The subject for this evening’s discussion is The Sevenfold Nature of Man. But before we place him upon the table and make way for the Doctors to operate upon him with their dissecting knives, suppose we pause for a moment and ask where the subject came from. What is the origin of earthly man? How came he upon this planet? And the enquiry may possibly help to throw some light upon his composite nature.
Of course of ourselves we know nothing of the origin of the human race, and can only appeal to the "law and the prophets" — to the authorities on the subject, so to speak — to those outgivings which have from time to time come to us from the East, and particularly to the teachings of the Secret Doctrine.Taking this volume alone as our guide, what do we find?
Now at the outset it is proper to say that, although a vast flood of light is thrown in the Second volume of The Secret Doctrine upon Anthropogenesis or the origin of man, the information is still very fragmentary, and careful reading and sifting are necessary to get at anything like a straightforward connected story. Hints only are often given where we would like plain statements; details are purposely omitted, and much is everywhere left to the reader’s imagination and spiritual intuition. All this was perhaps unavoidable. I don't refer to it in any spirit of criticism, but solely to illustrate the difficulty of getting at the truth, and to explain in a general way why there is often such a lack of harmony and fullness in our views on many of the topics we are in the habit of discussing.
From my own reading of the Secret Doctrine, I have been led to this conclusion: — that man made his first appearance on this planet as a lunatic or idiot. This may seem a harsh and extreme way of putting it; but it is abundantly justified by our authority. For what is a lunatic? Literally, one affected by the moon; more commonly, one whose mind is affected; one "out of his mind", as the phrase is; while an idiot is a being without any mind. Now the Secret Doctrine tells us that the first man on this globe, the first personalities of our race, came from the moon. They were the lunar Pitris or fathers. They are our ancestors; they are in fact ourselves, and we would be strictly bone of their bone and flesh of their flesh, only it happened that they didn’t have any bone or flesh to transmit. They were lunar beings and only had astral bodies. They were semi-divine entities travelling on the downward curve into matter, and appear to have consisted of two groups — one group of three classes very ethereal and incorporeal, without even astral bodies; the other of four classes, possessing greater corporeality and endowed with astral bodies. It was this second group that, coming over in the process of evolution to our planetary chain, passed during the first three rounds through the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, and at the beginning of the fourth round became men — not the gross physical being that man is today, but ethereal astral entities in human form yet of immense size.
But this lunar man was an idiot; the first race was mindless, says the Secret Doctrine. And he was without a mind because the lunar fathers themselves, our ancestors, were mindless. They gave man all they had to give, — his lower principles, but, having no "manas" or mind themselves to bestow, the early human races were practically animals in human form.
Perhaps some one will ask: How is it that the lunar Pitris who were semi-divine and godlike entities were mindless? Can we conceive of a god-like being without a mind? Now I shall not attempt to answer a question of this kind. But here is a suggestion. What is "mind?" What are its functions? I may be wrong in my view of it, but to me "mind" seems to be the connecting link between the spiritual monad — the Atma-budhi — and the lower personality. If a being is all spirituality, the lower personality having vanished, what necessity is there for mind? What is the use of a connecting link when there is nothing to connect? So if an entity consists solely of the lower quaternary, the higher principles being in absolute abeyance, mind again would be a useless superfluity. Just, then, as we know animals to be mindless, so we can conceive of a mindless god. And this seems to have been the condition of the lunar fathers to whom we owe our physical existence. True, the whole septenary principles were there, germinally or otherwise; but as the fathers had not yet passed through human experiences and imperfections, manas was still wholly latent. And the shadows or projections of the fathers were equally mindless.
In this mindless, idiotic condition early man long remained. He lived and died and propagated his kind in strange fantastic ways, but for ages was only an animal still. The first race gave place to the second, and the second to the third, each becoming more and more gross and material. And the second race having absorbed the first, man, so-called, had then not only an astral but a physical body, yet he still continued mindless. About the middle of the third race, however, a change took place. In obedience to cyclic law the gods with minds, variously known as the Solar angels, Sons of wisdom, Kumaras, Agnishwattas, Dhyanis, Pitris, breaths, fires, flames, thrones, essences, intelligences, and the like, incarnated in these animal lunar shells, and man as we now know him was the result. Where the shell was so far ready that it could receive the full incarnation of the essence, the man thus endowed became an Arhat or sage. But in the majority of cases only a spark of the divine flame was projected into the shell, and this spark quickening into activity the germ of the manas, or fifth principle, latent in it from the beginning, produced the average human being as we now find him. Thus man has a two-fold line of descent, and, as it were, a dual being. On the lower or physical side he comes from the Moon his Mother; on the higher or spiritual, from the Sun his father. On the one side he is a physical entity; on the other a divine ego; the union or blending of the two constituting the complete man.
But it may be asked, and very naturally: If man has this double origin, if he is a combination of lunar and solar elements, does he not really consist of two monads instead of one? And which then is the real human monad — the original lunar germ or the incarnating solar angel? To this the Secret Doctrine says: "No; — there are not two monads, only one." But the passage in which this statement occurs is a very interesting one, and an extract from it may fittingly close this brief paper:
"We now come to an important point with regard to the double evolution of the human race. The Sons of Wisdom, or the Spiritual Dhyanis, had become intellectual through their contact with matter, because they had already reached, during previous cycles of incarnation, that degree of intellect which enabled them to become independent and self-conscious entities on this plane of matter. They were reborn only by reason of Karmic effects. They entered those who were ready, and became the Arhats or sages alluded to above. This needs explanation.
It does not mean that Monads entered forms in which other monads already were. They were "Essences," "Intelligences," and conscious spirits; entities seeking to become still more conscious by uniting with more developed matter. Their essence was too pure to be distinct from the universal essence; but their "Ego" or Manas (since they are called manasaputra, born of Mahat, or Brahma,) had to pass through earthly human experiences to become all-wise, and be able to start on the returning ascending cycle. The Monads are not discrete principles, limited or conditioned, but rays from that one universal absolute Principle. The entrance into a dark room through the same aperture of one ray of sunlight following another will not constitute two rays, but one ray intensified It is not in the course of natural law that man should become a perfect septenary being before the seventh race in the Seventh Round. Yet he has all these principles latent in him from his birth. Nor is it part of the evolutionary law that the Fifth principle (Manas) should receive its complete development before the Fifth Round. All such prematurely developed intellects (on the spiritual plane) in our race are abnormal; they are those whom we call the "Fifth Rounders." Even in the coming Seventh Race at the close of this Fourth Round, while our four lower principles will be fully developed, that of manas will be only proportionately so. This limitation, however, refers solely to the spiritual development. The intellectual on the physical plane was reached during the Fourth Root-Race. Thus those who were "half ready", who received "but a spark", constitute the average humanity which has to acquire its intellectuality during the present manvantaric evolution, after which they will be ready in the next for the lull reception of the Sons of Wisdom."
The PathTHEOSOPHICAL UNIVERSITY PRESS ONLINE