It has been asked what Theosophy and its greatest modern exponent, H. P. Blavatsky, have to say regarding the existence of so-called “aliens” or extraterrestrial life.
In the third major section – titled “Science and the Secret Doctrine Contrasted” – of Volume 2 of “The Secret Doctrine,” HPB makes a number of references to this matter, beginning by saying (on p. 698-699) that “About the Aryan Root-Race and its origins, Science knows as little as of the men from other planets. With the exception of Flammarion and a few mystics among astronomers, even the habitableness of other planets is mostly denied. Yet such great adept astronomers were the Scientists of the earliest races of the Aryan stock, that they seem to have known far more about the races of Mars and Venus than the modern Anthropologist knows of those of the early stages of the Earth.”
What is meant by the Aryan Root Race is explained in the articles Atlantis and Lemuria and Human Evolution in the Secret Doctrine. HPB herself, although using this term for sake of convenience and for the consistent understanding of her readers and students, admitted that to apply the term “Aryan” en masse to the entirety of our Fifth Root Race is somewhat inaccurate, since Aryavarta (ancient India) was the home of the first sub-race of the Fifth Root Race but not of the fifth and latest sub-race, which is that of the white European stock, currently prevalent in Europe, the USA, Australasia, and so forth.
But what is specifically stated here by HPB and by the Master K.H. and Master M. – who, by their own written statements in signed certificates, asserted that they wrote and produced “The Secret Doctrine” with her (see Who wrote The Secret Doctrine?) – is that there are indeed “men from other planets” . . . even “races of Mars and Venus,” the existence and details of which were known to the some of the earliest initiated astronomers of India and the East.
In a chapter titled “On Chains of Planets and their Plurality,” we find this:
“Did the Ancients know of worlds besides their own? What are the data of the Occultists in affirming that every globe is a septenary chain of worlds – of which only one member is visible – and that these are, were, or will be, “man-bearing,” just as every visible star or planet is? What do they mean by “a moral and physical influence” of the sidereal worlds on our globes?
“Such are the questions often put to us, and they have to be considered from every aspect. To the first of the two queries the answer is: We believe it because the first law in nature is uniformity in diversity, and the second – analogy. “As above, so below.” That time is gone by for ever, when, although our pious ancestors believed that our earth was in the centre of the universe, the church and her arrogant servants could insist that we should regard as a blasphemy the supposition that any other planet could be inhabited.” (Vol. 2, p. 699)
Theosophy teaches that the globes, planets, stars, etc. of both our solar system and beyond exist for the purpose of habitation and evolution.
The reference in this particular quotation to “a septenary chain of worlds” is simply a reminder of the fundamental Theosophical teaching that each known planet – such as Earth, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Jupiter, etc. – is in fact a sevenfold system consisting of seven globes, only one of which is on the physical material level in each case. That is to say, each physical globe has six non-physical globes existing in close and inseparable connection alongside it for purposes of ongoing evolution.
The beings of each planet, whether Earth beings, Martians, Venusians, or whatever, pass on together from globe to globe of their own planetary chain in an extremely slow and gradual but nevertheless definite and cyclic process of inner unfoldment and advancement, over the course of billions of years, passing through each of those seven globes seven times before the present process is accomplished.
Since in our case evolution is currently active and proceeding on the physical globe of our Earth Chain, the sight and perceptions of earthly humanity are confined solely to the physical material level of being. Due to various reasons, evolution proceeds at different rates on different planets of our system. In “The Secret Doctrine” it is specifically stated that there is “life on Mars” but that it is currently taking place on one of the non-physical globes of the Mars Chain, the physical and physically visible globe of that Chain currently being in a state of “obscuration” known in Sanskrit as Pralaya or basically a temporary paralysis and lifelessness until the evolutionary life wave of Mars passes once more onto the physical level.
At the same time we are told that life is just now beginning again on the physical planet Mercury after long ages and aeons of that planetary chain’s evolution taking place on its six other globes.
Although human beings’ perception and knowledge of other planets and the life thereon is limited and confined to what they can see with their own physical eyes and to what they are told by the discoveries of science – the value of which is extremely limited due to its grossly materialistic approach to everything – the initiated Adepts and Masters of the Wisdom are not thus restricted.
“Great adepts (those initiated of course), trained seers . . . can claim thorough acquaintance with the nature and appearance of planets and their inhabitants belonging to our solar system . . . They know that almost all the planetary worlds are inhabited, but can have access to – even in spirit – only those of our system; and they are also aware how difficult it is, even for them, to put themselves into full rapport even with the planes of consciousness within our system, but differing from the states of consciousness possible on this globe; i.e. on the three planes of the chain of spheres beyond our earth. Such knowledge and intercourse are possible to them because they have learned how to penetrate to planes of consciousness which are closed to the perceptions of ordinary men; but were they to communicate their knowledge, the world would be no wiser, because it lacks that experience of other forms of perception which alone could enable them to grasp what was told them.” (Vol. 2, p. 701)
After this explanation, HPB adds, “Still the fact remains that most of the planets, as the stars beyond our system, are inhabited, a fact which has been admitted by the men of science themselves.”
Those “men of science” who made this admission included such luminaries as Laplace, Herschell, and the celebrated French astronomer and Theosophist Camille Flammarion. The final point we will touch upon here in this brief article is one raised by Flammarion in his work “Sur la Pluralite des Mondes habites,” (literally “on the plurality of inhabited worlds”) where he wrote:
“It seems as if in the eyes of those authors who have written on this subject, the Earth were the type of the Universe, and the Man of Earth, the type of the inhabitants of the heavens. It is, on the contrary, much more probable, that, since the nature of other planets is essentially varied, and the surroundings and conditions of existence essentially different, while the forces which preside over the creation of beings and the substances which enter into their mutual constitution are essentially distinct, it would follow that our mode of existence cannot be regarded as in any way applicable to other globes. Those who have written on this subject have allowed themselves to be dominated by terrestrial ideas, and fell therefore into error.” [quoted in “The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 2, p. 702-703, italics added]
In this regard, Madame Blavatsky concludes that “it seems perfectly useless to go into detailed questions of the physiology, etc., etc., of these hypothetical inhabitants, since after all the reader can arrive only at an imaginary extension of his familiar surroundings. . . . The humanities of other worlds differ from us, as much in their inner organization as in their external physical type.” (Vol. 2, p. 707)
We human beings often have a tendency of picturing everything in our own image and likeness, whereas to do so is very often misleading, not to mention childish.
Theosophy maintains then that there is life and that there are beings on other planets and indeed that every single planet and globe was either formerly inhabited, is now inhabited, or will be inhabited in the future, but that it is impossible for us to possess even a partially accurate conception or picture of the life and beings on other planets, because our limited human nature restricts us to being able to “arrive only at an imaginary extension of [our] familiar surroundings.”
A Theosophist will therefore give very small credence to the theories of “little green men” or of extraterrestrial beings and their civilisations almost identically resembling human beings and human civilisation in every way, as has been claimed by numerous so-called psychics and clairvoyants through the years.
As for the increasingly frequent reports around the world of sightings of aliens and UFOs, he or she will regard these with a healthy combination of both interest and scepticism until definite and unassailable facts and details come to light, remembering that the most important thing is not an obsession with aliens and their purported spacecraft but to helping, healing, and serving humanity – both physically and with the Light of universal spiritual Truth – lest our own human race sink down even further into its moral, ethical, psychological, and spiritual suicide.