The Word Foundation


Harold W. Percival



Section 4

The zodiac reveals the purpose of the Universe.

Likewise the zodiacal symbol reveals to a greater extent than any science or religion the ultimate purpose of the manifestations of the Universe. That purpose is to have Substance become Consciousness. The zodiacal figure reveals it by showing the successive stages through which matter passes on its way to Consciousness.

Gemini, Substance, is ever unmanifested. It is space. To human conception it is No thing, nothingness. Yet from it comes all that is manifested in the Universe. Of or in itself, it has no parts, no action. There is no difference in it. When taurus, Motion, acts on it, there is an issue from Substance, No thing, and this issue becomes cancer, matter.

This cancer, matter, is the fire sphere called the Universe and is patterned after the twelve abstract, nameless points of the abstract circle. It contains all that is to be manifested. Cancer is the nature gate between the unmanifested and the Universe. In the fire sphere is oneness. The active or force or spirit aspect of matter is alone in evidence; its material aspect does not appear. The ultimate divisions of matter are units, fire units, and they are elemental beings. These fire units are primordial units, unprogressed. They are conscious in the degree of fire, cancer. They are conscious as the fire, as the force, but no one of them is conscious of itself as the fire or of the others.

This fire, or cancer, matter, made up of fire units, progresses and becomes air, or leo, matter, that is, the units change and become conscious as air matter in the sphere of air, leo. The oneness disappears into twoness. The air matter exhibits a double aspect as activity and passivity. Activity dominates the passive side. The passive side adapts itself to the active side. The air units are no longer primordial. They are not primal, but they are simple. The fire sphere permeates the air sphere, and the fire units become air units when they begin to manifest their passive side. They become air units, that is, they become conscious in the degree called air, leo, and thereby cease to be conscious as fire, cancer. The air units are one step further on the way toward tangibility, libra. In the air element the air units are conscious as the passive as well as the active side of the air element. They do not distinguish between the active and the passive sides, but they respond to the active side of the air, and the passive side of the units adapts itself to their active side. The air units are not conscious of themselves, but they are conscious as the function of the air element.

The air, or leo, units progressing become water, virgo, units, that is, the air element disappears as such and becomes the water element. The pure air matter becomes pure water matter in the water or virgo sphere. The twoness of the air element now shows a different aspect, for in the water sphere the passive side of matter dominates the active side. The water units are passive-active, no longer active-passive. The air sphere permeates the water sphere which is in its lower half; and there water units attract air units and cause them eventually to become water units. These units cease to be conscious in the degree called air, or leo, and become conscious in the degree called water, virgo. The water units are conscious as the function of the water element. They do not distinguish between the active and the passive sides, but they respond to the passive side of the water element, and the active side of the units is adapted to the passive side which responds to the element. Water units are not conscious of themselves, but they are conscious as the function of the water element. Water units are the next step on the way toward tangibility or libra.

The pure water, or virgo, units developing become pure earth, or libra, units in the earth sphere. The two sides, or active and passive aspects, of matter now disappear. There is no longer active-passive and passive-active, but only matter in the earth sphere. The passive aspect of matter alone is in evidence, its active aspect does not appear. The utmost divisions of earth matter are earth units. These units are the opposites of the fire units, since they progressed down to the earth sphere. They are quiescent, stationary, inert, and so appear as a mass or a whole, somewhat as the fire units appear as a whole in the fire sphere. They are conscious in the degree called earth, or libra. In their totality they are the earth element. They are conscious as inertia, immobility, fixity, rest and are the ground for activity. The fire sphere and the earth sphere are extremes and opposites of each other. The fire sphere is activity, force, spirit, without any evidence of its opposite; and the earth sphere is matter, inertia, without any evidence of spirit, force, activity.

In the earth, or libra, sphere which is itself inert and resistant, act the other three elements, cancer, leo and virgo, and cause the four worlds to manifest in the earth sphere. The earth sphere stands to the four worlds in it somewhat as Substance stands to the four spheres. The fire sphere acting within the air sphere and that acting within the water sphere within the earth sphere, cause a representation of the fire or cancer sphere to be in the earth element, as the light or cancer world. In a similar way the air sphere, leo, acting within the water sphere and that within the earth sphere, all acting through the light world, causes the life, or leo, world to be in the light world. So, the water, virgo, sphere, acting within the earth sphere, and both acting through the light and life worlds, cause the form, or virgo, world to be in the life world. The physical, or libra, world is in existence because the cancer, leo and virgo spheres act within the libra sphere and cause the cancer, leo and virgo worlds in it to maintain the physical world.

The matter of the light or cancer, life or leo, form or virgo, and physical or libra, worlds is therefore not the pure fire, air, water and earth. It differs from the pure elemental matter in that the matter in the four worlds is mixed and in that it is limited by the inert earth element.

The cancer, leo, virgo and libra spheres maintain the cancer, leo, virgo and libra worlds. The worlds with the elements of the spheres acting through them similarly maintain in each of these four worlds four planes, that is, additional divisions of matter in each world. The planes, with the spheres and worlds acting through them, similarly maintain in each of these planes four subdivisions, which on the physical plane are called the four states of radiant or cancer, airy or leo, fluid or virgo, and solid or libra matter. The terms spheres, worlds, planes and states of matter designate divisions of matter, and in each set of divisions the essentials are the cancer, leo, virgo and libra types.

In the universe thus maintained or brought into existence only some of the combinations of the four states of cancer, leo, virgo and libra matter on the physical, or libra, plane of the physical, or libra world can be seen. The earth, libra, and the moon, virgo, the sun, leo, and the stars, cancer, make up this small portion.

Parts of all the spheres, worlds, planes and states of matter are condensed and concentrated into fourfold human bodies, libra, (Fig. VII-B). These are centers through which matter of all the different states, planes, worlds and spheres circulates. The four senses and their four systems are the means by which the matter makes its rounds to and from the fourfold bodies. This matter consists ultimately of beings, the units of nature of the different cancer, leo, virgo and libra types. These beings circulate and are drilled in human bodies, and are trained between times in outward nature. As nature units they can go as far as the breath-form unit, libra. Then they leave the category of nature units and become aia units, libra.

This change can be made only while a unit is a function of the breath-form, libra, in a two-columned physical body, libra. An aia unit is an entity of the libra type in the zodiac of the earth sphere, where the breath-form was a being of the libra type in the zodiac of the physical world. The aia is the libra of the Triune Self, stands between nature, cancer, leo, virgo and libra of the spheres, and the Triune Self, which is scorpio, sagittary and capricorn of the light world. The aia as libra by means of the breath-form links nature and the Triune Self in a human body; the libra of the Triune Self links with the libra of nature.

The next stage is that where the aia unit becomes conscious as a Triune Self unit and changes from a libra unit of the zodiac of the earth sphere into a capricorn unit related to the zodiac of the light world, corresponding to the noetic atmosphere of the Triune Self. The change is made in a two-columned physical body, which is a libra entity of the physical world. After the change, the cancer faculty of the capricorn sphere, the doer works its way upward to capricorn of the light world, and with the thinker and knower of the Triune Self becomes conscious as itself; it does this independently of the physical body, libra of the libra world, through the form world, scorpio of the light world, and through the life world, sagittary of the light world. The doer with its Triune Self becomes conscious of and knows all there is of itself and in the four worlds, and it remains there until it changes and becomes conscious as an Intelligence, which is a capricorn unit of the fire sphere. These changes can be made only while all parts of the Triune Self, its whole zodiac, are embodied in a two-columned physical body, a libra entity.

The Intelligence, that is, the Triune Self unit which has become conscious as an Intelligence unit, becomes conscious in the three degrees of its three spheres which are those of scorpio, sagittary and capricorn of the capricorn or fire sphere. When it has reached perfection as such an Intelligence of the highest degree, it passes from matter into the unmanifested and is there Conscious Sameness, aquarius. The unit must have passed through all the points of the circle of matter and all the differences represented in the manifestation of the twelve points of the circle of matter, the fire sphere, before it can become Conscious Sameness. In this manner the zodiacal figure shows the purpose of the Universe.

This purpose of changing Substance into Consciousness, and the manner in which the changes are accomplished through a human body, in libra, cannot otherwise be demonstrated to doers in human bodies. A statement of the purpose can be made, and it will stand comparison with other statements, such as that the purpose is to glorify God, or to make men better by progressive improvement of their “souls,” or that there is no purpose ascertainable.

The reason why the purpose is not demonstrable is that only a small part of the Universe is open to investigation and that even that small part cannot be cognized correctly. From the human standpoint, that is, to the run of human beings, only the physical, the form and the life planes of the physical world of the sphere of earth are intelligible. These planes are invaded consciously by the physical, emotional and intellectual parts of human beings and are the means for scientific, philosophical and religious conceptions of man and of this universe, that is, the visible, physical universe. Even the light plane of the physical world is not evident and it is not invaded consciously. As to the states of matter, only the substates which are those of the solid state of matter on the physical plane of the physical world are evident to the perceptions of man. His imperfections set boundaries to perception and conception. So not all colors and shades of color on the physical plane can be seen, nor can all forms be seen; and many things and beings remain invisible; and nothing but surfaces, compacted on surfaces until visible, can be seen.

The conceptions are one step ahead of the perceptions. However, the conceptions cannot go more than this one step ahead until the perceptions verify and approve them and take that step. The progress is somewhat like that made by the feet of a walker, whose right foot cannot take another step until the left foot has stepped.

Nor are facts available on the intelligent-side to the run of human beings upon which to base an intelligent opinion of the purpose of the Universe, including the meaning of their life in it. The facts here are not matters of perception through the senses, but are psychic conditions in which one is conscious. Men are conscious of their psychic life. This life consists of feelings and desires, of thinking of which they are conscious in an undiscerning way and of identity. They are so conscious until they come to the gate of death. While they pass through the gate all human beings, that is, the combination of the embodied portions of the doers with the senses of nature, are unconscious. In some of the after death states they are again conscious as the human beings. Their experiences are limited to what they were conscious of during the past life.

When they re-exist in human bodies on the earth crust they are not conscious of anything of the past. So no facts are usable to test a theory concerning the purpose of the universe and the purpose of their life in it, and no reason is given them for striving for temperance and virtue. The limitations of the perceptions and conceptions are shown by their problems. Because they think with the body-mind in terms of the senses and of time and cannot think beyond it, they ask: Who created the world, if not God? A “God” did not create it, he was himself created. It never was created, it always was; only the outer earth crust changes, disappears and reappears periodically. They say: I did not ask to come into the world; why was I born? What caused the First Cause? Such questions cannot be dealt with because they are based on meager experience and insufficient thinking. They speak of space and mean matter so fine that they do not conceive it. Space, in which all matter is, is beyond their conception.

In all such questions the zodiacal figure as applied to the Universe and man, carries the student of it at once beyond such limitations of his conceptions. The zodiac accounts for the relations of all units in the Universe. The circle shows the purpose of the Universe to be the change of matter into Consciousness by showing the progressive stages through which the purpose is attained.