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August 4, 2010

 

Section III

 

3b.  The Seven-Skinned Eternal Parent Space

 

 

            Abstract Space is the Eternal Parent Space which is contrasted with the non-eternal manifest spacetime complex of a created universe or Son.  The Eternal Parent Space is an absolute Space, the source of innumerable sparks of self-existence that emerge out of Non-Being.  In modern terminology, the Eternal Parent Space is a “hyperspace,” “superspace” or the “big foam of the quantum vacuum” with its zero point fields.  It is not manifest ‘in’ the external space/time dimensions as we ordinarily conceive of these, but rather it underlies and sustains them.  The Eternal Parent Space is the mother principle and ultimate Aether.  This is described in the first verse:  “THE ETERNAL PARENT WRAPPED IN HER EVER INVISIBLE ROBES HAD SLUMBERED ONCE AGAIN FOR SEVEN ETERNITIES.”

            Blavatsky criticized the scientists of her day who regard Space as empty, void and lifeless, and not simultaneously the plenum and living.  She explains: “Space … viewed as a “Substantial Unity”—the “living Source of Life”—is as the “Unknown Causeless Cause,” is the oldest dogma in Occultism, millenniums earlier than the Pater-Aether of the Greeks and Latins.”  (pp. 9-10)  

 

Space is neither a “limitless void,” nor a “conditioned fullness,” but both: being, on the plane of absolute abstraction, the ever-incognisable Deity, which is void only to finite minds, and on that of mayavic perception, the Plenum, the absolute Container of all that is, whether manifested or unmanifested: it is, therefore, that ABSOLUTE ALL. ...  Space is called in the esoteric symbolism “the Seven-Skinned Eternal Mother-Father.”  It is composed from its undifferentiated to its differentiated surface of seven layers.  (S.D. I, pp. 8-9)


            In the cosmogenesis of The Secret Doctrine, a key to the mysteries of creation lies within the archaic teaching regarding the seven-skinned Eternal Parent Space.  In this view, the entire phenomenal world is regarded as an outgrowth or unfolding of patterns of creation inherent within this root principle of the Divine Essence.  The Eternal Parent Space is the ultimate Aether, or hyperspace dimension, which sustains physical reality. While modern physicists might wonder what patterns of existence might be pre-existent in non-existence, Blavatsky maintains that the sevenfoldness of all things is latent in the Eternal Parent Space and then embodied in all realms of Nature and creation.  The Stanzas of Dzyan refer to the seven dimensional nature of creation:   “THE SEVEN REGIONS ABOVE, AND THE SEVEN BELOW” (V, 2).

            Blavatsky was highly critical of the scientific views of her era, particularly when it came to understanding space.  She wrote: “… Space is, in the sight of the materialists, one boundless void in nature–blind, unintelligent, useless.” (p.587)  Instead of regarding Space as an “abyss of nothingness,” the occultist regards it as a substantial living Entity–the “real world,” in contrast to the illusory world of visible causes and effects.  Space is the Plenum–the Unity in which there is a connection and correlation of all matter and forces.  Space is the container and body of the Universe with its seven principles.

Without this Aether of Space there would be no forces of nature, no elements, no creation:

 

SPACE, which, in their ignorance and iconoclastic tendency to destroy every philosophic idea of old, the modern wiseacres have proclaimed “an abstract idea” and a void, is, in reality, the container and the body of the Universe with its seven principles.  It is a body of limitless extent, whose PRINCIPLES, in Occult phraseology–each being in its turn a septenary–manifest in our phenomenal world only the grossest fabric of their sub-divisions. ... Kabalistic teachings (show) this idea, e.g., the seven-headed Serpent of Space, called “the great Sea.”   (S.D. I, p. 342)

 

            Space, to the scientists of Blavatsky’s era, was a passive background within which three-dimensional atoms move about interacting only through local effects and external relationships.  In contrast, Blavatsky’s “SPACE” refers to the “real SPACE” of the “Eternal Parent Space” rather than the three dimensional space of the manifest phenomenal existence.  Real SPACE is described as a living Unity, an apparent Void—to the finite mind or to physical perception—but the Divine Plenum, container of all, to the mystically awakened!

 

The Waters of Life, or Chaos—the female principle in symbolism—are the vacuum (to our mental sight) in which lie the latent Spirit and Matter.  (p. 64)

 

            This SPACE is the ultimate AETHER–the root principle of manifestation within both the spiritual and material worlds.   Whereas scientists of her day were arguing about the reality of the “ether,” before dismissing the concept in the early part of the twentieth century, Blavatsky never wavered in her insistence of the primacy of the Aether.  This Aether is the container and foundation for the laws of nature and all cosmic manifestations and is the Eternal Parent Space itself.  

This concept of the Aether is dramatically different from the ether being proposed in her day by the scientists, although, ironically, it is more compatible with recent scientific concepts.

 

The whole range of physical phenomena proceed from the Primary of Ether–Akasa, as dual natured Akasa proceeds from undifferentiated Chaos, so-called.... Modern Science may divide its hypothetically conceived ether in as many ways as it likes; the real Aether of Space will remain as it is throughout.  It has its seven principles, as all the rest of nature has, and where there was no Ether there would be no sound, as it is the vibrating sound-board in nature in all of its seven differentiations.  This is the first mystery the Initiates of old have learned.  (S. D. I, p. 536)

 

            The Eternal Parent Space, the ultimate Aether, has seven skins, a nature inherent within the Divine Essence.  When creation occurs, the “first born” are the seven Luminous Sons, seven Divine Intelligences, who create seven dimensional spiritual worlds and subsequently seven dimensional material worlds.   Everything is sevenfold because this septenary nature is latent in the Divine Essence even before the initiation of the creative forces.  It is a pattern of being, of existence, pre-existent in Non-Being—in the Aether of the Eternal Parent Space!  Cosmic manifestation entails the unfolding of this inherent sevenfold nature within spiritual and material realms of creation. 

            Understanding this enigmatic doctrine is a key to understanding the mysteries of cosmology, physics and metaphysics–both modern and ancient.  Blavatsky’s explanations of the Seven Skinned Eternal Parent Space provide a remarkable and profound teaching of the ancient wisdom religions, most pertinent to the issues of modern science.  Blavatsky writes:

 

Everything in the metaphysical as in the physical Universe is septenary. … The evolution of life proceeds on these seven globes or bodies from the 1st to the 7th in Seven ROUNDS or Seven Cycles.  (S. D. I, p. 158) 

 

The opening Stanzas of Dzyan thus refer to the Seven Eternities, the Seven Ways to Bliss, the Seven Sublime Lords and the Seven Truths, and the Seven yet to be born from the Web of Light.          In terms of the theological trinity, SPACE is the feminine principle–the Mother- principle, the roots of matter.  It is equated with “the Great Sea,” the “Chaos” and with the “Deep.”  In the Book of Genesis, before the beginning: “Darkness was upon the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”  The terms “the deep” and “the waters” refer to the SPACE, the ultimate Aether of the Eternal Parent Space:

 

Number seven is quite as much insisted upon and emphasized … in the Book of Dzyan. “The Great Water (the Deep or Chaos) is said to be seven cubits deep” –“cubits” standing here of course for divisions, zones, and principles.  Therein, “in the great mother, all the Gods, and the seven great ones are born.”  (S. D. I, p. 674)

 

The primordial nothingness–the quantum void/plenum in its nature as the Eternal Parent Space—has an inherent seven-fold nature.  This is profound teaching of the archaic wisdom traditions which anticipates the most startling and revolutionary ideas emerging within science in the twenty first century.

          

 


   

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