The Secret Doctrine vol. 1, Stanza II.3
(a) 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. But the term “Point” must not be understood as applying to any particular point in Space, for a germ exists in the centre of every atom, and these collectively form “the Germ;” or rather, as no atom can be made visible to our physical eye, the collectivity of these (if the term can be applied to something which is boundless and infinite) forms the noumenon of eternal and indestructible matter.
(b) One of the symbolical figures for the Dual creative power in Nature (matter and force on the material plane) is Padma, the water-lily of India. The Lotus is the product of heat (fire) and water (vapour or Ether); fire standing in every philosophical and religious system as a representation of the Spirit of Deity,† the active, male, generative principle; and Ether, or the Soul of matter, the light of the fire, for the passive female principle from which everything in this Universe emanated. Hence, Ether or Water is the Mother, and Fire is the Father. Sir W. Jones (and before him archaic botany) showed that the seeds of the Lotus contain—even before they germinate—perfectly formed leaves, the miniature shape of what one day, as perfect plants, they will become: nature thus giving us a specimen of the preformation of its production . . . the seed of all phanerogamous plants bearing proper flowers containing an embryo plantlet ready formed.‡ (See Part II., “The Lotus Flower as an Universal Symbol.”) This explains the sentence “The Mother had not yet swollen”—the form being usually sacrificed to the inner or root idea in Archaic symbology.
The Lotus, or Padma, is, moreover, a very ancient and favourite
* An unpoetical term, yet still very graphic. (See foot-note to Stanza III.)
† Even in Christianity. (See Part II., “Primordial Substance and Divine Thought.”)
‡ Gross, “The Heathen Religion,” p. 195.
simile for the Kosmos itself, and also for man. The popular reasons given are, firstly, the fact just mentioned, that the Lotus-seed contains within itself a perfect miniature of the future plant, which typifies the fact that the spiritual prototypes of all things exist in the immaterial world before those things become materialised on Earth. Secondly, the fact that the Lotus plant grows up through the water, having its root in the Ilus, or mud, and spreading its flower in the air above. The Lotus thus typifies the life of man and also that of the Kosmos; for the Secret Doctrine teaches that the elements of both are the same, and that both are developing in the same direction. The root of the Lotus sunk in the mud represents material life, the stalk passing up through the water typifies existence in the astral world, and the flower floating on the water and opening to the sky is emblematical of spiritual being.