The universe spreads vast in all directions of space and time beyond the capacity of the limited mind to comprehend in its fullness. While the mind can recognize the logical necessity of infinity, it cannot comprehend the Boundless; it can conceive of it only as a fullness of all possible varieties of entities, from the tiniest imaginable fractions of particles, through their aggregation into entities compounded into ever larger beings, not even ending with superclusters of galaxies of stars. Common qualities act as the "cement" of their universe; yet it would be erroneous to presume Space to be merely a container. Previous civilizations regarded "Space" as the "ever-fecund mother of all beings."
We find on earth rocks composed of various minerals, also plants, animals, and humans. Beyond — and within — is the indefinable quality that human beings first expressed out of the potentials of mind, which emanated at first in the "seed" form of self-awareness, developing later with increasing energy and skill into an efflorescence of spiritual qualities. These unfolded from the innermost essence of the human being and allow us to weave a world of strength and beauty from the common threads of life.
Some scientists use their minds to labor into birth "theories of everything," comprehending within their scope only ranges of substances and energies, leaving out of their equations the one element capable of accurately formulating such equations: the intuitive aspect of the mind, the nous of Plato's philosophy.
Thus has emerged the "theory of everything" (TOE), a name for a "grand unified field theory" (or GUT) that is being sought in physics to combine the theory of the "strong nuclear force" with that of the "weak nuclear" and electromagnetic forces. To all of this is added "gravity," considered not as a creator of phenomena but as the outcome of electromagnetic action.
But there is an inwardness to universal life that is beyond the confines of mechanical rationalization. There are two outlooks upon our universe and our relations with it — they can point to a unity of view: the matter aspect and its inner nature. That is to say the "workings" of nature's energies and substances, and the stimulus at the core. Involved is a recognition that the cosmic "heart" works through its own ranges of substance. In the Hindu classic, the Bhagavad-Gita, for instance, Arjuna (Everyman) asks Krishna (the "essence" of the universe as represented by its "spark" within himself) to reveal the cosmic enormity of his true nature. The experience unnerves Arjuna and he calls for it to end. The complexity of the mechanical interrelationships, the operations of the "wheels driving the wheels" that make up the physical universe were all too overpowering!
In the ancient "Mysteries" — sacred events culminating in the training offered in the Mystery schools of Greece — the ultimate splendor was said to be meeting face to face one's own innermost essence called the Higher Self.
In the Egyptian Pymander (an Alexandrian translation of a much older work), the narrator, Tat, "son" of Thoth (Tehuti or Wisdom), has such a guerdon:
Once, when I had begun to think about the things that are, and my thoughts had soared . . . I thought I beheld a presence of immeasurable greatness that called my name and said to me: "What do you wish to hear and see, and to learn and come to know by thought?" "Who are you?" I said. "I," said he, "am Poimandres, Nous [mind] of the Sovereignty [or Absolute Power]." I said: "I desire to be taught about the things that are, and understand their nature and know God. . . ." And he replied: "I know what you wish, for indeed I am with you everywhere; keep in mind all that you desire to learn, and I will teach you."
With these words, he changed his form, and suddenly everything was opened before me in a flash, and I beheld a boundless view, everything became light, a mild and joyous light. And I became enamored with the sight. — (Two translations have been melded: from Hans Jonas in The Gnostic Religion, Beacon Press, 1958, p. 148; and Walter Scott in Hermetica, Dawson, London, reprint 1968, 1:115)
Then he beheld the darkness of the Unmanifest, the stirring in the waters of substance, the birth from within the heart of Space of the energies informing matter to make the worlds. This exalted vision transmuted and transformed the narrator so that he became the veritable "son" of the ensouled Wisdom of the spiritual side of nature. He had "Osirified" his previously barren existence with the green shoots of a new birth. He had Self-created himself. In this spiritual consciousness, latent within every human being, lies our gateway to the Boundless Universe and the Boundless within ourselves. Through its creative power we can experience and eventually become all the ranges of Being infilling and forming Space.
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All men have in them "reason" (the ray of the Reason or Logos), but as yet few have "Mind." This "mind" is the true Son of Mind, it is the real man, the perfect man, self-conscious of his Self. — G. R. S. Mead, Thrice-Greatest Hermes, 1906, 2:93