Sunday, July 14, 2013

Spirit and matter

The unity of spirit and matter is stressed many times in the writings of the theosophical mahatmas. 

In the words of mahatma Kuthumi (KH):

It is one of the elementary and fundamental doctrines of occultism that the two [spirit and matter] are one, and are distinct but in their respective manifestations, and only in the limited perceptions of the world of senses ... 

Matter per se is indestructible and ... coeval with spirit. 

Spirit and matter are one, being but a differentiation of states not essences ...

Force and matter, spirit and matter, and deity and nature, though they may be viewed as opposite poles in their respective manifestations, yet are in essence and in truth but one ... 

Purusha [spirit] and prakriti [matter] are in short the two poles of the one eternal element, and are synonymous and convertible terms.

Matter is ‘nature herself’, says KH. 

However, the matter of which he is speaking is not the supposedly dead and inert physical matter of the materialists, but the consciousness-life-substance of the occultists, which manifests in endless degrees of materiality and ethereality. 

Physical matter is a highly condensed and crystallized form of this one essence or one element – which could equally well be called the one life or one consciousness. 

When KH speaks of the eternity and indestructibility of matter, he is therefore referring not to its ‘ever changing form, combinations and properties’ but to its essence, sometimes called svabhavat. 

This eternal essence must be viewed ‘not as a compound element you call spirit-matter, but as the one element for which English has no name. 

It is both passive and active, pure spirit essence in its absoluteness, and repose, pure matter in its finite and conditioned state.

In other words, occultism recognizes ‘one element in nature (whether spiritual or physical) outside which there can be no nature since it is nature itself’. 

It ‘pulsates as in profound sleep’ during a planetary or solar rest period (pralaya), then rebecomes the ‘universal Proteus’ at the start of the next period of evolutionary activity (manvantara). 

Metaphysically speaking, the one element is the ‘one substratum or permanent cause of all manifestations in the phenomenal universe’.‘

The one element not only fills space and is space, but interpenetrates every atom of cosmic matter.

David Pratt

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