THE SEVEN COSMIC PRINCIPLES
The Rosicrucians teach that there are Seven Cosmic Principles present and operating throughout the Cosmos, and extending even to its smallest activities. These Seven Cosmic Principles are as follows:
I. The Principle of Correspondence.
II. The Principle of Law and Order.
III. The Principle of Vibration.
IV. The Principle of Rhythm.
V. The Principle of Cycles.
VI. The Principle of Polarity.
VII. The Principle of Sex.
The student is now asked to consider each of the above stated Cosmic Principles in detail.
I. The Principle of Correspondence.
The Principle of Correspondence manifests in a certain correspondence or analogy or agreement between manifestations of the various planes of activity in the Cosmos. It is indicated by the old Hermetic aphorism: “As above, so below; as below, so above,” and by the Arcane axiom: “Ex Uno disce Omnes,” or “From One know All.” The Rosicrucians, and other ancient occultists, hold that the laws governing the nature and activity of the amoeba, likewise govern the nature and activity of man and beings higher than man. What is true of matter is true of energy and of mind. The occultists make a practical application of this universal principle, in the direction of studying the unknown by means of the known, with the knowledge that the same laws govern each. Thus, just as the solar system may be known by means of studying the atoms and molecules, so may the higher planes of being be studied by an examination of the lower planes in manifestation before us. After discovering the operation of certain principles in one thing we may safely reason by analogy based upon the assumption that these principles exist in other things on a higher plane, and thus discover the nature of the unknown “x.”
Thus the occultist reasons that there is Law and Order manifest on every plane of being; that there is a Principle of Vibration manifest on every plane of being; that there is a Principle of Rhythm manifest on every plane of being; that there is a Principle of Cycles manifest on every plane of being; that there is a Principle of Polarity manifest on every plane of being; that there is a Principle of Sex manifest on every plane of being. And the further that human investigation is pushed into the Unknown, the greater is the proof of the existence of these Cosmic Principles reasoned out by the ancient occultists upon the fundamental basis of the Principle of Correspondence. A writer has said of this Cosmic Principle: “There is always a correspondence between the laws and phenomena of the various planes of life and being. The grasping of this truth gives one the means of solving many a dark paradox, many a hidden secret of Nature. There are planes beyond our knowing, but when we apply the Principle of Correspondence to them we are able to understand much that otherwise would be unknowable to us.
This principle is of universal application and manifestation, on the various planes of the material, mental and spiritual universe it is an universal law. The ancient Hermetists considered this principle as one of the most important mental instruments by which man was able to pry aside the obstructions which hid from view the Unknown. Its use even tore aside the Veil of Isis to the extent that a glimpse of the face of the goddess might be caught. Just as a knowledge of the principles of Geometry enables a man to measure distant suns and their movements, while seated in an observatory, so a knowledge of the Principle of Correspondence enables man to reason intelligently from the Known to the Unknown. Studying the moneron, he understands the archangel. Without going deeply into the matter of the application of this particular Cosmic Principle, we may say that one of the fundamental facts of being discovered by the ancient occultists by the application of the said principle is this:
That in every thing there is to be found (1) Substance, or Body; (2) Motion or Active Energy; and (3) Consciousness or Awareness. Therefore, when dealing with planes of being of which, at the time, they had but little knowledge, the ancient occultists always assumed the existence in everything on the unknown plane of these three great forms of manifestation. And all future esoteric investigation and discovery tended to disclose facts corroborating and sustaining the original assumption derived by analogy, and the discoveries of modern science have invariably tended in the same direction. It may be interesting to take a hasty glance at the presence of these three forms of manifestation, as follows:
Substance. The ancient occult teaching that “Everything has body” seems to be fully corroborated by all subsequent investigation. But it must be noted that by ” substance” or “body” is not necessarily meant what modern science calls “matter,” for the latter is merely one form or phase of ” substance” or “body.” Matter, as we know it, has a great range of manifestation, within the limits of which are found the hardest granite or steel or diamond, as well as the finest and most subtle and tenuous gases. The discovery by science of what it calls “radiant matter” opens out a field to science previously tilled only by the occultists and metaphysicians. Such matter is really not “matter” at all, but “super-matter,” and a higher form of “substance” or “body,”
But, known to the occultists, there are forms of “substance” or “body” as much finer and rarer than radiant matter as the latter is rarer and finer than the granite, steel, or diamond. Even the hypothetical Ether of science is gross by comparison with some of the forms and phases of “substance” or “body” known to the occultists and alchemists. As a writer has said: ‘The field of matter, as known to science, as compared with the real extent of the Principle of Substance, is as no more than a hair-line drawn across a yard-stick.” The occult teachings inform us that there are living beings in existence on other planes whose bodies are composed of substance so fine and subtle that the term “ethereal” is the only one to be even fairly adequate to be employed in connection with them. Remember, the occult teaching is that “Everything has substance or body.” And “everything” includes All-that-is-Manifest.
Motion or Active Energy. The ancient occult teaching that “Everything moves” seems to be fully corroborated by all subsequent investigation. Motion, of course, results from the presence and power of Active Energy. And Active Energy is found everywhere present and in manifestation. Both the occult teaching and modern science teach that everything is undergoing constant change, and change is impossible without active energy and motion. Active Energy manifests through gravitation, cohesion, chemical affinity, electronic attraction, expansion, contraction, centrifugal and centripetal force, light, heat, magnetism, electricity, etc., etc. And there are much finer forces than these known to the occultists, though not as yet discovered by science. Wherever there is Substance there is Motion. Nothing is at absolute Rest. Everything Moves. From the tiniest electron or atom, up to the greatest sun, all is in constant motion. Remember, the occult teaching is that “Everything moves.” And “everything” includes All-that-is-Manifest.
Consciousness. The ancient occult teaching that “Everything is aware” seems to be fully corroborated by all subsequent investigations. As we have seen in the study of the chapters concerning the Planes of Consciousness, there is manifested consciousness of some form, phase, or degree on all planes of life and being. Wherever there is Substance there is also Motion, and also Consciousness. Substance, Consciousness, and Motion are always found together never apart or divorced one from another. There can be no Substance without Consciousness and Motion; no Motion without Substance and Consciousness; and no Consciousness without Substance and Motion. In the above we have but one of the many applications of the Principle of Correspondence, which teaches that “As above, so below; as below, so above;” and that “From One know All.”
II. The Principle of Law and Order.
The Principle of Law and Order manifests in the presence and manifestation of a regular sequence, and orderly procession of phenomena in the universe of things. It is voiced by the celebrated axiom of a leading scientist that “The Universe is governed by laws.” The spirit of this principle of truth is embodied in the very term “The Cosmos,” which term is derived from the Greek term “Kosmos,” meaning: “The world or universe considered in connection with perfect order and arrangement, as opposed to Chaos.” In the occult teachings of the Rosicrucians it is impressed upon the student that “there is no such thing as Chance,” in so far as Chance is used in the sense of “uncaused happening.” The student is taught that even in the instances in which Blind Chance seems to rule, there is still the manifestation of Law and Order and Causation, though the Causes may lie outside of human knowledge. The term “Chance” is now employed by careful thinkers only in the sense of “The unknown, or unforeseen cause or causes of an event.” In the Cosmos the same Causes, manifesting under the same circumstances always produce the same Effects.
All of our science and thought is based upon this universal fact, and intelligent reasoning would be impossible without the tacit assumption of the truth of this principle. There is no room for Chance or haphazard, lawless happenings in the Cosmos. Everything, every happening, and every event, must have its “causes” and its “becauses.” Everything happens “because” of so-and-so. Given certain causes, there must ensue certain results and effects. “Nothing ever happens” says the old proverb and nothing ever does “happen” except for definite causes, and in pursuance with universal laws. As someone has said: “There is no room in the universe for anything outside of and independent of Law and Order. The existence of such an outside Something would render all Cosmic Law ineffective, and would plunge the universe into chaotic disorder and lawlessness.”
A writer has said regarding this: “A careful examination will show that what we call ‘Chance’ is merely the idea of obscure causes, causes that we cannot understand. The word ‘Chance’ is derived from a word meaning “to fall” (as the falling of dice from the box onto the board), the essence of the idea being that the fall of the dice are merely ‘happenings’ unrelated to any cause. And this is the sense in which the term is generally employed. But when the matter is closely examined it is seen that there is no chance whatsoever about the fall of the dice. Each time a die falls, and displays a certain number, it obeys a law as infallible as that which governs the revolution of the planets around the sun, and the movement of the sun itself. Back of the fall of the die are causes, or chains of causes, running back further than the mind can follow. The position of the die in the box; the amount of muscular energy expended in the throw; the condition of the table; etc., etc., all are causes, the effect of the combination of which may be seen in the fall and position of rest of the die.
But back of these perceived causes there are chains of unseen preceding causes, all of which have had a bearing upon the position of the die as it comes to rest on the table. If the die be cast a great number of times, it will be. found that the numbers shown will be about equal, that is, there will be an equal number of one-spot, two-spots, etc., coming uppermost. Toss a penny in the air, and it may come down either heads’ or tails.’ But make a sufficient number of tosses, and the heads and tails will even up. This is the operation of the Law of Average. But bath the average and the single toss come under the Law of Cause and Effect.” The same writer says: “There is no original happening; and every happening is merely a link in a great chain of happenings. There is a continuity between precedent happenings, the present happenings, and future happenings. There is always the relation between what has gone before, and what is happening now, and what will happen in the future.
For instance: A stone is dislodged from the mountain-side and crashes through the roof of a cottage in the valley below. At first sight this seems to be a chance effect, but when we examine the matter we find a great chain of causes behind it. In the first place, there was the rain which softened the earth supporting the stone and which allowed or caused’ it to fall. Then back of that there was the influence of the sun, other rains, etc., which gradually disintegrated the rock from a larger piece. Then there were the causes which led to the formation of the mountain, and its upheaval by convulsions of nature, and so on ad infinitum. We might follow up the causes behind the rain. Then we might consider the existence of the cottage just at that place at that particular moment. In short we would soon find ourselves involved in a mesh of cause and effect from which we would soon strive vainly to extricate ourselves.” But the Rosicrucians do not believe in Fatalism in the ordinary sense of that term. Fatalism denies that preceding events have any causal relation to preceding events, and holds that the fated event would have happened in spite of any precedent event. Fatalism makes the fated event stand apart from the Law of Cause and Effect, and implies that the event arose from the operation of some arbitrary degree or will.
The following quotation from an authoritative source will serve to point out the essential distinction between Fatalism and the Determination of Cosmic Law: “Fatalism is the doctrine that the course of events is so determined that what an individual wills can have no effect on that course. Fatalism must be carefully distinguished from Determinism, as the confusion of these two conceptions has been responsible for much of the popular prejudice existing against Determinism. Fatalism, as has been said, denies that Will has efficacy in shaping events. Determinism maintains that this causally efficient Will is itself to be causally accounted for; this is entirely different for the fatalistic assertion that Will counts for nothing. In fact Determinism and Fatalism are fundamental antagonistic. Determinism asserts that events are determined by some of the events that immediately precede them; that if the latter were different the former would be different. Fatalism denies that immediately preceding events have anything to do with the origination of events immediately following: it asserts that the latter would occur even if the former were changed.
To say that one’s death is fixed by Fate is to deny that it takes place by natural law. Or, more accurately, it is to say that however much one varies the cause, one cannot vary the effect. The fatalist’s position is that the end is predetermined, but not the means; the determinist’s position is that the events now occurring lead by causality to other events, which are thus fixed because their causes are actually existent. Or, to put it still another way, for the fatalist what actually determines the event is not another event immediately preceding, but some mysterious decree issued by some mysterious agent ages before the event. This enables us to see that Fatalism gives no scope to the Will. But Determinism, which merely asserts that every event has its determining conditions in its immediate antecedents, includes among those antecedents the human Will. Thus Determinism is consistent with a belief in the efficacy of Will, and Fatalism is not.”
In the above we have illustrations of some of the many applications of the Principle of Law and Order, which teaches that “Nothing happens by Chance, but everything happening is in accordance with Law, Order, and Causation.”
III. The Principle of Vibration.
The Principle of Vibration manifests in the manifestation of a state of vibration in everything in the Manifested Cosmos. It is voiced by the old occult axiom: “Everything vibrates.”
Modern science has advanced to the position of the ancient occultists who asserted that everything in the Cosmos was in a state or condition of continuous vibration. Science now tells us that not only is every particle of matter, or every mass of matter, in a state of continual vibration, but also that light, heat, magnetism, electricity and every other form of natural force results from a state of vibration. The occultists go further than this, and assert that even on the mental and spiritual planes there is ever manifest a condition of vibration. In fact, the occultists teach that the distinction between the several planes of being is almost entirely due to the difference in the rate and character on the vibrations manifested.
The difference between steel and gold, or diamond and clay is entirely a matter of difference in vibrations. All forms of energy are accompanied by distinctive degrees of vibrations. The conditions of material substances are created by the respective degree of vibrations manifested by each.
A writer has said: “Science offers the illustration of a rapidly moving wheel, top, or cylinder, to show the effects of increasing rates of vibration. The illustration supposes a wheel, top, or revolving cylinder, running at a high rate of speed we will call this revolving thing ‘the object’ in following out the illustration. Let us suppose the object to be moving slowly. It may be seen readily, but no sound of its movement reaches the ear. Then the speed is gradually increased.
In a few moments the movement becomes so rapid that a deep growl or low note may be heard. Then as the rate of motion is increased the note rises higher in the musical scale. Then, the motion being still further increased, the next highest note is distinguished. Then, one after another, all the notes of the musical scale appear, rising higher and higher as the motion is increased. Finally, when the motions have reached a certain rate, the final note perceptible to human ears is reached, and the shrill, piercing shriek dies away, and silence follows. No sound is then heard from the revolving object, for its rate of motion is so high that the human ear cannot register the vibrations. Then comes the perception of rising degrees of Heat. After quite a time in which degrees of heat are being manifested without any sign of distinguishable color (though certain colors are there, but imperceptible to human vision) there gradually is manifested a dull dark reddish color in the revolving object.
As the rate of speed increases, the red becomes brighter. Then, as the speed is still further increased, the red changes into an orange color. Then follow, successively, the shades of green, blue, indigo, and finally violet, as the rate of vibrations increase. Then the violet fades away, and all color disappears, the human eye not being able to register them. But there are invisible rays emanating from the revolving object, the rays that are used in photographing, and other subtle rays of light. Then begin to be manifested the peculiar rays known as the ‘X Rays,’ etc., as the constitution of the object changes. Electricity and Magnetism are emitted when the appropriate rate of vibration is attained.
“When the revolving object reaches a certain degree or rate of vibration, its molecules disintegrate, and resolve themselves into the original elements or atoms. Then the atoms, in turn disintegrate, and are resolved into the countless corpuscles which constitute the atom. And finally even the corpuscles disintegrate, and a condition of ethereal substance is produced. Science does not dare to follow the illustration further, but the occultists teach that if the vibrations were continuously increased the revolving object would mount up the successive states of manifestation, and would display the various higher stages of consciousness.”
The occultists teach that each and every mental or emotional state has its own distinctive rate of vibration, and that the secret of “emotional contagion” is due to the fact that similar vibrations are set up in the emotional nature of persons subjected to the influence of strong emotion in another person. All manifestations of thought, emotion, will, desire, or feeling, or any other mental state, are accompanied and caused by vibrations of a certain high rate, and that these vibrations tend to influence others in their field of “induction,” and tend to set up in the others similar vibrations. In this fact lies the secret of Mental Influence, Personal Magnetism, etc.
A knowledge and mastery of the science of mental vibrations enables the skilled Rosicrucian to change the rate of his mental vibrations at will, and to thus maintain a state of mental calm and power, unaffected by the thought vibrations of those around him. So truly does advanced modern scientific thought recognize the nature of vibrations, that the axiom is announced that “The difference in things consists entirely of difference in vibrations.” This axiom is akin to the ancient occult aphorism that “Things manifest differences according to their rate of vibrations.”
So, it is seen, all human investigation tends to prove the truth of the old occult axiom that “Everything vibrates.”
IV. The Principle of Rhythm.
The Principle of Rhythm manifests that universal regular swing or time-beat which is apparent in all the manifested world, from its highest to its lowest manifestation. The ancient occult axiom “Everything beats time” expresses this fundamental fact of the Cosmos. Rhythm means: “Regularly recurring motion, change or impulse proceeding in time-measured, alternating sequence.” The term “alternating” means “succeeding, acting or happening in turn.” The term “recurring” means “returning repeatedly; occurring at stated intervals, or according to some regular rule.”
Rhythm manifests in regular recurrence, succession in turn, repeated occurrence at stated intervals, etc.
The simplest and most typical example or illustration of Rhythm is found in the swinging of the pendulum; the revolution of the earth on its axis., and around the sun, in regular measured time; the “beating time” of the metronome or the baton of the musical director; or the measured time in poetry or music. Rhythm means “beating time” in regular motion. In all Rhythm there is recurring motion, change, and activity; action or motion in opposite directions; alternations between the opposite poles of action or motion; and a regular interval of time between the alternating actions or motions. In all phenomenal change or motion there is to be always found the existence of two opposite extremes between which the rhythmic change or motion is manifested. Rhythmic change and motion proceed by alternating swings between these two extremes, with a regular period of time elapsing between each beat, swing, or impulse in either direction.
The period of “time” between the two alternating impulses constitutes the rhythmic rate, degree, or beat its rhythmic measure of periodicity.
The term “periodicity” so often employed in connection with the subject of Rhythm, means “state of occurring or recurring at fixed intervals of time.” Every phenomenal thing manifests periodicity, by reason of the presence and activity of the Principle of Rhythm. Every phenomenal thing has its own rhythmic beat, or measure of periodicity. All scientific investigation tends to corroborate the ancient occult axiom: “Everything beats time.” A leading scientist has said: “Rhythm is a necessary characteristic of all motion. Given the co-existence everywhere of antagonistic forces a postulate which is necessitated by our experience and Rhythm is a necessary corollary.
All motion alternates be it the motion of planets in their orbits, or ethereal corpuscles in their undulations be it the cadence of speech, or the rise and fall of prices it became manifest that this perpetual reversal of motion between limits is inevitable.” The atoms in their vibrations manifest Rhythm. The swing of the planets and the whirling of the earth manifest Rhythm. The rise and fall of the tides manifest Rhythm. The swing of the pendulum is interrupted Rhythm. Completed Rhythm is represented only by a completed revolution or circular movement uninterrupted Rhythm always manifests as a complete movement in an orbit. But inasmuch as the centre between the two extremes is, itself, moving in response to a higher order of Rhythm, we see at last that all completed Rhythm manifests as a spiral a circular movement which at the same time is moving forward. By the Principle of Rhythm day is followed by night, and night by day. Summer and winter alternate in their appearance. Sleeping and waking alternate. Work and rest exchange places. Involution is followed by evolution, and evolution by involution. All changes proceed according to rhythmic order and sequence.
The conduct of mankind is regulated by Rhythm. Fashions in dress, in taste, and in feeling, all come and go, and come again. Everything “comes back” in time. Races rise and fall, and then rise again, again to fall. The course of empire wends its way in cyclic procession around the earth. History repeats itself. Even our emotions have their tidal movements. A writer has said of an important fact concerning Rhythm in our emotional states: “Nothing swings beyond the limit of its extremes nothing can pass beyond its rhythmic limits. Consequently, if a thing swings far in one direction, it swings back equally far in the other. Its reaction is in the measure of its action, though in an opposite direction. If its swing is great, its extremes are widely apart if the swing is small, then the extremes are close together. The pendulum illustration may be applied to the phenomena on all planes. A short beat of the metronome allows the rod to move only a short distance each way the long beat admits of a wide swing. And, in the same way, those who suffer keenly also enjoy keenly, while those whose natures admit of but little suffering are also incapable of more than a limited capacity for enjoyment. A pig suffers little, and enjoys but little; while a highly organized, sensitive individual suffers the torments of emotional and mental hell at times, while at others he mounts to the heavenly emotional and mental realms. The pendulum swings as far in one direction as in the other.”
In some of the higher teachings of the Rosicrucians the student is instructed in the application of the Principle of Rhythm to the mastery of his emotional states and feelings. The essence of this secret teaching is that the wise, perceiving the inevitable reaction following action, the ebb tide following the high tide, manage to escape the consequences of the reaction by rising to their higher realms or planes of consciousness just before the time of the backward swing of the emotional pendulum, thus allowing the reactionary movement to be manifested only on their lower planes of consciousness while the Ego dwells serenely on the upper plane.
A writer, speaking along the lines just mentioned, has said: “The masters taught that by an understanding of the Principle of Rhythm man could escape many bewildering and perplexing changes in his emotional states and feelings. They called this the Process of Neutralization, the operations of which consisted of raising the Ego above the vibrations of the ordinary conscious plane, and on to the higher.
This was akin to rising above a thing and allowing the thing to pass beneath one. The occult masters, and their advanced students, polarized themselves at the positive pole of a particular emotional state, and by a process of “refusing” or “denial” they managed to escape the effects of the swing of the emotional pendulum to the negative pole of that emotion. All individuals who have attained any degree of self-mastery really proceed in this same manner, though usually unconsciously and without a true understanding of the law they are operating. By refusing to allow their negative mental and emotional states to manifest in them, they really ‘neutralize’ them, and cause them to pass under them on a lower plane of consciousness. The advanced occultist, however, proceeds consciously and deliberately to this end, and acquires a degree of balance, poise, and power almost incredible.”
The further the student penetrates in his investigations, along the lines of the physical, the mental, or the spiritual, the more will he become convinced of the truth of the ancient occult axiom: “Everything beats time.”
V. The Principle of Cycles.
The Principle of Cycles manifests that universal circular direction of process or progress which is apparent in all the manifested world, from its highest to its lowest manifestation. The spirit of this principle was expressed in the ancient occult axiom: “Everything proceeds in circles.” It is apparent to all careful thinkers and investigators that all progress or procession of things or events follows the path of the circle. All things, physical, mental, and spiritual manifest the cyclic or circular trend. World and atoms, the Cosmos and man, all are under this law. This principle is understood more clearly when we understand that a completed and uninterrupted manifestation of Rhythm results in the completion of a circular movement therefore the circular or cyclic trend of things is really closely allied to the Principle of Rhythm, and both Rhythm and Cyclicity are closely allied to the Principle of Vibration. The following interesting quotation from a writer on the subject serves to bring out some of the main points concerned in the consideration of the activities of this particular principle: “Cyclicity is akin to Rhythm, and arise by reason of it. All events tend to move in cyclic trend in constant circular movement.
The Law of Cyclicity manifests in the universal tendency of things to swing in circles. Cyclicity is the outgrowth, or more complex form, of Rhythm. The primal manifestation of Rhythm is action to-and-fro in. a straight line or path a movement backward and forward between two extremes or poles of action. This would be the invariable movement if the particular force manifested were the only manifestation of force or energy in that particular field of the Cosmos. But when the swinging pendulum (free to move in any direction) is subjected to the conflicting attractions and repulsions of other manifestations of force and energy, then there is manifested the universal tendency toward the circular trend the tendency to convert the straight path of the swing into a circular path or cycle. The action and reaction, the attraction and repulsion, arising from the conflict between the force of the rhythmic swing in a straight line on the one hand, and the attractive and repellant forces from without, on the other hand, tend to swing the moving thing in a perfect circle around a central point, axis, or pivotal centre. And these conflicting forces are in operation through the Cosmos, and the manifestation of Cyclicity may be noticed on all planes. There is ever the evidence of the cyclic trend of things and events the tendency to move in circles.
The electrons in the atoms move in circles, just as do the planets around the sun, and just as does the sun move around some other centre in space. The highest occult teachings, as well as the highest speculations of science, inform us that there is always a movement in. circles around some given point, and the movement of the said point, or centre of motion, around some other centre, and so on, and on, to infinity.” The same writer continues: “All events tend to move in cyclic trend in constant circular movement of continuous recurrence. The experience of man, aided by the reports of history, bears out this statement. The student of human history is struck by the continuous cyclic trend manifested throughout the ages of history. The student of philosophy is attracted by the same evidence in. his own field. And so it is with every field of human thought the cyclic trend is noticeable everywhere. Races and nations rise, flourish, decline, and fall; only to be succeeded by others travelling over the same lines. ‘Westward the star of Empire takes its flight ‘ the centre of political power is constantly changing.
The civilizations of Lemuria, Atlantis, Egypt, Chaldea, Rome and Greece arose and passed away. Our own civilization is but travelling over the same general lines. All forms of political government, monarchic, autocratic, democratic, in all their variations, were known in the past as in the present. The same law is observable in the history of philosophical thought. Philosophical theories popular in Greece over two thousand years ago fell into disrepute, but are now again forcing their way to the front. The scientific theories of Causation, Continuity, Determinism, and Evolution were popular in Ancient Greece over two thousand years ago. And they were likewise popular in Ancient Egypt and India centuries before that time. Fashions in literature, dress, and manner constantly recur travelling ’round and ’round their little circles. Laugh as we may at the absurdity of fashion in dress, nevertheless it is proceeding according to Cyclic Law. Religious ideas are as old as the world pantheism, polytheism, monotheism, and atheism all have played their parts of fashion in religious thought, over and over again, and will play them again.
The present-day revival of interest in the occult teachings arise from the operations of the same law. And the life of individuals manifest the same trend and tendency. A little thought will convince you that the majority of people travel in circles throughout their entire life. The same old thing, over and over again, recurring at intervals of greater or lesser duration, according to the nature and character of the person. Many people are like the squirrel who travels all day on his whirling wheel always going but getting nowhere, ever ending just where he began.” The thoughtful student, considering what has just been called to his attention, will naturally ask us how it is, if this be so, that there is any real progress at all. If, says he, there is nothing but a continuous running around in circles a constant travelling around without getting anywhere how is it that there is evident a real progress, a real evolution, a real advancement in the scale of life and being?
The answer is simple: given a circular movement around a given point, axis, or centre of attraction, and further given an advancing movement of that centre, point, or axis, it follows that the first circular movement will also be a spiral movement. If the Central Point is advanced, then the circular movement is converted into a spiral movement and while there persists a “going ’round and ’round” as before, each “going ’round” process travels on a little higher plane, or a more advanced position. And this is just what exists in the Cosmos a Cosmic Spiral Process, onward and upward, in advancing and rising circles. An old aphorism of an ancient school of occultism is: “The only escape from Cyclicity is by means of transmutation into Spirality, i.e., by advancing the Central Point of Motion.
The conversion of the Circle into the Spiral is one of the highest forms of Alchemy.” And in this aphorism is found one of the secrets of Rosicrucianism. The rule operates on each and every plane of being, physical, mental, and spiritual. A writer has said of this: “The Ego may convert the circle of its life-motion into an advancing and rising spiral, which while carrying him around the life circle will at the same time raise him a stage higher at each turn. The Mountain of Attainment, around which winds the Spiral Path, is travelled only in this way. Around and around the Pilgrims travel, seemingly retracing their steps but in reality constantly mounting upward.
By advancing the Central Point, by means of the Will, the wise and the strong convert the Circles into Spirals, and thus advance and attain. This, indeed, as the old aphorism states, ‘is one of the highest forms of Mental Alchemy.'” The further the student penetrates in his investigations, along the lines of the physical, the mental, or the spiritual, the more will he become convinced of the truth of the ancient occult axiom that “Everything proceeds in circles.”
VI. The Principle of Polarity.
The Principle of Polarity manifests that universal fact of “the pairs of opposites,” or “the antinomies,” which is apparent in all the manifested world, from its highest to its lowest manifestation. The spirit of this principle was expressed in the ancient occult axiom: “Everything has its Opposite, which is the other pole of its manifestation.” The Principle of Polarity may be stated as follows: “All phenomena manifest polarity, or opposite and contrasted sets of qualities, properties, or powers, operating in opposite and contrasted directions.”
The ancient philosophers made this one of the chief features of their teachings, under the name of “The Opposites,” “The Pairs of Opposites,” or “The Antinomies,” according to the usage of the respective schools. They held that every phenomenal thing possesses and manifests these pairs of opposite qualities, properties, and powers. They also held that each and every set of polarized opposites constitutes a unity consisting of a reconciliation and balancing of the opposing poles. They also held that every phenomenal thing, itself, is one of a pair of polarized opposites which, together, constitute a greater unity; and so on, either to infinity or until the opposites find final reconciliation and harmony in an Infinite Reality. The simplest and yet the most characteristic of the many examples and illustrations of Polarity is seen in the presence and activity of the two opposite and contrasting poles of the magnet the positive and negative poles.
The magnet is one a unity consisting of a balance and a reconciliation of the two opposing poles and their respective activities and powers. The illustration is typical, and fully illustrates the general principle.
We may see evidences of Polarity in any direction toward which we may turn in our search. There is always an up and a down; a top and a bottom; a. high and a low; a right and a left; a forward and a backward. There is always a past and a future; a now and a then; a before and an after; a day and a night; a time and an eternity.
There is always a fast and a slow; a motion and a rest; a hot and a cold; a good and a bad; a light and a dark; a conscious and an unconscious; an active and an inactive; an involution and an evolution; an analysis and a synthesis; a thesis and an antithesis; a male and a female; a positive and a negative; a youth and an age; a health and a disease; a building-up and a tearing-down; a birth and a death; a coming and a going; a life and a death; material and an immaterial; a heavy and a light; an abstract and a concrete; a long and a short; a broad and a narrow; a large and a small; a north and a south; an east and a west; a love and a hate; a courage and a fear; a faith and a doubt; a belief and a disbelief; a truth and an error; and so on, ad infinitum.
Whenever we see a phenomenal quality, property or characteristic, a state or a condition, we are fully justified in assuming the existence of an opposite to it, which opposite thing will be found to act in the opposite and contrasted direction to it. This is an infallible and invariable rule of phenomenal existence. In case the opposite of a thing is not known to us, because it has not as yet been discovered by or made known to us, nevertheless in such case we are fully justified in ascribing to the unknown opposite the qualities and characteristics diametrically opposed to the known opposite.
The rule is this: “Whatever is affirmed of one of a pair of opposites must be denied to the other”; and “whatever is denied to the one, must be affirmed of the other.” So true and infallible is this rule that it may be applied and employed as the basis of logical reasoning from the known to the unknown, for the purpose of discovering the latter. One of the most surprising features of this discovery is that we finally perceive that the two contrasting sets of qualities are really but two aspects or phases of the whole thing the real thing, or thing in itself the unity of the two, instead of being two separated and distinct things. Or, stating it in other words, we discover that the two opposing sets of characteristics are merely relative to each other, and together form a correlated unity and balanced whole. As an illustration of the fact just stated, we may consider the two opposites known as Hot and Cold, respectively; surely there can be no two qualities apparently more distinct and separate from each other more diametrically different from each other.
But careful examination shows us that the two contrasting things are really but degrees, conditions, and states of the same thing. There is no such thing as an “absolute hot,” or an “absolute cold.” There are merely different degrees of this Hot-Cold pair of opposites, which for convenience we call “Heat.” We cannot point out a place on the thermometer where Hot ceases and Cold begins, or vice versa. The two states or conditions blend into each other, and any statement regarding them is found to be merely comparative. If we place one hand in a bowl of very hot water, and the other in a bowl of ice-cold water, and then suddenly withdraw both hands and plunge them into a bowl of lukewarm water, what happens d Simply this, that we find that the hot-water hand feels a sensation of coolness, while the cold-water hand feels a sensation of heat each experience resulting from the comparison with the previous experience. We may consider the emotional states of Love and Hate as another illustration of the same principle; surely these two emotions seem irreconcilable and impossible to harmonize. But let us see!
At the one end of the emotional scale of Love-Hate we find intense love, then descending on the scale we find varying and gradually lessening degrees of love. Then we find the balanced point of indifference, which seems to be neither love nor hate, but which in reality is the subtle balancing of the two emotions. Then descending the scale we find a faint degree of aversion or dislike; then a series of gradually increasing degrees of dislike, until finally real hate is met with, and so on until we reach the degree of intense and extreme hate. Yet all are seen to be but degrees on the same emotional scale of Love-Hate. Sometimes there is a rapid change and shift on the scale of the opposites. Love is quickly transmuted to hate; the best friends and most ardent lovers become the bitterest enemies. And, on the other hand, persons who originally detest each other frequently become ardent lovers after a time; and old enemies, when reconciled, frequently become the closest friends.
The swing is often as far in one direction as was its former swing in the opposite direction. Up changes to down, as the earth revolves; and hot becomes cold when the vibrations are changed. This also applies to hard and soft, tenuous and solid, etc., the conditions depending entirely upon the rate of vibrations and relative positions of the particles of the matter of which the things are composed. Moreover, constant emphasis or activity of one opposite frequently leads to a manifestation of the other opposite. We often fly to the other extreme of feeling and action, when we have over-emphasized the former emotional states. We get tired and disgusted with one set or condition of things, and feel a desire to fly to the opposite condition or set. Too much of a good thing often causes us to dislike it. Likewise, if we travel far enough west, we finally reach the extreme east, and vice versa.
If we travel far enough north, we pass the pole and find ourselves proceeding south. At the North Pole, no matter in what direction we may travel, we always find ourselves travelling south; while at the South Pole, we can travel north only, no matter which way we may step out. The discovery that “opposites are identical,” in the sense of being but the two contrasting poles of the same thing, opens up a wonderful field of mastery to the occultist who has acquainted himself with the law of Polarization, in its phases of Transmutation and Balance. The understanding of the Principle of Polarity enables the occultist to transmute one mental state into another, along the lines of Polarization.
Things belonging to different classes cannot be transmuted into each other, but the opposing poles of the same thing may be so changed that is, may have a change in their polarity effected and thus be transmuted one into the other. Thus, love can never become east or west, or red or violet; but love may be changed into hate, or hate into love, by a shifting of polarity. Courage may be transmuted into fear, or fear into courage; hard may be changed into soft, dull into sharp, hot into cold, and so on, the transmutation always being between things of the same kind. The fearful man may shift his polarity and by thus changing his emotional vibrations may become filled with courage. Likewise, the slothful man may shift his polarity into activity and energetic action.
The key lies in the fact that in this process of transmutation there is not an actual change of one thing into another distinct thing, but rather a shifting of the centre of polar force from one extreme of the scale to the other, just as one would shift the carriage of his typewriter from 1 to 70, or change the focus of an opera glass. A writer on the subject has said of this particular point: “In addition to the changing of one’s own mental states by the operation of the art of Polarization, the principle may be extended so as to embrace the phenomena of the influence of one mind over that of another, of which so much has been written and taught of late years. When it is understood that Mental Induction is possible, that is that mental states may be produced by ‘induction’ from those of other persons, then we can see how readily a certain rate of mental vibrations, or polarization of a certain mental state, may be communicated from one person to another, and the polarity of the second person be changed accordingly. It is along these lines that many excellent results of ‘mental treatment’ are obtained, though the practitioner may not understand the nature of the principle he is using.
For instance, a person is ‘blue,’ melancholy, depressed in spirits, and full of fear. A mental scientist bringing his own mind up to the desired vibration, by means of his own will which thus produces the desired polarization in his own case, then by induction communicates these polarized vibrations to the mind of the patient, the result being that the patient’s emotional states are converted from the negative polarization to the positive. A knowledge of the existence of this great occult principle will enable the occultist to better understand his own mental states, and those of other people. He will see that these states are all matters of degree, and seeing thus he will be able to raise or lower his mental and emotional vibrations at will to change his mental poles, and thus be a master of his emotions instead of being a slave to them. And by his knowledge he will be able to aid his fellow men intelligently, and by appropriate methods change their mental and emotional polarization when the same is desirable.” In concluding our consideration of the Principle of Polarity, we ask the student to study carefully the following words written by one who has a knowledge of the great subject of Balance, the art of which consists in finding the Centre between the Two Extremes, and thus maintaining a Poise and Balance which is undisturbed by any mental or emotional storm.
This writer says: “Poise is Power. Poise results from Balance. Balance is secured by adjusting and maintaining the Centre between the Poles of the Pairs of Opposites. By Balanced Poise the Master neutralizes Polarity and Rhythm, by resolving them into Unity. In the Heart of the Storm is Peace. In the Centre of Life there is Poise and Power. Seek it ever, O Neophyte for in it thou shalt find thyself. The foregoing sentences compose the substance of an ancient arcane aphorism, in which is contained the seed thought generated in the centuries of thought and experience of the arcane teachers. Do not pass it by because of its simplicity. Poised balance is the aim and goal of the arcane initiates. It is the secret of mastery. There is always a centre of everything.
But the centre exists only because of the existence of the circumference. There is always a point or poise between the poles of every pair of opposites. But that point exists only because the extremes exist. And in the central point is always found the power of the whole event or thing. In the centre of gravity of the earth one would be able to remain in a position of perfect poise, unsupported except by the concentrated gravity of the whole earth. So nicely poised that a mere effort of the will would exert sufficient energy to propel him in any desired direction. The power of the opposites are concentrated at the central point. There all power is to be found, and there only. The axiom ‘Action and Reaction are equal’ indicates a central point in which lies the true lever which will move the whole. At the centre one is able to use action and reaction without being subject to either. The initiate strives to attain the state of equilibrium and absolute poise.
He yearns to master the art of traversing the razor-edge of Life, balancing himself perfectly, like the trained mental athlete that he is, by means of the balancing-pole of the Opposites which he has firmly grasped. Pitting the Opposites one against the other balancing law by law the Master traverses the slender tightrope thread which separates the world of desire from the world of will. O Neophyte, in the Centre of Life shalt thou indeed find Poise and Power. In the Heart of the Storm shalt thou find Peace. In the Centre of the Cosmos shalt thou find THYSELF. He who finds the Centre of Himself, finds the Centre of the Cosmos. For, at the last, they are ONE!”
The student when confronted with questions and problems in which a choice is difficult by reason of the strong activity of both extremes of polarization of both of the Pair of Opposites, is advised to seek out the Centre between the two opposing poles, and to stand firmly there, feeling assured that there, and there only is the place of peace, poise and power. In the one word “BALANCE” there is to be found the Secret of many, or most of the perplexing questions of Life. Seek ever, Poise and Balance, and you will have Power and Peace! The further the student penetrates in his investigations along the lines of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual, the more will he become convinced of the truth of the ancient occult axiom that “Everything has its Opposite, which is the other pole of its manifestation.”
VII. The Principle of Sex.
The Principle of Sex manifests in the universal presence of sex distinction and activity which is apparent in all the manifested world, from its highest to its lowest manifestations. The spirit of this principle was expressed in the ancient occult axiom: “Sex is omnipresent and all-pervasive in the universe. All creation is generation, and all generation proceeds from Sex.”
All deep students of occultism, and many students of modern science, perceive the truth of the Rosicrucian ancient doctrine that Sex is all-pervasive, all-present, and is the cause of all creation, for creation always results from generation, and generation proceeds from sex-activity. There is Sex manifested in everything the masculine and feminine principles are ever at work in the universe.
This not only on the physical plane of being, but also on the mental and spiritual planes of being. On the physical plane Sex manifests physical generation; on the mental plane it manifests mental generation; and on the spiritual plane it manifests spiritual generation. An understanding of the Cosmic Principle of Sex will give one a clear insight into many subjects which have proved perplexing to the majority of thinkers. In a preceding chapter of this book we have called your attention to the fact that the activities of the electrons, the atoms, and the corpuscles of which matter is composed, are purely sexual activities that all attraction is sex-attraction, and that as all Cosmic activity results from Attraction, therefore Sex is the Motive Power behind the activities of the Cosmos. A careful examination of the discoveries of modern science which are being announced from year to year will convince the student that all are explainable under the Rosicrucian theory of the Principle of Sex, and are explainable under no other hypothesis.
Passing on to the Plane of Mind, we find that many of the discoveries of modern psychology tend to verify the Rosicrucian theory also. Modern psychologists are devoting much time and space to their presentations of the various theories and discussions of that “other mind” which they variously call the “subjective mind,” the “subconscious mind,” the “subliminal mind,” etc., etc. In all of their theories, however, one point stands out prominently, i.e., the point that this “other mind” is subject to stimulating influences from the “conscious” or “objective” mind, and after being so subjected to the influence of stimulus of the latter the “other mind” becomes fertile and produces a wealth of ideas, thoughts, and actions.
But so far none of the psychologists have even attempted to explain the nature of the influence or stimulus of the one mind upon the other. And here is where the Rosicrucian teachings are much needed, for the Rosicrucian recognizes and realizes at once the fact that the “other mind” is feminine, and the stimulating mind is masculine, and that the process is clearly one of fertilization followed by mental conception and generation. So clear is the analogy that one has but to have his attention directed toward it to realize its truth and its proper application to the case before us. It is so clear that one, on learning it, cannot see why the promulgators of the “dual-mind” theories, and their commentators, can have failed to perceive the secret underlying the phenomena discovered by them and embodied in their various theories. Thompson J. Hudson, in his book “The Law of Psychic Phenomena,” in which in 1893 he announced his celebrated theory of “the dual mind,” came near to perceiving the secret hidden in the teaching of the ancient occultists, but his prejudices caused him to pass it by.
In his statement, at the beginning of his second chapter of said book, he says: “The mystic jargon of the Hermetic philosophers discloses the same general idea,” i.e., the general idea of the duality of mind, but he failed to follow up the promising lead, and thus lost the opportunity to complete his discovery or rediscovery, for the duality of the mind’s activities has been known to occultists for ages. The “other mind” of the human individual may be regarded as a mental womb-in fact the ancients so styled it in which is generated a wealth of mental offspring. It is a mine of latent possibilities of generation the generation of mental progeny of all sorts and kinds. Its powers of mental generative energy are enormous.
But it does not generate except under the stimulus of the “conscious mind” of its owner, or some other individual. The phenomena of Suggestion and Hypnotism are explainable under the Rosicrucian Theory of Mental Sex. A writer on this subject has said: “Suggestion and Hypnotism operate in the same way, viz., by the Masculine Principle projecting its vibrations toward the Feminine Principle in the mind of the other person, the latter taking the seed-thought and allowing it to develop into maturity when it is born on the plane of consciousness. The Masculine Principle in the mind of the person giving the suggestion directs a vibratory current toward the Feminine Principle in the mind of the person who is the object of the suggestions, and the latter accepts it according to natural laws, unless the will interposes an objection. The seed-thought thus lodged in the mind of the other person grows and develops and in time is regarded as the rightful mental offspring of the person, whereas it is really like the cuckoo’s egg placed in the nest of the sparrow; and like the offspring of the cuckoo, it destroys the rightful offspring of the owner of the nest.
The proper method is for the Masculine and Feminine Principles in the mind of a person to co-ordinate and to act harmoniously in conjunction with each other. But unfortunately the Masculine Principle in the mind of the average person is too lazy to act the activities of the Will too slight the consequence being that such persons are ruled almost entirely by the minds and wills of other persons, whom they allow to do their thinking and willing for them. The majority of persons are but mere shadows and echoes of other persons having stronger wills and minds than themselves. The strong men and women of the world invariably manifest the Masculine Principle of Will, and their strength depends materially upon this fact. Instead of living by the impressions made upon their minds by others, they dominate their own minds by means of their own will, obtaining the kind of thoughts desired; and moreover they dominate the minds of others, likewise, in the same manner.
Look at the strong people, see how they manage to implant their seed-thoughts in the minds of the masses of the people, thus causing the latter to think thoughts in accordance with the desires and wills of the strong individuals. This is why the masses of the people are such sheeplike creatures, never originating an idea of their own, nor using their own powers of mental activity. The manifestation of Mental Sex may be noticed all around us in our daily life. The magnetic persons are those who are able to use the Masculine Mental Principle in the direction of impressing their ideas upon others. The actor who makes people weep or cry as he wills is employing this principle, more or less unconsciously. So is the successful orator, statesman, preacher, writer, or other person who is before the public. The peculiar influence exerted by Mme persons over others is explainable in this way the operation of Mental Sex activity in the form of vibratory mental currents. Here we may find the secret of personal magnetism, personal influence, fascination, etc.” The Principle of Sex manifests and operates also on the Spiritual Plane of being, according to its characteristic principles, and its results are spiritual generation and regeneration.
We regret that we are not permitted to go deeply into this phase of the subject in this book, but a detailed consideration of the operation of Sex on this high plane would be contrary to the interests of the best in occultism, and would invite a misuse of power on the part of unprincipled persons who fail to understand the evil consequences to themselves coming as a reaction following actions of this kind. The true student, however, by using his power of reasoning by analogy, doubtless will be able to work out some of the problems concerned with the phase of the question thus mentioned. Such will find the secret in the old axiom: “As above, so below; as below, so above.” The further the student penetrates in his investigations along the lines of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual, the more will he become convinced of the truth of the ancient occult axiom that “Sex is omnipresent and all-pervasive in the universe. All creation is generation, and all generation proceeds from Sex.”