Second and Revised Edition edited by Grace F. Knoche
Second and Revised Edition copyright © 1977 by Theosophical University Press (print version also available). Electronic version ISBN 1-55700-078-6. All rights reserved. This edition may be downloaded for off-line viewing without charge. No part of this publication may be reproduced for commercial or other use in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior permission of Theosophical University Press. For ease of searching, no diacritical marks appear in this electronic version of the text.
Chapter 1. An Approach to Truth (13K)
Chapter 2. The Trends of Modern Science (28K)
Chapter 3. The Law of Analogy (18K)
Chapter 4. The Atomic World (27K)
Chapter 5. Evolution and Transformism (33K)
Chapter 6. The Evolutionary Stairway of Life (23K)
Chapter 7. Proof of Man's Primitive Origin (28K)
Chapter 8. Man and Anthropoid — I (21K)
Chapter 9. Man and Anthropoid — II (21K)
Chapter 10. The Moral Issues Involved (21K)
Chapter 11. Specialization and Mendelism (22K)
Chapter 12. Man the Repertory of All Types (24K)
Chapter 13. Cycles of Manifestation (29K)
Chapter 14. The Rationale of Reincarnation (25K)
Chapter 15. Man's Body in Evolution (27K)
Chapter 16. The Pineal and Pituitary Glands (12K)
Chapter 17. The Weismann Theory (29K)
Chapter 18. Karma and Heredity (20K)
Chapter 19. Lost Pages of Evolutionary History (30K)
Chapter 20. Divinity the Source of All (26K)
Chapter 21. The Hierarchical Structure of the Universe (29K)
Appendix 1. "The Antiquity of Man and the Geological Ages" by Charles J. Ryan (20K)
Appendix 2. "Theosophy and the New Science" by Blair A. Moffett (87K)
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Since its publication in 1941, Man in Evolution has had a particular appeal for students seeking to relate the theosophic approach to evolution — seen as a cosmic process reflecting itself in the human sphere — to the theories propounded in the main by Charles Darwin and his followers. Today, archaeologists and paleontologists are daring to take a fresh look at fossil findings, so that firmly-established views as to our human origins are undergoing radical change. Those in the vanguard of evolutionary thought no longer look upon man as the descendant of monkey and ape but, on the contrary, as their antecedent, if not their half-parent.
This is calling for a total reversal of psychological outlook for a great many of us, so conditioned have we been from childhood to think of ourselves as having evolved solely through physical mutations which, by some unexplained random leap of consciousness, metamorphosed us from a witless, arboreal creature into the thinking, artistic and creative entity we know as Man.
Not so for the writer of the present volume. Gottfried de Purucker, author and educator, had since youth been a dedicated student of both modern theosophic thought and the traditional wisdom of ancient peoples concerning the origin and destiny of worlds and of the human species — teachings which confirm man as a divine being of immense antiquity, rather than as a recent emergence from lower stocks.
"Man is his own history," says the author, meaning by this that he carries within him the entirety of an aeons-long past. A cosmic entity, he enters earth as a returning pilgrim in process of becoming, of bringing into actuality that which is potential, hidden within his inmost essence, and which, given time and the appropriate environment, will flower into fullness. For evolution is no chance happening, but an orderly manifestation of the spiritual-intelligent drive inherent in the universe and therefore intrinsic to all life-particles. Not an atom, cell, human being or sun, could exist unless at the core of each were divinity.
With this as background and foreground of his thought, Dr. de Purucker examines critically one after another the various evolutionary hypotheses, to see where theory merges into fantasy, where concepts still unproven have hardened into "facts" without adequate basis in nature. Rigorous analysis, cogent argumentation, supported by clear-cut testimony of anatomical structure, bring conviction that the human line is of extremely ancient origin, the most primitive of all the mammalian stocks and hence must have preceded, not followed, the more specialized apes and monkeys.
With all his knowledge of biological fact, the author regards man primarily as a god, a divine spark seeking imbodiment in ever-fitter instruments through each of nature's kingdoms. The dignity of humanhood is thus enhanced, giving our lives here on earth majesty and purpose.
The material in the present volume originally stems from a series of lectures titled "Theosophy and Modern Science" given by Dr. de Purucker at the Theosophical Society's headquarters at Point Loma, California, from June through December 1927, and broadcast live over San Diego radio station KFSD. In 1929 these lectures were published, without editing, under the above title. The edition soon sold out, and the book remained out of print for several years.
In 1941 the author issued a somewhat condensed version as Man in Evolution, the work of rearrangement having been in large part due to the labors of Helen Savage Todd, whose editorial assistance Dr. de Purucker acknowledged with "grateful and genuine appreciation." For that edition, however, he saw no reason to bring forth "newer and later scientific arguments in favor of the theosophical doctrines," as he regarded those he had drawn upon for his lectures a decade earlier mainly as background for the "theosophical picture" he wanted to portray. To him, the principles upon which theosophy is founded are rooted in the structure of nature herself and therefore are ever-enduring. In an Appendix he did incorporate certain forward-looking statements from noted anthropologists and anatomists of the period (1930-1940), but in view of the greatly extended time span now afforded man by paleoanthropology, reaching back into the millions of years instead of a mere few hundreds of thousands, this material has been replaced in the present volume with two new entries:
Man in Evolutionoffers a unique approach: it treats of evolution from within and above, rather than from without and below. Instead of relying on missing links among fossil remains, it provides the one valid missing link in the entire spectrum of evolutionary theories: that of the spiritual or dynamic factor, the divinely impulsed intelligent entity at work in, through and behind all processes of birth, growth, maturation, decline and death. To the author, man's place in the cosmos is axiomatic, not something in need of proof.
The editor of the present revision of this important volume acknowledges with gratitude the assistance rendered by all who helped in its preparation, with a special word of appreciation due those who undertook the exhaustive research required to check all quotations from original sources. Where emendations of fact or reference were called for these have been made; and the works cited by G. de Purucker are listed in the bibliography.
Grace F. KnocheNovember 1976 Pasadena, California