The 6th-century-BC philosopher from Ephesus, Heraclitus, seems to be the first to pay special attention to the concept of logos. He defined the logos as “that universal principle which animates and rules the world.” The logos behind cosmic process was similar to the reasoning power in human beings. The logos is an eternal law or principle governing the cosmos, bringing rational order and purpose to it. Galen, the influential Greek philosopher and physician of the Roman empire, described the Logos in a pantheistic way, stating that he “did not make the world as an artisan does his work, but it is by wholly penetrating all matter that he is the demiurge of the universe.”
Stoics also saw the logos as an active spiritual principle that permeated and animated reality. They identified this logos with reason and God, and regarded it to be indestructible. The other fundamental principle conforming nature was a passive one, representing substance or matter (the four classical elements of earth, water, fire, and air).
Among Neoplatonists, the term Logos was interpreted in different ways. In one meaning, it was an inherent formative principle that guides the form and function of different organisms. In another meaning logos (as divine reason) binds the elements of the trinity composed of the soul (psyche), the intellect (nous), and the One (monas).
In Christianity, the word logos (Latin “verbum,” English “word”) is use as a name or title of Jesus Christ, seen as the pre-existent second person of the Trinity. This comes from the Gospel of John, 1:1–18, which states:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
However, following the original Greek more closely, some scholars argue that the correct translation should be:
“In the beginning was the logos, and the logos was with God (theos), and the logos was a god (theon).”
Theosophy. HP Blavatsky distinguishes three aspects of Logos:
The First Logos is unmanifested, and it is the first stage in the process of reawakening of the cosmos from the rest in pralaya. It is the Pre-Cosmic Ideation that radiates from (or in) the Absolute. This Logos is frequently depicted as a white “potential” point in a black circle.
The Second Logos is frequently seen as a bridge between the unmanifested and the manifested Logoi, “the Second Logos partaking of both the essences or natures of the first and the last. Because of this, this Logos is sometimes said to be semi-manifested.
At the time of the primordial radiation, or when the Second Logos emanates, it is Father-Mother potentially.
If we consider the first Logos as a potential point, the second is seen as the first real point.
The Point in the Circle is the Unmanifested Logos, the Manifested Logos is the Triangle. It is this ideal or abstract triangle which is the Point in the Mundane Egg, which, after gestation, and in the third remove, will start from the Egg to form the Triangle. This is Brahmâ-Vâch-Virâj in the Hindu Philosophy and Kether-Chochmah-Binah in the Zohar.
The point in the Circle is the Unmanifested Logos, corresponding to Absolute Life and Absolute Sound. The first geometrical figure after the Circle or the Spheroid is the Triangle. It corresponds to Motion, Color and Sound. Thus the Point in the Triangle represents the Second Logos, “Father-Mother,” or the White Ray which is no color, since it contains potentially all colors. It is shown radiating from the Unmanifested Logos, or the Unspoken Word.
This is the manifested Logos, called in The Secret Doctrine the “luminous sons of manvantaric dawn”.
Mme. Blavatsky wrote:
When the hour strikes for the Third Logos to appear, then from the latent potentiality there radiates a lower field of differentiated consciousness, which is Mahat, or the entire collectivity of those Dhyan-Chohans of sentient life of which Fohat is the representative on the objective plane and the Manasaputras on the subjective.
Then, at the first radiation of dawn, the “Spirit of God” (after the First and Second Logos were radiated), the Third Logos, or Narayan, began to move on the face of the Great Waters of the “Deep.”
Some synonyms in other traditions are Mahat (Hinduism), Adam Kadmon (Kabbalah), Protogonos (Greek/Orphic), Brahmā (Hinduism), among others.
“Divine Thought” is a phrase frequently used by Mme. Blavatsky, for the “Cosmic Ideation”, and considered it as “the Logos, or the male aspect of the Anima Mundi, Alaya”. In it “lies concealed the plan of every future Cosmogony and Theogony”. The Upadhi of Divine Thought is Akasha, the Primordial Substance.
“Divine Thought” neither implies the idea of a Divine thinker nor of a process of thinking. The term “Divine Thought,” like that of “Universal Mind,” must not be regarded as even vaguely shadowing forth an intellectual process akin to that exhibited by man.
Mme. Blavatsky stated that female deities such as Vāc, Isis, Mout, Shekinah (Sephira), Kwan-Yin, etc. represent the female aspect of the creator:
They are all the symbols and personifications of Chaos, the “Great Deep” or the Primordial Waters of Space.