Motion

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Motion, in physics, is a change in position of an object with respect to time. Motion is observed by attaching a frame of reference to a body and measuring its change in position relative to another reference frame.

In Theosophical literature the relative motion known by science is regarded as a manifestation of an eternal "intracosmic" motion, which is one of the fundamental principles in the universe:

Official science sees in motion simply a blind, unreasoning force or law; Occultism, tracing motion to its origin, identifies it with the Universal Deity, and calls this eternal ceaseless motion— the "Great Breath".[1]
The materialistic notion that because, in physics, real or sensible motion is impossible in pure space or vacuum, therefore, the eternal MOTION of and in cosmos (regarded as infinite Space) is a fiction—only shows once more that such words as “pure space,” “pure Being,” “the Absolute,” etc., of Eastern metaphysics have never been understood in the West.[2]
Intra-Cosmic motion is eternal and ceaseless; cosmic motion (the visible, or that which is subject to perception) is finite and periodical. As an eternal abstraction it is the EVER-PRESENT; as a manifestation, it is finite both in the coming direction and the opposite, the two being the alpha and omega of successive reconstructions.[3]

When seen as an aspect of the Absolute this principle is called "absolute abstract motion" or "the Great Breath."

Absolute abstract motion

In the First Fundamental Proposition of the The Secret Doctrine, Mme. Blavatsky stated that the Absolute abstract motion is one of the aspects of the ultimate "Be-ness".[4] This absolute motion, also called the Great Breath, interpenetrates everything, including the very fabric of space:
Its one absolute attribute, which is ITSELF, eternal, ceaseless Motion, is called in esoteric parlance the “Great Breath,” which is 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.[5]

The Great Breath neither ceases during pralayas nor changes during manvantaras. In Mahatma K.H. words:

[T]he universal perpetual motion which never ceases never slackens nor increases its speed not even during the interludes between the pralayas, or "nights of Brahma" but goes on like a mill set in motion, whether it has anything to grind or not (for the pralaya means the temporary loss of every form, but by no means the destruction of cosmic matter which is eternal) — we say this perpetual motion is the only eternal and uncreated Deity we are able to recognise.[6]

Cosmic motion

According to Mme. Blavatsky, conditioned motion is a fundamental attribute of consciousness, while the absolute abstract motion represents "Unconditioned Consciousness".[7] At the beginning of the process of manifestation "the great Breath assumes the character of precosmic Ideation." The latter--

. . . 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.[8]
Even our Western thinkers have shown that Consciousness is inconceivable to us apart from change, and motion best symbolises change, its essential characteristic.[9]

Although motion produces all the different kinds of intelligence and states of consciousness existing in the universe, from gods to bacteria, the motion itself is seen as unconscious and spontaneous (that is, not directed by an intelligence). Mahatma K.H. wrote:

Meanwhile we may say that it is motion that governs the laws of nature; and that it governs them as the mechanical impulse given to running water which will propel them either in a direct line or along hundreds of side furrows they may happen to meet on their way and whether those furrows are natural grooves or channels prepared artificially by the hand of man.[10]
Spirit, life and matter, are not natural principles existing independently of each other, but the effects of combinations produced by eternal motion in Space.[11]

Notes

  1. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. XII (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1980), 139.
  2. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 496.
  3. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 3.
  4. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 14.
  5. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 2.
  6. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 90 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 280.
  7. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 14.
  8. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 15.
  9. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 14.
  10. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 90 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 280-281.
  11. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 93b (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 317.