by Dr Th. Pascal
Adyar Pamphlets No 98, February 1919
The Theosophist, Vol XXX, Part II
Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, Chennai. India
THE chief objects of the Theosophical
Society are, first, to make known to the few the existence of the
Path, the cross-road, the way taken by the strong, which, cutting
through the winding evolutionary ascent, climbs straight to the
summit of the mountain towards the temple of light with which it is
crowned; second, and above all, to bring to the knowledge of the
many three mighty laws which are veritable guides for mankind, and
the basis of all Evolution:
The Law of Unity, which proves that
we are brothers.
The Law of Causality, which treats
of physical, moral, mental and spiritual laws, and teaches that
we reap what we have sown.
The Law of Evolution, which shows
the mechanism of progress and the indispensable means by which
it is achieved — returns to earth-life, reincarnations.
On this occasion, I shall endeavour to
set forth the Law of Unity — an exceedingly difficult subject, for
which I crave the utmost indulgence, though I know I shall be
pardoned for being so bold as to undertake it, once I have given
some faint idea of its vast importance; for, indeed, the study of
Unity leads on to supreme Knowledge, and its practice to the heights
Spirit implies one First Cause; that is to say, an uncreated,
causeless Cause, the original Unity. It has ever rejected Duality,
even in the loftiest of systems. Monism forms the basis of the
highest philosophies: of the Hindű Vedânta, and especially of the
most perfect form thereof, the Advaita; it is at the foundation of
the finest metaphysical speculations — the Upanishats, which have
been, are now and always will be, the admiration of the most sublime
intellects; it is the rock on which transcendent materialism itself
is built, the materialism of Haeckel and of such as think along
It may seem strange to see materialism
make use of the term Unity, but not when one reflects that
materialism possesses almost the monopoly — if this may be said
without hurting anyone — of rationalism. It seeks and reasons,
discusses and resists, fighting every inch of the ground and
yielding to the conviction of reason alone; as is well known, the
best and most zealous, the most faithful and firmly-convinced
adherents of the Theosophical Society have in many cases been
The spiritual man possesses other qualities, also admirable, though
his characteristic is not that he reasons, but rather believes; he
is a man of faith, but his faith is often something vague though
strong, cloudy though invincible.
Nevertheless, great difficulty is encountered in convincing the
ignorant and selfish individual of the present day of the reality of
Unity. Such a one feels himself so firmly imprisoned in matter, so
bound down by it, he is so conscious of being born and dying with
it, matter so completely separates him from the beings around him,
that under these conditions he finds it difficult, in practice, to
resist this apparent proof of separation; accordingly, both
spiritual men and materialists are almost equally self-seeking,
speaking generally; and so long as man feels not the faintest
vibration within himself of the life of another, so long as a common
divine Life does not make his heart beat in unison with that of the
whole of mankind, he will find it difficult sincerely to believe
that he is in reality one with others.
And yet probability is entirely in favor of monism; the greatest
minds have believed in and defended it, cold reason requires it; an
obscure but profound and more or less universal feeling of Unity and
devotion, in times of great misfortune, often springs to the surface
of the humblest individuals, binding together all beings — the
sentiment of humanity shining forth in love and sacrifice.
Besides, about so important a question it is impossible to remain in
doubt. Everywhere error is a powerful cause of evil, Truth alone
creates peace. If Unity be error what is the use of offering
violence to our lower nature? But if it be Truth, no effort should
be spared in fulfilling her behests.
Let us then make an attempt to face this great problem, and get to
the bottom of it, to obtain faith by means of light and become
capable of accomplishing our duty.
Well, then, all such as have fathomed this mysterious abyss with
sufficient attention and care, affirm that we are one. One and the
same Life is in us, and though our forms differ and our qualities
shine forth or remain hidden, we still feel that we are human, of
the same nature. To take an example, look at a row of electric
lamps; their forms may vary, their brilliancy be greater or smaller,
but the light within them, the fluid circulating through them, is
So also, in like manner, the brightness
of human qualities depends on the perfection of the centers that
produce them. These qualities are different, because the centers,
the instruments, which create them, are by no means identical: thus,
the one producing mentality is not composed of atoms similar to
those which manifest will or love. But the life animating these
centers is one; it is the divine life of the Infinite, our common
Father, and if we are His sons, are we not then brothers?
What is Unity?
The Infinite, the Perfect, the first, causeless, supreme Cause, the
Cause of everything: of force, of matter, of the qualities and laws
of the world, of Evolution. At the same time infinitely great and
infinitely small; capable of enveloping the Universe and of dwelling
in the tiniest of atoms, the Infinite, the Perfect is not
manifested; it is latent, a unit. This it is which in the centre of
our being gives us the innate idea of Unity, an idea which nothing
in the world could give birth to, for nothing in the universe is
one; everything is compound. Such is the One. How does it become
multiple? By being manifested, that is to say, by becoming
At the first step of this processes, it manifests force-matter. This
it separates into atoms, with which it forms bodies, creating in
these latter centers of qualities, which, as we shall presently see,
produce Egos. In the centers of the bodies the Infinite plays the
part of the electric fluid in a series of lamps: the fluid produces
light, the Infinite illumines our mental centers, giving birth to
Egos therein; in this way, the One becomes the many, the illusory
Egos to which we must presently return, for it is indispensable that
we understand them, if we would have proof of our brotherhood.
The Infinite manifests itself, though through what mechanism I know
not. It is latent, omnipresent, omnipotent, it is the root of all
the forces in the world and possesses all power, including that of
manifesting its potentialities. This power is its fiat: it wills and
can do what it wills.
When it wills to create, it wills to manifest itself, and the
objective world appears; just as when the savant, by some special
artifice, creates the conditions which give birth to a force, this
force appears, seeming to spring from nothing; it becomes present,
as though issuing from a mysterious, invisible egg: such is the
electric fluid. Omnipresent, though latent and imperceptible, it
appears as the result of friction, or when subjected to chemical
action, showing itself as double, with positive and negative poles:
it is a duality. If we try to reduce this duality to polar unity,
the fluid vanishes passes again into a latent condition and returns
to zero, the image of the universal egg, the source of all forces.
After all, this duality is the condition
sine qua non of all manifestations. The Infinite, in order to
manifest itself, may be said to separate into two, and to apply to
each other the two portions of itself, to make them objective.
Indeed, everywhere in nature, manifestation is due to “pairs of
opposites”. Try, for instance, to produce a force in a vacuum; you
cannot do it; on the other hand, the greater the resistance you
have, the greater the force you will be able to produce on that
resistance. Try to paint a picture with one color only; you will
produce nothing but a colored surface. In painting a picture, both
light and shade are needed; only in this way come into being relief,
form, and perspective — that is to say, a picture.
The first manifestation of the Infinite produces the first “pair of
forces”: Force-Matter. I say pair of forces, for matter is nothing
but force, the negative pole, so to speak, of force. This primordial
force-matter, this matter, so to speak more concisely, is the
Biblical egg, brooded over by the Holy Ghost on the Cosmic waters;
it is also the golden egg of Brahmâ in oriental cosmogonies.
Primordial matter is so fine, so sublime and sensitive, that it
responds in marvelous fashion to the life of the Infinite, which,
thanks to the support which matter furnishes to its faculties
(formerly latent, but from this time manifested), becomes an Ego, a
This primordial matter is the centre of
manifestation for all possible faculties, the perfect instrument of
the cosmic Ego, of the supreme Energy which then becomes multiple
Forces. In the Universe of primordial matter, which is the body of
God, are manifested the three fundamental qualities of Being, the
qualities every being will acquire and possess to a supreme degree
at the end of its evolution: life (or force), intelligence, and
love. Indeed, there is no Being who does not possess life,
intelligence and love in some degree, however small. It is the
Trinity, above as below, in the God of a world as in the Ego of a
rudimentary body; that is why the Hebrew scriptures say that God
created man in His image. Man, in effect, because he is in
possession of this divine Trinity, is in the image of God.
How is the Ego born?
The centre of Intelligence, the mental body, in perceiving matter
and the qualities of the body, is distinguished from these qualities
and conceives of the Ego: an abstract thing, the product of the
perception of the non-Ego (matter) by intelligence.
As soon as the Infinite limits its vibration (of an infinite
frequency), the Universe, or rather Matter, appears, and an opposite
is created, which allows of the absolute consciousness of the
Infinite becoming limited consciousness, that of the Logos,
Cosmic Ego. The Ego requires the perception of a difference, of what
is conceived of as the non-Ego.
The Universe is the body of the manifested God; in the Universe all
qualities come to birth, amongst them the principal one, the Ego.
The Supreme Ego — the Ego of the Infinite — is manifested not only
in the mental centre of the Universe, where it constitutes the
Logos, but also in each of the mental centers of the bodies the
whole of which makes up the Universe, in each of the beings, from
the Greatest (the Logos) to the most imperfect. Like the sun, the
unique Ego, the Logos, is reflected in every mental mirror present
in the world.
Creation, however, does not stop at this manifestation. The personal
Ego of the Universe (the Logos) also acts through intelligence and
force-powers then manifested, though latent in it so long as it
remains the Infinite, the unmanifested. Accordingly, it first
separates primordial matter into atom-types that produce qualities;
that is to say, the faculties of feeling, thinking and acting; with
these atoms it builds up bodies (forms) and in each body places the
atomic centers of qualities of life (force), intelligence and love.
In each of these bodies the Infinite
accordingly manifests an Ego by means of the mental centre, the
instrument of perception and of separation. In this way, from the
Supreme Ego, the Logos, to the lowest of beings, are ranged the
immense numbers of Egos, Egos all the more imperfect in proportion
as the bodies of the human beings to which they belong are
themselves the more imperfect.
Antiquity, which was wont to express the higher truths in the form
of a symbol or a myth, called this multiplication of the One the
mutilation of Osiris (or that of Bacchus). Christians speak of the
“Lamb slain before the foundation of the world" (Revelation, xiii,
8); Hindűs tell of the sacrificed man and horse, and in the
following myth, the dice symbolize the different types of atoms.
Bacchus, when a child (that is to say, the manifested God at the
beginning of evolution), was playing at dice, says the allegory; the
Titan (the separating force which has always symbolized Evil)
surprised him and tore his body into pieces. After a great lapse of
time, the mutilated members again became joined together, and the
divine body was constituted afresh.
Thus the divine body (primordial matter) is mutilated, and used to
form milliards of bodies (fragments) which serve as instruments for
In proportion as matter is split up into fragments, it becomes
dense, and sub-states of matter appear; at the same time its
sensitiveness lessens, it becomes progressively rigid, it no longer
responds to the life animating it, and the qualities it manifests
become less perfect. This is the Divine Limitation, the sacrifice of
the Infinite, voluntarily submitting to this limitation in order to
create beings and lead them on to supreme Perfection. Mutilation of
the body and Limitation of the qualities are the two aspects of the
same idea; Sacrifice.
Now let us see how the multiple Egos again become one, as is
symbolized in antiquity by the Resurrection of Osiris, Easter Day.
The method of multiplication is easy to understand; that of
unification is far more abstract. All the same, we shall endeavor to
explain it, for it is the complement of the whole teaching on Unity.
By evolution the different states of matter separate, matter —
physical, astral, mental, spiritual, and divine —disappears, and at
the same time the bodies it forms melts away — the physical, astral,
mental, spiritual, and divine bodies. Along with its progressive
disappearance, the vibrations which it imposes on the Egos cease,
and the consciousness of these Egos, being no longer sustained, is
progressively transferred into finer bodies, where it lives the life
of the corresponding worlds.
In proportion as they have finer bodies
as instruments of perception, the sphere of their perception
enlarges, and when they are centered in the divine body (the ătmic
body of Theosophy), they have become capable of including the
consciousness of all the Egos comprised in the Universe; they have
each become as a Logos.
Now, what evolution normally produces very slowly, beings can
rapidly attain by effort. Before setting forth this processes, which
might be designated as abnormal and artificial, let us say a few
words regarding the development of the Egos; it is to important
thoroughly to understand.
The sphere of perception of an Ego is determined by that of the
senses through which it perceives.
The physical senses are very limited; they are, besides, separated
from one another and cannot take one another’s place.
The astral senses possess a far wider power of perception, their
field of action is greater; besides this, they apply to the whole
extent of the astral body, thus explaining one of the peculiarities
of astral perception — the possibility of seeing, touching, hearing,
feeling, etc., at any part of the astral body. The matter which
binds together the astral bodies is endowed with faculties of far
more perfect vibratory transmission than that of the ether which
binds physical bodies, and it begins to transmit to each being the
sensorial vibrations and the perceptions of all the others; this is
the beginning of perception in each being of the life common to all.
The mental senses are combined in a single synthetic sense; they
possess a sphere of perception far more extensive than the astral
senses and include a number of beings even greater than these
latter. They can perceive at almost any distance in the planet, the
atoms of the medium binding them have a more perfect power of
vibratory transmission than those of the astral medium, and the
sensations of the beings become more and more one: these beings live
more and more the one life.
In the spiritual body (the buddhic) the sphere of sensorial
perception reaches the limits of a whole planetary chain, and the
medium uniting spiritual bodies is so fine that it transmits to the
centers of every spiritual (buddhic) body the individual sensations
of the beings in their perfection.
In the divine (ătmic) body, the sphere of perception embraces every
form of the solar system; throughout this system, the life of the
beings is one for those who are conscious in the ătmic body.
Finally, in the highest body (Ădi) the sphere of perception reaches
the limits of the Universe itself; and, in this sphere, the beings
whose bodies are fully developed enjoy perfect unity of life. Each
Ego has become the perfect “percipient” of the consciousness of all
the Egos in the Universe; it has become a Logos: evolution, so far
as it is concerned, is completed.
Now, resolute men who take the “cross-road,” the path I spoke of at
the beginning, can bring about this processes (which evolution
slowly works out) far more rapidly by the effort which quickly
builds up the higher bodies and effects the voluntary transfer of
the Ego of a lower body into a higher one: this constitutes the
arduous training of the disciple under the guidance of his Master, a
subject of which I shall make no mention here.
In this way, the most rudimentary Ego becomes greater and greater,
continually adding fresh knowledge to that which it already
possesses, extending ever wider its sphere of perception, embracing
the consciousness of a continually increasing number of Egos,
experiencing their struggles and hopes, until it becomes conscious
of the total life of all beings and feels them all living in it,
with a life which is its own.
Then, or rather long before this time, it feels that life is one and
that Egos are brothers in process of development. Doubt is
Before continuing, let us halt for a moment.
If we are one, we are solidaires. Being solidaire means living one
and the same life, being bound to all, affected by every vibration
which moves the parts of the whole, influenced by every outpouring
of good and evil in the world. To one wholly solidaire, the
suffering and joy of each are the suffering and joy of all.
Consciously to create a discordant vibration constitutes the crime
of “treason against mankind,” whilst the creation of harmonious
relations is a strict duty — for every infraction of the Law,
whether physical, moral, mental, spiritual or divine — disturbs the
whole Universe, and every collaboration with the Law is a help to
Accordingly, our first duty is the
fulfillment of the Law; this duty has one constant finality in view,
general perfection, which it obtains by one constant means, help,
the sacrifice of all for all; sacrifice to the Law, to the general
good; the sacrifice of the individual to the Whole, that all may be
I will now attempt to give the principal means of obtaining proof of
the conceptions here advanced, the proof that we are one, and that
Unity makes us brothers.
Complete proof consists in understanding and feeling, in becoming a
God, or rather a divine instrument — for bodies are nothing else
than the instruments of the supreme God, the Infinite, instruments
which, when sufficiently perfect, manifest the qualities of the
Logos, that is to say, divine intelligence, love and power.
Understanding implies that one has become the thing understood, that
one feels this thing and vibrates in tune with it.
Vibrating in perfect tune implies that
one has developed perfect centers of qualities (instruments). The
following are these means, both general and special. The general
means are: Purity and the practice of Unity. Purity must be
physical, moral and mental; that is to say, it must embrace all our
bodies. It refines and renders sensitive the materials of the
centers; that is to say, makes them vibratory to a high degree and
capable of perfect synchronism.
The practice of Unity creates the wheels of the mechanism that
produces qualities (of the instrument); it polishes them, improves
and facilitates the working of the apparatus. The following are the
main points in the practice of Unity. Always have present in mind
the idea that every man is a child of the Infinite, a God in
evolution, a young or elder brother. Help him by thoughts of light
love and might — for who needs not this threefold aid, the better to
judge, endure and kept from a spirit of revolt?
We must remember that nothing is ours,
that all we possess is a gift from God, a loan we ought to share
with those of our brothers who are not so well endowed as we are.
Might of love, light of intelligence, material wealth, even physical
life, nothing is our own; we owe everything to all, with just one
restriction — that we give with discernment. Without discernment,
the best of aids may become a curse, the follies of the heart are no
better than those of the head.
Let us not forget, also, that we have only duties’ we have no
rights. We should ask for nothing, desire nothing, but await
everything from God, the supreme Wisdom, who knows our needs better
than we do ourselves.
Let us be ever helping; first, those whom destiny has placed around
us in order to facilitate our task of beneficence, and then those
whom it brings in our path. With few exceptions, it is futile to
waste our powers in distant efforts which are doomed to barreness:
God is economical in His profusion. But there must be no
doubting, no thinking of the obstacles we may meet on the way. The
supreme Watcher will see to all: everything combines to aid the man
who aids others.
Let us ever be helping; benefits are the seeds of the divine
qualities — gratitude and affection. We must help also by setting to
all around us an example of such virtues as tolerance, sympathy and
Faith in Providence too must be ours, for nothing evil or unjust can
befall us. We must therefore be calm, gratefully welcoming the
present trial, for it is our best instructor. In every event, let us
seek for the path which God is pointing out to us; biding His time,
waiting for the opportunities He sends, and the doors He opens to
Let us set an example of divine sympathy, showing forth neither
reproach nor evil criticism nor antipathy, beholding in another a
God, whose evolution will efface his defects and cause his good
qualities to shine radiantly forth, a divine child destined to
become a sage, a God.
With shortcomings and lapses into sin let us be indefatigably
patient, correcting others by gentleness and affection, and taking
care not to make use of the scourge of pain, which we may leave in
the hands of the Logos, who alone knows the measure of its use.
With all this, we must be humble; offering others the brilliant
parts in life, and reserving for ourselves those that are hidden or
unobtrusive; giving place to the God in evolution present in every
man, and giving him the preference in all things.
Finally, let us rejoice in another’s happiness and sympathize with
him in his trouble.
Now I will pass on to the special means; those necessary for such as
wish to take the “cross-road,” the path of pain. This requires the
directing hand of an experienced Guide; and He appears when the
disciple is ready, without there being any necessity to summon Him.
Here the task to be accomplished is the rapid perfecting of the
centers by which the Infinite is manifested in beings; the centers
of intelligence, love and might.
The mental body must become a perfect instrument of knowledge,
capable of responding to every idea and coming into a state of
perfect rest, so that, like the tranquil surface of a lake, it may
reflect the plants growing on its banks, or the clouds flitting
across the heavens. It must be “disciplined” to reflect truth;
indeed it is the mental body that was symbolized by the mythical
Proteus, who told the truth only after he had been chained down. How
could troubled waters faithfully reflect any object? It is for this
reason that the disciple ardently cultivates the control of the
mental body, and at the same time perfects the mechanism of this
Once this double task is well in hand,
he may begin to make use of this precious auxiliary and apply it to
any idea he pleases, especially a great one — one of those which the
Logos or one of the mighty Beings sends out into the mental
atmosphere, there to remain like a life-giving sun. The disciple
practices vibrating in perfect tune with these ideas, feeling them
part of himself and making them his own; then causing them to
vibrate in a denser medium than that in which they had first been
placed. This he attains by concentration.
When they are too fine to be perceived by his still imperfect mental
body, he summons the Guide, begging Him to cause them to resound
more loudly in his ears. In such cases he brings the mental body to
rest in a complete void; then the vibration, which has now been made
stronger, makes its impress on the sensitive mental matter.
The development of the centre of love is obtained by acquiring the
virtues and their common root: Love. “A man becomes what he thinks,
“ says an Upanishat; such is the principle. It is easy to prove this
by thinking for a sufficient length of time either of the Good, the
Beautiful and the True, or of the evil, the unseemly, and the false.
Meditation on a virtue permits of the acquisition of that virtue
more or less rapidly; it is all a question of time or of intensity.
It is also possible to contemplate this virtue either as an abstract
principle, present in the Infinite which is imagined as at the
centre of the being — this Molinos recommends in his Spiritual Guide
— or as manifested in the Logos, or in one of those Beings who have
made themselves His Messengers and appeared on earth as “Sons of God”:
Krshna, Buddha, Zoroaster or Christ. It is here that we may
find it useful to form, however imperfectly, an image of one of
these Beings by thought and imagination.
This image of mental substance directs
the thought to that Being and attracts His attention. Into this form
He sends a ray of His soul, to animate it and cause it to vibrate
with the virtue it is desired to acquire. The image causes the
mental body of the disciple to vibrate in tune, and he thus steadily
develops the desired quality; such is the truth concealed in
image-worship. And as the Logos, or any one of these great Beings,
possesses all virtues in perfection, forming a synthesis of them in
His great love, all that the disciple needs to do is to contemplate
this mental image, this vibrating form, and to love it, in order to
fill himself gradually with that sublime, that greatest Force of all
— Love, the source and spring of every virtue.
The development of the centre of Force adds its quota to the Power
which the two preceding centers produce by themselves. The Power
that belongs to the mental centre is that of knowledge; knowledge is
power. That of love is immense; it was the love radiating from
certain martyrs which appeased the wild beasts’ thirst for blood. A
beloved Teacher told me that a friend of his in India, a Yogi, one
day entered into Samădhi in the jungle. On awaking, a tiger was
sporting by his side, like a kitten, and licking his bare feet —
love had tamed the beast of the forest.
The vital vibration of a saint is so strongly in harmony with the
Law that it corrects sickly and discordant vibrations, those not in
accord with the Law; it heals and cures. I say nothing of the other
powers possessed by man on his God-ward path; those who have had the
good fortune to live with certain disciples have had instances of
light and love, of calm, balanced thought radiating from these
highly perfected instruments.
Such is the absolute, the inflexible proof of the presence of God in
man. He who possesses this proof knows that God is the root and
cause of his power, his light, and his love. All wonder-working
mystics have proclaimed with the utmost sincerity:
“It is God that worketh in me.”
Without hoping to attain to these
heights in a brief space of time, I would, all the same, earnestly
recommend you to think of Unity for a few minutes every morning, to
live it throughout the day, and each evening to see how far you have
fallen short of its precepts. Gradually, you will feel better and
purer; you will feel that God is manifesting Himself in you.
Then, too, will you understand the
assertion I advanced at the beginning, one which perhaps appeared to
you an exaggeration: the study of Unity leads on to supreme
Knowledge and its practice to the heights of perfection.