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I read with interest “The Creating Sound”, and for the purpose of exchange of ideas, I wanted to offer some feedback regarding the vital concept of origin.
When traditional cosmogonies and scientific cosmogonies hypothesize about the origin of the universe, they tell a history of events whose conclusion is the origin of the universe. In other words, to say that the universe has had an origin means to tell a story where gradated combinations of causes and effects resulted in the achievement or completion of the universe. Word-concepts such as cause, creation, origin, beginning, commencement, genesis, are frequently used to describe such a stupendous event(s). Yet these word-concepts imply different meanings.
If the origin of the universe is understood as a creation out of nothing, then such origin of the universe has a different ontological status than the origin of objects within the universe. If the origin of the universe is presumed to be an unprecedented singularity, then this singularity is understood in an absolute sense. This singularity is understood as the distinction between the total absence of the universe and the appearance of the first object, whereas the origin of the objects within the universe is relative, or contingent. So it is important to distinguish between the notion of an absolute origin and that of a relative origin. This belief in a creatio ex nihilo, creation out of nothing, links the cosmogonies of the three monotheistic religions and the scientific cosmogonies that struggle to explain the appearance of something out of nothing.
Ancestral cosmogonies tell of a beginning, the chora of the Timaeus, of a primordial ocean of matter that is acted upon by a Maker, a Demiurge. This Maker is more like the architect of the universe who constructs the universe with the aid of a hierarchy of builders, but this Maker did not make / create the matter out of which the universe is composed. That matter was pre-existing. If the matter (objects) out of which the universe was constructed had already been in existence then one cannot speak of an origin of the universe ––if by origin one means “out of nothing”. Therefore to hypothesize that “in the beginning there was this or that” already assumes that something derived from something else, and if something is an effect then it could not have been the origin. Therefore it is useful to distinguish between origins and beginnings.
In monotheistic cosmogonies the origin of the universe is not part of the universe, it is an autonomous and dynamic reality, an efficient cause, a moving first cause that precedes and transcends it. The origin of things is not itself a thing. To say that the universe is contingent upon a transcendent origin also implies that the universe might have been different than our limited knowledge of it, or that it might not have happened at all. The notion of beginning(s) implies an object or event that is the basis of a sequence of other objects or events ––an expanding sequence of differentiations and dissociations. Beginnings imply an object or event that is chronologically first, but that object / event is not made out of nothing. It is based on pre-existing material. Thus the difference between making out of nothing and making out of no-thing is crucial. Here we enter the fascinating speculation of the Maker / Demiurge who makes the universe based on a model(s) present in His mind ––and the concept of model implies comparison to other models, to previous experiences.
Superstring theory speculated that while the temperature of the early universe was extremely high, it was still finite. The supposed singularity of the zero instant of the Big Bang may not have occurred. There may have been a sequential transition of phases that led from a previous universe that was in increasing contraction and achieving a certain maximal temperature to the point that no contraction was any longer possible. That universe then rebounded on itself and gave birth to the present expanding universe. In this supposition, the notion of origin as “making out of nothing” is replaced with the notion of multiple origins ––possibly cyclical sets of origins.
This can parallel some of the teachings of the Secret Doctrine and A Treatise of Cosmic Fire. Page 3 of TCF gives an intellectual appreciation of the scale involved, at least in one local region of the universe. The Tibetan says that a 1st Cosmic Logos is the un-manifested precursor of the manifested, thus an un-manifested origin. (Note that the Tibetan does not say universe yet. There is a difference between a First Cosmic Logos and His reference to one Boundless Immutable Principle or one Absolute Reality that contains and conditions manifestation, tout court. This can be interpreted to mean the un-manifest Cause, the Cause of all Causes ––what in Hindu thought is known as Para Brahm. In this case, the boundless principle refers to an unknown and unimaginably immense scale, beyond clusters of galaxies). Then He uses the expressions Spirit-Matter, and Spirit of the Universe for the 2nd Cosmic Logos, and He only refers to Cosmic Ideation and Universal World-Soul with regards to the 3rd Cosmic Logos. His statement that these are “creative principles in successive gradations there issue in ordered sequence the numberless Universes comprising countless Manifesting Stars and Solar Systems” is very precisely suggesting that 1, 2, and 3 designate the ways in which all Logoi manifest. His expressions “successive gradation” and “ordered sequence” imply a holarchy (one holon containing another and being itself contained within another and so on) and His expression “numberless Universes” prefigures the current uses of the term multiverse.
It would be interesting to link the idea of holons to the idea of intervals discussed in Creating Sound.
Thanks Samir, very interesting and deep your thoughts on the idea of the origin(s) and the excursus from Parabrahman(/Mulaprakriti) and the 3 Logoi as the triune Reality at the ‘central essence’ of the multiple universes (both in their ‘holarchy’ and possible countless succession/activation).
Also your suggestion to compare holons and intervals is very inspiring: intervals in their essence are really the Seven Rays in creative action in Space, from and through Akasha. And as “sound is the only attribute of Akasha…or, better, its first correlation” (HPB in SD III), the manifestation of Brahma as the Creator or the 3rd Logos is the ‘holarchical’ emanation of Its Sound. Thus the natural succession of harmonics of a sound are really the holons or partitions of the unitary Sound. You can see a single tree from far or its multiple branches and leaves closer.
Antonella (for The Planetary System initiative)
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