In the Light of Theosophy

Our universe is only one of an infinite number of universes. Both occult and modern science are agreed about this. But do the same laws that govern our universe rule other universes?

The Sunday Times (London) reports that a group of astronomers and cosmologists recently organized a conference in Cambridge, England, to discuss this issue. The group, which includes celebrities like Professor Stephen Hawking and Sir Martin Rees, the astronomer royal, are of the view that the laws thought to govern the universe, including Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, must be rewritten. Such laws, they say, may only work for our universe but not in others. "It is becoming increasingly likely that the rules we had thought were fundamental through time and space are actually just by-laws for our bit of it," said Rees, whose new book, Our Cosmic Habitat, has just been published. The experts agreed that "creation is emerging as even stranger than we thought."

What Rees, Hawking and others are now looking at is the idea that there are different laws of nature operating in each universe. "Some universes would have all their matter clumped together into a few huge black holes, while others would be nothing more than a thin uniform freezing gas." However, Hawking and his colleagues increasingly disagree over how this "multiverse" could work.

Not much can be known to earthly humans about the laws governing other universes and the life evolving there. According to Occult doctrine, every universe has its own Ruler, its own Logos. (The Secret Doctrine, II, 25, 36)

The esoteric meaning of the word Logos is the rendering in objective expression, as in a photograph, of the concealed thought. The Logos is the mirror reflecting DIVINE MIND, and the Universe is the mirror of the Logos, though the latter is the esse of that Universe. (S.D., II, 25)

At the commencement of a great Manvantara, Parabrahm manifests as Mulaprakriti and then as the Logos. This Logos is equivalent to the "Unconscious Universal Mind," etc., of Western Pantheists. It constitutes the Basis of the SUBJECT-side of manifested Being, and is the source of all manifestations of individual consciousness. Mulaprakriti or Primordial Cosmic Substance, is the foundation of the OBJECT-side of things—the basis of all objective evolution and Cosmogenesis. Force, then, does not emerge with Primordial Substance from Parabrahmic Latency. It is the transformation into energy of the supra-conscious thought of the Logos, infused, so to speak, into the objectivation of the latter out of potential latency in the One Reality. Hence spring the wondrous laws of matter. (S.D., II, 24)

How did life begin on earth? An Indo-British team of scientists claims to have "startling proof" of how comets from outer space may have sowed the seeds of life here. This, the researchers say, could have a profound impact and change perceptions about the origins of the world.

At a science conference of astro-biologists at San Diego, U.S.A., held early this August, the researchers presented evidence of the presence of living organisms floating in the earth's very high stratosphere, India Today (August 13) reports:

Using a special upper atmosphere ballon probe built by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the team's analysis of air samples taken at heights between 25 km and 41 km in Hyderabad were startling. It showed a profusion of bacteria-like organisms swarming in a region where the temperature is as cold as in Antarctica and the atmosphere so rarefied that terrestrial life is almost non-existent.

Chandra Wickramasinghe, a professor at the Centre for Astrobiology, Cardiff University, U.K., and a key member of the Indo-British scientific team, says: "our findings have a profound impact on the concept of how life began on earth. It is clear that this invasion from space has had a lot more to do with it." If the team's findings are validated by further experiments, it would provide strong evidence that life was first created in deep space and not on the earth itself as is widely believed. Acting as super sperm distributors of the cosmos, comets passing through the earth's vicinity may have deposited genetically rich cosmic dust on the planet. These are believed to have sowed the seeds of primitive life on earth.

It was known that hundreds of tonnes of cometary material enter the earth's upper atmosphere daily. But the idea of panspermia (or the concept that life on earth was fertilized from interstellar space) involves cometary bombardment containing biological material. Now for the first time they have clear proof of such a phenomenon....

Certainly the team is onto something big. For if they are able to prove that life does have a cosmic origin, then major biological concepts including the mechanistic theory of the origin of life would have to undergo radical changes. Darwin's theory of naptural selection will now have to take into account the assistance of genes from inter-stellar space....More than anything else the discovery once again leaves wide open the fundamental question of how and where life began. As Wickramasinghe says: "We may all be truly the children of space, the offspring of a higher cosmic system." It is an intriguing possibility.

The Theosophical view, which is the view of Occult Science, is that "there never was a time when the earth was without life upon it. Wherever there is an atom of matter, a particle or a molecule, even in its most gaseous condition, there is life in it, however latent and unconscious" (S.D., I, 258). Occultism thus disposes of the so-called Azoic age of science, the age in which there is supposed to have been no trace of life. Life always was, is and ever shall be; it did not originate, but is the origin of all. It is, therefore, life which caused the earth to come into existence. So the appropriate question is not how life began on earth, but when and how earth came to be.

As for the role of the comets, the ancients believed that "the first living germ had dropped to the earth from some passing comet" (The Secret Doctrine, I, 366 fn.). Mr. Judge explains in "Hidden Hints in the Secret Doctrine":

Comets are the wanderers who, in the great struggle and rush of matter in any place where a system of worlds is to come into existence, act as aggregators or collectors of the cosmic matter until at last sufficient collections are made to cause the beginning of globes. (U.L.T. Pamphlet No. 16, p. 6)

Astrology is deeply embedded in Indian culture and still appears to hold fascination for Indians, no matter how much they modernize. But the recent decision by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to offer Vedic astrology as a university course has stirred up a hornets' nest with those against it calling the step "regressive."

Should astrology be treated as a science? Should the state be encouraging its study? India Today team and its countrywide bureaus explored various aspects of the astrology debate, and their findings are published in the issue for September 17. It is stated editorially: "There remains little doubt in their mind that astrology with its emphasis on individual interpretation can hardly constitute a science." Reporter Suchi Sinha says: "Although astrology has some empirical basis, it also blends subjectivity and mythology."

There is a vast difference between what is practised by present-day astrologers and true astrology as a "mathematical science." How many today have enough knowledge of the latter to be able to teach it at the university level, is a questionable point. However, there does exist a psychic relationship between the planets and human beings on earth. The key to the value of a knowledge of astrology lies in the Laws of Karma and Reincarnation. We are self-produced beings. Just as we have produced ourselves in the far past, so now we are producing ourselves. "We produce CAUSES, and these awaken the corresponding powers in the sidereal world; which powers are magnetically and irresistibly attracted to—and react upon—upon those who produced these causes" (The Secret Doctrine, I, 124). It is this aspect of the age-old teaching which can make knowledge of astrology valuable. It is not the stars and constellations that make us what we are; they are but, as it were, the writing on the wall. And we must see our present acts, thoughts and feelings as the writing on the wall of the future. The Theosophical position was stated thus in The Theosophist for June 1884:

Although a study of this science may enable one to determine what the course of events will be, it cannot necessarily be inferred therefrom that the planets exercise any influence over that course. The clock indicates, it does not influence, the time. And a distant traveller has often to put right his clock so that it may indicate correctly the time of the place he visits. Thus, though the planets may have no hand in changing the destiny of the man, still their position may indicate what that destiny is likely to be. This hypothesis leads us to the question, "What is destiny?" As understood by the Occultist, it is merely the chain of causation producing its correspondential series of effects.

Newsweek Special Issue July-September 2001) is titled "East Meets West." Among other issues dealt with, special attention is given to the rising interest in "spirituality" which is attracting a new wave of Westerners—and Indian themselves—to the East. For centuries, says Sudip Mazumdar, India has been the destination of many a spiritual quest.

But [writes Mazumdar] not since the hippie invasion of the 1960s has the country seen such a flood of foreigners seeking enlightenment—or at least a bit of peace. In the holy town of Rishikesh, nestled in the Himalayan foothills, some 50 ashrams now cater to Western visitors. More than 30 "spiritual tour" operators in northern India say their programs are fully booked, some two years in advance....

The new breed of pilgrims differ markedly from previous ones. They come from all economic backgrounds and age groups, not only the young....They are not iconoclasts. They are seeking some kind of spiritual experience without forsaking their own spiritual or cultural heritage....

As such, this wave of tourism is fueled largely by the rise in nontraditional spirituality in the United States and Europe. No longer do most would-be disciples seek out individual gurus and exotic forms of worship....Interestingly, the boom coincides with a massive surge of faith among Indians themselves. At least 100 Indian religious portals have sprung up on the Net....As their society—and their problems—become more Western, middle-class Indians are discovering what many Westerners have already found: a destination in their own backyard.

There is a good deal of misunderstanding, both in the West and in present-day India, as to what real spirituality implies. Place or country has nothing to do with spirituality, and India today is no more spiritual than any other country. Spirituality may transform and better a place, but the result is a consequence, not a cause. The cause lies in Spirit; the effect, in matter. Both are aspects of Life itself.

Spirituality begins within. It depends upon an awakening from worldly illusions to the reality of spiritual consciousness, the immortal higher nature, "the centre spot" within. The path of spirituality is an inner path; the light we need to tread it is an inner light; the goal it leads to is an inner goal.

In today's competitive world, parents are in a hurry for their children to acquire skills at a very early age. Even toddlers are being trained to turn into superkids. Childhood is viewed as little more than an apprenticeship for adulthood. But, according to experts, if we really want them to thrive, children should be allowed to develop intellectually at their own pace. It is a myth, they say, that a more stimulated brain is a smarter one.

A feature in Time Asia (July 2) debunks some of today's conceptions about child education:

There was a time when kids being kids wasn't a radical notion. In the past few years, however, all that has changed....Kids who once had childhoods now have curriculums; kids who ought to move with the lunatic energy of youth now move with the high purpose of the worker bee.

The engine behind this early striving is, often, the parents, who are increasingly consumed by the idea that if they can't perfect their children, they must at least get them as close to the ideal as possible. And who can blame them? With competition getting ever keener, kids have to do ever more to distinguish themselves....

Child-development experts consider sterile tools inferior to more social and emotional activities such as talking with or reading to children. These specialists agree that the only thing shown to optimize children's intellectual potential is a secure, trusting relationship with their parents. Time spent cuddling, gazing and playing establishes a bond of security, trust and respect on which the entire child-development pyramid is based. "We have given social and emotional development a back seat," says UCLA's Tyler, "and that's doing a great disservice to kids and to our society." "Intelligence is based on emotional adequacy," says child-development expert T. Berry Brazelton. "The concept of emotional intelligence is at the base of all this."

Parents often cause psychological exhaustion in their children by pushing them to perform beteer. There is no doubt that the first few years of a child's life are of the greatest importance, but is it wise to push children academically at this stage? Is not the growth of intellect a continuous process? Are any of the proponents of early education prepared to accept the fact that each child is a Divine Ego possessing wonderful powers and potentialities and with an illimitable past and future? Any educational programme that ignores this vital fact can hardly be said to be based on a sound foundation. The process of education, as the word itself suggests, is one of unfoldment. If it is seen as drawing out, then the usual learning from outside would change into an education from inside. The capacity of the very young to learn things faster needs to be availed of by parents to bring out what is innate in the child, instead of burdening it with mere academic training.

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