The Secret Doctrine Commentaries on Gods and the Seven Planetary Regents
COMMENTARY ON BLAVATSKY LODGE MEETING, 1888 (EDITED 7/28/2020).
I briefly introduced in the topic of sun-gods and fire-gods, the explanation of the ancient so-called “fire” and “sun-worshipers” held by our many and various ancestors; and that in truth, they did not die entirely in vain believing wholly in superstitions. Now, much of the purpose of The Secret Doctrine is devoted not just to Commentary on the Stanzas, but to demonstrating the origins and evidences of the Mysteries of ancient people. The History of Religion takes the nature of what were called the Mysteries and initiatic institutions into very superficial account. When tasked to explain the complexities of the ideas through symbolism, mathematics, and so forth, even when certain scholars have endeavored greatly to understand them and have, their studies are not factored into our understanding. Where doctrines and beliefs are so circulated, whence their origins and divergent meanings? For example, what are the gods actually? We are told by Epicurus in one place, that the masses had no real idea as to what the gods actually were. The term means many things. The Gods are grouped in phases and numbers. They are called Fires, and many other things. The parents (or progenitors) of our very own senses were considered in the ancient beliefs of many people to be the classical elements, and our principles formed and attended to by gods. In some systems, there was a secret primordial element, of which all the elements and the gods were the correlations of. This element is called Fire, Heat, Water, Light, Force, Electricity, Motion, Liquid, Wind, Sun, Darkness, Chaos, Sound, Proteus. . .and so forth. There were always double-meanings, triple meanings, multi-faceted interpretations. The material universe as we currently see it — not everyone on our planet even see the same given the element of disorders and conditions — is illusory. Nature is manifold, and that which is changeless in the ancient cosmogonies becomes merged with its effects producing this manifold existence, illusive and phenomenal. Its phases are given names. Its attributes and characteristics, which are according to many traditions, reflected in that existence, thus in Man are given names, thus the notion of multiple “gods.” With its attributes in both spiritual and material worlds, comes the belief in its active agents, the creations (or changes) of the gods, that are its Essences and Elemental Powers. They are called many things in reference to the physical classical elements and their order and birth (or evolutions). In another since, the primordial Gods and Holy Ones are the Elements in their primordial (divine) forms, and more. These have orders and classes, just as Nature is manifold, for the great fire Powers have been thought to be able to call upon through the power of Sound, Speech and special Words. What the gods are considered to be by the people and priests that erect physical representations, appear more explanatory among certain ancient thinkers. We know, nature has more than one physical aspect, and in the same manner, so are designed multiple aspects and interpretations to doctrines, symbols, and terminology. We are taught to observe these things apart, but this knowledge is connected to the history of things, like language. As explained in The Secret Doctrine note comparisons between H.P. Blavatsky and G. Massey on Indian and Egyptian classifications of the human principles, there exists indeed a carefully-designed esoteric system, not apparent to those unfamiliar with the language and concepts conveyed in them. Moreover, in explaining the fact the term God and Gods are generic terms for describing many things, in The Secret Doctrine, many do not know that H.P. Blavatsky missed the discovery of sub-atomic particles. Yet, The Secret Doctrine does more than anticipate it. The infinite divisibility of the atom was a fundamental position in the occult philosophy underlying The Secret Doctrine. H.P.B. uses various terms in reference to the sub-atomic world, to germs, etc., such as builders, devourers, etc., that most students believe, or are confused that the terms apply to Gods as in beautiful anthropomorphic Angelic-Men. Sometimes, when a phrase is given, it is taken literal, as in references to what are called the Kosmocrators, as “rulers of the earth.” The Kosmocrators are “world bearers” and “builders of the solar system.” Yes, but what are they specifically? “Rulers of the earth” to people means demons, cabals, or Annunaki. It is as if, many people still believed in the Gods of Antiquity. Damascius refers to the Kosmocrators as a collective of seven in number, and the Pillars of the World. They are seven in number, but double. One group rules the superior worlds (the spiritual and the sidereal), and the other set guide the worlds of matter. From this belief in the dual or material doubles of those mirrored in the superior worlds, H.P.B. explains comes the invention of Devils, for the Rectors are not Demons in any sense portrayed in religious imagery. The actual imagery of Angels portrayed in the Bible have no resemblance to the angelic Cupid babes of classical sculpture art. They are depicted just as much like demons of our imagination, rather than as sexy men. The Gods are at times in Theosophical literature identified with atoms. Atoms are referred to as souls sometimes in the literature. One of the names or aspects of the supreme principle itself, in classical Indian philosophy is called Anu. The term God and Gods, as said is generic. When it is said, the Kosmocrators are the “Spirits of the Earth,” how is this immediately pictured, or understood by the reader? The term “Spirits of the Earth” just as equally equates to the “Planes”. Hence, we are asked to pay attention to the context.
SPIRITS OF THE EARTH AND THE SACRED PLANETS
Apparently, those termed the Kosmocrators are a hierarchy of beings who are the rulers of the earth, or have something to do with terrestrial evolution. They are not concerned with the high spiritual Essence, we are told. Is it meant beings? What type? We do not know, as it is not explained. For “they” are called sentient Intelligences. Collectively, they are known as the Planetary Spirit, or Spirit of the Earth, similar to the Gnostics who taught, that the demiurge of this planet was not of a high grade. The Christians have still yet to understand the concept. Reading these concepts from the Gnostics frustrated them.
The planetary spirits of the Earth are not as high as those of the “sacred planets.” All of these concepts have special meanings and explanations, not readily given. Yet, we are given clues, as it is said, the Kosmocrators assist in the formative processes of life through matter. The Kosmocrators are again expressed by another term, as the invisible “builders” (the intelligent masons). They are a collective unit. What do we know thus far, in regards to the question in science: what are the “builders” of matter? What builds ordinary matter?
They do not belong to the hierarchies of the sacred planets, it is said. As to the Regents, or Planetary Spirit, the Christian esotericists and Kabbalists call “planetary spirits,” it could refer to all the directing influences of evolution, from the smallest particle, and the vital forces, to a celestial Intelligence. Stars and Constellations were called Spirits, Gods, and Intelligences. The term in that other way describes the superior classes of high spiritual Entities. What the Christians and Kabbalists, as well as the Greeks and Hindus taught to be of greater grade, belong to what are called in classical astronomy and astrology the “seven sacred planets.” These Seven rule the fate and destinies of humanity, for the causes of creation and destruction were put in motion long before our existence.
“The “Breath” of all the “seven” is said to be Bhaskara (light-making), because they (the planets) were all comets and suns in their origin. They evolve into Manvantaric life from primaeval Chaos (now the noumenon of irresolvable nebulae) by aggregation and accumulation of the primary differentiations of the eternal matter, according to the beautiful expression in the Commentary, “Thus the Sons of Light clothed themselves in the fabric of Darkness.” They are called allegorically “the Heavenly Snails,” on account of their (to us) formless INTELLIGENCES inhabiting unseen their starry and planetary homes, and, so to speak, carrying them as the snails do along with themselves in their revolution.” (Helena P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1, pg. 103.)
“As to Mars, Mercury, and “the four other planets,” they bear a relation to Earth of which no master or high Occultist will ever speak, much less explain the nature.”HELENA P. BLAVATSKY, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, VOL. 1, PP. 163-64
Helena Blavatsky is explaining this from the Commentaries. These Seven sacred “Planetary Spirits” or the “Regents,” are exactly what the Christians, or their text term the Seven Spirits (Angels, or Intelligences) of “the Presence.” Yet, again, these are just terms mentioned, never explained. These Entities, save the imagery common in ancient cultures, are not ordinary beings.
TRANSACTIONS 1888 MEETING: MR. T.B. HARBOTTLE QUESTIONS TO H.P. BLAVATSKY
In Transactions, on Jan. 31., 1888, Mr. T.B. Harbottle asked H.P.B. questions.
“Q. With reference to sloka (6), where it speaks of the “Seven Lords,” since confusion is apt to arise as to the correct application of the terms, what is the distinction between Dhyan-Chohans, Planetary Spirits, Builders and Dhyani-Buddhas?”
H.P.B. states that elaboration on the topic would require an additional two volumes of the S.D. She further states, “Dhyan-Chohan is a generic term for all Devas, or celestial beings. A Planetary Spirit is a Ruler of a planet, a kind of finite or personal god. There is a marked difference, however, between the Rulers of the Sacred Planets and the Rulers of a small “chain” of worlds like our own.”
Mr. T.B. Harbottle asks again later:
“(…) do the Planetary Spirits of the Seven Sacred Planets belong to another hierarchy than to that of the earth?”
“A. Evidently; since the terrestrial spirit of the earth is not of a very high grade. It must be remembered that the planetary spirit has nothing to do with the spiritual man, but with things of matter and cosmic beings. The gods and rulers of our Earth are cosmic Rulers; that is to say, they form into shape and fashion cosmic matter, for which they were called Cosmocratores. They never had any concern with spirit; the Dhyani-Buddhas, belonging to quite a different hierarchy, are especially concerned with the latter.
Q. These seven Planetary Spirits have therefore nothing really to do with the earth except incidentally?
A. No: they have no concern with the three higher principles (…)”
Most intriguingly, H.P.B. reiterates, that what is called the terrestrial planetary spirit, or spirit of the earth is not a singular or personal God, but a collective demiurge, or a collectivity of Forces of nature. They are collectively, that Spirit themselves:
“A. (…) The “Dhyani-Buddhas” are concerned with the human higher triad in a mysterious way that need not be explained here. The “Builders” are a class called, as I already explained, Cosmocratores, or the invisible but intelligent Masons, who fashion matter according to the ideal plan ready for them in that which we call Divine and Cosmic Ideation. They were called by the early Masons the “Grand Architect of the Universe” collectively: but now the modern Masons make of their G. A. O. T. U. a personal and singular Deity.
Q. Are they not also Planetary Spirits?
A. In a sense they are — as the Earth is also a Planet — but of a lower order.”
The “Grand Architect of the Universe” (the G.A.O.T.U.) The Secret Doctrine explains is Universal Consciousness (Universal Mind, or Cosmic Ideation), or what is termed, MAHAT (devanāgarī: महत्). IT is the “secret god.” It cannot be separated from ancient atomic theory.
The Planetary Spirits, as stated earlier are called Masons (i.e., “builders”) of Heaven and World-Pillars, who use for their vehicle, cosmic electricity; and they manifest through the particles of this cosmic FORCE, which is the binding unity of all existing Force and Energies, on all the planes, seen and unseen. They have sentience on the spiritual planes, and this is another mystery, H.P. Blavatsky asserts, is connected to the atomic world.
This may be a reason ancient religions connected electricity and fire to the power of their God, rather than a mere reference to primitive fear of physical electricity. This cause, The Secret Doctrine terms — DZYÜ, or DGYÜ (rgyus), “sets in motion the law of Cosmic Evolution,” or the force resulting in cosmic motion. It is that organizing power, which made the gods differentiate§ in the Theogonic accounts from the ONE, the TWO, the THREE, into the SEVEN, etc.