Circle (symbol)

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The circle is an ancient symbol which, being formed by an unbroken line that has no beginning, no end, and no direction, frequently represents a unity that encompasses all space and Time.

H. P. Blavatsky defined it as follows:

The one circle is divine Unity, from which all proceeds, whither all returns. Its circumference—a forcibly limited symbol, in view of the limitation of the human mind—indicates the abstract, ever incognisable PRESENCE, and its plane, the Universal Soul, although the two are one.[1]
The first and only form of the prima materia our brain-consciousness can cognise, is a circle. Train your thought first of all to a thorough acquaintance with a limited circle, and expand it gradually. You will soon come to a point when without its ceasing to be a circle in thought, it yet becomes infinite and limitless even to the inner perceptions. It is this circle which we call Brahmâ, the germ, atom or anu: a latent atom embracing infinitude and boundless Eternity during Pralaya, an active one during the life-cycles; but one which has neither circumference nor plane, only limitless expansion. Therefore the Circle is the first geometrical figure and symbol in the subjective world, and it becomes a Triangle in the objective.[2]

She also talks about the visualization of an infinite circle as a form of meditation:

The first thing that you see is certainly a circle. Now this circle you can either limit or take it just according to the capacities of your conceptions and of your intuition, and you can make it limitless, all depends upon your powers of conceiving things. You can expand it ad infinitum, make of it a limitless circle—not only in words. . . . They make us conceive of a circle first of all, and this circle which is all, and embraces all and has no plane. Let us imagine something that is—well, as large as we can imagine it—and you might expand and extend ad infinitum. If we contract it to our conceptions, it is because we want to make it conceivable to the finite intellect.[3]
The Circle was with every nation the symbol of the Unknown—“Boundless Space,” the abstract garb of an ever present abstraction—the Incognisable Deity. It represents limitless Time in Eternity. The Zeroana Akerne is also the “Boundless Circle of the Unknown Time,” from which Circle issues the radiant light—the Universal SUN, or Ormazd [the Logos, the “First Born” and the Sun]. . . . For the circle is Sar, and Saros, or cycle, and was the Babylonian god whose circular horizon was the visible symbol of the invisible, while the sun was the ONE Circle from which proceeded the Cosmic orbs, and of which he was considered the leader. Zero-ana, is the Chackra or circle of Vishnu, the mysterious emblem which is, according to the definition of a mystic, “a curve of such a nature that . . . if the curve be protracted either way it will proceed and finally re-enter upon itself.” No better definition could thus be given of the natural symbol and the evident nature of Deity, which having its circumference everywhere (the boundless) has, therefore, its central point also everywhere; in other words, is in every point of the Universe.[4]

Master K.H. wrote:

The circle indicates the bounding, circumscribing quality of the All, the Universal Principle which, from any given point expands so as to embrace all things, while embodying the potentiality of every action in the Cosmos.[5]

The Point in the Circle

Master K.H. explained that while the circle represents the seventh Universal Principle, the central point stands for seventh (manifested) principle, being respectively the macrocosm and the microcosm.[6] However, the two are essentially identical. He explained:

As the point then is the centre round which the circle is traced — they are identical and one, and though from the standpoint of Maya and Avidya — (illusion and ignorance) — one is separated from the other by the manifested triangle, the 3 sides of which represent the three gunas — finite attributes. In symbology the central point is Jivatma (the 7th principle), and hence Avalokitesvara, the Kwan-Shai-yin, the manifested "Voice" (or Logos), the germ point of manifested activity; — hence — in the phraseology of the Christian Kabalists "the Son of the Father and Mother," and agreeably to ours — "the Self manifested in Self — Yih-sin, the "one form of existence," the child of Dharmakaya (the universally diffused Essence), both male and female. Parabrahm or "Adi-Buddha" while acting through that germ point outwardly as an active force, reacts from the circumference inwardly as the Supreme but latent Potency.[7]

Notes

  1. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 1.
  2. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. IV (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1981), 385.
  3. Michael Gomes (transcriber), The Secret Doctrine Commentaries (The Hague: I.S.I.S. foundation, 2010), 274-275.
  4. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 113-114.
  5. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 111 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 378.
  6. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 111 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 378.
  7. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 111 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 378.