The Mahatma Letter No. 22: Universal Mind and the Illimitable “Force”

The philosophical necessity of the powers of voluntary and conscious attributes to the mind, and its underlying involuntary and unconscious (or mechanical) power, derived from Motion: MOTION, letter no. 22 argues governs the laws of Nature, and like MATTER, or its root, is eternal and uncreated. Nothing governs MOTION or MATTER, the philosophy teaches. Interestingly, as many people such as certain ‘natural philosophers,’ ‘Western metaphysicists,’ and nineteenth-century New Thought, have defined the Judeo-Christian God differently, such as equating the Biblical God with “Force” (physics). However, the letter as given, philosophically reveals the Theosophical School rejects this logic.

[Highlights of A.T. Barker’s edition]

Letter No. 22To A. O. Hume. Dual attributes of Universal and human Mind — conscious and mechanical functions — the conscious attribute of Universal Mind a hypothesis only, but scientific fact in finite mind — the human brain — voluntary and involuntary nervous systems — man potentially more powerful than “God” — contrary to finite, infinite mind exhibits only mechanical functions of Cerebellum. The extent of the knowledge of an adept and of a planetary spirit — laws of Nature mechanical — Motion the eternal and uncreated deity. “God” cannot be both intelligent and wholly material — a God with intelligence would be a fiend in view of the existence of evil. The Mosaic deity, “No Being” — Vedantic Acosmism — greatest adepts have not penetrated beyond the Solar System — but they know with certainty of other Solar Systems — Motion governs laws of Natureno room for a moral Governor of the Universe — darkness does not comprehend light because it is annihilated by it — whence the Immutable Laws and their supposed Creator. Nepaulese Swabbhavikas — Swabbhavat is force — a force of limitless potentiality, but yet not “God” because man can use it — the multiform manifestations of life made perceptible by force. Man can become his own creator and ruler — Immutable Laws eternal and uncreated — only one law in the Universe — Nature disproves the theory of an all-loving, omniscient, omnipotent God — eternal progressions of cycles and evolution — spirit and matter are one — only distinct in manifestation — the Absolute the only reality. Ice, water, and vapour as an illustration of the Trinity — the Pyramids — matter indestructible and coeval with Spirit — matter, force, and motion the Trinity of physical Nature — Evil — mental attitude of the pupil — must learn alphabet in order to read — the world of occultism is the world of force — only the initiate can know. The Chela becomes the Master — mystery and miracle vanish — occultism an exact science — its methods laid down in a code as old as humanity.

The Mahatma Letter no. 22, K.H. to A.O. Hume

“Did it ever strike you, — and now from the standpoint of your Western science and the suggestion of your own Ego which has already seized up the essentials of every truth, prepare to deride the erroneous idea — did you ever suspect that Universal, like finite, human mind might have two attributes, or a dual power — one the voluntary and conscious, and the other the involuntary and unconscious or the mechanical power. To reconcile the difficulty of many theistic and anti-theistic propositions, both these powers are a philosophical necessity. The possibility of the first or the voluntary and conscious attribute in reference to the infinite mind (…) will remain for ever a mere hypothesis, whereas in the finite mind it is a scientific and demonstrated fact. The highest Planetary Spirit is as ignorant of the first as we are, and the hypothesis will remain one even in Nirvana, as it is a mere inferential possibility, whether there or here. (…)

It is the peculiar faculty of the involuntary power of the infinite mind — which no one could ever think of calling God, — to be eternally evolving subjective matter into objective atoms (you will please remember that these two adjectives are used but in a relative sense) or cosmic matter to be later on developed into form. And it is likewise that same involuntary mechanical power that we see so intensely active in all the fixed laws of nature — which governs and controls what is called the Universe or the Cosmos. There are some modern philosophers who would prove the existence of a Creator from motion. We say and affirm that that motion — the universal perpetual motion which never ceases never slackens nor increases its speed not even during the interludes between the pralayas, or “nights of Brahma” but goes on like a mill set in motion, whether it has anything to grind or not (for the pralaya means the temporary loss of every form, but by no means the destruction of cosmic matter which is eternal) — we say this perpetual motion is the only eternal and uncreated Deity we are able to recognise. To regard God as an intelligent spirit, and accept at the same time his absolute immateriality is to conceive of a nonentity, a blank void; to regard God as a Being, an Ego and to place his intelligence under a bushel for some mysterious reasons — is a most consummate nonsense; to endow him with intelligence in the face of blind brutal Evil is to make of him a fiend — a most rascally God. A Being however gigantic, occupying space and having length breadth and thickness is most certainly the Mosaic deity; “No-being” and a mere principle lands you directly in the Buddhistic atheism, or the Vedantic primitive Acosmism. What lies beyond and outside the worlds of form, and being, in worlds and spheres in their most spiritualized state — (and you will perhaps oblige us by telling us where that beyond can be, since the Universe is infinite and limitless) is useless for anyone to search after since even Planetary Spirits have no knowledge or perception of it. If our greatest adepts and Bodhisatvas have never penetrated themselves beyond our solar system, — and the idea seems to suit your preconceived theistic theory wonderfully, my respected Brother — they still know of the existence of other such solar systems, with as mathematical a certainty as any western astronomer knows of the existence of invisible stars which he can never approach or explore. But of that which lies within the worlds and systems (…) in the state of the purest and inconceivable immateriality, no one ever knew or will ever tell, hence it is something non-existent for the universe. You are at liberty to place in this eternal vacuum the intellectual or voluntary powers of your deity — if you can conceive of such a thing.

Meanwhile we may say that it is motion that governs the laws of nature; and that it governs them as the mechanical impulse given to running water which will propel them either in a direct line or along hundreds of side furrows they may happen to meet on their way and whether those furrows are natural grooves or channels prepared artificially by the hand of man. And we maintain that wherever there is life and being, and in however much spiritualized a form, there is no room for moral government, much less for a moral Governora Being which at the same time has no form nor occupies space! Verily if light shineth in darkness, and darkness comprehends it not, it is because such is the natural law, but how more suggestive and pregnant with meaning for one who knows, to say that light can still less comprehend darkness, nor ever know it since it kills wherever it penetrates and annihilates it instantly. Pure yet a volitional Spirit is an absurdity for volitional mind. The result of organism cannot exist independently of an organized brain, and an organized brain made out of nihil is a still greater fallacy. If you ask me “Whence then the immutable laws? — laws cannot make themselves” — then in my turn I will ask you — and whence their supposed Creator? — a creator cannot create or make himself. If the brain did not make itself, for this would be affirming that brain acted before it existed, how could intelligence, the result of an organized brain, act before its creator was made.

All this reminds one of wrangling for seniorship. If our doctrines clash too much with your theories then we can easily give up the subject and talk of something else. Study the laws and doctrines of the Nepaulese Swabhavikas, the principal Buddhist philosophical school in India, and you will find them the most learned as the most scientifically logical wranglers in the world. Their plastic, invisible, eternal, omnipresent and unconscious Swabhavat is Force or Motion ever generating its electricity which is life.

Yes: there is a force as limitless as thought, as potent as boundless will, as subtile as the essence of life so inconceivably awful in its rending force as to convulse the universe to its centre would it but be used as a lever, but this Force is not God, since there are men who have learned the secret of subjecting it to their will when necessary.” (K.H., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, Letter No. 22)


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