Some Answered Questions
Miscellaneous Subjects
Question.—How do the Theosophists and the Súfís understand the question of pantheism?1 What does it mean, and how nearly does it approximate to the truth?
Answer.—Know that the subject of pantheism is ancient. It is a belief not restricted to the Theosophists and the Súfís; on the contrary, some of the sages of Greece believed in it, like Aristotle, who said, “The simple truth is all things, but it is not any one of them.” In this case, “simple” is the opposite of “composed”; it is the isolated Reality, which is purified and sanctified from composition and division, and which resolves Itself into innumerable forms. Therefore, Real Existence is all things, but It is not one of the things.
Briefly, the believers in pantheism think that Real Existence can be compared to the sea, and that beings are like the waves of the sea. These waves, which signify the beings, are innumerable forms of that Real Existence; therefore, the Holy Reality is the Sea of Preexistence,2 and the innumerable forms of the creatures are the waves which appear.
Likewise, they compare this theory to real unity and the infinitude of numbers; the real unity reflects itself in the degrees of infinite numbers, for numbers are the repetition of the real unity. So the number two is the repetition of one, and it is the same with the other numbers.
1 Lit., the unity of existence.
2 God.