|In studying this treatise the student is asked to bear in mind
- That in dealing with these subjects we are concerned with the essence of that which is
objective, with the subjective side of manifestation, and with the consideration of force
and of energy. It is well nigh impossible to reduce such concepts to concrete formulas and
to express them in such a way that they can be easily apprehended by the average man.
- That as we use words and phrases and speak in terms of modern language the whole subject
necessarily becomes limited and dwarfed, and much of the truth is thereby lost.
- That all that is in this treatise is offered in no dogmatic spirit but simply as a
contribution to the mass of thought upon the subject of world origins and to the data
already accumulated as to the nature of man. The best that man can offer as a solution of
the world problem must perforce take a dual form and will demonstrate through a life of
active service, tending to amelioration of environal conditions, and through a formulation
of some cosmological scheme or plan which will seek to account as much as may be for
conditions as they are seen to exist. Arguing as men do at present from the basis of the
known and the demonstrated and leaving untouched and unaccounted for, those deep seated
causes which must be presumed to be producing the seen and known, all solutions as yet
fail and will continue to fail in their objective.
- That all attempts to formulate in words that which must be felt and lived in
order to be truly comprehended must necessarily prove distressingly inadequate. All that
can be said will be after all but the partial statements of the great veiled Truth, and
must be offered to the reader and student as simply providing a working hypothesis, and a
suggestive explanation. To the open-minded student and the man who keeps the recollection
in his mind that the truth is progressively revealed, it will be apparent that the fullest
expression of the truth possible at any one time will be seen later to be but a fragment
of a whole, and [xv] later still be recognized to be only portions of a fact and thus in
itself a distortion of the real.
This treatise is put out in the hope that it may prove useful to all broadminded
seekers after truth and of value to all investigators into the subjective Source of all
that which is tangibly objective. It aims to provide a reasonably logical plan of systemic
evolution and to indicate to man the part he must play as an atomic unit in a great and
corporate Whole. This fragment of the Secret Doctrine, in the turning of the evolutionary
wheel, goes out to the world making no claims as to its source, its infallibility or the
correctness in detail of its statements.
No book gains anything from dogmatic claims or declarations as to the authoritative
value of its source of inspiration. It should stand or fall solely on the basis of its own
intrinsic worth, on the value of the suggestions made, and its power to foster the
spiritual life and the intellectual apprehension of the reader. If this treatise has
within it anything of truth and of reality, it will inevitably and unfailingly do its
work, carry its message, and thus reach the hearts and minds of searchers everywhere. If
it is of no value, and has no basis in fact, it will disappear and die, and most rightly
so. All that is asked from the student of this treatise is a sympathetic approach, a
willingness to consider the views put forth and that honesty and sincerity of thought
which will tend to the development of the intuition, of spiritual diagnosis, and a
discrimination which will lead to a rejection of the false and an appreciation of the
The words of the Buddha most appropriately have their place here, and make a fitting
conclusion to these preliminary remarks:
THE LORD BUDDHA HAS SAID
that we must not believe in a thing said merely because it is said; nor traditions
because they have been handed down from antiquity; nor rumors, as such; nor writings by
sages, because sages wrote them; nor fancies that we may suspect to have been inspired in
us by a Deva (that is, in presumed spiritual inspiration); nor from inferences drawn from
some haphazard assumption we may have made; nor [XVI] because of what seems an analogical
necessity; nor on the mere authority of our teachers or masters. But we are to believe
when the writing, doctrine, or saying is corroborated by our own reason and consciousness.
"For this," says he in concluding, "I taught you not to believe merely
because you have heard, but when you believed of your consciousness, then to act
accordingly and abundantly."
- Secret Doctrine III. 401
May this be
the attitude of every reader of this "Treatise on Cosmic Fire."
- ALICE A. BAILEY
Note: In the
footnotes throughout this treatise "The Secret Doctrine" by H. P. Blavatsky is
designated by the initials S. D. The page references are to the "Third Revised