II - Universal Evolution: The Field of Unlimited Potentiality
3.) Cosmic Evolution – The Dance Of Life
(HPB, Key To Theosophy, p. 41)
THEOSOPHIST. Simply by demonstrating on logical, philosophical, metaphysical, and even scientific grounds that: --
All men have spiritually and physically the same origin, which is the fundamental teaching of Theosophy. As mankind is essentially of one and the same essence, and that essence is one -- infinite, uncreated, and eternal, whether we call it God or Nature -- nothing, therefore, can affect one nation or one man without affecting all other nations and all other men. This is as certain and as obvious as that a stone thrown into a pond will, sooner or later, set in motion every single drop of water therein.
(HPB, Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1, Stanza 1)
The history of cosmic evolution, as traced in the Stanzas, is, so to say, the abstract algebraical formula of that Evolution. Hence the student must not expect to find there an account of all the stages and transformations which intervene between the first beginnings of "Universal" evolution and our present state. To give such an account would be as impossible as it would be incomprehensible to men who cannot even grasp the nature of the plane of existence next to that to which, for the moment, their consciousness is limited.
(Wm. Q. Judge, Articles, "Evolution")
THE word "evolution" is the best word from a theosophical standpoint to use in treating of the genesis of men and things, as the process which it designates is that which has been always stated in the ancient books from whose perusal the tenets of the wisdom religion can be gathered. In the Bhagavad Gita we find Krishna saying that "at the beginning of the day of Brahma all things come forth from the non-developed principle, and at the coming on of Brahma's night they are resolved into it again," and that this process goes on from age to age.
This exactly states evolution as it is defined in our dictionaries, where it is said to be a process of coming forth or a development. The "days and nights of Brahma" are immense periods of time during which evolution proceeds, the manifestation of things being the "day" and their periodical resolution into the Absolute the "night."
.....What is this inherent law of the Absolute? as nearly as can be stated. Although we do not and cannot know the Absolute, we have enough data from which to draw the conclusion that its inherent law is to periodically come forth from subjectivity into objectivity and to return again to the former, and so on without any cessation. In the objective world we have a figure or illustration of this in the rising and setting of the sun, which of all natural objects best shows the influence of the law. It rises, as H. P. Blavatsky says, from the (to us) subjective, and at night returns to the subjective again, remaining in the objective world during the day. If we substitute, as we must when attempting to draw correspondences between the worlds, the word "state" for locality or place, and instead of the sun we call that object "the Absolute," we have a perfect figure, for then we will have the Absolute rising above the horizon of consciousness from the subjective state, and its setting again for that consciousness when the time of night arrives that is, the night of Brahma. This law of periodicity is the same as that of the cycles, which can be seen governing in every department of nature....
Paramatma alone is self-existing, single, eternal, immutable, and common to all creatures, high and low alike; hence it never was and never will be created; that the soul of man evolves, is consciousness itself, and is not specially created for each man born on the earth, but assumes through countless incarnations different bodies at different times. Underlying this must be the proposition that, for each Manvantara or period of manifestation, there is a definite number of souls or egos who project themselves into the current of evolution which is to prevail for that period or manvantara. Of course this subject is limitless, and the consideration of the vast number of systems and worlds where the same process is going on with a definite number of egos in each, staggers the minds of most of those who take the subject up. And of course I do not mean to be understood as saying that there is a definite number of egos in the whole collection of systems in which we may imagine evolution as proceeding, for there could be no such definiteness considered in the mass, as that would be the same as taking the measure of the Absolute. But in viewing any part of the manifestation of the Absolute, it is allowable for us to say that there are to be found such a definite number of egos in that particular system under consideration; this is one of the necessities of our finite consciousness. ............ in respect to theology we deny the propositions, first, that there is any special creation of souls, second, that there is, or was, or could be by any possibility any creation of this world or of any other, and third, that the human race descended from one pair.
(HPB, Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1, Proem)
PAGES FROM A PRE-HISTORIC PERIOD.
AN Archaic Manuscript -- a collection of palm leaves made impermeable to water, fire, and air, by some specific unknown process -- is before the writer's eye. On the first page is an immaculate white disk within a dull black ground. On the following page, the same disk, but with a central point. The first, the student knows to represent Kosmos in Eternity, before the re-awakening of still slumbering Energy, the emanation of the Word in later systems. The point in the hitherto immaculate Disk, Space and Eternity in Pralaya, denotes the dawn of differentiation. It is the Point in the Mundane Egg (see Part II., "The Mundane Egg"), the germ within the latter which will become the Universe, the ALL, the boundless, periodical Kosmos, this germ being latent and active, periodically and by turns. The one circle is divine Unity, from which all proceeds, whither all returns. Its circumference -- a forcibly limited symbol, in view of the limitation of the human mind -- indicates the abstract, ever incognisable PRESENCE, and its plane, the Universal Soul, although the two are one. Only the face of the Disk being white and the ground all around black, shows clearly that its plane is the only knowledge, dim and hazy though it still is, that is attainable by man. It is on this plane that the Manvantaric manifestations begin; for it is in this SOUL that slumbers, during the Pralaya, the Divine Thought,* wherein lies concealed the plan of every future Cosmogony and Theogony.