Intelligence in nature
Before discussing "intelligence" as in "intelligent design"
it is appropriate to discuss consciousness because as the terms
are used in our language, consciousness suggests something
more general than intelligence to the metaphysical philosopher.
Materialist science asserts that consciousness is an
"epiphenonomen" occurring inside our craniums. It is the
result of neurons "firing". It is merely an effect of this
very fancy, elaborate assemblage of hydrocarbons.
Of course more open-minded science is beginning to permit this
subject of study. It is good that a phenonomen so obvious and
so real to each of us as individuals may now, in some quarters,
In physics consciousness is now required to do what the
physicists call "collapse the wave function". In simpler terms,
in order to make sense of the equations of physics, a concept
of "consciousness" is now required. I say that Consciousness
is the unwelcome guest at the dinner table of physics.
Some argue that consciousness - quite outside our skulls - is
necessary to resolve the paradoxes of quantum physics.
In softer sciences consciousness is being analyzed directly.
Now in presenting the ancient wisdom as a third alternative in
the Darwinism/ID debate, it is relevant to introduce the role
of consciousness in Theosophy. Before quoting Blavatsky's dense
language in the original I should introduce a few words first.
Theosophy, as most readers will know, is the ancient wisdom as
presented by Blavatsky as taught to her by her teachers in
Tibet - flesh and blood human beings.
Theosophy has the Absolute, called Parabrahm in Hinduism, as
the one reality. We can't even say it exists "for all time"
because time is a subsidiary concept. The absolute is beyond
time. But periodically a universe emerges from the Absolute.
It does so in stages.
At an early stage is a duality of spirit and matter. From
this in turn the universe manifests itself. But that spirit
is also described as consciousness.
What this means to the debate at hand is that the Theosophical
view places consciousness very fundamental to the nature of
the universe itself. From this position "intelligence", a more
worldly property, is seen as a natural underlying property of
the universe. To see this intelligence as guiding and helping
evolution is only a very natural concept.
What this means is that to understand the intelligence of
"intelligent design", Theosophy asserts that consciousness,
and intelligence are totally fundamental to the nature of the
world around us. Intelligence is not something
restricted to the inside of our skulls. Nor is intelligence
something outside the cosmos that created that cosmos out of
nothing. Instead consciousness is a fundamental aspect of
Next is her rather condensed description. It is also notable
because it says that the individual consciousness in each of
us is derived from that consciousness that inaugurated the
universe. - her words below "precosmic Ideation" is the
source of "all individual consciousness".
And a key point for the purpose of this discussion, she then
explains that this consciousness provides: "the guiding
intelligence in the vast scheme of cosmic Evolution." Her
Parabrahm (the One Reality, the Absolute) is the field of
Absolute Consciousness, i.e., that Essence which is out of
all relation to conditioned existence, and of which conscious
existence is a conditioned symbol. But once that we pass in
thought from this (to us) Absolute Negation, duality supervenes
in the contrast of Spirit (or consciousness) and Matter,
Subject and Object. Spirit (or Consciousness) and Matter
are, however, to be regarded, not as independent realities,
but as the two facets or aspects of the Absolute (Parabrahm),
which constitute the basis of conditioned Being whether
subjective or objective. Considering this metaphysical
triad as the Root from which proceeds all manifestation, the
great Breath assumes the character of precosmic Ideation.
It is the fons et origo [source and origin] of force and of
all individual consciousness, and supplies the guiding
intelligence in the vast scheme of cosmic Evolution. On
the other hand, precosmic root-substance (Mulaprakriti) is
that aspect of the Absolute which underlies all the objective
planes of Nature. Just as pre-Cosmic Ideation is the root of
all individual consciousness, so pre-Cosmic Substance is the
substratum of matter in the various grades of its differentiation.
It will not be clear to the casual reader so let me try to explain.
This "pre-Cosmic Ideation" evolves into what are called the
Dhyan-Chohans. These represent the "intelligent" laws of nature.
This intelligence in turn is the cause directing the underlying
physiological variation of the species. In her words:
But even here the Darwinian Theory, even with the "expansions"
recently attempted, is inadequate to meet the facts of the
case. The underlying physiological variation in species - one
to which all other laws are subordinate and secondary - is a
sub-conscious intelligence pervading matter, ultimately
traceable to a REFLECTION of the Divine and Dhyan-Chohanic
One of her stated purposes for
writing the Secret Doctrine as quoted above was "to assign to
man his rightful place in the scheme of the Universe; ..."
So we see that objective has begun to be met in our pursuit of
this debate. In the course of discussing the ID debate we
encounter the idea that the consciousness within us derives
from the consciousness that underlies the universe. In this
light, the ancient wisdom gives humanity a distinct "place in
the scheme of the Universe".
"No Religion Higher Than Truth"
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