“But ancient art was not for liking. Everyone who read understood. Now, this purpose of art is entirely forgotten.
For instance, take architecture. I saw some examples of architecture in Persia and Turkey—for instance, one building of two rooms. Everyone who entered these rooms, whether old or young, whether English or Persian, wept. This happened with people of different backgrounds and education. We continued this experiment for two or three weeks and observed everyone’s reactions. The result was always the same. We specially chose cheerful people. With these architectural combinations, the mathematically calculated vibrations contained in the building could not produce any other effect. We are under certain laws and cannot withstand external influences. Because the architect of this building had a different understanding and built mathematically, the result was always the same.
We made another experiment. We tuned our musical instruments in a special way and so combined the sounds that even
by bringing in casual passersby from the street we obtained the result we wanted. The only difference was that one felt more, another less.
You come to a monastery. You are not a religious man, but
what is played and sung there evokes in you a desire to pray. Later you will be surprised by this. And so it is with everyone. This objective art is based on laws, whereas modern music is entirely subjective. It is possible to prove where everything in this subjective art comes from.
Question: Is mathematics the basis of all art? Answer: All Eastern ancient art.
Question: Then could anyone who knew the formula build a perfect form like a cathedral, producing the same emotion?
Answer: Yes, and get the same reactions, too.
Question: Then art is knowledge, not talent?
Answer: It is knowledge. Talent is relative. I could teach you to sing well in a week, even without a voice.
Question: So if I knew mathematics, I could write like Schubert?
Answer: Knowledge is necessary—mathematics and physics.
Question: Occult physics?
Answer: All knowledge is one. If you only know the four rules of arithmetic, then decimal fractions are higher mathematics for you.
Question: To write music, wouldn’t you need an idea as well as knowledge?
Answer: The mathematical law is the same for everyone. All mathematically constructed music is the result of movements.
At one time I conceived the idea of observing movements, so while traveling and collecting material about art I observed only movements. Coming back home, I played music in accordance with the movements I had observed and it proved identical with the actual music, for the man who wrote it wrote mathematically. Yet while observing the movements I did not listen to the music, for I had no time.
(Someone asks a question about the tempered scale.)
Answer: In the East they have the same octave as we have— from do to do. Only here we divide the octave into 7, while there they have different divisions: into 48, 7, 4, 23, 30. But the law is the same everywhere: from do to do, the same octave.
Each note also contains seven. The finer the ear, the greater the number of divisions.
In the Institute we use quarter tones because Western instruments have no smaller divisions. With the piano one has to make a certain compromise, but stringed instruments allow the use of quarter tones. In the East they not only use quarters but a seventh of a tone.
To foreigners, Eastern music seems monotonous, they only wonder at its crudity and musical poverty. But what sounds like one note to them is a whole melody for the local inhabitants—a melody contained in one note. This kind of melody is much more difficult than ours. If an Eastern musician makes a mistake in his melody the result is cacophony for them, but for a European the whole thing is a rhythmic mono- tone. In this respect, only a man who grew up there can distinguish good and bad music.
Question: Given mathematical knowledge, would a man ex- press himself in one of the arts?
Answer: For development there is no limit, for young or old.
Question: In what direction?
Answer: In all directions.
Question: Do we need to wish for it?
Answer: It is not merely wishing. First I will explain about development. There is the law of evolution and involution. Everything is in motion, both organic life and inorganic, either up or down. But evolution has its limits, as well as involution. As an example, let us take the musical scale of seven notes. From one do to the other there is one place where there is a stop. When you touch the keys, you start a do—a vibration which has a certain momentum in it. With its vibration it can go a certain distance till it starts another note vibrating, namely re, then mi. Up to that point the notes have an inner possibility of going on, but here, if there is no outside push, the octave goes back. If it gets this outside help, it can go on
by itself for a long way. Man is also constructed in accordance with this law.
Man serves as an apparatus in the development of this law. I eat, but Nature has made me for a certain purpose, I must evolve. I do not eat for myself but for some outside purpose. I eat because this thing cannot evolve by itself without my help. I eat some bread, I also take in air and impressions. These come in from outside and then work by law. It is the law of the octave. If we take any note, it can become a do. Do con- tains both possibility and momentum; it can rise to re and mi without help. Bread can evolve, but if not mixed with air it cannot become fa: this energy helps it to pass a difficult place. After that it needs no help until si, but it can go no further than this by itself. Our aim is to help the octave to completion. Si is the highest point in ordinary animal life, and it is the mat- ter from which a new body can be built.
Question: Is the soul separate?
Answer: All law is one; but the soul is remote, while just now we are talking of nearby things. But this law, the law of the trinity, is everywhere—there can be no new thing without the third force.
Question: Can you get past the stop by means of the third force?
Answer: Yes, if you have knowledge. Nature arranged it so that air and bread are chemically quite different, and cannot mix; but as bread changes in re and mi, it becomes more permeable, so that they can mix.
Now you must work on yourself, you are do; when you get to mi, you can meet help.
Question: By accident?
Answer: One piece of bread I eat, another I throw away; is this accident? Man is a factory with three stories. There are three doors by which the raw materials are taken in to their respective storage rooms where they are stored. If it were a sausage factory, the world would only see carcasses taken in and sausages coming out. But in actual fact it is a much more complicated arrangement. If we wish to build a factory like the one we are studying, we must first look at all the machines and inspect them in detail. The law “as above, so below” is the same everywhere; it is all one law. We also have in us the sun, the moon, and the planets, only on a very small scale.
Everything is in movement, everything has emanations, be- cause everything eats something and is itself eaten by some- thing. The earth also has emanations, and so has the sun, and these emanations are matter. The earth has an atmosphere which limits its emanations. Between the earth and the sun there are three kinds of emanations; the emanations of the earth go only a short distance, those of the planets go much
further, but not all the way to the sun. Between us and the sun there are three kinds of matter, each with a different density. First—the matter near the earth, containing its emanations; then the matter containing emanations of the planets; and still further—the matter where there are only emanations of the sun. The densities stand in the ratio 1, 2, and 4, and vibrations are in an inverse ratio, as finer matter has a greater rate of vibration. But beyond our sun are other suns which also have emanations and send influences and matter, and beyond them there is the source, which we can only express mathematically, also with its emanations. These higher places are beyond the reach of the sun’s emanations.
If we take the material from the uttermost limit as 1, then the more divisions of matter according to density, the higher the numbers. The same law goes through everything, the Law of Three—positive, negative, neutralizing. When the first two forces are mixed with a third, something quite different is created. For example, flour and water remain flour and water— there is no change; but if you add fire, then fire will bake them and a new thing will be created which has different properties.
Unity consists of three matters. In religion we have a prayer: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, Three in One—expressing the law rather than a fact. This fundamental unity is used in physics, and taken as the standard of unity. The three matters are “carbon,” “oxygen” and “nitrogen,” and together they make the “hydrogen” which is the foundation of all matter, whatever its density. The Cosmos is an octave of seven notes, each note of which can be subdivided into a further octave, and again and again to the uttermost divisible atom. Everything is arranged in octaves, each octave being one note of a greater octave, until you come to the Cosmic Octave. From the Absolute, emanations go in every direction, but we will take one—the Cosmic Ray on which we are: the Moon, Organic Life, the Earth, the Planets, the Sun, All Suns, the Ab- solute. The Cosmic Ray goes no further.
Emanations from the Absolute meet other matter and are
converted into new matter, gradually becoming denser and denser and changing according to law. We can take these emanations from the Absolute as threefold, but when mixed with the next order of matter they become six. And since, as in our- selves, there is both evolution and involution, the process can go either up or down, and do has the power to transform into si, or in the other direction into re. The octave of the Earth needs help at mi, which it gets from the Planets, to turn mi into fa.
Question: Based on the octave, is it possible to conceive of other cosmoses with a different arrangement?
Answer: This law is all-prevailing, it has been proved by experiments.
Question: Man has an octave inside him; but what about higher possibilities?
Answer: This is the aim of all religions, to find out how to do. It cannot be done unconsciously, but is taught by a system.
Question: Is it a gradual unfolding?
Answer: Up to a certain limit, but later there comes the difficult place (mi-fa) and it is necessary to find how to pass to it in accordance with law.
Question: Is the limit the same for everyone?
Answer: The ways of approach are different, but all must get to “Philadelphia.” The limits are the same.
Question: With mathematical law could everyone be developed to a higher degree?
Answer: The body, when born, is the result of many things, and is just an empty possibility. Man is born without a soul, but it is possible to make one. Heredity is not important for the soul. Each man has many things he must change; they are individual; but, beyond that point, preparation cannot help.
The ways are different, but all must get to “Philadelphia”— this is the basic aim of all religions. But each goes by a special route. Special preparation is necessary; all our functions must be coordinated and all our parts developed. After “Philadelphia,” the road is one.
Man is three persons with different languages, different desires, different development and upbringing; but later—all is the same. There is only one religion, for all must be equal in development.
You may start as a Christian, a Buddhist, a Muslim, and work along the line you are accustomed to, and start from one center. But afterwards the others must be developed too.
Sometimes religion deliberately hides things, for otherwise we could not work. In Christianity faith is an absolute necessity, and Christians must develop feeling; and for that it is necessary to work only on that function. If you believe, you can do all the necessary exercises. But without faith you could not do them productively.
If we want to cross the room, we may not be able to go straight across, for the way is very difficult. The teacher knows this and knows that we must go to the left, but does not tell us. Though going to the left is our subjective aim, our responsibility is to get across. Then, when we arrive there and are past the difficulty, we must have a new aim again. We are three, not one, each with different desires. Even if our mind knows how important the aim is, the horse cares for nothing but its food; so sometimes we must manipulate and fool the horse.
But whichever way we take, our aim is to develop our soul, to fulfill our higher destiny. We are born in one river where the
drops are passive, but he who works for himself is passive on the outside and active inside. Both lives are according to law: one goes by the way of involution and the other by evolution.
Question: Are you happy when you get to “Philadelphia”?
Answer: I only know two chairs. No chair is unhappy: here it is happy, and that other chair is also happy. Man can always look for a better chair. When he begins looking for a better one, it always means that he is disillusioned, because if he is satisfied, he does not look for another one. Sometimes his chair is so bad that he cannot sit on it any longer and decides that as it is so bad where he is, he will look for something else.
Question: What happens after “Philadelphia”?
Answer: A very small thing. At present it is very bad for the carriage that there are only passengers, all giving orders as
they please—no permanent master. After “Philadelphia” there is a master in charge, who thinks for all, arranges everything and sees that things are right. I am sure it is clear that it is better for all to have a master.”
Excerpt from Views from the Real World, early talks of G.I.G