The Golden Star
The Domains of Night
“Is darkness then caused by a turning away from the Sun-God?” asked Ma-uti.
“Yes,” said the Messenger, “the quality of Darkness is—to an extent, though not always—the product of anger and wilful ignorance. In the body of the Sage, to whom realization has come by initiation along the way of error and temptation, there is no Darkness, but instead a Holy Light. The Cycles of the Nights and Days are the wheels of evolution and in them the Nights are periods of rest. It is taught that the Night of Brahmâ comes when the Sun passes away behind the 13th degree of Makara—the Tenth sign of the Zodiac—and does reach no more the Sign of Mîna, or Pisces. This Sign Makara—the Crocodile, Dragon, or Leviathan, is connected with the birth of the spiritual Microcosm and the death of the physical Universe, and the Dhyân Chohans, called also the Kumâras, are connected with both.
“Mâra is the God of Darkness and Death, but also the unconscious quickener of the birth of the Spiritual. The Egyptians had a beautiful symbology for the Night of Brahmâ, as when Osiris, the defunct Sun, is buried and enters Amenti, and the Sacred Crocodiles plunge into the abyss of primordial Waters—the Great Green One. When the Sun of Life rises (or the Night ends), they re-emerge out of that Sacred River.”
“And what happens during these long Nights?” asked Ma-u.
“Nothing happens at all. The whole of Nature remains in a state of rest and slumber. There is neither construction nor destruction and all forms, as well as their Astral Types, remain as they were when Night commenced and they fell asleep. In these periods reigns the mystery of Non-Being; unconscious, yet absolutely conscious; unrealizable, yet the one Self-existing Reality; truly ‘a chaos to the sense, a Kosmos to the reason,’ as that great and wise woman, Blavatsky, the recorder of the secrets once said. When a Night commences there occurs a concentration of the Divine Essence, which during the Day was active by the expansion of this Essence from within outwardly, and inwardly from the without; an interchange of Cosmic Forces set in motion by immutable Laws. The ‘breathing out’ of these forces produces a world, the inhalation of the same causes this world to become static; a cyclic law that has existed from all eternity and will last for all eternity.”
“I suppose that this cyclic law is the same as that which produces the ordinary day and night such as we know them in everyday life?” asked Ma-u.
“Yes,” was the reply, “and not only are there these cycles of the Nights and Days of Brahmâ, but there are cycles within these cycles. For instance, there are the Indian computations which take into consideration the reigns of the Manus, Gods, or Creators; the reign of one Manu lasting for 306,720,000 mortal years. The intervals between the reigns of each Manu are equal to 25,920,000 years; such intervals being termed Sandhis. During a Day of Brahmâ, fourteen such reigns and intervals constitute a Kalpa. You know already that one Night of Brahmâ lasts 4,320 millions of mortal years; so that a Day and a Night last twice as long. 360 of such Days and Nights make one Year of Brahmâ, equal to 3,110, 400 millions of years, and 100 such years constitute the whole period of Brahmâ’s Age, or Mahâ Kalpa, namely 311,040 trillions of years.
“There are many different ways of arriving at such immense figures, and these Sacred Astronomical Cycles are of unbelievable antiquity. They are the calculations of Nârada and Asuramaya, the latter having the reputation of a Giant and a Sorcerer. But he was a white sorcerer, or White Magician, of Atlantis. Nârada, the Divine Rishi, was called Pesh-Hun, or Angelos. It is taught that He is the mysterious Power which sets in motion, and regulates, the cycles. Some call him the Eloquent Messenger of the Gods, who is for ever wandering about the earth giving good counsel; others regard Him as one of the Twelve Messiahs. He sometimes visits those nether regions which are called Pâtâla. He rules all worldly affairs and uses as his tools those who make wars and imagine that their own puny selves control the world. He is the indescribable, the greatest Sovereign of all times; unseen, unheard, yet everywhere. He is in the Effulgence of Light—the Ray of the Ever-Darkness—and in the OI-HA-HOU, which is Darkness, or the No-Number, according to the scripts of Dzyan.
“An old Eastern Proverb says that ‘Darkness is the Father–Mother: Light their Son.’ Or, it is said that Darkness is the Eternal Matrix in which the Sources of Light appear and disappear. Or, that to the spiritual eye of the Initiate it is absolute Light.”
As Neteru-Hem spoke it seemed as if a divine glow issued forth from him, lighting up the grim mansions of the dismal shapes and beings that flitted everywhere about, or crawled on loathsome bellies on the rocks and stones and floor. And they beheld a silent throng of monstrous dragons, mythical of mien, who, with unwinking, staring, glowing eyes, mirroring that mystic radiant glow, sat in a drooling ring about them, listening with slavering jaws agape; intense, as if with flickering hope they too longed for salvation—as deep within their ferocious souls they did. Dronish, drooped their sluggish trunks, prostrate with weary waiting for release and absolution; worn out with banishment, exile; the sport of witches, inexorable in their relentless grip, sealed down with mighty curses in the nether gloom. So they stared at that white shape and his companions.
“Oh, Messenger!” gasped Ma-uti.
“These are the thoughts of angry men and spiteful women,” he replied.
“The thoughts of war, of lust, of hatred; jealousy and envy taking shape in bodies that would kill with fear the minds that thoughtlessly created them in brutish ignorance, or, in merciless mighty knowledge of the great Arcanum of Death. Here they abide; the work for which their masters formed them done; until by love and service their creators shall unloose the shackles that fetter both to darkness and despair. For both are close connected, and in the eyes of men and women and behind the living masks of faces that shield the awful truth from all but the Initiate, abides the picture of each monster made in ages past or now, so dreadful to behold. Each deed of anger, giving pain, must be undone before these forms are free; and with their freedom comes exemption, disenthralment for their makers, who, until that time, will bear the mark of Cain upon their brows; and suffering is their lot.”
“Are these thought-forms very old?” asked Ma-u.
“Yes; there are now in the nether heavens, such as you see here, some forms that were made many millions of years ago. Thousands of incarnations have passed and still their makers have refused the Light. Instead of redeeming the creatures of their thoughts, they have made new ones to add to them, and throngs of evil beings beset their path and lurk in unexpected corners, full of hatred for their masters, who with fresh hate respond and live and die in endless woe.
“Time, to God, does not exist in the same way as it does to mortals. A million years is but as one beat of the wings of a dragonfly, when he trills his gauzy pennons on a day of sun. So He can wait, if man so wills with unrepenting mind.”
As the Messenger and his companion stepped forward again the silent throng dissolved, as if his mere presence could melt these sad wraiths; and descending further into the twisting, tortuous galleries they came anon to a huge cavern, like unto a vast amphitheatre from which arose a soughing current of sobs and sighs. And in the radiance cast by his glowing form appeared a dim procession of ghostly men; all crowned with thorns, and heavy crosses athwart their drooping figures. In heavy agonizing drops the sweat and blood dripped from their foreheads; with droning sounds of murmured prayers they proceeded on an endless tour around that dim arena, on scabrous, unhewn stones and flints with which bestrewed was everywhere the jaggéd ground. Harsh and austere their looks; shaggy hirsute faces, eyes fanatic, redly glowing in the dark. A grisly, horrid cavalcade of spectral spirits, heedless of the three who watched their agony.