The Logos and Man

by Raghavan Iyer @ Theosophy Trust


THE LOGOS AND MAN


Man was regarded in several systems as the third Logos. The esoteric meaning of the word Logos (speech or word, Verbum) is the rendering in objective expression, as in a photograph, of the concealed thought. The Logos is the mirror reflecting DIVINE MIND, and the Universe is the mirror of the Logos, though the latter is the esse of that Universe. As the Logos reflects all in the Universe of Pleroma, so man reflects in himself all that he sees and finds in his Universe, the Earth.

The Secret Doctrine, ii 25

  The sacred mantram "the Logos in the Cosmos and the God in Man" is more than a cryptic algebraic formula for the correlation of forces between cosmic Nature and the human principles. It intimates the identity in esse of the ever-present matrix of all worlds and the sovereign immortal spirit of Man. The complete realization of this close union and harmonious concord is the fruition of the Hermetic discipline of conscious invocation of the Invisible Sun, which alone can unveil the manifold Logoic mystery of the Tetraktys. As there is no ultimate ontological distinction between divine and human nature, every sincere effort to comprehend the function of the triple Logoi within and beyond the cosmos involves a self-conscious awakening of the afflatus of the higher Triad in man. This primary fact of spiritual life stands behind the teaching of The Voice of the Silence that "Thou canst not travel on the Path before thou hast become that Path itself." In order to commence this journey properly, it is initially necessary to connect the luminous conception of the three Logoi with an elevated and expanded view of the creative activity of human intelligence. As that intelligence is progressively refined through the patient practice of Buddhi Yoga, one can become an alchemical apprentice aiding the divine evolution of ideas, the Fohatic nerve-current of cosmic and human evolution. Jnanasakti, Kriyasakti and Itchasakti constitute the triune force of spiritual ideation, volition and energy.

  The metaphysical meaning of the term "logos" as "the rendering in objective expression, as in a photograph, of the concealed thought" points to the magical process of translating an idea into form. Owing to the mutual interpenetration of planes of manifestation, this archetypal activity pertains to different levels of abstraction and concretion, to essential noumena as well as to ephemeral phenomena. Ontologically, the process of Becoming requires the seeming differentiation into three Logoi: the unmanifest LOGOS, the inexhaustible Spirit of the Universe; the manifest Logos or creative Demiurge, the all-pervading Soul of the Universe; and Man representing the Third Logos. Metapsychologically, this implies the distinction between Nous – apprehending, noetic and in close affinity with to Agathon – and Dianoia – comprehending, phrenic and synonymous with Logos. Even the colloquial and generic use of "logos" by the ancient Greeks to refer to ordinary speech, thought and reason, as well as to the creative activity of artists and artisans, conveys something of the esoteric meaning. The present period of technological innovation, based upon the partial intuitions of perceptive but obscure pioneers, affords numerous analogues of Logoic function, especially in optics, micro electronics and genetics. It is, however, not easy to discern the subtle connections between the metaphysical imagination and the critical breakthroughs in scientific thought.

  Intuitive perception requires the numinous intelligence implicit in the concept of "logos" itself. Unlike the pedestrian skills involved in contemporary tests that measure one's "intelligence quotient", but which is largely a matter of association of ideas and symbols, true intelligence is rooted in spiritual wakefulness. Spiritual perspicacity is connected with the capacity to alter perspective deliberately, and sharply contrasts with psychic fixation, passivity and monotony. Without the ability to move the mind at will, it is impossible to choose constructively between alternative currents of ideation. Since Prajna, wisdom and insight, summons the ability to think the right thought in the right place and time, to lack intelligence, in this sense, is to be a helpless creature of circumstances. A practical test of real intelligence at the ordinary level is one's ability to recognize and release the intelligence of others. The tendency to underestimate the intelligence of other human beings is inevitably the mark of insufficient intelligence and the cause of needless obstructions and wasteful conflicts between people. Every ancient tradition traced the diverse modes and degrees of intelligence exhibited throughout nature to a single universal source susceptible only to noetic apprehension. The Kabbalists, for example,

never cease to repeat that primal intelligence can never be understood. It cannot be comprehended, nor can it be located, therefore it has to remain nameless and negative. Hence the Ain-Soph – the UNKNOWABLE" and the "UNNAMEABLE" – which, as it could not be made manifest, was conceived to emanate manifesting Powers. It is then with its emanations alone that human intellect has to, and can deal.

The Secret Doctrine, ii 41

And it is out of these emanations that human intellect, which is the Light of the Logos awakened to self-consciousness, is constituted. By means of this One Light the Monadic stream, Monas, evolves through all the phases of changing form and collective intelligence. Hence, within the human kingdom the measure of growth in intelligence is one's recognition of and respect for the kindred intelligence of every other Monad, whether human in fact or incipiently. Considered from the standpoint of primal intelligence, such an incredible reservoir of untapped energy exists in virtually every human being that the ostensive differences between people pale into insignificance before the sublime grandeur of spiritual creativity, which releases the potential for self-transcendence as well as self-actualization.

  Noetic intelligence involves the capacity for making creative correlations, not in terms of mechanistic categories or limited conceptions of space, time and motion. Rooted in pre-cosmic substance and pure ideation, and symbolized in its successive stages by the occult language of sound and light and number, it is only hinted at by notions of impressing, visualizing, photographing, projecting and mirroring. This mirroring faculty in its deepest sense is the paradigmatic function of Logoic activity. The profound teaching of St. Paul that "things visible are evidence of things invisible" points to the infinite reflective potency of the Logos in Nature and in Man. It is also the theurgic activity that enables one to make ideas come alive, because without the capacity to make ideas act upon the will there is no intelligence in the noetic sense. At the most fundamental philosophical level the Logos is the mysterious heart of cosmogenesis, for genesis is no mechanical generation but rather the emergence out of the eternal into time, from esse into existence, from BE-NESS into being.

  At the commencement of a great Manvantara, Parabrahm manifests as Mulaprakriti and then as the Logos. This Logos...constitutes the Basis of the SUBJECT-side of manifested Being, and is the source of all manifestations of individual consciousness. Mulaprakriti or Primordial Cosmic Substance, is the foundation of the OBJECT-side of things – the basis of all objective evolution and Cosmogenesis. Force, then, does not emerge with Primordial Substance from Parabrahmic Latency. It is the transformation into energy of the supra-conscious thought of the Logos, infused, so to speak, into the objectivation of the latter out of potential latency in the One Reality. Hence spring the wondrous laws of matter.... Force succeeds Mulaprakriti; but minus Force, Mulaprakriti is for all practical intents and purposes non-existent.

The Secret Doctrine, ii 24-25

As this process is recapitulated at more manifest levels, the Second Logos or Demiurge and the Third Logos or Man arise, each the objective expression of that degree of the concealed Thought which it reflects or mirrors in itself. With each, the triadic esse gives way to the sevenfold existence, the combination, ten or ~D 10, numerically and geometrically representing the descent and differentiation of light into the series of hebdomadic hierarchies symbolized by pi. Each universe, world or planet has its own Logos, Lord or Eye manifesting sevenfold light. In geometrical language, for any place, the Logos manifesting as Light through the hebdomadic hierarchies delimits the manifested realm as a circle whose circumference exhibits the centre through the radii. The Ray is the mysterious proportional link between centre and circumference, between the Logos and cosmos, between God and Man. It is by this sevenfold Ray alone that the evolving Monads of a world can cognize the Logos through the Demiurge. The Third Logos is Mahat, the Divine Mind, Humanity ensouled as Manasaputras.

  Within every Logoic sphere there is a mirroring from the relatively abstract to the relatively concrete, from the homogeneous to the heterogeneous, the realm of noumenal light to the phenomenal region of relative darkness. For eyes and senses accustomed to the shadowy concretions of a phenomenal world, the noumenal antecedents of that world are as darkness. Understood from the side of the concealed Thought, however, the phenomena of a world are but a ceaselessly shifting maya, a play of lesser lights against the bright white screen of Eternity. Because of the inertia of the physical eye and its fixation on objective images, the physical world seems to be filled with enduring forms. From a subtler noumenal standpoint all these forms are comprehended as a tremendous whirl of life-atoms, dancing in and out of relation with each other in constant accord with the essences characteristic of their more noumenal origins. To begin to see this is to sense the activity of Nous which directly apprehends archetypal noumenal realities that cannot participate in manifestation except partially, and at many removes, through a series of reflections. Nous is like a sublime light behind a series of mirrors that finally yields reflected visible light.

  To enter this plane of noetic light is to arouse Buddhi Manas through true meditation. To emerge from that plane retaining full awareness is to perceive a world that is far more wonderful than anything uninitiated artists could imagine. With the awakened eye one would see the world noumenally as composed of rays, octaves, hosts and spheres of light.

  The Spheres of Being, or centres of life, which are isolated nuclei breeding their men and their animals, are numberless....
 The nucleoles are eternal and everlasting; the nuclei periodical and finite. The nucleoles form part of the absolute. They are the embrasures of that black impenetrable fortress, which is for ever concealed from human or even Dhyanic sight. The nuclei are the light of eternity escaping therefrom.
 It is that LIGHT which condenses into the forms of the "Lords of Being" – the first and the highest of which are, collectively, JIVATMA or Pratyagatma (said figuratively to issue from Paramatma. It is the Logos of the Greek philosophers – appearing at the beginning of every new Manvantara). From these downwards – formed from the ever-consolidating waves of that light, which becomes on the objective plane gross matter – proceed the numerous hierarchies of the Creative Forces, some formless, others having their own distinctive form, others, again, the lowest (Elementals), having no form of their own, but assuming every form according to the surrounding conditions.

The Secret Doctrine, ii 33-34

  The path towards transcendent awakening begins for human beings on the plane of the universe which mirrors the indwelling intelligence of the Demiurgic creative Logos. Looking at the stars, asking questions, quickening the mind through thinking and rethinking, one must learn to see the universe as the diffused differentiation of a hidden light, which is itself the reflection of Divine Mind. Uninvolved in its own manifestations, that Mind may be contacted only through its pristine ray in Monadic individuality, the awakened Buddhi Manas capable of becoming attuned to the Buddhi Manas of Nature. Only when one comes closer to the Mahatic Divine Mind can one apprehend the full meaning of man's extraordinary prerogative as the Third Logos. Reaching ultimately to the most exalted conception of the creative possibilities of human nature, one will discover one's spiritual heredity and deepest dharma in the august company of the Manus and Rishis, the Dhyanis and Bodhisattvas, the informing Intelligences animating the various centres of being. Honouring in them the manvantaric manifestation of THAT which is indefinable, incomprehensible and immutable, one will understand that "man cannot know higher beings than his own "progenitors"."

  Humanity is so bountifully endowed by the Rishis, and therefore by Nature, that it has never been able to use more than a small fraction of its splendid inheritance. Just as the visible sun releases more energy in a split-second than humanity can use in a year, the Agnishwatha Pitris and the Ever-Living Human Banyan have given humanity more gifts than it can use over any epoch. The sacred teachings glitter with myriad diamond points of apperception for awakening noetic insight. But in order to use them effectively and make them come alive, the habitual turba of the psychic nature must be stilled. One must be calm, wide awake, relaxed and reverential. One must be Manasically attentive, relinquishing memories and anticipations, letting go of notions of success and failure and fixations tied to personal identity. All this must be dispersed into the astral light, for it has nothing to do with the Monad during its long pilgrimage on earth. Man is not meant to propitiate elementals or mechanically perform rituals, but rather to elevate self-consciousness and establish a proper relation with divine ideas. As with the development of any faculty, the greater the exercise, the easier it will become. If one is truly serious about maturing spiritually and gaining the cool confidence to constitute oneself a chela, then one must concentrate and incarnate sacred teachings without idle and futile speculation about one's abilities and prospects. Ability inevitably grows with application, and with it the will to further application. In time, as psychospiritual centres gradually awaken in their natural and proportional order, one will be prepared to deal with higher levels of noetic energy. In order to hold, preserve and extend them, one will have to withdraw the mind repeatedly from the proclivities and delusions of the persona. In this way noetic insight will emerge, even if imperfectly mirrored on the plane of the phrenic and the psychic. One cannot leap immediately to the pure apprehension of Nous, but one may assuredly move in that direction in waking life. As one sincerely tries, unexpected and unsought help will come in a variety of ways, enabling one to see profounder and more numinous meanings as veil upon veil is lifted. The more one uses what one knows, the more meaning will come to one's aid, with a greater continuity of ardent aspiration.

  As this discipline deepens and ripens into the practice of Buddhi Yoga the living lineage and divine descent of each human Ego begins to assume a more precise meaning. Just as the seven Hierarchies of the invisible Logos constitute an indivisible creative impulse, the Demiurgic Host of the sun and the seven sacred planets are a single active potency in the world of forms. As the Spiritual Sun gives life to the entire Kosmos, the sun of our solar system gives life to the planets, and these in turn give life to the earth, to man, to the various Races and Sub-Races, and to the principles of human nature:


  The Globe, propelled onward by the Spirit of the Earth and his six assistants, gets all its vital forces, life, and powers through the medium of the seven planetary Dhyanis from the Spirit of the Sun. They are his messengers of Light and Life.
 Like each of the seven regions of the Earth, each of the seven First-born (the primordial human groups) receives its light and life from its own especial Dhyani – spiritually, and from the palace (house, the planet) of that Dhyani physically; so with the seven great Races to be born on it. The first is born under the Sun; the second under Brihaspati (Jupiter); the third under Lohitanga (the "fiery-bodied," Venus, or Sukra); the fourth, under Soma (the Moon, our Globe also, the Fourth Sphere being born under and from the Moon) and Sani, Saturn, the Krura-lochana (evil-eyed) and the Asita (the dark); the fifth, under Budha (Mercury).
 So also with man and every "man"in man (every principle). Each gets its specific quality from its primary (the planetary spirit), therefore every man is a septenate (or a combination of principles, each having its origin in a quality of that special Dhyani). Every active power or force of the earth comes to her from one of the seven Lords.

The Secret Doctrine, ii 28-29

  Because Man as the Third Logos reflects in himself all that he sees and finds in his universe, the earth, the awakening of the Light of the Logos in Man is a sacred process governed by the laws of cosmogenesis. The full awakening of Buddhi Manas is technically impossible without coming into conscious relation with the hierarchy of the informing Intelligences connected with Mercury-Budha-Hermes. These Rishis, Mahatmas, Dhyanis and Chohans, mirroring the Divine Mind on the plane of Aditi-Akasha, fulfil a necessary hierophantic role in relation to spiritual humanity. This was shown, for example, in the life of the emperor Julian, who prayed to the Occult Sun every night through the intercession of Mercury. Hermes, the psychopomp and evocator of souls,

is symbolised in Grecian mythology by one of the dogs (vigilance), which watch over the celestial flock (occult wisdom), or Hermes Anubis, or again Agathodaemon. He is the Argus watching over the Earth, and which the latter mistakes for the Sun itself.... As says Vossius: "All the theologians agree to say that Mercury and the Sun are one.... He was the most eloquent and the most wise of all the gods, which is not to be wondered at, since Mercury is in such close proximity to the Wisdom and the Word of God (the Sun) that he was confused with both."... The Hermes-Sarameyas of the Greeks is closely related to the Hindu Saram and Sarameya, the divine watchman, "who watches over the golden flock of stars and solar rays."

The Secret Doctrine, ii 28

As a mind-being (Manasa), every person is inherently capable of expanding, heightening and refining consciousness through the noetic potency of the light of spiritual awareness. This light is in the Monadic minds of all humanity, but unless they orient themselves in the direction of its source in the Spiritual Sun and recognize their kinship with all other Rays, they will not be in a mental posture that is ready to receive Divine Wisdom. To do this they will have to pass before those watchmen and vigilant protectors of Brahma Vach and show an understanding of the impersonal laws that govern the realm of Initiations into the Mysteries.

  Thus, whilst it is important and instructive to grasp the doctrine of the three Logoi philosophically, it is critically necessary to make these ideas come alive through meditation and moral sensitivity. Once the neophyte touches the higher energy-fields of Akashic ideation, this vibration begins to have a powerful effect upon the astral and physical vestures, affecting everything in one's experience including sense-perceptions. As it is imperative to familiarize oneself with the forces attendant upon these alchemical changes in consciousness, one must adopt self-chosen modes of Hermetic discipline. For some this will include forms of abstinence such as wise fasting. From all it will require silence rooted in reticence, deepening and enriching calm contemplation, altering the ratio between the unmanifest and the manifest in every arena. Actually doing this is quite difficult because of the constant pressure on the defensive personality to manifest, a tendency fostered by contemporary culture and aggravated by the deadweight of atavistic habits of thought and ahankaric speech. Nonetheless, through patient persistence in thoughtful withdrawal, one will become more precise in the performance of duty and develop a depth in one's inner states of consciousness as well as one's spontaneous responses.

  Cultivating profound reverence and uttermost devotion, one may come into communion with the Spiritual Sun, seeing its Ray within oneself as the golden cord of one's being, inseparable from the Ray in every other being. Then, using the Gayatri every day, one will over a period of time find spiritual knowledge spontaneously arising from within. As one turns to the sacred teachings of the Gupta Vidya, it will seem as if they are evocative reminders of whole areas of untapped knowledge within oneself, but which can be summoned only for the sake of helping humanity, for such knowledge is a tapestry woven from those Rays. One will be able to draw upon soul-wisdom if one truly wants to elevate and enrich the quality of one's ideation for the sake of becoming selfless, voiding any sense of egoity in the persona, and becoming a pristine ray of light focussed upon the Spiritual Sun, the Dhyanis, the Mahatmas and the moral welfare of the entire human race. This is the perennial teaching of the greatest mystics, most of whom preferred not to refer openly to the Spiritual Sun and its relation to Chruso-phaes Hermes, Hermes of golden light, whose true name they regarded as too sacred to be pronounced. They understood that behind what many people took to be merely fanciful names and fairy stories of the stars and planets, there were divine forces, the regents of invisible globes and planets, and they knew that these correspond to actual pedigrees and powers within every single human being. By gaining an intuitive sense of reverence for all the planets, for what they represent on the inner planes, and for their correspondences in the human constitution, one may begin to break down the seeming barrier between the cosmos and oneself, between selfhood and otherness in all beings.

  It is the essential metaspiritual identity of all that is the basis of the self-conscious reunion of cosmos and man. As H.P. Blavatsky stated before pointing out the stature of man as the Third Logos, the entire teaching of cosmogenesis shows

the genesis of Gods and men taking rise in, and from, one and the same Point, which is the One Universal, Immutable, Eternal, and absolute UNITY. In its primary manifested aspect we have seen it become: (1) in the sphere of objectivity and Physics, Primordial Substance and Force (centripetal and centrifugal, positive and negative, male and female, etc., etc.); (2) in the world of Metaphysics, the SPIRIT OF THE UNIVERSE, or Cosmic Ideation, called by some the LOGOS.

The Secret Doctrine, ii 24

From the same indivisible point, in the most supple medium of rarefied matter in abstract space, spring forth whole lines of activity upon the subjective and objective planes. These are synthesized in human beings because of the gift of self-consciousness which both enables one to make everything that is subjective an object of meditation, and everything that is objective a resource of the immortal subject through sifting and seeing it as not-Self. When this divine faculty implicit in the androgyne Light of the Logos in man is fully developed, it is ceaseless and omnidirectional in its creative beneficence. As a transitional stepping-stone in the painful ascent for human beings who have yet to free themselves from the drugged world of self-delusion, they have to start by setting aside time for contemplation and meditation, self-study and service. By so doing, they can begin to experience an authentic sense of the true Self and void the so-called reality of the not-Self, thereby taking a crucial step towards greater and deeper continuity between different states of consciousness.

  Even though an individual may remain at the initial stages for several lives, it is still to some extent possible at the moment of death, if one has prepared properly, to establish a tropism towards the Spiritual Sun. When the main motive is the good of all, it is noetic, having an affinity for to Agathon, and there can be help from the Brotherhood of Bodhisattvas to enable one to continue the effort more fruitfully in the next life. Then one can readily choose to adopt the highest matrices for the purified imagination and for profound meditation, having to do with the Pythagorean Triangle, its mystical completion which forms the Tetraktys, and the ever-invisible First Logos.

  This LOGOS is the apex of the Pythagorean triangle. When the triangle is complete it becomes the Tetraktis, or the Triangle in the Square, and is the dual symbol of the four-lettered Tetragrammaton in the manifested Kosmos, and of its radical triple RAY in the unmanifested,or its noumenon.

The Secret Doctrine, ii 24

So sacred are these ideas that discursive reasoning can only obscure the deeper awareness of their essential meaning. Yet there will be those extremely rare individuals who are so struck by the theurgic teaching that it will initiate a revolutionary transformation of consciousness and of the human temple with all its potential powers and gifts that are accessible to the immortal soul. Those so touched would be willing and ready to summon the same regenerative intuitions in others. In order to energize the motivation that will make this possible, the aspirant must reach out with undivided consciousness to the Spiritual Sun, the Source of all life, because any lesser motivation and inspiration will not provide the requisite continuity of Bodhisattvic consciousness.

  The root reason why many persons cannot maintain continuity of consciousness is that they do not truly love humanity. They may foolishly mistake hazy sentimentality for such love, but they cannot even really love themselves until they have repeatedly asked themselves: Who am I? If one identifies with mere shadows, one cannot recognize the light-rays in all beings, let alone love the light in all. It is best to acknowledge that one cannot and then find out why. Instead of brooding upon and building up the shadow, one has to cut through it, seeing it for what it is. Appreciating that it is good to be alive is closer to the latent love of humanity than strong emotions directed here and there. Rejoicing, like Miranda in The Tempest, in the existence of all others is essential to true empathy. Exercising the sacred privilege of cheerfully discharging one's duties towards all others can become a way of life. One should open one's eyes to that which is beyond and above oneself, constantly aspiring in thought towards Mahatmic consciousness. One must reflect upon humanity as a whole in relation to the Spiritual Sun, upon the meaning of human existence, upon the majesty of human suffering, but also its baffling urgency and awesome reality. Then one will discover a genuine gratitude for being a member of the human family and an awakened capacity to love humanity and its great pilgrimage. The more one truly loves, the more one will be effortlessly drawn into a current of joyous devotion to the unthanked Teachers of self-orphaned humanity, and the more one's spiritual heart will resonate to the universal compassion of Daiviprakriti, the Light of the Logos.

  Once this point is reached, there is really no going back. One has glimpsed the Hound of Heaven. The stream is entered. Sadly, many awakened souls forfeit the great opportunity in advance by speaking too soon and, above all, by becoming voluble psychiatrists and hasty judges of their personas and their prospects. Forgetful of most of what significantly happens in their lives, they become wastefully preoccupied with grading themselves, partly because they are afraid that at the moment of death they are going to be finally graded by an arbitrary God or a hostile universe. All such cogitation is a cowardly insult to the living inheritance of spiritual intelligence in every human soul. Instead, one must persist in silence, with patience, perseverance and humility, until one touches the irreversible current of noetic insight, satori and prajna, the Tathagata Light. When it comes even as a form of grace, it will be self-evident, and it will not allow one ever to fall back into the abyss of self-destruction. One will realize that one's transfiguration should not be articulated, and yet one will discover that one's deepest thoughts and simplest words invisibly aid others in moving in the same sunward direction.

  Every seeker can effectively generate the eros and motivation to sustain and enrich the inward continuity of consciousness and identity with all souls. Whilst one cannot rapidly recover the soul-nobility of one's spiritual ancestors, whose every thought and feeling is full of unconditional love for all living beings, one can move in the right direction. Through an honest acknowledgement and accurate assessment of exactly what is needed, one may assuredly avoid danger to the soul. All sacred knowledge is karmically double-edged, for though it is accessible, it cannot be applied properly without simultaneously generating the suitable conditions, and if it is accessible but not used, it becomes inaccessible. This means at the most practical level that, without fear or cavil, one should sincerely try to use and apply the teachings in daily life, without excessive concern to draw elaborate inferences from instantaneous responses. Just as the Word is behind all words, what is hidden is always greater than what is revealed. But where there is the authentic attempt to reflect the concealed Thought, the Light of the Logos will guide, and the reflection will be greater than one may know. As Mahatma K.H. wrote to A.P. Sinnett,

 It is upon the serene and placid surface of the unruffled mind that the visions gathered from the invisible find a representation in the visible world.... It is with jealous care that we have to guard our mind-plane from all the adverse influences which daily arise in our passage through earth-life.... There are the powers of all nature before you; take what you can.

Hermes, August 1981
by Raghavan Iyer