The Word Foundation
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The Self of Matter and the Self of Spirit can never meet. One of the twain must disappear; there is no place for both.

Alas, alas, that all men should possess Alaya, be one with the Great Soul, and that, possessing it, Alaya should so little avail them!

Behold how like the moon, reflected in the tranquil waves, Alaya is reflected by the small and by the great, is mirrored in the tiniest atoms, yet fails to reach the heart of all. Alas that so few should profit by the gift, the priceless boon of learning truth, the right perception of existing things, the knowledge of the non-existent!

—Voice of the silence.



Vol. 1 JUNE 1905 No. 9

Copyright 1905 by H. W. PERCIVAL


AS the word implies, “substance” is that which underlies or stands under. That which substance underlies, or stands under, is the manifested universe.

The word, “mulaprakriti,” as used by the ancient Aryans, expresses its own meaning even more perfectly than our word substance. “Mula” means root, “prakriti” nature or matter. Mulaprakriti is, therefore, that origin or root from which nature or matter comes. It is in this sense that we use the word substance.

Substance is eternal and homogeneous. It is the source and origin of all manifestation. Substance has the possibility of identifying itself with, and of thereby becoming, consciousness. Substance is not matter, but the root from which matter springs. Substance is never manifest to the senses, because the senses cannot perceive it. But by meditation on it the mind may pass into the state of substance and there perceive it. What is perceived by the senses is not substance, but the sub-divisions of the lowest motion from substance, in their various combinations.

Throughout substance consciousness is ever-present. The ever-present consciousness in substance is self motion. Self motion is the cause of the manifestation of substance through the other motions. Substance is always the same, as substance, but is translated through universal motion into spirit-matter. Spirit-matter is atomic. Spirit-matter is the beginning of universes, worlds, and men. Owing to the interaction of the motions spirit-matter is translated into certain states or conditions. The one substance becomes two, and this duality prevails during the entire period of manifestation. From the most spiritual to the most material on the downward arc of the cycle, then back to universal motion.

Spirit-matter constitutes the two inseparable opposites, or poles, present in all manifestations. In its first remove from substance spirit-matter appears as spirit. Its seventh remove outward or downward is our gross matter. Matter is that aspect of substance, which is moved, moulded, and shaped by that other pole of itself which is called spirit. Spirit is that aspect of substance which moves, energizes, and shapes that other pole of itself which is called matter.

In its outward or downward motion that which was substance, but which is now the duality spirit-matter, is impressed, and given direction, impulse and destiny, from the lower kingdoms up to man, by synthetic motion. If spirit-matter is then equally balanced it identifies itself with self motion, which is the highest expression of conscious substance, and is immortal, substantial, and divine. If, however, the mind or analytic motion fails to become balanced and identified with self motion, it is again and again whirled through the constantly recurring periods of involution and evolution.

Each body or form is the vehicle to the principle above it, and is in turn the informing principle to the body or form below it. Spiritual development consists in the transforming of matter from the lower to the higher degrees; each vesture being a vehicle for the reflection or expression of consciousness. The secret of attainment is not in building up and becoming attached to bodies or forms, but in valuing the vehicle only as a means of attaining the final object of all effort —consciousness.

Consciousness is in no way different in a lump of clay than in a saviour of the world. Consciousness cannot be changed, because it is changeless. But the vehicle through which consciousness is expressed can be changed. So that matter in its physical state and form would not be capable of reflecting and expressing consciousness as would the vesture of a Buddha or a Christ.

Universes come and go as the days in limitless time, in order that matter may be worked up from the most simple and undeveloped state to the highest possible degree of intelligence: from a grain of sand or a nature sprite, to an archangel or the universal nameless Deity. The sole purpose of the involution of substance as spirit-matter into form, and of the evolution of spirit-matter to substance is: the attainment of Consciousness.