The physical world is a vast storehouse of symbology. There is not a single form, or part of a form, which does not symbolize an inner Reality. The Greek derivation of the word symbol means “something put together out of more.” Hence a symbol is not a concrete representation of anything, but a signpost indicating in which direction, if we have the intuition to follow it, we may discern the eternal reality it shadows forth. If it be a true and natural symbol it will put the observer into magnetic touch with the eternal thing for which it stands.
What is more, this inner reality is a vast intelligence. Behind every outer activity, even that of chemical action, there is the action of a “god”, a mind not necessarily comparable to the human mind. Thus Professor Arthur Compton posits “an effective intelligence behind the phenomena of nature”. The new physics, he says, admits the possibility of mind’s acting on matter, and this conception throws new light on the evolutionary process and gives meaning to human life. The world and mankind are not developing at random out of atomic chaos. There is evidence of a “directive intelligence” or purpose back of everything.
Before a gathering of 5,000 of America’s most distinguished scientists, Dr. Robert A. Millikan described how he had, in effect, finger-printed God in the heavens, and what he had discovered showed “a Creator continually on His job.” An English scientist stated that there is a Master-Mind behind the universe and that this Master-Mind is a marvellous mathematician. The wonderful geometrical precision in the design of flowers and snowflakes recalls the ancient saying: “God geomerizes.” The regular rhythm of all things in the universe, the ebb and flow of the tides, the waxing and waning of the moon, the circular waves of the human voice upon the air, all bear out the statement of Pythagoras the “Number lies at the root of the universe.”
Goodness, God or Geometry
Not only is this true of the visible universe, but also of the boundless, rhythmic thought of the invisible. This is science, or exact knowledge, to the occult investigator, but its truths are intuitively perceived by many an artist and poet, because such genius pierces through into what Plato described as the underlying realm of Divine ideation.
Hence Francis Thompson wrote:
“All things by immortal power near or far, hiddenly to each other linked are, that thou can’st not stir a flower without troubling of a star.”
Again there is the cyclic movement of time through morning, mid-day, and evening, returning to dawn again; through spring, summer, and winter, coming back to spring once more; the cycle of human life in youth, maturity, and old age, returning one day, after a rest-time for the immortal spirit in the inner worlds, to youth again in a never-ceasing spiral advance; “history repeating itself,” but always upon a higher level.
This wonderful evolutionary scheme was beautifully summarized by the late Sir Oliver Lodge in the closing words of an address to the British Association.”The universe,” he said, “is the ever-growing garment of a transcendent God.” Behind all action is a Doer, seen or unseen; behind all forms a Life seeking expression. Not untruly did the Greeks people nature with invisible intelligences, while Maimonides, the Spanish-Jewish philosopher, wrote: “Natural forces and angels are identical,” and the Bundakish states: “Every single flower is appropriate to an angel.” All forms, all creatures, are epiphanies of God.
The late Dr.Rudolph Steiner taught a system of meditation upon a flower which can lead to great heights of illumination. To the natural man these things seem foolishness, “because they can only be spiritually discerned.”
The most wonderful storehouse of symbology in the whole macrocosm or universe is the microcosm, man himself. Have we not all as children sometimes wondered why we have two eyes and a mouth, two ears and a nose, five fingers, et cetera? They all represent, and are therefore in touch with, very deep underlying forces in the universe. This is pre-eminently true of the sex organs, for they represent in man the highest powers in the cosmos, the creative powers.
The Duality of Nature
Occultism (hidden wisdom) tells us that man and woman together represent the twin creative forces of the universe, positive and negative, centrifugal and centripetal, life in manifestation and life hidden. On the whole, man is positive, manifesting outwardly; woman is negative, receptive. But no man is entirely masculine and no woman wholly feminine. Medical science tells us that every man, physically, has female attributes undeveloped within him, and every woman has quiescent and undeveloped male characteristics.
Sometimes when a sexual organ is removed the secondary characteristics begin to develop, as witness the feminity of the emasculated male, and the growth of masculine characteristics occurring sometimes in women when ovaries have been removed. There is also a period in foetal life when it is a question which sex will finally predominate. While one is paramount and visible, the other is always in the background, somewhat like the little man and woman who come out alternately on the weather gauge familiar to our childhood.
This is because no soul is absolutely man or woman, but the quintessence of both. Although after death we still wear the appearance of man or woman, it is only on this physical plane of being that sex organs are operative. The soul, being really beyond sex differentiation, on coming into incarnation puts on a body, or “coat of skin,” sometimes on one side of life and sometimes on the other, in order to acquire a full development of all qualities. The duties and experiences of each sex are different, yet complementary. A man’s life tends to develop decision and energy; a woman’s patience and tenderness. Yet the most highly developed members of both sexes possess also the highest attributes of the other.
What noble man is deficient in patience and tenderness, or what noble woman lacks energy and strength? These were learned through many lives on both sides of life, for it is easier to evolve complementary characteristics in complementary bodies. Here lies the true meaning of the words of the Christ that in heaven there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage.
The general rule for incarnation is to run through a series of lives on one side of life, and then to change to the other for a series of lives. This change of sex in successive incarnations explains well-known phenomena – the little boy who furtively wants to play with dolls and the little girl who is a veritable tomboy. They have just changed sex; they must get used again to the other vehicle and this sometimes takes more than one life.
Men and woman are not rivals, but co-operators, being entirely different in nature and outlook. To forbid one sex to use its peculiar powers and view point in the life of the nation is like permanently closing one eye and expecting to see as well as with both.