahma8 -ishnu8 Shi=a :. This is most si!nificant8 for as we shall see later in the 6ork of the
Trinity8 it is *rahma or the 0oly /host8 whose action as the :Creator : comes first in the di=ine order of
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C,A"T$R 6=
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"T must not be thou!ht that the 0indu remains perpetually in the clouds of speculati=e and theoretical
philosophy as eApressed throu!h the media of stran!e deities =eiled in alle!ory. 0is knowled!e of
psycholo!y8 embracin! as it does the nature of the uni=erse and of man , the uni=erse as a manifestation
or spiritual principles8 and man as an indi=iduali>ed fra!ment of those same principles dwarfs our modern
!ropin!s into the unknown. The !reat handicap for modern scholars is their difficulty in !ettin! behind the
meanin!s of Sanskrit terms8 plus an inability throu!h i!norance or unwillin!ness to penetrate what seems
to him a ma>e of superstition and alle!ory .6hen we remember that the Puranas and the 'panishads in
which this knowled!e is buried were ancient before the be!innin!s of our recorded history8 we pause in
wonder that wisdom so profound could ha=e been lost to the human race for so many centuries.
Continuin! our studies on the "ndian Trian!les8 we descend from the realm of the : !ods : to consider the
uni=ersal order. 0ere we find that the threefold pattern of classification eAtends throu!hout all
manifestation down to its densest state. 6e also disco=er that there eAists a =ery definite and real
correspondence between the di=ine Trinity and these mundane triplicities on denser le=els. 0owe=er8 on
these lower le=els there is no idea of deification. "ncalculable a!es before the Christian era8 the ancient
Aryans had a conception of the uni=erse transcendin! our present day accepted theories. They also had
a knowled!e of psycholo!y not yet attained in our a!e. They pictured the uni=erse as di=ided into three
states or worlds8 the world of Sat8 the world of Chit8 and the world of Ananda. Moreo=er8 they identified
each of these worlds or states of manifestation8 with one of the three phases of &eity2 Sat8 the world of
Thin!s , they associated with *rahmaF Chit8 the world of Consciousness8 they identified with -ishnuF and
Ananda8 the world or state of *liss they related intimately with Shi=a. This association or relationship
between the di=ine world of causes and the phenomenal world of effects is aptly symboli>ed by the
intertwined trian!les. The upper trian!le8 symbol of the &i=ine Trinity8 *rahma8 -ishnu8 Shi=a8 is reflected
in the lower trian!le of manifestation8 Sat8 Chit8 Ananda. A!es later ,/reece8 at the peak of her culture8
=isuali>ed the uni=erse as consistin! of two hal=es2 a di=ine world of causes8 sometimes called the :
#oumenon :8 and the nether world of effects8 called : Phenomena :. And within or abo=e the two there
was the : #ous :8 the Self or Pure *ein!.
Consider Sat8 the material uni=erse. "n a pre=ious study we saw that science reco!ni>es three ?ualities
or characteristics in matter8 namely2 stability8 mobility and rhythm or inertia8 ener!y and law. The 0indu
e?ui=alents are2 Tamas8 $a@as and Satt=a. "n the early Sanskrit writin!s8 these three characteristics of
matter were called the /unas. .et us look at these terms more specifically. The term : !unas : and the
Sanskrit names of the three ?ualities contain a more comprehensi=e meanin! than what their (n!lish
e?ui=alents imply. )or instance8 Tamas represents the lowest of the three characteristics of Sat. "t is
matters densest ?uality8 hence it implies hardness8 darkness8 obstruction or resistance. Therefore8 while
in its purely physical aspect it eApresses stability and inertia8 on hi!her le=els of consciousness these
?ualities are reco!ni>ed as2 sloth8 apathy8 stubbornness8 sta!nation , the ne!ation of will.
The second : !una : or characteristic of Sat is $a@as. 0ere a!ain8 the term for that ?uality which modern
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science calls mobility or ener!y contains a more comprehensi=e meanin!. %n the physical le=el it is the
force or ener!y inherent in e=ery form8 whether li=in! or : dead :. Science claims that there is no such
thin! as : dead matter :. "t is the force that resides in the atom. "t is the power within e=ery form capable
of producin! motion and chan!e. 6ithout this power there could be neither !rowth nor e=olution. %n the
le=el of consciousness8 ra@as may be eApressed as restlessness8 discontent8 ambition and the ur!e to
action or chan!e.
The third of the : !unas : is Satt=a. Just as modern science sees in e=ery particle of matter two opposin!
forces8 inertia and ener!y and between them a relationship or balance which it calls rhythm or law8. so we
ha=e the trian!le which is Sat8 formed on one side by tamas and on the other by ra@as8 completed by
satt=a8 as balance8 rhythm or law. : #owhere in. all the world :8 says Professor (rnest 6ood in The
Seen &ays8 : can matter or ener!y be found without the eAhibition of some law which determines the
bodys acti=ity and its relation with other bodies. :(=ery ob@ect :8 he continues8 : contains all of the three
!unas8 but one predominates and !i=es it its outstandin! ?uality. : At the human le=el8 satt=a is the
?uality which !i=es balance to restraint and action8 often eApressed as patience and endurance. "t may
be reco!ni>ed as self,restraint8 controlled emotions8 mental alertness8 poise or taste.
The diamond pattern continues to unfold before us. "n the uni=ersal trian!le of Sat,Chit,Ananda8 we ha=e
Sat8 the lowest of the three orders8 which in turn8 as we ha=e shown8 is itself a trian!le whose three sides
are tamas,ra@as,satt=a. 6e should8 therefore8 also eApect to find Chit8 the second uni=ersal principle8 as
findin! its eApression throu!h three modes or phases. Chit is a !eneric term implyin! consciousness.
Modern students find it hard to disassociate consciousness from the brain. The ancients reco!ni>ed a
thou!ht,world as distinct and real as the world of matter. Plato tau!ht his pupils that an archetypal world
anteceded the mundane world in the creati=e process. )or lack of more ori!inal choice of words8 we may
think of Chit as : 'ni=ersal Consciousness :.
6e are used to thinkin! of consciousness as a ne!ati=e or passi=e ?uality. That is8 we think of it as an
awareness or reali>ation within the mind of somethin! which eAists outside the mind. The ancients saw in
consciousness an acti=atin! power as well as an act of perception. There is a sendin! out as well as the
reception of somethin! comin! in. Consciousness8 they tau!ht8 was a creati=e power as well as an act of
co!nition. "t is perhaps not so easy to see this in its uni=ersal aspect8 as it appears patently when
operatin! throu!h an indi=idual mind.
0owe=er8 the truth of this claim becomes e=ident when we consider Chit in its three modes of eApression8
called by the early Aryans -ccha" 1nana an! Kriya. Consciousness in its hi!hest mode of eApression is
"ccha8 which is interpreted as will. Jnana is 6isdom. "ts lowest mode of eApression is +riya8 interpreted
as Acti=ity8 or more accurately8 Creati=e Thou!ht. 6hile these three modes refer to consciousness8 each
also possesses a power peculiar to itself. Thus "ccha8 turnin! inward8 is conscious of the SelfF turnin!
outward8 it is the power of 6ill. "ts characteristic is bliss. Jnana as wisdom is conscious of others. "ts
characteristic is sympathy8 and its out!oin! power is .o=e. +riya interpreted as Acti=ity is8 in its passi=e
aspect8 a consciousness of the eAternal world with its laws and relationships. "ts characteristic is
understandin!. "n its dynamic aspect it is the power of Creati=e Thou!ht , the power to chan!e not only
the self but the whole eAternal world.
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6e ha=e here set up a series of trinities or trian!les8 interlaced and interpenetratin!8 from which there
appear definite correspondences creatin! an almost endless series of interrelationships. Thus "ccha CwillE
throu!h Ananda Cthe selfE is related to Shi=aF Jnana CwisdomE throu!h Chit CconsciousnessE is related to
-ishnuF and +riya Cacti=ityE throu!h Sat CmatterE is related to *rahma.
And yet the lines of relationships reach beyond this simple statement. Shi=a on 0is hi!hest plane of
manifestation becomes Ananda8 which is *liss. (Apressed throu!h Chit CconsciousnessE8 while 0e is
particularly at home on its hi!hest le=el8 as "ccha or pure 6ill8 yet on the lower le=els of consciousness
0e becomes decision and desire. 6orkin! throu!h Sat8 the eAternal world8 Shi=a appears as motion or
action8 that is to say8 action with purpose or direction. 0ence on the physical plane8 ritualism8 which is
ordered action8 becomes especially an instrument of "ccha8 6ill.
-ishnu8 findin! 0is8natural eApression throu!h Chit8 the world of consciousness8 becomes .o=e S
6isdom8 which is the =ery essence of Jnana. That same power8 comin! down into the world of Sat8 finds
its eApression as compassion and philanthropy. Similarly the power of *rahma8 eApressin! itself throu!h
Chit as +riya8 is seen as thou!ht,power or creati=e intelli!ence. The same power turned outwardly
throu!h the world of Sat8 becomes knowled!e and understandin!.
"t is throu!h the union and intricate combinations of the three aspects of consciousness in infinite
de!rees of relationships with the three ?ualities of matter that the innumerable forms of life upon our
planet are differentiated. "t will be understood8 too8 that in the human realm8 the interplay of the three
phases of consciousness Cwill8 lo=e8 intellectE upon and throu!h the physical instrument8 conditioned by
the =aryin! influences of the three ?ualities of matter become a determinin! force in shapin! and
mouldin! our personalities. "f we think in terms of the uni=ersal8 we =isuali>e the Trinity8 *rahma,-ishnu,
Shi=a reflected in or eApressed throu!h a lower trinity of Sat,Chit, Ananda. 6e see two trian!les
superimposed8 one pointin! upward and the other downward. A!ain8 in terms of the mundane or
ob@ecti=e world8 we =isuali>e an upper trian!le "ccha,Jnana,+riya Cwill,wisdom ,acti=ityE superimposed
upon the downward pointin! trian!le Tamas,$a@as,Satt=a Cstability,ener!y,rhythmE to form a siA,pointed
star. "n each case8 this double trian!le tells the story not only of their many correspondences8 but also of
their union. )or within the upward pointin! trian!le there is an in=isible center8 unitin! and permeatin! the
whole8 synthesi>in! and co,ordinatin! its parts. This center is *rahma8 Absolute #on,differentiated *ein!.
6ithin the downward pointin! trian!le there is an in=isible center which is Ananda8 the Supreme Self. The
siA is thus drawn into or synthesi>ed in the se=en8 furnishin! the key to the se=en,fold pattern in the
uni=erse and in man.
$elationships8 howe=er8 are infinitely more in=ol=ed than those which can be so simply catalo!ued. (=ery
concei=able de!ree and type of thinkin!8 feelin! and actin! are the result of =arious combinations of
interrelationships of these factors. "t should be remembered8 too8 that each of the modes of
consciousness as well as the ?ualities of matter is dual2 that is8 they may be eApressed positi=ely or
ne!ati=ely. )or instance8 the ?uality of stability or inertia as eApressed physically implies hardness8
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
darkness8 obstruction8 etc.8 may be seen mentally as sloth8 apathy8 stubbornness8 sta!nation Cthe
ne!ation of willE8 or in a positi=e way as determination8 patience8 steadfastness8 intransi!ence8 etc.
The followin! tabulation may help in keepin! these triplicities and their interrelationships clear 2
The DiDine &rah!a )ishnu ShiDa
UniDersal "rinciple4 Sat Chit Ananda
0orld of4 Matter Consciousness Self
C,IT E0orld of ConsciousnessF
Modes of4 'riya nana Iccha
$Ipressed as4 ThouAht 0isdo! 0ill
CreatiDe "oCer of4 ThouAht *oDe 0ill
Conscious of4 ThinAs Others Self
Characteristic4 UnderstandinA Sy!pathy &liss
Related to4 &rah!a )ishnu ShiDa
SAT E0orld of MatterF
The +unas SattDa RaGas Ta!as
5ualities of4 *aC E&alanceF $nerAy Inertia
EorF Rhyth! Mobility Stability
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C,A"T$R 6>
T,$ ,O*/ TRINIT/
"# approachin! the sub@ect of : The 0oly Trinity :8 one does so with a feelin! of awe and humility. 6ith
awe8 because the ima!ination sta!!ers at the immensity of the concept. 6ith humility8 because the
human mind can only leap upward in search of the infinite8 and like the wa=es of the sea8 fall back a!ain
upon itself. 1et there is no !reater !lory which the mind can achie=e than thus to leap upward in fli!hts of
ima!ination into the !reat unknown8 if only to return to its own le=el of : pro=en fact :. "t is only by this
reachin! outward8 upward or inward into the unknown and unpro=en that new truths are disco=eredF and
it is thus that the frontiers of knowled!e keep e=er eApandin!.
'pon such a sub@ect as a : &i=ine Trinity :8 we can in reality know nothin!. 6e may only theori>e8 usin! a
faculty hi!her than the mind. 1et how easy to crystali>e such sublime conceptions into fro>en do!mas.
The human mind is prone to catalo!ue e=ery idea that comes to it8 and it does not hesitate to classify and
define the "nfinite. The !reat dan!er is that it builds a wall of finality around itself. The belie=er wants his :
credo : wrapped up and labeled8 : This is so,and,so :. The unbelie=er re@ects : in toto : e=erythin! that
cannot pass the laboratory test. *oth shut themsel=es smu!ly within walls of their own buildin!. The
ima!ination must be kept free to scale this barrier of do!ma and established : fact : and to ascend into
realms of infinitely increasin! !lory .The true seeker must8 with increasin! effort8 keep from erectin!
fences around e=en his most spiritual conceptP in order that the intuiti=e faculty may be free to disco=er
new =istas of unspeakable !randeur and beauty. "n the presentation of our sub@ect8 this thou!ht must
moti=ate all that is said8 else the wonder of the conception of the infinite become nailed upon a cross of
%ur first conception of &eity must be predicated by the fact8 or let us say idea8 that /od is one. Any
thou!ht of the 'ltimate as ha=in! a partner or ri=al sharin! or competin! for dominion is untenable.
.esser deities or manifestations of &eity there may be8 but behind all manifestations8 8 or as the +abalists
say : (manations :8 there must be the %#( '#MA#")(ST8 Absolute *ein! or Principle.
6hen we turn our thou!hts to the sub@ect of the Trinity8 we come up a!ainst the problem of orthodoAy.
The history of Christianity bears e=idence to the blur, rin! and cloudin! of the pure teachin!s of its
)ounder . Pany and bitter ha=e been the contro=ersies of the Churchs theolo!ians o=er the sub@ect of the
: Three Persons : F and the misunderstandin! concernin! the Christian Creed has resulted in intolerance
and bi!otry.
So we approach the idea of the Trinity or : Three Persons in one /od : with an : open mind and an ea!er
intellect :. %ne thin! which must strike the student of comparati=e reli!ions as the outstandin!
,characteristic of Christianity is the idea of : personality : as re!ards its concept of &eity. This does not
mean that Christianity8 throu!h its purest teachin!s8 portrays an anthropomorphic /od,althou!h this may
not be said of many of its more >ealous eAponents. Some wit once said that : /od created man in 0is
own ima!e8 and man8 has been returnin! the compliment e=er since :. And of course8 in a real sense 8
that is all that he can do. To each man8 /od can be no more than that mans hi!hest concept of 0im. A
fuller eApansion of that conception opens to his awareness a realm of !lory wherein /od becomes the
%ne .ife8 "nfinite Mind or 'ni=ersal Principle. *eyond this hi!h concept8 description of &eity awaits mans
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further eApansion of consciousness.
To say that Christianity is uni?ue in its portrayal of /od as a personality is not to infer that other !reat
reli!ions are lackin! in the personal aspect of their deities. %n the contrary8 mytholo!y is replete with the
stories of !ods and demi!ods who ha=e assumed human form and took upon themsel=es human
characteristics. Ancient "ndia had her A=ataras8 and "ncarnations of her /ods8 -ishnu and Shi=a.
0owe=er8 it remained for Christianity to !i=e to the world its particular emphasis on the personal aspect of
&eity. /od became a lo=in! )ather8 =itally interested in the affairs of 0is children8 and takin! an acti=e
participation in influencin! and !uidin! their destinies, : #ot a sparrow falleth : and : closer than hands
and feet : are phrases that are indicati=e of this new personal attitude towards &eity. Jesus continually
referred to /od as : My )ather :8 and !a=e to the world the prayer which is uni=ersally known as : %ur
)ather :. 0is own relationship with /od was as intimate as life itself. 0e said8 : " and my )ather are one :.
"n contrast8 we find no such identification with &eity in the older reli!ions. 6hen we consider the many
!ods of the ./reek pantheon8 there is no doubt in anyones mind that these fi!ures are purely alle!orical.
"n ancient (!yptP %siris8 0orus and "sis were looked upon as symbols of !reat Cosmic processes and
uni=ersal laws rather than as bein!s8 in an indi=idual sense.
The idea of /od as a Trinity was not ori!inally a part of the Christian doctrine. Certainly it was not
prominent in the teachin!s of Jesus. 6hile 0e made continual reference to /od as )ather8 it was not until
0is farewell discourse to 0is disciples in the 'pper $oom did 0e speak of the : Comforter. .. e=en the
Spirit of Truth. .. which is the 0oly /host8 whom 8 the )ather will send. ..Kwho willL abide with you fore=er
:. Just before Jesus ascended into hea=enP 0e told 0is disciples to : !o ye therefore and teach all
nations8 bapti>in! them in the name of the )ather8 and of the Son8 and of the 0oly /host :. St. Paul8 in his
(pistles8 while not mentionin! the word : Trinity :8 de=eloped the idea of the three members of the
/odhead. Some scholars assert that much of St. Pauls writin!s show influence of the #eo,Platonic
school8 in which he is said to ha=e been an initiate. "t was not until the third and fourth centuries of the
Christian era8 durin! the de=elopment of that document of principles known as the #icene Creed8 that the
idea of the : Trinity : or : Three Persons in %ne /od : became definitely established as a Christian
doctrine. Today it is uni=ersally accepted by the church8 both Catholic and Protestant.
"n order to rationali>e the idea of : three /ods in %ne : so as to better meet the limitations of our
understandin!8 and at the same time keep within the limits of this brief study8 we shall consider the
sub@ect of the : Persons : of the Trinity from two points of =iew2 first8. the nature of their bein!F and
second8 their function or work in a field of manifestation , our uni=erse.
"t is si!nificant that the =ery first reference to /od in the *ook of /enesis is the 0ebrew word : (lohim :. :
"n the be!innin! (lohim brou!ht into manifestation. ...: "t is most si!nificant8 and a fact entirely unknown8
or else i!nored by translators8 that the word : (lohim : is plural8 and plural in 0ebraic means more than
two. Moreo=er8 the word is both masculine and feminine. 6hat can that mean B Surely it means that at
the point or le=el at which Creation be!ins8 the %ne 'nmanifested &eity or Principle behind and beyond
all manifestation appears as a plurality8 and is neither male nor female8 but rather contains within :
0imself : the ?ualities or potencies of both. %ccult tradition tells us that the : (lohim : represents a
hierarchy of lesser deities8 that is .o!oi or Archan!els8 ha=in! to do with Cosmic creati=e processes.
"n the Athanasian Creed8 which is a later and more detailed edition of the #icene document8 there is the
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statement8 : "n this Trinity8 none is afore or after other8 none is !reater or less than another8 but the whole
Three Persons are co,eternal to!ether and co,e?ual:. Althou!h this absolute e?uality of the : Three
Persons : must be accepted as a truism8 it is e?ually true that they present a =ast difference in their
nature and relationship with man. .ikewise that part of the statement which says8 : none is afore or after
other : needs some ?ualification8 for as we shall see later8 with re!ard to the work of the Trinity in the
creation and buildin! of a uni=erse8 the element of time and se?uence makes an appearance.
T,$ %AT,$R
The )ather aspect of &eity most nearly represents pure *ein!. 6e can best describe 0is nature as S
Spirit : and 0is eApression as : 6ill :. 0e is the +abalists : +ether :8 because 0e is the first emanation or
differentiation from the Absolute. 0e is the Supreme8 truly the )ather8 in that from 0im8 and from 0im
alone8 emanate the : &i=ine Sons :8 sometimes referred to as sparks from the (ternal )lame. These are
the imperishable spirits which !o forth from the )athers home and take their @ourney : into a far country :
, the incarnate souls which are earths humanity. There are no words in the (n!lish lan!ua!e which can
ade?uately describe these fra!ments of /od. The /reek word : Monad : comes nearest to eApressin!
the full si!nificance of these units of di=inity. "n the most realistic sense8 all creatures are 0is children8 for
within each resides this : Spark : or : Seed :8 which partakes of 0is =ery nature and essence. "t is this
di=ine : 6ill: within each indi=idual self which is the inherent ur!e to !row8 to pro!ress8 to , e=ol=e. This
aspect of /od is sometimes referred to as the : &estroyer :8 for in the fullness of time all forms are
e=entually resol=ed into their nati=e elements8 and these Monads8 which in the hi!hest sense are
humanity8 find ultimate reunion with the )ather.
The Second : Person : of the Trinity is usually referred to as : The Son :. 0e is8 as the #icene Creed
states8 : The only,be!otten Son of /od :. This particular phrasin! has been responsible for much
misunderstandin! concernin! the true state of 0is bein!. C. 6. .eadbeater in The Christian Creed
interprets the ori!inal /reek as : the be!otten only :8the alone,born :8 which lifts it out of the realm of
secular contro=ersy. 6hat can one say of 0im whom untold millions worship8 and by whom 0e is known
as : The Christ : B "n this #ame lies the !reatest mystery known to manF for the word : Christos : C/reek8
meanin! : the Anointed :E is in reality a title rather than a name8 title of a !reat office in the Spiritual
0ierarchy of the world. To understand this fully8 is to understand the meanin! of the "ncarnation8 of the :
6ord which was in the be!innin! ... and was made flesh and dwelt amon! us :. Since 0e is /od
incarnate in human form8 0e thereby becomes Mediator between man and /od. "n 0is di=ine aspect8 we
describe 0im as .ife and .o=e , .ife that permeates and sustains all formsF .o=e that unites all creatures8
!reat and small8 into one brotherhood. As the )ather functions as 6i"l on the Atmic or spiritual le=el8 in
like manner does the Son function as .o=e, 6isdom at the *uddhic or intuitional le=el. 6hether we think
of 0im in 0is Cosmic aspect as the Second .o!os8 : by whose eternal sacrifice the uni=erse is nourished
and sustained :8 or as that essence of /od embodied in e=ery human soul , if we hold in our mind 0is
ima!e as the : 6ord : "ncarnate8 the .ord of .o=e,we touch the mystery whereby the se=eral layers8 or
shall we say phases8 of 0is manifestation become so unified and interlocked as to be truly %ne Christ.
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T,$ ,O*/ +,OST
6hen we come to describe the nature of the Third Person of the Trinity8 we find oursel=es at a loss for
words. 0e is not so readily thou!ht of as a : Person 8P as are the )ather and the Son. 6e are inclined to
think of 0im =a!uely as a kind of force of influence emanatin! from the )ather. $eferences to 0im in both
the %ld and #ew Testaments as the : Spirit of the .ord :8 the : Spirit of Truth :P the : Comforter :, etc.8
lea=e our ideas indefinite. Certain physical phenomena are attributed to 0im2 the spirit of /od upon the
ton!ues of the prophets8 the spirit descendin! as a do=e at the baptism of Jesus8 the : rush of a mi!hty
wind :8 and the : clo=en ton!ues like as of fire : which : sat upon the disciples : at the day of Pentecost8
followed by the speakin! and understandin! of stran!e lan!ua!es. These are poetic and symbolic
attempts at description8 where realistic prose falters. And yet8 by the use of that faculty which transcends
the intellect8 we may disco=er certain less ob=ious !uideposts which clearly indicate that it is actually the
Third Person of the Trinity which8 both in 0is nature and in 0is function comes closer to mankind in a
personal way than appears on the surface.
As the )ather has to do with the Self or Spirit in man8 and the Son8 throu!h the mystery of the
"ncarnation8 re=eals mans relationship with /od8 it would not be difficult to accept the conclusion that the
0oly /host8 as the spirit of truth and understandin!8 is most intimately associated with mans relationship
with man and the world about him. "n this connection it is si!nificant to note that8 while the )ather aspect
eApresses itself primarily on the Atmic8. CspiritualE le=el8 the Son at the *uddhic CintuitionalE le=el8 the work
of the 0oly /host finds its channel throu!h the third descendin! plane8 the Manasic Chi!her mentalE8 the
world of abstract thou!ht and pure reason. 6e recall that most abstruse statement in the abo=e,
mentioned #icene Creed that thou!h the Son was : be!otten only of his )ather before all worlds :8 the
0oly /host as the : .ord and /i=er of .ife8 proceedeth from the )ather and the Son :. Could it be that the
framers of that famous document had some reali>ation that the Three Persons of the Trinity re=ealed
themsel=es respecti=ely throu!h three descendin! worlds of manifestation8 and that the Third : Person :
operated throu!h the lowest of these planes S the one most intimately8 and intricately8 affectin! humanity
B .
6e carry our analo!y to the point where it affects man himself. The )ather8 we ha=e seen8 is the spirit in
man and appears as will. The Son is the principle of the intuition and is eApressed as lo=e and wisdom.
The 0oly /host8 especially associated with the Manasic principle8 works throu!h mens mental faculties8
anciently referred to as the : )ire of the Mind :. 0e is that phase of &eity which is in our day referred to as
the : &i=ine Mind :. The world scene is 0is field of acti=ity8 and 0is method of influencin! world affairs
and !uidin! ci=ili>ations is throu!h 0is creati=e ima!es emanatin! from his own plane of acti=ity8 the
archetypal world. Mans own hi!her mind8 reachin! upward into this world of ideas and ideals8 brin!s
these ima!es down into the world of daily affairs. Thus does the influence of the 0oly /host eAtend into
e=ery sphere of human acti=ity2 science8 philosophy8 art8 literature8 philanthropy8 sociolo!y,and e=en
world politics. Surely no aspect of &eity could be closer to our personal li=es.; These separate aspects of
the Trinity8 in their relationship with man8 will be considered more in detail in Chapter 4<: The &i=ine
"ma!e :8<
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C,A"T$R 6?
T,$ 0OR' O% T,$ TRINIT/
60(# we come to consider the work of the Trinity in its relation to the uni=erse and its function in the
process of creation and e=olution8 there appears the element of time or se?uence. "t is difficult for us to
concei=e of acti=ity without time8 and if to the "nfinite the creati=e processes may occur as one
simultaneous act8 to us down here they must appear to follow in se?uence. %ur idea of time in relation to
the work of &eity at such hi!h le=els must be due to the fact that our consciousness is limited by time.
6e see a series of e=ents as thou!h flashed upon a screen by a cinema pro@ector. 6hat to us seems
motion in time is in reality a series of stills flashed consecuti=ely upon the screen. 1et these pictures were
on the roll of 2film8 both before and after bein! pro@ected on the screen. This illustration should not be
carried too far8 how, e=er8 or we !et oursel=es entan!led in the contro=ersial doctrine of predestination.
)ascinatin! as that problem is8 it has no place in the present study.
The point to be stressed is that8 while the : (ternal #ow :8 at the di=ine le=el8 may include past8 present
and future8 to us the creati=e process necessarily appears as a succession of e=ents. 6hen we consider
/od as Absolute *ein!8 we concei=e of the (ternal without be!innin! or endin!. 0owe=er 8 when we
consPder 0is work as a Trinity8 in its function in the creatin! of a uni=erse8 this work must be described as
three distinct acts Dr : outpourin!s :8 referred to in Theosophical literature as the : three life wa=es :. "t is
si!nificant that8 in the order of Their work in this creati=e process8 the Third Person of the Trinity appears
0OR' O% T,$ T,lRD *O+OS
: "n the be!innin! /od created the hea=en and the earth.: 6ith this simple statement8 opens the *ook of
/enesis8 and the story of the ori!in of our solar uni=erse and of life upon this planet. : And the Spirit of
/od mo=ed upon the face of the waters.: "n this cryptic statement is eApressed the formula for the first
act in the uni=ersal process of creation. "t would be impossible to do more than su!!est in brief outline
this tremendous process. Care must also be eAercised in order that the mechanics of the procedure does
not completely o=ershadow the li=in! spirit which mo=es it. To those who are scientifically minded8
howe=er8 a study of the details of the creati=e processes is most important to an understandin! of the
work of the Triple .o!os in the uni=erse. "t would8 moreo=er8 help to remo=e any thou!ht of conflict
between our hi!hest scientific disco=eries and the broadest interpretation of reli!ion. "t will be helpful also
in some instances to brin! in certain Sanskrit terms where modern words seem inade?uate.
The word : waters :8 in the abo=e ?uotation8 is used neither in a literal nor a poetic sense8 but
symbolically to represent that uni=ersal substance which fills all space. The Sanskrit word for this
substance is : Mulaprakriti :8 meanin! : root matter :. Could the mind concei=e a substance so utterly
attenuated as to be free of =ibration or motion8 no more descripti=e word could be coined than the : =oid
:,88 and the earth was without form and =oid :. Scientists ha=e called this substance the : ether of space :.
"n occult writin!s8 the term : =ir!in matter : or : =ir!in sea : has been symbolically applied8 meanin! that
this substance has not yet been impre!nated with the life, !i=in! !erm or spirit.
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C. Jinara@adasa wrote8 in his )irst Principles of Theosophy2 : *efore the .o!os be!an the work of the
system8 0e created on the plane of the &i=ine Mind : the system as it was to be from the
commencement to the end. .. all the archetypes of forces and forms.: 0is first act was motion or
=ibration. The 0oly /host : mo=ed : upon this root matter, this : mulaprakriti :,and there appeared first
what may be described as whirlin! =ortices of force. These are literally : holes in space :. These whirlin!
centers of force become more and more compleA. "t is said that each =orteA or spiral is formed of :
positi=e and ne!ati=e lines :of ener!y :8 and that these spirals combine in definite mathematical ratios to
form : spirals of spirals :. Thus descendin!8 or condensin!8 these : spirillae : form the siA lower planes of
#ature8 becomin! upon reachin! the lowest le=el8 what are today known as : atoms :8 the : fundamental
units of physical matter :.
Thus were se=en !reat planes of #ature8 each with its se=en subplanes8 created out of combinations of
=ortices of force,these force centers bein! actually : points of consciousness : of the Third .o!os. This
action8 on the lowest le=el8 created what Science calls the chemical elements. This entire process of the :
descent : of the 0oly /host CThird .o!osE is called the : )irst %utpourin! :.K )irst Principles of Theosophy
by C. Jinara@adasaL.
C. 6. .eadbeater wrote8 in The Christian Creed2 : The result of the first !reat outpourin! is the
?uickenin! of that wonderful and !lorious =itality which per=ades all matter Cthou!h it may seem inert to
our eyesE so that the atoms of the =arious planes de=elop8 when electrified by it8 all sorts of pre=iously
latent attractions and repulsions8 and enter into combinations of all kinds8 thus by de!rees brin!in! into
eAistence all of the lower subdi=isions of each le=el8 until we ha=e before us in full action the mar=ellous
compleAity of the se=en times se=en or forty,nine sub, planes. So is the 0oly /host so beautifully
described in the #icene Creed as the .ord and !i=er of .ife :.
The work of the 0oly /host in 0is creati=e acti=ity is a ne=er,endin!8 continuous process. Thus the =ery
matter of our uni=erse is constantly e=ol=in! to become e=er more responsi=e to the &i=ine 6ill8 more
sensiti=e to 0is thou!ht,emotional currents8 more capable of formin! finer bodies for the indwellin! .ife.
0OR' O% T,$ S$COND *O+OS
The Second Person of the Trinity is so closely associated in the minds of Christians e=erywhere with 0is
earthly manifestation as Jesus the Christ that it is difficult to think of 0im as separate from this personal
aspect And yet what we know of 0im in 0is life in Palestine8 wonderful as that concept is8 is ?uite
infinitesimal in relation to 0is !reat work in the uni=ersal scheme of thin!s. )or aside from. 0is work for
mankind as Mediator8 0ealer8 Sa=iour8 etc.8 0e has a work to do in the whole uni=erse of which we can
only speculate. Jesus said8 : My )ather worketh hitherto and " work :8 and a!ain 0e said8 : -erily8 " say
unto you8 before Abraham was8 " am :. These statements8 put into the mouth of Jesus by the disciple
John8 infers an identity between Jesus as a person and the Cosmic or 'ni=ersal Christ. "ndeed the entire
/ospel of St. John is 6ritten in the li!ht of this mystic relationship. This /ospel opens with that profound
utterance8 : "n the be!innin! was the 6ord8 and the 6ord was with /od8 and the 6ord was /od. All
thin!s were made by 0im. ..."n 0im was life. ...: . *ehind this cryptic statement there lies a sublime truth.
"t "S "ndeed a statement of the work of the Second Aspect of /od8 the Second .o!os or : 6ord :. "n this
simple statement is contained the entire process of in=olution and e=olution,of life descendin! into
matter8 and a!ain8 completin! the arc at its lowest le=el8 ascendin! out of matter on its return to /od. "n it
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is, contained also the mystery of the &i=ine "ncarnation,of /od becomin! man in order that man may
become di=ine.
6e be!in our detailed sketch of this descent of the : 6ord :8 at the point where we left off our description
of the work of the Third .o!os. The P8 ether of space : has8 by the action of the 0oly /host8 been made
into li=in! matterF that is8 atomP and elements out of which are to be e=ol=ed the bodies of all li=in!
thin!s. There follows the : Second %ut, pourin! : or the : second life wa=e :.
The life of the Second .o!os8 as it descends throu!h the first four hi!her planes8 !i=in! to the matter of
those planes 0is own life8 is called in Theosophical literature8 : Monadic (ssence :. "nto this (ssence 0e
implants the ima!es or prototypes of all li=in! thin!s which are in the course of time to emer!e as forms
of life in the physical world. 6e recall a!ain that statement in /enesis that : the .ord /od created e=ery
plant of the field before it was in the earth :. As this life wa=e8 in its downward sweep8 reaches the hi!her
mental world8 it is called the : first elemental essence :. "t is here that the thou!ht forms of thin!s,to,be
be!in to become differentiated. The life wa=e continues its descent. 6hen it reaches the lower mental
world of concrete thou!ht it is called the : second elemental essence :8 and on the astral le=el the : third
elemental essence :. 'pon reachin! the densest physical le=el8 this li=in! : essence : is found to be
buried deep within rock and mineral. 0ere is reached the nadir or turnin! point of the !reat arc. This
downward sweep of the life wa=e is the in=olutionary process. "t is a law of the occult world that without
in=olution there could be no e=olution.
Thus the li=in! ima!e of e=ery form which is later to be : e=ol=ed : lies buried as a seed in the densest
matter. 6e recall the words of Jesus CJohn 142 47E S : (Acept a corn of wheat fall into the !round and
die S it abideth alone2 but if it die8 it brin!eth forth much fruit :. 0ad Charles &arwin known somethin! of
the =ast scope of this downward sweep of the life of /od in this in=olutionary process8 he would ha=e
seen that here indeed is the : ori!in of the species :. So it is in a uni=ersal way that the : 6ord : or :
Son 8P descended into earth8 in order that8 by : 0is (ternal Sacrifice :8 all creatures may ha=e life. )rom
0is burial and resurrection came the world of li=in! thin!s. "n this sense truly 0e dies that we mi!ht li=e.
6e may say without irre=erence8 and in a way applicable to all #ature8 that 0is resurrection is the
process which we call e=olution. )or obser=e what happens. The life of the Second .o!os8 descendin!
into the physical elements8 !i=es to them the power to combine in an infinite =ariety of or!anisms and
forms8 : after the pattern in the mount :. )rom these combinations came what we know as physical
matter8 with its infinite producti=e capacities. )irst crystals are formed in rock with mathematical precision8
followin! definite !eometrical patterns. Thus life lies dormant in the mineral , buried so deeply within
matter that it truly seems to be dead.
Then o=er a period of time8 measured by !eolo!ical a!es Cactually in occult measurement a : $ound :E
=e!etation appears. The number and =ariety of forms or species now be!in to multiply rapidly. )aintly at
first8 but becomin! more discernible in hi!her forms of plant structure8 the slumberin! life8 dreamin!
deeply8 sends out faint thrillin!s in response to en=ironmental stimuli. Another a!e or : round : passes8
and the life rises into another form more suitable for continued pro!ress8 the animal. 0ere the sleepin!
consciousness be!ins to awaken as desire8 and we find the rudimentary instincts of hun!er8 fear and
self,preser=ation8 appearin! in hi!her animals as loyalty8 de=otion and self,sacrifice. )inally the intellect8
awakened by these risin! emotions8 pushes outward a!ainst the limitations of the form in an effort to !i=e
eApression to the sur!in! life within. )eelin!s8 emotions and thou!hts clamour for articulation. Then the
!reat miracle occurs.
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0OR' O% T,$ %IRST *O+OS
0ow can one describe this third !reat act in the di=ine drama of creation B "t has been called the : Third
%utpourin! : or the : third life wa=e :. *ut these terms seem matter of fact and lea=e us unmo=ed.
Actually it is the comin! of the : Sons : of /od. "nto the bodies8 which ha=e as indicated abo=e already
been prepared by the work of the second life wa=e to be fit dwellin!s for the di=ine Spirit8 there now enter
these emanations of /ods own nature. PoetsP philosophers and occultists of all a!es ha=e attempted to
picture this tremendous e=ent. These are the : Sparks from the (ternal )lame :8 which smoulder in e=ery
human breast8 one day to burst into li=in! fire. These are the : )ra!ments : of the )ather8 which in the
fullness of time will be !athered to!ether8 and reunited with 0im. The 0oly (ucharist hints at this !reat
mystery in the breakin! of the *read8 and in the repeatin! of the declaration : in remembrance of Me :.
)or since by this ritual 0e has been symbolically dismembered8 that is : broken :8 we therefore8 by the act
of communion8 cause those : broken :. fra!ments to be reunited or remembered.
A!ain8 these are the : Prodi!al Sons : who left the )athers home to tra=el : into a far country :. This act
of the comin! of these Sons is the fulfilment of the statement in the first chapter of /enesis8 : So /od
created man in his own ima!e8 in the ima!e of /od created he him :. This is the true Self in e=ery man8
the Monad which abideth fore=er. The *ha!a=ad /ita calls these Monads the : Shinin! %nes8 ...
indestructible8 unborn8 perpetual8 ancient8 birthless and deathless and chan!eless :.
An earnest contemplation of this mystery brin!s to li!ht many ideas which our intuiti=e faculties readily
reco!ni>e as truths. )or instance8 from the fore!oin!8 the doctrine of the : "mmanence of /od : follows
naturally from the conclusion that 0is life is in the atom8 as it is to an infinitely !reater eAtent in e=ery
human bein!.
A!ain8 this descent of the life of the )irst .o!os brin!s to mind the reali>ation that by this act8 a
tremendous step is taken in the e=ol=in! life. That conscious life which came up in the hi!hest animal
form as a : !roup,soul : steps from the animal kin!dom into the human. That is8 the : !roup,soul : ,
comprisin! fewer and fewer indi=idual units8 comes to the point where further ad=ancement by its own
effort is impossible. "t is then that the ho=erin! &i=ine Spirit enters the animal : !roup,soul :8 which now
consists of a sin!le unit , and an indi=idual soul is born. Symbolically8 the soul has been likened to the
chalice8 into which is dropped the di=ine fra!ment or : 0ost :. This is the : 0oly /rail: of : $ound Table :
fame. %ccultly8 this is the process of indi=iduali>ation8 referred to as the : first birth :,the : second birth :
bein! that !reat e=ent at the other end of his lon! pil!rima!e when8 after certain de!rees of spiritual
perfection8 man enters a new world8 the world of Supermen or Saints.
This is another truth of which &arwin did not dream , that man8 the true self8 is a : fra!ment : or : seed :
of &i=inity 8implanted in an animal body 8 prepared for this e=ent throu!h its lon! period of e=olution. This
knowled!e would ha=e established fore=er the source of mans real ori!in8 and dissol=ed as a fallacy8 the
theory of a : missin! link :. 0ere truly is a concept worthy of the !lory of mans e=entual !oal.
%ne final thou!ht emer!es from our contemplation of this mystery .The Second Person of the Trinity is8
as we are told in the Christian Creed8 the Son8 be!otten only of the )ather8 before all a!es :. "n like
manner8 thou!h infinitely lesser in de!ree8 are these fra!ments or monads : be!otten only of the )ather :8
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establishin! as true the statement Caccepted popularly only in a mystical senseE that 0e CChristE is indeed
our : (lder *rother :.
%ur consideration of /od as a Trinity could remain in the realm of pure speculation until we establish .a
relationship between man and /od. This relationship once accepted8 at least in theory 8 opens up a =ast
new field of research into mans own inner bein!8 and the nature of the faculties and powers inherent
within him. This will be the field of our research in the neAt chapter of the Trian!les.
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C,A"T$R 67
T,$ DI)IN$ IMA+$
An! 'o! sai!" let us make man in our ima#e" after our likeness. 'enesis -4 25
6( ha=e heard or read this statement so many times that its full impact lea=es us untouched. (=en
students and theolo!ians !i=e it only a poetic or fi!urati=e interpretation. And yet no statement in the
*ible ,can ha=e a more thrillin! or intimately personal meanin! to us. That we are made in the ima!e and
likeness of /od can dawn upon our consciousness only !radually and by oft,repeated meditations and
intense inner searchin!s. )or here is su!!ested a relationship between man and /od which transcends
e=ery human definition8 that man is like /od8 0is ,own ima!eG Could he li=e in the constant reali>ation of
that truth8 man would re,create this earth into 2somethin! infinitely more beautiful and !oodF and it is the
consummation of this reali>ation which is the purpose and essence of e=ery reli!ion.
"t is ?uite ob=ious that the abo=e ?uotation does not refer to man as we see him , that is8 as a personality
consistin! of a physical body8 ha=in! sensations8 emotions and a mind. )or if man is an ima!e of /od8
that ima!e must !i=e some hint as to the nature of /od. Tennysons lines come to mind2
.ittle flower,if " could understand
6hat you are8 root and all8 and all in all8
" should know what /od and man is.
The trouble lies in the fact that we are tryin! to learn what man is only with the aid of a scalpel and
microscope. St. Paul hints at the truth of the matter in " Cor. 19 2 77. 0e says8 : There is a natural body
arid there is a spiritual body .: This su!!ests the idea that man is not his body8 that indeed he has two
bodies8 one throu!h which he functions on the physical le=el8 and one throu!h which he functions on the
spiritual le=el. (lsewhere St. Paul says that man is a : spirit8 soul and body .: C" Thes. 9 2 45E %b=iously
he meant that man is a bein! like unto spirit8 manifestin! in the hi!her realms as a soul8 which in turn
eApresses itself in the physical world throu!h a body. This conclusion8 so simple in statement8 re?uires
certain amplifications.
"f we turn to the psycholo!ist or the psychiatrist for an answer to the ?uestion8 : 6hat is man B : we find
oursel=es bo!!ed down in the realm of the subconscious8 from which there seems to be no escape. %r8 if
we take all of the ?ualifications8 characteristics and powers as catalo!ued by those sciences8 and add
them to!ether8 their total does not fulfil our definition of man. "t is true that scientists are makin!
wonderful strides in understandin! the human body and its intricate mechanisms. They can switch off his
thinkin! process and substitute that of another. They can dominate his will8 catch his thou!ht without the
aid of physical accessoriesF yet the source of his life8 the mainsprin! of will8 of lo=e and of inspiration
eludes them. KAutosu!!estion and hypnosis ha=e lon! been reco!ni>ed as a means of probin! mans
subconscious state and of substitutin!8 at least temporarily8 the thou!ht and will of the : a!ent : for that of
the : sub@ect L "f here and there they succeed in penetratin! the final curtain which separates the seen
from the unseen8 it is only to find a =oid which defies e=en the most sensiti=e instrument to measure.
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"f8 howe=er8 we start with our openin! ?uotation as a premise8 then our hi!hest concept of /od must be
reflected in our definition of man. "t will be our purpose in this study to state8 or at least to su!!est8 certain
characteristics which may be common to /od and man8 in the hope that the disco=ery of such
relationships will help us to learn : what man and /od is :.
"n precedin! studies in this series we affirmed that /od8 thou!h essentially %ne8 appears as a Trinity8
known in the Christian world as )ather,Son,0oly /host. 6e saw8 moreo=er8 that this threefold pattern is
uni=ersal and may be obser=ed throu!hout all manifestation8 from the sub@ecti=e world to the densest
physical. "t should naturally follow that this same pattern Cof %ne in essence8 Three in manifestationE
holds true also in the human kin!dom. The problem before us seems to be to find those characteristics in
man as a threefold creature which correspond with8 or bear definite relationships to8 /od and 0is
%ur first task is to establish clearly what we mean by sayin! that man is a : spirit8 soul and body :. There
seems to be no clear distinction between the terms : soul: and : spirit :. Throu!hout the *ible the words :
soul: and : spirit : are used interchan!eably to mean that inner part of man which links him to his Creator.
This is due8 in part at least8 to the translators use of the 0ebrew words : #epesh : and : $auch :. :
#epesh :8 usually translated .: soul:8 means : breath of life :. The symbolism in /enesis 42I becomes
clear2 : The .ord /od. .. breathed into his nostrils the breath of life KnepeshLF and man became a li=in!
soul.: The word : $auch :8 howe=er8 is =ariously translated as soul and spirit. d%li=et su!!ests that :
$auch : leans more to the : fundamental principle : of bein!. 6hile : #epesh : is associated with breath
or air8 : $auch : su!!ests fire or the root of ener!y .; 0ebraic Ton!ue $estored8 translated by #ayan
.ouise $edfield. < This distinction will be e=ident as we !o on.
Modem Christian teachin!s8 in spite of St. Pauls concise definition8 are not too clear on this point.
Perhaps the reason for this is that the distinction between spirit and soul is not specifically emphasi>ed.
6hile the church refers to the soul as that part of man which sur=i=es death and thereafter li=es in some
state of bliss or torment8 it refers to the spirit more =a!uely as a : !ift of /od :. St. Paul further made a
clear distinction between these two words : soul: and : spirit :8 when he said C1 Cor. 192 79E8 : The first
man Adam was made a li=in! soulF the last man Adam was made a ?uickenin! spirit.: "n the 0ebrew8
Adam is a !eneric term meanin! man. "n its material application it means literally8 : red earth : F in its
hi!hest application it si!nifies the prototype of perfected manhood. "nto the dense physical body there
came the : breath : of /odF and man became a : li=in! soul : ,8 i.e.8 an intelli!ent articulate indi=iduality.
"n the course of time8 throu!h the crucible of eAperience and the tremendous effort of the self to reach
the hi!hest8 man becomes a : ?uickenin! spirit :8 i.e.8 the spark of di=inity is enkindled into a consumin!
flame. St. Paul called this reali>ation the : second birth :8 and the : second Adam : he identified with the
Christos. As Jesus said : " and my )ather are one :8 so the soul of man becomes one with the eternal
The writin!s of the early Aryans in ancient "ndia were =ery eAplicit in their description of the soul8 and the
distinction between it and the spirit of man becomes clear. To those ancient teachin!s we owe much for
their clarification of the inner constitution of man. They held the : spirit : to be a fra!ment or ray of (ternal
*ein!8 whom we call the : )ather :. This spirit contains within itself in embryo the ?ualities and
potentialities of /od8 much as an acorn contains within its shell the pattern of the tree it is to become.
This spirit C or MonadE is of the =ery essence of /od ha=in! 0is potentialities as a threefold bein!. 0e is
the true son of the )ather , an emanation would be a more accurate term , 0is : ima!e and likeness :.
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This spirit8 which for the sake of definiteness we shall durin! the balance of this chapter call : the Monad
:8 puts down three fra!ments or rays of himself into the planes immediately below his own natural home.
6e use the terms : abo=e : and : below : fi!urati=ely to mean inner and outer8 or rarer and denser. These
three fra!ments of the Monad are referred to as : permanent atoms :8 althou!h infinitely rarer than the
physical atom of science. "t should be remembered that each of these three atoms eApresses and
embodies respecti=ely the three principles of the Monad which correspond in turn to the three aspects of
the &eity.
The first atom8 correspondin! to the )ather aspect8 !athers about itself matter of the atmic or spiritual
plane to form a body or =ehicle for the principle called Atma or 6ill. The second atom8 correspondin! to
the Son aspect8 followin! the same process on the buddhic le=el8 forms the =ehicle for the principle of
*uddhi8 often referred to as intuition8 or lo=e,wisdom. A!ain the third atom8 correspondin! to the third
aspect or the 0oly /host forms a body on the hi!her mental le=el for the principle of Manas8 or creati=e
abstract thou!ht. Thus these three =ehicles8 united into one8 becomes the body for the triple spirit8
technically called : Atma, *uddhi, Manas :. This body is referred to as the : Causal *ody :8 because it is
the seat of all causation affectin! the personality from within. "t is what St. Paul termed the : spiritual
body :.
This : spiritual body : with its indwellin! triple spirit is the soul. "t is sometimes referred to as the : hi!her
self : while the personality is called the : lower self :. 6e call the soul of man the : (!o :8 because its
consciousness and its power are so far abo=e the personality that we think of it as the : self :. And yet8 in
an ultimate sense8 the soul is not the real (!o. The real (!o8 the true : Self : is as far beyond the soul as
the soul is abo=e the personality. The true Self8 the : ": is the Monad8 the di=ine Spirit. All else are
=ehicles for his contact and work in the denser worlds of manifestation. 0e has !one out into these lower
worlds in order that his latent capabilities and powers may become fully de=eloped8 and that his
consciousness may become awakened to his own di=ine nature. The only way to /od is throu!h the :
Self : .
"t is the soul or (!o which8 in turn8 comes down into physical incarnation8 and a personality is born. This
personality8 likewise threefold8 made up of mind8 emotions and a physical body8 becomes the =ehicle or
instrument of the soul in the ob@ecti=e world. "ts consciousness becomes limited by this personality8
throu!h which it functions on the three lowest planes of #ature. A!ain and a!ain8 followin! the laws of
karma and heredity8 the soul is reborn in a new personality. The purpose8 of course8 of these many
incarnations8 is to awaken into acti=ity his own latent potentialities throu!h his contacts in the physical
world. These manifold eAperiences of the personality8 throu!h the crucible of sufferin! and pain8 become
transmuted into the !old of wisdom and powerF and the soul !rows : unto a perfect man8 unto the
measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ :.
To recapitulate2 The Spirit is the Self8 the eternal : " am :8 the di=ine Spark. The soul is the =essel or body
throu!h which the Spirit8 in his threefold nature8 functions in the world of consciousness. The personality
is in turn the body or =ehicle of the soul in the ob@ecti=e world. 6hat symbol could more appropriately
eApress this : &i=ine "ma!e : than the inter, twinin! of the trian!les , the upward pointin! trian!le
representin! the di=ine Trinity8 the downward pointin! trian!le bein! the si!n of the human triad as Spirit,
Soul, *ody. "n the neAt chapter : As abo=e8 so below :8 we shall endea=our further to unfold the pattern of
the threefold nature of the soul itself and its relationship both to a Triune /od and to 0is threefold
uni=erse. The /reek philosophers reco!ni>ed this relationship8 for they called man the microcosm or little
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
cosmos8 bein! a likeness in miniature of the macrocosm or !reat cosmos.
T,$ ,OST AND T,$ C,A*IC$
0owe=er8 before concludin! this section dealin!, with di=ine and human relationships8 it mi!ht be
interestin! to consider briefly the symbolism of the elements and =essels used in the ceremony of the
Mass. 6e ha=e the 0ost8 the wine and water8 the chalice and the paten. The 0ost is the di=ine Spirit8 the
Monad. The chalice is the soul or causal body and the paten the physical body. "n another sense8 the
0ost is the )ather. The wine CbloodE is the life of the Son8 the Second .o!os8 : by whose eternal sacrifice
the uni=erse is nourished and sustained :. 6ater8 uni=ersally the :symbol of manifestation8 represents
here the 0oly /host. 6ine and water : min!led to!ether : in the chalice would typify the life of the Son
and the ener!y of the 0oly /host combined8 within the human soul. .ater in the ceremony8 the breakin!
of the 0ost and droppin! of a : fra!ment : into the chalice would be the symbol of the descent of the
di=ine spark or Monad into the soul. Many other si!nificant relationships may be reco!ni>ed by one who
broods meditati=ely upon this li=in! symbol of the 0oly (ucharist. 0ere too8 the double trian!le is the
most apt symbol of a supreme mystery.
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C,A"T$R 68
3 AS A&O)$@ SO &$*O0 3
)or there are three that bear recor! in heaen" the )ather"
the @or!" an! the %oly 'host4 an! these three are one.
An! there are three that bear /itness in earth" the spirit" an!
the /ater" an! the bloo!4 an! these three a#ree in one.
- 1ohn C 48.D
"T is said that architecture is fro>en music. "t mi!ht as truly be said that !eometrical symbols are fro>en
ideas. "n the lines ?uoted abo=e8 certainly the purity of their thou!ht and the beauty of their eApression is
cau!ht and held within the symbol of the interlaced trian!les. Althou!h the lines and an!les which make
up this fi!ure may be fiAed and ri!id8 throu!h them8 as a li=in! theme8 flow those ideas so sublime and so
profound as to be instantly reco!ni>ed as di=ine truth.
6e now approach the supreme si!nificance of the entwined trian!les F K"n the present study it will be
necessary to make certain repetitions in order to establish clearly in our minds the many
interrelationships. "t is su!!ested that8 if the reader would like to 8eAperience the satisfaction of seein!
these correspondences fall into place8 he draw two trian!les superimposed8 one pointin! up and the
other down8 and place as many of the triplicities as he can on their respecti=e an!lesL for herein is
contained the synthesis of relationships between /od8 man and the uni=erse8 and an unmistakable
indication that they are essentially one. As the mind sees in this symbol and in its indi=idual parts a series
of correspondences and relationships8 it comes to the reali>ation that the whole is reflected within each
part8 e=en as each part is contained within the whole,that life and form are two aspects of the one
6e postulate8 first of all8 one Absolute *ein! or Principle behind all eAistence8 eApressin! 0imself as a
Trinity of Three Persons or Aspects. Then we find this triplicity of causation reflected or ima!ed in a
threefold uni=erse. And we en=ision these two trinities8 the abo=e and the below8 as bound to!ether by a
co=enant of correspondences. "t will be seen that the three aspects of &eity are directly associated with
the three phases of the manifested uni=erse8 of which man is an inte!ral part. 6e moderns think of our
uni=erse from a strictly materialistic point of =iew. The early Aryan philosophers knew that manifestation
embraced not only the physical8 includin! the rarest matter of outer space8 but also the innermost
dimensions of consciousness. These sa!es =isuali>ed the entire uni=erse as an emanation of &eity8 and
followin! the di=ine pattern8 as fallin! into three o=erall classifications. )irst there was the Supreme Self8
: Ananda :8 bearin! the characteristics of /od the )ather and eApressin! the &i=ine 6ill. Then the world
of Consciousness8 : Chit :8 reflected or embodied the second aspect of /od8 the .o!os or 6ord8 and
eApressed the principle of 6isdom. And finally the ob@ecti=e world8 known as : Sat :8 was associated with
the third aspect of &eity8 the 0oly /host8 and eApressed the &i=ine Creati=e Acti=ity.
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"n our precedin! :study under the title : The &i=ine "ma!e :8 we considered man as a threefold bein!
consistin! of spirit8 soul and body. A!ain and a!ain we ha=e affirmed that the statement : /od made man
in 0is own ima!e : refers solely to the human spirit. The ancients called man the Microcosm Clittle
cosmosE8 while the uni=erse was the2 Macrocosm C!reat cosmosE. "f we accept the theory that there
eAists a definite relationship between /od and 0is uni=erse8 should it seem stran!e to think of this
relationPhip as eAtendin! between man and the uni=erse of which he is a part8 and that between the
threefold nature of the one and the threefold nature of the other there eAists a =ery definite and intimate
linka!e B The more deeply the consciousness penetrates the core of thin!s8 the !reater the reali>ation of
this underlyin! unity.
"t will be our purpose in the present study to: disco=er certain interrelationships which may su!!est a
basis for this unity. "n the human spirit8 the Monad8 which is a fra!ment of /od the )ather8 we see also a
reflection of the uni=ersal Self8 Ananda. 6e see the e!o or soul of man as linked with the uni=ersal soul8
the world of consciousness8 called ChitF and both the indi=idual and the uni=ersal as related to the
second aspect of &eity. The most ob=ious linka!e is that of the personality with the world of Sat8 because
each pertains to the ob@ecti=e world with which the third aspect of /od is particularly associated.
This brief statement of relationships between /od8 man and the uni=erse su!!ests to the mind that
familiar mathematical formula8 which we may state as follows2 two propositions which are e?ual CrelatedE
to a third8 are related correspondin!ly to each other. A little thou!ht will show how re=ealin! this formula
of e?uation is as applied to our sub@ect. )or if we take our di=ine Trinity as our central proposition8 we
ha=e its relationship to man on the one hand and its relationship to the uni=erse on the other. The
conclusion 2about these two sets of relationships is simple. Man as a trinity of spirit8 soul and body is
intimately and correspondin!ly related to a uni=erse which is also a trinity of Self8 consciousness and
This e?uation8 thou!h we may consider it the pattern8 is but one of many to be disco=ered in the symbol
of the interlaced trian!les. 6e ha=e seen that the soul or e!o is a triad known as : Atma, *uddhi,Manas
:8 which is the true ima!e of the di=ine Trinity8 )ather,Son,0oly /host. A!ain we ha=e seen that the same
three attributes of /od find their eApression throu!h the three modes of consciousness, "ccha8 Jnana and
+riya. 6e may therefore with true sincerity paraphrase our openin! ?uotation as follows 2 There are three
that bear record in the world of consciousness8 "ccha C6illE8 Jnana C6isdomE and +riya CCreati=e
"ntelli!enceE F and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in the human soul2 the
principle of Atma C6illE8 *uddhi C6isdomE and Manas CCreati=e "ntelli!enceE F and these three a!ree "n
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That the : hea=enly man : is mirrored in the : earthly :8 or that the inner world of consciousness is
reflected in the outer world of thin!s and of e=ents has been the theme of poets and philosophers of 8all
a!es. "t is the law of #ature that all reflections are in=erted. "n a similar sense this law holds !ood in the
reflection of the hi!her in the lower. "n the case of man8 the hi!hest principle of the e!o8 Atma or 6illP
while acti=e in the mental and emotional =ehicles8 finds its particular field of eApression in the physical
body throu!h its many phases of acti=ity. The term : ordered ser=ice : is often applied to the perfect
eApression of the inner principle of 6in. Similarly the principle of *uddhi finds its natural channel of
eApression throu!h the emotional body8 while Manas functions directly throu!h the mind.
T,$ "$RSONA*IT/ AND T,$ 3 +UNAS 3
6hen we attempt to catalo!ue the correspondences between the personality and the ob@ecti=e world8 the
problem is not so simple. The difficulty is due to the fact that the three ?ualities C!unasE of Sat are usually
associated8 in the mind of the modern physicist8 with the three characteristics of matter8 and pertain
there, fore only to the physical body. The Sanskrit words for the : !unas : ha=e a more uni=ersal
application8 and apply to all states of manifestation. To the ancient Aryan philosophers of "ndia the !unas
were more than ?ualities of matterF they were modes of eApression in the ob@ecti=e world which includes
the worlds of thou!ht and of emotions as well as of physical matter. )or it must be remembered that the
entire ob@ecti=e world8 eAtendin! to the hi!hest mental le=els8 is yet matter. As pre=iously stated8 the
three !unas are known as Tamas8 $a@as and Sali=a and correspond respecti=ely with the modern
cate!ories, stability8 ener!y and rhythmF 6hile it must be accepted that each of the three ?ualities affect
and are eApressed throu!h the mind8 the emotions and the physical body8 each ne=ertheless functions
most naturally throu!h one or other of the =ehicles of the personality.
)or instance Tamas8 whether interpreted as inertia or stability8 is easily associated with the physical body8
because its resistance to chan!e and motion and bein! prone to follow !roo=es of habit is its most
natural medium. And as the physical body with its acti=ities is the special channel for the eApression of
Atma8 Tamas could be thou!ht of as the opposite polarity of 6ill. 6hile stability or inertia is that force
which tends to inaction8 it is e?ually the force which tends to keep a body8 once set in motion8 !oin! in a
strai!ht line. "t is momentum which resists the cessation of motion as much as it is the force which resists
the startin! of motion. A little thou!ht will percei=e these same ?ualities operati=e on the mental le=el.
(=ident as slothfulness and stubbornness8 it is also seen in its positi=e aspect as determination and
do!!edness which follows a course a!ainst all obstacles. "t could re, present a fiAity of purpose which
cannot be thwarted or turned aside. "t is therefore not difficult to associate this ?uality with the principle of
$a@as is the opposite of Tamas8 and represents internal ener!y which produces motion. "t is an inner
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unrest which results in chan!e. "t is the ur!e towards perfection and the force behind e=olution. "n a
definite sense8 this force is particularly associated with the astral body. 6e know that the emotional le=el
is fluidic and is the natural medium of unrest and chan!e. "t has been likened to the ocean in its eternal
restlessness and its unrestrained ener!ies,althou!h distinction must be made between this inner positi=e
ener!y pushin! outward and the ne!ati=e ?uality of the emotions stirred into acti=ity by outside stimulus,
as the wa=es of the sea are lashed into acti=ity by the winds. Continuin! this metaphor of the elements8
the wind is an apt symbol of human thou!htF and the mind coupled with desire is e?ually the instrument
of $a@as. (motion means motion from within8 and $a@as is that internal restlessness8 that inner discontent
and 8desire for !rowth and eApansion. "n the astral body the forces of repulsion and attraction find free
eApression. 1et the 6ill8 with its silent ener!y operatin! throu!h the mind and in turn throu!h the physical
actions8 is an instrument of $a@as. "nherent in e=ery particle of matter8 it is the power reco!ni>ed in
eAplosion and eApansion. "t is the out!oin! ener!y in the laws of !rowth operatin! in e=ery li=in! form.
$a@as8 as its name implies8 is kin!ly. "n a spiritual sense8 we may associate $a@as with the outpourin!
power of /od8 which is the power of !rowth in all li=in! thin!s.
Satt=a8 the third member of this lower trinity8 represents law8 rhythm and balance. .ike the other !unas8 it
operates throu!h the whole personality. "t is the balancin! of the twin forces of inertia and ,ener!y ."t is
the principle which directs and !i=es purpose and direction to ener!y. 6e may assume that law finds its
particular field of operation throu!h the intellect8 for law is an intelli!ent thin! and operates on the le=el of
human understandin!. 6e mi!ht therefore conclude that Satt=a is most closely related to mans mental
faculty8 which in turn is a reflection of Manas. And Manas8 which is the soul ?uality of understandin! is
the balance wheel of rhythm and harmony in e=ery field of human eApression. And yet8 Satt=a as stated
abo=e is operati=e on all le=els. %n the physical le=el it is the unseen law maintainin! atoms and planets
in their circuits and orbits. "t is the balancin! of the twin forces called centrifu!al and centripetal which
maintain the uni=erse in e?uilibrium. %n the hi!her spiritual le=els it is seen as the synthesi>in! ?uality of
wisdom and the unifyin! attribute of lo=e.
,$A)$N AND $ART,
That there is a kinship between man and #ature has been the theme of poets from -ir!il to 6hitman.
"ndeed #ature has e=er been affectionately referred to as Mother8 e=en as spirit holds place in our
thou!hts as )ather. "t is from the union of these two Parents that man is born. "f it is held that man in his
spiritual nature bears the ima!e of his )ather8 should it seem unnatural that in his physical or outer nature
he should also bear resemblance to his Mother B St. Paul certainly reco!ni>ed this dual relationship
when he said C1 Cor. 192 7DE8 : And as we ha=e borne the ima!e of the earthy8 we shall also bear the
ima!e of the hea=enly .:
Truly the profundity and the sublimity of the many truths locked up in the symbol of the interlaced
trian!les surpass human understandin!8 and " suppose it is only throu!h the faculty called the "ntuition
that we may disco=er and reco!ni>e them.
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,:There are three that bear record in hea=en. ..
, There are three that bear witness in earth. ...
, And these three are one.:
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C,A"T$R 69
T0( symbol8 of the interlaced trian!les8 known as : +in! Solomons Seal:8 and popularly associated with
Jewish commercialistic usa!es8 eAtends the roots of its ori!ins into anti?uity. Anciently8 it was the key to
the most sacred8 and secret8 of mysteries8 and the search for its linea!e leads backward throu!h
fascinatin! and allurin! by,paths.
As its name would indicate8 +in! Solomons Seal8 sometimes called the : Shield of &a=id :8 is
intimately 8associated with 0ebraic traditions,traditions8 many of which as a herita!e ha=e been passed
on to Christianity8 and ha=e been absorbed into its doctrines. The %ld Testament8 therefore8 furnishes a
common field of in=esti!ation into the sources of these traditions. 6e find that beneath the many
alle!ories and symbols there eAists an inner teachin!8 which si!nificantly follows the pattern of the
esoteric doctrine of all a!es. The key to this disco=ery and interpretation may be found in this ancient
(arly in the nineteenth century )abre d%li=et !a=e to the world his %ebraic Ton#ue &estore!. Throu!h
his translation of the ori!inal 0ebraic manuscripts of the first chapters of the *ook or /enesis8 he brou!ht
to li!ht his astoundin! disco=ery that the : book : is not so much an account of the creation of our world
and of the human race8 as it is a formula of cosmic creation and e=olution. This work became the
incenti=e to many of the later critics of the *ible. 6ithin the neAt century and a half , there appeared here
and there amon! the more intellectual churchmen those who added =olumes of constructi=e criticism
a!ainst a literal interpretation of the %ld Testament. This trend was of course in line with the disco=eries
of modern science.
"t is not our purpose8 e=en if we had the space8 to !o into this phase of the sub@ect. 6e may pause for a
moment8 howe=er8 to ?uote a sentence from .eonard *ossmans The Book of 'enesis Uneile! "n this
illuminatin! and well,documented book8 he sums up the conclusions of many writers. 0e says8 : The
%ld: Testament stories are8 in many cases8 myths containin! truths relatin! mainly to creati=e periods of
which the science of !eolo!y has as yet no knowled!e. The first ten chapters of /enesis8 as understood
in the ori!inal 0ebrew8 is a symbolically written narrati=e , enshrinin! cosmic history and deep
metaphysical truths :. The conclusion is that the books of the %ld Testament were written in a cryptic
lan!ua!e8 most of them in alle!ory 8 , some as poetry 8 some as codes of law8 and a small percenta!e as
actual history .
Probably the most eAtremely outspoken of modern *iblical students is Al=in *oyd +uhn. 0is eAhausti=e
research into ancient oriental reli!ious 8ori!ins and traditions led him to the conclusion that the %ld
Testament stories were in many instances literally copied from (!yptian8 Chaldean and *abylonian
sources.. 0e !oes farther than his contemporaries by statin! that8 instead of !eo!raphical places and
historical e=ents ha=in! been used by these writers as a. framework upon which to han! spiritual
realities8 eAactly the re=erse is true. 0e maintains that :the names of kin!s8 heroes8 cities8 ri=ers8
mountains8 etc.:8 and e=ents pertainin! thereto8 : were on the urano!raph lon! before they appeared on
material maps : or *iblical history .: They were :8 he says8 : later transferred from the urano!raph to the
map : or were dramati>ed as factual history. The urano!raph thus became a mold or pattern8 and the :
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
natural confi!uration : and historical e=ents : reflect and fulfil the hea=enly model:. KThe Lost Li#ht by
Al=in *oyd +uhnL
All of this may seem at first !lance to be a di!ression from our theme. %n the contrary it bears record to
the corroboration of holy writ to our repeated assertion that the : pattern in the hea=ens : becomes
reflected8 or perhaps we should say pro@ected8 in the earth beneath. "n (Aodus 492 708 and in 0ebrews
8298 we find this si!nificant statement8 : See that thou make all thin!s after the pattern shown thee in the
mount :. The word : mount : un?uestionably refers to a state of hi!h spiritual eAaltation. A!ain in /enesis
4 2 98 we read this cryptic statement8 : The .ord /od made. .. e=ery plant or the field before it /as in the
earth :.K"talics2 authors. L
6e touch here the =ery secret of the creati=e process. (=ery ob@ecti=e thin! was first an ima!e in the
mind of /od. As stated in the ancient maAim8 P8 as abo=e8 so below :8 noumenon is reflected in
phenomena. The macrocosm8 !reat uni=erse8 is copied in miniature in the microcosm. The reality of the
di=ine world may be seen only as shadows upon the back!round of the world of material. (=ery tan!ible
thin! has its counterpart or prototype in an archetypal world. More correctly we should say that the
prototype or ima!e in the archetypal world is pro@ected as a pattern into the ob@ecti=e world8 to become
crystallised as : thin! : or : action :.
Amon! the 0ebraic mystery schools8 the double intertwined trian!le was the si!n of this sacred truth.
%ne such school was the order of the (ssenes. Amon! them8 the : Seal of Solomon : was a sacred
symbol8 to whom the word : Solomon : was more than the name of a kin! in "srael. "t was the :
personification or symbol of esoteric wisdom :. 0ence8 to the (ssenes8 the seal which bears the name of
: Solomon : was in reality the : Seal of 6isdom :.KThe +ey to the 'ni=erse by ). 0omer Curtiss L A!es
before8 in "ndia8 the early Aryan peoples8 in the PuranasP called this symbol the : Si!n of -ishnu :8 who
was the /od of 6isdom.
To the a=era!e person today who li=es in one of the lar!er cities8 the idea of two trian!les intertwined is
not unfamiliar. 0e sees it abo=e the door of school and syna!o!ue. More fre?uently he sees it painted on
shop and store windows in the 0ebrew ?uarters. "f he thinks of it at all8 this si!n simply spells : +osher :P
and is an ad=ertisement that the shop is operated by an orthodoA Jew. To the Jewish people8 howe=er8
the si!n has other meanin!s. "t tells them that throu!h certain ritualistic obser=ances,datin! from the
days of Moses,the products to be sold o=er the counter ha=e been cleansed of certain impurities.
The practice of blessin! or of eAorcisin! ob@ects by means of in=ocations or prayers combined with
prescribed physical rituals is as old as reli!ion itself8 and needs no =indication. The student of the inner
side of thin!s reco!ni>es that e=ery ob@ect8 animate or inanimate8 has an etheric counterpart. The
function of this etheric : field : is to be a channel or con=eyor for certain types or forceF and it is throu!h
this : field : that the ritual of eAorcism or blessin! operates. The point to be emphasi>ed here is that the
Seal of Solomon amon! the 0ebrews has a deeply reli!ious si!nificance.
"n our day8 the si!n of the intertwined trian!les has appeared upon the fla! of the newly born state of
"srael. *orn8 or reborn we should say8 out of tra!edy and conflict8 the future alone holds in its hands the
destiny of this new,old nation. The : Shield of &a=id :8 as its chosen emblem8 becomes the link between
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the herita!e of its traditions and the hope of future !lory.
.ike e=ery other !reat faith8 the 0ebrew reli!ion had its eAoteric teachin!s for the many and its esoteric
teachin!s for the few. "ts popular teachin!s8 based upon the laws of Moses and the : Ten
Commandments :8 are eApressed throu!h codes of morals8 un, e?ualled in the history of reli!ions8 for
their purity and strictness. The one dominant note8 repeated a!ain and a!ain8 is that there is %ne /od8
and only %ne. : 0ear8 % "srael2 The .ord our /od is one .ord.: *ut behind this simple statement8 there
lies a body of secret teachin!s8 markedly akin to the esoteric wisdom of the past. &urin! the dark a!es in
(urope8 these traditions were studied and preser=ed by a !roup of esoteric scholars8 both Christian and
Jew8. who became known as +abalists. Some time later8. althou!h the dates of their authorship is widely
speculati=e8 these doctrines appeared in such arcane works as the Hohar and Sepher,1et>irah.
The !reat obstacle confrontin! the modern student of ancient 0ebraic traditions is the difficulty in
correctly translatin! the characters of the alphabet. As d%li=et points out in his 0ebraic Ton!ue $e,
stored8 these characters differ from the letters of all modern lan!ua!es in that each letter represents an
idea in itself8 perhaps se=eral8 accordin! to its usa!e. A 0ebrew word may be a composite of related
ideas8 re?uirin! a sentence8 often a treatise for its full elucidation.
As stated abo=e8 the =ery essence of the 0ebrew reli!ion is monotheistic. So sacred has been this belief
that it has been held as a truism that no man has e=er seen /ods face and none can pronounce 0is
name. 0e is known as A"# S%P08 the : .imitless : e=er,eApandin! or :emanatin!: &eity. :Ain: meanin!
,8 nothin! :8 0e is : #o,Thin! :8 : #ameless *ein! :. The Sanskrit word for 0im is : Parabrahm :8 that is8 :
beyond *rahma :. The ancient Aryans called 0im the : Absolute : or : 'ni=ersal8 #ameless Principle :8
sometimes interpreted as T0AT which is behind e=en the )irst Principle of *ein!. 0e Cor "tE is the
unmanifest8 e=en in the hi!hest spiritual sense8 and yet contains within 0imself the potentialities of all
bein! and all manifestation.K See The Secret &octrine by 0. P. *la=atsky.L
Ain Soph8 bein! #au!ht8 contains all numbers. "t is the in=isible and omnipresent Point from which all
forms proceedF and it is the infinite circle within which all forms eAist. "t is8 if the finite mind, can concei=e
the term8 the Causeless Cause. "t is the "nfinite Source of all manifestation,or as the +abalists would
prefer to eApress it,of all : (manations:. The mind !ropes for words with which to describe "t.
)rom Ain Soph proceeds +ether8 the first emanation or principle of bein!. +ether literally means : Crown
: and represents di=ine 6ill. 0e Cor "tE is the hi!hest of the Ten Sephiroth and forms the first supernal
triad. )rom +ether the creati=e process is set in motion. +ether8 which on its own le=el is pure spirit8
appears in a descendin! order as two8 Chokmah and *inah. The %ne is : differentiated :8 as it were8 into
Two. Chokmah is the positi=e principle and represents : di=ine intellection :8 or the : acti=e potency of
&eity :. *inah8 on the other hand8 is passi=e and represents the !enerati=e principle or : intellectual
producin! capacity :. 0ere is pro@ected the first Trinity8 +ether,Chokmah,*inahF or to restate it in modern
form,&i=ine 6ill8 &i=ine 6isdom and &i=ine Mind or 'nderstandin!8 formin! the Supreme Trian!le,still on
a hea=enly or cosmic le=el.
These 0ebraic terms are not to be interpreted as &eities or /ods so much as Potentialities or
(manations of &eity. 0owe=er8 when we say that from #au!ht there emanates the %ne8 and that the %ne
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
differentiatin! into Two becomes Three8 it must not be understood that this process is accomplished in
steps8 one followin! another8 as we would think of it8 in timeF but rather as a simultaneous : becomin! :.
Moreo=er8 it must be emphasi>ed that the +abalistic idea of the uni=erse is not that it came into bein!
throu!h a creati=e process as we usually understand the term8 that is8 in the sense that /od produces
some, thin! out of nothin!8 or somethin! outside of 0imselfF but that 0is creation is an emanation of
0imself8 a crystali>ation8 as it were8 of a certain aspect of 0is own bein!.
To the +abalists8 the lower worlds did not come into bein! throu!h mechanical processes. Creation is a
!enerati=e process by which the hi!her or more spiritual : be!ets : or : pro@ects : the lower or more
material. The di=ine order is not reflected in the lower as thou!h they were two separate and un,
connected thin!s. The lower or denser is an emanation of the hi!her or spiritual8 a pro@ection of it in time
and space. And so from the supreme Trinity8 +ether, Chokmah,*inah8 there emanate8 in a descendin!
order8 se=en Creati=e 0ierarchies. These se=en to!ether with the Three become the sacred Sephiroth.
6hat fi!ure known to man can so ade?uately eApress the profound implications of this process8 or the
many relationships proceedin! from them8 as the Seal of Solomon B *esides these relationships8 there is
contained within the : Seal: the idea of a complete and ultimate union. )or as the %ne becomes the
many8 the many are contained within it8 and they e=entually restore that unity. The intertwined trian!les
thus become an ineAhaustible symbol not only of an . eternal process8 but also of an unchan!in! state of
ultimate bein!. The eye of the ima!ination mi!ht =isuali>e a series of trian!les thus intertwined and
superimposed8 one upon another8 eApressin! this interrelationship of principles and powers.
Picture then our supreme trian!le with +ether at its apeA and Chokmah and *inah formin! its base. )rom
the union of these two latter principles there appears a new principle which is !i=en the name &aath8 and
is interpreted as : di=ine intellection or Truth :. &aath8 therefore8 becomes the nadir of this second
trian!le and the apeA of a thirdF for &aath Cor truthE is in turn differentiated8 split as it were into the two
?ualities called /eburah8 which is @ustice8 and /edulah8 which is beni!nity. These two ?ualities or
principles become the base of this third trian!le. The process is a!ain repeated. As in the case of
Chokmah and *inah abo=e8 /eburah and /edulah unite8 and from their union proceeds Tephareth8
which is interpreted as : *eauty or 'ni=ersal 0armony :.
%nce more there follows a differentiation in the one becomin! two. )rom Tephareth descends8 or rather
proceeds8 0od and #etsach. 'ni=ersal 0armony appears as /lory on the one hand and -ictory on the
other. 0od and #etsach8 /lory and -ictory8 are united to form the final triad with 1esod as the point of
union. 1esod is described as )oundation and Stability8 representin! the ?uality of Permanency in
The tenth Sephiroth is Malkuth8 which may be interpreted as : the +in!dom :. "f we could represent these
triads as planes in a Cosmic scheme8 the first would be the : &i=ine Plane of )ormless Spirit :8 neAt the :
Archetypal 6orld :8 then the : "ntellectual or Creati=e 6orld :8 fourth the : Substantial or )ormati=e 6orld
:8 and finally the : Physical or Material 6orld :.
Malkuth is by some scholars associated with this8 the lowest world. "n another sense8 Malkuth is called
the : Shekinah :8 the : -eil of Ain Soph :8 the : -eil of earthly thin!s :8 which completely hides the
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
Absolute.;This +abalistic pattern is worked out by Albert Pike in Morals and &o!ma and 0. P. *la=atsky
in The Secret &octrine <
6e ha=e scarcely touched the hem of the !arment of +abalistic Mysteries. +in! Solomons Seal8 or the
Seal of 6isdom8 like the 0ebraic lan!ua!e8 is uni=ersal. %ut of this si!n8 as out of the : 6ord :8 come
many shades of meanin!8 many interpretationsP "t is an ineAhaustible fountain of knowled!e. The
purpose of these all too sketchy para!raphs will ha=e been accomplished if it will ha=e ser=ed to lift8 e=er
so sli!htly8 the =eil which conceals the 6isdom of the A!es.
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
C,A"T$R 6:
)or in the si> !ays the Lor! ma!e heaen an! earth" the sea an! all that in them is" an! reste! on the
seenth !ay4 /herefore the Lor! blesse! the Sabbath !ay" an! hallo/e! it. 6>o!us 2B 4 33
"T will be recalled that in an earlier study on the "nterlaced Trian!les we8likened this symbol to a
symphony of ideas. "t is fittin! that in this concludin! study8 the se=eral strains or themes which make up
that symphony be brou!ht to!ether in a : !rand finale :,united into a sin!le concept. To accomplish this8
we shall briefly brin! a!ain into focus some of the thou!hts pre=iously considered. "n this final study we
may disco=er that one predominant truth which lies buried within the =ery heart of this symbol. 6e ha=e
analy>ed its structure and the meanin! of its partsF but so far ha=e only prepared the way for the
disco=ery of its innermost secret.
Somewhere C or sometimeE in the =ast infinitude of Absoluteness there must appear the Point or Center
from which all manifestation sprin!s. The Point is therefore the ultimate source of all *ein!. "t is the
opposite pole of non,*ein!8 for in it all bein! is concentrated. Mathematically the point has no position or
eAistence unless circumscribed by the circle. To!ether they constitute the Alpha and %me!a8 the
be!innin! and the end of *ein! in manifestation. Most potent of symbols8 the Point represents the eternal
)ather8 for out of it all thin!s must ultimately be resol=ed. %n the human le=el it is the si!n of mans
innermost Spirit8 the supreme Atma. #umerically it is the number "8 whose nature is unity and whose
power is will.
The first creati=e act is motion. The Point in motion produces the .ine. The .ine8 clea=in! the Circle8
produces duality. The point becomes polari>ed8 the one becomes two and we find e=erywhere duality in
manifestation2 spirit,matter8 life,form8 male, female8 etc. "t is the si!n of the second aspect of /od whose
nature is sacrifice and whose power is lo=e.8 *ut duality cannot eAist alone. Polarity be!ets a relationship.
"n e=ery duality,life,form8 matter, ener!y8 etc.,there enters a third factor which is consciousness or law.
The .ine becomes a Trian!le2 two becomes three in the eternal balancin! of the opposite poles of
manifestation. The trian!le and the number 5 are e=er the symbol of di=inity in manifestation8 whether in
the uni=erse or in man. "ts characteristic is understandin!.
The s?uare with its four sides or the cross with its four se!ments is uni=ersally the symbol of #ature and
of the physical uni=erse2 four cardinal points8 four seasons8 four elements8 etc. "t is likewise the2si!n of
man in the sense that he is a personality. As a human bein! he consists of four bodies , physical8 etheric8
astral and lower mental , operatin! upon the four correspondin! planes of #ature. As the di=ine life is
limited or imprisoned within these lower =ehicles8 the cross si!nifies sorrow and sacrifice.
"f a man stands with feet spread apart and arms eAtended8 he forms the fi!ure of a fi=e,pointed star8 a
fi!ure which represents humanitys present place in e=olution. )or the star with its fi=e points is both the
si!n and number of the fifth or Aryan root race.
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
"t represents the a!e of scientific achie=ement in which the mental faculties are de=eloped. Countin!
from the lowest human le=el8 9 is the number of Manas8 the principle of abstract thinkin!. 6hile the star
is the measure of mans intellectual and spiritual !rowth8 it is also the symbol of his hopes and
aspirations8 beckonin! him onward to hi!her attainment. )or a!es it has been the seal o=er the : door : of
his initiation into the order of the spiritual *rotherhood and the si!n of his acceptance.
"f the number 9 is the si!nature of humanitys present state8 the number < is the si!n of tomorrows sta!e
of de=elopment. "ts influence awakens man to the reali>ation of his own incompleteness. 0e has lon! felt
that the de=elopment of his mind was the aim and end of his eAistence. 0e now comes to the reali>ation
that the mind is but an instrument for the attainment of a hi!her state of consciousness. 0e is troubled
with a sense of unrest and a persistent yearnin! for somethin! which he feels to be beyond his reason8
but is yet attainable. The fundamental power of this number as eApressed throu!h the interlaced trian!les
is this ur!e towards perfection. "t represents mans ceaseless stru!!les to attain a !oal. "t is the si!n of
his trials8 his testin!s8 and his labors. : )or siA days /od labored.:
6e recall the : twel=e labors of 0ercules :. This famous hero is the symbol of e=ery aspirant to the hi!her
life. 0is 14 C4 A <E labors are the testin!s of the candidates stren!th and the proof of his worthiness. This
combination of the double < appears many times throu!hout the *ible8 as it does in le!end8 barely
concealin! its allusion to the neophyte or the disciple. The 14 kni!hts of +in! Arthur8 the 14 tribes of
"srael8 the 14 disciples of Jesus stand out8 amon!st many others8 as eAamples of the uni=ersality of this
"f one should speculate upon the purely mathematical aspect of this number8 he cannot help but sense a
si!nificance in the part it plays as a !au!e or measure in #ature. (=ery circle is measured by 10 ; <4 or
5<0 de!rees. The solar year is di=ided into 14 months. The day into 4 A 14 hours8 the hour into <0
minutes and the minute into <0 seconds. The sidereal year is measured by 14 si!ns of the celestial
Hodiac. And if he will consider one of the uneAplained mysteries of #ature he must wonder why or how
she always makes her crystals of snow in the form of < pointed stars or crosses with eAactly < or
multiples of < arms , countless billions of tiny symbols of mans aspiration towards perfection and his
eternal faith in his di=ine nature. 0. P. *la=atsky8 in The Secret &octrine8 ;-olume 48 pa!e <4D< writes8 :
The stellate crystals of snow8 =iewed under a microscope8 are all and each of them a double or a treble
siA,pointed star8 with the central nucleus8 like a miniature star within the lar!er one.: The interlaced
trian!les form the fi!ure of a siA,pointed star8 and if the intersections of its lines be added to its points8
their total is 14.; "f we find that the number < is incomplete until it becomes I8 so we shall find the number
14 incomplete until it becomes 15. )or within the circle of manifestation represented by the circle with its
14,fold di=ision8 there is always the center makin! the 15. The solar Hodiac of 14 si!ns ChousesE is
completed by the sun in the center as 15. +in! Arthurs $ound Table with its 14 kni!hts is complete only
with the +in! in the center. The 14 tribes of "srael become 15 with their patriarchal center. And Jesus with
0is 14 disciples becomes 15. Most si!nificantly the /reat American Seal has as its dominant theme the
number 15. <
). 0omer Curtiss8 in his interestin! book The Key to the Unierse8 contemplatin! the form of the number
< obser=es that it is made up of a line risin! out of a circle. The circle would represent the uni=erse as
macrocosm or man as microcosm. "nto this circle there descends the di=ine life. The =ertical line would
e?ually represent mans aspiration for /od and his inherent desire for perfection. The number < is the
Christ force8 both in #ature and in man. "t is the spiritual power back of the uni=ersal ur!e towards
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
perfection. Countin! from the lowest or physical le=el8 it is the number of the *uddhic plane8 the le=el of
Christ consciousness. "t is also the number of mans siAth principle8 the intuition8 sometimes referred to
as the : siAth sense :. 6e can readily associate the de=elopment of this faculty with the particular work of
the <th root race,e=en as it was the work CEf the 9th race to de=elop the intellectual principle. 0. P.
*la=atsky called the : o=ersoul the siAth uni=ersal principle :.;The Secret &octrine8 -ol. "8 p. 79.<
"n a pre=ious study we made an eAperiment by takin! a cube8 which is symbol of the personality8 and
unfoldin! it8 as one would a cardboard boA. "ts siA sides8 unfolded8 take the form of the .atin cross. This
unfoldin! of his siA sides re=eals his Christ,like nature. A!ain8 if one will draw lines from each of the
outstretched hands to the feet8 as if from the nails in the crucified Christ8 he will form a trian!le super,
imposed upon the cross8 si!n of Spirit within the personality. The same symbol of 5 o=er 7 is seen in the
Masonic apron.;%ne interested in the mathematical aspect of these symbols will reco!ni>e that 5 CspiritE
plus 7 CpersonalityE e?uals the perfected man.<
The siA,pointed star is a crystali>ed : act of faith :8 for the upward pointin! trian!le represents mans
aspiration reachin! upward toward his own di=ine source8 while the downward pointin! trian!le
represents the down pourin! of inspiration and spiritual power throu!h his own hi!her =ehicles. "t is the
si!n of his present relationship with /od and the assurance of his ultimate union. "t is the Spirit which is
/od comin! down to touch the spirit which is manF it is also the self which is man reachin! upward to
touch the Self which is /od. A reali>ation of the full meanin! of this truth is the hi!hest form of yo!a and
the consummation of all mystical eAperience.
1et8 in a =ery real sense8 this symbol of the two interlaced trian!les is in itself incomplete. 6hile it is the
si!n of union,of mans lower self with his hi!her8 and of his hi!her Self with /od,each of these trinities in
itself alone is insufficient and incomplete. )or at the center of each triad there is an in=isible and
unmanifest $eality. 6ithin the di=ine Trinity there is /od who is Absolute *ein!. 6ithin the human triad
there is the di=ine Monad. 6ithin each trian!le there is the in=isible Point,its heart or soul. The symbol of
the double trian!les finds its completion only with this in=isible Point as its center. Thus in man as well as
in the uni=erse8 this union is complete only when the < becomes I.
Should we re?uire confirmation of this truth8 the followin! ?uotations from
The Secret Doctrine by 0. P. *la=atsky are instructi=e. : The interlaced
trian!les is the perfect symbol of union or yo!a8 and the unmanifest or
in=isible point in the center becomes the se=en8 sacred symbol of the e=er,
indwellin! spark or life.: C-olume ""8 p. <4<E. And a!ain8 : The siA, pointed
star refers to the siA )orces or Powers of #ature8 the siA planes8 principles8
etc.8 etc.8 all synthesi>ed by the se=enth8 or the central point in the star. ..."n
its 'nity8 Primordial .i!ht is the se=enth8 or hi!hest8 principle.: C-ol. "8 p.
"f8 as we ha=e stated8 the number < represents incompleteness and aspiration8 it finds its fulfilment and
its completion in the number I. The statement8 : )or the .ord blessed the se=enth day and hallowed it :
could be said e?ually of the < Planes of #ature8 the < $aces of humanity and the < principles of man ,all
find their completion and are synthesi>ed in the Ith. The number I represents the completion of a cycle
of manifestation. Thus there are I Planes of #ature8 I $aces8 I 6orlds8 I $ounds8 I Chains. : %n the
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
se=enth day /od rested from 0is labors.:
%f references to the number I as meanin! completion or perfection there are many. "n the *ible no other
number is mentioned more often. To the renowned Pytha!oras8 the number I meant perfection8 because8
amon! other thin!s8 it has a body composed of 7 principles and a soul composed of 5. The number I
relates to phases or cycles of physical and spiritual de=elopment. Thus mans life span is made up of : I
a!es :. To repeat a!ain from The Secret Doctrine -ol. ""8 p. <49E8 : The number siA has been re!arded in
the Ancient Mysteries as an emblem of physical #ature. )or siA is the representation of the siA
dimensions of all bodies,the siA directions which compose their form8 namely the four directions
eAtendin! to the four cardinal points. ..And the two directions ... that answer to the Henith and the #adir.
Therefore8 while the Senary was applied by the Sa!es to physical man8 the Septenary was for them the
symbol of man plus his immortal Soul:.
)rom ancient times the number I has been held sacred. There may be stated three principal reasons for
this. )irst8 because it is the number of the mystery of Creation8 of /od in manifestation. Second8 because
it somehow !o=erns the law of !estation. And third8 because it is the number of perfection. (Aamples and
references to substantiate this triple statement could be multiplied many times. "n The +ey to the
'ni=erse8 ?uoted abo=e8 &r. Curtiss has made an eAhausti=e research on the number I, its sources and
meanin!s. The 0ebrew word : Sabbath :8 which is the Ith day comes from the root stem : Sebo :8 which
means the completion of a cycle. The Ith letter of the 0ebrew alphabet is : Hain : and implies rulership or
=ictory. The /reek word for the letter : H : is : Heta : and si!nifies : life :. "t is the root stem of the word
Heus CJupiterE8 the father of the !ods,from which has sprun! the many names of &eity2 deus8 theus8 Je,
sus8 etc. 6e trace this root word back to ancient (!yptian sources. The word for their Ith letter was :
Henta : and was interpreted as : life :. "t may be si!nificant that the letter : H : is in formP a double and
in=erted : I:.
"t is perhaps fittin! that this final study of the interlaced trian!les should end on the keynote represented
by the number I. )or as from the %ne8. represented by the Point8 came all manifestation8 as represented
by the <,pointed star or the double trian!les8 so at the completion of the cycle does manifestation reach
perfection throu!h the : Se=en : which is the in=isible point of unity and union. The symbol of the
interlaced trian!les with its in=isible center eApresses the entire philosophy of life in manifestation. The
number I8 which is the Point8 is the eternal : Silent 6atcher :. "t is /od in 0is uni=erse. "t is. /od in man.
"t is the si!n of attainment and triumph. "n it is contained both the hope and the fulfilment or the
inte!ration of life and of mans ultimate union with /od.
: And /od saw e=erythin! that 0e had made8 and behold it was =ery !ood.:
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
&OO' 7 - T,$ SACR$D 0ORD

C,A"T$R =.
T0"S final chapter deals with a sub@ect at once so sacred8 and wrapped in secrecy8 that the writer feels
that he is trespassin! upon holy !round. "ndeed8 one eAplores in =ain the sources of information for some
concise and ready,at,hand eAposition of the sub@ect. "t is only as he finds throu!h much searchin!8 a hint
here and a line there8 that he is able to piece to!ether an inte!rated whole. "t is therefore in deepest
humility that he endea=ours to capture their meanin!s and frame them into words. 1et one must try8 and
failin!8 try a!ain. There is comfort in a confession8 so well put by /eor!e Arundale in his book8 The .otus
)ire2 : 6ho seeks must err 8 who finds must err8 1et must we seek and find and err8 for only thus shall we8
and all that li=es8 achie=e &i=inity.:
.on! after one contacts Theosophy,and " speak here only for myself,and has be!un to learn somethin!
of the meanin!s of the =arious symbols which make up its : Seal :8 he becomes conscious of a stran!e
fi!ure or hiero!lyph abo=e the Seal itself. 0e e=entually learns that this character is Sanskrit8 and
represents the 6ord %M CA'ME. This is an ancient word whose ori!in is lost in the be!innin!s of the
Aryan race in Central Asia. Tradition has it that this word was so sacred that it could not be correctly
pronounced by man, that 8indeed it was tau!ht to certain Spiritual Men of humanity by an "ncarnation of
the /od -ishnu.
Se=eral ?uestions enter the mind. 6hy is this 6ord sacred B Amon! the uncounted millions of words8 not
only in Sanskrit8 but in all the lan!ua!es on our !lobe8 why has this particular 6ord been held sacred
from ancient days until now8 and by peoples 8 of many races B 6hat is its meanin!8 and what is the
source of its power B "t will be our purpose in this study to try to find answers to these8 and other
?uestions and answers which not only our intuition but our reason can accept.
May we di!ress for a moment to consider two or 6ords and three facts concernin! the ori!in and .etters
Pa!e 15<
The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
formation of wordsB "t is a fact known to philolo!ists that spoken lan!ua!e antedated the written word by
unknown a!es8 that many of the ancient scriptures and $eli!ious epics were handed down from
!eneration to !eneration by word of mouth. The first lan!ua!es were phonetic rather than written8 and
the first efforts of the primiti=e to communicate was throu!h sound. "t was not until comparati=ely modern
times that words formed by characters came upon the scene. The earliest attempts at formin! letters was
undoubtedly by pictures. .ater8 with the de=elopment of the intellect8 hiero!lyph and symbol replaced the
word, picture8 and form and sound were combined to eApress an idea.
Another fact8 althou!h not stressed by modern etymolo!ists8 is that in certain if the known ancient
lan!ua!es,notably Sanskrit8 (!yptian and 0ebrew, letters were not only sounded8 but shaped to eApress
a thou!ht or an idea. 6ords were coined by the special arran!ement of their letters8 accordin! to their
inherent meanin!s8 to pro@ect a conceptF and the sli!htest chan!e in this arran!ement would materially
alter this ori!inal concept K)abre d%li=et8 early in the 1Dth century8 in his work8 0ebraic Ton!ue $estored8
claimed that the : 0ebrew contained in /enesis is the pure idiom of the Ancient (!yptians which was
composed entirely of uni=ersal8 intellectual8 abstract eApressions :.L #ot only that8 but many of the ancient
teachers and sa!es8 notably Pytha!oras8 in /reece8 tau!ht that there eAist definite relationships between
letters of the alphabet8 numbers8 forms C!eometrical fi!uresE8 sound CmusicE and color. %ne is forced to
accept as true the theory that these se=eral manifestations of life are somehow linked to!ether throu!h
the laws of their inherent characteristics.
Commentin! on this thou!ht8 /eor!e Arundale writes8 : 1ou ha=e a colour alphabet8 a sound alphabet8 a
fra!rance alphabet and you ha=e also a form alphabet.: ...: .an!ua!e is deri=ed from .ife8 is an
eApression of .ife. "ts constituent words eApress the =aryin! moods of .ife8 di=ided as these may be into
the !reat threefold di=ision of 6ill8 6isdom and Acti=ity.: KThe .otus )ire8 pp. I885<I.L
"n confirmation of this8 "t. P. *la=atsky writesP : .etters8 as well as numbers8 were all mystic8 whether in
combination8 or taken separately.:KThe Secret &octrine8 -olume "8 p. 714.L4 And a!ainP : "n the Sanskrit8
as also in the 0ebrew8 ... e=ery letter has its occult meanin! and its rationale. ...The =owels8 especially8
contain the most occult and formidable potentials.: KThe Secret &octrine8 -olume "8 p. l41.L
The idea of the sacredness of words Cand lettersE is older than the oldest lan!ua!e upon our planet8 for
mans first written lan!ua!e was a di=ine lan!ua!e8 whose alphabet was !i=en to infant humanity by the
di=ine Teachers CA=atarasE of our race.
*efore lea=in! the sub@ect of letters8 one more thou!ht seems worth eApressin! at this point. The
ancients percei=ed a difference in the =alue of lettersP a distinction not reco!ni>ed by the modern
etymolo!ist. The ob=ious di=ision of letters is into the two cate!ories of consonants and =owels. -owels
color 8and ?ualify the soundF consonants shape and limit its eApression. The =owel is the sound8 the life8
of the word. The consonant shapes its form8 and becomin! its body8 as it were8 limits and defines its life. :
"n this connection8 we may easily see an association between words and indi=idualsF for as life may be
percei=ed as indi=idual only as it is clothed in a body CformE8 so words become articulate only as their
sound is broken up and shaped by consonants. As /eor!e Arundale writes8 =owels are the life elements
of words.KThe .otus )ire8 p. 5<8. L
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
To state this thou!ht in another way2 words may be said to possess two ?ualities,wisdom and power .
Throu!h their form they eApress wisdomF throu!h their sound they eApress power. The power of a word
is released throu!h its =owelsF the idea is brou!ht into bein! throu!h its consonants. The si!nificance of
this distinction will be reco!ni>ed throu!hout this study.
As a basis upon which to build our thesis on the word AuM8 it will be of =alue to consider briefly a few
fundamental principles. 6e concei=e of %ne Absolute *ein!8 whom8 unable either to name or to
describe8 we call : /od :. 0e is the 'ltimate Source and Causeless Cause of all eAistence. (=erywhere
present throu!hout the =isible and in=isible uni=erse8 0e contains within 0imself the potencies of all
manifestation. *ein! both spirit and matter8 0e embodies within 0is nature in perfect e?uilibrium the
essence and causes of each.
6hen8 in the eternally recurrin! aeonsF the 'ltimate wills to manifest8 this *ein!8 actin! within 0imself8
polari>es 0is nature as it were8 and there appear on the one hand Pure Spirit and on the other $oot
Substance. And it is from the union of these two opposin! $ealities8 in infinite =arieties of combinations8
and in e=er,descendin! worlds of density8 that all manifestation comes into bein!.
A stan>a from the ancient Book of D*yan states the formula of this Cosmic process 2
)ather,Mother spin a 6eb8 whose upper end is fastened to Spirit. ..8 and the lower one to. .. MatterF and
this 6eb is the 'ni=erse8 spun out of the Two Substances made in %ne. ..
*etween these two poles of the %ne $eality8 there appear8 throu!hout the whole of manifestation8 from
/od to atom8 countless series of triplicities 2
Spirit Matter *ife
*ife %or! Consciousness
$nerAy Matter *aC
etc.@ etc.@ etc.@
#or should it seem unnatural to concei=e that8 on the hi!hest spiritual realm8 &eity follows this same
threefold pattern. The idea of a Triune /od is common to all reli!ions throu!hout all a!es8 8and is not
peculiar to Christianity. 6hat is peculiarly uni?ue in Christianity Calthou!h the .o!os doctrine was
borrowed mainly from the /reek mysteriesE is the teachin! that the : 6ord K.o!osL was made flesh and
dwelt amon! us :. "ndeed this idea has colored the Christian doctrine of the Trinity to the eAtent that the :
6ord made flesh : is associated or identified with the : &i=ine "ncarnation :. 6e mi!ht tabulate certain of
the &eific Trinities KThe student is referred to the chapters of *ook -8 under the sub@ect of the "nterlaced
Trian!les :.L as follows2
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
Christian %ather Son E0ordF ,oly +host
+ree# (st *oAos 6nd *oAos =rd *oAos
,indu ShiDa )ishnu &rah!a
$Ayptian Osiris ,orus Isis
E,u!anF E%atherF ESonF EMotherF
T,$ 0ORD -AUM3
Abo=e the Theosophical Seal8 thou!h apart from The 6ord the symbols which comprise it8 are the : A'M
: Sanskrit letters which represent the 2sacred 6ord : A'M :. "n contemplatin! the particular position of
this character in relation to the Seal itself8 one calls to mind the ob=erse side of the /reat American Seal
in which is pictured an unfinished pyramid8 while abo=e it8 thou!h not touchin! it8 there is the trian!ular
capstone8 in the center of which is depicted the : All Seein! (ye : of /od. The si!nificance in the
similarity of this @uAtaposition in these two Seals 2should become ob=ious as our study of the word A'M
The shape of the letters of this Sanskrit word is easy to remember8 and as easy to make8 when one
translates the components of the fi!ure into terms with which we are familiar. )or instance8 the main part
of the fi!ure is written as : three dash Pi :8 AS
and represents the letter : A :. A comma placed directly abo=e the hori>ontal line of the Pi and a little to
the left represents the letter : % :. The letter : M : is a dot placed at the ri!ht of the
6e then ha=e the assembly of the three letters8 spelt A,',M.
As a matter of fact8 A'M C%ME is not a word at all in the strictest sense of the
term8 for it ser=es no !rammatical purpose. (rnest 6ood writes8 :The 6ord differs from all other words in
that their meanin!s are con=entional. The meanin! of %M is inherent.: ; Practical 1o!a.< A study
therefore of the intrinsic =alue of each letter will help to re=eal to us this inherent meanin!. "t is said that
the word AuM Cas must all wordsE be considered from two points of =iew2 first the written wordF and then
the spoken word. Throu!h its form8 it re=eals , as well as conceals the wisdom of /od. Throu!h its sound
it releases the power of /od8
6e obser=e that the three letters A,',M8 as they ha=e come down to us8 eAtend their roots backwards
throu!h .atin8 /reek and 0ebrew practically unchan!ed. The letter : A : CAlpha or AlephE represents the
idea of authority8 leadership and dominance. "n the 0ebrew8 Aleph is the symbol of the bull because it
represents power. "n its esoteric or di=ine aspect8 it typifies /od as )ather,Causation and Potential
Power. "t si!nifies the acti=e or masculine polarity of manifestation.. "t is the inner reality , life or spirit,
behind or within all thin!s. "n man8 it is his inner self8 the Atma or di=ine Spirit. "t, is the .o!oic 6ill flowin!
throu!h the whole Creation down to the physical le=el , in man throu!h the Atma into his physical body.
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
To sum up the teachin!s of the Secret &octrine8 the letter : A : eApresses the idea of leadership and
power. As sound8 it is a fillin! of the mouth and a !oin! out of dominant power. "t may be noted that the
first cry of the infant is a prolon!ed : A0000G :. )irst in letters8 it is first also in the process of
creation.The out!oin! breath CspiritE is /ods causati=e8 creati=e power flowin! out into the uni=erse and
in man. : The spirit of /od mo=ed upon the face of the waters. Kprimordial substanceL :8 and : /od
breathed into mans nostrils8 and he became a li=in! soul.: .ookin! at it symbolically8 the : A : is the point
of spirit within the circle of manifestation,it is the li=in! reality in e=ery li=in! form8 man in his body8 /od in
0is uni=erse.
(?ually si!nificant is our analysis of the letter : M : CMu or MemE. 6e recall the two poles of
manifestation8 spirit,matter8 out of which the web of the uni=erse is spun by /od as : )ather,Mother :. So
the letter : M : si!nifies the feminine8 the mother aspect of Creation,the form buildin! or !erminati=e
power. The letter : M : represents the pole opposite to spirit8 the formati=e side of thin!s8 the root
substance or Mulaprakriti. "n all lan!ua!es8 eastern and 8western8 it is the symbol of water8 the : /reat
&eep : 8 As a !lyph8 it pictures wa=es MMMCripplesE in the Sea of 6ater. "n many of the worlds !reat
reli!ions8 the names of the Mother Principle of &eity8 as personified by the Mother of the &i=ine Son8 and
many philosophical concepts alludin! to manifestation8 be!in with the letter : M :. The followin! eAamples
will be reco!ni>ed2 Mary8 Mother of JesusF Maya8 Mother of *uddhaF Miner=a8 !oddess of wisdom8
sprun! from the head of HeusF Miriam8 sister of Moses F Moses8 named by pharoahs dau!hter because :
" drew him up out of the water : F Mare8 .atin for the sea8 symbol of uni=ersal matterF Mater8 .atin for
Mother. Many Sanskrit words8 su!!estin! .manifestation as opposed to spirit8 be!in with the letter : M :.
)or instance2 Maya8 illusionF Man=antara8 a period of manifestationF Mahat8 uni=ersal intelli!enceF Manas8
the thinkin! principle or mindF Mandala8 meanin! a circle or web. : M : would represent the polarity
opposite to 2spirit8 from the lowest to the hi!hest le=el8 and in a fi!urati=e sense is the =esture or !arment
of spirit. 0ence8 the causal body is the =esture or =ehicle of 2spirit e=en as the body is the abode of the
soul. %n the di=ine le=el8 the letter : M : is both feminine and masculineF hence the aspect of &eity which
represents manifestation is both the uni=ersal Mother C#atureE .and the 0oly /host CMahat8 Manas and
The letter : ' : C'psilon or -auE ser=es a dual purpose. "t separates two thou!hts or ideas while it unites
them into a whole. "n a sense it is the point of intersection of two lines formin! an an!le. That is8 it
separates the two lines at the same time that it holds them to!ether. Accordin! to d%li=et8 the : ' : or :
-au : is both a separat@=e a!ency and a cohesi=e force. ; %ebraic Ton#ue &estore!. < "t is the principle of
di=ision and of union. "t chan!es unity to duality and blends duality into unity. "t thus ser=es a dual
function in the process of manifestation8 as it does in the word : AuM :. "t separates or polari>es the %ne
in order that manifestation may appearF and it links these dualities a!ain into unity.
T,$ 0ISDOM O% T,$ 0ORD
"n the <o#a Sutras of Patan9ali8 the 6ord : AuM 8P The 6isdom is mentioned twice. The first time is at of
the 6ord the =ery be!innin!8 the first Sutra which reads8 : A'M C%ME. The followin! instructions concern
the science of union :. And in the 4Ith Sutra we read8 : The word of "sh=ara is AuM C%ME :. The
si!nificance of these two statements to our understandin! of the : 6ord : will become apparent as we
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
6e recall that the =owel : A : eApressed spirit8 power and lifeF while the consonant : M : represented
matter8 form and wisdom. This same pattern shall be our !uide in considerin! the : 6ord : as a whole.
'nitin! the two ideas which these letters represent8 we ha=e spirit,matter or life,form wedded to produce
the : Sacred 6ord :8 which8 like the &i=ine Son8 of which it is the symbol8 is born of a hea=enly )ather
and an earthly Mother. "t is indeed the : 6ord made flesh :.
The identity of the : Sacred 6ord : with the : 6ord made flesh :8 whether we think of the latter in a
historical8 cosmic or mystical sense8 is e=idenced by many =eiled references in many scriptures of the
world,includin! the Christian *ible. "sh=ara has been called the : Supreme .ord : of Creation8 the : .o!os
: or : )irst *orn :8 the : -oice : or : 6ord :..6e find many allusions to the : 6ord : as the Second .o!os8
the Second Aspect or Son8 the Cosmic Christ8 -ishnu , builder and preser=er of life and form. The
eAamples in myth and fable of &i=ine Sons ha=in! earthly mothers are too numerous to mention. 6ithin
such solar myths is preser=ed the sacred truth that man himself is both human and di=ine8 that within his
bein! is the seed of a &i=ine )ather8 thou!h born of an earthly : Mother :. 0erein is contained the
.doctrine of the : "ncarnation :8 of the : &escent : of &eity into human form8 of the : 6ord made flesh :.
The first8 if not the whole8 purpose of reli!ion8 of yo!a8 and of meditation is to awaken man to the
reali>ation of this sacred truth. The : 6ord : within him is the 6ord of the Master8 the inner /od8 who
resides in the heart of all bein!s. Alice *ailey8 in her commentary on the abo=e Sutra8 says that when the
student8 throu!h meditation and li=in!8 comes to an understandin! of this truth8 this : 6ord within him8
causes the Second or Christ aspect of di=inity to shine forth resplendently :.
This : 6ord : is the : "nner -oice : of conscience which8 if heard and obeyed8 !uides one throu!h the
conflicts of passion and desire. "t is the : still small -oice : that may be heard e=en in the midst of lifes
tumult. "t is the : =oice of the Silence : which says to the earnest seeker8 : Thou art thyself the ob@ect of
thy search2 Thou art thy Master and thy /od :. )or as one meditates upon this 6ord8 the inner ear8 which
is the intuition8 be!ins to hear its =oice8 and awakens to the reali>ation that the Christ within is one with
the (ternal ChristF and that the : 6ord : which he hears is one with the : 6ord which was in the
be!innin! :.
Meditation on the inner meanin! of A'M may become an act of union8 in which the lower and the hi!her
natures are united into one , one in essence and one in purpose. This sense of unity eApands to take in
all life. There comes the awareness of inner attunement with the uni=ersal law of harmony and purpose.
There is a feelin! of with /od and #ature which brin!s to the mind a sense of atonement
and peace. The : 0idden Splendor : within himself8 percei=es that splendor in e=ery other. Moreo=er8 he
be!ins to reali>e the underlyin! purpose in incarnation8 and the relationship of the &i=ine Self to the form
in which it resides. 0e reco!ni>es the personal body as the =ehicle of the soul on the plane of acti=ityF
and the soul as the =ehicle of the (ternal Spirit upon the plane of consciousness. The wisdom of A'M
thus re=eals to man his place and purpose in the uni=erse. 0e sees himself as a )ra!ment of /od8
whose triune nature as )ather,Son,0oly /host finds its eApression in his own triple spirit as Atma,
*uddhi,Manas. The re=erent use of the : 6ord : establishes this relationship in his own brain
consciousnessF and he disco=ers a peace which transcends e=ery seemin! discord and a stren!th which
enables him to stand unshaken a!ainst e=ery seemin! ad=ersity.
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"t has been stated that e=ery $oot $ace upon our planet has had its own 6ord8 within which was
embodied its key,note and destiny. 6e ha=e been told that for the )ourth $oot $ace8 the Tau was that
6ord and 6ay of attainment. )or our own8 the )ifth $oot $ace8 the sacred 6ord is A'M. )rom outer
obser=ances we turn to inner reali>ation. Thus the A'M re=eals the nature and inner identity of the soul
of man with his body8 and its relationship with Manas8 the fifth principle or mind. "t thus becomes
especially the 6ay or Path of 6isdom for the Aryan $ace. %ne final note of interest. .on! before
recorded history8 the Sanskrit word A'M passed from "ndia into (!ypt. There the spellin! was sli!htly
chan!ed,the A'M becomin! AM#. This name was applied to the 0idden /odP the "llimitable8 the
ultimate8 the (ternal /od of .i!ht : Amen,$a :. This 6ord8 as well as somethin! of its di=ine si!nificance8
was in time appropriated by the 0ebrews8 and : %,M# : pronounced : %,mein :8 became the sacred oath
or in=ocation to the : 0idden /od :. This same word chan!ed to : AM(# : is to this day used at the end
of e=ery Christian hymn and to close8 as with the seal of Truth8 e=ery prayer .
The followin! chart may be useful in helpin! the mind to establish some relationship with the 6ord A'M2
T,$ 0ORD +OD as MAN as SOU* as S/M&O* O% Consciousness
%ather Spirit At!a %ather Spirit 0ill
Son Soul &uddhi Son Consciousness Intuition
,oly +host &ody Manas Mother Matter Mind
T,$ "O0$R O% T,$ 0ORD
To consider the 6ord A'M from the point of The Power of =iew of the idea which it eApresses to
the 6ord our minds is to utili>e half its =alue. "t is one thin! to meditate upon the meanin! of the 6ord ,
to understand its hidden 6isdom. "t is another thin! to use it , to release its power. A'M is a mantram or
word of power.
"t is common knowled!e that there is a certain power in words8 either for !ood or e=il8 accordin! to the
thou!ht in the mind of the one who speaks the word. "t is a psycholo!ical fact that idle words dissipate
ones own power and influence. 6ords of !ossip destroy both the character of the ob@ect of the !ossip
and confidence in the one who !ossips. 'nkind words instil doubt8 fear and hatredF kind words brin!
hope8 coura!e and !ood will. *ut here8 the power of the word is not inherent within the word itself but
rather in the idea or the intent in the mind of the one who speaks it. "t is the : tone : or ?uality of the =oice
which has power for !ood or e=il. : To pronounce a word is to e=oke a thou!ht8 and make it present2 the
ma!ic potency of speech is the commencement of e=ery manifestation.: K). 0omer Curtiss in The =oice
of -sis8 p. 708 L*ut when that word throu!h association and usa!e is linked with inner and spiritual =alues8
the power of its soundin! is multiplied many times.
The Third Commandment reads8 : Thou shalt not take the name of the .ord thy /od in =ain.: This name8
and it may be any name applied to &eity8 embraces an eApression of the &i=ine Creati=e Potency. The
power in=oked by this word8 bein! either !ood or e=il8 will embody the de!ree of purity and the purpose
of the one who speaks it8 and the results produced will be measured by that ?uality. Jesus knew the
power of the spoken word. 0e said8 : *ut " say unto you8 that e=ery idle word that men shall speak8 they
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The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
shall !i=e account thereof in the day of @ud!ement. )or by thy words shalt thou be @ustified8 and by thy
words shalt thou be condemned.: Many teachers ha=e warned that speakin! the name of &eity idly or in
an!er sends out a destructi=e and e=il force into the world8 particularly upon those who hear8 and dra!s
the one who speaks into u!ly re!ions of the astral worldF while that same name8 uttered as an in=ocation
or in prayer8 releases powers of !ood8 commensurate with ones faith and purpose.
"t need not be emphasi>ed here that sound , physical sound or =ibration , is a creati=e C or destructi=eE
power. (Aamples are !i=en of a !lass tumbler bein! shattered by a lon! sustained note of the human
=oice8 or a brid!e shaken by the rhythmic tread of marchin! soldiers. %n the hi!her emotional and mental
le=els8 the measure of the =alue of sound is increased many,fold. )or instance8 medical science
reco!ni>es the therapeutic =alue of certain types of music whose power releases healin! forces within
the body8 or attunes the body to the healin! forces in #ature8 whether physical or psychic. : Sound :8
says 0. P. *la=atsky8 : is the primary creati=e force.: She calls sound the : Son of &eity :. The followin!
statement mi!ht be of interest to students of the occult 2 Sound is related to the first element8 ether8 and
the sense of hearin! was e=ol=ed in the first race of men whose bodies were etheric.; The Secret
&octrine8 -olume ,4, pa!e 115. < 6e mi!ht8 in a truly scientific sense8 paraphrase the first sentence in the
/ospel of St. John8 : "n the be!innin! was sound.: Annie *esant says that the power of sound is both
creati=e and destructi=e. )orms may be built or destroyed by sound. "t may be of interest to students of
the occult that sound is produced by the larynA C or!an of =oiceE8 to be made articulate by passin!
throu!h the mouth and shaped into words by the ton!ue8 lips and teeth. %ccultly the throat chakra is the
center related to Manas8 the hi!her mindF and as the human creati=e faculty8 residin! as an elementary
physical force at the base of the spine8 is raised and sublimated8 it becomes an effecti=e power in the
realm of creati=e thinkin!.KThis elementary creati=e force is dealt with in detail in C.6. .eadbeaters book8
The (hakras. L
"t is said that in ancient days in many ci=ili>ations8 notably the 0ebrew8 (!yptian and 0indu8 it was
forbidden to pronounce the name of &eity because of the sacredness of the power released by its sound.
0. P. *la=atsky writes8 : The real secret and unpronounceable #ame of K/odL8 the 6ord that is no word :
has to be sou!ht in the se=en names of the first Se=en (manations Ki.e.8 lesser deitiesL.: ;The Secret
&octrine8 -olume "8 p. 7I5. < A!ain she writes8 : The power of names is !reat8 and has been known since
the first men were instructed by the &i=ine Masters.:;The Secret &octrine8 -olume ,4, pa!e 811< The
sacred #ame has been called : The "neffable8 the 'nutterable8 the 'npronounceable :.
"n the li!ht of such profound statements8 the student may ask8 : "s it permissible to pronounce the Sacred
#ame as represented by the word AuMF and if so8 how should it be pronounced B : The word AuM C%ME
is sounded by openin! the mouth and breathin! out with sustained tone the sound : % : as in : home :.
without soundin! the : 0 :. The lips are then closed8. allowin! the sound to continue throu!h the nostrils8.
and to die away on the same note , the 2mind meanwhile dwellin! upon some hi!h ideal8 such as (!o
and its threefold nature8 its relationship with /od as Trinity8 or upon our hi!hest idea of the Master. Too
much emphasis cannot be placed upon the fact that the word is really sounded by the (!o or Soul8 and
that the physical act should be accompanied by our loftiest thou!hts.
And yet the correct soundin! of the Sacred 6ord is not so simply done. Since the number se=en runs
throu!h all #ature as the sacred number of perfection, I colors8 I notes8 I $ays8 I forces in #ature8 I
days8 I principles in man8 I Archan!els8 I Spirits before the Throne8 I Creati=e 0ierarchies8 I .o!oi
C6ordsE8. I letters in the Sacred #ame8 etc.,should one wonder that there are also I syllables in the true
Pa!e 175
The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
pronunciation of the Sacred 6ordB "t is said that before one can truly pronounce the 6ord audibly8 he
must first ha=e attuned his own se=enfold nature to the di=ine harmony. The 48th Sutra of Patan@ali
states8 : Throu!h the soundin! of the 6ord and throu!h reflection upon its meanin!8 the 6ay is found.:
Commentin! upon this statement8 Alice *ailey writes that the 6ord: correctly sounded8 must be sounded
by the Soul or (!o on its own planeF and before the aspirant may properly sound the 6ord on the
physical plane8 he must ha=e : throu!h meditation and discipline8. coupled with ser=ice8 made a
conscious with the soul :.KThe .i!ht of the Soul. L6e ha=e been told too that none8 eAcept
the Master8 may !uide us safely alon! the way of the Mysteries. Surely none may direct the course of this
inner process for another. (ach must find the way within himself.
6e may summari>e the abo=e thou!hts as follows 2, To correctly sound the sacred word : %M :8 with the
whole nature attuned8 is to brin! ones entire bein! in rapport with the eternal laws8 both of /od and
#ature8 thus formin! an unobstructed channel throu!h which the powers of harmony may be "n=oked for
the helpin! of man. %ne may =isuali>e three steps by which this may be accomplished 2
CaE A reco!nition of the four lower principles of man as =estures of the Soul and as instruments for itsF
acti=ities in the lower worlds.
CbE A reali>ation that the Soul or (!o is a spiritual triad embodyin! the threefold aspects of &eity8 and that
these three principles are in turn emanations of the. ..
CcE %ne (ternal SelfT the Monad or Son of /od.
/eor!e Arundale adds this thou!ht2 : The student in his yo!a KmeditationL will !lorify the Sound that it
may become the -oice of /od .:
Throu!h this of body8 soul and spirit comes the reali>ation that we are one with the "nfinite
which is /od. This creati=e 6ord is continually bein! pronounced within man and throu!hout the =ast
uni=erse. "t is the 'ni=ersal Christ8 -ishnu8 "sh=araPbrin!er of spiritual life.: KThe -oice of "sis8 by ).
0omer Curtiss.L This di=ine -oice flows outwards or downwards throu!h the uni=erse8 throu!h the
kin!doms of #ature and throu!h man. 6e are reminded of the beautiful lines in Psalms ;";8 : &ay unto
day uttereth speech8 and ni!ht unto ni!ht showeth knowled!e. There is no speech nor knowled!e where
their =oice is not heard.: This : -oice of /od : is the rhythmic law of creati=e e=olution. "ts sound
penetrates the Se=en Creati=e 0ierarchies8 who !uide and direct its =ibrations into the kin!doms of
#ature8 to brin! them to perfection in accordance with the &i=ine "ma!e. #ature obeys this -oice without
?uestion. "t is when this -oice reaches man who is the microcosm that the 6ord may be reproduced in
articulate lan!ua!eF for man alone has the power to use his =oice to translate the 6ord into 6isdom and
Power .
)inally8 it may be said that this : -oice : or : 6ord :8 as it sounds forth throu!h all manifestation8 does so
Pa!e 177
The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
in three basic notes or tones. )irst8 in #ature8 the sound of the : -oice : is heard throu!hout the physical
uni=erse as the tone : )a :. This mi!ht be called the 6ord of the Third .o!osP*rahma or the 0oly /host.
Second8 it is Prana=a8 the 6ord of life as it is breathed into all li=in! forms. "t is the note of conscious life8
the 6ord of the Second .o!osP the : 6ord made flesh :8 the "ncarnated Son. And finally8 it is the : -oice
of the Silence :8 the innermost Self8 the di=ine Monad. "t is the )irst .o!os8 or /od as )ather. )or the
6ord which man can speak brin!s into radiant manifestation the !lorified or transcendent ChristF it
awakens the (!oic consciousness and releases the soul from the limitations of form F and synthesi>es
the threefold man as spirit,soul, body with the three streams of .o!oic .ife.
: "n the be!innin! was the 6ord8
And the 6ord was with /od8
And the 6ord was /od.:
John 12 1
Pa!e 179
The Theosophical Seal by Arthur M. Coon
Arundale@ +eorAe S. The *otus %ire
&ailey@ Alice A.@ The *iAht of the Soul
&laDats#y@ ,.". The Secret Doctrine E=rd editionF
&os!an@ *eonard A!en@ The 'ey to the UniDerse
&os!an@ *eonard The 'ey to the UniDerse
Curtis@ %.,o!er The 'ey to the UniDerse
Curtis@ %. ,o!er The MessaAe of AHuaria
Curtis@ %. ,o!er The Truth about $Dolution and the &ible
Curtis@ %.,o!er The )oice of Isis
d-OliDet@ %abre The ,ebraic TonAue Restored
,odson@ +eoffrey The Science of Seership
,all@ Manly ". *ectures on Ancient "hilosophy
,all@ Manly ". *ost 'eys of Masonry
,iAAins@ %ran# +. The Cross of the MaAi
,oyle@ %red The Nature of the UniDerse
eans@ Sir a!es ThrouAh Space and Ti!e
inaraGadasa@ C. The %irst "rinciples of Theosophy
'uhn@ AlDin &oyd The *ost *iAht
*eadbeater@ C.0. The Cha#ras
*eadbeater@ C.0. The Christian Creed
*eadbeater@ C.0. The ,idden Side of ThinAs
*eadbeater@ C.0. The Science of the Sacra!ents
"al!er@ $rnest +. The Secret of Ancient $Aypt
"i#e@ Albert Morals and DoA!a
S!ith@ 0orth Miracles of the AAes
0ood@ $rnest The SeDen Rays
Pa!e 17<