THEOSOPHY, Vol. 66, No. 7, May, 1978
(Pages 202-205; Size: 12K)
(Number 1 of a 6-part series)
THE RACES OF MAN(1)
NO more than Science, does esoteric philosophy admit design or "special creation." It rejects every claim to the "miraculous," and accepts nothing outside the uniform and immutable laws of Nature. But it teaches a cyclic law, a double stream of force (or spirit) and of matter, which, starting from the neutral centre of Being, develops in its cyclic progress and incessant transformations.
This double evolution in two contrary directions, required various ages, of divers natures and degrees of spirituality and intellectuality, to fabricate the being now known as man. Furthermore, the one absolute, ever acting and never erring law, which proceeds on the same lines from one eternity (or Manvantara) to the other -- ever furnishing an ascending scale for the manifested, but plunging Spirit deeper and deeper into materiality on the one hand, and then redeeming it through flesh and liberating it -- this law, we say, uses for these purposes the Beings from other and higher planes, men, or Minds (Manus) in accordance with their Karmic exigencies.
According to the ancient doctrines, every member of this varied ethereal population, from the highest "Gods" down to the soulless Elementals, was evolved by the ceaseless motion inherent in the astral light. Light is force, and the latter is produced by the will. As this will proceeds from an intelligence which cannot err, for it is absolute and immutable and has nothing of the material organs of human thought in it, being the superfine pure emanation of the ONE LIFE itself, it proceeds from the beginning of time, according to immutable laws, to evolve the elementary fabric requisite for subsequent generations of what we term human races. All of the latter, whether belonging to this planet or to some other of the myriads in space, have their earthly bodies evolved in this matrix out of the bodies of a certain class of these elemental beings -- the primordial germ of Gods and men -- which have passed away into the invisible worlds.... As by gradual progression from the star-cloudlet to the development of the physical body of man, the rule holds good, so from the Universal Æther to the incarnate human spirit, they traced one uninterrupted series of entities. These evolutions were from the world of Spirit into the world of gross Matter; and through that back again to the source of all things. The "descent of species" was to them a descent from the Spirit, primal source of all, to the "degradation of Matter."
Therefore our human forms have existed in the Eternity as astral or ethereal prototypes; according to which models, the Spiritual Beings (or Gods) whose duty it was to bring them into objective being and terrestrial life, evolved the protoplasmic forms of the future Egos from their own essence. After which, when this human Upadhi, or basic mould was ready, the natural terrestrial Forces began to work on those supersensuous moulds which contained, besides their own, the elements of all the past vegetable and future animal forms of this globe in them. Therefore, man's outward shell passed through every vegetable and animal body before it assumed the human shape.
Either this, or -- man is a distinct being. Occult philosophy may call him that, because of his distinctly dual nature. Science cannot do so, once that it rejects every interference save mechanical laws, and admits of no principle outside matter. The former -- the archaic Science -- allows the human physical frame to have passed through every form, from the lowest to the very highest, its present one, or from the simple to the complex -- to use the accepted terms. But it claims that in this cycle (the fourth), the frame having already existed among the types and models of nature from the preceding Rounds -- that it was quite ready for man from the beginning of this Round. The Monad had but to step into the astral body of the progenitors, in order that the work of physical consolidation should begin around the shadowy prototype.
Everything in the Universe follows analogy. "As above, so below"; Man is the microcosm of the Universe. That which takes place on the spiritual plane repeats itself on the Cosmic plane. Concretion follows the lines of abstraction. Thus corresponding to the Sephirothal Crown (or upper triad) there are the three elemental Kingdoms, which precede the Mineral. As the spiritual Monad is One, Universal, Boundless and Impartite, whose rays, nevertheless, form what we, in our ignorance, call the "Individual Monads" of men, so the Mineral Monad -- being at the opposite point of the circle -- is also One -- and from it proceed the countless physical atoms, which Science is beginning to regard as individualized.
Otherwise how could one account for and explain mathematically the evolutionary and spiral progress of the Four Kingdoms? The ocean (of matter) does not divide into its potential and constituent drops until the sweep of the life-impulse reaches the evolutionary stage of man-birth. The tendency towards segregation into individual Monads is gradual, and in the higher animals comes almost to the point. The "Monadic Essence" begins to imperceptibly differentiate towards individual consciousness in the Vegetable Kingdom. As the Monads are uncompounded things, as correctly defined by Leibnitz, it is the spiritual essence which vivifies them in their degrees of differentiation, which properly constitutes the Monad -- not the atomic aggregation, which is only the vehicle and the substance through which thrill the lower and higher degrees of intelligence. It is our Dhyan Chohanic essence -- the causality of the primal cause which creates physical man -- which is the living, active and potential matter, pregnant per se with that animal consciousness of a superior kind, such as is found in the ant and the beaver, which produces the long series of physiological differentiations.
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 centres 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. Thus, when we say that Nature provides for every animal and plant, whether large or small, we speak correctly. For, it is those terrestrial spirits of Nature, who form the aggregated Nature; which, if it fails occasionally in its design, is neither to be considered blind, nor to be taxed with the failure; since, belonging to a differentiated sum of qualities and attributes, it is in virtue of that alone conditioned and imperfect.
Were there no such thing as evolutionary cycles, an eternal spiral progress into matter with a proportionate obscuration of spirit -- though the two are one -- followed by an inverse ascent into spirit and the defeat of matter -- active and passive by turn -- how explain the discoveries of zoology and geology? The truth is that the differentiating "causes" known to modern science only come into operation after the physicalization of the primeval animal root-types out of the astral. There can be no objective form on Earth (nor in the Universe either), without its astral prototype being first formed in Space .... all the primitive models in every kingdom of nature begin by being ethereal, transparent, films. This, of course, takes place only in the first beginning of life. It was the duty of the first "differentiated Egos" to imbue primordial matter with the evolutionary impulse and guide its formative powers in the fashioning of its productions. After the Earth had been made ready by the lower and more material powers, and its three Kingdoms fairly started on their way to be "fruitful and multiply," the higher powers, the Archangels or Dhyanis, were compelled by the evolutionary Law to descend on Earth, in order to construct the crown of its evolution -- MAN.
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."
(To be continued)
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:
In the middle of all sits the Sun, enthroned. In this most beautiful temple, could we place this luminary in any better position from which he can illuminate the whole at once? He is rightly called the Lamp, the Mind, the Ruler of the Universe. Hermes Trismegistus names him the Visible God, Sophocles' Electra calls him the All-seeing. So the Sun sits as on a royal throne ruling his children, the planets which circle round him.
THE RACES OF MAN
II: ROUNDS AND RACES
(Part 2 of a 6-part series)
"THE RACES OF MAN"
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(1) NOTE.--This is the first part of a six-part series on the races of mankind, collated from The Secret Doctrine and articles by H.P.B.
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