An Esoteric Cosmology
XVI. Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Human Will
12 June 1906, Paris
In a preceding lecture we went back in human evolution to the time when the division of the sexes occurred. This moment is in itself the climax of a long cosmic preparation. After the night which separated the phase of the ancient moon from the terrestrial phase, the earth to begin with appeared combined with the forces of the present sun and moon. They formed but one body which, little by little, became differentiated thus giving birth to the three bodies as we now know them. The present division of the sexes is the result of the separation between the moon forces and the earthly forces. The feminine forces of reproduction have remained under the influence of the moon. The moon still rules over the forces of propagation both in man and animal. Thus occult knowledge reveals the forces that are at play in the planetary system.
At the time when the sun was still united both with the earth and the moon, neither plants nor animals nor human beings existed as we know them today. In fact, only a plant kingdom existed then but under totally different conditions from our own. This kingdom preserved a particular connection with the forces of the sun similar to that of the animal with the moon and of man with the earth. As long as the sun was united with the earth-moon, the plants directed their blossoms toward the center of the globe; when the sun separated off they oriented themselves in accordance with it and directed their flowers heavenward. We have seen in an earlier lecture (XI) that the plants have thus adopted an inverted position in relation to man; both manifest themselves in the vertical whereas the animal is found to be half way between the human orientation and that of the plant world. The spinal column of the animal is in the horizontal. It is by means of the gradual separation of the three heavenly bodies that the different kingdoms on earth have become as we now know them: the plant kingdom at the time of the separation of the sun, the animal when the separation of the moon occurred. The pristine composition of these forces contained in germ what was later to take on physical manifestation. Let us imagine a substance which is heated to a high temperature and then cooled; one would then see the various elements which it contains taking on form.
At the time of the ancient moon we also find the solar forces which during a certain period are concentrated in a celestial body outside the moon. The moon was revolving around the ancient sun but in such a manner that it always turned the same side to the sun; the orbit of the moon around the earth is a continuation of the motion formerly described around the ancient sun. These bodies, both at the beginnings and at the end of this cosmic period, became one — just as the earth, the moon and the sun were united at the beginning of earth evolution and will again be united at the end. These two ancient cosmic bodies would never have been able to be active in evolution had they not recast their forces after their separation. The moon, during the time it was separated from the sun, developed in such a way that forces were engendered which later made it possible for a third body to appear. In fact, it was during this separation that man was able to develop within himself what later took on physical embodiment and gave him the possibility of developing objective, waking consciousness on earth.
The period which preceded the lunar one is referred to as the solar. At this time of evolution everything was pure solar life. Occultism sees the sun as a fixed star which had previously been a planet and similarly it recognizes the earth as a planet destined to become the sun of a future cosmic system. During the solar period, man was only endowed with a consciousness akin to that of dreamless sleep.
Yet another state preceded the solar period; at that time the sun was not even a planet. The human being was only endowed with a deep trance consciousness or deep sleep. He was not yet the being of light which he would become on the ancient sun; he simply vibrated like a tone in the pure harmony of this Saturn period, but it should be noted that our present Saturn has nothing to do with this condition.
After our earthly period of clear physical consciousness, a fifth condition will dawn of conscious astral imagination during a period known as Jupiter. This will be followed by a period of Venus where we shall become conscious of what today is the unconsciousness of sleep. Finally, a period of Vulcan will come into being which corresponds to the highest state of consciousness which can be attained by an initiate.
But this does not exhaust the relationships of the earth and the planets. We in fact can divide our present terrestrial stage into two parts. During the first it came about that our blood is red. What has given us our red blood? During the separation of the earth and the sun, this globe composed of fluid substance was shot through by other fluid forces emanating from the planet Mars. Before this passage of Mars not the slightest trace of iron existed on this earth. In fact, that is a result of this passage; all substances containing iron such as our blood have been subjected to the influence of Mars. Mars has colored the substance of the earth. And the appearance of red blood is the result of its influence. That is why the first half of earth evolution is referred to as the period of Mars.
At that time, iron was a fluid substance and the metals only hardened later on. Mercury is the only metal which has not solidified. When this will have happened the soul of man will have become totally independent of the physical body and astral imaginative vision will have become conscious. This fact is connected with the forces of Mercury which influence the second part of Earth evolution during which they will densify and finally become solid. The Earth is both Mars and Mercury. And it is this which Initiates have woven into our language by indicating that the days of the week belong to the planets of our evolution: Mars and Mercury are placed between the Moon and Jupiter.
The Interior of the Earth
Physical science as yet only knows of the terrestrial crust, a mineral layer which in fact is only like a thin skin at the surface of the earth. In reality the earth consists of a succession of concentric layers which we shall now describe:
1) The mineral layer contains all the metals which are found in the physical bodies of everything that lives at the surface. This crust is formed like a skin around the living being of the earth. It is only a few miles in depth.
2) The second layer can only be understood if we envisage a substance which is the very opposite of what we know. It is negative life, the opposite of life. All life is extinguished there. Were a plant or an animal plunged into it, it would be destroyed immediately. It would be totally dissolved. This second shell — half liquid — which envelopes the earth is truly a sphere of death.
3) The third layer is a circle of inverted consciousness. All sorrow appears there as joy. And all joy is experienced as sorrow. Its substance, composed of vapors, is related to our feelings in the same negative manner as the second layer is in regard to life. If we now abstract these three layers by means of our thinking, we would then find the earth in the condition in which it was before the separation of the moon. If one is able by means of concentration to attain a conscious astral vision, one would then see the activities in these two layers: the destruction of life in the second and the transformation of feelings in the third.
4) The fourth layer is known as water-earth, soul-earth, or form-earth, It is endowed with a remarkable property. Let us imagine a cube and now picture it reversed inasmuch as its substance is concerned. Where there was substance there is now nothing: the space occupied by the cube would now be empty while its substance, its substantial form, would now be spread around it; hence the term ‘earth of form.’ Here this whirlwind of forms, instead of being a negative emptiness, becomes a positive substance.
5) This layer is known as the earth of growth. It contains the archetypal source of all terrestrial life. Its substance consists of burgeoning, teeming energies.
6) This fire-earth is composed of pure will, of elemental vital forces — of constant movement — shot through by impulses and passions, truly a reservoir of will forces. If one were to exert pressure on this substance it would resist.
If now again in thought one were to abstract these last three layers just described, one would arrive at the condition in which our globe was when Sun, Moon and Earth were still interwoven.
The following layers are only accessible to a conscious observation which is not only that of dreamless sleep but a conscious condition in deep sleep.
7) This layer is the mirror of the earth. It is similar to a prism which decomposes everything that is reflected in it and brings to expression its complementary aspect; seen through an emerald it would appear red.
8) In this layer everything appears fragmented and reproduced to infinity. If one takes a plant or a crystal and one concentrates on this layer the plant or the crystal would appear multiplied indefinitely.
9) This last layer is composed of a substance endowed with moral action. But this morality is the opposite of the one that is to be elaborated on the earth. Its essence, its inherent force, is one of separation, of discord, and of hate. It is here in the hell of Dante that we find Cain the fratricide. This substance is the opposite of everything which among human beings is good and worthy. The activity of humanity in order to establish brotherhood on the earth diminishes the power of this sphere. It is the power of Love which will transform it inasmuch as it will spiritualize the very body of the Earth. This ninth layer represents the substantial origin of what appears on earth as black magic, that is, a magic founded on egoism. (See diagram)
These various layers are connected by means of rays which unite the center of the earth with its surface. Underneath the solid earth there are a large number of subterranean spaces which communicate to the sixth layer, that of fire. This element of the fire-earth is intimately connected with the human will. It is this element which has produced the tremendous eruptions that brought the Lemurian epoch to an end. At that time the forces which nourish the human will went through a trial which unleashed the fire catastrophe that destroyed the Lemurian continent. In the course of evolution this sixth layer receded more and more toward the center and as a result volcanic eruptions became less frequent. And yet they are still produced as a result of the human will which, when it is evil and chaotic, magnetically acts on this layer and disrupts it. Nevertheless, when the human will is devoid of egoism, it is able to appease this fire. Materialistic periods are mostly accompanied and followed by natural cataclysms, earthquakes, etc. Growing powers of evolution are the only alchemy capable of transforming, little by little, the organism and the soul of the earth.
The following is an example of the relationship that exists between the human will and telluric cataclysms: in human beings who perish as a result of earthquakes or volcanic eruptions one notices, during their next incarnation, inner qualities which are quite different. They bring from birth great spiritual pre-dispositions because, through their death, they were brought in touch with forces which showed them the true nature of reality and the illusion of material life.
One has also noticed a relationship between certain births and seismic and volcanic catastrophes.
During such catastrophes materialistic souls incarnate, drawn sympathetically by volcanic phenomena — by the convulsions of the evil soul of the earth. And these births can in their turn bring about new cataclysms because reciprocally the evil souls exert an exciting influence on the terrestrial fire. The evolution of our planet is intimately connected with the evolution of the forces of humanity and civilizations.
The Interior of the Earth:
- Mineral crust
- Negative life
- Inverted Consciousness
- Circle of forms
- Circle of growth
- Circle of fire
- Circle of decomposition
- Circle of fragmentation