THEOSOPHY, Vol. 61, No. 7, May, 1973
(Pages 201-204; Size: 12K)

EVOLUTION OF MAN(1)

A NOUMENON can become a phenomenon on any plane of existence only by manifesting on that plane through an appropriate basis or vehicle; and during the long night of rest called Pralaya, when all the existences are dissolved, the "UNIVERSAL MIND" remains as a permanent possibility of mental action, or as that abstract absolute thought, of which mind is the concrete relative manifestation.

Man is certainly no special creation, and he is the product of Nature's gradual perfective work, like any other living unit on this Earth. But this is only with regard to the human tabernacle. That which lives and thinks in man and survives that frame, the masterpiece of evolution -- is the "Eternal Pilgrim," the Protean differentiation in space and time of the One Absolute "unknowable."

The well-known Kabalistic aphorism runs:-- "A stone becomes a plant; a plant, a beast; the beast, a man; a man, a spirit; and the spirit, a god." The "spark" animates all the kingdoms in turn before it enters into and informs divine man, between whom and his predecessor, animal man, there is all the difference in the world.

The Monad or Jiva, as said in Isis Unveiled (I, 302) is, first of all, shot down by the law of Evolution into the lowest form of matter -- the mineral. After a sevenfold gyration encased in the stone (or that which will become mineral and stone in the Fourth Round), it creeps out of it, say, as a lichen. Passing thence, through all the forms of vegetable matter, into what is termed animal matter, it has now reached the point in which it has become the germ, so to speak, of the animal, that will become the physical man.

Limiting the teaching strictly to this, our earth, it may be shown that, as the ethereal forms of the first Men are first projected on seven zones by seven Dhyan-Chohanic centers of Force, so there are centers of creative power for every ROOT or parent species of the host of forms of vegetable and animal life. This is, again, no "special creation," nor is there any "Design," except in the general "ground-plan" worked out by the universal law. But there are certainly "designers," though these are neither omnipotent nor omniscient in the absolute sense of the term.

An Occultist would say that man was indeed made in the image of a type projected by his progenitor, the creating Angel-Force, or Dhyan Chohan; while the wanderer of the forest of Sumatra was made in the image of man, since the framework of the ape is the revival, the resuscitation by abnormal means of the actual form of the Third-Round, and of the Fourth-Round Man as well, later on. Nothing is lost in nature, not an atom; this latter is at least certain on scientific data. Analogy would appear to demand that form should be equally endowed with permanency.

Man, philosophically considered, is, in his outward form, simply an animal, hardly more perfect than his pithecoid-like ancestor of the third round. He is a living body, not a living being, since the realization of existence, the "Ego-Sum," necessitates self-consciousness, and an animal can only have direct consciousness, or instinct. This was so well understood by the Ancients that the Kabalists even made of soul and body two lives, independent of each other.

It is a universal tradition that, before the physiological "Fall," propagation of one's kind, whether human or animal, took place through the WILL of the Creators, or of their progeny. It was the Fall of Spirit into generation, not the Fall of mortal man. It has already been stated that, to become a Self-Conscious Spirit, the latter must pass through every cycle of being, culminating in its highest point on earth in Man. Spirit per se is an unconscious negative ABSTRACTION. Its purity is inherent, not acquired by merit; hence, to become the highest Dhyan Chohan it is necessary for each Ego to attain to full self-consciousness as a human, i.e. conscious Being, which is synthesized for us in Man.

Says the Book of Dzyan with regard to primeval man when first projected by the "Boneless," the incorporeal Creator: "First, the Breath, then Buddhi and the Shadow-Son (the Body) were 'CREATED.' But where was the pivot (the middle principle, Manas)? Man is doomed. When alone, the indiscrete (undifferentiated Element) and the Vahan (Buddhi) -- the cause of the causeless -- break asunder from manifested life" --"unless cemented and held together by the middle principle, the vehicle of the personal consciousness of JIVA"; explains the Commentary. In other words, the two higher principles can have no individuality on Earth, cannot be man, unless there is (a) the Mind, the Manas-Ego, to cognize itself, and (b) the terrestrial false personality, or the body of egotistical desires and personal Will, to cement the whole, as if round a pivot (which it is, truly), to the physical form of man. It is the Fifth and Fourth principles -- Manas and Kama rupa --that contain the dual personality: the real immortal Ego (if it assimilates itself to the two higher) and the false and transitory personality, the mayavi or astral body, so-called, or the animal-human Soul -- the two having to be closely blended for purposes of a full terrestrial existence.

We ought not always to take for granted, as some advocates of the development theory seem to do, that each advance in physical power depends on an improvement in bodily structure, for why may not the soul, or the higher intellectual and moral faculties play the first instead of the second part in a progressive scheme.

This hypothesis is made in relation to Evolution not being entirely due to "natural selection"; but it applies as well to our case in hand. For we, too, claim that it is the "Soul," or the inner man, that descends on Earth first, the psychic astral, the mould on which physical man is gradually built -- his Spirit, intellectual and moral faculties awakening later on as that physical stature grows and develops.

"Thus incorporeal Spirits to smaller forms reduced their shapes immense," ... and became the men of the Third and the Fourth Races. Still later, ages after, appeared the men of our Fifth Race, reduced from the still gigantic (in our modern sense) stature of their primeval ancestors, to about half of that size at present.

In our present all-material Fifth Race, the earthly Spirit of the Fourth is still strong in us; but we are approaching the time when the pendulum of evolution will direct its swing decidedly upwards, bringing Humanity back on a parallel line with the primitive third Root-Race in Spirituality. During its childhood, mankind was composed wholly of that Angelic Host, who were the indwelling Spirits that animated the monstrous and gigantic tabernacles of clay of the Fourth Race -- built by (as they are now also) and composed of countless myriads of lives. ... The "tabernacles" have improved in texture and symmetry of form, growing and developing with the globe that bore them; but the physical improvement took place at the expense of the spiritual inner man and nature. The three middle principles in earth and man became with every race more material; the Soul stepping back to make room for the physical intellect; the essence of elements becoming the material and composite elements now known.

To make the working of Karma, in the periodical renovations of the Universe, more evident and intelligible to the student when he arrives at the origin and evolution of man, he has now to examine with us the esoteric bearing of the Karmic Cycles upon Universal Ethics. The question is, do those mysterious divisions of time, called Yugas and Kalpas by the Hindus, and so very graphically "cycle," ring or circle, by the Greeks, have any bearing upon, or any direct connection with, human life? Even exoteric philosophy explains that these perpetual circles of time are ever returning on themselves, periodically, and intelligently in Space and Eternity. There are "Cycles of matter" and there are "Cycles of Spiritual evolution." Racial, national, and individual cycles.

On its way upwards on the ascending arc, Evolution spiritualises, so to speak, the general nature of all, bringing it on to a level with the plane on which the twin globe on the opposite side is placed; the result being, that when the seventh globe is reached (in whatever Round) the nature of everything that is evolving returns to the condition it was in at its starting point -- plus, every time, a new and superior degree in the states of consciousness.


COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:

"LOVE BEYOND THE GRAVE"

We are with those whom we have lost in material form, and far, far nearer to them now, than when they were alive. And it is not only in the fancy of the Devachanee, as some may imagine, but in reality. For pure divine love is not merely the blossom of a human heart, but has its roots in eternity. Spiritual holy love is immortal, and Karma brings sooner or later all those who loved each other with such a spiritual affection to incarnate once more in the same family group. Again we say that love beyond the grave, illusion though you may call it, has a magic and divine potency which reacts on the living. It will manifest in their dreams, and often in various events -- in providential protections and escapes, for love is a strong shield, and is not limited by space or time. 


--H.P.B.

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