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XVIII. The Constitution of the Earth and Volcanic Eruptions
Even among esoteric scientists it is counted amount the most difficult problems to investigate the mysterious construction of the Earth. Every esoteric scientist knows how much easier it is to thoroughly and accurately investigate the Desire World and the Region of Concrete Thought and bring back the results into the Physical World than to investigate completely the secrets of our physical planet, because to do that fully, one must have passed through the nine lesser Mysteries and the first of the Great Initiations.
Modern scientists know very little about this matter. So far as seismic phenomena are concerned, they very frequently change their theories, because they are constantly discovering reasons why their previous hypotheses were untenable. They have, with all their usual splendid care, investigated the very outside shell, but only to an insignificant depth. As for volcanic eruptions, they try to understand them as they try to understand everything else, in a purely mechanical way, depicting the center of the Earth as a fiery furnace and concluding that the eruptions are caused by the accidental admission of water and in other similar ways.
In a certain sense, their theories have some foundation, but in this case they are, as always, neglecting the spiritual causes which to the esotericist appear to be the true ones. To him, the world is far from being "dead." On the contrary, its every nook and crevice is permeated by spirit, which is the leaven that causes changes in and upon the planet.
The different kinds of quartz, the metals, the disposition of the various strata—all have a much higher significance than the materialistic investigator has ever been able to grasp. To the esoteric scientists, the way in which these materials are arranged is full of meaning. On this subject, as on every other, esoteric science stands in the same relation to modern science as physiology does to anatomy. Anatomy states with minute detail the exact position of every bone, muscle, ligament, nerve, etc., their relative positions to one another and so forth, but does not give any clue to the use of any one of the different parts of which the body is composed. Physiology, on the other hand, not only states the position and structure of every part of the body, but also tells their use in the body.
To know the different strata of the Earth and the relative positions of the planets in the sky without having also a knowledge of their use and meaning in the life and purpose of the Cosmos, is as useless as to know merely the positions of bones, nerves, etc., without understanding also their use in the functional economy of the body.
The Number of the Beast
To the trained clairvoyant sight, of the Initiate of the various degrees of the Mysteries, the Earth appears built in strata, something like an onion, one layer or stratum outside another. There are nine such strata and the central core, making ten in all. These strata are revealed to the Initiate gradually. One stratum becomes accessible to him at each Initiation, so that at the end of the nine lesser Initiations he is master of all the layers, but has not yet access to the secrets of the core.
In ancient parlance these nine steps are called the "lesser Mysteries." They take the neophyte consciously through all that relates to his past evolution, through the activities of involuntary existence, so that he is able to understand the manner and meaning of the work he then performed unconsciously. He is shown how the present ninefold constitution (the threefold body, the threefold soul, and the threefold spirit) was brought into existence; how the great creative Hierarchies worked on the virgin spirit, awakening in it the Ego, helping it to form the body; and also the work he himself has done, to extract from the threefold body as much of the threefold soul as he now possesses. One step at a time is he led through the nine steps of the lesser mysteries, the nine strata.
This number nine is the root number of our present stage of evolution. It bears a significance in our system that no other number does. It is the number of Adam, the life which commenced its evolution as Man, which reached the human stage during the Earth Period. In the Hebrew, as in the Greek, there are no numerals, but each letter has a numerical value. In Hebrew "Adam" is called "ADM." The value of "A" is 1; of "D," 4; and of "M," 40. If we add these figures, we get 1+4+4+0=9—the number of Adam, or humanity.
If we turn from the Book of Genesis, which deals with the creation of man in the hoary past, to the Book of Revelation, which deals with his future attainment, we find that the number of the beast which hinders is 666. Adding these figures, 6+6+6=18; and further, 1+8=9—we have again the number of humanity, which is itself the cause of all the evil which hinders its own progress. Going further, to the point where the number of those who are to be saved is stated, we find it to be 144,000. Adding as before, 1+4+4+000=9—again the number of humanity, showing that practically it will be saved in its totality, the number incapable of progress in our present evolution being negligible in comparison to the grand total, and even the few who fail are not lost, but will progress in a later scheme.
The consciousness of the mineral and the plant is really unconsciousness. The first glimmering dawn of consciousness begins with the animal kingdom. We have seen also that according to the most modern classification, there are thirteen steps in the animal kingdom: three classes of Radiates; three classes of Mollusks; three classes of Articulates; and four classes of Vertebrates.
If we regard ordinary man as a step by himself, and remember that there are thirteen Initiations from man to God, or from the time he commenced to qualify himself for becoming a self-conscious Creative Intelligence, we have again the same number, Nine: 13+1+13=27 2+7=9.
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The number 9 is also hidden in the age of Christ Jesus, 33; 3x3=9, and in a similar manner in the 33 degrees of Masonry. In olden times Masonry was a system of Initiation into the lesser Mysteries which, as we have seen, have 9 degrees, but the Initiates often wrote it as 33. Similarly we read of the l8th degree of the Rosicrucians, which was only a "blind" for the uninitiated, because there are never more than 9 degrees in any lesser Mystery, and the Masons of today have but very little of the esoteric ritual left in their degrees.
We have also the nine months of gestation, during which the body is built up to its present efficiency; and there are in the body nine perforations-two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, one mouth, and the two lower orifices.
When the advancing man has passed through the nine lesser Initiations, gaining thereby entrance to all the layers of the Earth, entrance into the core is yet to be won. That is opened to him by the first of the four Great Initiation, in which he learns to know the mystery of the mind, that part of his being begun on Earth. When he is ready for the first Great Initiation he has developed his mind to the degree all men are destined to attain to at the end of the Earth Period. In that Initiation he is given the key to the next stage, and all work done by him after that will be such as humanity in general will do in the Jupiter Period, and does not concern us at present.
After his first Great Initiation, he is an Adept. The second, third and fourth Initiations pertain to the stages of development to be arrived at by ordinary humanity in the Jupiter, Venus, and Vulcan Periods.
These thirteen Initiations are symbolically represented in the Christ and His twelve Apostles. Judas Iscariot is the traitorous propensities of the lower nature of the neophyte. The beloved John is the Venus Initiation, and Christ Himself symbolizes the Divine Initiate of the Vulcan Period.
In different schools of esoteric science the rites of Initiation vary, also their statement of the number of Initiations, but that is merely a matter of classification. It will be observed that such vague descriptions as can be given become more vague as one proceeds higher and higher. Where seven or more degrees are spoken of, almost nothing is said of the sixth Initiation, and nothing whatever of the ones beyond. That is because of another division—the six steps of "Preparation." and the four Initiations which bring the candidate to the end of the Earth Period, to Adeptship. Then there must always be three more, if the philosophy of the school or society goes so far. The writer, however, knows of none but the Rosicrucians who have anything to say of the three Periods which preceded the Earth Period, save the bare statement that there were such Periods. They are not brought very definitely into relationship with our present phase of existence, however. Likewise, other esoteric teachings simply state that there will be three more schemes of evolution, but no particulars are given. Of course, under those circumstances, the three last Initiations are not mentioned.
Diagram 18 will give an idea of the arrangement of the Earth's strata, the central core being omitted to indicate more clearly the lemniscate formation of the currents in the ninth stratum. In the diagram the strata are represented as being of equal thickness, thought in reality some are much thinner than other. Beginning at the outside, they appear in the following order:
(1) The Mineral Earth: This is the stony crust of the Earth, with which geology deals as far as it is able to penetrate.
(2) The Fluid Stratum: The matter of this stratum is more fluid than that of the outside crust, yet it is not watery, but rather more like a thick paste. It has the quality of expansion, like that of an exceedingly explosive gas, and is kept in place only by the enormous pressure of the outer crust. Were that removed, the whole of the fluid stratum would disappear in space with a tremendous explosion. These correspond to the Chemical and Etheric Regions of the Physical World.
(3) Vapor Stratum: In the first and second strata there is really no conscious life. But in this stratum there is an even-flowing and pulsating life, as in the Desire World surrounding and inter-penetrating our Earth.
(4) Water Stratum: In this stratum are the germinal possibilities of all that exists upon the surface of the Earth. Here are the archetypal forces which are back of the group spirits; also the archetypal forces of the minerals, for this is the direct physical expression of the Region of Concrete Thought.
(5) Seed Stratum: Material scientists have been baffled in their efforts to discover the origin of life, how the first living things came forth from previously dead matter.
In reality, according to the esoteric explanation of evolution, the question should be how the "dead" things originated. The Life was there previous to the dead Forms. It built its bodies from the attenuated, vaporous substance long before it condensed into the Earth's solid crust. Only when the life had left the forms could they crystallize and become hard and dead.
Coal is but crystallized plant bodies; coral is also the crystallization of animal forms. The life leaves the forms and the forms die. Life never came into a form to awaken it to life. Life departed from the forms and the forms died. Thus did "dead" things come to be.
In this fifth stratum is the primordial fount of life from which came the impetus that built all the forms on Earth. It corresponds to the Region of Abstract Thought.
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(6) Fiery Stratum: Strange as it may seem, this stratum is possessed of sensation. Pleasure and pain, sympathy and antipathy have here their effect on the Earth. It is generally supposed that under no possible circumstances can the Earth have any sensation whatever. The esoteric scientist, however, as he watches the harvesting of the ripe grain and the gathering of fruit from the trees in the autumn, or the plucking of flowers, knows the pleasure experienced by the Earth itself. It is similar to the pleasure felt by the cow when its bursting udders are being relieved by the sucking calf. The Earth feels the delight of having yielded nourishment for its progeny of Forms, this delight reaching its culmination in the harvest time.
On the other hand, when plants are torn out by the roots, it is patent to the esoteric scientist that the Earth senses a sting of pain. For that reason he does not eat the plant-foods which grow under the Earth. In the first place they are full of the Earth force and deficient in Sun force, and are additionally poisoned by being pulled up by the roots. The only exception to this rule is that he may partake sparingly of the potato, which originally grew on the surface of the earth, and has only in comparatively recent times grown beneath the soil. Esotericists endeavor to nourish their bodies on fruits which grow toward the Sun, because they contain more of the higher Sun force, and have not caused the Earth pain.
It might be supposed that mining operations would be very painful to the Earth, but the reverse is the case. Every disintegration of the hard crust causes a sensation of relief and every solidification is a source of pain. Where a mountain torrent washes away the soil and carries it toward the plains, the earth feels freer. Where the disintegrated matter is again deposited, as in a bar outside the mouth of a great river, there is a corresponding sense of uneasiness.
As sensation in animals and men is due to their separate vital bodies, so the feeling of the Earth is particularly active in this sixth stratum, which corresponds to the World of Life Spirit. To understand the pleasure felt when mining operations are disintegrating the hard rock, and the pain when deposits gather, we must remember that the Earth is the dense body of a Great Spirit, and to furnish us with an environment in which we could live and gather experience, it had to crystallize this body into its present solid condition.
As evolution proceeds, however, and man learns the lessons pertaining to this acme of concretion, the Earth will become softer and its spirit more and more liberated. This is what Paul meant when he spoke of the whole creation groaning and travailing, waiting for the day of liberation.
(7) Refracting Stratum: This part of the Earth corresponds to the World of Divine Spirit. There are, in esoteric science what are known as "The Seven Unspeakable Secrets." For those who are not acquainted with these secrets, or have not as least an inkling of their import, the properties of this stratum must seem particularly absurd and grotesque. In it all the forces which are known to us as the "Laws of Nature" exist as moral, or rather immoral forces. In the beginning of the conscious career of man they were much worse than at present. But it appears that as humanity progresses in morals, these forces improve correspondingly; also that any lapse in morals has a tendency to unleash these Nature forces and causes them to create havoc upon the Earth; while the striving for higher ideals makes them less inimical to man.
The forces in this stratum are thus, at any time, an exact reflection of the existing moral status of mankind. From the esoteric point of view, the "hand of God" which smites a Sodom or a Gomorrah is not a foolish superstition, for as surely as there is individual responsibility to the law of Consequence which brings to each person the just results of his deeds whether for good or evil, so is there also community and national responsibility, which brings upon groups of men corresponding results for their collective acts. Nature forces are the general agents of such retributive justice, causing floods, or earthquakes, or the beneficent formation of oil or coal for various groups, according to their deserts.
(8) Atomistic Stratum: This is the name given by the Rosicrucians to the eighth layer of the Earth, which is the expression of the World of Virgin Spirits. It seems to have the property of multiplying many fold the things in it; this applies, however, only to those things which have been definitely formed. An unshapen piece of wood, or an unhewn stone has not existence there, but upon anything which has been shaped, or has life and form (such as a flower or a picture), this stratum has the effect of multiplication to an astonishing degree.
(9) Material Expression of the Earth spirit: There are here lemniscate currents, which are intimately connected with the brain, heart and sex organs of the human race. It corresponds to the World of God.
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(10) Center of Being of the Earth spirit: Nothing more can be said about this at present except that it is the ultimate seed ground of all that is in and on Earth, and corresponds to the Absolute.
From the sixth or fiery stratum to the surface of the Earth are a number of shafts in different places. The outer ends of these are called "volcanic craters." When the Nature forces in the seventh stratum are unleashed so that they can express themselves through a volcanic outburst, they set the (sixth) fiery stratum in motion and the agitation spreads outward to the mouth of the crater. The bulk of the material is taken from the substance of the second stratum, for that is the denser counterpart of the sixth stratum as the vital body, the second vehicle of man, is the denser counterpart of the life Spirit, the sixth principle. This fluidic stratum, with its expansive and highly explosive quality, insures an unlimited supply of material at the point of eruption. The contact with the outer atmosphere hardens that part of it which is not blown away into space, thus forming a lava and dust, until, as the blood from a wound congeals and stanches the flow, so the lava finally seals the aperture from the inner parts of the Earth.
As might be gathered from the fact that it is the reflected immorality and anit-spiritual tendencies of mankind which arouse the Nature-forces in the seventh stratum to destructive activity, it is generally profligate and degenerate peoples who succumb to these catastrophes. They, together with others whose destiny, self-generated under the law of consequence, for various reasons, involves a violent death, are gathered from many lands by the superhuman forces, to the point where the eruption is to occur. To the thoughtful, the volcanic outbursts of Vesuvius, for instance, will afford corroboration of this statement.
A list of these outbursts during the last 2,000 years shows that their frequency has been increasing with the growth of materialism. In the last sixty years, especially, in the ratio that materialistic science has grown arrogant in its absolute and sweeping denial of everything spiritual, have the eruption increase in frequency. While there were but six eruptions in the first 1,000 years after Christ, the last five have taken place within 51 years, as will be shown.
The first eruption during the Christian Era was that which destroyed the cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii, in which the elder Pliny perished, A. D. 79. The older eruptions followed in A. D. 203, 472, 512, 652, 982, 1036, 1158, 1500, 1631, 1737, 1794, 1822, 1855, 1872, 1855, 1891, 1906.
In the first thousand years, there were six eruptions; in the second thousand there have been twelve, the last five occurring in a period of 51 years, as before stated.
Of the entire number of 18 eruptions, the first nine occurred in the so-called "dark ages," that is to say, the 1600 years during which the Western World was dominated by what are commonly termed the "heathen," or by the Roman Church. The remainder have taken place in the last three hundred years, during which the advent and rise of Modern Science, with its materializing tendencies, has driven almost the last vestige of spiritually to the wall, particularly in the last half of the l9th Century. Therefore the eruptions for that period comprise nearly one-third of the total number that have taken place in our Era.
To counteract this demoralizing influence, a great deal of esoteric information has been given out during that time by the Elder Brothers of Wisdom, who are ever working for the benefit of humanity. It is thought that by giving out this knowledge and educating the few who will still receive it, it may be possible to stem the tide of materialism, which otherwise may bring about very serious consequences to its advocates who, having so long denied the existence of the spiritual, may be unable to find their balance when they discover that though still living, they have been deprived of the dense body. Such persons may meet a fate too sad to contemplate with equanimity. One of the causes of the dread "white plague" is this materialism, not traceable to the present incarnation perhaps, but the result of previous materialistic beliefs and affirmations.
We have spoken of the demise of the elder Pliny, at the time of the destruction of Pompeii. It is interesting to follow the fate of such a scientist, not so much for the sake of that particular individual as for the light it throws upon the manner in which the memory of Nature is read by the esoteric scientist, how the impressions are made upon it, and the effect of past traits upon present tendencies.
When a man dies, his dense body disintegrates, but the sum total of its forces can be found in the seventh or reflecting stratum of the Earth, which may be said to constitute a reservoir in which, as forces, past forms are stored. If, knowing the time of the death of a man, we search this reservoir, it is possible to find his form there. Not only is it stored in the seventh stratum, but the eighth or atomistic stratum multiplies it, so that any one type may be reproduced and modified by others. Thus it is used over and over again in the formation of other bodies. The brain-tendencies of such a man as Pliny the elder may have been reproduced a thousand years afterwards, and have been partly the cause of the present crop of materialistic scientists.
There is still much for modern, material scientists to learn and to unlearn. Though they fight to the last ditch what they sneeringly term the "illusionary ideas" of the esoteric scientist, they are being compelled to acknowledge their truth and accept them one by one, and it is only a matter of time when they will have been compelled to accept them all.
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Mesmer, who was sent by the Elder Brother, was worse than ridiculed, but when materialists had changed the name of the force discovered by him, calling it "hypnotism" instead of "Mesmerism," it at once became "scientific."
Twenty years ago Madame Blavatsky, a faithful pupil of Eastern Masters, said that the Earth had a third movement, in addition to the two producing day and night and the seasons. She pointed out that the inclination of the Earth's axis is caused by a movement which, in due time, brings the north pole to where the equator is now and still later, to the place now occupied by the south pole. This, she said, was known to the ancient Egyptians, the famous planisphere at Dendera showing that they had records of three such revolutions. These statements, in common with the whole of her unexcelled work, "The Secret Doctrine," were hooted at.
A few years ago, an astronomer, Mr. G. E. Sutcliffe, of Bombay, discovered and mathematically demonstrated that Laplace had made a mistake in his calculations. The discovery and rectification of this error confirmed by mathematical demonstration the existence of the third motion of the Earth, as claimed by Madame Blavatsky. It also afforded an explanation of the theretofore puzzling fact that tropical plants and fossils are found in the polar regions, as such a movement would necessarily produce, in due time, tropical and glacial periods on all parts of the Earth, corresponding to its changed position in relation to the Sun. Mr. Sutcliffe sent his letter and demonstration to Nature, but that journal refused to publish them, and when the author made public the discovery by means of a pamphlet, he drew upon himself an appalling storm of vituperation. However, he is an avowed and a deep student of "The Secret Doctrine," and that explains the hostile reception according his discovery and its inevitable corollaries.
Later, however, a Frenchman, not an astronomer, but a mechanician, constructed an apparatus demonstrating the ample possibility of the existence of such a movement. The apparatus was exhibited at the Louisiana Purchase Exhibition at Saint Louis, and was warmly endorsed by M. Camille Flammarion, as worthy of investigation. Here was something concrete, something "mechanical," and the editor of The Monist, thought he described the inventor as a man laboring somewhat under "mystic illusions" (because of his belief that the ancient Egyptians knew of this third motion), nevertheless magnanimously overlooked that feature of the case and said that he had not lost faith in M. Beziau's theory on that account. He published an explanation and an essay by M. Beziau, wherein the motion and its effects upon the surface of the Earth were described in terms similar to those used by Madame Blavatsky and Mr. Sutcliffe. M. Beziau is not definitely "billed" as an esotericist, therefore his discovery may be countenanced.
Many instances might be cited showing how esoteric information has been corroborated later by material science. One of them is the atomistic theory, which is advocated in the Greek philosophies and later in "The Secret Doctrine." It was "discovered" in 1897, by Professor Thomson.
In Mr. A. P. Sinnett's valuable work, "The Growth of the Soul," published in 1896, the author stated that there are two planets beyond the orbit of Neptune, only one of which, he thought, would be discovered by modern astronomers. In Nature for August, 1906, the statement is made that Professor Barnard, through the 36-inch Lick refractor, had discovered such a planet in 1892. There had been no mistake about it, yet he waited fourteen years before he announced his discovery! One need not be concerned about that, however. The main point is that the planet is there, and that Mr. Sinnett's book said so ten years before Professor Barnard's claim to prior discovery. Probably, previous to 1906 the announcement of the newly discovered planet might have tended to disarrange some popularly accepted theory!
There are many such theories. The Copernican theory is not altogether correct, and there are many facts that cannot be accounted for by the lauded Nebular theory alone. Tycho Brahe, the famous Danish astronomer, refused to accept the Copernican theory. He had a very good reason for remaining true to the Ptolemaic theory because, as he said, by it the movements of the planets figured out correctly, while with the Copernican theory, it is necessary to use a table of corrections. The Ptolemaic system is correct from the standpoint of the Desire World, and it has points that are needed in the Physical World.
By many the statements made in the foregoing pages will be considered fantastic. Be it so. Time will bring to all a knowledge of the facts herein set forth. This book is only for the few who, having freed their minds from the shackles of orthodox science and religion, are ready to accept this until they have proven it wrong.
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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