In the Beginning a Mental Image

The Yogi teachings inform us that, in the Beginning, The Absolute formed a Mental Image, or Thought-Form, of an Universal Mind–that is, of an Universal Principle of Mind. And here the distinction is made between this Universal Mind Principle, or Universal Mind-Stuff, as some have called it, and the Infinite Mind itself. The Infinite Mind is something infinitely above this creation of the Universal Mind Principle, the latter being as much an “emanation” as is Matter. Let there be no mistake about this. The Infinite Mind is Spirit–the Universal Mind Principle is “Mind-Stuff” of which all Finite Mind is a part. This Universal Mind Principle was the first conception of The Absolute, in the process of the creation of the Universe. It was the “Stuff” from which all Finite Mind forms, and is formed. It is the Universal Mental Energy. Know it as such–but do not confound it with Spirit, which we have called Infinite Mind, because we had no other term. There is a subtle difference here, which is most important to a careful understanding of the subject.

The Yogi teachings inform us that from this Mental Principle there was developed the Universal Principle of Force or Energy. And that from this Universal Force Principle there developed the Universal Principle of Matter. The Sanscrit terms for these Three Principles are as follows: Chitta, or the Universal Mind Substance, or Principle; Prana, or the Universal Energy Principle; and Akasa, or the Universal Principle of Matter. We have spoken of these Three Principles, or Three Great Manifestations, in our “Advanced Course” of lessons, which followed our “Fourteen Lessons,” several years ago, but it becomes necessary for us to refer to them again at this place in connection with the present presentation of the subject. As was stated in the lessons just mentioned, these Three Manifestations, or Principles, are really one, and shade into each other. This matter has been fully touched upon in the concluding lessons of the aforesaid “Advanced Course,” to which we must refer you for further details, in order to avoid repetition here. You will find a wonderful correspondence between these centuries-old Yogi teachings, and the latest conceptions of Modern Science.

Well, to return to the main path once more, the Teachings inform us that The Absolute “thought” into being–that is, held the Mental Image, or Thought-Form, of–Chitta, or Universal Mind Principle. This Chitta was finite, of course, and was bound and governed by the Laws of Finite Mind, imposed upon it by the Will of The Absolute. Everything that is Finite is governed by Laws imposed by the great LAW which we call The Absolute. Then began the Great INVOLUTION which was necessary before Evolution was possible. The word “Involve,” you know, means “to wrap up; to cover; to hide; etc.;” and the word “Evolve” means “to unwrap; to unfold; to un-roll; etc.” Before a thing can be “evolved,” or “unfolded,” it must first have been “involved” or “folded-in, or wrapped up, etc.” Everything must be “involved” before it can be “evolved;” remember this, please–it is true on all planes, mental, physical, and spiritual. A thing must be “put in” before it may be “taken out.” This truth, if remembered and applied to metaphysical problems, will throw the clearest light upon the darkest problems. Make it your own.

Therefore before the process of Evolution from the gross forms of Matter up to the higher, and then on to the Mental, from higher to higher, and then on the Spiritual plane–that Evolution which we see being performed before our sight today–before that Evolution became possible there was a necessary Involution, or “wrapping-up.” The Spirit of the Absolute first “involved” itself in its Mental Image; Thought-Form, or Creation, of the Mind Principle, just as you may “involve” yourself in an earnest thought in deep meditation. Did you never “lose yourself” in thought, or “forget yourself” in an idea? Have you not spoken of yourself as having been “wrapped in thought?” Well, then you can see something of what is here meant, at least so far as the process of “involution” is concerned. You involve yourself in your meditations–the Absolute involves Itself in Its Mental Creations–but, remember the one is Finite, and the other Infinite, and the results are correspondingly weak or strong.

Obeying the laws imposed upon it, the Mental Principle then involved itself in the Energy Principle, or Prana, and the Universal Energy sprang into existence. Then, in obedience to the same Laws, the Prana involved itself in the Akasa, or Universal Matter Principle. Of course each “involving” practically “created” the “wrapper,” “sheath” of the lower Principle. Do you see this? Each, therefore, depends upon the Principle higher than itself, which becomes its “Parent Principle,” as the Yogis express it. And in this process of Involution the extreme form of Matter was reached before the process of Evolution became possible. The extreme form of gross Matter is not known to us today, on this planet, for we have passed beyond it. But the teachings inform us that such forms were as much grosser that the grossest Matter that we know today, as the latter is gross in comparison with the most ethereal vapors known to Modern Science. The human mind cannot grasp this extreme of the scale, any more than it can the extreme high degree of manifestation.

At this point we must call your attention to certain occult teachings, widely disseminated, which the highest Yogi teachers discountenance, and contradict. We allude to the teaching that in the process of Involution there was a “degeneration” or “devolution” from higher to lower forms of life, until the gross state of Matter was reached. Such a teaching is horrible, when considered in detail. It would mean that The Absolute deliberately created high forms of life, arch-angels, and higher than these–gods in fact–and then caused them to “devolve” until the lowest state was reached. This would mean the exact opposite of Evolution, and would mean a “going down” in accordance with the Divine Will, just as Evolution is a “going up” in accordance with the Divine Will.

This is contrary to man’s best instincts, and the advanced Yogi teachings inform us that it is but an illusion or error that men have created by endeavoring to solve spiritual mysteries by purely intellectual processes. The true teaching is that the process of Involution was accomplished by a Principle involving itself in the lower Principle created within itself, and so on until the lowest plane was reached. Note the difference–“Principles as Principles” did this, and not as Individual Forms of Life or Being. There was no more a “devolution” in this process than there was in The Absolute involving itself in the Mental Image of the Mind Principle. There was no “devolution” or “going down”–only an “involution” or “wrapping up,” of Principle, within Principle–the Individual Life not having as yet appeared, and not being possible of appearance until the Evolutionary process began.

We trust that we have made this point clear to you, for it is an important matter. If the Absolute first made higher beings, and then caused them to “devolute” into lower and lower forms, then the whole process would be a cruel, purposeless thing, worthy only of some of the base conceptions of Deity conceived of by men in their ignorance. No! the whole effort of the Divine Will seems to be in the direction of “raising up” Individual Egos to higher and still higher forms. And in order to produce such Egos the process of “Involution” of Principles seems to have been caused, and the subsequent wonderful Evolutionary process instituted. What that “Reason” is, is Unknowable, as we have said over and over again.

We cannot pry into the Infinite Mind of the Absolute, but we may form certain conclusions by observing and studying the Laws of the Universe, which seem to be moving in certain directions. From the manifested Will of the Divine One, we may at least hazard an idea as to its purposes. And these purposes seem to be always in an “upward” lifting and evolution. Even the coming of the “Night of Brahm” is no exception to this statement, as we shall see in future lessons.