“THE ONE RAY MULTIPLIES THE SMALLER RAYS. LIFE PRECEDES FORM, AND LIFE SURVIVES THE LAST ATOM. THROUGH THE COUNTLESS RAYS THE LIFE-RAY, THE ONE, LIKE A THREAD THROUGH MANY BEADS.
“This sloka expresses the conception—a purely Vedantic one, as explained elsewhere—of a life-thread, Sutratma, running through successive generations. How, then, can this be explained? By resorting to a simile, to a familiar illustration, though necessarily imperfect, as all our available allegories must be. Before resorting to it, however, I would ask whether it seems unnatural, least of all “supernatural,” to any one of us, when we consider that process known as the growth and development of a fetus into a healthy baby weighing several pounds evolves from what? From the segmentation of an infinitesimally small ovum and a spermatozoa; and afterwards we see that baby develop into a six-foot man! This refers to the atomic and physical expansion from the microscopically small into something very large, from the—to the naked eye—unseen, into the visible and objective. … What are the forces at work in the formation of the fetus, and the cause of “hereditary transmission” of likeness, physical, moral or mental, have never been properly answered.” ~H. P. Blavatsky
The Life Thread
The Life Thread, or Thread-of-Life as we prefer to say it in Cosolargy, is well known in mystical and spiritual schools. Most think of it as connecting together all beings that exist at the present time, but it also connects with previous generations. To remind us of this thread that connects us to all beings, we wear a thread-of-life that has eight crystals, gems, or colored stones on it. It is not that such a thread has some magic or mystical powers. We wear it simply as a reminder. Of course, the stones on it do have mystical powers, but that is another tale. (click here to read older posts about gems and crystals).
I like that Blavatsky refers to the use of imperfect allegories. When you describe something by the use of an allegory, you are almost certainly describing it in an imperfect way. But with spiritual things, that is often the best way to describe it. But we should all be aware that stories found in the Bible, in the Upanishads, and many other ancient spiritual books are full of allegory and that allegory is never perfect. That is fine with most real spiritual teachers because the intent is to get the students to experience it for themselves, not rely on descriptions from others.
Blavatsky is correct in saying that life survives the last atom. That makes no sense to the materialist. “How,” they ask, “can there be life without a single atom of matter?” The answer is twofold. First, on the level of the physical universe, life isn’t a creation of matter. Life is a force that exists independent of matter. So even if all matter was gone, life would still be there. And if matter somehow returned, the life force would soon have some of that matter forming living beings. That is one way that life survives. The other is that life also exists on a spiritual level. In fact, some spiritual masters and gurus say that it is the only real life because it is eternal. So even if the realm of matter were to be completely wiped out so even the life force was gone, life survives as eternal spirit. The life thread also survives, even when there are no life forms, or all matter is gone. The life thread is just as much spiritual as it is material.
Blavatsky says that we don’t understand how our offspring, or that of any other earthly being, is given the likeness, physically and mentally of the parent. Today we understand it a lot better than in her time about 100 years ago. Still, we don’t understand it as well as we think we do. We know about DNA and how it carries information from one generation to another. Yet some recent discoveries show that our knowledge of DNA still doesn’t tell the full story.
It has been found that our minds, consciously or subconsciously, can effect this passing of DNA on to new generations. How we think determines what traits we pass on to others. We are responsible, at least in part, with weaving our own thread of life. And it is likely that animals and plants can do that as well, though to a much lesser degree. We can’t control the life thread that connects us to our parents, but we should make the effort to control the one that connects us to our children.