Akasha and the Astral Light


Akasha and the Astral Light:

From the very beginning of Theosophy the crucial task of resolving the apparent rift between spirituality and science has been underway. Theosophy explicates the most profound and deep understanding of the spiritual nature of the Cosmos and the spiritual being of mankind. Because mind [manas] is an eternal principle in the sevenfold nature of the human being, theosophy is intrinsically and fundamentally; science friendly. The second aim of the theosophical society is: “To study comparative religion, philosophy and science”.

We live in a time when the majority of people and popular culture are mesmerized by the split and conflict between ‘religion’ and ‘science’. The ongoing conflict between the “creationists” with their arguments for “intelligent design” and scientists with their science and fact based “Darwinian” theory of “evolution” seem on the surface, irreconcilable.

Honest scientists and astrophysicists admit that the post Big Bang Universe estimated to be 13.7 Billion years old is quite simply way too young to account for the awe inspiring diversity and complexity observable by science at every level of life. The theories of evolution natural selection and ‘survival of the fittest’ can account approximately well for the development of some individual species and the local symbiosis that supports them, but fail entirely to really address the vast and complex integration of life forms that we observe as the laws of ecology and the unified field of the biosphere.

In any-case evolution does not only proceed by the excruciatingly slow and steady process of trial and error described by classical Darwinism, there are periods of extremely rapid evolution where sudden leaps take place. The Cambrian Explosion which took place some 550 million years ago is one such example of a great leap forward. The Cambrian Explosion was preceded by a mass extinction event and Snowball_Earth which is an extended total ice age. The Cambrian Explosion troubled Darwin to the point where he devoted a whole chapter to it in his book, The_Origen_of_Species in an attempt to make it square with his theory.

There have been at least five major Extinction Events in the biological history of the Earth when over 90% of all life was lost, leaving only a few isolated evolutionary ‘bottle necks’. How did the biosphere recover so quickly from these extinction events if the only path open to the recovery of life was the painstakingly slow process of evolution by natural selection and the survival of the fittest?

Evolution which is certainly a fact of how life develops and grows, is however driven by what theosophy calls the “cycle of necessity” and guided from within by Akasha which is the latent and active “mind of the Universe” also known as Mahat and the Logos. There is design but no designer operating like a ‘ghost in the machine’ as the ‘creationists’ and ‘intelligent design’ exponents irrationally insist. Yet we must concede that people of faith with nothing more to go on than their faith, intuition and the hints to be found in scripture are right to reject the crass materialism and atheism being offered by some backward branches of the scientific community.

Intelligence is inherent in every particle and wave of the Universe. There is no extra-cosmic designer because the Universe is a vast awareness organism in its own right.

”The overall idea behind the concept of an Akashic Field is that behind the materialistic and mechanistic world there is in fact another realm of interaction….[There is]…compelling evidence for this from the fields of cosmology, quantum physics, biology and studies of consciousness. It is like a subtle communication network that underlies physical reality and that connects every point in space with every other point, and every thing with every other thing. This communication network operates in the realm of pure information that underlies empirical existence and thus does not rely on the transport of physical energy, hence, through this field, interactions can occur instantaneously regardless of physical separation and without any channel for the mechanistic transport of energy. Furthermore, like things tend to interact more strongly with like things, thus humans interact more strongly with humans, galaxies with galaxies and so on. The principle empirical and observable effect of this field is coherence between phenomena across any distances”. “Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything” by Ervin Laszlo

Over a century ago the Akashic Field is thus described by the renowned Theosophist H.P. Blavatsky: In clarifying the difference between the Astral Light and Akasha Blavatsky says: “The Astral Light is that which mirrors the three higher planes of consciousness, and is above the lower, or terrestrial plane; therefore it does not extend beyond the fourth plane, where, one may say, the Akasa begins.

“There is one great difference between the Astral Light and the Akasa which must be remembered. The latter is eternal, the former is periodic. The Astral Light changes not only with the Mahamanvantaras [Great Ages or Aeons] but also with every sub-period and planetary cycle or Round. . . .

“The Akasa is the eternal divine consciousness which cannot differentiate, have qualities, or act; action belongs to that which is reflected or mirrored from it. The unconditioned and infinite can have no relation with the finite and conditioned. . . . We may compare the Akasa and the Astral Light . . . to the germ in the acorn. The latter, besides containing in itself the astral form of the future oak, conceals the germ from which grows a tree containing millions of forms. These forms are contained in the acorn potentially, yet the development of each particular acorn depends upon extraneous circumstances, physical forces, etc.” (TBL 75-6; also IU 1:197).

The astral light is the tablet of memory of earth and of its child the animal-man; while akasha is the tablet of memory of the hierarchy of the planetary spirits guiding our chain of worlds, and likewise of their child, each spiritual ego. The astral light is simply the dregs or lowers vehicles of akasha. Gautama Buddha held only two things as eternal: akasha and nirvana. In the Chandogya Upanishad (7:12:1-2)

The Higher Self of each human being exists within the eternal Akasha Field. Reincarnation, Karma and Destiny all occur because the higher Self of the human being exists within the eternal akasha where the living memory of everything that has happened, is happening, and is destined to happen exists. This may sound like ‘hard determinism’ but in fact it is not, at every turn of the way the human being is free to make choices, free to act out of their higher Self or to respond to the wayward and self indulgent impulses coming from the worldly side of life.

The Archetypes of all living things and creatures arise out of the Akasha, and are reflected in the Astral Light, where they rapidly take on physical form as soon as the conditions in the biosphere permit. Extinction Events have only partial impact on the Astral Light and no impact whatsoever on Akasha other than to be recorded there.

For the Theosophist there is no split between spirituality and science, even as we reject the controlling vulgarizations of organized religions. The Universe itself is a sacred event.

We survive physical death and embark upon our journey through the After Death States initially within the Astral Light, but as we ascend out of Kama Loka the personal soul worlds, and ascend into the Devachanic and purely spiritual realms we find ourselves, yet again, in the eternal Akasha.

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