Universality Of The Tattvas
( Originally Published 1908 )
IT should be plain to all my readers now that to neglect proper exercise of the lungs by deep, full inhalations of pure, unbreathed air, is a positive self-limitation of vital force which can be justly named " slow suicide." The individual thus living, even under the most fortunate circumstances otherwise, never attains the maximum of his or her efficiency and power, and invites every disease. You thus feed the disintegrating forces with the corruption which increases their activity; and shut out the renewing elements which upbuild, while furnishing the stimulus to cast out the worn out products of physical energy. And this manner of living, which is the confirmed habit of multitudes, is the progenitor of most of the ills from which humanity suffers.
The day is dawning when that infamous old aphorism anent the " ills that human flesh is heir to will be recognized for what it is, the hideous subterfuge of ignorance, and credulity. It has caused the most flagrant violations of Natural Law, and weighed like an incubus upon the human race, encouraging fear and' every other prolific agent of evil and suffering, being a common source of that weakness and inefficiency which produce poverty. Fear breaks down tissue, and disorganizes nerve cells as much as any acknowledged disease. It is only blindness to the latent, the potential, powers within that makes possible the conditions from which a majority of mankind suffer daily. As I shall show you, this is no digression from our subject, the study of the Tattvas, but most intimately connected therewith.
When you pray for strength, for health, for re-lief from pain, do you realize what answer comes back to you from Divine silence? It says to you : " Take them. The avenues are always open to you. Nothing obstructs them but your own will and wrong thoughts."
The moment you think health and strength yourself, that moment you begin to clear from all obstructions the channels of communication with the sources of life-force; for every vibration on the mental plane reacts upon those of the physiological plane. Notice particularly that your very thought is instantly reflected in a fuller inflation of the lungs, which checks the disorder within and improves the vibrations; and throughout the universe like seeks like. Therefore, by a simple change of mental attitude — simple, but oh, so important! — you invite harmony instead of discord, and co-operate with Nature in her ceaseless efforts to restore all the disordered vibrations in your body to their normal conditions of perfect rhythmic balance.
From the ever-blessed moment that you realize your soul to be the rightful ruler of its tenement, the physical body, and bring your will under the soul's control — thereby transmuting it into soul-force — rhythmic vibrations will inaugurate their curative, restorative work. Say in your heart : Peace! Peace ! Peace! Ye warring factions ! Ye can no longer have dominion over me. I am one with all the power for good in the Universe, and I will admit only good.
The more you know of the Tattvic Law of the Universe the deeper will be your conviction of these truths, and of the individual responsibility for health as the first condition for beginning to fulfill God's intentions when he first thought of you. Shakespeare's intuitions grasped a sublime truth. The world is a stage; and, like the actors in a play, to each and every one is assigned a given rôle. There is a part adapted to you as to no other; and yours is the task to develop those spiritual and moral qualities that lead to the perfection of your latent abilities, and give you the key, through intuitive comprehension, to the secrets of your strength and your weakness,— both physical and moral. To obey the command,
"Know thyself," is to learn the nature of these hidden forces, the Tattvas, whose ceaseless activities, governed or misgoverned, make us what we are.
The varying effects of the different Tattvas in their activities within the physical body are as dissimilar as their characteristic qualities; and, there-fore, the predominance of certain ones, even when that condition is normal, is unfortunate, and their excess is baneful. It is through the freedom of the will that you can control and correct the forces generated in your body, and draw to you the beneficent ones you desire.
The characteristic form, features, and coloring — complexion, hair, and eyes — which distinguish human beings one from the other, are due to the particular permutations of the Tattvas, which, on the gross plane of their activities, make up the component elements of different physiques. Their mental influence is, of course, equally important and individual (the physiological being, in fact, its reflection), the opinions formed, the bent of every mind being due to the bias given to it by the prevailing elements, or Tattvas.
This individuality, stamped by the Tattvas, is determined by the color — that is, the vibration — of the planet under which one is born. This fact gives us the scientific basis for astrology, every planet being the center of a specific Tattvic influence just as are the ganglia of the nervous system. This agrees with and-explains the puzzling tenet of Hermetic philosophy, " As it is above, so is it below," and shows the close parallel-ism between the microcosm and the macrocosm. Always an acknowledged truth, modern science has yet to point out the first coincidence. The Tattvic vibrations corresponding thus with the planets necessarily vary in force according to their movements; every planet, and therefore the force of vibrations emanating from it, being modified in manifold ways according to its nearness to or remoteness from a sympathetic or a dominating sister orb. Much more concerning these correspondences will be developed in later chapters. It could not be so well understood now. It suffices to state here that every activity in man is a microcosmic reflection of macrocosmic activity.
This Tattvic influence is the energy, working by the same law, throughout the kingdoms, mineral, vegetable, and animal of this vast universe. Their myriads of permutations furnish the diversity which charms us, and their invariability that ever-recurring unity of action that baffles the physicist with amazing paradoxes.
In the process of evolution, every Tattva, though retaining its essential primary qualities (the properties already described as differentiating one Tattva from another — see table of the Tattvas, chapter II), combines with the other Tattvas in the proportions of 4 to I, and in the mingling is modified by their qualities. Thus, every molecule of Yâyu consists of four parts of Pâyu and one each of the four other Tattvas, forming a five-fold division; together with two phases, negative and positive, which make up the mystic seven-fold. This number is now recognized in science as establishing the Periodic Law or system, which, grouping elements according to their atomic weight, shows that elements of similar chemical behavior occur once in seven; that is, in octaves as do the tones of the musical scale.
Bearing in mind the process of their evolution one after another from ethereal space to the cohesive resistance of Prithivi, the earth vibration, it should be understood that every successive Tattva, even in its primary and most subtle form, becomes more complex, for it contains the impress of those preceding it. Thus, Prithivi partakes of the qualities of the four preceding Tattvas, and adds its own specific property. Two adjacent Tattvas mingle more freely with each other than with the more remote ones. For example, Prithivi and Apas are more sympathetic and congenial than Tejas and Prithivi; and Apas yields to ,Tejas before it does to Vâyu. We see this process exactly illustrated in the change of ice (Prithivic state of matter) through water to vapor. Akâsha intervenes between every two states, receiving the can-celled vibrations of the element passing into a la-tent condition and yielding the potentiality of the supervening element ; continuing, you see, to serve as the bowl in which Nature does her mixing.
In physics, an important law of motion — known as " Newton's third law "— is this: " For every action there is a reaction, equal in amount and opposite in direction." This principle governs all Tattvic vibrations. In the separate Tattvas, every atom is reacted upon by an opposite force,— the negative atom by a positive atom,—and when the equal and opposite vibrations of the same Tattva meet they cancel each other, and together pass into the Akashic state. An illustration of this law can be seen when two waves of equal size come together so that the crest of one falls into the trough of the other. Thus meeting, the waves are cancelled and smooth water results. This conjunction, or rest point, is Akâshic; for Akasha precedes and follows every change on every plane of motion and life.
In the action of light-waves the same phenomenon has been observed whenever a difference of path brings passing waves so that the crest of one set of rays falls over the trough of the other set. The conjunction (Akâshic) of the two beams of light produces darkness. The interference of sound, as when the condensed part of one sound meets the rarified part of another, and they neutralize each other, producing silence, is yet another illustration of this physical law. It was formerly considered an " acoustic paradox."
These few illustrations show how the Tattvic Law explains the most puzzling and contradictory secrets of Nature's workshop. They are given only as index-fingers pointing the way for every interested student to make original discoveries. This, to every real thinker, adds a zest which nothing else can give, and becomes a spur to constant effort and constant progress.