As we have stated in previous Lessons, all philosophies which thinkers have considered worthy of respect, find their final expression of Truth in the fundamental thought that there is but One Reality, underlying all the manifold manifestations of shape and form. It is true that the philosophers have differed widely in their conception of that One, but, nevertheless, they have all agreed upon the logical necessity of the fundamental conception that there is, at least, but One Reality, underlying All.
Even the Materialists have conceded this conclusion, and they speak and think of a something called "Matter," as the One--holding that, inherent in Matter, is the potentiality of all Life. The school of Energists, holding that Matter in itself is non-existent, and that it is merely a mode of manifestation of a something called "Energy," asserts that this something called Energy is One, fundamental, real, and self-sufficient.
The various forms of Western religious thought, which hold to the various conceptions of a Personal Deity, also hold to a Oneness, inasmuch as they teach that in the beginning there was God, only, and that all the Universe has been created by Him. They do not go into details regarding this creation, and, unlike the Oriental teachers, they fail to distinguish between the conception of the creation of shape and form, on the one hand; and the creation of the substance of these shapes and forms, on the other hand. But, even accepting the premises of these people who hold to the Personal Deity conception, it will be seen that the Reason requires the acceptance of one or two ideas, viz., (1) That the Deity created the substance of these shapes and forms from Nothing; or else (2) that he created them out of his own substance--out of Himself, in fact. Let us consider, briefly, these two conceptions.
In the first conception, i.e., Creation from Nothing, we are brought face to face with an impregnable obstacle, inasmuch as the human reason positively refuses to think of Anything coming from Nothing. While it is perfectly true that the finite human mind cannot undertake to limit the powers of the Infinite; or to insist that the possibilities of the Divine Power must be measured and limited by the finite power of Man--still it must hearken to the report of its own highest faculties, and say "I cannot Think it," or else blindly accept the teachings of other finite minds which are equally unable to "Think it," and which have no superior sources of information. The Infinite Power has endowed us with reasoning faculties, and evidently expects us to use them to their full capacity--else the gift were a mockery. And in the absence of information from higher sources than the Reason, we must use the Reason in thinking of this matter, or else refuse to think of it at all.
In view of the above thought, let us then consider the report of the Reason, regarding this matter, And then, after having done so, let us apply the test of this report of the Reason, to the highest teaching of the Yogi Philosophy, and see how the latter stands the test. And, after having done this, we will apply the test of the Higher Consciousness to the same teachings. Remember this always, that while there is knowledge that transcends Reason--that is knowledge that comes from the Higher Regions of the Mind--still even such information of the Spiritual Mind does not run contrary to Reason, although it goes beyond it. There is harmony between the Spiritual Mind and the Highest Reason.
Returning to the consideration of the matter of Creation of Substance from Nothing, we again assert that the Reason is unable to think of the creation of Something from Nothing. It finds the statement unthinkable, and contrary to all the laws of thought. It is true that the Reason is compelled to accept as a final truth, many things that it cannot understand by reason of its finitude--but this is not one of them. There is no logical necessity for the Reason to accept any such conception as this--there is no warrant in the Reason for any such theory, idea or conclusion. Let us stop here, for a moment, and examine into this difference-it may help us to think clearer, hereafter.
We find it impossible to understand the fact of the Infinite Being having always existed--and Being without Cause. We find it impossible to conceive of the nature of an Eternal, Causeless, and Infinite Being--to conceive the nature of, such a Being, remember.
But, while this is so, still our Reason, by its own laws, compels us to think that there must be such a Being, so long as we think at all. For, if we think at all, we must think of there being a Fundamental Reality--and we must think of that Reality as being without Cause (because there can be no Cause for the First Cause); and we must think of that Reality as being Eternal (because It could not have sprung into Being from Nothing, and therefore must have always been); and we must think of that Reality as Infinite (because there is nothing outside of Itself to limit It). Think over this statement for a moment--until you grasp it fully.
But there is no such necessity, or compulsion, in the case of the question of Creation from Nothingness. On the contrary, the necessity and compulsion is all the other way. Not only is the Reason unable to think of Creation from Nothing--not only does all its laws forbid it to hold such a conception--but, more than this, it finds within itself a conception, full-grown and potent, which contradicts this idea. It finds within itself the strong certainty that Whatever Really Is has Always Been, and that all transient and finite shapes, forms, and manifestations, must proceed from that which is Real, Infinite, Causeless, and Infinite--and moreover must be composed of the substance of that Reality, for there is nothing else Real from which they could have been composed; and their composition from Nothing is unthinkable, for Nothing is Nothing, and always will be Nothing. "Nothing" is merely a name of denial of existence--an absolute denial of substantiality of any degree, kind or form--an absolute denial of Reality. And from such could come only Nothing--from Nothing, Nothing comes.
Therefore, finding within itself the positive report that All, and Anything There Is, must be composed of the Substance of the Reality, the Reason is compelled to think that the Universe is composed of the Substance of the One Reality--whether we call that One Reality, by the name of The Absolute; or whether we call it God. We must believe that from this Absolute-God all things in the Universe have flown out, or been emanated, rather than created--begotten, rather than "made."
This does not mean the Pantheistic idea that the Universe is God--but rather that God, while existing separate and apart from His Universe, in his Essence, and Being, is nevertheless in His Universe, and His Universe in Him. And this, no matter what conception of God or Deity is had--or whether one thinks of The Absolute as Principle. The Truth is the same--Truth no matter by what names it is called, or by what misconception it is surrounded. The Truth is that One is in All, and All is in One--such is the report of the highest Reason of Man--such is the report of the Illumined--such is the Highest Teachings that have come down to the race from the great souls that have trodden The Path of Attainment.
And now let us submit the Yogi Philosophy to these conceptions, and reports of the Reason. And let us discover just what more the Yogi Philosophy has to say concerning the nature of the Substance of the Divine, which infills all Life--and how it solves the Riddle of the Sphinx, concerning the One in All; and All in One. We hope to show you that the Riddle is capable of solution, and that the old Yogi teachers have long ago grasped that for which the human mind has ever sought. This phase of the Teachings is the highest, and it is usually hinted at, rather than expressed, in the writings on the subject--owing to danger of confusion and misconception. But in these Lessons we shall speak the Truth plainly, and without fear--for such is the Message which has been given us to deliver to our students--and we will perform the Right action, leaving the Result, or Fruits of the Action, where it belongs, according to the higher teachings found in the "Bhagavad Gita," and in the Higher Teachings of the Yogi Philosophy.
The fundamental Truth embedded in the Wisdom-Philosophies of the East--the Higher Yogi Teachings--is the impregnable doctrine of the One Self in the many selves--the many selves in the One Self. This fundamental Truth underlies all the Oriental Philosophies which are esoteric in their nature.
Notwithstanding the crude and often repulsive conceptions and practices of the masses of the people who represent the exoteric, or popular, phase of the teachings (and these two phases are to be found in all regions) still there is always this Inner Doctrine of the One Self, to be found to those who look for it.
Not only is this true among the Hindus; but even among the Mahommedans, of all countries, there is an Inner Circle of Mystics, known as the Sufis, holding to this Truth. And the inner teachings of the philosophies of all ages and races, have held likewise. And the highest thought of the philosophers of the Western races, has found refuge in this idea of the Over-soul, or Universal Self. But, it is only among the Yogis that we find an attempt made to explain the real nature of the manifestation of the One in Many--the holding of the Many forms in the One Self.
Before proceeding to the consideration of how the One becomes as Many, as expounded by the Higher Yogi Teachings, it becomes necessary to speak of a matter upon which there has been much confusion and misunderstanding, not only on the part of the students of various Oriental Philosophies, but also upon the part of some of the teachers themselves. We allude to the connection between THE ONE--THE ABSOLUTE--in Its ESSENCE--and that which has been called the One Life; the Universal Life, etc.
Many writers have spoken of the Universal Life, and The One, as being identical--but such is a grievous error, finding no warrant in the Highest Yogi Teachings. It is true that all living forms dwell in, and are infilled with the Universal Life--that All Life is One. We have taught this truth, and it is indeed Truth, without qualification. But there is still a Higher Truth--the Highest Truth, in fact--and that is, that even this Universal Life is not the One, but, instead, is in itself a manifestation of, and emanation from, THE ONE. There is a great difference here—see that you perceive and understand it, before proceeding further.
THE ONE--THE ABSOLUTE--according to the Highest Teachings, is Pure Spirit, and not Life, Mind, or Being as we understand them in our finite and mortal expressions. But, still all Life, Mind, and Being, as we understand them, spring from, flow from, and emanate from, the One--and more than this, may be spoken of as reflections of the Life, Mind, and Being of The One, if we may be permitted to apply the names of finite manifestations to the Infinite Reality.
So, the Highest Teaching is that the Universal Life infilling all living things, is not, in itself, the Being and Life of THE ONE--but is rather a great fundamental emanation of The One, the manner and nature of which will be spoken of as we proceed. Remember this, please.
Leading up to the Supreme Idea of the One in All—All in One--let us examine into the report of the Reason upon the nature of the Substance--the Divine Substance--from which all living forms are shaped; and from which all that we know as Finite Mind is likewise composed. How can these imperfect and finite forms be composed of a Divine and Perfect Substance? This is the question that must occur to the minds of those who are capable of deep thought on the subject--and it is a question that must be answered. And it can be answered--and is answered in the Higher Yogi Philosophy. Let us examine the reports of the Reason, a little further--then shall we be ready for the Teachings.
Of what can the Substance of the Infinite be composed? Can it be Matter? Yes, if you are satisfied with the reasoning of the Materialists, and cannot see further into the Truth! These teach that Matter is God, and that God is Matter. But if you be among those who reject the Materialistic teachings, you will not be satisfied with this answer. Even if you incline toward a Non-mental Infinite, still if you are familiar with the results of modern scientific investigation, and know that Science has seen Matter resolve itself into something like Electric Energy, you will know that the Truth must lie behind and beyond Matter.
Then is it Pure Energy? you may ask. Pure Energy? what's that? Can you think of Energy apart from material manifestation? Have you ever known of such a thing? Do you not know that even the Electron Theory, which is attracting the attention of advanced Modern Science, and which holds that all things are composed of minute particles of Electric Energy, called Electrons, from which the Atoms are built--do you not know that even this theory recognizes the necessity of a "something like Matter, only infinitely finer," which they call the Ether, to enfold the Electric Energy as a unit--to give it a body, as it were? And can you escape from the fact that the most advanced scientific minds find confronting them--the fact that in all Energy, and governing its actions, there 'is manifested "something like Mind"?
And does not all this teach thinkers that just as Energy creates from itself, that which is called Matter, and then uses it as a vehicle of expression and action--so does this "Something like Mind" create from itself that which we call Energy, and proceeds to use it, with its accompanying phase of Matter, for its expression? Does not all advanced research show us that in all Matter and Energy there are evidences of the operation of this "Something like Mind"? And if this be so, are we not justified as regarding Matter and Energy as mere Effects--and to look to this "Something like Mind" as the more fundamental Substance? We think so--and Science is beginning to think so, too. And soon will Science be regarding with the most profound respect, the Metaphysical axiom that "All is Mind."
You will see by reference to our "Advanced Course in Yogi Philosophy, etc.," the general Yogi teachings regarding the Emanation of the One, known respectively as Mind, Energy, and Matter. You will see that the Yogis teach that Mind, Energy, and Matter comprise a threefold emanation of the Absolute. You will also see that it is taught that Mind was the Parent-Emanation--the Universal Mind; and that the Universal Energy was the Second-Emanation (proceeding from Mind); and that the Universal Matter was the Third Emanation (proceeding from Energy) In the same book you will find that the Teaching is that above Matter, Energy, and Mind, is the Essence of the Absolute, which is called Spirit--the nature of which is non-understandable to the mind of Man, the highest conception of which is the highest manifestation of itself--Mind. But as we cannot comprehend spirit otherwise, we are justified in thinking of it as Something like Infinite Mind--Something as much higher than Finite Mind as that is higher than mere energy.
Now, then--we have seen the folly of thinking of the Divine Substance as Matter or Energy. And we have come to know it as Spirit, something like Mind, only infinitely higher, but which still may be thought of in terms of Infinite Mind, for we can have no higher terms in our thinking operations. So we may then assume that this Divine Nature or substance is SPIRIT, which we will think of as Infinite Mind, for want of a better form of conception.
We have seen the folly of thinking of the Divine Essential Substance as the Body of God. We have likewise seen the folly of thinking of it as the Vital Energy of God. And we have found that we could not escape thinking of it as the Spirit, or infinite Mind of God. Beyond this we cannot think intelligently.
But do you not see that all this exercise of the Reason has brought us to the point where we must think that this Divine Substance, which the Absolute-God uses in the manifestation of Universal Life; the Universe; and all the forms, and shapes, and manifestations of life and things in the Universe--this Divine Substance which must be in All Things--and in which All Things must rest, even as the bubble rests on the Ocean--that this can be nothing less than Spirit, and that this Spirit can be thought of only as Infinite Mind?
And, if this be so, then indeed must All be Mind, and Mind be
All--meaning, of course, the Infinite Mind, not the finite manifestation that we call Mind.
Then, if this reasoning has been correct, then must we think that All Life--all the Universe--Everything except the Absolute itself--must be held in the Infinite Mind of the Absolute!
And, so, by the exercise of our Reason--by listening to, and examining its reports, we have been brought face to face--eye to eye--heart to heart--with the Teaching of the Illumined Ones, which has come down to us as the Highest Teaching of the Yogi Philosophy! For this, indeed, is the highest conception of Truth in the Yogi Teachings--this, that ALL MANIFESTATIONS AND EMANATIONS OF THE ABSOLUTE ARE MENTAL CREATIONS OF
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