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August 5, 2010
3. The Voice of the Silence
The Voice of the Silence (1889) is Blavatsky’s short lyrical account of the nature of the soul and the processes of spiritual attainment, as depicted within the occult science and the ancient wisdom teachings. These sample verses depict aspects of the plight of the soul and the necessity of overcoming the illusions of the mind:
When waxing stronger, thy Soul glides forth from her secure retreat: and breaking loose from the protecting shrine, extends her silver thread and rushes onward; when beholding her image on the waves of Space she whispers, “This is I,”—declare, O Disciple, that thy soul is caught in the webs of delusion. This Earth, Disciple, is the Hall of Sorrow, wherein are set along the Path of dire probations, traps to ensnare they EGO by the delusion called “Great Heresy.” (p. 4)
Let not thy “Heaven-born,” merged in the sea of Maya, break from the Universal Parent (SOUL), but let the fiery power retire into the inmost chamber, the chamber of the Heart and the abode of the World’s Mother. Then from the heart that Power shall rise into the sixth, the middle region, the place between thine eyes, when it becomes the breath of the ONE-SOUL, the voice that filleth all, thy Master’s voice. ‘Tis only then thou canst become a “Walker of the Sky” who treads the winds above the waters, whose step touches not the waters. … thou hast to hear the voice of thy inner GOD in seven manners. (p. 9)
Before that path is entered, thou must destroy thy lunar body, cleanse thy mind-body and make clean thy heart. (p. 11)
Thou art THYSELF the object of thy search: the VOICE unbroken, that resounds throughout eternities, exempt from change, from sin exempt, the seven sounds in one, the VOICE OF THE SILENCE. (pp. 21-2)
Search for the Paths. But, O Lanoo, be of clean heart before thou startest on thy journey. Before thou takest thy first step learn to discern the real from the false, the ever-fleeting from the everlasting. Learn above all to separate Head-learning from Soul-Wisdom, the “Eye” from the “Heart" doctrine. (p.25)
The “Doctrine of the Eye” is for the crowd, the “Doctrine of the Heart,” for the elect. ,,, “Great Sifter” is the name of the “Heart Doctrine,” O disciple. … The wheel of the good LAW moves slowly on. … The hand of Karma guides the wheel; the revolutions mark the beatings of the Karmic heart. (p. 27)
These verses on the nature of Self depict its
intimate connection to the heart; its relatedness to the greater Self;
uncreated, Eternal nature; its nature as self-illuminating light; and
origin as rooted within the plenum (the fullness of the seeming void).
The Self is “heaven-born” but is submerged in the sea of Maya (the world of illusion). The Self emanates from the Universal Parent and descends into the World Mother, “the waves of Space” and “the sea of Maya,” or the chaos of modern science. The heart is “the abode of the World Mother,” the secret chamber wherein thy Self merges with That Self.
Blavatsky compares the “soul wisdom” to “head-learning,” noting that, “the mind is the great slayer of the real.” Certainly, Blavatsky’s views would suggest that: consciousness is not manufactured out of the cerebral cortex; nor is it thought, nor the product of matter and neurological activity; nor does it simply dissipate at death. Instead, consciousness and Self have some mystical supernatural origin emerging from within divine and metaphysical dimensions of Being and Non-Being. The Self is most inwardly connected to the material body within the chambers of the heart.
Blavatsky challenges every basic assumption of modern scientists and intellectuals as to the nature and origin of human consciousness and Self. Rather than emerging through random evolutionary processes out of non-sentient matter, the Self is heaven born and descends into the chamber of the heart, the abode of the World Mother.
The Secret Doctrine depicts any cosmos as a “Son,” a “wink of the Eye of Self-Existence,” and “a spark of eternity.” The ancient Stanzas of Dzyan state:
The Secret Doctrine begins with the unity of creation. Any manifest element, or Son, or Monad emerges as an emanation from within the deep substrates of existence. All things emerge within/without at the beginning of time from zero point “laya centres,” which exist prior to physical manifestation, out of the underlying Unity. Further, all living cosmoses ultimately resolve back without/within to zero point laya centres and the Unity at the end of time. Blavatsky describes the journey of “the pilgrim-soul” as occurring through “various states of not only matter but Self-consciousness and self-perception....” (Vol. II, pp. 185-6) The Monad is a “drop out of the shoreless Ocean beyond,” and “(a) ray from that one universal absolute Principle.” (p. 167) These expansions and contractions all proceed through the inward dimensions of the heart.
Traditionally, God is described as omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient; present everywhere, containing all potencies and all knowing. Thus, if God exists, then ultimately, as we penetrate to the heart of being, to the heart of matter, to the heart of the universe, or to the heart of Self, then we must arrive at such a Monadic source emanating out of such an underlying realm of the Eternal.