|Organic Life on Earth|
Q. You assume organic life only on the earth.
Do you assume there is nothing on other planets?
A. No, not at all, but we are interested in organic
life on earth, because we are on the earth and we
are part of organic life on the earth, so we speak
only about earth. All other planets we take together
as a mass, but about earth we speak differently.
This is the principle of scale. The nearer something
is to you the nearer to full scale is your study. …
We speak about organic life on the earth, but we
do not speak about organic life on any other planet;
we have no way of studying it except on the earth.
[Fourth Way, page 33]
Is this phrase redundant?
Are there other forms of life on earth?
Is there organic life elsewhere than on earth?
Are there other forms of life than organic life?
The following are fourth way excerpts on "organic life on earth".
In John Bennett’s Talks on Beelzebub’s Tales, he recalls one night spent in Gurdjieff’s Paris apartment shortly before the latter’s death. There was a typical gathering of students: among them English, Americans, French, Greeks — more than fifty people assembled in a small apartment to have dinner with Gurdjieff and to listen to him speak. Gurdjieff offered a toast which in its simplicity seemed forceful: “Everyone must have an aim. If you have not an aim, you are not a man. I will tell you a very simple aim, to die an honorable death. Everyone can take this aim without any philosophizing — not to perish like a dog.”1 “As always,” Bennett recalls, “he suddenly turns the conversation to a joke and in a minute the room is shaken with laughter at some story about the peculiarities of the English. But the impression remains of the overwhelming seriousness of our human situation, of the choice which confronts us between life and death.”2
What seems simple, not to perish like a dog, is for Gurdjieff the most difficult aim a person can have. And making us aware of the choice between life and death, or between kinds and qualities of death, is a main concern of Beelzebub’s Tales. In the Tales, however, the choice is presented in far more complex terms: we can either live our lives and die our deaths passively and mechanically, for the sole purpose of unconsciously supplying the Cosmos with required energies, whereby upon death we sacrifice our individuality; alternatively, we can live in such a way as to supply required Cosmic energies consciously, and of sufficient quantity and quality, so that death carries the potential of amounting to more than a payment of transformed energy, and we gain the possibility of becoming “immortal within the limits of the Solar System.”3
The choice between life and death as expressed in these terms is related to Gurdjieff’s Theory of Reciprocal Maintenance, which embodies his answer to the question, “What is the meaning and purpose of life on Earth, and in particular of human life?” Like all organic life on Earth, human beings are apparatuses for transforming energies which are required for some other purpose. However, as a more complicated type of transforming apparatus than plants or animals, human beings possess some choice regarding how to supply the energies required by their existence. They can transform energy consciously or unconsciously, in greater or lesser quantities, and of varying qualities, thereby influencing the purpose and outcome of their deaths.
These are among the choices of which Gurdjieff wants to make us aware in his Tales. Manuel Rainoird aptly likens Gurdjieff in his work to a train guard who, out of sheer kind-heartedness, jostles and rouses the passengers before their train reaches some frontier, so that they will be ready and things will go smoothly.4 Beelzebub’s Tales does serve this purpose, but the setting is more dramatic than the analogy leads us to believe. In the Tales Gurdjieff is trying to rouse his readers from sleep so that they might get things in order before reaching their final destination: death. For Gurdjieff, preparing for an “honorable death” means acquiring all possible understanding about life and the role of human beings in it. To this end, Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson is appropriately subtitled All and Everything. Here Gurdjieff presents us with all the fruits of his conscious labors, all the understanding about human existence which he acquired, through tremendous efforts, in the course of his lifetime. His hope is that we might share part of this understanding.
1 J. G. Bennett, Talks on Beelzebub’s Tales (Gloucestershire: Coombe Springs Press, 1977), p. 1. Reissued, Youk Beach, Maine: Weiser, 1988, vii.
3 G. I. Gurdjieff, as recorded by P. D. Ouspensky in In Search of the Miraculous (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1949), p. 94
4 Manuel Rainoird as quoted by Michel Waldberg in Gurdjieff: An Approach to His Ideas, (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981), p. 28
Earth is one of the planets of the solar system and the sun is one of the stars of the Milky Way. Beyond that we can take all possible worlds. This is all we know from the ordinary point of view. As a purely philosophical term we can add to that a condition or relationship of things which we call the Absolute, a state in which everything is one. Now we can express this relation of moon to earth, earth to planets and so on in a slightly different way.
Looking from the top down, we can begin to understand the vast difference in scale if we compare All Suns with our Sun, or Earth with All Planets. We can understand that they stand in a certain definite relation of scale to one another. The smallest is the Moon, and beyond the Moon we know nothing. The whole of this is called the Ray of Creation. There are other rays, because this ray does not include the whole universe, but since we live on the earth and it passes through the earth we belong to this Ray of Creation. From this diagram it is clear what is meant by a bad place in the universe. The worst place is the moon, but the earth is almost as bad. It is like living near the North Pole, which explains why so many things are difficult on the earth. We cannot change or do anything about it, but when we know, we can adapt, and in that way we can escape many things which otherwise we could not escape. But we must not let our imagination run away with us and tell us that we can escape altogether.
I just want to add one thing. For reasons which are difficult to explain as yet, in the Ray of Creation all these worlds are connected with each other: influences pass from higher to lower but there is a gap between Planets and Earth. In order to bridge this gap so that influences from All Planets could reach the earth a certain instrument was invented. It is a kind of sensitive film which surrounds the earth, that is to say. Organic Life on Earth. So plants, animals and men serve a definite purpose; they serve for communication between earth and planets. With the help of organic life which can receive and retain them, planetary influences penetrate to the earth. This is the meaning and reason for organic life on earth.
Q. You assume organic life only on the earth. Do you assume there is nothing on other planets?
A. No, not at all, but we are interested in organic life on earth, because we are on the earth and we are part of organic life on the earth, so we speak only about earth. All other planets we take together as a mass, but about earth we speak differently. This is the principle of scale. The nearer something is to you the nearer to full scale is your study. If you study this room you need to know how many people are coming and how many chairs will be required; you study in detail, but if you take the house only, you do not need to know such details. And if you take the street, it is again different. In the same way we study the Ray of Creation on different scales. We speak about organic life on the earth, but we do not speak about organic life on any other planet; we have no way of studying it except on the earth.
At present the study of the Ray of Creation and of universal laws is not yet knowledge — it is only language; but with the help of this language we will be able to talk about many different things for which ordinary language lacks words, expressions, connections between things. In studying this new language, you understand the relation of things to one another, because it binds everything together — everything we know or must know or can be interested to know in the world. The value of this language is that in using some term of it you explain not only what this object is and what place it occupies in its immediate surroundings, but you also show its place in the whole universe.
Taking the Ray of Creation as a succession of events, it can be regarded as an octave. It is a descending octave in the sense of expansion and differentiation. The first interval in this octave is filled by the Will of the Absolute. In order to fill the second interval, between planets and earth, a special instrument was cosmically created. This instrument is organic life on earth. Organic life on earth plays a very important part in the Ray of Creation, for it guarantees the transmission of energies and makes the growth of the Ray possible. The growing point of the Ray is the moon. The idea is that eventually the moon will become like the earth and the earth like the sun; then another moon will appear, and so growth will continue up to a certain point. But this is rather beyond us.
Organic life is a sort of receiving apparatus for catching and transmitting influences coming from the planets of the solar system. At the same time as serving as a means of communication between the earth and the planets, organic life feeds the moon. Everything that lives serves the purposes of the earth; everything that dies feeds the moon. This sounds strange at first, but when we understand the laws which govern organic life, we will realize that it is based on a very hard law, the law that one class of living beings eats another class. This not only makes organic life self-supporting but also enables it to feed the moon and serve as a transmitter of energies. Thus organic life serves many purposes — those of the greater worlds, the planets, the earth and the moon.
The question arises: how can we prove it? We can find certain proofs later by analogy with man, because man is built on the same principle as the Ray of Creation. There are many things which we cannot prove in an objective way, but it may be we can find proofs by studying ourselves.
Q. Why does the soul at death go to the moon?
A. The moon is hungry.
Q. Is not the earth hungry too?
A. The whole surface of the earth, its composition and structure, depend on organic life. The earth receives the body, for that is what it wants. It depends on taste and appetite. The moon wants one thing, the earth another. It is a very interesting idea. Later you will see more clearly how things are connected, how one thing makes another grow. Certain matters pass to the moon in that way which otherwise would not be able to reach it. And they come in an already digested form.
Q. What is the earth? Is it alive? Where does organic life end and earth begin?
A. Organic life is a quite definite thing — animals, plants, men and all microorganisms. As to the earth, it is certainly a living being only on quite a different scale. Nothing is dead in nature. Only some men are dead.
Q. What is the form of communication between organic life and earth?
A. There are many forms of communication. When you inhale air, for instance, this is communication.
We are here on earth as part of organic life. Organic life is under certain influences coming from all the planets and, since we are part of it, these influences affect us too. We are also under certain influences coming from the sun, the Milky Way and, maybe, under the influences of All Worlds, although, naturally, influences of All Worlds on an individual man are very small. We do not know much about influences coming from the moon, but we do know that it plays a very important part in organic life and, without understanding how everything is connected and in what way the life of man on earth is connected with the planets and the sun, we cannot understand man's position and his present life as it is. For instance, without this diagram it is impossible to understand that man lives in a very bad place in the universe, and that many things which we regard as unfair, against which we rebel and try to fight, are really the result of this position of organic life on earth. If we were on the moon, it would be still worse; there would be no possibility of development. On the earth there is a possibility of development — we can develop certain parts in us.
Very little of planetary influences comes to us as individuals. Generally planetary influences are only felt by masses of people; thus they are responsible for wars, revolutions and things like that. An individual man is very little under planetary influences, because the part that can be affected by them is undeveloped. This undeveloped part is essence.
To a certain extent man is also under the influence of the sun, and he can be under much higher influences if he develops higher centres and becomes connected with them. So development means passing from one kind of influences to another kind. At present we are more particularly under the influence of the moon. We have to become more and more conscious to come under higher influences.
Q. In what way are we under the influence of the moon?
A. The moon plays a very important part in our life, or rather the life of organic life on earth. The moon controls all our movements. If I move my arm, it is the moon that does it, because without the influence of the moon it cannot happen. The moon is like the weight on an old-fashioned clock and organic life is like the clock mechanism which is kept going by this weight. The action of the moon on our life is purely mechanical. It acts by sheer weight, and it receives higher energies which little by little make it alive. If you remember the four kinds of energy: mechanical energy, life energy, psychic energy and conscious energy, then the moon acts with mechanical energy, like a huge electro-magnet, attracting the matter of the soul. When it gets this matter its temperature changes. The moon is in a very low state, much lower than the earth.
All our mechanicalness depends on the moon. We are like marionettes moved by wires, but we can be more free of the moon or less free. When we understand that, we will understand that the way to become more free is by not identifying, not considering, struggling with negative emotions, and so on. At present we cannot move a step without the energy of the moon; the wires cannot be cut at once, for then the marionettes would simply collapse. It is necessary to learn to move first. All sleeping people are under the influence of the moon. They have no resistance, but if man develops, he can gradually cut some of the wires that are undesirable and can open himself to higher influences. In this way he can become free from the moon, if not fully, at least considerably more than he is now.
Q. What is the purpose of man's existence?
A. Man and even mankind does not exist separately, but as a part of the whole of organic life. The earth needs organic life as a whole — men, animals, plants. The Ray of Creation is a growing branch, and this communication is necessary in order that the branch may grow further. Everything is connected, nothing is separate, and smaller things, if they exist, serve something bigger. Organic life serves planetary purposes, it does not exist for itself. An individual man is a highly specialized cell in it, but on that scale an individual cell does not exist — it is too small. Our ordinary points of view are very naive and homocentric: everything turns round man. But man is a very insignificant thing, part of a very big machine. Organic life is a particular cosmic unit and man is a unit in this big mass of organic life. He has the possibility of further development, but this development depends on man's own effort and understanding. It enters into the cosmic purpose that a certain number of men should develop, but not all, for that would contradict another cosmic purpose. Evidently mankind must be on earth and must lead this life and suffer. But a certain number of men can escape, this also enters into the cosmic purpose.
So individually we are not important for the universe at all. We cannot speak even about humanity in relation to the universe — we can only speak about organic life. As I said, we are part of organic life, and organic life plays a certain part in the solar system, but it is a very big thing compared with us. We are used to thinking of ourselves individually, but very soon we lose this illusion. It is useful to think about different scales; take a thing on a wrong scale and you lose your way.
Q. Did you say it was intended that some of us should develop?
A. As far as we can see it is under the same law as, for instance, street accidents. It is well known that in every big town a certain number of people will be killed by traffic. Who will be killed is not determined, it need not necessarily be one or another person, but a certain number. In the same way a certain number of people may have a chance of escape — but there is no must about it in this case. This is the difference.
Q. Nature seems to be very unjust and very cruel to man.
A. What do you call nature? An earthquake is also nature. But for the moment we apply the word 'nature' to organic life. Evidently it was created like it is because there was no other means. If we do not like it, we can study methods of how to run away. We are too small individually to be known by any higher forces. So who is just or unjust? We operate with imaginary ideas In a small limited circle, in definite limited conditions, there can be justice and injustice. But on a larger scale this idea loses its meaning. There are many such ideas which have a certain meaning on a small scale but lose all meaning on a larger scale. At the same time this idea of justice is interesting because people lose a great amount of energy on this point. We can stop this waste, but we cannot correct things in the world. All life from beginning to end is an injustice. For instance, we have to die — it is most unjust. We divide things into just and unjust, and what right have we? All organic life is based on injustice; it is a self-supporting farm to breed cats and rats. Cats eat rats and rats eat cats. What is justice among cats and rats? This is life. It is nothing very beautiful. Our aim is to get out; it is not our business to feel indignation, that is simply loss of energy. But we must not pretend that facts are different from what they are.
Q. Are you going to put man on the same footing as the rest of organic life?
A. There is no difference, only other units are fully developed and man is only half developed.
Q. How is it that man, who is but one manifestation of organic life, should be chosen to have a chance of further development?
A I do not think it is a question of choice, I think this question needs quite a different approach. From this point of view all organic life can be regarded as a long work of experimenting with the idea of producing a self-evolving being. If man can reach a higher state it is because he is made that way — he is created to be self-evolving. Other beings are only experiments for developing different features, they do not possess all the qualities that man possesses.
Man is a machine, but there are different machines, and machines can be made for a special purpose. If a machine is used for the purpose it is made for, it is in the right place, but if it is made for one purpose and used for another, it is in a wrong place. Man is a special machine, made for a certain purpose; he is made a recipient of certain higher influences coming from worlds 3, 6, 12 and because he can receive these influences from higher worlds he can become independent of the world surrounding him.
This may look strange at the first glance, but if we visualize the structure of the solar system, we shall see quite clearly that it cannot be otherwise. No analogies are needed here. Imagine the sun surrounded by planets moving round it; in the distance, some group of stars from which influences go forth towards the sun. But the sun does not stand in one place; we know that it moves; the planets, rotating round it, move with it in space, forming, each of them by its motion, a spiral round the central rod of the sun, so that this central rod is entirely enclosed in the spirals of planets and no influence can reach it without first passing through the world of planets, that is, penetrating through the rings of the spirals.
Further, planets becoming carbon of the third triad must find corresponding oxygen and nitrogen. In our Ray of Creation, oxygen is earth. But there is no nitrogen in the astronomical Ray of Creation. Therefore the planets cannot pass their influence direct to earth, and in order to make the passage of forces possible between the planets and the earth, a special contrivance was created which represents the sensitive organ of the earth — organic life on earth.
Organic life on earth is nitrogen of the third triad. Forces coming from the planets fall first on organic life, which receives them and passes them on to the earth.
If we remember the extremely complicated organization of the ends of sensitive nerves in our own organism, for instance the ends of the nerves of taste and smell, we shall not think it strange that man is defined as a sensitive nerve-end of the earth.
Of course, a meadow covered with grass differs in many ways from man — it receives only some planetary influences, and very few of these. Man receives much more complex influences. But people differ greatly from one another in this respect. The majority of men are important only in the mass, and only the mass receives one or another influence. Others are capable of receiving influences individually — influences which masses cannot receive, for they are sensitive only to coarse influences.
Organic life on earth, playing the role of nitrogen of the third triad, is by this very fact carbon of the fourth triad in the Ray. In other words, it conducts the active force which meets with corresponding oxygen and nitrogen. Earth is oxygen and moon is nitrogen through which the influences of organic life pass to earth.
Now, if we take the Ray of Creation divided into four triads and bear in mind that the sum total of each triad is a definite hydrogen, we shall get four hydrogens or four definite densities of matter. These four hydrogens can be taken as corresponding to the four fundamental points of the universe. The first corresponds to the Absolute, the second to the sun, the third to the earth and the fourth to the moon.
I want to give you one more diagram that may help you to understand things. I said that organic life is a special adaptation filling the interval between the planets and the earth. It is created in the form of a lateral or an additional octave beginning in the sun, sol. Sol becomes do and produces si on the level of the planets, and then three notes, la, sol, fa, which are organic life on earth. Then mi of this lateral octave enters into the earth and re into the moon. So organic life belongs not to the main octave but to this special octave which begins in the sun. We do not know what do and si of this octave mean. Out of all this octave we know only la, sol, fa and mi. Even about re all we know is that when anything dies — whether man or a cockroach — its soul goes to the moon.
Q. When you say that we know what mi is, do you mean the earth?
A. No, all that goes into the earth — the physical body, all physical matter at death goes into the earth.
Q. Are souls created for every organism?
A. The body is born and at the same time the soul is born too; it is simply part of the body, invisible, unknown to medicine, physics and chemistry But without it the body cannot exist. When the body dies, the soul is free and is attracted by this big electromagnet — the moon.
Q. I still do not understand the influence of organic life between planets and earth. Does it act in both directions?
A. Try to begin from what you can understand, and later your understanding will increase. No one can understand everything at once To understand means to connect. Organic life transfers planetary influences to earth. As a matter of fact the process does go both ways, but we cannot see either. We must take it as a theory, but analogies can be found. We can see how organic life transforms influences coming from the sun and what a great part it plays in the structure of the earth's crust. For instance, black soil is the result of earth worms, oil is the result of an agglomeration of fishes and sea organisms, coal is the result of forests; chalk, coral islands, all these are results of organic life which remain in the earth. This shows how mi enters into the earth. All this is mi of the lateral octave of which la-sol-fa is organic life when it is alive This shows how organic life transforms the sun's influences. We do not see how it transforms planetary influences, but we can take the analogy of the sun's influences This shows that organic life is connected with both the planets and the sun and transforms planetary influences) just as it transforms solar influences.
Q. Is the Ray of Creation mechanical?
A. Not the whole Ray. When it comes to us, certainly all the laws are mechanical on our plane.
Q. How is it possible that a mechanical Ray can create a machine which is capable of achieving a permanent will?
A. You must remember that the Ray of Creation starts consciously, and in the starting-point there are evidently plans of everything, or some plans may gradually develop further down. But in the forty-eight laws that work on the earth there are three laws from World 3, which is under the direct will of the Absolute. Laws coming from different are not equally mechanical; some are more mechanical, others less. If we take the lateral octave starting from the sun — the octave of organic life — we shall see that the sun is much higher than the earth and it is evidently possible to create in this octave possibilities of development. Thus man, if he can be regarded as a seed, has in himself the possibility of growth He is not only what he looks, there is something in him which cannot be seen — this hidden possibility of evolution. We can understand this relation of more mechanical and less mechanical only in ourselves. We know how mechanical we are and that if we work we can become less mechanical. This is the only way to study mechanicalness.
Q. If man, as part of organic life, fulfils a purpose in the scheme of the universe, what further purpose can he serve by gaining consciousness?
A. That depends on what we want. You may be satisfied with certain purposes of nature, or you may have your own ideas. By becoming conscious you may serve your own purpose, but if you are not conscious, you only serve the purposes of nature. Nature wants man to be as he is in this place. This is the reason why only a few can escape, and they can escape because man is very small.
Q. Then would you say that ninety-nine people out of a hundred have the dice loaded against them?
A. There are no definite statistics about it. A very small minority has the possibility of development.
Q. I have understood that the Absolute can know nothing of man. Is it absurd to believe that there may be deputy powers able to take an interest in man?
A. Not necessarily deputy powers, but maybe special powers. There is no question but that there must be powers which take an interest in man, but we have no direct contact with these powers. We do not know them intellectually and do not know the approach to them. They appear in this small octave which begins in the sun. The sun produces do on its own level and si on the level of the planets. These two notes are the origin of organic life and probably its controlling principle. So when we know what do and si are we will know about these powers.
There are two things we must always remember about this small lateral octave: first, that it is incommensurable with the Ray of Creation for it is on quite a different scale; second, that we must always remember that we do not know what do and si of this octave are. When we think that life started here on earth by some process or other, we may think that we know what it is, but when we hear that it does not start on earth, we realize that we do not know.
Q. How can you explain the great amount of suffering that exists in the world?
A. This is a very interesting question. From the point of view of the work it is possible to find at least a logical form of solution of this problem. In organic life man must be regarded as an experiment of the Great Laboratory. In this laboratory all possible kinds of experiments are made, and they have to be made by means of suffering to bring about some kind of fermentation. In some way suffering is necessary for this; all the cells of this experiment have to suffer, and because of that their tendency is to avoid suffering, to have as little of it as possible, or to run away. If some of these cells break this tendency and accept suffering voluntarily, they can rid themselves of it and become free. Suffering, voluntary suffering, can become school-work. Nothing is more difficult and at the same time nothing can create so much force as voluntary suffering. The idea of development is to create an inner force, and how can a man put himself to the test without suffering? From one point of view the whole of organic life exists for planetary purposes. From another point of view it exists only for the sake of those who escape. So it does not exist for feeding the moon alone. This suffering is the highest product and the rest are merely by-products; the highest is always the most important.
We are far from understanding the idea of suffering, but if we realize that small things can be attained with small suffering, and big ones with big suffering, we shall understand that it will always be proportionate. But we must remember one thing — we have no right to invent suffering. Also, one has the right to accept suffering for oneself, but one has no right to accept it for other people. According to one's views of life, one helps other people, only it must be understood that helping cannot diminish suffering, it cannot change the order of things.
Q. Should not one work for the relief of suffering?
A. As much as one can, but there is suffering which can be relieved and suffering which cannot be relieved because it depends on bigger causes. Sleeping people have to suffer; maybe there is a great cosmic purpose in this suffering, because only suffering can eventually wake them up. If they can arrange their life so as to be happy and contented in sleep, they will never awake. But all this is only talk, because anyway it cannot be changed.
Q. Is there a definite amount of suffering to be borne in the world?
A. Probably for the purposes of possible evolution everyone must be surrounded by enormous possibilities of suffering. Evolution depends on man's attitude; if he accepts suffering and tries not to identify with it. It may be that this whole law was created so that he could become stronger, because strength can only be created by suffering.
Q. Is it good for one person to suffer for another?
A. No one can suffer for another; if I have a toothache, it will not diminish mine if you have a toothache too.
Q. You say that man is an experiment?
A. Man is specially made for evolution — he is a special experiment made for self-development. Every man is an experiment, not all men.
… I remember that G. drew a small diagram and tried to explain what he called the "correlation of forces in different worlds." This was in connection with the previous talk, that is, in connection with the influences acting on humanity. The idea was roughly this: humanity, or more correctly, organic life on earth, is acted upon simultaneously by influences proceeding from various sources and different worlds: influences from the planets, influences from the moon, influences from the sun, influences from the stars. All these influences act simultaneously; one influence predominates at one moment and another influence at another moment. And for man there is a certain possibility of making a choice of influences; in other words, of passing from one influence to another.
"To explain how, would need a very long talk," said G. "So we will talk about this some other time. At this moment I want you to understand one thing: it is impossible to become free from one influence without becoming subject to another. The whole thing, all work on oneself, consists in choosing the influence to which you wish to subject yourself, and actually falling under this influence. And for this it is necessary to know beforehand which influence is the more profitable."
What interested me in this talk was that G. spoke of the planets and the moon as living beings, having definite ages, a definite period of life and possibilities of development and transition to other planes of being. From what he said it appeared that the moon was not a "dead planet," as is usually accepted, but, on the contrary, a "planet in birth"; a planet at the very initial stages of its development which had not yet reached "the degree of intelligence possessed by the earth," as he expressed it.
"But the moon is growing and developing," said G., "and some time, it will, possibly, attain the same level as the earth. Then, near it, a new moon will appear and the earth will become their sun. At one time the sun was like the earth and the earth like the moon. And earlier still the sun was like the moon."
This attracted my attention at once. Nothing had ever seemed to me more artificial, unreliable, and dogmatic than all the usual theories of the origin of planets and solar systems, beginning with the Kant-Laplace theory down to the very latest, with all their additions and variations. The "general public" considers these theories, or at any rate the last one known to it, to be scientific and proven. But in actual fact there is of course nothing less scientific and less proven than these theories. Therefore the fact that G.'s system accepted an altogether different theory, an organic theory having its origin in entirely new principles and showing a different universal order, appeared to me very interesting and important.
"In what relation does the intelligence of the earth stand to the intelligence of the sun?" I asked.
"The intelligence of the sun is divine," said G. "But the earth can become the same; only, of course, it is not guaranteed and the earth may die having attained nothing."
"Upon what does this depend?" I asked.
G.'s answer was very vague.
"There is a definite period," he said, "for a certain thing to be done. If, by a certain time, what ought to be done has not been done, the earth may perish without having attained what it could have attained."
Somebody asked at a meeting:
"How should evolution be understood?"
"The evolution of man," G. replied, "can be taken as the development in him of those powers and possibilities which never develop by themselves, that is, mechanically. Only this kind of development, only this kind of growth, marks the real evolution of man. There is, and there can be, no other kind of evolution whatever.
"We have before us man at the present moment of his development. Nature has made him such as he is, and, in large masses, so far as we can see, such he will remain. Changes likely to violate the general requirements of nature can only take place in separate units.
"In order to understand the law of man's evolution it is necessary to grasp that, beyond a certain point, this evolution is not at all necessary, that is to say, it is not necessary for nature at a given moment in its own development. To speak more precisely: the evolution of mankind corresponds to the evolution of the planets, but the evolution of the planets proceeds, for us, in infinitely prolonged cycles of time. Throughout the stretch of time that human thought can embrace, no essential changes can take place in the life of the planets, and, consequently, no essential changes can take place in the life of mankind.
"Humanity neither progresses nor evolves. What seems to us to be progress or evolution is a partial modification which can be immediately counterbalanced by a corresponding modification in an opposite direction.
"Humanity, like the rest of organic life, exists on earth for the needs and purposes of the earth. And it is exactly as it should be for the earth's requirements at the present time.
"Only thought as theoretical and as far removed from fact as modem European thought could have conceived the evolution of man to be possible apart from surrounding nature, or have regarded the evolution of man as a gradual conquest of nature. This is quite impossible. In living, in dying, in evolving, in degenerating, man equally serves the purposes of nature — or, rather, nature makes equal use, though perhaps for different purposes, of the products of both evolution and degeneration. And, at the same time, humanity as a whole can never escape from nature, for, even in struggling against nature man acts in conformity with her purposes. The evolution of large masses of humanity is opposed to nature's purposes. The evolution of a certain small percentage may be in accord with nature's purposes. Man contains within him the possibility of evolution. But the evolution of humanity as a whole, that is, the development of these possibilities in all men, or in most of them, or even in a large number of them, is not necessary for the purposes of the earth or of the planetary world in general, and it might, in fact, be injurious or fatal. There exist, therefore, special forces (of a planetary character) which oppose the evolution of large masses of humanity and keep it at the level it ought, to be.
"For instance, the evolution of humanity beyond a certain point, or, to speak more correctly, above a certain percentage, would be fatal for the moon. The moon at present feeds on organic life, on humanity. Humanity is a part of organic life; this means that humanity is food for the moon. If all men were to become too intelligent they would not want to be eaten by the moon.
"But, at the same time, possibilities of evolution exist, and they may be developed in separate individuals with the help of appropriate knowledge and methods. Such development can take place only in the interests of the man himself against, so to speak, the interests and forces of the planetary world. The man must understand this: his evolution is necessary only to himself. No one else is interested in it. And no one is obliged or intends to help him. On the contrary, the forces which oppose the evolution of large masses of humanity also oppose the evolution of individual men. A man must outwit them. And one man can outwit them, humanity cannot. You will understand later on that all these obstacles are very useful to a man; if they did not exist they would have to be created intentionally, because it is by overcoming obstacles that man develops those qualities he needs.
"This is the basis of the correct view of human evolution. There is no compulsory, mechanical evolution. Evolution is the result of conscious struggle. Nature does not need this evolution; it does not want it and struggles against it. Evolution can be necessary only to man himself when he realizes his position, realizes the possibility of changing this position, realizes that he has powers that he does not use, riches that he does not see. And, in the sense of gaining possession of these powers and riches, evolution is possible. But if all men, or most of them, realized this and desired to obtain what belongs to them by right of birth, evolution would again become impossible. What is possible for individual man is impossible for the masses.
"The advantage of the separate individual is that he is very small and that, in the economy of nature, it makes no difference whether there is one mechanical man more or less. We can easily understand this correlation of magnitudes if we imagine the correlation between a microscopic cell and our own body. The presence or absence of one cell will change nothing in the life of the body. We cannot be conscious of it, and it can have no influence on the life and functions of the organism. In exactly the same way a separate individual is too small to influence the life of the cosmic organism to which he stands in the same relation (with regard to size) as a cell stands to our own organism. And this is precisely what makes his 'evolution' possible; on this are based his 'possibilities.'
"In speaking of evolution it is necessary to understand from the outset that no mechanical evolution is possible. The evolution of man is the evolution of his consciousness. And 'consciousness' cannot evolve unconsciously. The evolution of man is the evolution of his will, and 'will' cannot evolve involuntarily. The evolution, of man is the evolution of his power of doing, and 'doing' cannot be the result of things which 'happen.'
"People do not know what man is. They have to do with a very complex machine, far more complex than a railway engine, a motorcar, or an aeroplane — but they know nothing, or almost nothing, about the construction, working, or possibilities of this machine; they do not even understand its simplest functions, because they do not know the purpose of these functions. They vaguely imagine that a man should learn to control his machine, just as he has to learn to control a railway engine, a motorcar, or an aeroplane, and that incompetent handling of the human machine is just as dangerous as incompetent handling of any other complex machine. Everybody understands this in relation to an aeroplane, a motorcar, or a railway engine. But it is very rarely that anyone takes this into account in relation to man in general or to himself in particular. It is considered right and legitimate to think that nature has given men the necessary knowledge of their machine. And yet men understand that an instinctive knowledge of the machine is by no means enough. Why do they study medicine and make use of its services? Because, of course, they realize they do not know their machine. But they do not suspect that it can be known much better than science knows it; they do not suspect that then it would be possible to get quite different work out of it."
"In relation to the term 'world' it is necessary to understand from the very outset that there are many worlds, and that we live not in one world, but in several worlds. This is not readily understood because in ordinary language the term 'world' is generally used in the singular. And if the plural 'worlds' is used it is merely to emphasize, as it were, the same idea, or to express the idea of various worlds existing parallel to one another. Our language does not have the idea of worlds contained one within another. And yet the idea that we live in different worlds precisely implies worlds contained one within another to which we stand in different relations.
"If we desire an answer to the question what is the world or worlds in which we live, we must first of all ask ourselves what it is that we may call 'world' in the most intimate and immediate relation to us.
"To this we may answer that we often give the name of 'world' to the world of people, to humanity, in which we live, of which we form part. But humanity forms an inseparable part of organic life on earth, therefore it would be right to say that the world nearest to us is organic life on earth, the world of plants, animals, and men.
"But organic life is also in the world. What then is 'world' for organic life?
"To this we can answer that for organic life our planet the earth is 'world.'
"But the earth is also in the world. What then is 'world' for the earth?
"'World' for the earth is the planetary world of the solar system, of which it forms a part.
"What is 'world' for all the planets taken together? The sun, or the sphere of the sun's influence, or the solar system, of which the planets form a part.
"For the sun, in its turn, 'world' is our world of stars, or the Milky Way, an accumulation of a vast number of solar systems.
"Furthermore, from an astronomical point of view, it is quite possible to presume a multitude of worlds existing at enormous distances from one another in the space of 'all worlds.' These worlds taken together will be 'world' for the Milky Way.
"Further, passing to philosophical conclusions, we may say that 'all worlds' must form some, for us, incomprehensible and unknown Whole or One (as an apple is one). This Whole, or One, or All, which may be called the 'Absolute,' or the 'Independent' because, including everything within itself, it is not dependent upon anything, is 'world' for 'all worlds.' Logically it is quite possible to think of a state of things where All forms one single Whole. Such a whole will certainly be the Absolute, which means the Independent, because it, that is, the All, is infinite and indivisible.
"The Absolute, that is, the state of things when the All constitutes one Whole, is, as it were, the primordial state of things, out of which, by division and differentiation, arises the diversity of the phenomena observed by us.
"Man lives in all these worlds but in different ways.
"This means that he is first of all influenced by the nearest world, the one immediate to him, of which he forms a part. Worlds further away also influence man, directly as well as through other intermediate worlds, but their action is diminished in proportion to their remoteness or to the increase in the difference between them and man. As will be seen later, the direct influence of the Absolute does not reach man. But the influence of the next world and the influence of the star world are already perfectly clear in the life of man, although they are certainly unknown to science." With this G. ended the lecture.
"The study of the forty-eight orders of laws to which man is subject cannot be abstract like the study of astronomy; they can be studied only by observing them in oneself and by getting free from them. At the beginning a man must simply understand that he is quite needlessly subject to a thousand petty but irksome laws which have been created for him by other people and by himself. When he attempts to get free from them he will see that he cannot. Long and persistent attempts to gain freedom from them will convince him of his slavery. The laws to which man is subject can only be studied by struggling with them, by trying to get free from them. But a great deal of knowledge is needed in order to become free from one law without creating for oneself another in its place.
"The orders of laws and their forms vary according to the point of view from which we consider the ray of creation.
"In our system the end of the ray of creation, the growing end, so to speak, of the branch, is the moon. The energy for the growth, that is, for the development of the moon and for the formation of new shoots, goes to the moon from the earth, where it is created by the joint action of the sun, of all the other planets of the solar system, and of the earth itself. This energy is collected and preserved in a huge accumulator situated on the earth's surface. This accumulator is organic life on earth. Organic life on earth feeds the moon. Everything living on the earth, people, animals, plants, is food for the moon. The moon is a huge living being feeding upon all that lives and grows on the earth. The moon could not exist without organic life on earth, any more than organic life on earth could exist without the moon. Moreover, in relation to organic life the moon is a huge electromagnet. If the action of the electromagnet were suddenly to stop, organic life would crumble to nothing.
"The process of the growth and the warming of the moon is connected with life and death on the earth. Everything living sets free at its death a certain amount of the energy that has 'animated' it; this energy, or the 'souls' of everything living — plants, animals, people — is attracted to the moon as though by a huge electromagnet, and brings to it the warmth and the life upon which its growth depends, that is, the growth of the ray of creation. In the economy of the universe nothing is lost, and a certain energy having finished its work on one plane goes to another.
"The souls that go to the moon, possessing perhaps even a certain amount of consciousness and memory, find themselves there under ninety-six laws, in the conditions of mineral life, or to put it differently, in conditions from which there is no escape apart from a general evolution in immeasurably long planetary cycles. The moon is 'at the extremity,' at the end of the world; it is the 'outer darkness' of the Christian doctrine 'where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
"The influence of the moon upon everything living manifests itself in all that happens on the earth. The moon is the chief, or rather, the nearest, the immediate, motive force of all that takes place in organic life on the earth. All movements, actions, and manifestations of people, animals, and plants depend upon the moon and are controlled by the moon. The sensitive film of organic life which covers the earthly globe is entirely dependent upon the influence of the huge electromagnet that is sucking out its vitality. Man, like every other living being, cannot, in the ordinary conditions of life, tear himself free from the moon. All his movements and consequently all his actions are controlled by the moon. If he kills another man, the moon does it; if he sacrifices himself for others, the moon does that also. All evil deeds, all crimes, all self-sacrificing actions, all heroic exploits, as well as all the actions of ordinary everyday life, are controlled by the moon.
"The liberation which comes with the growth of mental powers and faculties is liberation from the moon. The mechanical part of our life depends upon the moon, is subject to the moon. If we develop in ourselves consciousness and will, and subject our mechanical life and all our mechanical manifestations to them, we shall escape from the power of the moon.
Another talk was about the moon and its relation to organic life on earth. And again one of our group found a very good example showing the relation of the moon to organic life.
The moon is the weight on a clock. Organic life is the mechanism of the clock brought into motion by the weight. The gravity of the weight, the pull of the chain on the cogwheel, set in motion the wheels and the hands of the clock. If the weight is removed all movements in the mechanism of the clock will at once stop. The moon is a colossal weight hanging on to organic life and thus setting it in motion. Whatever we may be doing, whether it is good or bad, clever or stupid, all the movements of the wheels and the hands of our organism depend upon this weight, which is continually exerting its pressure upon us.
"Observations based on an understanding of the law of octaves show that 'vibrations' may develop in different ways. In interrupted octaves they merely begin and fall, are drowned or swallowed up by other, stronger, vibrations which intersect them or which go in an opposite direction. In octaves which deviate from the original direction the vibrations change their nature and give results opposite to those which might have been expected at the beginning.
"And it is only in octaves of a cosmic order, both descending and ascending, that vibrations develop in a consecutive and orderly way, following the same direction in which they started.
"Further observations show that a right and consistent development of octaves, although rare, can be observed in all the occasions of life and in the activity of nature and even in human activity.
"The right development of these octaves is based on what looks an accident. It sometimes happens that octaves going parallel to the given octave, intersecting or meeting it, in some way or another fill up its 'intervals' and make it possible for the vibrations of the given octave to develop in freedom and without checks. Observation of such rightly developing octaves establishes the fact that if at the necessary moment, that is, at the moment when the given octave passes through an 'interval,' there enters into it an 'additional shock' which corresponds in force and character, it will develop further without hindrance along the original direction, neither losing anything nor changing its nature.
"In such cases there is an essential difference between ascending and descending octaves.
"In an ascending octave the first 'interval' comes between mi and fa. If corresponding additional energy enters at this point the octave will develop without hindrance to si, but between si and do it needs a much stronger 'additional shock' for its right development than between mi and fa, because the vibrations of the octave at this point are of a considerably higher pitch and to overcome a check in the development of the octave a greater intensity is needed.
"In a descending octave, on the other hand, the greatest 'interval' occurs at the very beginning of the octave, immediately after the first do and the material for filling it is very often found either in do itself or in the lateral vibrations evoked by do. For this reason a descending octave develops much more easily than an ascending octave and in passing beyond si it reaches fa without hindrance; here an 'additional shock' is necessary, though considerably less strong than the first 'shock' between do and si.
"In the big cosmic octave, which reaches us in the form of the ray of creation, we can see the first complete example of the law of octaves. The ray of creation begins with the Absolute. The Absolute is the All. The All, possessing full unity, full will, and full consciousness, creates worlds within itself, in this way beginning the descending world octave. The Absolute is the do of this octave. The worlds which the Absolute creates in itself are si. The 'interval' between do and si in this case is filled by the will of the Absolute. The process of creation is developed further by the force of the original impulse and an 'additional shock.' Si passes into la which for us is our star world, the Milky Way. La passes into sol — our sun, the solar system. Sol passes into fa — the planetary world. And here between the planetary world as a whole and our earth occurs an 'interval'. This means that the planetary radiations carrying various influences to the earth are not able to reach it, or, to speak more correctly, they are not received, the earth reflects them. In order to fill the 'interval' at this point of the ray of creation a special apparatus is created for receiving and transmitting the influences coming from the planets. This apparatus is organic life on earth. Organic life transmits to the earth all the influences intended for it and makes possible the further development and growth of the earth, mi of the cosmic octave, and then of the moon or re, after which follows another do — Nothing. Between All and Nothing passes the ray of creation.
The ray of creation like every other process which is complete at a given moment can be regarded as an octave. This would be a descending octave in which do passes into si, si into la and so on."The Absolute or All (world 1) will be do;
■ all worlds (world 3) — si;
■ all suns (world 6) — la;
■ our sun (world 12) — sol;
■ all planets (world 24) — fa;
■ the earth (world 48) — mi;
■ the moon (world 96) — re.
The ray of creation begins with the Absolute. The Absolute is All. It is — do.
"The ray of creation ends in the moon. Beyond the moon there is nothing. This also is the Absolute — do.
"In examining the ray of creation or cosmic octave we see that 'intervals' should come in the development of this octave: the first between do and si, that is between world 1 and world 3, between the Absolute and 'all worlds,' and the second between fa and mi, that is, between world 24 and world 48, between 'all planets' and the earth. But the first 'interval' is filled by the will of the Absolute. One of the manifestations of the will of the Absolute consists precisely in the filling of this 'interval' by means of a conscious manifestation of neutralizing force which fills up the 'interval' between the active and the passive forces. With the second 'interval' the situation is more complicated. Something is missing between the planets and the earth. Planetary influences cannot pass to the earth consecutively and fully. An 'additional shock' is indispensable; the creation of some new conditions to insure a proper passage of forces is indispensable.
"The conditions to insure the passage of forces are created by the arrangement of a special mechanical contrivance between the planets and the earth. This mechanical contrivance, this 'transmitting station of forces' is organic life on earth. Organic life on earth was created to fill the interval between the planets and the earth.
"Organic life represents so to speak the earth's organ of perception. Organic life forms something like a sensitive film which covers the whole of the earth's globe and takes in those influences coming from the planetary sphere which otherwise would not be able to reach the earth. The vegetable, animal, and human kingdoms are equally important for the earth in this respect. A field merely covered with grass takes in planetary influences of a definite kind and transmits them to the earth. The same field with a crowd of people on it will take in and transmit other influences. The population of Europe takes in one kind of planetary influences and transmits them to the earth. The population of Africa takes in planetary influences of another kind, and so on.
"All great events in the life of the human masses are caused by planetary influences. They are the result of the taking in of planetary influences. Human society is a highly sensitive mass for the reception of planetary influences. And any accidental small tension in planetary spheres can be reflected for years in an increased animation in one or another sphere of human activity. Something accidental and very transient takes place in planetary space. This is immediately received by the human masses, and people begin to hate and to kill one another, justifying their actions by some theory of brotherhood, or equality, or love, or justice.
"Organic life is the organ of perception of the earth and it is at the same time an organ of radiation. With the help of organic life each portion of the earth's surface occupying a given area sends every moment certain kinds of rays in the direction of the sun, the planets, and the moon. In connection with this the sun needs one kind of radiations, the planets another kind, and the moon another. Everything that happens on earth creates radiations of this kind. And many things often happen just because certain kinds of radiation are required from a certain place on the earth's surface."
In saying this G. drew our attention in particular to the nonconformity of time, that is, of the duration of events in the planetary world and in human life. The significance of his insistence on this point became clear to me only later.
At the same time he constantly emphasized the fact that no matter what took place in the thin film of organic life it always served the interests of the earth, the sun, the planets, and the moon; nothing unnecessary and nothing independent could happen in it because it was created for a definite purpose and was merely subordinate.
And once dwelling on this theme he gave us a diagram of the structure of the octave in which one of the links was "organic life on earth." "This additional or lateral octave in the ray of creation begins in the sun," he said. "The sun, sol of the cosmic octave, begins at a certain moment to sound as do, sol do.
"It is necessary to realize that every note of any octave, in the present instance every note of the cosmic octave, may represent do of some other lateral octave issuing from it. Or it would be still more exact to say that any note of any octave may at the same time be any note of any other octave passing through it.
"In the present instance sol begins to sound as do. Descending to the level of the planets this new octave passes into si; descending still lower it produces three notes, la, sol, fa, which create and constitute organic life on earth in the form that we know it; mi of this octave blends with mi of the cosmic octave, that is, with the earth, and re with the re of the cosmic octave, that is, with the moon."
We at once felt that there was a great deal of meaning in this lateral octave. First of all it showed that organic life, represented in the diagram by three notes, had two higher notes, one on the level of the planets and one on the level of the sun, and that it began in the sun. This last was the most important point because once more, as with many other things in G.'s system, it contradicted the usual modern idea of life having originated so to speak from below. In his explanations life came from above.
Then much talk arose about the notes mi, re, of the lateral octave. We could not, of course, define what re was. But it was clearly connected with the idea of food for the moon. Some product of the disintegration of organic life went to the moon; this must be re. In regard to mi it was possible to speak quite definitely. Organic life undoubtedly disappeared in the earth. The role of organic life in the structure of the earth's surface was indisputable. There was the growth of coral islands and limestone mountains, the formation of coal seams and accumulations of petroleum; the alteration of the soil under the influence of vegetation, the growth of vegetation in lakes, the "formation of rich arable lands by worms," change of climate due to the draining of swamps and the destruction of forests, and many other things that we know of and do not know of.
But in addition to this the lateral octave showed with particular clarity how easily and correctly things were classified in the system we were studying. Everything anomalous, unexpected, and accidental disappeared, and an immense and strictly thought-out plan of the universe began to make its appearance.
AT ONE lecture G. began to draw the diagram of the universe in an entirely new way. "So far we have spoken of the forces that create worlds," he said, "of the process of creation proceeding from the Absolute. We will now speak of the processes which take place in the already created and existing world. But you must remember that the process of creation never stops, although, on a planetary scale, growth proceeds so slowly that if we reckon it in our time planetary conditions can be regarded as permanent for us.
"Therefore, let us take the 'ray of creation' after the universe has already been created.
"The action of the Absolute upon the world, or upon the worlds created by it or within it, continues. The action of each of these worlds upon subsequent worlds continues in exactly the same way. 'All suns' of the Milky Way influence our sun. The sun influences the planets. 'All planets' influence our earth and the earth influences the moon. These influences are transmitted by means of radiations passing through starry and interplanetary space.
"In order to study these radiations let us take the 'ray of creation' in an abridged form: Absolute-sun-earth-moon, or in other words let us imagine the 'ray of creation' in the form of three octaves of radiations: the first octave between the Absolute and the sun, the second octave between the sun and the earth, and the third octave between the earth and the moon; and let us examine the passage of radiations between these four fundamental points of the universe.
"We have to find our place and understand our functions in this universe, which is taken in the form of three octaves of radiations between four points.
"In the first octave the Absolute will include two notes, do and si, with the 'interval' between them.
"Then will follow notes la, sol, fa: that is,
"Then an interval, and the 'shock' filling it, unknown to us but nevertheless inevitably existing, then mi, re.
"The radiations reach the sun. Two notes are included in the sun itself, do, an 'interval,' and si, then follow la, sol, fa — radiations going towards the earth.
"Then an 'interval' and the 'shock' of organic life which fills it, then mi and re. The earth: do, an 'interval,' si, and then la, sol, fa — radiations going towards the moon; then again an 'interval,' a 'shock' unknown to us, then mi, re, and the moon, do.
"These three octaves of radiations, in which form we shall now imagine the universe, will enable us to explain the relation of matters and forces of different planes of the world to our own life.
"It must be observed that, although there are six 'intervals' in these three octaves, only three of them actually require to be supplemented from outside. The first 'interval' between do and si is filled by the will of the Absolute. The second 'interval'
"It must be noted that the term 'a point of the universe' which I have used, has a quite definite meaning, namely, a 'point' represents a certain combination of hydrogens which is organized in a definite place and fulfills a definite function in one or another system. The concept 'point' cannot be replaced by the concept 'hydrogen' because 'hydrogen' means simply matter not limited in space. A point is always limited in space. At the same time, a 'point of the universe' can be designated by the number of the 'hydrogen' which predominates in it or is central in it.
"If we now examine the first of these three octaves of radiations, that is, the octave
"The expression 'density of vibrations' corresponds to 'frequency of vibrations' and is used as the opposite to 'density of matter,' that is to say, the higher the 'density of matter' the lower the 'density 'of vibrations,' and, vice versa, the higher the 'density of vibrations' the lower the 'density of matter.' The greatest 'density of vibrations' is to be found in the finest, the most rarefied, matter. And in the densest matter possible vibrations slow down and come almost to a stop. Therefore the finest matter corresponds to the greatest 'density of vibrations.'
"The active force in the Absolute represents the maximum 'density of vibrations,' while the matter in which these vibrations proceed, that is, the first 'carbon,' represents the minimum density of matter.
"The note si in the Absolute will be the conductor of the passive force designated by the number 2. And the matter in which this passive force acts or in which sounds the note si will be 'oxygen' (O).
"The note la will be the conductor of the neutralizing force designated by the number 3, and the matter in which sounds the note la will be 'nitrogen' (N).
"In the order of the action of the forces they will stand in the succession 1, 2, 3, that is, corresponding to the matters 'carbon,' 'oxygen,' 'nitrogen.' But by density of matter they will stand in the order: 'carbon,' 'nitrogen,' 'oxygen,' that is, 1, 3, 2, because 'nitrogen' by retaining the number 3, that is to say, by being the conductor of the neutralizing force, stands by its density of matter between 'carbon' and 'oxygen,' and 'oxygen' appears as the densest of the three.
"'Carbon,' 'oxygen,' and 'nitrogen' together will give matter of the fourth order, or 'hydrogen' (H), whose density we will designate by the number 6 (as the sum of 1, 2, 3), that is, H6:
|The First Triad|
"C, O, N retain their numbers 1, 2, 3. 'Carbon' is always 1, 'oxygen' is always 2, and 'nitrogen' is always 3.
"But being more active than 'oxygen' 'nitrogen' enters as the active principle in the next triad and enters with the density of 2. In other words 'nitrogen' has a density of 2 and 'oxygen' a density of 3.
"So that the note la of the first triad is the conductor of the active force in the next triad which it enters with the density of 2. If 'carbon' enters with the density of 2, then 'oxygen' and 'nitrogen' must correspond to it in densities, repeating the ratio of densities of the first triad. In the first triad the ratio of densities was 1, 2, 3; in the second triad it should be 2, 4, 6, that is, 'carbon' of the second triad will possess the density of 2, 'nitrogen' a density of 4, 'oxygen' a density of 6. Taken together they will give 'hydrogen' 12 (H12):
|The Second Triad|
"According to the same plan and order the following triad will be constructed: fa, 'shock,' mi. 'Carbon' which was 'nitrogen' in the second triad enters with a density of 4; the 'nitrogen' and 'oxygen' corresponding to it must have a density of 8 and 12; together they will give 'hydrogen' 24 (H24):
|The Third Triad|
"The next triad mi, re, do, by the same plan and order will give 'hydrogen' 48 (H48):
|The Fourth Triad|
"The triad do, si, la will give 'hydrogen' 96 (H96):
|The Fifth Triad|
the triad la, sol, fa — 'hydrogen' 192 (H192):
|The Sixth Triad|
fa, 'shock,' mi — 'hydrogen' 384 (H384):
|The Seventh Triad|
mi, re, do — 'hydrogen' 768 (H768):
|The Eight Triad|
do, si, la — 'hydrogen' 1536 (H1536):
|The Ninth Triad|
la, sol, fa — 'hydrogen' 3072 (H3072):
|The Tenth Triad|
fa, 'shock,' mi — 'hydrogen' 6144 (H6144):
|The Eleventh Triad|
mi, re, do — 'hydrogen' 12288 (H12288):
|The Twelfth Triad|
"Twelve 'hydrogens' are obtained with densities ranging from 6 to 12288. (See Table 1.)
"These twelve 'hydrogens' represent twelve categories of matter contained in the universe from the Absolute to the moon, and if it were possible to establish exactly which of these matters constitute man's organism and act in it, this alone would determine what place man occupies in the world.
"But at the place where we are situated, within the limits of our ordinary powers and capacities 'hydrogen' 6 is irresolvable; we can take it therefore as 'hydrogen' 1; the next 'hydrogen' 12 as 'hydrogen' 6. Reducing all the hydrogens that follow by 2 we obtain a scale from 'hydrogen' 1 to 'hydrogen' 6144. (See Table 2.)
"But 'hydrogen' 6 is nevertheless still irresolvable for us. Therefore we can also take it as 'hydrogen' 1, take the next 'hydrogen' after it as 'hydrogen' 6 and reduce all the following again by two.
"The scale obtained in this way from 1 to 3072 can serve us for the study of man. (See Table 3.)
"All matters from 'hydrogen' 6 to 'hydrogen' 3072 are to be found and play a part in the human organism. Each of these 'hydrogens' includes a very large group of chemical substances known to us, linked together by some function in connection with our organism. In other words, it must not be forgotten that the term 'hydrogen' has a very wide meaning. Any simple element is a 'hydrogen' of a certain density, but any combination of elements which possesses a definite function, either in the world or in the human organism, is also a 'hydrogen.'
"This kind of definition of matters enables us to classify them in the order of their relation to life and to the functions of our organism.
"Let us begin with 'hydrogen' 768. This 'hydrogen' is defined as food, in other words, 'hydrogen' 768 includes all substances which can serve as 'food' for man. Substances which cannot serve as 'food,' such as a piece of wood, refer to 'hydrogen' 1536; a piece of iron to 'hydrogen' 3072. On the other hand, a 'thin' matter, with poor nutritive properties, will be nearer to 'hydrogen' 384.
"'Hydrogen' 384 will be defined as water.
"'Hydrogen' 192 is the air of our atmosphere which we breathe.
"'Hydrogen' 96 is represented by rarefied gases which man cannot breathe, but which play a very important part in his life; and further, this is the matter of animal magnetism, of emanations from the human body, of 'n-rays,' hormones, vitamins, and so on; in other words, with 'hydrogen' 96 ends what is called matter or what is regarded as matter by our physics and chemistry. 'Hydrogen' 96 also includes matters that are almost imperceptible to our chemistry or perceptible only by their traces or results, often merely presumed by some and denied by others.
"'Hydrogens' 48, 24, 12, and 6 are matters unknown to physics and chemistry, matters of our psychic and spiritual life on different levels.
"Altogether in examining the 'table of hydrogens,' it must always be remembered that each 'hydrogen' of this table includes an enormous number of different substances connected together by one and the same function in our organism and representing a definite 'cosmic group.'
"'Hydrogen' 12 corresponds to the 'hydrogen' of chemistry (atomic weight 1). 'Carbon,' 'nitrogen,' and 'oxygen' (of chemistry) have the atomic weights: 12, 14, and 16.
"In addition it is possible to point out in the table of atomic weights elements which correspond to certain hydrogens, that is, elements whose atomic weights stand almost in the correct octave ratio to one another. Thus 'hydrogen' 24 corresponds to fluorine, Fl., atomic weight 19; 'hydrogen' 48 corresponds to Chlorine, CL., atomic weight 35.5; 'hydrogen' 96 corresponds to Bromine, Br., atomic weight 80; and 'hydrogen' 192 corresponds to Iodine, I., atomic weight 127. The atomic weights of these elements stand almost in the ratio of an octave to one another, in other words, the atomic weight of one of them is almost twice as much as the atomic weight of another. The slight inexactitude, that is, the incomplete octave relationship, is brought about by the fact that ordinary chemistry does not take into consideration all the properties of a substance, namely, it does not take into consideration 'cosmic properties.' The chemistry of which we speak here studies matter on a different basis from ordinary chemistry and takes into consideration not only the chemical and physical, but also the psychic and cosmic properties of matter.
"This chemistry or alchemy regards matter first of all from the point of view of its functions which determine its place in the universe and its relations to other matters and then from the point of view of its relation to man and to man's functions. By an atom of a substance is meant a certain small quantity of the given substance that retains all its chemical, cosmic, and psychic properties, because, in addition to its cosmic properties, every substance also possesses psychic properties, that is, a certain degree of intelligence. The concept 'atom' may therefore refer not only to elements, but also to all compound matters possessing definite functions in the universe or in the life of man. There can be an atom of water, an atom of air (that is, atmospheric air suitable for man's breathing), an atom of bread, an atom of meat, and so on. An atom of water will in this case be one-tenth of one-tenth of a cubic millimeter of water taken at a certain temperature by a special thermometer. This will be a tiny drop of water which under certain conditions can be seen with the naked eye.
"This atom is the smallest quantity of water that retains all the properties of water. On further division some of these properties disappear, that is to say, it will not be water but something approaching the gaseous state of water, steam, which does not differ chemically in any way from water in a liquid state but possesses different functions and therefore different cosmic and psychic properties.
"The 'table of hydrogens' makes it possible to examine all substances making up man's organism from the point of view of their relation to different planes of the universe. And as every function of man is a result of the action of definite substances, and as each substance is connected with a definite plane in the universe, this fact enables us to establish the relation between man's functions and the planes of the universe."
I ought to say at this point that the "three octaves of radiations" and the "table of hydrogens" derived from them were a stumbling block to us for a long time. The fundamental and the most essential principle of the transition of the triads and the structure of matter I understood only later, and I will speak of it in its proper place.
In my exposition of G.'s lectures in general, I am trying to observe a chronological order, although this is not always possible as some things were repeated very many times and entered, in one form or another, into almost all lectures.
Upon me personally the "table of hydrogens" produced a very strong impression which, later on, was to become still stronger. I felt in this "ladder reaching from earth to heaven" something very like the sensations of the world which came to me several years before during my strange experiments when I felt so strongly the connectedness, the wholeness, and the "mathematicalness" of everything in the world.1 This lecture, with different variations, was repeated many times, that is, either in connection with the explanation of the "ray of creation" or in connection with the explanation of the law of octaves. But in spite of the strange sensation it gave to me I was far from giving it its proper value the first times I heard it. And above all, I did not understand at once that these ideas are much more difficult to assimilate and are much deeper in their content than they appeared from their simple exposition.
I have preserved in my memory one episode. It happened at one of the repetitions of this lecture on the structure of matter in connection with the mechanics of the universe. The lecture was read by P., a young engineer belonging to G.'s Moscow pupils, whom I have mentioned.
I arrived when the lecture had already begun. Hearing familiar words I decided that I had already heard this lecture and therefore, sitting down in a comer of the large drawing room, I smoked and thought of something else. G. was there too.
"Why did you not listen to the lecture?" he asked me after it was over.
"But I have already heard it," I said. G. shook his head reproachfully. And quite honestly I did not understand what he expected from me, why I ought to listen for a second time to the same lecture.
I understood only much later, when lectures were over and when I tried to sum up mentally all I had heard. Often, in thinking a question over, I remembered quite distinctly that it had been spoken of at one of the lectures. But what precisely had been said I could unfortunately by no means always remember and I would have given a great deal to hear it once more.
Nearly two years later, in November, 1917, a small party of us consisting of six people, among whom was G., was living on the Black Sea shore twenty-five miles north of Tuapse, in a small country house more than a mile from the nearest habitation. One evening we sat and talked. It was already late and the weather was very bad, a northeast wind was blowing which brought now rain, now snow, in squalls.
I was thinking just of certain deductions from the 'table of hydrogens,' chiefly about one inconsistency in this diagram as compared with another of which we heard later. My question referred to hydrogens below the normal level. Later on I will explain exactly what it was I asked and what, long afterwards, G. answered.
1 A New Model of the Universe, ch. 8, "Experimental Mysticism"
This time he did not give me a direct answer.
"You ought to know that," he said, "it was spoken of in the lectures in St. Petersburg. You could not have listened. Do you remember a lecture that you did not want to hear, saying you knew it already? But what was said then is precisely what you ask about now." After a short silence he said: "Well, if you now heard that somebody was giving the same lecture at Tuapse, would you go there on foot?"
"I would," I said.
And indeed, though I felt very strongly how long, difficult, and cold the road could be, at the same time I knew that this would not stop me.
"Would you really go?" he asked. "Think — twenty-five miles, darkness, snow, rain, wind."
"What is there to think about?" I said. "You know I have walked the whole way more than once, when there were no horses or when there was no room for me in the cart, and for no reward, simply because there was nothing else to be done. Of course I would go without a word if somebody were going to give a lecture on these things at Tuapse."
"Yes," said G., "if only people really reasoned in this way. But in reality they reason in exactly the opposite way. Without any particular necessity they would face any difficulties you like. But on a matter of importance that can really bring them something they will not move a finger. Such is human nature. Man never on any account wants to pay for anything; and above all he does not want to pay for what is most important for him. You now know that everything must be paid for and that it must be paid for in proportion to what is received. But usually a man thinks to the contrary. For trifles, for things that are perfectly useless to him, he will pay anything. But for something important, never. This must come to him of itself.
"And as to the lecture, what you ask was actually spoken of in St. Petersburg. If you had listened then, you would now understand that there is no contradiction whatever between the diagrams and that there cannot be any."
But to return to St. Petersburg.
In looking back now I cannot help being astonished at the speed with which G. transmitted to us the principal ideas of his system. Of course a great deal depended upon his manner of exposition, upon his astonishing capacity for bringing into prominence all principal and essential points and for not going into unnecessary details until the principal points had been understood.
After the 'hydrogens' G. at once went further.
"We want to 'do,' but" (he began the next lecture) "in everything we do we are tied and limited by the amount of energy produced by our organism. Every function, every state, every action, every thought, every emotion, requires a certain definite energy, a certain definite substance.
"We come to the conclusion that we must 'remember ourselves.' But we can 'remember ourselves' only if we have in us the energy for 'self-remembering.' We can study something, understand or feel something, only if we have the energy for understanding, feeling, or studying.
"What then is a man to do when he begins to realize that he has not enough energy to attain the aims he has set before himself?
"The answer to this is that every normal man has quite enough energy to begin work on himself. It is only necessary to learn how to save the greater part of the energy we possess for useful work instead of wasting it unproductively.
"Energy is spent chiefly on unnecessary and unpleasant emotions, on the expectation of unpleasant things, possible and impossible, on bad moods, on unnecessary haste, nervousness, irritability, imagination, daydreaming, and so on. Energy is wasted on the wrong work of centers; on unnecessary tension of the muscles out of all proportion to the work produced; on perpetual chatter which absorbs an enormous amount of energy; on the 'interest' continually taken in things happening around us or to other people and having in fact no interest whatever; on the constant waste of the force of 'attention'; and so on, and so on.
"In beginning to struggle with all these habitual sides of his life a man saves an enormous amount of energy, and with the help of this energy he can easily begin the work of self-study and self-perfection.
"Further on, however, the problem becomes more difficult. Having to a certain extent balanced his machine and ascertained for himself that it produces much more energy than he expected, a man nevertheless comes to the conclusion that this energy is not enough and that, if he wishes to continue his work, he must increase the amount of energy produced.
"The study of the working of the human organism shows this to be quite possible.
"The human organism represents a chemical factory planned for the possibility of a very large output. But in the ordinary conditions of life the output of this factory never reaches the full production possible to it, because only a small part of the machinery is used which produces only that quantity of material necessary to maintain its own existence. Factory work of this kind is obviously uneconomic in the highest degree. The factory actually produces nothing — all its machinery, all its elaborate equipment, actually serve no purpose at all, in that it maintains only with difficulty its own existence.
"The work of the factory consists in transforming one kind of matter into another, namely, the coarser matters, in the cosmic sense, into finer ones. The factory receives, as raw material from the outer world, a number of coarse 'hydrogens' and transforms them into finer hydrogens by means of a whole series of complicated alchemical processes. But in the ordinary conditions of life the production by the human factory of the finer 'hydrogens,' in which, from the point of view of the possibility of higher states of consciousness and the work of higher centers, we are particularly interested, is insufficient and they are all wasted on the existence of the factory itself. If we could succeed in bringing the production up to its possible maximum we should then begin to save the fine 'hydrogens.' Then the whole of the body, all the tissues, all the cells, would become saturated with these fine 'hydrogens' which would gradually settle in them, crystallizing in a special way. This crystallization of the fine 'hydrogens' would gradually bring the whole organism onto a higher level, onto a higher plane of being.
"This, however, cannot happen in the ordinary conditions of life, because the 'factory' expends all that it produces.
"'Learn to separate the fine from the coarse' — this principle from the 'Emerald Tablets of Hermes Trismegistus' refers to the work of the human factory, and if a man learns to 'separate the fine from the coarse,' that is, if he brings the production of the fine 'hydrogens' to its possible maximum, he will by this very fact create for himself the possibility of an inner growth which can be brought about by no other means. Inner growth, the growth of the inner bodies of man, the astral, the mental, and so on, is a material process completely analogous to the growth of the physical body. In order to grow, a child must have good food, his organism must be in a healthy condition to prepare from this food the material necessary for the growth of the tissues. The same thing is necessary for the growth of the 'astral body'; out of the various kinds of food entering it, the organism must produce the substances necessary for the growth of the 'astral body.' Moreover, the 'astral body' requires for its growth the same substances as those necessary to maintain the physical body, only in much greater quantities. If the physical organism begins to produce a sufficient quantity of these fine substances and the 'astral body' within it becomes formed, this astral organism will require for its maintenance less of these substances than it required during its growth. The surplus from these substances can then be used for the formation and growth of the 'mental body' which will grow with the help of the same substances that feed the 'astral body,' but of course the growth of the 'mental body' will require more of these substances than the growth and feeding of the 'astral body.' The surplus of the substances left over from the feeding of the 'mental body' will go to the growth of the fourth body. But in all cases the surplus will have to be very large. All the fine substances necessary for the growth and feeding of the higher bodies must be produced within the physical organism, and the physical organism is able to produce them provided the human factory is working properly and economically.
"All the substances necessary for the maintenance of the life of the organism, for psychic work, for the higher functions of consciousness and the growth of the higher bodies, are produced by the organism from the food which enters it from outside.
"The human organism receives three kinds of food.
- The ordinary food we eat
- The air we breathe
- Our impressions
"It is not difficult to agree that air is a kind of food for the organism. But in what way impressions can be food may appear at first difficult to understand. We must however remember that, with every external impression, whether it takes the form of sound, or vision, or smell, we receive from outside a certain amount of energy, a certain number of vibrations, this energy which enters the organism from outside is food. Moreover, as has been said before, energy cannot be transmitted without matter. If an external impression brings external energy with it into the organism it means that external matter also enters which feeds the organism in the full meaning of the term.
"For its normal existence the organism must receive all three kinds of food, that is, physical food, air, and impressions. The organism cannot exist on one or even on two kinds of food, all three are required. But the relation of these foods to one another and their significance for the organism is not the same. The organism can exist for a comparatively long time without a supply of fresh physical food. Cases of starvation are known lasting for over sixty days, when the organism lost none of its vitality and recovered very quickly as soon as it began to take food. Of course starvation of this kind cannot be considered as complete, since in all cases of such artificial starvation people have taken water. Nevertheless, even without water a man can live without food for several days. Without air he can exist only for a few minutes, not more than two or three, as a rule a man dies after being four minutes without air. Without impressions a man cannot live a single moment. If the flow of impressions were to be stopped in some way or if the organism were deprived of its capacity for receiving impressions, it would immediately die. The flow of impressions coming to us from outside is like a driving belt communicating motion to us. The principal motor for us is nature, the surrounding world. Nature transmits to us through our impressions the energy by which we live and move and have our being. If the inflow of this energy is arrested, our machine will immediately stop working. Thus, of the three kinds of food the most important for us is impressions, although it stands to reason that a man cannot exist for long on impressions alone Impressions and air enable a man to exist a little longer Impressions, air, and physical food enable the organism to live to the end of its normal term of life and to produce the substances necessary not only for the maintenance of life, but also for the creation and growth of higher bodies.
"The process of transforming the substances which enter the organism into finer ones is governed by the law of octaves.
At one of the following meetings, after a fairly long talk on knowledge and being, G. said:
"Strictly speaking, you cannot as yet speak of knowledge because you do not know with what knowledge begins. "Knowledge begins with the teaching of the cosmoses.." You know the expressions 'macrocosm' and 'microcosm'. This means 'large cosmos' and 'small cosmos', 'large world' and 'small world'. The universe is regarded as a 'large cosmos' and man as a 'small cosmos', analogous to the large one. This establishes, as it were, the idea of the unity and the similarity of the world and man.
"The teaching of the two cosmoses is known from the Cabala and other more ancient systems. But this teaching is incomplete and nothing can be derived from it, nothing can be built on it. Nothing can be derived from it because this teaching is merely a fragment split off from another, much fuller, ancient esoteric teaching about cosmoses or worlds, included one within another and created in the image and the likeness of the greatest of them, including in itself all the others. "As above, so below," is an expression which refers to cosmoses.
"But it is essential to know that the full teaching on cosmoses speaks not of two, but of seven cosmoses, included one within another.
"Seven cosmoses, taken together in their relation to one another, alone represent a complete picture of the universe. The idea of two analogous cosmoses, accidentally preserved from a great and complete teaching, is so incomplete that it can give no idea whatever of the analogy between man and the world. "The teaching on cosmoses examines seven cosmoses:
- "The first cosmos is the Protocosmos — the first cosmos.
- "The second cosmos is the Ayocosmos, the holy cosmos, or the Megalocosmos, the 'great cosmos.'
- "The third cosmos is the Macrocosmos — the 'large cosmos.'
- "The fourth cosmos is the Deuterocosmos — the 'second cosmos.'
- "The fifth cosmos is the Mesocosmos — the 'middle cosmos.'
- "The sixth cosmos is the Tritocosmos — the 'third cosmos.'
- "The seventh cosmos is the Microcosmos — the 'small cosmos.'
- "The Protocosmos is the Absolute in the ray of creation, or world 1.
- The Ayocosmos is world 3 ('all worlds' in the ray of creation).
- The Macro-cosmos is our starry world or the Milky Way (world 6 in the ray of creation).
- The Deuterocosmos is the sun, the solar system (world 12).
- The Mesocosmos is 'all planets' (world 24), or the earth as the representative of the planetary world.
- The Tritocosmos is man.
- The Microcosmos is the 'atom.'
"As I have already explained before," said G., "what is called 'atom' is the smallest amount of any substance in which the substance retains all its properties, physical, chemical, psychical, and cosmic. From this point of view there can, for instance, be an 'atom of water.'
"You see that in the general order of the seven cosmoses the Microcosm and the Macrocosm stand so far apart from each other that it is impossible to see or establish any direct analogy between them.
"Each cosmos is a living being which lives, breathes, thinks, feels, is born, and dies.
"All cosmoses result from the action of the same forces and the same laws. Laws are the same everywhere. But they manifest themselves in a different, or at least, in not quite the same way on different planes of the universe, that is, on different levels. Consequently cosmoses are not quite analogous one to another. If the law of octaves did not exist, the analogy between them would have been complete, but owing to the law of octaves there is no complete analogy between them, just as there is no complete analogy between the different notes of the octave. It is only three cosmoses, taken together, that are similar and analogous to any other three.
"The conditions of the action of laws on each plane, that is, in each cosmos, are determined by the two adjoining cosmoses, the one above and the one below. Three cosmoses standing next to one another give a complete picture of the manifestation of the laws of the universe. One cosmos cannot give a complete picture. Thus in order to know one cosmos, it is necessary to know the two adjoining cosmoses, the one above and the one below the first, that is, one larger and one smaller. Taken together, these two cosmoses determine the one that lies between them. Thus the Mesocosmos and the Microcosmos, taken together, determine the Tritocosmos. The Deuterocosmos and the Tritocosmos determine the Mesocosmos, and so on.
"The relation of one cosmos to another is different from the relation of one world to another in the astronomical ray of creation. In the ray of creation worlds are taken in the actual relation in which they exist in the universe for us, from our point of view: the moon, the earth, the planets, the sun, the Milky Way, and so on. Therefore the quantitative interrelation of the worlds one to another in the ray of creation is not permanent. In one case or on one level it is greater, for instance, the relation of 'all suns' to our sun; in another case, on another level, it is less, for instance, the relation of the earth to the moon. But the interrelation of the cosmoses is permanent and always the same. That is to say, one cosmos is related to another as zero to infinity. This means that the relation of the Microcosmos to the Tritocosmos is the same as that of zero to infinity; the relation of the Tritocosmos to the Mesocosmos is that of zero to infinity; the relation of the Mesocosmos to the Deuterocosmos is that of zero to infinity; and so on.
"In order to understand the meaning of the division into cosmoses and the relation of cosmoses to each other, it is necessary to understand what the relation of zero to infinity means. If we understand what this means, the principle of the division of the universe into cosmoses, the necessity of such a division, and the impossibility of drawing for ourselves a more or less lucid picture of the world without this division will immediately become clear to us.
"The idea of cosmoses helps us to understand our place in the world; and it solves many problems, as for instance, those connected with space, with time, and so on. And above all this idea serves to establish exactly the principle of relativity. The latter is especially important for it is quite impossible to have an exact conception of the world without having established the principle of relativity.
"The idea of cosmoses enables us to put the study of relativity on a firm basis. At the first glance there is much that seems paradoxical in the system of cosmoses. In reality, however, this apparent paradox is simply relativity.
"The idea of the possibility of broadening man's consciousness and increasing his capacities for knowledge stands in direct relation to the teaching on cosmoses. In his ordinary state a man is conscious of himself in one cosmos, and all the other cosmoses he looks at from the point of view of one cosmos. The broadening of his consciousness and the intensifying of his psychic functions lead him into the sphere of activity and life of two other cosmoses simultaneously, the one above and the one below, that is, one larger and one smaller. The broadening of consciousness does not proceed in one direction only, that is, in the direction of the higher cosmoses; in going above, at the same time it goes below.
"This last idea will, perhaps, explain to you some expressions you may have met with in occult literature; for instance, the saying that 'the way up is at the same time the way down.' As a rule this expression is quite wrongly interpreted.
"In reality this means that if, for instance, a man begins to feel the life of the planets, or if his consciousness passes to the level of the planetary world, he begins at the same time to feel the life of atoms, or his consciousness passes to their level. In this way the broadening of consciousness proceeds simultaneously in two directions, towards the greater and towards the lesser. Both the great and the small require for their cognition a like change in man. In looking for parallels and analogies between the cosmoses we may take each cosmos in three relations:
- in its relation to itself,
- in its relation to a higher or a larger cosmos, and
- in its relation to a lower, or a smaller cosmos.
"The manifestation of the laws of one cosmos in another cosmos constitutes what we call a miracle. There can be no other kind of miracle. A miracle is not a breaking of laws, nor is it a phenomenon outside laws. It is a phenomenon which takes place according to the laws of another cosmos. These laws are incomprehensible and unknown to us, and are therefore miraculous.
"In order to understand the laws of relativity, it is very useful to examine the life and phenomena of one cosmos as though looking at them from another cosmos, that is, to examine them from the point of view of the laws of another cosmos. All the phenomena of the life of a given cosmos, examined from another cosmos, assume a completely different aspect and have a completely different meaning. Many new phenomena appear and many other phenomena disappear. This in general completely changes the picture of the world and of things.
"As has been said before, the idea of cosmoses alone can provide a firm basis for the establishment of the laws of relativity. Real science and real philosophy ought to be founded on the understanding of the laws of relativity. Consequently it is possible to say that science and philosophy, in the true meaning of these terms, begin with the idea of cosmoses."
Having said these words, after a fairly long silence, G. turned to me and added:
"Try to discuss all I have said just now, from the point of view of your dimensions."
"All that you have said," I said, "refers without doubt to the problems of dimensions. But before I pass to them, I should like to elucidate one point, which is not quite clear to me. It is what you said about the Microcosmos. We are accustomed to connect the idea of the Microcosmos with man. This means that man represents a world in himself. A world analogous to the large world, the Macrocosmos. But you give man the name of Tritocosmos, that is, the third cosmos. Why third? The first is Protocosmos; the second, the sun or Deuterocosmos. Why is man the third cosmos?"
"It is difficult to explain at present," said G.; "you will understand this later."
"But do you really mean that the concept Microcosmos cannot be used in relation to man?" asked one of the audience. "This creates a strange difference in terminology."
"Yes, yes," said G. "Man is the Tritocosmos. The Microcosmos is the atom or rather" — he paused as though looking for a word — "the microbe.
"But do not stop over this question. All that will be explained later."1
Then he again turned to me.
"See what you can say from your point of view, taking everything just as I said it."
"First of all we must examine what the ratio of zero to infinity means," I said. "If we understand this, we shall understand the relation of one cosmos to another. In the world accessible to our study we have a perfectly clear example of the relation of zero to infinity. In geometry this is the relation of one unit of a certain number of dimensions to another unit of a greater number of dimensions. The relation of a point to a line, of a line to a plane, of a plane to a solid, of a solid, that is, of a three-dimensional body to a four-dimensional body, and so on.
1 I mention this here because later G. changed this.
"If we adopt this point of view, we shall have to admit that the relation of one cosmos to another is the relation of two bodies of different dimensions. If one cosmos is three-dimensional then the next cosmos, that is, the one above it, must be four-dimensional, the next — five-dimensional, and so on. If we take the 'atom' or 'microbe,' as you say, that is, the Microcosmos as a point, then relative to this point man will be a line, that is, a figure of one dimension. The next cosmos, the earth, will be a plane relative to man, that is, it will have two dimensions, as is actually the case for direct perception. The sun, the solar system, will be three-dimensional for the earth. The starry world will be four-dimensional for the sun. 'All worlds' are five-dimensional, and the Absolute or Protocosmos is six-dimensional.
"What personally interests me most in this system of cosmoses is that I see in them the full 'period of dimensions,' of my New Model of the Universe. It is not merely a coincidence of details — it is absolutely identical. I do not know how it has come about; I have never heard of seven cosmoses related to one another in the ratio of zero to infinity. Nevertheless my 'period of dimensions' coincides with this absolutely exactly.
"The 'period of dimensions' contains within itself seven dimensions: The zero-dimension, the first, the second, and so on up to the sixth dimension. The zero-dimension or the point is a limit. This means that we see something as a point, but we do not know what is concealed behind this point. It may actually be a point, that is, a body having no dimensions and it may also be a whole world, but a world so far removed from us or so small that it appears to us as a point. The movement of this point in space will appear to us as a line. In the same way the point itself will see the space along which it moves as a line. The movement of the line in a direction perpendicular to itself will be a plane and the line itself will see the space along which it moves in the shape of a plane.
"Up to now I have examined the line from the point of view of the point, and the plane from the point of view of the line, but the point, the line, and the plane can also be taken from the point of view of a three-dimensional body. In this case the plane will be the boundary of the body, or its side, or its section. The line will be the boundary limiting the plane, or the section of the plane. The point will be the limit or the section of the line.
"A three-dimensional body differs from the point, the line, and the plane by the fact that it has a real physical existence for our perception.
"The plane is in fact only a projection of a body, the line is a projection of a plane, and the point is a projection of a line.
"A 'body' has an independent physical existence, that is, it possesses a number of different physical properties.
"But when we say a thing 'exists,' we mean by this existence in time. But there is no time in three-dimensional space. Time lies outside the three-dimensional space. Time, as we feel it, is the fourth dimension. Existence is for us existence in time. Existence in time is movement or extension along the fourth dimension. If we take existence as an extension along the fourth dimension, if we think of life as a four-dimensional body, then a three-dimensional body will be its section, its projection, or its limit.
"But existence in time does not embrace all the aspects of existence. Apart from existing in time, everything that exists, exists also in eternity.
"Eternity is the infinite existence of every moment of time. If we conceive time as a line, then this line will be crossed at every point by the lines of eternity. Every point of the line of time will be a line in eternity. The line of time will be a plane of eternity. Eternity has one dimension more than time. Therefore, if time is the fourth dimension, eternity is the fifth dimension. If the space of time is four-dimensional, then the space of eternity is five-dimensional.
"Further, in order to understand the idea of the fifth and the sixth dimensions, a certain view of time must be established.
"Every moment of time contains a certain number of possibilities, at times a small number, at others a great number, but never an infinite number. It is necessary to realize that there are possibilities and there are impossibilities. I can take from this table and throw on the floor a piece of paper, a pencil, or an ash-tray, but I cannot take from the table and throw on the floor an orange which is not on the table. This clearly defines the difference between possibility and impossibility. There are several combinations of possibilities in relation to things which can be thrown on the floor from this table. I can throw a pencil, or a piece of paper, or an ash-tray, or else a pencil and a piece of paper, or a pencil and an ash-tray, or a piece of paper and an ash-tray, or all three together, or nothing at all. There are only these possibilities. If we take as a moment of time the moment when these possibilities exist, then the next moment will be a moment of the actualization of one of the possibilities. A pencil is thrown on the floor. This is the actualization of one of the possibilities. Then a new moment comes. This moment also has a certain number of possibilities in a certain definite sense. And the moment after it will again be a moment of the actualization of one of the possibilities. The consecutiveness of these moments of actualization of one possibility constitutes the line of time. But each moment of time has an infinite existence in eternity. The possibilities which have been actualized continue to be endlessly actualized in eternity, while the non-actualized possibilities continue to remain non-actualized and non-actualizable.
"But all the possibilities that have been created or have originated in the world must be actualized. The actualization of all the possibilities created or originated constitutes the world's being. At the same time there is no place for the actualization of these possibilities within the limits of eternity. In eternity everything that has been actualized continues to be actualized and everything non-actualized continues to remain non-actualized. Eternity, however, is only a plane crossed by the line of time. At every point of this line there remains a certain number of non-actualized possibilities. If we imagine the line of the actualization of these possibilities, they will proceed along radii issuing from one point at different angles to the line of time and the line of eternity. These lines will proceed outside eternity, outside the five-dimensional space, in 'higher eternity' or in six-dimensional space, in the sixth dimension.
"The sixth dimension is the line of the actualization of all possibilities.
"The fifth dimension is the line of the eternal existence or repetition of the actualized possibilities.
"The fourth dimension is the sequence of the moments of the actualization of one possibility.
"As I have said, seven dimensions, from zero-dimension to the sixth dimension, constitute the full period of dimensions. Beyond this period there is either nothing or the same period may repeat itself on another scale.
"As I have already said, the system of cosmoses, the exposition of which we have just heard, strikes me above all by the fact that it fully corresponds to the 'period of dimension' which is the basis of my New Model of the Universe, only this system of cosmoses goes still further and explains many things which were not clear in my model of the universe.
"Thus, if we take the Microcosmos, that is, the 'atom' or 'microbe,' as G. has defined it, then the Tritocosmos for it will be four-dimensional space, the Mesocosmos will be five-dimensional space, and the Deuterocosmos six-dimensional space.
"This means that all the possibilities of the 'atom' or 'microbe' are realized within the limits of the solar system.
"If we take man as the Tritocosmos, then, for him, the Mesocosmos will be four-dimensional space, the Deuterocosmos five-dimensional space, and the Macrocosmos six-dimensional space. This means that all the possibilities of the Tritocosmos are realized in the Macrocosmos.
"Therefore parallel with this, all the possibilities of the Mesocosmos are realized in the Ayocosmos and all the possibilities of the Deuterocosmos, or the sun, are realized in the Protocosmos or the Absolute.
"As every cosmos has a real physical existence, every cosmos therefore is three-dimensional for itself or in itself. In relation to a lower cosmos it is four-dimensional, in relation to a higher cosmos it is a point. To put it differently, it is, itself, three-dimensional, but the fourth dimension lies for it in the cosmos above and the cosmos below. This last point is perhaps the most paradoxical, but nevertheless it is exactly as it should be. For a three-dimensional body, such as is a cosmos, the fourth dimension lies as much in the realm of very large magnitudes as in the realm of very small magnitudes; as much in the realm of what is actually infinity as in the realm of what is actually zero.
"Further we must understand that the three-dimensionality of even one and the same body can be different. Only a six-dimensional body can be completely real. A five-dimensional body is only an incomplete view of a six-dimensional body, a four-dimensional body is an incomplete view of a five-dimensional body, a three-dimensional body is an incomplete view of a four-dimensional body. And of course, a plane is an incomplete view of a three-dimensional body, that is to say, a view of one side of it. In the same way a line is an incomplete view of a plane and a point is an incomplete view of a line.
"Moreover, though we do not know how, a six-dimensional body can see itself as three-dimensional. Somebody looking at it from outside may possibly also see it as a three-dimensional body, but in a completely different kind of three-dimensionality. For instance, we represent the earth to ourselves as three-dimensional. This three-dimensionality is only imaginary. As a three-dimensional body the earth is something quite different for itself from what it is for us. Our view of it is incomplete, we see it as a section of a section of a section of its complete being. The 'earthly globe' is an imaginary body. It is the section of a section of a section of the six-dimensional earth. But this six-dimensional earth can also be three-dimensional for itself, only we do not know and we can have no conception of the form in which the earth sees itself.
"The possibilities of the earth are actualized in the Ayocosmos; this means that in the Ayocosmos the earth is a six-dimensional body. And actually we can to a certain extent see in what way the form of the earth must change. In the Deuterocosmos, that is, in relation to the sun, the earth is no longer a point (taking a point as a scale reduction of a three-dimensional body), but a line which we trace as the path of the earth around the sun. If we take the sun in the Macrocosmos, that is, if we visualize the line of the sun's motion, then the line of the motion of the earth will become a spiral encircling the line of the sun's motion. If we conceive a lateral motion of this spiral, then this motion will construct a figure which we cannot imagine because we do not know the nature of its motion, but which, nevertheless, will be the six-dimensional figure of the earth, which the earth itself can see as a three-dimensional figure. It is necessary to establish and to understand this because otherwise the idea of the three-dimensionality of the cosmoses will become linked with our idea of three-dimensional bodies. The three-dimensionality even of one and the same body can be different.
"And this last point seems to me to be connected with what G. calls the 'principle of relativity.' His principle of relativity has nothing in common with the principle of relativity in mechanics or with Einstein's principle of relativity. It is the same again as in the New Model of the Universe; it is the principle of the relativity of existence."
At this point I ended my survey of the system of cosmoses from the point of view of the theory of many dimensions.
"There is a great deal of material in what you have just said," said G., "but this material must be elaborated. If you can find out how to elaborate the material that you have now, you will understand a great deal that has not occurred to you till now. For example, take note that time is different in different cosmoses. And it can be calculated exactly, that is, it is possible to establish exactly how time in one cosmos is related to the time of another cosmos.
"I will add only one thing more:
"Time is breath — try to understand this."
He said nothing further.
Later on one of G.'s Moscow pupils added to this that, speaking with them once of cosmoses and of different time in different cosmoses, G. had said that the sleep and waking of living beings and plants, that is, twenty-four hours or a day and night, constitute the "breath of organic life."
G.'s lecture on cosmoses and the talk following it greatly aroused my curiosity. This was a direct transition from the "three-dimensional universe" with which we had begun, to the problems which I had elaborated in the New Model of the Universe, that is, to the problems of space and time and higher dimensions, on which I had been working for several years.
For over a year G. added nothing to what he had said about cosmoses.
Several of us tried to approach these problems from many different sides and, although all of us felt a great deal of potential energy in the idea of cosmoses, for a long time we got no results. We were especially confused by the "Microcosmos."
"If it were possible to take man as the Microcosmos and the Tritocosmos as the human race, or rather as organic life, it would be much easier to establish the relation of man to other cosmoses," one of us, Z., said in this connection, who with me had attempted to understand and to develop further the idea of the cosmoses.
But on the one or two occasions that we began to speak to G. about it he persisted in his definitions.
I remember once when he was leaving Petersburg, it was possibly even his final departure in 1917, one of us asked him at the station something relating to cosmoses.
"Try to understand what the Microcosmos means," answered G. "If you succeed in understanding this, then all the rest about which you ask now will become clear to you."
I remember that when we talked about it later the question was quite easy to solve when we took the "Microcosmos" as man.
It was certainly conditional, but nevertheless it was in complete accord with the whole system which studied the world and man. Every individual living being — a dog, a cat, a tree — could be taken as a Microcosmos; the combination of all living beings constituted the Tritocosmos or organic life on earth. These definitions seemed to me the only ones that were logically possible. And I could not understand why G. objected to them.
At any rate, some time later when I returned again to the problem of cosmoses I decided to take man as the Microcosmos, and to take the Tritocosmos as organic life on earth.
With such a construction a great number of things began to be much more connected. And once, looking through a manuscript of "Glimpses of Truth" given me by G., that is, the beginning of the story that was read at the Moscow group the first time I went there, I found in it the expressions "Macrocosmos" and "Microcosmos"; moreover "Microcosmos" meant man.
Now you have some idea of the laws governing the life of the Macrocosmos and have returned to the Earth. Recall to yourself: "As above, so below." I think that already, without any further explanation, you will not dispute the statement that the life of individual man — the Microcosmos — is governed by the same laws. — "Glimpses of Truth"
This still further strengthened us in our decision to understand "Microcosmos" as applying to man. Later it became clear to us why G. wished to make us apply the concept "Microcosmos" to small magnitudes as compared with man, and to what he wished to direct our thought by this.
I remember one conversation on this subject.
"If we want to represent graphically the interrelation of the cosmoses," I said, "we must take the Microcosmos, that is, man, as a point, that is to say, we must take him on a very small scale and, as it were, at a very great distance from ourselves. Then his life in the Tritocosmos, that is, among other people and in the midst of nature, will be the line which he traces on the surface of the earthly globe in moving from place to place. In the Mesocosmos, that is, taken in connection with the twenty-four hours' motion of the earth around its axis, this line will become a plane, whereas taken in relation to the sun, that is, taking into consideration the motion of the earth around the sun, it will become a three-dimensional body, or, in other words, it will be something really existing, something realized. But as the fundamental point, that is, the man or the Microcosmos, was also a three-dimensional body, we have consequently two three-dimensionalities.
"In this case all the possibilities of man are actualized in the sun. This corresponds to what has been said before, namely, that man number seven becomes immortal within the limits of the solar system.
"Beyond the sun, that is, beyond the solar system, he has not and cannot have any existence, or in other words, from the point of view of the next cosmos he does not exist at all. A man does not exist at all in the Macrocosmos. The Macrocosmos is the cosmos in which the possibilities of the Tritocosmos are realized and man can exist in the Macrocosmos only as an atom of the Tritocosmos. The possibilities of the earth are actualized in the Megalocosmos and the possibilities of the sun are actualized in the Protocosmos.
"If the Microcosmos, or man, is a three-dimensional body, then the Tritocosmos — organic life on earth — is a four-dimensional body. The earth has five dimensions and the sun — six.
"The usual scientific view takes man as a three-dimensional body; it takes organic life on earth as a whole, more as a phenomenon than a three-dimensional body; it takes the earth as a three-dimensional body; the sun as a three-dimensional body; the solar system as a three-dimensional body; and the Milky Way as a three-dimensional body.
"The inexactitude of this view becomes evident if we try to conceive the existence of one cosmos within the other, that is, of a lower cosmos in a higher, of a smaller cosmos in a greater, such as, for instance, the existence of man in organic life or in relation to organic life. In this case organic life must inevitably be taken in time. Existence in time is an extension along the fourth dimension.
"Neither can the earth be regarded as a three-dimensional body. It would be three-dimensional if it were stationary. Its motion around its axis makes man a five-dimensional being, whereas its motion around the sun makes the earth itself four-dimensional. The earth is not a sphere but a spiral encircling the sun, and the sun is not a sphere but a kind of spindle inside this spiral. The spiral and the spindle, taken together, must have a lateral motion in the next cosmos, but what results from this motion we cannot know, for we know neither the nature nor the direction of the motion.
"Further, seven cosmoses represent a 'period of dimensions,' but this does not mean that the chain of cosmoses comes to an end with the Microcosmos. If man is a Microcosmos, that is, a cosmos in himself, then the microscopic cells composing his body will stand towards him in about the same relation as he himself stands to organic life on earth. A microscopic cell which is on the boundary line of microscopic vision is composed of milliards of molecules comprising the next step, the next cosmos. Going still further, we can say that the next cosmos will be the electron. Thus we have obtained a second Microcosmos — the cell; a third Microcosmos — the molecule; and a fourth Microcosmos — the electron. These divisions and definitions, namely 'cells,' 'molecules,' and 'electrons,' are possibly very imperfect; it may be that with time science will establish others, but the principle will remain always the same and lower cosmoses will always be in precisely such relation to the Microcosmos."
It is difficult to reconstruct all the conversations which we had at that time about cosmoses.
I returned particularly often to G.'s words about the difference of time in different cosmoses. I felt that here was a riddle which I could and must solve.
Finally having decided to try to put together everything I thought on the subject, I took man as the Microcosmos. The next cosmos in relation to man I took as "organic life on earth," which I called "Tritocosmos" although I did not understand this name, because I would have been unable to answer the question why organic life on earth was the "third" cosmos. But the name is immaterial. After that everything was in accordance with G.'s system. Below man, that is, as the next smaller cosmos, was the "cell." Not any cell and not a cell under any conditions, but a fairly large cell, such as for instance the embryo-cell of the human organism. As the next cosmos one could take a small, ultramicroscopic cell. The idea of two cosmoses in the microscopic world, that is, the idea of two microscopic individuals differing one from the other as much as does "man" from a "large cell," is perfectly clear in bacteriology.
The next cosmos was the molecule, and the next the electron. Neither "molecule" nor "electron" appeared to me to be very sound or reliable definitions, but for the lack of others these could be taken.
Such a succession undoubtedly introduced or maintained a complete incommensurability between the cosmoses, that is, it preserved the ratio of zero to infinity. And later this system made possible many very interesting constructions.
The idea of cosmoses received a further development only a year after we heard it for the first time, that is, in the spring of 1917, when I succeeded for the first time in constructing a "table of time in different cosmoses." But I will speak of this table further on. I will only add that G. never explained, as he promised, the names of the cosmoses and the origin of these names.
On one occasion when speaking of the orderly connectedness of everything in the universe, G. dwelt on "organic life on earth."
"To ordinary knowledge," he said, "organic life is a kind of accidental appendage violating the integrity of a mechanical system. Ordinary knowledge does not connect it with anything and draws no conclusions from the fact of its existence. But you should already understand that there is nothing accidental or unnecessary in nature and that there can be nothing; everything has a definite function; everything serves a definite purpose. Thus organic life is an indispensable link in the chain of the worlds which cannot exist without it just as it cannot exist without them. It has been said before that organic life transmits planetary influences of various kinds to the earth and that it serves to feed the moon and to enable it to grow and strengthen. But the earth also is growing; not in the sense of size but in the sense of greater consciousness, greater receptivity. The planetary influences which were sufficient for her at one period of her existence become insufficient, she needs the reception of finer influences. To receive finer influences a finer, more sensitive receptive apparatus is necessary. Organic life, therefore, has to evolve, to adapt itself to the needs of the planets and the earth. Likewise also the moon can be satisfied at one period with the food which is given her by organic life of a certain quality, but afterwards the time comes when she ceases to be satisfied with this food, cannot grow on it, and begins to get hungry. Organic life must be able to satisfy this hunger, otherwise it does not fulfill its function, does not answer its purpose. This means that in order to answer its purpose organic life must evolve and stand on the level of the needs of the planets, the earth, and the moon.
"We must remember that the ray of creation, as we have taken it, from the Absolute to the moon, is like a branch of a tree — a growing branch. The end of this branch, the end out of which come new shoots, is the moon. If the moon does not grow, if it neither gives nor promises to give new shoots, it means that either the growth of the whole ray of creation will stop or that it must find another path for its growth, give out some kind of lateral branch. At the same time from what has been said before we see that the growth of the moon depends on organic life on earth. It follows that the growth of the ray of creation depends on organic life on earth. If this organic life disappears or dies the whole branch will immediately wither, in any case all that part of the branch which lies beyond organic life. The same thing must happen, only more slowly, if organic life is arrested in its development, in its evolution, and fails to respond to the demands made upon it. The branch may wither. This must be remembered. To the ray of creation, or let us say to its part earth-moon, exactly the same possibility of development and growth has been given as is given to each separate branch of a big tree. But the accomplishment of this growth is not at all guaranteed, it depends upon the harmonious and right action of its own tissues. The development of one tissue stops and all the others stop. Everything that can be said of the ray of creation or of its part earth-moon equally refers to organic life on earth. Organic life on earth is a complex phenomenon in which the separate parts depend upon one another. General growth is possible only on the condition that the 'end of the branch' grows. Or, speaking more precisely, there are in organic life tissues which are evolving, and there are tissues which serve as food and medium for those which are evolving. Then there are evolving cells within the evolving tissues, and cells which serve as food and medium for those which are evolving. In each separate evolving cell there are evolving parts and there are parts which serve as food for those which are evolving. But always and in everything it must be remembered that evolution is never guaranteed, it is possible only and it can stop at any moment and in any place.
"The evolving part of organic life is humanity. Humanity also has its evolving part but we will speak of this later; in the meantime we will take humanity as a whole. If humanity does not evolve it means that the evolution of organic life will stop and this in its turn will cause the growth of the ray of creation to stop. At the same time if humanity ceases to evolve it becomes useless from the point of view of the aims for which it was created and as such it may be destroyed. In this way the cessation of evolution may mean the destruction of humanity.
"We have no clues from which we are able to tell in what period of planetary evolution we exist and whether the moon and the earth have time to await the corresponding evolution of organic life or not. But people who know may, of course, have exact information about it, that is, they may know at what stage in their possible evolution are the earth, the moon, and humanity. We cannot know this but we should bear in mind that the number of possibilities is never infinite.
"At the same time in examining the life of humanity as we know it historically we are bound to acknowledge that humanity is moving in a circle. In one century it destroys everything it creates in another and the progress in mechanical things of the past hundred years has proceeded at the cost of losing many other things which perhaps were much more important for it. Speaking in general there is every reason to think and to assert that humanity is at a standstill and from a standstill there is a straight path to downfall and degeneration. A standstill means that a process has become balanced. The appearance of any one quality immediately evokes the appearance of another quality opposed to it. The growth of knowledge in one domain evokes the growth of ignorance in another; refinement on the one hand evokes vulgarity on the other; freedom in one connection evokes slavery in another; the disappearance of some superstitions evokes the appearance and the growth of others; and so on.
"Now if we recall the law of octaves we shall see that a balanced process proceeding in a certain way cannot be changed at any moment it is desired. It can be changed and set on a new path only at certain 'cross-roads.' In between the 'crossroads' nothing can be done. At the same time if a process passes by a 'crossroad' and nothing happens, nothing is done, then nothing can be done afterwards and the process will continue and develop according to mechanical laws; and even if people taking part in this process foresee the inevitable destruction of everything, they will be unable to do anything. I repeat that something can be done only at certain moments which I have just called 'crossroads' and which in octaves we have called the 'intervals' mi-fa and sido.
"Of course there are very many people who consider that the life of humanity is not proceeding in the way in which according to their views it ought to go. And they invent various theories which in their opinion ought to change the whole life of humanity. One invents one theory. Another immediately invents a contradictory theory. And both expect everyone to believe them. And many people indeed do believe either one or the other. Life naturally takes its own course but people do not stop believing in their own or other people's theories and they believe that it is possible to do something. All these theories are certainly quite fantastic, chiefly because they do not take into account the most important thing, namely, the subordinate part which humanity and organic life play in the world process. Intellectual theories put man in the center of everything; everything exists for him, the sun, the stars, the moon, the earth. They even forget man's relative size, his nothingness, his transient existence, and other tilings. They assert that a man if he wishes is able to change his whole life, that is, to organize his life on rational principles. And all the time new theories appear evoking in their turn opposing theories; and all these theories and the struggle between them undoubtedly constitute one of the forces which keep humanity in the state in which it is at present. Besides, all these theories for general welfare and general equality are not only unrealizable, but they would be fatal if they were realized. Everything in nature has its aim and its purpose, both the inequality of man and his suffering. To destroy inequality would mean destroying the possibility of evolution. To destroy suffering would mean, first, destroying a whole series of perceptions for which man exists, and second, the destruction of the 'shock,' that is to say, the force which alone can change the situation. And thus it is with all intellectual theories.
"The process of evolution, of that evolution which is possible for humanity as a whole, is completely analogous, to the process of evolution possible for the individual man. And it begins with the same thing, namely, a certain group of cells gradually becomes conscious; then it attracts to itself other cells, subordinates others, and gradually makes the whole organism serve its aims and not merely eat, drink, and sleep. This is evolution and there can be no other kind of evolution. In humanity as in individual man everything begins with the formation of a conscious nucleus. All the mechanical forces of life fight against the formation of this conscious nucleus in humanity, in just the same way as all mechanical habits, tastes and weaknesses fight against conscious self-remembering in man."
"Can it be said that there is a conscious force which fights against the evolution of humanity?" I asked.
"From a certain point of view it can be said," said G.
I am putting this on record because it would seem to contradict what he said before, namely, that there are only two forces struggling in the world — "consciousness" and "mechanicalness."
"Where can this force come from?" I asked.
"It would take a long time to explain," said G., "and it cannot have a practical significance for us at the present moment. There are two processes which are sometimes called 'involutionary' and 'evolutionary.' The difference between them is the following: An involutionary process begins consciously in the Absolute but at the next step it already becomes mechanical — and it becomes more and more mechanical as it develops; an evolutionary process begins half-consciously but it becomes more and more conscious as its develops. But consciousness and conscious opposition to the evolutionary process can also appear at certain moments in the, involutionary process. From where does this consciousness come? From the evolutionary process of course. The evolutionary process must proceed without interruption. Any stop causes a separation from the fundamental process. Such separate fragments of consciousnesses which have been stopped in their development can also unite and at any rate for a certain time can live by struggling against the evolutionary process. After all it merely makes the evolutionary process more interesting. Instead of struggling against mechanical forces there may, at certain moments, be a struggle against the intentional opposition of fairly powerful forces though they are not of course comparable with those which direct the evolutionary process. These opposing forces may sometimes even conquer. The reason for this consists in the fact that the forces guiding evolution have a more limited choice of means; in other words, they can only make use of certain means and certain methods. The opposing forces are not limited in their choice of means and they are able to make use of every means, even those which only give rise to a temporary success, and in the final result they destroy both evolution and involution at the point in question.
"But as I have said already, this question has no practical significance for us. It is only important for us to establish the indications of evolution beginning and the indications of evolution proceeding. And if we remember the full analogy between humanity and man it will not be difficult to establish whether humanity can be regarded as evolving.
"Are we able to say for instance that life is governed by a group of conscious people? Where are they? Who are they? We see exactly the opposite: that life is governed by those who are the least conscious, by those who are most asleep.
"Are we able to say that we observe in life a preponderance of the best, the strongest, and the most courageous elements? Nothing of the sort. On the contrary we see a preponderance of vulgarity and stupidity of all kinds.
"Are we able to say that aspirations towards unity, towards unification, can be observed in life? Nothing of the kind of course. We only see new divisions, new hostility, new misunderstandings.
"So that in the actual situation of humanity there is nothing that points to evolution proceeding. On the contrary when we compare humanity with a man we quite clearly see a growth of personality at the cost of essence, that is, a growth of the artificial, the unreal, and what is foreign, at the cost of the natural, the real, and what is one's own.
"Together with this we see a growth of automatism.
"Contemporary culture requires automatons. And people are undoubtedly losing their acquired habits of independence and turning into automatons, into parts of machines. It is impossible to say where is the end of all this and where the way out — or whether there is an end and a way out. One thing alone is certain, that man's slavery grows and increases. Man is becoming a willing slave. He no longer needs chains. He begins to grow fond of his slavery, to be proud of it. And this is the most terrible thing that can happen to a man.
"Everything I have said till now I have said about the whole of humanity. But as I pointed out before, the evolution of humanity can proceed only through the evolution of a certain group, which, in its turn, will influence and lead the rest of humanity.
"Are we able to say that such a group exists? Perhaps we can on the basis of certain signs, but in any event we have to acknowledge that it is a very small group, quite insufficient, at any rate, to subjugate the rest of humanity. Or, looking at it from another point of view, we can say that humanity is in such a state that it is unable to accept the guidance of a conscious group."
"How many people could there be in this conscious group?" someone asked.
"Only they themselves know this," said G.
"Does it mean that they all know each other?" asked the same person again.
"How could it be otherwise?" asked G. "Imagine that there are two or three people who are awake in the midst of a multitude of sleeping people. They will certainly know each other. But those who are asleep cannot know them. How many are they? We do not know and we cannot know until we become like them. It has been clearly said before that each man can only see on the level of his own being. But two hundred conscious people, if they existed and if they found it necessary and legitimate, could change the whole of life on the earth. But either there are not enough of them, or they do not want to, or perhaps the time has not yet come, or perhaps other people are sleeping too soundly.
"We have approached the problems of esotericism.
"It was pointed out before when we spoke about the history of humanity that the life of humanity to which we belong is governed by forces proceeding from two different sources: first, planetary influences which act entirely mechanically and are received by the human masses as well as by individual people quite involuntarily and unconsciously; and then, influences proceeding from inner circles of humanity whose existence and significance the vast majority of people do not suspect any more than they suspect planetary influences.
"The humanity to which we belong, namely, the whole of historic and prehistoric humanity known to science and civilization, in reality constitutes only the outer circle of humanity, within which there are several other circles.
"So that we can imagine the whole of humanity, known as well as unknown to us, as consisting so to speak of several concentric circles.
"The inner circle is called the 'esoteric'; this circle consists of people who have attained the highest development possible for man, each one of whom possesses individuality in the fullest degree, that is to say, an indivisible 'I,' all forms of consciousness possible for man, full control over these states of consciousness, the whole of knowledge possible for man, and a free and independent will. They cannot perform actions opposed to their understanding or have an understanding which is not expressed by actions. At the same time there can be no discords among them, no differences of understanding. Therefore their activity is entirely co-ordinated and leads to one common aim without any kind of compulsion because it is based upon a common and identical understanding.
"The next circle is called the 'mesoteric,' that is to say, the middle. People who belong to this circle possess all the qualities possessed by the members of the esoteric circle with the sole difference that their knowledge is of a more theoretical character.' This refers, of course, to knowledge of a cosmic character. They know and understand many things which have not yet found expression in their actions. They know more than they do. But their understanding is precisely as exact as, and therefore precisely identical with, the understanding of the people of the esoteric circle. Between them there can be, no discord, there can be no misunderstanding. One understands in the way they all understand, and all understand in the way one understands. But as was said before, this understanding compared with the understanding of the esoteric circle is somewhat more theoretical.
"The third circle is called the 'exoteric,' that is, the outer, because it is the outer circle of the inner part of humanity. The people who belong to this circle possess much of that which belongs to people of the esoteric and mesoteric circles but their cosmic knowledge is of a more philosophical character, that is to say, it is more abstract than the knowledge of the mesoteric circle. A member of the mesoteric circle calculates, a member of the exoteric circle contemplates. Their understanding may not be expressed in actions. But there cannot be differences in understanding between them. What one understands all the others understand.
"In literature which acknowledges the existence of esotericism humanity is usually divided into two circles only and the 'exoteric circle' as opposed to the 'esoteric,' is called ordinary life. In reality, as we see, the 'exoteric circle' is something very far from us and very high. For ordinary man this is already 'esotericism.'
"'The outer circle' is the circle of mechanical humanity to which we belong and which alone we know. The first sign of this circle is that among people who belong to it there is not and there cannot be a common understanding. Everybody understands in his own way and all differently. This circle is sometimes called the circle of the 'confusion of tongues,' that is, the circle in which each one speaks in his own particular language, where no one understands another and takes no trouble to be understood. In this circle mutual understanding between people is impossible excepting in rare exceptional moments or in matters having no great significance, and which are confined to the limits of the given being. If people belonging to this circle become conscious of this general lack of understanding and acquire a desire to understand and to be understood, then it means they have an unconscious tendency towards the inner circle because mutual understanding begins only in the exoteric circle and is possible only there. But the consciousness of the lack of understanding usually comes to people in an altogether different form.
"So that the possibility for people to understand depends on the possibility of penetrating into the exoteric circle where understanding begins.
"Partly in connection with what I have just said it is imperative that you should understand the principles of the classification and the definition of living beings from the cosmic point of view, from the point of view of their cosmic existence. In ordinary science classification is made according to external traits — bones, teeth, functions; mammals, vertebrates, rodents, and so on; in exact knowledge classification is made according to cosmic traits. As a matter of fact there are exact traits, identical for everything living, which allows us to establish the class and the species of a given creature with the utmost exactitude, both in relation to other creatures as well as to its own place in the universe.
"These traits are the traits of being. The cosmic level of being of every living creature is determined:
"First of all by what this creature eats,
"Secondly by what he breathes, and
"Thirdly by the medium in which it lives.
"These are the three cosmic traits of being.
'Take for instance man. He feeds on 'hydrogen' 768, breathes 'hydrogen' 192, and lives in 'hydrogen' 192. There is no other being like him on our planet. Although there are beings higher than he is. Animals such as the dog can feed on 'hydrogen' 768 but they can also feed on a lower 'hydrogen' not 768 but approaching 1536, food of a kind impossible for man. A bee feeds on a 'hydrogen' much higher than 768, even higher than 384, but it lives in a hive in an atmosphere where man could not live. From an outward point of view man is an animal. But he is an animal of a different order from all other animals.
"Let us take another example — a flour worm. It feeds on flour, a 'hydrogen' far coarser than 'hydrogen' 768 because the worm can also live on rotten flour. Let us say that this also is 1536. It breathes 'hydrogen' 192 and lives in 'hydrogen' 1536.
"A fish feeds on 'hydrogen' 1536, lives in 'hydrogen' 384, and breathes 'hydrogen' 192.
"A tree feeds on 'hydrogen' 1536, breathes only partly 'hydrogen' 192 and partly 'hydrogen' 96, and lives partly in 'hydrogen' 192 and partly in 'hydrogen' 3072 (soil).
"If you try to continue these definitions you will see that this plan, so simple at the first glance, makes it possible to determine the most subtle distinctions between classes of living beings, especially if you bear in mind that 'hydrogens,' taking them as we have by octaves, are very broad concepts. For example, we took it that a dog, a fish, and a flour worm alike feed on 'hydrogen' 1536, implying by this 'hydrogen' substances of organic origin which are not good for human food. Now, if we realize that these substances in their turn can be divided into definite classes, we shall see the possibility of very exact definitions. It is exactly the same with air and exactly the same with the medium.
"These cosmic traits of being are immediately connected with the definition of intelligence according to the 'table of hydrogens.'
"The intelligence of a matter is determined by the creature for whom it can serve as food. For example, which is more intelligent from this point of view, a raw potato or a baked potato? A raw potato can serve as food for pigs and a baked potato as food for man. A baked potato is more intelligent than a raw potato.
"If these principles of classification and definition are understood in the right way, many things become clear and comprehensible. No living being can change its food at will, or the air it breathes, or the medium in which it lives. The cosmic order of each being determines its food as well as the air it breathes and the medium in which it lives.
"When we talked before about the octaves of food in the three-story factory we saw that 'all the finer 'hydrogens' needed for the working, the growth, and the evolution of the organism were prepared from three kinds of food, that is, from food in the strict meaning of the word — eatables and drink, from air which we breathe, and from impressions. Now let us suppose that we could improve the quality of food and air, feed, let us say, on 'hydrogen' 384 instead of 768 and breathe 'hydrogen' 96 instead of 192. How much simpler and easier the preparation of fine matters in the organism would be then. But the whole point is that this is impossible. The organism is adapted to transform precisely these coarse matters into fine matters, and if you give it fine matters instead of coarse matters it will not be in a position to transform them and it will very soon die. Neither air nor food can be changed. But impressions, that is, the quality of the impressions possible to man, are not subject to any cosmic law. Man cannot improve his food, he cannot improve the air. Improvement in this case would be actually making things worse. For instance 'hydrogen' 96 instead of 192 would be either very rarefied air or very hot incandescent gases which man cannot possibly breathe; fire is 'hydrogen' 96. It is exactly the same with food. 'Hydrogen' 384 is water. If man could improve his food, that is, make it finer, he would have to feed on water and breathe fire. It is clear that this is impossible. But while it is not possible for him to improve his food and air he can improve his impressions to a very high degree and in this way introduce fine 'hydrogens' into the organism. It is precisely on this that the possibility of evolution is based. A man is not at all obliged to feed on the dull impressions of H48, he can have both H24, H12, and H6, and even H3. This changes the whole picture and a man who makes higher 'hydrogens' the food for the upper story of his machine will certainly differ from one who feeds on the lower 'hydrogens.'"
In one of the following conversations G. again returned to the subject of classification according to cosmic traits.
"There is still another system of classification,"' he said, "which you also ought to understand. This is a classification in an altogether different ratio of octaves. The first classification by 'food,' 'air,' and medium definitely refers to 'living beings' as we know them, including plants, that is to say, to individuals. The other classification of which I shall now speak leads us far beyond the limits of what we call 'living beings' both upwards, higher than living beings, as well as downwards, lower than living beings, and it deals not with individuals but with classes in a very wide sense. Above all this classification shows that there are no jumps whatever in nature. In nature everything is connected and everything is alive. The diagram of this classification is called the 'Diagram of Everything Living.'
"According to this diagram every kind of creature, every degree of being, is defined by what serves as food for this kind of creature or being of a given level and for what they themselves serve as food, because in the cosmic order each class of creature feeds on a definite class of lower creature and is food for a definite class of higher creatures."
G. drew a diagram in the form of a ladder with eleven squares. And in each square excepting the two higher he put three circles with numbers. (See Fig. 58., next page)
"Each square denotes a level of being," he said. "The 'hydrogen' in the lower circle shows what the given class of creatures feeds on. The 'hydrogen' in the upper circle shows the class which feeds on these features. And the 'hydrogen' in the middle circle is the average 'hydrogen' of this class showing what these creatures are.
"The place of man is the seventh square from the bottom or the fifth square from the top. According to this diagram man is 'hydrogen' 24, he feeds on 'hydrogen' 96, and is himself food for 'hydrogen' 6. The square next below man will be 'vertebrates'; the next 'invertebrates.' Invertebrates are 'hydrogen' 96. Consequently man feeds on 'invertebrates.'
"Do not for the moment look for contradictions but try to understand what this may mean. And equally do not compare this diagram with others. According to the diagram of food man feeds on 'hydrogen' 768; according to this diagram on 'hydrogen' 96. Why? What does it mean? Both the one is right and the other is right. Later, when you grasp this you will piece everything together into one.
"The square next below is — plants. The next — minerals, the next — metals, which constitute a separate cosmic group among minerals; and the following square has no name in our language because we never meet with matter in this state on the earth's surface. This square comes into contact with the Absolute. You remember we spoke before about 'Holy the Firm.' This is 'Holy the Firm.'"
At the bottom of the last square he placed a small triangle with its apex below.
"Now, on the other side of man is square 3, 12, 48. This is a class of creatures which we do not know. Let us call them 'angels.' The next square — 1, 6, 24; let us call these beings 'archangels.'"
In the following square he put figures 3 and 12 and two circles, each with a point at their centers, and called it the "Eternal Unchanging," and in the next square he put the figures 1 and 6; he put a circle in the middle and in this circle a triangle containing another circle with a point at its center and called it the "Absolute."
"This diagram will not be very comprehensible to you at first," he said. "But gradually you will learn to make it out. Only for a long time you will have to take it separately from all the rest."
This was in fact all I heard from G. about this strange diagram which actually appeared to upset a great deal of what had been said before.
In our conversations about this diagram we very soon agreed to take "angels" as planets and "archangels" as suns. Many other things gradually became clear to us. But what used to confuse us a great deal was the appearance of "hydrogen" 6144 which was absent altogether in the previous scale of "hydrogens" in the third scale which ended with "hydrogen" 3072. At the same time, G. insisted that the enumeration of "hydrogens" had been taken according to the third scale.
A long time afterwards I asked him what this meant.
"It is an incomplete 'hydrogen,'" he said. "A 'hydrogen' without the Holy Ghost. It belongs to the same, that is to the third, scale, but it is unfinished.
"Each complete 'hydrogen' is composed of 'carbon,' 'oxygen,' and 'nitrogen.' Now take the last 'hydrogen' of the third scale, 'hydrogen' 3072. This 'hydrogen' is composed of 'carbon' 512, 'oxygen' 1536, and 'nitrogen' 1024.
"Now further: 'Nitrogen' becomes 'carbon' for the next triad, but there is no 'oxygen' for it and no 'nitrogen.' Therefore by condensation it becomes itself 'hydrogen' 6144, but it is a dead hydrogen without any possibility of passing into anything further, a 'hydrogen' without the Holy Ghost."
Once when looking through some notes, made the year before, I paused at the "cosmoses." I wrote earlier that the "cosmoses" particularly attracted me because they coincided completely with the "period of dimensions" of the New Model of the Universe. I mentioned also the difficulties which arose for us at one time in connection with the different understanding of the "Microcosmos" and the "Tritocosmos." But by this time we had already decided to understand "man" as the "Microcosmos" and organic life on earth as the "Tritocosmos." And in the last conversation G. silently approved of this. G.'s words about different time in different cosmoses intrigued me very much. And I tried to remember what P. had said to me about our "sleep and waking" and about the "breath of organic life." For a long time I could make nothing of it. Then I remembered G.'s words that "time is breath."
"'What is breath?" I asked myself.
"Three seconds. Man in a normal state takes about twenty full breaths, that is inhalations and exhalations, to the minute. Consequently a full breath takes about three seconds.
"Why are 'sleep and waking' the 'breath of organic life'? What are sleep and waking?
"For man and for all organisms commensurable with him and living in similar conditions to him, even for plants, this is twenty-four hours.
Besides this, sleep and waking are breath, as for instance plants when asleep, that is, at night, exhale, and when awake, that is, by day, inhale in exactly the same way for all mammals as well as for man there is a difference in the absorption of oxygen and CO2 by night and day, in sleep and waking."
Reasoning in this way I arranged the periods of breath and of sleep and waking in the following way:
|sleep and waking||24 hours|
|sleep and waking||?|
I obtained a simple "rule of three." By dividing 24 hours by 3 seconds I got 28,800. By dividing 28,800 (days and nights) by 365 I got within a small fraction 79 years. This interested me. Seventy-nine years, continuing the former reasoning, made up the sleep and waking of "organic life." This did not correspond to anything that I could think of in organic life, but it represented the life of man.
"Could one not continue the parallel further?" I asked myself. I arranged the figures I had obtained in the following way:
|Microcosmos- Man||Tritocosmos - Organic Life||Mesocosmos - Earth|
|Breath: 3 seconds||Breath: 24 hours||Breath: 79 years|
|Day and Night: 24 hours||Day and Night: 79 years|
|Life: 79 years|
Again 79 years meant nothing in the life of the earth. I thereupon multiplied 79 years by 28,800 and got a little less than two and a half million years. By multiplying 2,500,000 years by 30,000 for shortness, I got a number of eleven figures, 75,000,000,000 years. This figure should signify the duration of life of the earth. So far these figures appear logically possible; two and a half million years for organic life and seventy-five milliards of years for the earth.
"But then there are cosmoses lower than man," I said to myself. "Let us try to see in what relation they will stand to this."
I decided to take two cosmoses on the left (on the diagram) from the Microcosmos, understanding by them first, comparatively large microscopic cells, and then the smallest (admissible), almost invisible cells.
Such a division of cells into two categories cannot be said to have been definitely accepted by science. But if we think of dimensions within the "micro-world," then it is impossible not to admit that this world consists of two worlds as distinct in themselves as is the world of people and the world of comparatively large microorganisms and cells. I got the following picture:
|Breath||-||-||3 seconds||24 hours||79 years|
|Day and Night||-||3 sec.||24 hours||79 years||2.5 mn. years|
|Life||3 sec.||24 hours||79 years||2.5 mn. years||75 mn. years|
This was coming out very interestingly. Twenty-four hours made up the period of life of the cell. And although the period of life of individual cells can in no way be considered as established, many investigators have arrived at the fact that for a specialized cell such as a cell of the human organism the period of life appears to be precisely 24 hours. The breath of the cell equals 3 seconds. This told me nothing. But the 3 seconds of life of the small cell told me a great deal and it indicated above all why it is so difficult to see these cells, although from their size they should be accessible to vision in a good microscope.
I tried further to see what would be obtained if "breath," that is, 3 seconds, were divided by 30,000. One ten-thousandth part of a second was obtained. The period of duration of an electric spark and at the same time the period of the shortest visual impression. For convenience in calculating and for clarity I took 30,000 instead of 28,800. Four periods appeared to be connected with, or separated from, one another by one and the same coefficient of 30,000 — the shortest visual impression, breath or the period of inhalation and exhalation, the period of sleep and waking, and the average maximum of life. At the same time each of these periods denoted a corresponding but lower period in a higher cosmos and a corresponding higher period in a lower cosmos. Without as yet drawing any conclusions I tried to make a fuller table, that is, to bring into it all the cosmoses and to add two more of the lower ones, the first of which I called the "molecule" and the second the "electron." Then, again for clarity when multiplying by 30,000, I took only round numbers and only two coefficients, 3 and 9; thus 2,400,000 I took as 3,000,000; 72,000,000,000 I took as 90,000,000,000; and 79 as 80, and so on.
This table at once aroused in me very many thoughts. Whether it was possible to look upon it as correct and as defining exactly the relation of one cosmos to another I was as yet unable to say. The coefficient 30,000 seemed too big. But at the same time I remembered that the relation of one cosmos to another is "as zero to infinity." And in the presence of such a relation no coefficient could be too big. 'The relation of zero to infinity" was the relation of magnitudes of different dimensions.
G. said that every cosmos was three-dimensional for itself. This meant that the next cosmos above it was four-dimensional for it and the next cosmos below it — two-dimensional. The next one above that — five-dimensional, and the next one lower — one-dimensional. One cosmos in relation to another is a magnitude of a greater or smaller number of dimensions. But there could only be six dimensions or, with zero, seven, and by this table eleven cosmoses were obtained. At the first glance this seemed strange, but only at the first glance, because as soon as I took into account the period of existence of any cosmos in relation to higher cosmoses, the lower cosmoses disappeared long before reaching the seventh dimension. Take for example man in relation to the sun. The sun appeared as the fourth cosmos in relation to man, taking man as the first cosmos, but man's long life, eighty years, was equal in time to one electric spark for the sun, one shortest possible visual impression.
I tried to remember everything that G. had said about cosmoses.
"Each cosmos is an animate and intelligent being. Each cosmos is born, lives, and dies. In one cosmos it is impossible to understand all the laws of the universe, but three cosmoses taken together include in themselves all the laws of the universe, or two cosmoses, the one above and the other below, determine the cosmos which stands between them." "By passing in his consciousness to the level of a higher cosmos, a man by this very fact passes to a level of a lower cosmos."
I felt that here in each word was a clue to the understanding of the structure of the world, but there were too many clues; I did not know from which to start.
How would movement from one cosmos to another appear and where and when would the movement disappear? In what relation would the figures found by me stand to the more or less established figures of cosmic movements, as for instance the speed of movement of the heavenly bodies, the speed of movement of the electrons in an atom, the speed of light, and so on?
When I began to compare the movements of various cosmoses, I obtained some very startling correlations, for example, for the earth, the period of its rotation on its axis was equal to one ten-thousandth of a second, that is, the speed of an electric spark. It is very doubtful whether at such a speed the earth could notice its rotation on its axis. If man rotated, rotation round the sun should occupy about one twenty-fifth of a second, the speed of an instantaneous photograph. And taking into consideration the enormous distance which the earth has had to traverse in this time, the inevitable inference is that the earth could not be conscious of itself as we know it, that is, in the form of a sphere, but must be conscious of itself as a ring, or as a long spiral of rings. The latter was the more probable on the basis of the definition of the present as the time of breath. This was by the way the first thought that came into my mind when, a year previously, after the first lecture on cosmoses, G., in adding to what he had said earlier, said that time is breath. I thought at the time that perhaps he meant that breath was the unit of time, that is to say, that for direct sensation the period of breath is felt as the present. Starting from this and supposing that the sensation of self, that is, of one's body, is connected with the sensation of the present, I came to the conclusion that for the earth, with one breath in eighty years, the sensation of itself should be connected with eighty rings of a spiral. I had obtained a completely unexpected confirmation of all the conclusions and inferences of the New Model of the Universe.
Passing to the lower cosmoses, that is, to the cosmoses in my table which stood to the left of man, I found already in the first of them the explanation of what had always appeared to me the most enigmatic and most inexplicable in the work of our organism, namely, the astonishing speed, which was almost instantaneous, of many inner processes. It had always seemed to me to be almost charlatanism on the part of physiologists that no due significance had been attributed to this fact. Science, of course, explains only what it can explain. But in this case it ought not, in my opinion, to conceal the fact and avoid it as if it did not exist, but should constantly draw attention to it, put it on record on every suitable occasion. A man who gives no thought to questions of physiology may not be astonished at the fact that the drinking of a cup of strong coffee or a glass of brandy, or inhaling the smoke of a cigarette is immediately felt in the whole body, changes all the inner correlation of forces and the form and character of the reactions, but it ought to be clear to a physiologist that in this quite imperceptible interval of time, approximately equal to one breath, a long series of complicated chemical and other processes are accomplished in the organism. The substance which has entered the organism is carefully analyzed, the smallest divergence from the usual is immediately noticed; in the process of analysis it passes through a series of laboratories; it is resolved into its component parts and mixed with other substances and in the form of these mixtures it is added to the fuel which nourishes the various nerve centers. All this must occupy a great deal of time. The seconds in our time in which this is accomplished make all this entirely fantastic and miraculous. But the fantastic side falls away when we realize that for the large cells which obviously govern the life of the organism, our one breath continues for over twenty-four hours. In twenty-four hours, even in half that time, even in a third, that is, in eight hours (which is equal to one second), it is possible to imagine all the processes which, have been indicated being completed in an orderly way, exactly as they would be completed in a large and well-arranged "chemical factory" with various laboratories at its service.
Passing further to the cosmos of small cells, which stand on the border or beyond the border of microscopic vision, I again saw an explanation of the inexplicable. For example, cases of almost instantaneous infection by epidemic and infectious diseases in general, particularly those where the causes responsible for the infection have not yet been found. If three seconds is the limit of life for a small cell of this kind, and is equal to the long life of man, then what would be the speed at which these cells multiply when for them fifteen seconds would be equal to four centuries!
Further, passing to the world of molecules, I first of all came face to face with the fact that the brevity of the existence of a molecule is an almost unexpected idea. It is usually supposed that a molecule, although structurally very complicated, taken as the basic, so to speak, living interior of the bricks from which matter is built up, exists as long as the matter exists. We are obliged to part from this pleasant and soothing thought. The molecule, which is alive inside cannot be dead outside and in remaining alive it must, like everything living, be born, live, and die. The term of its life, equal to an electric spark or to one ten-thousandth part of a second, is too small for it to act directly on our imagination. Some comparison, some analogy, is necessary in order to understand what this means. The dying cells of our organism and their replacement by others bring us near to this idea. Dead matter, iron, copper, granite, must be renewed from within more quickly than our organism. In reality it changes under our eyes. If you look at a stone, shut your eyes, and immediately open them again, it will now not be the stone which you saw; in it not a single one of the molecules which you saw the first time now remain. But even then you did not see the molecules themselves, but only their traces. I came again to the New Model of the Universe. This explained also "why we cannot see molecules," about which I have written in Chapter II of the New Model of the Universe.
Further in the last cosmos, that is, in the world of the electron, I felt myself from the very beginning in the world of six dimensions. The question arose for me as to whether the relation of dimensions could not be worked out. The electron as a three-dimensional body is too unsatisfactory. To begin with it exists for one three-hundred-millionth part of a second. This is a quantity far beyond the limits of our possible imagination. It is considered that an electron within an atom moves in its orbit with the speed of one divided by a fifteen-figure number. And since the whole life of an electron in seconds is equal to one divided by a nine-figure number, it follows that during its lifetime an electron makes a number of revolutions round its "sun," equal to a six-figure, or taking into account the coefficient, a seven-figure number.
If we take the earth in its revolution round the sun, then according to my table it makes in the course of its lifetime a number of revolutions round the sun equal to an eleven-figure number. It looks as though there was an enormous difference between a seven-figure and an eleven-figure number but if we compare with the electron not the earth, but Neptune, then the difference will be considerably less, namely the difference between a seven-figure and a nine-figure number, that is, two figures in all instead of four. And besides the speed of revolution of an electron within the atom is a very approximate quantity. It should be remembered that the difference in the periods of revolution of the planets round the sun in our system represents a three-figure number because Mercury revolves 460 times faster than Neptune.
The relation of the life of an electron to our perception appears thus. Our quickest visual perception is equal to 1/10,000 second. The existence of an electron is equal to 1/30,000 of 1/10,000 second, that is, one three-hundred-millionth part of a second, and in that time it makes seven million revolutions round the proton. Consequently, if we were to see an electron as a flash in 1/10,000 second, we should not see the electron in the strict sense of the word, but the trace of the electron, consisting of seven million revolutions multiplied by thirty thousand, that is, a spiral with a thirteen-figure number of rings, or, expressed in the language of the New Model of the Universe, thirty thousand recurrences of the electron in eternity.
Time, according to the table which I had obtained, undoubtedly went beyond four dimensions. And I was interested by the thought whether it was not possible to apply to this table the Minkovski formula √−1 ct, denoting time as the fourth "world" coordinate. The "world" of Minkovski in my opinion corresponded precisely to each of the cosmoses separately. I decided to begin with the "world of electrons" and to take as t the duration of the life of an electron. This coincided with one of the propositions in the New Model of the Universe, that time is life. The result should show the distance (in kilometers) that light travels during the life of an electron.
In the next cosmos this should be the distance that light travels during the life of a molecule; in the next — during the life of a small cell; then during the life of a large cell; then during the life of a man; and so on. The results for all cosmoses should be obtained in lineal measurements, that is, they should be expressed in fractions of a kilometer or in kilometers. The multiplication of a number of kilometers by √−1, that is, by the square root of minus one, ought to show that here we are not dealing with lineal measurements and that the figure obtained is a measure of time. The introduction of the square root of minus one into the formula, while it does not change the formula quantitatively, shows that the whole formula relates to another dimension.
In this way, in relation to the cosmos of electrons, the Minkovski formula takes the following form:
√−1. 300,000. 3.10-1
that is, the square root of minus one, which has to be multiplied by the product of 300,000, that is c, or the speed of light, 300,000 kilometers per second, and 1/300,000,000 second, that is, the duration of the life of an electron. Multiplying 300,000 by 1/300,000,000 will give 1/1000 kilometer, which is one meter. "One meter" shows the distance which light traverses during the life of an electron, traveling at the speed of 300,000 kilometers a second. The square root of minus one, which makes "one meter" an imaginary quantity, shows that the lineal measurement of a meter in the case in question is a "measure of time," that is, of the fourth co-ordinate.
Passing to the "world of the molecule," we obtain the Minkovski formula in the following form:
√−1. 300,000. 1/10,000
One ten-thousandth part of a second, according to the table, is the duration of the life of a molecule. Multiplying 300, 000 kilometers by 1/10,000 will give 30 kilometers. "Time" in the world of molecules is obtained in the form of the formula √−1. 30. Thirty kilometers represents the distance which light travels during the life of a molecule, or in 1/10,000 second.
Further, in the "world of small cells" the Minkovski formula takes the following form:,
√−1/. 300,000. 3
that is, 900,000 kilometers multiplied by the square root of minus one. 900,000 kilometers represents the distance which light travels during the life of a small cell, that is in 3 seconds.
Continuing similar calculations for the further cosmoses, I obtained for "large cells" an eleven-figure number, showing the distance which light travels in 24 hours; for the "Microcosmos" a sixteen-figure number, showing the distance in kilometers which light travels in 80 years; for the "Tritocosmos" a twenty-figure number; for the "Mesocosmos" a twenty-five-figure number; for the "Deuterocosmos" a twenty-nine-figure number; for the "Macrocosmos" a thirty-four-figure number; for the "Ayocosmos" a thirty-eight-figure number; for the "Protocosmos" a forty-two-figure number or √−1. 9. 1041; in other words it means that during the life of the "Protocosmos" a ray of light travels 900,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilometers.1
1 But according to the latest scientific conclusions a ray of light travels in a curve and after going round the universe, returns to its source in approximately 1,000,000,000 light years. 1,000,000,000 light years represent in this case the circumference of the universe, although the opinions of various investigators differ widely and the figures relating to the circumference of the universe can in no way be considered as strictly established, even if all the considerations leading up to them as to the density of matter in the universe be accepted.
In any case, if we take the average figure indicated relating to the supposed circumference of the universe, then, by dividing 9.1028 by 108, we obtain a twenty-figure number, which will show how many times a ray of light will go round the universe during the life of the "Protocosmos."
The application of the Minkovski formula to the table of time, as I had obtained it, in my opinion showed very clearly that the "fourth coordinate" can be established only for one cosmos at a time, which then appears as the "four-dimensional world" of Minkovski. Two, three, or more cosmoses cannot be considered as a "four-dimensional" world and they require for their description five or six co-ordinates. At the same time Minkovski's consistent formula shows, for all cosmoses, the relation of the fourth coordinate of one cosmos to the fourth co-ordinate of another. And this relation is equal to thirty thousand, that is, the relation between the four chief periods of each cosmos and between one period of one cosmos and the corresponding, that is, the similarly named, period of another cosmos.
The next thing that interested me in the "table of time in different cosmoses," as I called it, was the relation of cosmoses and of the time of different cosmoses to the centers of the human body.
G. spoke many times about the enormous difference in the speed of the different centers. The reasoning which I have cited above in regard to the speed of the inner work of the organism led me to the thought that this speed belongs to the instinctive center. With this as a basis I tried to proceed from the thinking center, taking as the unit of its work, for example, the time necessary for one full apperception, that is, for the reception of an outside impression, the classification and definition of this impression — and for the responding reaction. Then if the centers actually stand to one another in the relation of cosmoses, in exactly the same amount of time through the instinctive center there could pass 30,000 apperceptions, through the higher emotional and in the sex centers 30,0002 apperceptions and through the higher thinking 30,0003 apperceptions.
At the same time according to the law, pointed out by G., of the correlation of cosmoses, the instinctive center in relation to the head or thinking center should embrace two cosmoses, that is, the second Microcosmos and the Tritocosmos. Further, the higher emotional and the sex centers taken separately, should embrace the third Microcosmos and the Mesocosmos. And finally the higher thinking center should embrace the fourth Microcosmos and the Deuterocosmos.
But the latter refers to higher development, to that development of man which cannot be obtained accidentally or in a natural way. In man's normal state, an enormous advantage, in the sense of speed, over all the other centers should be possessed by the sex center, working 30,000 times faster than the instinctive or the moving and 30,0002 times faster than the intellectual.
In the relation of centers to cosmoses in general very many possibilities of study, from my point of view, had been opened up.
The next thing that caught my attention was the fact that my table coincided with some of the ideas and even the figures "of cosmic calculations of time," if it can be so expressed, which existed with the Gnostics and in India.
A day of light is a thousand years of the world, and thirty-six myriads of years and a half-myriad of years of the world (365,000) are a single year of Light.1
Here the figures do not coincide, but in Indian writings in some cases the correspondence was quite unquestionable. They speak of the "breath of Brahma," "days and nights of Brahma," "an age of Brahma."
If we take the figures for the years given in the Indian writings, then the Mahamanvantara, that is, the "age of Brahma," or 311,040,000,000,000 years (fifteen-figure number), almost coincides with the period of the existence of the sun (sixteen-figure number), and the "day and night of Brahma," 8,640,000,000 (ten-figure number), almost coincides with the "day and night of the sun" (eleven-figure number).
If we take Indian ideas of cosmic time without relation to figures, other interesting correspondences appear. Thus, if we take Brahma as the Protocosmos, then the expression "Brahma breathes in and breathes out the universe" coincides with the table, because the breath of Brahma (or the Protocosmos — a twenty-figure number) coincides with the life of the Macrocosmos, that is, our visible universe or the starry world.
1 Pistis Sophia, p. 203, English translation, 1921.