Four Basic Ideas
Study Group notes April 2004
Prepared by D Marsland
H P Blavatsky presents four basic ideas which provide a framework for studying Theosophy
1) The Fundamental Unity of all Existence
This goes beyond the concept of unity as understood in the ‘unity’ seen in a nation or a political party. It is that existence is ONE THING, not any collection of things linked together.
Fundamentally there is ONE being. The being has two aspects. positive and negative.
The positive is Spirit, or Consciousness
The negative is Substance, The subject of consciousness
This being is the absolute in its primary manifestation. Being absolute there is nothing outside it. It is All-Being and indivisible otherwise it would not be absolute.
If a portion could be separated, that which remains would not be absolute and the concept of comparison would arise. Such comparison is incompatible with any idea of absoluteness
2) There is No Dead Matter
Every atom is alive. This is because every last atom is itself fundamentally absolute being. Every atom of substance, no matter of what plane is in itself a life.
The Ancient Greek concept of solid atoms (Democritus 5th century B.C.E) was disproved at the end of the 19th century. Modern science now knows that the atom is a composite of moving particles in rapid revolution around a nucleus. A structure similar to that of the solar system. The cutting edge of sub-atomic physics appears to be identifying ever smaller particles and some research suggests that the behaviour of sub-atomic particles can be influenced by an observer. At present however, in claiming that an atom is a life, Theosophy goes farther than contemporary physics.
3) Man is the Microcosm of the Macrocosm
The inherent hierarchy of the universe exists within man and man is an integral part of the one existence. On a more day to day level, man is part of the planet which gave rise to him and not separate from it. Being aware of our own existence does not change this. In fact man’s attainment of self awareness in addition to other attributes such as self direction and creative intelligence are reflections of a universal intelligence principle.
Man’s immense potentialities unfold slowly, through countless lives, under the Law of Adjustment called Karma by which men determine their own destiny, reaping what they have sown, thus gradually learning by experience until finally they realise their responsibility to their fellow man and all the other kingdoms of nature. Then it is possible for us to become co-workers with the eternal Universal Intelligence and to become perfected human beings.
4) As Above so Below
Existence is one life and one law. The same laws of nature apply at all levels in the Divine Economy.
Everything acts and reacts according to its stage of evolution. The one universal intelligence operating in all things at all levels ensures the balance and harmony of the dynamic vital whole.