Some Fundamentals of Theosophy - by Emily Sellon
Published in the American Theosophist, Autumn 1994 - The Theosophical Society in America
- The source and cause of all manifest being is one absolute unknown and unknowable reality: ultimate, ever-present, boundless and eternal, beyond both being and nonbeing.
- The universe or world of being is a reflection of this timeless oneness expressing itself under two guises: as subject, unconditioned consciousness or spirit; and as object, root-substance or matter / energy. These are but polar aspects of the one reality.
- Nondual and self-existent, consciousness and matter co-exist inseparably as the field of all conditioned being; they constitute the “cause of the world,” the “one form of existence,” which everywhere exhibits this fundamental polarity.
- The dynamic polar relationship between spirit and matter imparts to the universe its fundamental, ever-present motion, whose ongoing character gives birth to time and instills a rhythmic order or periodicity. This manifests itself throughout nature as the space-time processes of birth and death, the cycles of growth and decay. It is the “great breath,” the basic life-action of the universe.
- The constant interaction of consciousness and matter creates a universe that is intelligent, forceful and alive, for life or mind is the interface between spirit and matter. Spirit, matter, and life or mind constitute the universal trinity that creates and pervades the worlds; every particle of matter is imbued with life and mind: consciousness precipitated. Thus the universe is both intelligent and intelligible, self-ordering and formative or creative of outer forms in accordance with its innate rationality, known as nous, mahat, the divine or universal mind. This is the logos doctrine.
- The natural unfoldment of the One into the many occurs hierarchically according to a harmonic principle whereby one becomes two and then three (while remaining itself always one); the intrinsic relationships within the threein-one create a sevenfold order according to this harmonic principle: a, b, c, ab, ac, bc, abc. Such unfoldment (whereby “the incognizable Brahman exhibits aspects of itself”) imparts to the worlds of form their mathematical, musical, and rational order: As above, so below.
- The universal consciousness or spirit, which is the essence of all life, constitutes the point of individual consciousness or ultimate being in every person, our fundamental identity with the One or the All—for consciousness is a “singular of which the plural is unknown.”
- Humanity, being a microcosm of the universe, embodies all its elements and principles; for the individual self or spiritual consciousness, the law of periodicity creates the “cycle of necessity”—the pilgrimage of every self through the worlds of form according to the cyclic process of involution and
- This cyclic process is accomplished through the force, and according to the laws, of action or karma; it is a process that is self-determined and constitutes the basis of freedom within a universe of intelligent order.
- The human pilgrimage takes us from our source in the One through our experience of the many—the multiplicity of separate lives or moments of existence, and the uniqueness of individual being—back to union with the One Divine Source. Our goal is thus to complete the cosmic cycle of manifestation in full conscious realization of our Self, no longer as polarized between spirit and matter, self and other, but as both all and one with the Source of all. This realization is known as Enlightenment.