Laws of Harmony
"To listen to the music of the spheres" is a poetical expression, but it expresses a great truth; because the Universe is filled with harmony, and a soul who is in full harmony with the soul of the universe may listen to that music and understand it. The world as well as man resemble musical instruments, in which every string should be in perfect order, so that no discordant notes may be sounded. We may look upon matter on the physical plane as a state of low vibration and upon spirit as the highest vibration of life, and between the two poles are the intermediary states constituting the grand octave called Man.
Plato is said to have written over the door of his academy: "Let no one enter here, unless he is versed in mathematics," and Pythagoras demanded of his disciples an additional "knowledge of music"; meaning the capacity to keep their soul attuned to the harmonies of the divine law of being, so as to be able to realise the beauty of truth. For without such an elevation of soul and without spirituality, all desire for a knowledge of that which transcends the realm of the sensual is merely an outcome of vanity, an insane craving for gratifying curiosity, which defeats its own end; because the more one seeks to examine objectively the One which includes the All, the more does he recede from it and separate himself from the realisation of that truth which is one, eternal, omnipresent and infinite.
It is not the personality of man that can grasp the impersonal. If man wants to know God, he must die to himself, and enter God's nature; which means that he must overcome the disharmony caused by the delusion of division, separation and self, and again realise the unity of the whole.
The foundation of nature is Unity. God is only One. He is the Law, and requires no "law-giver"; being Himself omnipresent within the All of his nature; self-sufficient, self-existent and absolute. The Law is everywhere, and everything exists in the Law, and without the law of existence no existence is to be found.
But as by the act of creation and subsequent evolution a variety of forms comes into existence, with innumerable beings capable to will, and to think, and to use the law contrary to divine wisdom, many disharmonies are caused in what ought to be a harmonious whole.
Thus the law is still the same; but its action may be misapplied and its use perverted. It is still the foundation of every individual being, and the sooner each individual will become able to recognise the highest and fundamental law of its own nature, which is identical with the law that rules the All, the sooner will the original harmony be restored.
Man is himself an outcome of the action of law, and that law is in him. It is the centre and fountain of his own being; he is an expression of it, and it is his true self. He is himself the law, and will recognise himself as the law when he learns to know his true self. All the elements in his nature which do not recognise this one universal law, and act in accordance with it, do not belong to man's divine nature; they are not his real self, but produce the disharmony which exist in his world. Only when all the inhabitants of his kingdom will bow before the superiority of that law, will there be perfect harmony.
Cause and Effect
In every department of nature every effect depends on a corresponding cause, and every cause will produce a certain effect according to the conditions in which it becomes manifest. If we knew the causes we could easily calculate their effects. Each thought, each word, each act creates a cause, which acts directly on the plane to which it belongs, creating there new causes, which react again upon the other planes.
A motive or thought which finds no expression in an act will have no direct result on the physical plane, but it may cause great emotions in the sphere of mind, and these may again react on the physical plane. The best intention will produce no visible effect unless it is put into execution; but intentions produce certain mental states, that may be productive of actions at some time in the future.
The performance of an act will have an effect, no matter whether it was premeditated or not, but an act without a motive will not directly affect the planes of thought. Such an act imposes no moral responsibility upon the performer, but it will, nevertheless, have its effects on the physical plane that may react upon the mind.
From the causes created on the physical, astral, and spiritual planes innumerable combinations of effects come into existence, creating new causes, that are again followed by effects, and every force that is put into action on either plane continues to act until it is exhausted by transformations into other modes of action, when its vibrations will be changed into others, and the previous effects will cease to exist.
By the threefold action of that law as thought, will, and performance on the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual planes a great many conditions ensue which give rise to endless modifications and varieties, and again produce innumerable secondary causes, which again produce effects, and at last the actions of the law of Karma will become so complicated, that it is impossible to follow it into its details.
The law of Karma is the law of justice for the purpose of restoring harmony; it includes retribution in the shape of "punishment" and "reward." It knows nothing of "revenge," neither does it recognise any personal merits; it is the Law itself, and acts according to its own nature and not in accordance to this or that consideration. It is the law according to which the sum of the causes created by one individual in one incarnation will produce certain effects in his next incarnation, and cause him to either enjoy or suffer that which he has either willingly, and with determination, or ignorantly created himself.
Every being in nature having attained individuality has its own individual Karma, determining the course of its future career; each of the individual elements in the constitution of man has its own Karma, and man being identified with his nature, partakes of the Karma of the principles which constitute his own nature; but as God is superior to nature and therefore not subject to it, so the individual man who conquers his nature, rises above it, and becoming one with the law, becomes free of the Karma affecting his terrestrial nature. "Giving his nature away," and sacrificing himself wholly to the law of divine being, he also "forgives" his sins.
The discords in nature, caused by the action of the deluded self-will and the perverted desires of individual entities, cannot cease in any other way than by the restoration of the unity of the individual will with the will of the fundamental law of the whole. This unity exists; it does not need to be created by man; he is only required to recognise it. If he recognises it practically, it will become realised in him. Personal man cannot recognise himself as being this Unity, because he is divided against himself; his "self" is an illusion, and an illusion cannot become a realisation of truth. If the truth becomes realised, the illusion ceases to be.
All numbers are the outcome of one; in all numbers the one is contained, and without the one at the bottom no numbers could come into existence. This number one remains always the same; whether divided or multiplied by itself, it does not change. All mathematics is based upon the faith into the immutability of number one. We have no positive proof that it never changes; our knowledge about it is only negative; because it has never been known to change. In the same way our intellectual knowledge of God is only negative; we cannot prove his eternal immutability scientifically; we only believe in it; the only proof we have of it is, that our own inner self-consciousness, if we have once attained it, remains ever the same. This proof is sufficient for the wise; but it will go for nought with the fool.
The foundation of nature is one; but the numbers of its manifestation appear to be infinite. Nevertheless, all things in nature are related to each other, owing to their relation to the one, which is at the bottom of their existence.
Everything has its number, measure, and weight, and there is nothing in nature which is not ruled by mathematical laws. Suns and stars have their periodical revolutions. The molecules of bodies combine in certain proportions, known to chemistry, and in all events on the physical plane as well as in the realm of the emotions a certain regularity and periodicity has been observed. There are regular hours for the appearance of day and night, fixed intervals for spring and summer, autumn and winter, for ebbs and tides in the ocean and in the waters constituting the soul. The physiological and anatomical changes in animal forms occur at fixed periods, and even the events of life take place according to certain occult laws; because, although man's will seems to be free, nevertheless his actions are controlled by certain circumstances, and even the comparative freedom of his will is a result of the action of the law of his evolution.
The followers of Pythagoras believed every process in nature to be regulated by certain numbers, which are as follows:
This table represents a succession of numbers, which are obtained by the construction of Tetragrams or magic squares, and it was believed that by the use of these numbers every effect could be calculated if the original number referring to the cause were known. If everything has a certain number of vibrations, and if these vibrations increase or diminish at a certain ratio and in regular periods, a knowledge of these numbers will enable us to predict a future event.*
* The magic squares of odd numbers are formed as described below: by writing down the numbers of their squares in regular succession, cutting out their "heart" and transposing the numbers that are left to their opposite places. The following is the process in forming the magic square of the number III. The square of 3 is 9:
We see here the numbers 1, 3, 7, 9, left on the outside of the square. If they are inserted in a certain order into the blank spaces at the opposite sides of the square, the following figure will be the result:
These numbers, if added in any column of three, will always produce 15.
The following will make still clearer the order in which the numbers are to be inserted, with the figure drawn in an upright position.
According to this principle all the other magic squares of odd numbers are made.
The following is the tetragram of the number seven:
Each column added together produces 175.
N.B. -- The numbers omitted here may be inserted by the student.
The construction of tetragrams of even numbers is more complicated, but the following examples will show the principles after which they are constructed:
Every person has a certain number that expresses his character and if we know that number, we may, by the use of the magic squares, calculate certain periodical changes in his mental and emotional states, which induce him to make certain changes in his outward conditions, and in this way calculate approximately the time when some important changes may take place in his career.
The Number Seven
Periodicity is a manifestation of universal law, and an attention to it may lead to some important discoveries Its actions have long ago been known to exist in the vibrations producing light and sound, and it has recently been recognised in chemistry by experiments tending to prove that all so-called simple elements are only various states of vibrations of one primordial element, manifesting itself in seven principal modes of action, each of which to be sub-divided into seven again. The difference which exists between so-called single substances is, therefore, no difference of substance or matter, but only a difference of the function of matter or in the ratio of its atomic vibration.
This periodicity is also known to exist in the macrocosm of the universe; the tide of civilisation rises and sinks according to certain laws, and ages of spiritual ignorance are followed by eras of spiritual enlightenment; upon the Kali Yuga follows the Satya Yuga (the era of wisdom), as sure as day follows the night.*
* This periodicity is stated to be as follows:
Satya Yuga = 4,800 divine years.
Treta Yuga = 3,600 divine years.
Dwapara Yuga = 2,400 divine years.
Kali Yuga = 1,200 divine years.
Each divine year being equal to 360 years of mortal men.
See H. P. Blavatsky: "Theosophical Glossary."
The number Seven represents the scale of nature, it is represented in all departments of nature, from the radiant sun, whose light is broken by a dewdrop into the seven colours of the rainbow, down to the snowflake crystallising in six-pointed stars around the invisible centre. The law of seven has been found to rule in the development and growth of vegetable and animal organisms, in the constitution of the universe, and in the constitution of Man.
Seven is the rule by which the totality of existence is measured, but Five is the number of Harmony. If the fifth note in the musical scale is in accord with the first and the third, harmony will be the result. There are other accords which are harmonious, but the most perfect accord is caused by the harmony of the first, the third, and the fifth. Two sounds may be harmonious, but to attain a perfect accord a third one is required.
The same law rules in the constitution of Man. If his body (his first principle) is in accord with his instincts (the third), he experiences pleasant sensations, but full harmony and happiness is only attained when his fifth principle (his intelligence) fully assents in the union of the first and the third. Other parallels may be drawn between the musical scale and the scale of principles in man, and it will be found that both have their accords in moll [minor] and in dur [major] that correspond to each other. Each man's life is a symphony, in which either harmonious or discordant tunes may prevail.
The power by which harmony is produced is the power of Love. Love produces union and harmony, hate causes dissension and discord. Love is the power of mutual recognition; recognition is a manifestation of consciousness, consciousness is a manifestation of life. Life, Love, Consciousness, Harmony, are essentially one. Love is the power by which a being existing in one form recognises itself in the form of another being. Why do some notes, if sounded together, produce harmony, if not on account of the similarity of the elements that compose them coming to the consciousness of our own mind? Mutual recognition among friends causes joy, and joy means harmony, happiness, and content.
If two or more notes of exactly the same kind are sounded together, they produce neither harmony nor discord, they simply increase their own strength. They are already one, in form and in spirit; but if different notes are struck, each containing an element also contained in the other, each sees its own counterpart represented in the mirror held by the other, and this recognition is joy. If we listen to beautiful music the air seems filled with life. If the principle of harmony exists within ourselves we recognise it in music; it becomes alive in our soul. A discordant being may listen to the most beautiful music and will experience no pleasure because there is no harmony within his own soul.
If a principle becomes conscious of its own existence in another form and recognises its beauty in that form in its purity, and unalloyed by any adulteration, perfect harmony is the result. If two or more things contain the same element, these elements are justly adapted to each other, and seek to unite, because they are constituted alike, they vibrate together as one.
This tendency to unite is Attraction, which manifests itself on all planes of existence. The planets are attracted to the sun and to each other, because they all contain the same elements, seeking to reunite, and the power of gravitation is nothing else but the power exercised by love. Man is attracted to woman and woman to man, because if they realise in each other the presence of the elements of their own ideal, they will love each other and be fully contented. Man and woman can only truly love each other if they are both attracted by the same ideal. This ideal may be high or low, but the higher it is the more permanent will it be, and the greater will be their mutual happiness.
Original man was a Unity; an ethereal being, in whom will and thought were one. Being misled by the allurements of sensual existence he began to dream, and while he dreamed he forgot his own divine nature and became a worm of the earth. When he opened his eyes, he found the woman before him. He, the original unity had become divided in two; which means that his will and his reason had become divided; they were no longer in harmony with each other and no longer in harmony with the law.
Man represents the imagination, woman the will. If they had both separated themselves from the law as they did from each other, woman would have no intelligence and man would have no will; but fortunately some of the original nature that constituted original man remained with them; they still are both to a certain extent embodiments of the law, and by entering again into harmony with the law, will and intelligence will become united in wisdom; the heart one with the head; the true man and the true woman one being. This is the celestial marriage of the soul with the spirit, of beauty with strength, of which all external marriages are at best symbols but usually caricatures.
Mankind is only one, but it appears in many millions of various masks. This mask is the personality of each man, the instrument through which his humanity acts, and which is full of imperfections. He, in whom humanity has become conscious, sees in every man and woman not only his brother or sister, but his own self. A person who injures another, injures himself, for each man constitutes a power which acts upon all the elements constituting humanity and the good or evil he does will return to himself; because whatever takes place in humanity, takes place within his own nature; for his true nature is that of humanity and the body of humanity belongs to it as a whole.
Love is self-recognition. You cannot love a thing or recognise yourself in it, if you are not related to it. You cannot love humanity if you have not the principle of humanity alive in you; you cannot love God and still remain Mr Smith or Mrs Jones; only God can love God. To love God you must outgrow yourself and become truly divine. He who claims to love God without having any spiritual knowledge of Him is a hypocrite or a fool.
Love is self-knowledge, God. It is a spiritual, self-existent, and self-sufficient principle, requiring for its own being only its own self; but without some object it cannot become manifest, and the quality of its manifestation depends on the quality of that object. A person in love with himself loves a nothing. Love in the high acts high, in the degraded, low. The more universal the object, the more will the power of love in a person expand the mind; but the mind, to be so expanded, must be strong, a weak mind has no power.
Love, to be strong, must be pure, intelligent, and unalloyed with selfish considerations. If we love a thing on account of the use we can make of it, we do not in reality love that thing, but ourselves. Pure love has only the well-being of its object in view, it does not calculate profits, and is not afraid of disadvantages that may grow out of its love. The intellect calculates, but love is its own law.
Impure love is weak and does not enter into its object; it may cause a ruffle on the soul of another, but does not penetrate to the centre. Pure love penetrates and cannot be resisted. The most potent love potion a person can give to another is to love that person without any selfish object in view.
If you wish to progress on the road to perfection, take lessons in love. Learn to love the highest, and you will be attracted by it. Love in every man not the person, but his humanity. If you despise another you despise your own self, because he who prominently notices the faults of another has the elements of those faults in himself. A vain person is repulsed by the vanity of another, a liar expects from others the truth, a thief does not wish to have his own property taken away.
Each man is a mirror in which every other man may see his own image reflected, either as he is or as he may become in the future, for in every human soul exist the same elements, although in different states of development, and there development often depends on external conditions over which man has but little control.
Love is the most necessary element for the continuance of life; there is no life without love, and if man were to cease to love life he would cease to live. A love for a higher life will lead men to a higher condition, a love for a lower state will drag them down to the low. It often happens that if a person's love for a high ideal does not meet the object which it desires, it transfers its love upon something that is low. Old females without any offspring often transfer their parental affection upon some favourite cat or dog, and there are men who buy the semblance of love when no genuine love can be had.
Whenever a lower vibration is not entirely out of harmony with a higher one, the higher vibration accelerates the action of the lower one and brings it up to its own level, in the same manner as a bar of iron, surrounded by an insulated electric wire, may have electricity induced in it, and through a long-continued and powerful action of the higher vibrations upon the lower ones, even the involuntary actions of the body, such as the movements of the heart, may become subject to individual will.
Two strings of a musical instrument which sound not entirely out of harmony, by being sounded together for a certain length of time, at last become harmonious; a man living in more refined society, which is not too far above his moral or intellectual level, will become more refined, servants will ape their masters, and animals take some of the lower characteristics of those that attend to them, and friends or married couples being continually in each other's company may finally resemble each other to a certain extent.
If the respective rates of the vibrations of two substances are entirely out of harmony, they may repel each other, and abnormal activity or excitement follows. The animal body, for instance, can be exposed without danger to a comparatively high degree of heat, if the temperature is gradually raised; while an even lower degree of heat may be very injurious if applied suddenly. It is not without reasons that the occultist abstains from alcohol and from animal food.
"What may be one man's food, will be another man's poison"; in the sphere of matter as well as in the sphere of the emotions. Strong constitutions can bear strong food, weak minds will get frightened at unwelcome truths. No man has ever become an Adept merely because he lived on vegetables; a vegetable diet is however preferable to meat-eating for various reasons. Apart from the self-evident fact that it is entirely opposed to the divine law of justice that he who strives after the attainment of a higher state of existence should destroy animal life, or cause others to destroy it for the purpose of gratifying his appetite.
Those who desire to become more spiritual and refined should avoid supplying their bodies with that which is gross; those who desire to master their passions should not feed them with substances in which the elements of such passions reside.
A great variety of different kinds of food produces impurities of the blood; a struggle ensues between the different auras, and excitement, fever, and disease is the result. The same law explains the origin of venereal and cutaneous diseases, and in the astral plane, a great variety of emotions, called into existence within a short space of time, may render a person insane.
If two forces of a character different from each other meet, disharmony will be the result. Everybody has his own peculiar emanations and auras and transmits them to others, so every one receives the magnetic auras of others or of the locality by which he is surrounded, and these emanations may be either wholesome or pestiferous; men and women may either cure or poison each other by them, and it is therefore well to follow the advice which Gautama Buddha gave to his disciples, and eat and sleep alone.
Vice and Virtue
Many people are very careful to have their food well prepared, so that no unhealthy food enters the body; while at the same time they are very careless as to what thoughts enter their mind; but the quality of the thoughts that dwell in the mind, and of the emotions which nourish the soul, is of far more importance than the quality of the food which enters the body. The mind and the will of man, no less than his body, may be poisoned; the food which the mind requires comes from the highest planes of thought; the food for the soul from the light of divine wisdom. Only that which has descended from heaven can rise to heaven again.
There is no such thing as "sin" in the usual acceptation of this term and there is no one to punish it. Our mistakes are our teachers; our vices are often the basis of our virtues, our passions are the steps which furnish material for the steps that lead us to heaven. Vice and virtue are manifestations of one energy, which we may employ according to the degree of our wisdom; but he who has no power for evil has also no power for good.
We may spend the treasure which nature has lent us either for a high or for a low purpose, it concerns only ourselves; but we cannot expend the same sum again after it has been expended. A purely animal life will produce happiness if the possessor is contented with it. If a person has no higher object in view than to eat and drink, sleep, and propagate his species, he may be thereby rendered happy; there can be nothing wrong; but he who desires to become an immortal being, must take care not to waste his strength.
Only that which is pure can be harmonious.
Singleness of purpose renders a motive pure, but a variety of purposes causes impurity. If a person devotes himself to a certain mode of life, because all his desires are directed towards that end, his motive will be pure; but if he has besides other objects in view, his motive will be impure, and may defeat his aim.
The word "asceticism" is continually misunderstood. A man who lives in a convent, or as an hermit in the wilderness, is not an "ascetic," if he has no desire for a life in the world; for it is no act of self-denial to avoid that which we do not want. "Asceticism" means discipline, and a person who is disgusted with the ways of the world undergoes a much more severe discipline, if he remains in the world, than if he runs away, and goes where he may enjoy his peace.
The real ascetic is therefore he who lives in the midst of the society whose manners displease him, and whose tastes are not his own, and who, in spite of all the temptations by which he may be surrounded, still maintains his integrity of character. Strength only grows by resistance. Our enemies are our friends, if we know how to use them. A hermit living in the woods, where he has no temptations, gains no strength. Isolation is only suitable for an Adept; the Neophite must go throughout the ordeal of life.
A tiger does not sin if he kills a man, he only follows the law of his nature. He who follows the dictates of his nature commits no crime. But what is virtue in an animal may become vice in a man; because he has two natures, an animal and a spiritual nature. If he knows his own higher nature, he will follow it, and for the purpose of obtaining knowledge of it he must sin and suffer the consequences. Real sin is the wilful rejection of the manifestation of divine truth.
The saintly Eckhart says: "God has made great sinners of those who were to become the performers of great works; so that they could attain a superior wisdom by means of his love. If God found it necessary that I should have sinned and suffered for the purpose of gaining experience, I do not wish that I had not sinned, nor do I regret having sinned; for thus his will is done on earth as it is in heaven. A truly honest man will also not wish that he should have no desire for sinning; because without the power to sin he would have no means to overcome it. There can be no victory without a battle, and no true knowledge of good without the experience of evil."
Suffering is an absolutely necessary condition for man as long as he has not attained perfection. To believe in the presence of suffering is as necessary for his terrestrial nature as it is necessary for his spiritual nature to realise the presence of God. There is no other Redeemer of Mankind except Self-knowledge attained by experience. If all the poverty in the world could be artificially abolished at once, men and women would perish in indolence. Nothing can be truly enjoyed which has not been gained by one's own exertions. If there were one teacher supposed to be infallible, whose dictates would be accepted by everybody, the whole world would be satisfied in believing his theories; there would be no incitement for anyone to seek himself for the' truth. If we support a lazy beggar in his idleness, we rob him of the opportunity to gain by experience that knowledge which he can rightfully claim.
Metals are purified by fire, and the heart gains knowledge by suffering. The lower desires must starve to nourish the higher; the animal passions must be crucified and die; but the angel of Love removes the stone from the sepulchre, and liberates the higher energies from the sphere of selfishness and darkness; and the resurrected virtues live and become active in a new world of light and harmony.
If you wish to represent to your mind the process of spiritual purification, seek to understand that you are a world created by a dream, filled with the product of the imagination of nature, and thrown into disorder by the absence of the light of divine wisdom, which is the recognition of divine law, the true inner self-consciousness, which you do not possess. You are comparable to an empty nothing, an evanescent soap-bubble, upon whose glittering surface various colours play; but in which there is no true life and no substance as long as the truth has not become a living power in you.
In this world as in a mirror the invisible image of the divine Adonai is for ever reflected and his power is latent within you. If, by the strength of obedience and the knowledge which you have already received, you can subdue the turbulent elements in your world and restore order in Chaos by ceasing to give life and strength to your desires and dreams, then will the image of the Lord of All, whose presence is everywhere, become visible in yourself and his power awaken within you.
In this principle will and thought and the law are as one without any division. If you know the law, it will lead you to unity and restoration of harmony; the divine ideal will become realised within you, and as it becomes a reality in you, you will recognise it as being your own immortal self.
Bones, muscles, nerves, &c., are the elements of the physical constitution of man; illusions, delusions, dreams, theories, opinions, and dogmas are the inhabitants of his mind; truth, love, justice, purity, self-knowledge, freedom, harmony, and happiness are the elements and attributes of his spiritual organism, and the more these principles manifest their universality in him, the more will he himself approach the divine state.
To recognise the divinity in humanity is to become divine; to behold the realisation of the highest ideal within one's own soul is divine adoration; to desire not the possession of any creature, but to adore the Creator within them all, including oneself, is worship; to recognise and enjoy the harmonies of the universe manifested in nature is divine praise; to let the unity of will, thought, and law be restored within one's soul is true meditation; to rise above the illusion of self and sacrifice oneself to the God of All is true prayer; to realise the truth within one's own heart is to dispel the clouds of error; to become nothing oneself is to enter into that higher self-consciousness which constitutes man's divine state.
There is not a single instance known in history in which true prayer has not been efficacious. If any man has not obtained that which he asked, it only proves that he did not know how to pray. True prayer does not consist in words, but in actions, and the gods help him who helps himself; but he who expects that the gods should do for him that which he ought to accomplish himself, does not know how to pray, and will be disappointed. Prayer means the rising up in our thoughts and aspirations to the highest ideal; if we do not rise up to it, we do not pray. If we expect our highest ideal to come down to us, we expect an absurdity and impossibility.
To attain the highest the spirit should be the master, the passions the servants. A helpless cripple is the slave of his servant; a man who depends on ignorant servants to do work which he can do himself, has to submit to their whims and imperfections, and if he changes his servants, that does not change his position. A person who has vulgar desires and tastes becomes their servant; they dictate to him, and he has to exert himself to attain the means to gratify their claims; but he who has no ignoble desires to serve, is free. Having conquered the world of which he himself is the creator and which belongs to him, his strife with the astral elements ceases. For him discord no longer exists, and resting with his heart at the centre, he is himself the sun illuminating his world and enjoys the harmonies which he created in his own divine nature.