Rings, Rounds, and Obscuration
The Path, November, 1892
A number of correspondents have propounded questions growing out of a recent article on “Evolution” and relating to the great progress round the chain of globes of which this earth is one. One of these is:
If we are transferred to the next planet of our chain, shall we be born there like a child on this one, or have we to evolve through minerals, plants, etc.?
No details, such as are requested in this enquiry, have been given out by the Adepts, all that has been said being general in its nature wherever the other planets of our chain were spoken of. In the Secret Doctrine H. P. Blavatsky distinctly says the teaching has to do with this earth particularly, and that when other planets are mentioned there are only hints, except in regard to the grand fact that the human life-wave passes from this to the next globe, and so on through the chain. The only other writer on this who quotes authority is Mr. Sinnett in Esoteric Buddhism, and in that he copies the letters sent him by H. P. B.’s Masters. He has information of detail regarding only this earth. Consequently, to hazard an answer to the question would be guessing. No one knows what exact function the other planets in the chain perform; all we know is that the human life-wave does pass into the next planet when the cycle is completed for this one. Whether we shall be born there as human children or into other forms we do not know. And doubtless it is not necessary we should be informed, inasmuch as ages must pass before we shall be released from this world. By that time we should have forgotten the facts.
These considerations apply to another question. Whether only a part, or the whole, of the human family is at the same time on one globe. Of this we cannot speak with authority. But in the Secret Doctrine the author says the Adepts teach that seven races appear in the beginning on seven different portions of the earth. This would appear to indicate that the egos within those race-forms come from another planet in the chain. And as it is distinctly taught that an obscuration overtakes a globe when the entire race deserts it for another, it is very safe to assume the teaching to be that deserted planets go into obscuration if the races that left them have not completed all their rounds. And as the matter of obscuration as compared with pralaya—or total destruction—is also raised, we may keep in mind at this point that a total pralaya only comes when the entire seven rounds of the seven races around the seven globes is completed. The obscuration is similar to the sleep of man’s body, making a reawakening possible; while total pralaya is similar to the actual death of the body of a man, followed by his ego’s going into the state of Devachan. This agrees with the views given by H.P.B., as from the Masters, that the Nirvana for the great human family is really that long period which intervenes between the total death of a planetary chain and the new birth of a new planetary chain, upon which a higher form of evolution will be started at the hour of that new birth.
When the article in July PATH said “we must go round the whole chain of seven planets three times more before as a race we are perfected,” the words as a race were intended to, as they do, point out that sub-races were not being dealt with. Sub-races grow on the planet, and not by going to other ones. Hence there is no obscuration or pralaya after a sub-race. As these, in their process of formation, proceed with their development upon this globe—or any other they may be on, cataclysms for that globe take place from time to time, involving either the entire mass or only a portion of it. These cataclysms are not obscurations of the globe. For the latter can only come on when the egos of the race have abandoned the globe for the purpose of continuing work on another of the same chain. And carrying on the correspondence for the purpose of illustration, those cataclysms are similar to the sicknesses and accidents which come to a man during a single lifetime. When all the necessary sub-races have been evolved, and the root, trunk, branch, twig, leaf, blossom, and fruit seven in all—are completed, then the race, having been thus perfected as such, passes on to the next globe in the chain. This is what is involved in the sentence quoted from the July PATH.
Confusion may be avoided by remembering that the race of which we form a part includes many sub-races, and that the term “sub-races” does not mean that a new sub-race comes on only when a preceding one has disappeared. The true Hindus and many European races are in our race, so that we and they are all sub-races. In America a new sub-race is being formed as preparation for many others, all preparing the ground for the final great race. It is only when sub-races have fully accomplished their task that they leave this earth altogether. And in saying they leave or disappear, what is meant is that the race as a physical expression goes out, not that the egos in the bodies leave this world and go to another one.
As all the egos engaged in this evolution are not in equal stages of progress, but are very varied in their development, some forward and others backward, the whole process is a matter of education for the egos. They go backward and forward in the various sub-races which are on the earth at the same time just as the development of the egos requires, in the same way as one incarnates in family after family in his own race. So that in one life one may be in an advanced sub-race in accordance with predominating qualities, but in that incarnation may bring up certain defects or generate certain causes requiring him to pass over next life to some other less progressed sub-race for the purpose of extirpating the defects or working off the causes.
In this way accurate adjustment, perfect development, regularity and roundness are all amply provided for. Classes of egos from time to time move up en masse, and at last no ego is left requiring the development afforded by some sub-races, and the latter then, as physical forms, begin to die away, being inhabited only by very low orders of intelligence which need no description. But as these are much lower in power than even the mere brain-matter of the forms they come into, the result is that they drag the physical race down, they are unable to give the natural brain capacity its normal expression, and that race will show all the signs of human decrepitude until its remaining members, gradually becoming curiosities in Ethnology, are at last engulfed altogether by death. This is one of the great facts in racial history not yet understood by the world. A race is both physical and spiritual. The physical body and brain require an informing intelligence of a degree of power sufficient to keep up the exact amount of tension demanded by that sort of body, and if this is not furnished the consequence will be that equilibrium is destroyed, followed in time by sterility among the females of the race, leading inevitably to extinction.
It is an obscure point, but of the highest importance. Not improbably many will reject it, but the fact of racial extinction is known, as in the case of Hottentots and others, and ordinary theories fail to show why a perfect blight falls upon some masses of people.
Returning to the great progress of the seven races, it is to be noted that when the complete seven have all finished the seven rounds the entire family of egos evolving on the seven globes commences to leave the whole chain forever, and the various globes composing it begin to die altogether. This, however, does not take place at the same time for the whole seven. They die one by one because the “human life wave” never arrives at or leaves any globe in a complete mass. Such coming and going is similar to the migration of birds from zone to zone, they being known to go in detachments until all have migrated. The advance portion of the life-wave will arrive at globe seven on its last journey, the remainder following; and thus the whole wave will be at last withdrawn from globe after globe beginning with number one or A until the entire stream has passed out from the seventh, it being, as it were, the door of departure. It is evident, then, that globe A, being the one to be first completely abandoned, has time to throw its energies off into space for the purpose of beginning the formation of a new first-plane globe to be ready in that new chain for the incoming rush of pilgrim souls as soon as the rest between chains is over.
This is exactly what happened for the predecessors of this chain of globes, and, as our earth is a fourth-round or fourth-plane globe, it was formed in space by the energies of the old moon which is a fourth-plane globe of a former chain. For this reason the Adepts call the Moon our parent, meaning the parent of our globe. And the Moon may illustrate the question about obscuration and pralaya, as she is not in obscuration but is in her final pralaya and is disintegrating as quickly as nature will permit, this earth meanwhile absorbing her particles slowly from day to day while the great cycle of our evolution unerringly goes on. It has also been stated in letters from the Adepts that the well-known planet Mars is now in obscuration. This means that the body of the planet is, as it were, sleeping in space, as it rolls about the sun and has no inhabitants on it such as we. The life-wave belonging to it has passed on to the next or some other globe of its own chain, but since that wave has to return, the body of the planet does not go into pralaya, but waits for the new day. Its life as a sleeping globe is maintained by a certain subtle principle which is not publicly referred to by those who know of it, and which will not permit it to die until the whole chain of globes of which it is one has been traversed seven times, or the equivalent of seven, by the wave of life belonging to it.