Great Breath

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Great Breath is a term used by H. P. Blavatsky to refer to the absolute abstract motion. Being an aspect of the Absolute, this principle is eternally present. The Occult Catechism asks: “What is it that is ever coming and going?” and the answer is given: “The Great Breath.”[1] In the Proem of The Secret Doctrine Mme. Blavatsky defines it as follows:

The perpetual motion of the universe, in the sense of limitless, ever-present SPACE. That which is motionless cannot be Divine. But then there is nothing in fact and reality absolutely motionless within the universal soul.[2]

At the beginning of the process of manifestation, the Great Breath becomes the "Pre-cosmic Ideation":

the Great Breath assumes the character of pre-cosmic Ideation. It is the fons et origo [source and origin] of force and of all individual consciousness, and supplies the guiding intelligence in the vast scheme of cosmic Evolution.[3]

With the "out-breathing" of Great Breath manifests the universe:

The appearance and disappearance of the Universe are pictured as an outbreathing and inbreathing of “the Great Breath,” which is eternal, and which, being Motion, is one of the three aspects of the Absolute—Abstract Space and Duration being the other two. When the “Great Breath” is projected, it is called the Divine Breath, and is regarded as the breathing of the Unknowable Deity—the One Existence—which breathes out a thought, as it were, which becomes the Kosmos.[4]

Notes

  1. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 11.
  2. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 2.
  3. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 15.
  4. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 43.