The Word Foundation


Harold W. Percival



Section 3

Outline of a system of the Universe. Time. Space. Dimensions.

In this section is presented a comprehensive system of the Universe,—a system of development by progression, not evolution.

This system takes in the Universe in its entirety, in its largest divisions and in its smallest parts; it shows the place of the human body in relation to the physical universe, and of the human in relation to his Triune Self and the Supreme Intelligence of the Universe; and, finally, Consciousness, the ultimate One Reality.

The system is all-inclusive; yet it is compact, logical and easy to apprehend or imagine. It can be tested by its scope, by its unity, by its simplicity, its analogies, its interrelations, and by the absence of contradictions.

Current classifications, such as God, nature, and man; body, soul, and spirit; matter, force, and consciousness; good and evil; the visible and the invisible, are insufficient; they are makeshifts, not parts of a system, yet these various entities and things have each a place in the vast scheme, but what place has not been shown.

This system shows a Universe which consists of nature-matter and intelligent-matter, and Consciousness which is the same in both kinds of matter. Matter differs in the degree in which it is conscious. All matter as units on the nature-side is conscious, but merely conscious—each unit being conscious as its function only; all matter on the intelligent-side at least can be conscious that it is conscious; that is the distinction between the units of unintelligent nature-matter and of intelligent-matter. The purpose of the Universe is to make all units of matter conscious in progressively higher degrees, so that nature-matter shall become intelligent-matter; and, further, so that intelligent-matter shall increase in being conscious until ultimately it becomes Consciousness. The purpose of the Universe may be comprehended by distinguishing beings, that is, units of the elements, elementals, out of the mass of matter, as they progress through the various stages or states in which matter is conscious. The progression of these nature units is accomplished while they are on ground which is common to all nature units. In the world of birth and death the common ground is the human body.

The human body is on the lowest degree of the physical plane of all the worlds and spheres. The units of the matter of the world of birth and death are kept circulating through, or in contact with, human bodies. By means of this circulation all physical acts, objects, and events are brought about.

In order to understand the human body and its relation to this complex Universe and the relation of the doer in that body to the nature-side and to the intelligent-side of the Universe, it is well to examine the Universe as a whole and in all its parts. In the following propositions certain words are given specific meanings; they are used for lack of more adequate terms, for example: fire, air, water, earth, for the spheres; and light, life, form, physical, for the worlds and planes.

The spheres, worlds, and planes have each an unmanifested and a manifested side; the unmanifested side permeates and sustains the manifested, (Fig. I-A, B, C. In the diagrams they are shown as an upper and a lower half. Let it be understood that the point of coincidence of the spheres, worlds, and planes is their common center, and not at the lowest part of the circles. The diagrams are drawn as they are in order to show relations, which cannot well be done with a set of concentric circles.


Concerning the nature-side of the Universe:

1) The Universe exists in four vast primordial and fundamental spheres: the spheres of fire, air, water, and earth, as elements, (Fig. I-A). The fire element permeates the air element, that reaches through the water element and that passes into the earth element. The units of the matter of the four spheres are conscious as fire, air, water, and earth units. These units of the elements are behind and are the basis of manifestation of the units of the worlds.

2) In the manifested part of the sphere of earth is the light world; in the manifested part of the light world is the life world; in the manifested part of the life world is the form world; and in the manifested part of the form world is the physical world, (Fig. I-B). In other words, the physical world is permeated, supported, and surrounded by three other worlds. The physical world may be considered from two viewpoints, (Fig. II-G): As the Realm of Permanence, and, as the temporal human world which is in part visible to the eye,—as is being done in the following pages.

3) In each of the four worlds there are four planes, namely, the light plane, the life plane, the form plane, and the physical plane. Each of these planes corresponds and relates to one of the four worlds, (Fig. I-C).

4) The physical plane of the human physical world contains all that is spoken of as the physical universe. It is made up of four states of matter, namely, the radiant, the airy, the fluid, and the solid states, (Fig. I-D). Each of these states of physical matter is of four substates, (Fig. I-E). Only the solid state and its four substates are at present subject to physical and chemical investigation.

5) In the physical universe that is visible to the human eye is the earth, the world of time, of sex, of birth and death; it is made up of and its human bodies are composed of unbalanced units, (Fig. II-B); that is, units that are either active-passive or passive-active, male or female; bodies that alternate, that die. Within and beyond and pervading this physical world of time is the permanent physical world, invisible to us, the Realm of Permanence, (Fig. II-G); it is made up of balanced units, units that are balanced and therefore do not alternate from passive to active, and the reverse, (Fig. II-C). Bodies of balanced units of the Realm of Permanence do not die; they are perfect and everlasting; they do not change in the sense that unbalanced units do; they progress in being conscious in successively higher degrees, according to the Eternal Order of Progression.


Concerning the human body:

6) A human body is the model or plan of the changing universe; in it nature units pass through series of the fourfold states of nature-matter.

7) Thus four physical masses of units constitute the human body, (Fig. III): the visible, solid-solid body, and three inner, invisible, unformed masses or potential bodies, namely, the fluid-solid, the airy-solid, and the radiant-solid, which are at present beyond scientific investigation. Among this fourfold constitution of the human body and the fourfold constitution of the spheres, worlds, and planes there is an interrelation, an action and reaction.

8) Radiations from these four masses or bodies extend as zones around the solid-solid body; together they make up the physical atmosphere of the human body, (Fig. III; V-B). In addition to this physical atmosphere, which is made up of nature units, there are three other atmospheres, the psychic, mental, and noetic atmospheres of the Triune Self, which reach into the physical atmosphere and relate to the form, life, and light planes of the physical world, (Fig. V-B). Further, those parts of the noetic, mental, and psychic atmospheres of the Triune Self, which are within the radiations of the fourfold, visible, solid-solid body, are here spoken of as the atmospheres of the human.

9) The human body is built in four sections or cavities: the head, the thorax, the abdomen, and the pelvis. These relate to the four planes of the physical world, to the four worlds of the sphere of earth, and the four great spheres of the elements of fire, air, water, and earth. That is:

10) The pelvic cavity relates to the physical plane; the abdominal cavity relates to the form plane; the thoracic cavity relates to the life plane, and the head relates to the light plane of the physical world. Similarly, these four cavities of the body relate respectively to the physical, form, life, and light worlds, and to the four spheres of earth, water, air, and fire.

11) In the body there are four systems. The systems relate respectively to the same planes and worlds and spheres as do the sections. The digestive system is of the physical plane, of the physical world, and of the earth; the circulatory system is of the form plane, the form world, and the water; the respiratory system is of the life plane, the life world, and the air; and the generative system is of the light plane, the light world, and the fire.

12) Each system is governed by one of the four senses. The senses are elemental beings, nature units. The digestive system is governed by the sense of smell; the circulatory system by the sense of taste; the respiratory system by the sense of hearing; and the generative system by the sense of sight. Each of these senses is affected by its respective element in outside nature: the sense of smell is operated by the element of earth, taste is operated by the water, hearing by the air, and sight by the fire.

13) Each of the four senses is passive and active. To illustrate: in seeing, when the eye is turned toward an object the sense of sight passively receives an impression; by the active light, or fire, this impression is aligned so that it is seen.

14) Throughout the body nature operates through the involuntary nervous system for communication with all parts of the body and for the performance of the involuntary functions of the four systems, (Fig. VI-B).

15) All these phenomena belong and relate to the nature-side of the universe; so, too, the matter of which the body is built and by which it is maintained is of the nature-side.

16) A human body is the meeting ground of the nature-side and the intelligent-side of the changing universe; and in the body there is a continuous interaction between the two.


Concerning the intelligent-side of the Universe:

17) The Triune Self represents the intelligent-side of the Universe. A Triune Self has three parts, and three atmospheres, and three breaths, (Fig. V-B). The three parts are: the psychic or doer part, which in its passive aspect is feeling and in its active aspect is desire; the mental or thinker part, which is passively rightness and actively reason; and the noetic or knower part, which passively is I-ness and actively selfness. Each of the three parts has, in a measure, the aspects of the other two parts. Each part is in an atmosphere; thus there are the psychic, mental, and noetic atmospheres of the Triune Self, which relate to the form world, the life world, and the light world. Through each atmosphere a portion of that atmosphere flows as a breath, just as there are currents which move in the air and which are the air, yet are at the same time distinct from the air. Of this complex Triune Self, only a portion of the doer part exists in the human body. It governs the body mechanism by means of the voluntary nervous system.

18) That portion of the doer part has its station in the kidneys and adrenals. The other two parts of the Triune Self are not in the body but merely contact it: the thinker part contacts the heart and lungs; the knower part barely contacts the rear half of the pituitary body and the pineal body in the brain. The Triune Self contacts the voluntary nervous system as a whole, (Fig. VI-A). The thinker of each human is his individual divinity.

19) The vertical line that divides or connects the two sides of the universe, and the upper and lower points, are the symbol of the aia and of the breath-form, (Fig. II-G, H). The upper point of the line is the aia, representing the intelligent-side to the right of the line; the lower point is the breath-form, which stands for nature, on the left side of the line. The two points and the line relate the aia for the intelligent-side with the breath-form for the nature-side, so that there can be immediate action and reaction on each other. The aia belongs to the Triune Self, as the breath-form belongs to nature. The aia is without dimension; it is not destroyed; it is always in the psychic atmosphere of the doer part. Prior to conception the aia revivifies a nature unit, the form, with the breath of the breath-form, which will be the “living soul” of the body during life. The breath-form is the cause of conception. The breath-form is stationed in the front half of the pituitary body, and lives in the involuntary nervous system. It is an automaton, and is the means of communication between the Triune Self and nature.

20) The Triune Self receives Light from an Intelligence. The Intelligence is the next higher degree in being conscious, beyond the Triune Self, (Fig. V-C). The Light of an Intelligence is a Conscious Light. By its Conscious Light, an Intelligence is related to the Triune Self, and through the Triune Self the Intelligence maintains contact with the four worlds. In the noetic atmosphere the Conscious Light, so to say, is clear, and it is likewise clear in that portion of the mental atmosphere which is in the noetic atmosphere of the Triune Self. But in the mental atmosphere of the human, (Fig. V-B), the Conscious Light is diffused and more or less obscured. The Light does not enter the psychic atmosphere. The use of the Conscious Light makes the doer intelligent.

21) An Intelligence unit is the highest degree in which a unit can be conscious as a unit. An Intelligence was a primordial unit of matter in the sphere of fire, there conscious as its function only; it progressed through the spheres and many cycles in the worlds to the degree where it has at last become an ultimate unit, a unit conscious as an Intelligence, (Chart II-H). An Intelligence is self-conscious, individuated, has identity as an Intelligence, and has seven inseparable parts or faculties, each of the seven being a conscious witness to the unity of the seven, (Fig. V-C).

22) The Supreme Intelligence is the highest in degree of all Intelligences; is chief of the Intelligences governing the Universe; and is in relation with the Universe through the individual Intelligences and their complete Triune Selves. Each Triune Self is in conscious relation to the Supreme Intelligence through the individual Intelligence to whom it is related.


Concerning The Government of the world:

23) Complete Triune Selves constitute The Government of the world. They are in everlasting, perfect bodies of the, to mortals, invisible, physical Realm of Permanence. They govern the physical, the form, the life, and the light worlds. Complete Triune Selves are the active agents of Intelligences who supervise, but take no active part in, The Government.


Concerning Consciousness:

24) Consciousness is that by the presence of which all things are conscious. Consciousness is the same in all matter and in all beings. Consciousness is changeless. Matter changes as it becomes increasingly conscious in successive degrees. Beings are conscious in varying degrees; but Consciousness is the same in all beings, from the least nature unit to the Supreme Intelligence. Consciousness has no states, is not conditioned, is without attributes, does not act, cannot be acted upon, cannot be separated, cut up or divided, does not vary, does not develop, and is the completion of all becoming. By the presence of Consciousness all there is in the Universe is conscious according to its capacity to be conscious.


Concerning units:

25) All nature-matter is of units. A unit is an indivisible, irreducible one; it has an active and a passive side, either of which dominates the other. There are four kinds of units: nature units, aia units, Triune Self units, and Intelligence units, (Fig. II-A). The term nature units includes all units of the spheres, worlds, planes, and states of matter. Units are beyond the reach of chemistry and physics; they can be dealt with only by the mind.

26) A unit begins its development as a primordial unit on the unintelligent nature-side; that is, as a fire unit of the fire sphere, (Fig. II-H). The unit progresses as a unit on the intelligent-side; that is, as first a Triune Self and ultimately as an Intelligence. Between these two stages are innumerable conditions of units. The purpose is to develop a primordial unit of the fire sphere until it is an Intelligence. The purpose is achieved by the passage of the unit through all stages of units on the nature-side, then through the aia kind, and then through all the degrees on the intelligent-side as a Triune Self and then as an Intelligence. In the changing universe, all this is done according to the plan of a human body, by re-existences of the doer portions until the doer is consciously one with its Triune Self.

27) A unit of nature goes through four conditions, always of a fiery, airy, fluid, and earthy kind, before it can be changed. In the world of time the active or the passive side dominates the other until the unit is ready to be changed, at which time the active side and the passive side are equal. Then the change is made through the unmanifested, which pervades the manifested, of the unit that disappears from the state in which it is and reappears through the unmanifested as that which it becomes. When a unit changes from one state or plane or world to another, the change is made through the unmanifested during all manifestations.

28) Changes of units in this manner occur throughout nature in chemical processes; but only while a unit is in a perfect body can it progress.


The foregoing plan presents the Universe as it appears to the doers in human bodies existing on the earth crust who are confined to sensuous perceptions and whose understanding is accordingly restricted.

Nerve centers of the body are at present used for the pleasure of the human and the housekeeping of the body; but potentially they are centers for the exercise of mental and noetic powers undreamed of.

Time is the change of units or of masses of units in their relation to each other. On the earth crust, where time is measured as the earth mass changes in its relation to the sun mass, time is not the same as time in other states and worlds. Time applies only to units that have not been balanced. In the Realm of Permanence, where the units do not change alternately from active-passive to passive-active, that is, where the units are balanced, there is no time as known to humans.

Space is related to time as the unmanifested is related to the manifested. Time is of nature units; it can be measured; space is not matter, it is not of units, and cannot be measured. Space has no dimensions. Distance has no relation or application to space. The manifestation of the Universe is in space, but space is not affected by it. Space is unconscious Sameness. To the sensuous perceptions of doers on the earth crust, space is no thing.

Dimensions are conditions of physical matter, and do not relate to space. The doers on the earth crust are limited to the four senses for perception. These senses can at present perceive only one dimension: the dimension of on-ness, that is, surfaces. What are called three dimensions—length, breadth, and thickness—are only surfaces. The senses do not perceive the other three dimensions. Though the doers cannot see the next dimension, which is in-ness, they are aware that there is a dimension beyond their sense perception. The doers are not aware of a third and a fourth dimension, but they guess about them.