The Ray (symbol)

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The Ray.jpg

The Ray is a "character" in the cosmogony presented in The Secret Doctrine. It "flashes out" from the unmanifested Logos and, falling into the womb of the mother, begins the differentiation of the "Waters of Space" representing the primordial matter.

Creative agency

The ray is a creative agency that is latent during pralaya. Once the period of rest comes to an end, the ray becomes active and starts the process of manifestation. In Mme. Blavatsky's words:

The immutably Infinite and the absolutely Boundless can neither will, think, nor act. To do this it has to become finite, and it does so, by its ray penetrating into the mundane egg—infinite space—and emanating from it as a finite god. All this is left to the ray latent in the one. When the period arrives, the absolute will expands naturally the force within it, according to the Law of which it is the inner and ultimate Essence.[1]

The ray, then, is the active power coming from the hidden cause, the unmanifested Logos. This ray causes the differentiation of primordial matter and the emanation of all manifested creative forces:

The ray of the ‘Ever-Darkness’ becomes, as it is emitted, a ray of effulgent light or life, and flashes into the ‘Germ’—the point in the Mundane Egg, represented by matter in its abstract sense.”[2]
In every religion we find the concealed deity forming the ground work; then the ray therefrom, that falls into primordial Cosmic matter (first manifestation); then the androgyne result, the dual Male and Female abstract Force, personified (second stage); this separates itself finally, in the third, into seven Forces, called the creative Powers by all the ancient Religions.[3]

Flashing out

The first stage in the process of manifestation is the awakening of the unmanifested Logos. Then comes the "flashing out" of Ray, which falls into the "waters" (primordial matter) in the "mother deep" (space). In Mme. Blavatsky words:

“Darkness radiates light, and light drops one solitary ray into the waters, into the mother deep." . . . The solitary ray dropping into the mother deep may be taken as meaning Divine Thought or Intelligence, impregnating chaos. This, however, occurs on the plane of metaphysical abstraction, or rather the plane whereon that which we call a metaphysical abstraction is a reality.[4]
The first stage is the appearance of the potential point in the circle—the unmanifested Logos. The second stage is the shooting forth of the Ray from the potential white point, producing the first point.[5]

The flashing out of the Ray sets up a series of motions that will result in the differentiation of matter and diversification of consciousness. After its initial action, the Ray is withdrawn:

“Ever-Darkness” is eternal, the Ray periodical. Having flashed out from this central point and thrilled through the Germ, the Ray is withdrawn again within this point and the Germ develops into the Second Logos, the triangle within the Mundane Egg.[6]

Manifestation

In her writings, Mme. Blavatsky describes the following stages of the action of the Ray.

Second Logos

This Ray produces that which is the united potentiality of both sexes but is by no means either male or female. This latter differentiation will only appear when it falls into matter, when the Triangle becomes a Square, the first Tetraktys.[7]

Third Logos

“Bright Space, son of dark Space,” corresponds to the Ray dropped at the first thrill of the new “Dawn” into the great Cosmic depths, from which it re-emerges differentiated as Oeaohoo the younger, (the “new LIFE”)[8]

Seven Builders

From the effulgency of light—the ray of the ever-darkness—sprung in space the re-awakened energies (Dhyan Chohans)[9]
This one solitary Ray expands into the seven rays (and their innumerable subdivisions) on the plane of illusion only.[10]
That one ray (the Logos) . . . contains in itself the other seven procreative rays or powers (the logoi or builders).[11]

Notes

  1. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 354.
  2. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 57.
  3. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 437.
  4. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 64.
  5. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. X (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1988), 352.
  6. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. X (Adyar, Madras: Theosophical Publishing House, 1988), 351.
  7. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. X (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1988), 350.
  8. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 64.
  9. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 88.
  10. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. X (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1988), 368.
  11. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 80.