The Secret Doctrine is an unsurpassed work of profound Esotericism and spiritual scholarship, written and published by H.P. Blavatsky in 1888. The Book and its Occult Doctrine were Blavatsky's Magnum Opus, the very essence of Theosophy, containing within its obscure pages not only the foundational concepts inherent to Theosophy, but more significantly it introduces a previously lost (for the West) and concealed Spiritual Wisdom Tradition of the most highly advanced metaphysics and Cosmogony. The complexity within the Secret Doctrine's vast canvass of superphysical reality is stupefying in its scope, nuance, and arcane intricacy comprising two enormous volumes titled, The Secret Doctrine: "Cosmogenesis" and "Anthropogenesis".
The two volumes of the Secret Doctrine (together being one book) depict the obscure stanzas of Dyzan, along with the necessary commentaries, that are derived from an unrevealed ancient Indo-Aryan Tradition of Tibetan Occultism, utterly unknown to Westerners. The original material contained within the unabridged (verbatim) 1888 edition of The Secret Doctrine is delineated in extreme depth across a staggering 1,400+ pages & is accompanied with extremely thorough footnotes, extensive reference materials, and an endless number of primary source quotations. "The Secret Doctrine" is a literary masterpiece of preeminent academic sophistication and erudition, a precious 19th century relic of undisputed academic significance, one that generated a neo-renaissance in the study of Theosophy, the Occult, and Esotericism.
Madame Blavatsky's book title is distinctly provocative in demarcating her iconoclastic intentions, the book's thematic heterodoxy, & singular raison d'être: "The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy: The Secret Doctrine". This is a supremely controversial, magnetic title for this definitive publication on lost metaphysical esoterica, and it is an overt deliberate provocation against the entrenched power centers of institutionalized & dogmatic bigotry within scientific academia & Ecclesiastical Christianity, both exhibiting malevolence if individuals dared to question their long cherished, yet unsubstantiated, notions of reality.
This title is, in itself, possibly a challenge meant to generate an impulsive, reactionary, and impetuous response from Institutional Authorities within Church & "Science" consequently undermining their argument's substance or accuracy. Nevertheless, her momentous and endearing Title initially appears, to its reader, as an inherently unfeasible thesis predestined to fall short of its outrageously incredible proposition to synthesize seemingly irreconcilable spheres of inquiry: Dogmatic Religion, Materialistic Science, and Ancient High Occult Philosophy. Yet she succeeds through painstakingly demonstrating their common origins as the tripartite aspects manifested from a monadic root source lost in mankind's prehistory.
As if born to reconcile our cultural incongruencies and institute an impossible tectonic shift in consciousness, H. P. Blavatsky shatters the last veils of credibility obscuring the ideological myopia promulgated by unrefined, primitive Ecclesiastical Authorities. Furthermore, Blavatsky destabilized the Western propensity for trusting blindly in the reductionist, hyper-materialism expounded by the self-appointed Academic "experts" of an unholy Scientism. She largely accomplished her impossible task through composition of comprehensive and definitive exegesis on the Hidden Eastern Doctrines being the primeval root-source of all the various notable world religions, every one of which contains provable fragments of this Perennial Doctrine. Blavatsky succeeded due to her scholarly discipline, structural methodology, indomitable power of THE Will, and her almost preternatural certainty of her life's mission to bring a necessary shift in consciousness to the West, before the increasingly hyper materialism made them utterly devoid of Spirit.
Blavatsky's astounding synthesis of the seemingly disparate, incontrovertible spiritual traditions into integrated fractals that comprise, in the aggregate, an original whole tradition is an incomparable feat of academic juxtapositions. Blavatsky demonstrates the viable congruency of her assertions that there exists a lost perennial Spiritual Wisdom Tradition out of which all subsequent religious systems are derived by depicting in their own religious texts, the residual fragments containing her doctrine by unlocking the esoteric key to hundreds of passages within the major traditions and delineating the now apparent similarities. This splintering of the Universal Wisdom Tradition occurred due to a cataclysmic geological upheaval as far back as the Atlantean Age, well over 200000 years ago, with the resulting polar & geological realignments sinking the Atlantean continent, and more recently a similar cataclysm sinking the last island of Atlantis depicted by Plato.
Blavatsky exhibits consummate scholarship in providing enormous quantities of supportive material that are further substantiated by a plethora of primary source citations pulled directly from religious books that become ultimately amalgamated into a systematic, logical framework that supports the evidence of a Primordial Universal Cosmogony in History. Her goal in writing this prodigious work was to demonstrate the ubiquity of a prehistorical esoteric spiritual tradition which permeates all ancient/contemporary religious systems and predates the totality of their differentiated concepts on cosmology, human origins, the nature of God, our spiritual evolution, the cosmic interconnectivity between Man & the "God"(s), and the immaterial worlds existing alongside the physical universe but imperceivable due to the differing rates of vibration and spiritual density.
Additionally, Blavatsky sought to rectify the countless philosophical inconsistencies, dead-letter misinterpretations, and intentional mistranslations of ancient esoteric texts by the fanatics of an unlearned monotheistic Clergy steeped in a materialistic Christianity, devoid of knowledge in esoterica or its symbolism. She demonstrates the fallibility of dead letter interpretations of Biblical records and extrapolates upon how the TRUE meanings are hermetically sealed without the 7 Kabbalistic or Occult keys required to unlock its INTENDED exegesis. She sought to expose the generally pervasive, unrecognized phallicism inherent within the exoteric rituals, symbols, and doctrines of the Judeo-Christian Religions, unbeknownst by the latter but not the former.
She highlighted the rampant phallicism permeating their conceptions of the Absolute Deity depicted in the male Jehovah's rites revolving around sexual union, which she lambastes as the debasement of the absolute, pre-cosmic Unmanifested Essence through dragging it down into the lowest material plane of gross MATTER, thereby physicalizing the highest of esoteric concepts. Lastly, she addresses the persistent attacks by late 19th century materialistic Scientists against the Occult concepts and delineations contained within Isis Unveiled published in the prior decade, her first published work & admittedly flawed according to herself. There really is no other body of knowledge or esoteric work as extensive in its Cosmological intricacies, as profound in its exposition of spiritual philosophy, as fundamental in its implications of a holistic, universal planetary spiritual tradition, as illuminating in its delineation of man's cosmic inception point before our subsequent evolution, and as logically organized in incrementally synthesizing an aggregate explanation encompassing the Cosmic Totality.
The Secret Doctrine's spiritual concepts are derived from extracts contained within an alchemically imperishable antediluvian manuscript replete with advanced knowledge on Eastern Occultism titled the "Book of Dyzan". According to Blavatsky, there are prolific quantities of undivulged, hidden manuscripts of lost occult knowledge along with literary works considered lost being perpetually under the sacred custodianship of the EASTERN Adepts of theosophy who preserve them inside subterranean libraries inaccessible to Westerners.
Blavatsky acquired access to some of these obscure repositories of ancient wisdom through a partial initiation into their Mystery Tradition as a neophyte and possibly attributable to her innate occult capacities particular to Blavatsky individually.
She states that within this Sacred Book of Dyzan there is aggregated, in its cryptic phraseology and mystery symbolism, the totality of Occult Knowledge upon esoteric subjects such as cosmology, planetary evolution, reincarnation, the human root-races, reoccurring cosmic cycles, the nature of the Absolute, prehistoric Civilizations such as Atlantis and Lemuria, the principles within man, and substantial hierarchies of invisible forces & architectural intelligences to name just a few.
Throughout the initial one-third of both Volumes that jointly constitute The Secret Doctrine, Blavatsky cites directly from (termed slokas) the impenetrable stanzas recorded in the Book of Dyzan. These stanzas are transcribed into westernized linguistic equivalents with intelligible terminology (the original inscriptions are recorded in an undecipherable language) to be comprehendible by Westerners.
It was out of necessity that Blavatsky laboriously translated the stanzas, rendering the inscrutable vernacular of Eastern Initiates into linguistics intelligible to Western readers.
Even transcribed for dissemination to Westerners, the stanzas retain the cryptic, utterly foreign phraseology impenetrable even for students of occultism, with it being specifically written in a symbolism of veiled meanings, with periodic & intentional blinds precisely inserted throughout, and totally bizarre conceptions resembling poetic gibberish.
She unequivocally states that these revealed stanzas are merely snippets of the profound knowledge contained within Dyzan's pages, in no way being the totality of its secret passages, the remaining hermetically sealed inside the Sacred Eastern Adytum of Adepts. What was revealed in TSD were simply the requisite portions of the Sacred Spring of Occultism deemed imperative to release in an attempt to restrain the ascending torrent of gross materialism currently entombing humanity within its repressive conceptual shackles.
Accordingly, HP Blavatsky was only allowed to unveil these few precious fragments of sacred wisdom to the world with the majority remaining sealed until humanity's spiritual evolution attains the growth necessary for its reception.
The Secret Doctrine was structured according to a specific purpose by Blavatsky which was to first provide the hitherto unknown occult eastern doctrines but then to systematically provide enormous proofs, from both Religion and Science, that her Doctrine is Universal, Perennial, and Boundless. Thus, her stated purpose is to utilize every and all proofs to correlate her Doctrine with the plethora of Ancient/Modern religious traditions in such a way as to definitively prove that they all originate from the one she reveals to the world.
The multitude of Traditions she juxtaposes to the Eastern Doctrine range from Zoroastrianism, Chaldean Magianism, Judaism, Neo-Platonism, Gnosticism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Freemasonry, Hermeticism, Kabbalah, Druidism, the Egyptian Religion, Grecian Mythology, Pythagorean Spiritualism, and even Chinese Spiritualism.
The Secret Doctrine of Theosophy asserts the immutable, eternal Law of periodicity with rhythmic fluctuations causing continuous interpenetrative cycles of Cosmic involution and evolution essentially equilibrating Celestial Superstructures from inevitability of inertia, inescapable within phenomenal manifestations. Thus, to emerge from the unavoidable descents into stagnation there is a perpetual process of celestial rejuvenation occurring throughout the Cosmos and restimulation to activity after inertia is reached.
This Immutable Law is the harmonizing, countervailing all-pervasive potency perpetually compensating "matter's" tendencies toward extreme polarization; Its COMSIC activity functions through monumentally intricate structural systems of undulatory states of Essential flux, ingrained with absolute elasticity yet interwoven into a determinate process for cosmic progression. Blavatsky expounds upon the cosmic pralayas and manvantaras, termed the "Days and Nights of Brahma", whereby the periodicity of manifestation and non-manifestation repeatedly occur throughout "existence".
The Cosmogonic metaphysics within these arcane formulaic cycles are ponderously intricate systems involving the correlation of intelligent "forces" into manifested substantiality's. Consequently, the vast majority of these archetypal processes are exceedingly arduous to imagine or conceive in lieu of preliminary exposure to similar esoteric cosmologies.
The premise underlying these cycles within cycles is the postulation of an eternal, undifferentiated, and unmanifested primal root-essence (Inscrutable Quintessence: SPACE) timelessly abiding in a pre-cosmic state of infinite "non-being" expanding periodically from within outwardly crystallizing "First Cause", or generative LOGOS, the temporal progenitor of all manifestation's "evolved' throughout endless cycles of cosmic BECOMING.
This Infinite Unmanifested Essence awakens a new cycle of manifested activity through crystallization, of its essence, into a singular focus point which is the First Cause, or Brahma.
The totality of this cycle of activity is termed, esoterically, a cosmic Manvatara, or "Day of Brahma". Once a full cycle completes itself and a "Day of Brahma" crosses into its twilight, the totality of the manifested Universe becomes dissolved and reabsorbed into the eternal unmanifested essence, ParaBrahma, subsequently falling into a period of cosmic inactivity, which is termed a Pralaya or "Night of Brahma".
Thus, there are rhythmic cycles of manifestation followed by ones of non-manifestation during which the cosmos is either in a state of active evolution or brooding in a state of inactive repose. There also exist many minor manvantaras and pralayas in terms of planetary evolution, monadic ensoulment, and cosmic "rounds".
In Theosophy, the concept of incarnation, or reincarnation, expounded upon within the Secret Doctrine is one which is quite distinct, extensive, highly abstract, extremely complex, and sequential. It is conceived of as Monadic Ensoulment which occurs in stages and into a myriad of evolutionary types of existence.
The Monad is not a new concept and is in fact an ancient one postulated by eminent philosophers such as Pythagoras and Plato. However, in Blavatsky's rendition of the incarnating Monad it is extraordinarily well fleshed out with every stage of evolutionary development extrapolated upon.
The Involuting Monad, according to Blavatsky, is the divine spark of the Logos or Dhyan Chohanic essence which is diffused and differentiated into every cosmic particle and life-form in manifested existence during cosmic manvataric cycles.
The Monad is essentially a perpetually involuted reflection, a mimetic spark, of the Absolute Divine Essence, which is progressively evolved, on ascendent scales over ages. It becomes spiritually self-actualized by the experiential ensoulment of this mirrored fractal into the countless differentiated materializing Upahdis, or vehicles of form.
Consequently, these endless chains of ensouling Monads proceed along descending, from rarified to densely gross, lines of incarnation from closest proximity to the First Cause, the most spiritually divine & least developed, diving into the depths of exquisitely diversified yet gross manifestations, being ensnared within the plane of pure physicality (our realm), which are the emanations most removed from the Primary Causal Potencies reflecting the Logos (the ONE CAUSE).
The consecutive and systematic involution of ensouling Monadic spark commences along elaborate sequential septenary chains of incarnation, that descend first into a finely mineralized spiritual vehicle (note: not a mineral FORM but equivalent to the states of mineral consciousness being wholly astral or ethereal in substance).
Thereupon, the mineral state of monadic consciousness progresses into ensoulment within a state akin to plant life, followed by incarnation within states of animal life, and ultimately after incalculable ages emerges into the states of human life.
The pre-Human states of existence are configured along a sequence of septenary, SEVEN, phases recurring in every stage of involution and evolution, and furthermore the septenary process occurs within in the Monads and ALSO within their cosmic environment altering seven times seven, reinaugurating the evolutionary process at finish of a ROUND before initiating the following ROUND of manifestation that re-begins back at the 1st Round but on a lower (or higher) level each time.
Furthermore, not only are their seven Rounds but also seven Globes for them to evolute upon, each one becoming more densified with an inverted bell curve best visualizing this strange progression because once the 4th, bottom center, phase is completed the 5th on up is becoming re-spiritualized until it has re-attained the initial level of the 1st (but now 7th) Globe or Round. However, these various stages of incarnation occur over eons of time.
One of the most interesting, controversial, and unique concepts within Theosophy and the Secret Doctrine is the seven Root-Races and each of their sets of seven sub-races. The Root-Race concept is delineated in the second volume of the Secret Doctrine titled Anthropogenesis.
It is essentially a highly elaborate and intricate involutionary theory positing quite a divergent inception point for the origins and entry of man into the Cosmos. Likewise, the exposition of humanity's subsequent developmental processes and evolutionary track are just as unique and bold as the origins story. This cosmogony is traced through the myriad of phases within the Root-Race Paradigm.
These seven-root races are stated to range from the most immaterial (spiritual) to the astro-etheric to the most materially dense physical forms in the more recent races. Consequently, the phases of this process are best explained as ones of incremental densification from spirit into gross matter.
Equally important, it is also stated that humanity was originally without gender types and that the differentiation into the binary sexes occurred at a much later phase in the evolutionary process than generally supposed. However, this splitting into the sexes is still far earlier than has been previously postulated by either Darwinian science or Christian theological dogmatism.
In the Secret Doctrine, there is also a substantial amount of information devoted to the proofs of prehistoric Antediluvian civilizations in reference to the submerged continents of Lemuria and Atlantis along with their inhabitants. Blavatsky provides voluminous amounts of evidence for their previous existence and extrapolates extensively upon the root-races postulated to have existed upon their continental shores.
In the Secret Doctrine, Blavatsky describes the septenary (seven) principles which comprise the entirety of humanities constitution from its divine spark (monad) to its intellectual soul to its material vehicle. In Theosophy, these seven principles of man are easily correlated to various other esoteric traditions that also corroborate the septenary nature of humanity's cosmic make-up.
The Seven Root-Races begin with our primordial progenitors which Blavatsky calls the Lunar Pitris. These Lunar Pitris are celestial beings which exist as an astro-etheric class of monadic incarnations and are within the lesser hierarchy of celestial beings of the Cosmic structure, The Dhyan Chohans are the host of cosmic beings that impress upon matter the ideas found in the Cosmic Ideation, thus the Universal Mind (Cosmic Ideation) is seen as the "architect" ostensibly providing the schematic plan for the constructing and building the Universe, while these Dhyanis function as its masons and builders. The Lunar Pitris are the "Lunar Monads" which over eons cycle through evolutionary "rounds" ( kalpas) eventually manifesting an astral double (BHUTA) from themselves which become the RUPA (form) for the First Root Race Men.
These Astral Doubles "ooze out" of the Pitris from the "ape-like" forms which they (Lunar Pitris) had evolved in the third round or Kalpa with this subtle, finer form serving as the model around which nature coalesces material man. Thus, it is only in the fourth round where these astral doubles become the Men of the First Human Root-Race and it is the fourth round of evolution out of seven total rounds that we are currently living. Thus, the First Root-Race of mankind is essentially an astroetheric race of beings which contain within their celestial framework only the two highest principles out of the Seven which are the divine spark (incarnating monadic essence) and the spiritual soul called Bhuddi, often simply termed in combination as Atma-Bhuddi. This First Root Race is also considered to be mindless and without mind or intellect. They are also postulated to be enormous beings with a height well exceeding dozens of feet but are non-physical.
The Second Root-Race is generated by the First Race in a process akin to Mitoses whereby the First Race concentrates a focal point of its inherent essence that protrudes from its Astro etheric vehicle and eventually separates from its original form becoming the New Type of Man once segregated. This Second Root-Race is more etheric than astral and is called the "sweat-born" Race due to how it was formed out of the First. The Second Root-Race originated in the Land of Hyperborea and was the second continent to arise out of the Ocean.
The Third Root Race is the one where the eventual separation into the two sexes occurs and when mankind becomes entirely physical and material in nature, but both of these transformations occur in the latter half of the seven sub-races, the 4th 5th and 6th sub-races. This race is also referred to as the Egg-Born Race. The initial manifestation of the Third Root-Race is one which is semi-etheric, Androgynous, and of an Immense Height. This Third Root-Race resides on the Continent of Lemuria in the Pacific Ocean stretching from Easter Island all the way past the Indian Ocean area towards Madagascar.
The First Half of this Root-Race is mostly non-physical and does not procreate due to being a Hermaphrodite but instead replicates itself in a process of egg laying, in essence, thus the term Egg-Born Race. In the second half of this Root-Race (4th, 5th, 6th sub-races) there manifest several pivotal and profound transformations which alter the evolutionary path it takes as well as the number of inner principles contained within the monadic vehicle.
It is during the evolutionary stages after the Third sub-race in which these monumental physiological, psychological, and sociological changes occur, permanently altering the state of humanity into one wholly phasing into concrete physicality. The 4th sub-race is entirely unlike its predecessor, the 3rd one, in several distinctive facets. Unlike the earlier Third Root Race Sub Classes, this new 4th Sub-Race is one in which the Hermaphrodite begins to separate into two individualized gender types, male and female, along with becoming deeply enmeshed into material reality.
This is the first time in humanity's evolutionary tract that the beings manifesting is nearly entirely material in nature and less etheric overall. Furthermore, this process of individuated off-spring not surprisingly leads to the first attempts at fully material intercourse between those produced, the males and females, and the first birthing of new humans into existence as opposed to the strangely described replication methods of earlier Root Race Types.
However, this is also the point within this cosmic narrative where high strangeness erupts due to the lack of adequate natural reproductive laws in place to prohibit inter-species mixing. This issue leads to, according to Blavatsky, some of the first physical men engaging in intercourse with animals which, due to the lack of natural biological fail-safes, of course produces a plethora of amalgamations and physiological nightmares roaming the earth. This occurrence could quite possibly be the true reasoning behind the plethora of ancient myths about heinous monsters and the heroes entrusted with their defeat such as Hercules. Blavatsky explains this bizarre scenario whereby
The Absolute, Eternal, and Unconditioned Essence ceaselessly initiates alternating periods of Cosmic activity and latency, with one naturally proceeding after the completion of the other eventually circling back around to the prior period, essentially formulated as an endless cosmic wheel of time, life, timelessness, and death. The Causeless Cause crystallizes the First Cause (Deity) who subsequently emanates the Universe and presides over the period of Manvataric evolutionary activity, referred to in Eastern Occultism as a "Day of Brahma" , and once this process of densification and differentiation attains its material apex, our era of gross matter, the Cosmic evolutionary Impulse redirects LIFE back towards its original state of spirit signifying the reascension phase, the passing of the halfway point within the total process, and journey back to the First Cause.
Accordingly, after hundreds of billions of years, the totality of previously differentiated MATTER returns to its Divine Source, God or Brahma, becoming the ONE which is subsequently reabsorbed into the Absolute Unconditioned Essence. The process of reabsorption is TOTAL, the Cosmos ceases to exist, and the Absolute falls into its alternate period of inactivity or latency, referred to as a "Night of Brahma", described as a falling into a Deep Unconscious Sleep state equivalent to the Active period in duration.
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