Cosmological Notes

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Quick Facts
People involved
Written by: Morya
Received by: A. O. Hume
Sent via: unknown
Written on: unknown
Received on: Fall 1881???
Other dates: none
Sent from: unknown
Received at: ???
Via: none


The Cosmological notes were written by Master M. in answer to questions put by A. O. Hume. They must have been received before September 1881 because they are mentioned by HPB in a letter to A. P. Sinnett written on that date (see LBS No. 4). In the chronology of Mahatma Letters, one could tentatively place these notes between letters No. 21 and 22. However, since letter No. 44 is the first one to deal exclusively with metaphysics, being actually a second set of cosmological teachings.

Fritz Kunz asked Boris de Zirkoff in a letter on the origin of the cosmological notes:

I know that you have a set of the microfilmed copy of the material in the British Museum catalogued under the heading of the "Mahatma Letters."
I wonder whether you would be so good as to advise me whether the pages entitled "Cosmological Notes" which are published near the very end of H.P.B.'s letter to A. P. Sinnett, are included therein, and if so, in whose handwriting, and whether you could kindly supply me with a sufficiently enlarged print of this so that I might have it at hand for my personal use? [1]

Boris de Zirkoff responded:

Re the "Mahatma Papers", Additional MS.45284, in the British Museum. Now the actual Letters, both those from the Masters and those from H.P.B. to Sinnett, have been bound up in separate volumes, seven in all. The originals of some of the Letters from the Masters, as transcribed in the published volume of Mahatma Letters, were not among the material bequeathed by Sinnett to Miss Maud Hoffman. They exist only as copies made by Sinnett in a separate leather-bound notebook. This notebook has been filmed also, when microfilm was prepared of the entire material. It is in this notebook that the "Cosmological Notes" are to be found; they are therefore in Sinnett's handwriting. There are 24 pages of this material.[2]

The text

Below are the Cosmological Notes from A. P. Sinnett's notebook (his MS. Book). In italics are the questions put by A. O. Hume and the bold type are the answers received from Master M. The images were scanned from Boris de Zirkoff's microfilm.

When A. P. Sinnett's sent a copy of this manuscript to Francesca Arundale he attached some notes. By the way of an introduction he wrote:

Notes from the Book of Kiu-te, the great repository of occult lore in the keeping of the Adepts in Tibet. I believe there are thirty or forty volumes, a great deal shown only to Initiates. What follows is merely some elementary catechism in the very beginning. We began to get these notes through Madame Blavatsky when Mr. Hume and I first set to work together . But we soon got off on to other lines of rail.
The very first thing I ever had in the way of philosophical teaching I sent you a copy of last year; it was sketch of the chain of worlds which I suppose you have somewhere still. Then we got in a fragmentary way the materials on which Hume wrote the first of the "Occult Fragments" --- that relating to the seven principles in man. It is necessary to have an absolute comprehension of that division at starting. It runs through all nature in various shapes and ways. I now copy out of my MS. Book. --- A.P. Sinnett.[3]

Additional comments by him will be provided below in the column for "Notes".

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(1) What are the different kinds of knowledge?

The real (Dgyu) and the unreal (Dgyu-mi). Dgyu becomes Fohat when in its activity — active agent of will — electricity — no other name.

(2) What is the difference between the two kinds of knowledge?

Real knowledge deals with eternal verities and primal causes. The unreal only with illusory effects.

Dgyu stands independent of the belief or unbelief of man. Dgyu-mi requires faith — rests on authority.

(3) Who possesses the real knowledge?

The Lhas or adept alone possesses the real, his mind being en rapport



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with the Universal Mind.

The Lhas has made the perfect junction of his soul with the Universal Mind in its fulness, which makes him for the time a divine being existing in the region of absolute intelligence, knowledge of natural laws or Dgyu. The profane cannot become a Dang-ma (purified soul), for he lacks means of perceiving Chhag, Genesis or the beginning of things.

(4) Is there any difference between what produces primal causes and their ultimate effects?

None. Everything in the occult universe, which embraces all the primal causes, is based upon two principles — Kosmic energy (Fohat or



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breath of wisdom), and Kosmic ideation. Thyan Kam (= the knowledge of bringing about) giving the impulse to Kosmic energy in the right direction.

In Fohat all that exists on earth as ultimates exists as primates.

(5) What is the one eternal thing in the universe independent of every other thing?


(6) What things are co-existent with space?

(i) Duration.

(ii) Matter.

(iii) Motion, for this is the imperishable life (conscious or unconscious as the case may be) of matter, even during the pralaya, or night of mind.



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When Chyang or omniscience, and Chyang-mi-shi-khon — ignorance, both sleep, this latent unconscious life still maintains the matter it animates in sleepless unceasing motion.

(iv) The Akasa (Bar-nang) or Kosmic atmosphere, or Astral light or celestial ether, which whether in its latent or active condition, surrounds and interpenetrates all matter in motion of which it is at once a result and the medium by which the Kosmic energy acts on its source.

(v) The Purush or 7th principle of the universe.



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Ling Sharir is composed of the ethereal elements of its (? Body's) organism, never leaves body but at death and remains near.

(7) Are we to understand Purush as another name for space, or as a different thing occupying every part of space?

Same. Swayambu occupies every part of space which itself is boundless and eternal, hence must be space in one sense. Swayambu becomes Purush when coming in contact with matter.

(8) The universal mind is the aggregate of all the minds of the Dyan Chohans or Planetaries, the result of the



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action of Purush on matter, just as the spiritual soul in man is the action of spirit on matter?


(9) Are we to look upon the seven principles as all matter and all spirit — one thing, with spirit as it were at one pole, and matter at the other?

Yes, just so.

(10) If so, are we to view them as different states of matter or spirit, or how?

States, conditions, call it whatever you please. I call it Kyen — cause; itself a result of a previous or some primary cause.

(11) All matter consists of ultimate molecules. How may we conceive the different states of matter?

As the molecules go on



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rarifying, so in proportion they become attenuated and the greater the distance between our globe and them — I do not mean here the region within the reach of your science — the greater the change in their polarity, the negative pole acquiring a stronger property of repulsion, and the positive losing gradually its power of attraction. (And now is the time for your men of Dgyu to set me down as a Thibetan ass, and for me to return the compliment.)



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(12) MAN

Thibetan Sanskrit English
1. A-ku Rupa Body
2. Zer (vital ray) Prana: Jivatma Life-principle
3. Chhu-lung (one of the 3 aims) Ling Sharir Astral Body
4. Ngi-Zhi (essence of Action) Kama-Rupa Will-form
5. Ngi (Physical Ego) Linga Dha Bhut Animal Soul
6. Lana Sem-Nyed (Spiritual Soul) Atman Mayava-rupa Spiritual Soul
7. Hlün Dhüb (Self existing) Mahatma Spirit



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Thibetan Sanskrit English
1. Sem-Chan (Animated Universe) S. Sa - earth, as an element Brahm. The Universe
Prakrit = Matter
Iyam = Earth
Organised matter
2. Zhihna (Vital Soul) Purush Vivifying, Universal Spirit
3. Yor Wa (Illusion) (Maya) Akasa Astral or Cosmic atmosphere
4. Od. (light, the shining active Astral Light) Vach (the Kamakasa) Cosmic Will
5. Nam Kha (Ether passive) Yajna (latent form in
Brahma = Purush determined by activity of No. 4)
Viradji (?)
Universal Illusion
6. Kon Chhog (Uncreated Principle) Narayan -- Spirit brooding over the waters and reflecting in itself the Universe Universal Mind
7. Nyng (Duration in eternity or space) Swayambuva in -- space Latent Spirit Ensoph



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(13) Sem chan, animated universe: S.Sa, earth as an element. Where then does cosmic or unorganised matter class?

Zhi gyu (cosmic matter), Thog (space), Nyng (duration), Khor wa (motion), all one.

Fire, as everything else, has seven principles. Od, one, but not the most material --- sixth.

(14) All matter cosmic or organised has inherent motion. What then does Zhihna, vital soul or vivifying principle, do to it?

There you see. As well ask what vital principle does for human body when it



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comes into it in conjunction with the other five. A dead body is composed of molecules full of life, is it? Yet when vital soul has deserted the whole, what is it but a dead body. Give up your pansophy and come down to our Dgyu. We believe in spontaneous generation and you do not. We say that Zhima [Zhihna?] being positive, and Zhi-gyu [gyu (material) earth in this sense] negative, it is only when the two come in contact as the former is brought to act upon the latter, that organised, living, self-acting matter is produced. Everything invisible, imponderable



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(the spirit of a thing) is positive, for it belongs to the world of reality; as everything solid, visible, is negative. Primate and ultimate, positive and negative. So much in our manifested world. As the forces move on and the distance between organised and unorganised matter becomes greater, a tendency towards the reverse begins to take place. The powers of attraction and repulsion become gradually weaker. Then a complete exchange of properties takes place, and for a time equilibrium is restored in an opposite order. At every grade further



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onward, or away toward their primary chaotic state, shifts no more mutually its property, but weakens gradually until it reaches the world of non-being, where exists the eternal mechanical motion, the uncreated cause from whence proceeds in a kind of incessant downward and upward rotation, the founts of being from non-being, the latter, the reality, the former maya, the temporary from the everlasting, the effect from its cause, the effect becoming in



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its turn cause ad infinitum. During the pralaya, that upward and downward motion ceases, inherent unconscious life alone remaining --- all creative forces paralysed, and everything resting in the night of mind.

(15) Are we to consider any of the principles as non-molecular?

There comes a time when polarity ceases to exist or act, as everything else. In the night of mind, all is equilibrised in the boundless cosmos in a state of non-action or non-being.



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(16) And is cosmic matter non-molecular?

Cosmic matter can no more be non-molecular than organised matter. -- 7th principle is molecular as well as the first one, but the former differentiates from the latter, not only by its molecules getting wider apart and becoming more attenuated, but also by losing its polarity. Try to understand and realise this idea and the rest will become easy.

The panspermic and theospermic conceptions will both be in our way as taught by your schools.



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You will never be able to realise the latter as an absurdity, so long as you comprehend but imperfectly the incessant work of what is called by Occult Science the Central Point in both its active and passive states. As I said, we believe in spontaneous generation, in the independent origin of matter whether living or dead, and we prove it, which is more than your Pasteurs and Wymans and Huxleys can say. Did they but know that Zhima cannot be shut out or pumped out from a



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glass vessel like air, and that hence, wherever there is purush there can be no thermal limit of organic life, they would have bak-baked less and told the world less absurdities than they have. In short, motion, cosmic matter, duration, space, are everywhere and for perspicuity's sake, let us place or fancy this multiplicity in or at the top of a circle, ("boundless"). They are passive, negative, unconscious, yet ever propelled by their inherent latent life or force. During the day of activity, that cyclic



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force ejecting from the causative latent principle cosmic matter, like the wheel of a water mill ejects showers of water --- dust around its rotating circle, put it in contact with the same principles, but whose condition owing to their finding themselves outside the state of primitive passivity of the eternal immutability has already changed. Thus the same principles begin to acquire so to speak the germs of polarity. Then coming within the Universal mind Dyan Kam develops these germs, conceives, and giving the impulse



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communicates it to Fohat, who, vibrating along Akasa, Od (a state of cosmic matter, motion, force, etc.) runs along the lines of cosmic manifestations and frames all and everything; blindly --- agreed, yet as faithfully in accordance with the prototypes as conceived in the eternal mind as a good mirror reflects your face.

(17) On the Hypothetical Absolute and Infinite Final Cause.

The absolute and infinite is composed of the conditioned and finite. Causes are conditioned in their modes



  • Before beginning question 17, A.P. Sinnett wrote: "The following notes down to the end of the page are much abbreviated. So far as the original essay or memorandum of Hume is concerned, M's notes are just made intelligible by a few lines of the original essay. I am not now abbreviating anything, but am giving you all I thought it necessary to preserve at the time."

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of existence and attributes, and as individual aggregates -- unconditioned and eternal in their sum or as a collective aggregation.

(18) If the Absolute is a blind law, how can it give birth to intelligence?

But passive latent intelligence, or that principle diffused throughout the universe which in its pure immateriality is non-intelligence and non-consciousness, and which as soon as it becomes imprisoned in matter is transformed into both -- can.

(19) The Absolute if intelligent, must be omnipotent, omniscient, and all-good?

Please give your reasons why?



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Online resources



  1. Letter of Fritz Kunz to Boris de Zirkoff. December 14, 1956. Boris de Zirkoff Papers. Records Series 22. Theosophical Society in America Archives.
  2. Letter of Boris de Zirkoff to Fritz Kunz. December 23, 1956. Boris de Zirkoff Papers. Records Series 22. Theosophical Society in America Archives.
  3. See Cosmological Notes at Blavatsky Study Center