Evolution Of The Tattvas
( Originally Published 1908 )
IN the evolution of the Tattvas we trace the evolution of the Soul to its beginning in the involution of the Spirit. The one is as in-separably connected with the other as are the interacting energies of the positive and negative life-currents; the out-breathing and the in-breathing of the Divine Spirit (or the thought active and the thought quiescent), upon which all life and motion depend.
Thus, spiritual activity is the creator of all things; and the energy behind all motion, without which creation is unthinkable, derives its power from the one source. The first manifestation of that power was positive and negative — the active impressing its thoughts or action upon the receptive passive — and Akâsha was the first Tattva evolved by the interaction of these Divine cur-rents of spiritual force. The Kosmic void of un-differentiated matter — the Hindu's Prakriti --was formless, and the first need of differentiation was the space in which to create many forms; therefore, the characteristic property of Akâshic vibrations is to make space, and the closer the impact of matter upon the vibrations the louder is the sound of their movement. This is the reason of the phenomenon that Natural Philosophy ex-plains as the denser the medium the better conductor is it of sound.
The homely and familiar comparison (in the Aitareya-Aranyaka-Upanishad)) by the learned Hindu teacher, of the ether — that is, the Akâsha — to a bowl in which all the other elements were poured, is extremely felicitous and graphic. In very fact all the other Tattvas, one after the other in their turn, were evolved and are continually milled in the spaces of Akâsha.
Akâshic energy, expressed as sound, has long been recognized as both the builder and disintegrator of form. The wonderfully beautiful geometrical forms into which dry sand, sprinkled upon a drum-head or upon a sonorous plate, will move under the impulse given by musical tones show the ever formative effect of Akâshic vibrations.
It was through an ingenious device of the German philosopher Chladni that sound vibrations were first made visible — circa 1785. He observed that plates of metal or glass gave out different sounds according as they were struck at different points; and he conceived the idea of strewing the surface with fine sand, and drawing a violin bow across the edge of the plate, while damping the vibrations at certain points by touching the edge with his finger tips. This established nodal, or rest, lines along which the sand grains shifted, showing the form of the vibrations; and by varying the points of contact, both for drawing the bow and damping the vibrations, a great variety of beautiful figures were produced corresponding with varying tones. It was thus found that a given tone always produced the same figure ; so the experiments disclosed an unvarying law of sound vibrations.
Illustrations of these sand forms, called Chladni's Figures," can be seen in Tyndall's Sound and in most text books upon Natural Philosophy. They are of particular interest in our study because they betray the presence of all the Tattvas in manifold combinations in the different musical tones, and show how their characteristic vibrations are modified by interaction one with another.
Efforts to establish the laws of tonal color should investigate this field; for color, following form in Kosmic manifestation, is inseparably connected with it, and as invariable as the form. Each may be recognized by the other. Helmholtz discovered that every color has its special vibration (that is, form), but he drew the false inference therefrom, that the secondary colors were not formed from the primaries. The Tattvic law corroborates the original conception, and by its means the presence of any element can be detected by the known influences, or effects, of the blending of colors.
" In the realm of hidden Forces," every audible sound is a subjective color; and, vice versa, every visible color is an inaudible sound. Both proceed from the same potential substance which Physicists used to, call ether. Occultists pronounce it, " plastic, though invisible, Space."
The deeper we study the Tattvic Law of the Universe the deeper is our conviction that every-thing in the natural world moves rhythmically. It is only when the human mind steps in with its responsibility of free will to choose the right or the wrong thought and act that life's rhythm is broken and all its vibrations thrown into a discordant jangle.
There is a center of unity in all things,— the ever present Akâsha; and creative power, working in this center, always manifests itself with rhythmic harmony. Holding as it does every form (and therefore, all colors) potentially, Akâsha at all times foreshadows the qualities of all the Tattvas, and intervenes between every two. Every progressive step in the evolution of the Tattvas is instinct with Divine intelligence, preparing the way for the crowning effort of creation - man with his manifold activities, equipped to conquer and dominate the vast realms of inanimate nature.
Space having resulted from the interaction of the positive and negative currents of Akâsha, there was room for locomotion; and the spheres of Yâyu appeared next and began to whirl in the Akâshic vortices, born of the union of the Akâshic currents. Again I must refer to the illustrations of Professor Loeb's biological work in the September, 1905, Cosmopolitan; for, as far as that spark of laboratory-created life progressed, it corroborates the Hindu revelation of the evolution of the Tattvas, and the law of their several activities and influences.
After Yâyu, the next need was heat to expand the air, therefore we find that the mingling of Yâyu vibrations with Akâsha produces Tejas vibrations of light which generate heat, and which manifest their presence in this dual character. Through the action of heat upon air, water is formed, hence Apas vibrations were the next result of creative energy; and the combined activities of the other Tattvas condensed water into Prithivi vibrations, completing the primary differentiations of Kosmic matter. Thus, with the fifth Tattva, the self-conscious universe, an ocean of subtly fine, psychic matter, came into existence. By successive interaction, following the established law — the Tattvic vibrations becoming ever coarser in their descent— the other planes of existence through the mental to the physiological were evolved; till the involution of the Spirit in the terrestrial elements was completed, and the earth with its teeming life whirled in space.
The evolution of the soul thus involved is man's task in his earthly pilgrimage, and it is alone through spiritual thinking and living that he can make that task a daily joy, and feel the exhilaration in facing every duty which more than half accomplishes the work.
A spiritual philosophy of life is the foundation of all right thinking and living. In it is found the solution of Ruskin's assertion: " It is only by labor that thought can be made healthy, and only by thought that labor can be made happy." Health is the mainspring of all successful effort, and the spiritually alive soul can command health as the first blessing. It is the natural and inevitable reward of right thinking and spiritual living; that is, living under the direct guidance of the soul.
When we consciously subordinate the physical to the spiritual, all the atoms in our bodies feel an impulse toward order from the rhythmic flow of the Tattvas; and even the most rebellious yields to the magnetic attraction and vibrates in harmony with the prevailing rhythm when the currents are fully established and maintained in perfect equilibrium. This is the secret of all the miraculous recoveries of bed-ridden invalids; for in moments of supreme exaltation through faith or enthusiasm, the Tattvic currents are raised to so high power as to sweep all obstructions from their path, and to impart synchronous action to the hitherto warring elements, which almost instantly thrills the body with a sensation of strength.
The higher we raise our vibrations through the purifying action of rhythmic breathing and beneficent thinking, the more we shall be in touch and cooperate with the finer forces round about us — their waves even breaking over us — and waiting for our recognition to lift us to higher states of efficiency,— of comprehension, of intuition, of power to think and to do. Spiritual perceptions and spiritual strength make possible a degree of activity — both mental and physical — a power of accomplishment in a given task, utterly beyond the capability of mere physical energy. Work which on the physical plane is effort, becomes a joy and an inspiration when we call to our aid our ever ready, ever waiting, spiritual forces.
It is the attitude of thought which makes all the difference, because every atom of energy in the physique has its source in the Spirit. But on the material plane of manifestation, as when we speak of " mere physical strength " or " brute force," the vibrations are grosser in character, unfit material for the Spirit's activity, therefore, lacking entirely the spiritual fire which sustains enthusiasm and gives electrical force to every thought - and act thus inspired.
It is this spiritual energy which in rare emergencies and moments of supreme excitement enables people to forget the limits of physical strength and to execute the ordinarily impossible. I knew a very delicate young girl, the accepted estimate of whose strength and endurance exempted her from even the usual exertions of daily life in the home, who, under the excitement caused by a disastrous fire very near, moved several inches out from the wall a bookcase eight feet high which was filled from floor to top with heavy books. It was all that three strong men could do to put the case back in its place the next morning. We can train ourselves to employ this spiritual energy at need, and thus eliminate many of the most trying conditions in life. The wastefulness of common methods of thought is a constant drain of psychic energy which we can better employ.
Every fact that has been stated can be verified by personal experiment, which means persistent practice of the breathing and concentration exercises already given ; not intermittent practice when you are reminded of it by bad feelings or when you happen to think of it or have nothing else you would rather do. To derive the benefit, spiritual, mental, and physical which f assume all my readers are seeking, the practice must be regular and at the regular periods — as nearly as possible the same daily. Never let any of the exercises be-come automatic. Hold the mind to the center.
I have tried to make it very clear that the purpose of the exercises in alternate breathing is to restore the balance of the Tattvas and the alternating currents of Prâna (positive and negative), the inequality of which is the primary source of all disease. Habitual breathing should be as full, deep, and regular as conscious direction from time to time can make it. Habit is everything in this, and in forming good habits Nature comes to our aid with joyful alacrity. I have failed utterly in my purpose if I have not convinced you that physical, mental, and spiritual harmony are promoted by habits of rhythmic breathing in the purest air obtainable. It need not be cold air to be pure, but it must be fresh, unbreathed air.
Continued practice of the exercises will convince you that you are treading the long hidden, closely guarded path leading to Nature's treasury of secrets. If your interests and pursuits are scientific, before your clearing vision wall after wall, hitherto baffling, will fall, disclosing long vistas cleared and ready for your seeing eyes with assured foundations, basic laws, inviting your fascinating experiments into the myriad permutations of these marvelous forces. Never for an instant are they inactive, but ever building and disintegrating the visible and the invisible universe, involving and evolving through their vibrations every atom therein contained.