The probable genesis, the constitution, the movements, and the functions of comets have engaged the greatest attention of astronomers. They very often appear to defy laws which apply to other celestial bodies. That the laws governing the heavenly bodies are not all known must be admitted upon very little reflection. Two things alone would raise doubts as to whether modern astronomers are acquainted with all those laws. The first is that although the great fixed stars are known to be moving at enormous rates—for instance, that Sirius is receding from us with great velocity every moment—yet for ages they all appeared to stand in the same relative positions, and are therefore called “fixed” stars in comparison with the planetary bodies nearer to us, which move with apparently greater rapidity. The other is that some of the planets having one moon seem to have a different law prevailing over them, in that one of the moons will move in a direction opposite to the others. There are, in the first volume of the Secret Doctrine (first ed. pp. 203-209), two paragraphs which indicate some of the views of the Adepts in respect to comets.
“Born in the unfathomable depths of Space, out of the homogeneous Element called the World-Soul, every nucleus of Cosmic matter suddenly launched into being begins life under the most hostile circumstances. Through a series of countless ages it has to conquer for itself a place in the infinitudes. It circles round and round between denser and already fixed bodies, moving by jerks, and pulling toward some given point or center that attracts it, trying to avoid, like a ship drawn into a channel dotted with reefs and sunken rocks, other bodies that draw and repel it in turn; many perish, their mass disintegrating through stronger masses and, when born within a system, chiefly within the insatiable stomachs of various suns. Those which move slower and are propelled into an elliptic course are doomed to annihilation sooner or later. Others moving in parabolic curves generally escape destruction, owing to their velocity.
“Some very critical readers will perhaps imagine that this teaching as to the cometary stage passed through by all heavenly bodies is in contradiction with the statements just made as to the moon’s being the mother of the earth. They will perhaps fancy that intuition is needed to harmonize the two. But no intuition is, in truth, required. What does science know of comets, their genesis, growth, and ultimate behavior? Nothing—absolutely nothing! And what is there so impossible that a laya center—a lump of cosmic protoplasm, homogeneous and latent—when suddenly animated or fired up, should rush from its bed in Space and whirl throughout the abysmal depths in order to strengthen its homogeneous organism by an accumulation and addition of differentiated elements? And why should not such a comet settle in life, live, and become an inhabited globe?
It is to be observed here that the same war which we see going on upon this plane goes on upon the cosmic planes also, it being stated that when a nucleus of matter begins life it does so under the most hostile circumstances. On this plane, the moment the soul leaves the body the never-ceasing life-energy begins to tear the particles apart and separate them into smaller lives. And it is known that the theory is held by the Adepts that during life one set of cells or points of life wars against another set, and that what we call death results from the balance being destroyed, so that the mass of cells which work for destruction, of any composition in nature, gaining the upper hand, immediately begin to devour the other, and, at last, turn upon themselves for their own destruction as composite masses. That is to say, not that there is one distinct quantity of cells which are destroyers, opposed by another distinct quantity which are conservers, but that the negative and positive forces in nature are constantly acting and reacting against each other. The equilibrium, or natural state, is due to the balancing of these two opposite forces. The positive is destructive, and if that force gains the upper hand it converts all those cells over which it has control for the moment into destroyers of the other, negative, cells. Hence a negative cell might at some time become a positive cell, and vice versa. After the balance is destroyed, then the positive forces accumulate to themselves more cells under their influence, and then again a division of the two forces takes place, so that a portion of the positive become negative, and in that way, continually dividing and subdividing, so-called death, as known to us, takes place.
It has not been understood what comets are, but these paragraphs indicate that the opinion of the Adepts is that they are the beginning of worlds, i.e., that we see in comets the possible beginning of worlds. The sentence beginning the quotations—”Born in the unfathomable depths of Space,” etc.—means that, a laya center being formed, the homogeneous mass of matter is condensed at that point, and, the energy of nature being thrown into it, it starts up, a fiery mass, to become a comet. It will then either pursue its course in evolution, if it is accumulating to its matter from other masses, or will be drawn into them for their aggrandizement. The hint is thrown out that the parabolic moving masses, owing to their velocity, escape destruction because they are able to evade the attraction from greater masses.
In the second paragraph quoted a clue is given to those who would be likely to think that this theory could not be consistent with the other, viz., that the moon is the mother of the earth. It is intended to be shown in the paragraph that the starting-up, as before suggested, of a mass of matter from the laya center is due to the energy propelled into that center from a dying globe, such as the moon is. This having been begun, no matter what may be the wanderings of the fast-moving mass, it will at last come back to the place from which it started, when it shall have grown to a greater maturity. And this is indicated in the last statement—”Why should not such a comet settle in life, live, and become an inhabited globe?”
This theory is as useful, consistent, and reasonable as any that materialistic science has invented in respect to comets or any other heavenly bodies, and, being perfectly in accord with the rest of the theories given out by the Adepts, there can be no objection raised to it, that it violates the general system which they have outlined.