THE BUILDING OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM
HAVING now studied, in broad outline, the general plan of the, ”field” of evolution in our solar system, it will be useful to go over the ground again, filling in certain further details, and considering also the way in which the system is originally constructed out of primordial matter.
This time we shall commence with the large unit - the system as a whole - and steadily work our way down to the smaller units - the globes.
Before our solar system came into existence there existed the ultimate root-matter, the substance out of which will be fashioned every type of matter of which we have any knowledge. This root-matter is what scientists call the ether of space, and what has been described in Occult Chemistry under the name of koilon (Greek Koilos, hollow).
This must not, of course, be confused with the etheric matter which composes the finer part of our physical world.
To every physical sense, the space occupied by koilon appears empty: yet in reality this ether is far denser than anything of which we can conceive. Professor Osborne Reynolds, the originator of the celebrated theory, which agrees with occult investigation, defines its density as being 10,000 times greater than that of water, and its mean pressure as 750,000 tons to the square inch.
This substance is perceptible only to highly developed clairvoyant power. We must assume a time - though we have no direct knowledge on the point - when this substance filled all space. We must also suppose that some great Being - almost infinitely higher than the Logos of a solar system - changed this condition of rest by pouring out His spirit or force into a certain section of this matter, a section the size of a whole universe.
The effect of the introduction of this force is as that of the blowing of a mighty breath, forming within the ether, or koilon, an incalculable number of tiny spherical bubbles. These bubbles in koilon are the ultimate atoms out of which everything that we call matter is manufactured.
They are the atomic matter of the lowest cosmic plane. Out of them the Logos of our solar system will presently form the seven planes of our system, those seven planes, taken together, forming the lowest cosmic plane.
It is probable that the force by which the bubbles were originally formed is what H. P. Blavatsky called fohat, which she spoke of as ”digging holes in space,” thus reminding one of the recent dictum of a French scientist that ”there is no matter; there are nothing but holes in the æther.”
The bubbles are not like a soap-bubble, which is a film of water with an outer and an inner surface, enclosing air within it. They are like bubbles in sodawater, which have only one surface, where the air meets the water.
As has just been said, to the highest sight available the bubbles appear to be perfectly empty, so that it is not known whether any motion is going on inside them or not. Neither is it known whether they are rotating on their axes or not.
They seem to have no proper motion of their own, but they can be moved as a whole from without, singly or en masse, by an exertion of the will. No two bubbles ever under any circumstances
touch each other.
When the Solar Logos - the great Being of Whom our solar system is some representation, corresponding possibly to an incarnation, in the case of a human being - chose to manifest Himself, when He came forth out of eternity into time, and wished to form this system, He found ready to His hand this material, this infinite mass of tiny bubbles.
He commenced by defining an area, the limit of His field of activity, the limit, perhaps, of His own aura, a vast sphere, whose circumference is far larger than the orbit of the outermost
of His future planets.
Stupendous as this area would be, the distance between solar systems is yet out of all proportion greater than the systems themselves. Nevertheless, it is probable that the Logoi of the systems are actually in touch with one another, on the higher planes.
Within the limit of the sphere thus marked out He sets up a motion which sweeps together all the bubbles into a vast central mass, thus condensing or compressing the bubble-matter, which was originally scattered throughout the whole of the prodigious space, into a smaller region.
At a certain stage in that condensation, or compression - a stage when the radius of His globe still extended far beyond the orbit of the outermost planet of the system, as it exists to-day - He sets up within it a whirling motion, accompanied by intense electrical action, thus making a colossal vortex in many dimensions, the material of the nebula that is to be.
The compression of the whirling mass is continued through what to us would be untold ages: in fact, the vortex made by the Logos in the first place is still in action. In the course of that process of compression, He, acting through His Third Aspect, sends out seven impulses or ”breaths.”
The first impulse sets up all through the sphere a vast number of tiny vortices, each of which draws into itself 49 bubbles, and arranges them in a certain shape. These little groupings of bubbles, so formed, are the atoms of the second plane or world - the anupâdaka or monadic plane.
The whole of the bubbles are not used in this way, but sufficient are left, in the disassociated state, to act as atoms of the first or âdi world.
In due time there comes a second impulse, which seizes upon nearly all the 49-bubble atoms - leaving sufficient to provide atoms for the anupâdaka world draws them back into itself, disintegrates them into their component bubbles, and then, throwing them out again, sets up among them vortices, each of which holds within itself 49² or 2,401 bubbles. These are the atoms of the third world, the plane of âtmâ.
Again after a time comes a third impulse, which in the same way seizes upon nearly all the 2,401-bubble atoms - again leaving sufficient to form the atoms of the âtmic world - draws them back into itself, disintegrates them, and throws them out once more as the atoms of the fourth world, that of buddhi, each atom now containing 49³ or 117,649 bubbles.
The process is repeated until the sixth impulse has built the atoms of the seventh or lowest world , the physical plane, its atoms containing 496, or approximately 14,000 million of the original bubbles. These atoms are not, of course, the atoms of which chemists speak, but the ultimate atoms out of which all the chemical atoms are made.
The numbers of bubbles contained in the atoms of our seven planes are given in the following table:
Bishop Leadbeater, from whose writings the above is quoted, does not know whether such disintegrated physical atoms re-form themselves, but when, by an effort of will, the physical atom is broken up into astral or mental atoms, it requires a continuation of the effort to hold the atoms temporarily in those different forms, and when the will-force is withdrawn the physical atom reappears.
This, however, seems to apply only to the breaking up of the ultimate physical atoms: when chemical atoms are broken into ultimate atoms, they remain in that condition, and do not return to their original state.
It should be noted that, although the atoms of any one plane, the physical for example, are not made direct from the atoms of the plane immediately above - the astral - yet, unless the bubbles had had the experience of passing through all the planes above, physical atoms could not be made of them.
The Hindu method of describing the process is as follows: Each plane has what is called a, ”tanmâtra” (literally, a measure of ”that”), and a, ”tattva” (literally, ”thatness” or ”inherent quality”). The tanmâtra is the modification in the consciousness of the Logos: the tattva is the effect produced in matter by that modification. We may compare the tanmâtras with the waves of an incoming tide, which run up on a sandy shore, retire, and are followed by other waves, which run up a little further. The tattvas we may compare with the little ridges made on the sand by the incoming waves, at the furthest line that they reach. The idea is symbolised in Diagram XI.
Every atom thus has its ”Thatness,” the word ,”That” being a reverent expression for the Divine Being. The measure of the vibration of the atom, imposed upon it by the Will of the Logos, is the Tanmâtra, the ”measure of That”; this is the axes of the atom, the angular divergence of which, within the fixed limits of vibration, determines its surface form.
Thus the consciousness of the Logos is within each atom, expressed within certain limitations, which we sometimes call ”planes.”
The process of the creation of matter in successive stages has often been described as the in-breathing and the outbreathing of the Deity.
The existence of matter depends absolutely upon the continuance of an idea in the mind of the Logos. If He chose to withdraw His force, for example, from the physical plane - to cease thinking it - every physical atom would instantly disintegrate, and the whole physical plane would disappear in an instant, like the light of a candle when it is blown out.
The ultimate physical atom has three movements of its own:
(1) rotation on its own axis;
(2) motion in a circular orbit;
(3) a pulsation like a heart, a constant expansion and contraction.
These three movements are always going on, and are unaffected by any force from outside. A force from outside - a ray of light, for example - will set the atom as a whole moving violently up and down, the amplitude of this movement being proportional to the intensity of the light, and the wave-length resulting from the movement of a number of atoms being determined by the colour of the light.
Besides the force of the Logos, which holds the atom together in its form, one of His forces is playing through it at a number of different levels. There are seven orders of this force, one of which comes into operation during each round, working through what are called the spirillæ in the atom. For a description of these spirillæ, as well as other details of the structure of the atom, the students is referred to Occult Chemistry (1919 edition, pp. 21-23, and Appendix, ii-vi.).
In interstellar space - between solar systems - the atoms are in the condition known as ”free,” lying far apart, and equidistant, this seeming to be their normal condition when undisturbed.
In the space between planets, however, they are never found free: even if they are not grouped in forms they are subject to a great deal of disturbance from cometic and meteoric matter, and also to considerable compression from what we describe as the attraction of the Sun.
From the above considerations, we perceive how it is that a man in, for example, his causal body, could move freely in the neighbourhood of a planet, where the atomic mental matter is in the compressed condition, but would not be able to move or function in far-away space, where the atoms remain free and uncompressed.
To continue with our description of the building of the solar system, we have now arrived at the stage where the vast whirling sphere contains within itself seven types of atomic matter, all one essentially, because all are built out of the same kind of bubbles, but differing in their degree of density. All these types are freely intermingled, so that specimens of each type would be found in a small portion of the sphere taken at random in any part of it, with, however, a general tendency of the heavier atoms to gravitate more and more towards the centre.
The Logos next sends out, still from His Third Aspect, aseventh impulse which, instead of drawing the physical atoms back into Himself and dissociating them into the original bubbles,draws them together into certain aggregations, thus making a number of different kinds of what may be called proto-elements; these again are joined together into the various forms which are known to science as chemical elements.
The making of these extends over a long period of ages, and they are made in a certain definite order, by the interaction of several forces, as is correctly indicated in Sir William Crookes' paper on The Genesis of the Elements.
The process of their making is even now not concluded: uranium is the latest and heaviest element, so far as we know, but others still more complicated may perhaps be produced in the future.
As the ages roll on, condensation increases, and presently the stage of a vast glowing nebula, usually of incandescent hydrogen, is reached. Various other systems in our universe are, of course, now passing through this stage, as may be seen by means of any large telescope.
In our own case, as the mass cooled, still rapidly rotating, it contracted and flattened until eventually it became rather a huge revolving disc than a sphere. Presently fissures appeared in this disc, and it broke into rings, presenting somewhat the appearance of the planet Saturn and its surroundings, though on a far larger scale.
As the time drew near when the planets would be required for the purposes of evolution, the Logos set up at a chosen point in the thickness of each ring a subsidiary vortex, into which a great deal of the matter of the ring was gradually collected.
The collisions of the gathered fragments caused a revival of the heat, the matter being reduced to a gaseous condition, forming a glowing ball which, as it cooled once more, gradually condensed into a physical planet fit to be the theatre of life such as ours. Thus were all the planets of our system formed.
In this particular part of our system, however, the physical planet which was formed was, not the Earth, but the Moon. For a reference to Diagram V will show that the first physical planet appears in the third chain, and that planet, in our Scheme of Evolution, was the Moon.
When the active life of the Moon, in the third chain, was over, a new vortex was set up, not far away from the Moon, and the rest of the matter of the ring was gradually gathered into it. The resultant collisions once more produced a ball of glowing gas, which enfolded the body of the Moon, and very soon reduced it to a similar condition.
As this combined mass gradually cooled, condensation took place round the two vortices, but by far the greater portion of the matter was attracted to the new vortex, which became the Earth, leaving the Moon a much smaller body than it had been, and altogether denuded of air and water.
The Moon was still, from the intense heat, in a plastic condition, like hot mud, and the Earth in its earlier stages was subject to the most tremendous volcanic convulsions. In the course of these, enormous masses of rock, often many miles in diameter, were thrown up into space, to vast distances in all directions.
The majority fell back on the Earth, but some of them struck the Moon while still in its plastic condition, and produced upon it many of those huge depressions, which we now call lunar craters. Some, but not many, of the lunar craters are, however, really volcanic craters.
The Moon is at present like a vast cinder, hard but porous, of a consistency not unlike that of pumice-stone, though harder. Scarcely any physical action of any sort is now taking place upon its surface. It is probably slowly disintegrating, and it seems that in the course of our seventh round it will break up altogether, and its matter will be used (with, presumably, some of that of the Earth) to build a new world, which will be the only physical globe of the fifth chain of our Scheme of Evolution (vide Diagram V). To that new globe whatever remains of the Earth will act as a satellite, just as the Moon now Serves the Earth.
In Theosophical literature, the Moon has often been described as the eighth sphere, because it is not one of the seven planets of our chain upon which evolution is taking place. It is therefore a ”dead end,” a place where only refuse gathers. It is a kind of dust-heap to the system, a kind of astral cesspool, into which are thrown decaying fragments of various sorts, such as the lost personality which has torn itself away from the ego.