Ring Pass-Not

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The Ring Pass-Not, also known as the Circle Pass-Not, is an allegorical circle "within which are confined all those who still labour under the delusion of separateness".[1] This separation is said to be set by the Lipikas. As Mme Blavatsky writes:

Those who have been called Lipikas, the Recorders of the Karmic ledger, make an impassible barrier between the personal EGO and the impersonal SELF, the Noumenon and Parent-Source of the former. Hence the allegory. They circumscribe the manifested world of matter within the RING “Pass-Not.”[2]

This boundary cannot be passed by any being except the Lipikas, until the end of the manvantara. In Stanza V.6 of the The Secret Doctrine we read:

The ring called “Pass not,” [is] for those who descend and ascend (as also for those) who, during the Kalpa, are progressing toward the great day “Be with us”. . . . Thus were formed the Arupa and the Rupa (the formless world and the world of forms).[3]
The Lipika separate the world (or plane) of pure spirit from that of Matter. Those who “descend and ascend”—the incarnating Monads, and men striving towards purification and “ascending,” but still not having quite reached the goal—may cross the “circle of the Pass-Not,” only on the day “Be-With-Us”; that day when man, freeing himself from the trammels of ignorance, and recognising fully the non-separateness of the Ego within his personality—erroneously regarded as his own—from the UNIVERSAL EGO (Anima Supra-Mundi), merges thereby into the One Essence to become not only one “with us” (the manifested universal lives which are “ONE” LIFE), but that very life itself. [4]
No Spirit except the “Recorders” (Lipika) has ever crossed its forbidden line, nor will any do so until the day of the next Pralaya, for it is the boundary that separates the finite—however infinite in man’s sight—from the truly INFINITE. The Spirits referred to, therefore, as those who “ascend and descend” are the “Hosts” of what we loosely call “celestial Beings.”[5]

The Ring Pass-Not is associated to the number π (pi):

The Lipika circumscribe the triangle, the first one (the vertical line or the figure 1), the cube, the second one, and the pentacle within the egg (circle). It is the ring called “Pass not”. . .[6]

In the language of the Stanza, the triangle corresponds to the number 3, the vertical line to number 1, the cube to number 4, and the pentacle to number 5:

Astronomically, the “Ring PASS-NOT” that the Lipika trace around the Triangle, the First One, the Cube, the Second One, and the Pentacle to circumscribe these figures, is thus shown to contain the symbol of 31415 again, or the coefficient constantly used in mathematical tables (the value of π, pi), the geometrical figures standing here for numerical figures.[7]
“The Three, the One, the Four, the One, the Five” (in their totality—twice seven) represent 31415—the numerical hierarchy of the Dhyan-Chohans of various orders, and of the inner or circumscribed world. When placed on the boundary of the great circle of “Pass not” (see Stanza V.), called also the Dhyanipasa, the “rope of the Angels,” the “rope” that hedges off the phenomenal from the noumenal Kosmos, (not falling within the range of our present objective consciousness).[8]

The Ring Pass-Not must not be thought of as a real ring or associated to any spacial location:

The Lipika is said to circumscribe within the egg--which is the magnetic aura or manifested kosmos--man, animal or any concrete object in the universe, or those objects which have form. It is an allegory, and is stated in allegorical language, this enchanted ring or circle. No such ring exists in nature, but there exists the plane of matter and spirit and consciousness.[9]
But the full Initiate knows that the ring “Pass-Not” is neither a locality nor can it be measured by distance, but that it exists in the absoluteness of infinity. In this “Infinity” of the full Initiate there is neither height, breadth nor thickness, but all is fathomless profundity, reaching down from the physical to the “para-para-metaphysical.” In using the word “down,” essential depth—“nowhere and everywhere”—is meant, not depth of physical matter.[10]

However, we have to keep in mind that all these teachings can be interpreted at different levels:

There are seven meanings to every symbol. Astronomically, the ring "Pass-Not" means one thing, and metaphysically, quite another.[11]

Therefore, it could be possible that, when using the astronomic key, the ring may refer to a point in space.

Notes

  1. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 250.
  2. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 129.
  3. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 129.
  4. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 130-131.
  5. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 132.
  6. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 129.
  7. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 130-131.
  8. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 90.
  9. Michael Gomes (transcriber), The Secret Doctrine Commentaries (The Hague: I.S.I.S. foundation, 2010), 383-384.
  10. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 131.
  11. Michael Gomes (transcriber), The Secret Doctrine Commentaries (The Hague: I.S.I.S. foundation, 2010), 388.

Further reading