This "Treatise on Cosmic Fire'' has a fivefold purpose in view:
First, to provide a compact and skeleton outline of a scheme of cosmology, philosophy, and psychology which may perhaps be employed for a generation as a reference and a textbook, and may serve as a scaffolding upon which more detailed instruction may later be built, as the great tide of evolutionary teaching flows on.
Secondly, to express that which is subjective in comprehensible terms, and to point out the next step forward in the understanding of the true psychology. It is an elucidation of the relation existing between Spirit and Matter, which relation demonstrates as consciousness. It will be found that the Treatise deals primarily with the aspect of mind, with consciousness and with the higher psychology, and less with matter as we know of it on the physical plane. The danger involved in giving out information concerning the various energies of atomic matter is too great, and the race as yet too selfish to be entrusted with these potencies. Man is already, through the able work of the scientists, discovering the needed knowledge with adequate rapidity. The emphasis in this book will be found to be laid upon those forces which are responsible for the objective manifestation of a solar Logos and of man, and only in the first section will indication be given as to the nature of those energies which are strictly confined to the physical plane.
Thirdly, to show the coherent development of all that is found within a solar system; to demonstrate that everything which exists evolves (from the lowest form of life at the densest point of concretion up to the highest and most tenuous manifestation) and that all forms are but the expression of a stupendous and divine Existence. This expression is caused by the blending of two divine aspects through the influence of a third, and produces the manifestation which we call a form, starting it upon its [xiii] evolutionary cycle in time and space. Thus is form brought to the point where it is an adequate medium for the demonstration of the nature of that which we call God.
Fourthly, to give practical information anent those focal points of energy which are found in the etheric bodies of the solar Logos, the macrocosm, and of man, the microcosm. As the etheric substratum which is the true substance underlying every tangible form is understood, certain great revolutions will be brought about in the domains of science, of medicine and of chemistry. The study of medicine, for instance, will eventually be taken up from a new angle, and its practice will be built upon a comprehension of the laws of radiation, of magnetic currents, and of the force centres found in men's bodies and their relationship to the force centres and currents of the solar system.
Fifthly, to give some information, hitherto not exoterically imparted as to the place and work of those myriads of sentient lives who form the essence of objectivity; to indicate the nature of those Hierarchies of Existences who form out of their own substance all that is seen and known, and who are themselves Fire and the cause of all the heat, warmth, life and motion in the universe. In this way the action of Fire on Water, of Heat in Matter, whether macrocosmically or microcosmically considered, will be touched upon and some light thrown upon the Law of Cause and Effect (the Law of Karma) and its significance in the solar system.
To sum up the matter, the teaching in this book should tend to an expansion of consciousness, and should bring about a recognition of the adequacy, as a working basis, for both science and religion, of that interpretation of the processes of nature which has been formulated for us by the Master Minds of all time. It should tend to bring about a reaction in favor of a system of philosophy which will link both Spirit and matter, and demonstrate the essential unity of the scientific and religious idea. The two are at present somewhat divorced, and we are only just beginning to grope our intellectual way out of the depths of a materialistic interpretation. It must not be forgotten, however, that under the Law of Action and Reaction, the long period of materialistic thought has been a necessary one for humanity, because the mysticism of the Middle Ages has led [xiv] us too far in the opposite direction. We are now tending to a more balanced view, and it is hoped that this treatise may form part of the process through which equilibrium is attained.
In studying this treatise the student is asked to bear in mind certain things:
a. That in dealing with these subjects we are concerned with the essence of that which is objective, with the subjective side of manifestation, and with the consideration of force and of energy. It is well nigh impossible to reduce such concepts to concrete formulas and to express them in such a way that they can be easily apprehended by the average man.
b. That as we use words and phrases and speak in terms of modern language the whole subject necessarily becomes limited and dwarfed, and much of the truth is thereby lost.
c. That all that is in this treatise is offered in no dogmatic spirit but simply as a contribution to the mass of thought upon the subject of world origins and to the data already accumulated as to the nature of man. The best that man can offer as a solution of the world problem must perforce take a dual form and will demonstrate through a life of active service, tending to amelioration of environal conditions, and through a formulation of some cosmological scheme or plan which will seek to account as much as may be for conditions as they are seen to exist. Arguing as men do at present from the basis of the known and the demonstrated and leaving untouched and unaccounted for, those deep-seated causes which must be presumed to be producing the seen and known, all solutions as yet fail and will continue to fail in their objective.
d. That all attempts to formulate in words that which must be felt and lived in order to be truly comprehended must necessarily prove distressingly inadequate. All that can be said will be after all but the partial statements of the great veiled Truth, and must be offered to the reader and student as simply providing a working hypothesis, and a suggestive explanation. To the open-minded student and the man who keeps the recollection in his mind that the truth is progressively revealed, it will be apparent that the fullest expression of the truth possible at any one time will be seen later to be but a fragment of a whole, and [xv] later still be recognised to be only portions of a fact and thus in itself a distortion of the real.
This treatise is put out in the hope that it may prove useful to all broad-minded seekers after truth and of value to all investigators into the subjective Source of all that which is tangibly objective. It aims to provide a reasonably logical plan of systemic evolution and to indicate to man the part he must play as an atomic unit in a great and corporate Whole. This fragment of the Secret Doctrine, in the turning of the evolutionary wheel, goes out to the world making no claims as to its source, its infallibility or the correctness in detail of its statements.
No book gains anything from dogmatic claims or declarations as to the authoritative value of its source of inspiration. It should stand or fall solely on the basis of its own intrinsic worth, on the value of the suggestions made, and its power to foster the spiritual life and the intellectual apprehension of the reader. If this treatise has within it anything of truth and of reality, it will inevitably and unfailingly do its work, carry its message, and thus reach the hearts and minds of searchers everywhere. If it is of no value, and has no basis in fact, it will disappear and die, and most rightly so. All that is asked from the student of this treatise is a sympathetic approach, a willingness to consider the views put forth and that honesty and sincerity of thought which will tend to the development of the intuition, of spiritual diagnosis, and a discrimination which will lead to a rejection of the false and an appreciation of the true.
The words of the Buddha most appropriately have their place here, and make a fitting conclusion to these preliminary remarks:
THE LORD BUDDHA HAS SAID
that we must not believe in a thing said merely because it is said; nor traditions because they have been handed down from antiquity; nor rumours, as such; nor writings by sages, because sages wrote them; nor fancies that we may suspect to have been inspired in us by a Deva (that is, in presumed spiritual inspiration); nor from inferences drawn from some haphazard assumption we may have made; nor [xvi] because of what seems an analogical necessity; nor on the mere authority of our teachers or masters. But we are to believe when the writing, doctrine, or saying is corroborated by our own reason and consciousness. ''For this," says he in concluding, "I taught you not to believe merely because you have heard, but when you believed of your consciousness, then to act accordingly and abundantly."
—Secret Doctrine III. 401.
May this be the attitude of every reader of this ''Treatise on Cosmic Fire.''
ALICE A. BAILEY.
Note:—In the footnotes throughout this treatise ''The Secret Doctrine" by H. P. Blavatsky is designated by the initials S.D. The page references are to the ''Third Revised Edition.''
"What says the esoteric teaching with regard to Fire?"
Fire is the most perfect and unadulterated reflection, in Heaven as on earth, of the One Flame. It is life and death, the origin and the end of every material thing. It is divine Substance."
—Secret Doctrine I. 146.
Our earth and man (are) the products of the Three Fires.
—Secret Doctrine II. 258.
Fire and flame destroy the body of an Arhat; their essence makes him immortal.
—Secret Doctrine I. 35.
THE THREE FIRES
I. The Internal Fire or Fire by Friction.
"There is heat internal and heat external in every atom, the breath of the Father (Spirit) and the breath (or heat) of the Mother (matter)."
—Secret Doctrine I. 112.
II. The Fire of Mind or Solar Fire.
“The fire of knowledge burns up all action on the plane of illusion, therefore those who have acquired it and are emancipated are called ‘Fires.’”
—Secret Doctrine I.114.
III. The Fire of Spirit or Electric Fire.
"Lift up thy head, O Lanoo; dost thou see one, or countless lights above thee, burning in the dark midnight sky?''
"I sense one Flame, O Gurudeva; I see countless Undetached sparks shining in it."
—Secret Doctrine I. 145.
SECTION ONE. THE INTERNAL FIRES—FIRE BY FRICTION
Division A. Of the Sheaths macrocosmic and micro cosmic
Division B. The Personality Ray and the first fire
Division C. Prana and the etheric body
Division D. Kundalini and the spine
Division E. Motion on the physical and astral planes
1. In the Sheaths
2. In the Centres
Division F. The Law of Economy
SECTION TWO. THE FIRE OF MIND—SOLAR FIRE
Division A. The Nature of Manas or Mind
Division B. Manas as a cosmic, systemic and human factor
Division C. The Egoic Ray and solar fire
Division B. Thought elementals and fire elementals
Division E. Motion on the plane of mind
Division F. The Law of Attraction
SECTION THREE. THE FIRE OF SPIRIT—ELECTRIC FIRE
Division A. Certain basic fundamentals
Division B. The Nature of the seven cosmic paths
Division C. Seven esoteric stanzas
The above tabulation of the subjects dealt with in this treatise is of very real importance, for it forms the basis of that which we shall be considering. The total lack of a wider consciousness than the individual and the personal, acts as a bar to the true comprehension of things macrocosmic, but if the occult method is adhered to, if the Law of Correspondences is studied, and if we ever reason upward from the microcosm to the greater Whole, then glimpses will be caught of vast realms of realisation and vistas of spiritual unfoldment will open up before us, undreamt of hitherto.
FULL PAGE TABULATIONS
FIRE AND THE ASPECTS
EVOLUTION IN THE UNIVERSE
THE ASPECTS AND EVOLUTION
THE BUILDING ENTITIES
AGNI-LORD OF FIRE
THE LIVES AND THEIR GOAL