Theosophical University Press Online Edition
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Two statements made in “Esoteric Buddhism” must be noticed and the author’s opinions quoted. On p. 47 (fifth edition) it is said: —
“ . . . the spiritual monads . . . do not fully complete their mineral existence on Globe A, then complete it on Globe B, and so on. They pass several times round the whole circle as minerals, and then again several times round as vegetables, and several times as animals. We purposely refrain for the present from going into figures,” etc., etc.
This was a wise course to adopt in view of the great secrecy maintained with regard to figures and numbers. This reticence is now partially relinquished; but it would perhaps have been better had the real numbers concerning Rounds and evolutional gyrations been either entirely divulged at the time, or as entirely withheld. Mr. Sinnett understood this difficulty well when saying (p. 140) that: “For reasons which are not easy for the outsider to divine, the possessors of occult knowledge are especially reluctant to give out facts relating to Cosmogony, though it is hard for the uninitiated to understand why they should be withheld.”
That there were such reasons is evident. Nevertheless, it is to this reticence that most of the confused ideas of some Eastern as well as Western pupils are due. The difficulties in the way of the acceptance of the two particular tenets under consideration seemed great, just because of the absence of any data to go upon. But there it was. For the figures belonging to the Occult calculations cannot be given — as the Masters have many times declared — outside the circle of pledged chelas, and not even these can break the rules.
To make things plainer, without touching upon the mathematical aspects of the doctrine, the teaching given may be expanded and some obscure
points solved. As the evolution of the Globes and that of the Monads are so closely interblended, we will make of the two teachings one. In reference to the Monads, the reader is asked to bear in mind that Eastern philosophy rejects the Western theological dogma of a newly-created soul for every baby born, as being as unphilosophical as it is impossible in the economy of Nature. There must be a limited number of Monads evolving and growing more and more perfect through their assimilation of many successive personalities, in every new Manvantara. This is absolutely necessary in view of the doctrines of Rebirth, Karma, and the gradual return of the human Monad to its source — absolute Deity. Thus, although the hosts of more or less progressed Monads are almost incalculable, they are still finite, as is everything in this Universe of differentiation and finiteness.
As shown in the double diagram of the human “principles” and the ascending Globes of the world-chains, there is an eternal concatenation of causes and effects, and a perfect analogy which runs through, and links together, all the lines of evolution. One begets the other — globes as personalities. But, let us begin at the beginning.
The general outline of the process by which the successive planetary chains are formed has just been given. To prevent future misconceptions, some further details may be offered which will also throw light on the history of humanity on our own chain, the progeny of that of the Moon.
In the diagrams on p. 172, Fig. 1 represents the “lunar-chain” of seven planets at the outset of its seventh or last Round; while Fig. 2 represents the “earth-chain” which will be, but is not yet in existence. The seven Globes of each chain are distinguished in their cyclic order by the letters A to G, the Globes of the Earth-chain being further marked by a cross — + — the symbol of the Earth.
Now, it must be remembered that the Monads cycling round any septenary chain are divided into seven classes or hierarchies according to their respective stages of evolution, consciousness, and merit. Let us follow, then, the order of their appearance on planet A, in the first Round. The time-spaces between the appearances of these hierarchies on any one Globe are so adjusted that when Class 7, the last, appears on Globe A, Class 1, the first, has just passed on to Globe B, and so on, step by step, all round the chain.
Again, in the Seventh Round on the Lunar chain, when Class 7, the
last, quits Globe A, that Globe, instead of falling asleep, as it had done in previous Rounds, begins to die (to go into its planetary pralaya);* and in dying it transfers successively, as just said, its “principles,” or life-elements and energy, etc., one after the other to a new “laya-centre,” which commences the formation of Globe A of the Earth Chain. A similar process takes place for each of the Globes of the “lunar chain” one after the other, each forming a fresh Globe of the “earth-chain.” Our Moon was the fourth Globe of the series, and was
on the same plane of perception as our Earth. But Globe A of the lunar chain is not fully “dead” till the first Monads of the first class have passed from Globe G or Z, the last of the “lunar chain,” into the Nirvana
* Occultism divides the periods of Rest (Pralaya) into several kinds; there is the individual pralaya of each Globe, as humanity and life pass on to the next; seven minor Pralayas in each Round; the planetary Pralaya, when seven Rounds are completed; the Solar Pralaya, when the whole system is at an end; and finally the Universal Maha — or Brahma — Pralaya at the close of the “Age of Brahma.” These are the three chief pralayas or “destruction periods.” There are many other minor ones, but with these we are not concerned at present.
which awaits them between the two chains; and similarly for all the other Globes as stated, each giving birth to the corresponding globe of the “earth-chain.”
Further, when Globe A of the new chain is ready, the first class or Hierarchy of Monads from the Lunar chain incarnate upon it in the lowest kingdom, and so on successively. The result of this is, that it is only the first class of Monads which attains the human state of development during the first Round, since the second class, on each planet, arriving later, has not time to reach that stage. Thus the Monads of Class 2 reach the incipient human stage only in the Second Round, and so on up to the middle of the Fourth Round. But at this point — and on this Fourth Round in which the human stage will be fully developed — the “Door” into the human kingdom closes; and henceforward the number of “human” Monads, i.e., Monads in the human stage of development, is complete. For the Monads which had not reached the human stage by this point will, owing to the evolution of humanity itself, find themselves so far behind that they will reach the human stage only at the close of the seventh and last Round. They will, therefore, not be men on this chain, but will form the humanity of a future Manvantara and be rewarded by becoming “Men” on a higher chain altogether, thus receiving their Karmic compensation. To this there is but one solitary exception, for very good reasons, of which we shall speak farther on. But this accounts for the difference in the races.
It thus becomes apparent how perfect is the analogy between the processes of Nature in the Kosmos and in the individual man. The latter lives through his life-cycle, and dies. His “higher principles,” corresponding in the development of a planetary chain to the cycling Monads, pass into Devachan, which corresponds to the “Nirvana” and states of rest intervening between two chains. The Man’s lower “principles” are disintegrated in time and are used by Nature again for the formation of new human principles, and the same process takes place in the disintegration and formation of Worlds. Analogy is thus the surest guide to the comprehension of the Occult teachings.
This is one of the “seven mysteries of the Moon,” and it is now revealed. The seven “mysteries” are called by the Japanese Yamaboosis, the mystics of the Lao-Tze sect and the ascetic monks of Kioto, the Dzenodoo — the “seven jewels.” Only the Japanese and the Chinese
Buddhist ascetics and Initiates are, if possible, even more reticent in giving out their “Knowledge” than are the Hindus.
But the reader must not be allowed to lose sight of the Monads, and must be enlightened as to their nature, as far as permitted, without trespassing upon the highest mysteries, of which the writer does not in any way pretend to know the last or final word.
The Monadic Host may be roughly divided into three great classes: —
1. The most developed Monads (the Lunar Gods or “Spirits,” called, in India, the Pitris), whose function it is to pass in the first Round through the whole triple cycle of the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms in their most ethereal, filmy, and rudimentary forms, in order to clothe themselves in, and assimilate, the nature of the newly formed chain. They are those who first reach the human form (if there can be any form in the realm of the almost subjective) on Globe A in the first Round. It is they, therefore, who lead and represent the human element during the second and third Rounds, and finally evolve their shadows at the beginning of the Fourth Round for the second class, or those who come behind them.
2. Those Monads that are the first to reach the human stage during the three and a half Rounds, and to become men.*
* We are forced to use here the misleading word “Men,” and this is a clear proof of how little any European language is adapted to express these subtle distinctions.
It stands to reason that these “Men” did not resemble the men of to-day, either in form or nature. Why then, it may be asked, call them “Men” at all? Because there is no other term in any Western language which approximately conveys the idea intended. The word “Men” at least indicates that these beings were “manus,” thinking entities, however they differed in form and intellection from ourselves. But in reality they were, in respect of spirituality and intellection, rather “gods” than “Men.”
The same difficulty of language is met with in describing the “stages” through which the Monad passes. Metaphysically speaking, it is of course an absurdity to talk of the “development” of a Monad, or to say that it becomes “Man.” But any attempt to preserve metaphysical accuracy of language in the use of such a tongue as the English would necessitate at least three extra volumes of this work, and would entail an amount of verbal repetition which would be wearisome in the extreme. It stands to reason that a Monad cannot either progress or develop, or even be affected by the changes of states it passes through. It is not of this world or plane, and may be compared only to an indestructible star of divine light and fire, thrown down on to our [[Footnote continued on next page]]
3. The laggards; the Monads which are retarded, and which will not reach, by reason of Karmic impediments, the human stage at all during this cycle or Round, save one exception which will be spoken of elsewhere as already promised.
Now the evolution of the external form or body round the astral is produced by the terrestrial forces, just as in the case of the lower kingdoms; but the evolution of the internal or real man is purely spiritual. It is now no more a passage of the impersonal Monad through many and various forms of matter — endowed at best with instinct and consciousness on quite a different plane — as in the case of external evolution, but a journey of the “pilgrim-soul” through various states of not only matter but Self-consciousness and self-perception, or of perception from apperception. (See “Gods, Monads and Atoms.”)
The Monad emerges from its state of spiritual and intellectual unconsciousness; and, skipping the first two planes — too near the absolute to permit of any correlation with anything on a lower plane — it gets direct into the plane of Mentality. But there is no plane in the whole universe with a wider margin, or a wider field of action in its almost endless gradations of perceptive and apperceptive qualities, than this plane, which has in its turn an appropriate smaller plane for every “form,” from the “mineral” monad up to the time when that monad blossoms forth by evolution into the divine monad. But all the time it is still one and the same Monad, differing only in its incarnations, throughout its ever succeeding cycles of partial or total obscuration of spirit, or the partial or total obscuration of matter — two polar antitheses — as it ascends into the realms of mental spirituality, or descends into the depths of materiality.
To return to “Esoteric Buddhism.” It is there stated with regard to the enormous period intervening between the mineral epoch on Globe A, and the man-epoch,* that: “The full development of the
[[Footnote continued from previous page]] Earth as a plank of salvation for the personalities in which it indwells. It is for the latter to cling to it; and thus partaking of its divine nature, obtain immortality. Left to itself the Monad will cling to no one; but, like the “plank,” be drifted away to another incarnation by the unresting current of evolution.
* The term “Man epoch” is here used because of the necessity of giving a name to that fourth kingdom which follows the animal. But in truth the “Man” on Globe A during the First Round is no Man, but only his prototype or dimensionless image from the astral regions.
mineral epoch on Globe A, prepares the way for the vegetable development, and, as soon as this begins, the mineral life-impulse overflows into Globe B. Then, when the vegetable development on Globe A is complete and the animal development begins, the vegetable life-impulse overflows to Globe B, and the mineral impulse passes on to Globe C. Then finally comes the human life-impulse on Globe A.” (Page 49.)
And so it goes on for three Rounds, when it slackens, and finally stops at the threshold of our Globe, at the Fourth Round; because the human period (of the true physical men to be), the seventh, is now reached. This is evident, for as said, “ . . . there are processes of evolution which precede the mineral kingdom, and thus a wave of evolution, indeed several waves of evolution, precede the mineral wave in its progress round the spheres” (ibid).
And now we have to quote from another article, “The Mineral Monad” in “Five Years of Theosophy,” p. 273 et seq.
“There are seven kingdoms. The first group comprises three degrees of elementals, or nascent centres of forces — from the first stage of differentiation of (from) Mulaprakriti (or rather Pradhana, primordial homogeneous matter) to its third degree — i.e., from full unconsciousness to semi-perception; the second or higher group embraces the kingdoms from vegetable to man; the mineral kingdom thus forming the central or turning point in the degrees of the “Monadic Essence,” considered as an evoluting energy. Three stages (sub-physical) on the elemental side; the mineral kingdom; three stages on the objective physical* side — these are the (first or preliminary) seven links of the evolutionary chain.”
“Preliminary” because they are preparatory, and though belonging in fact to the natural, they yet would be more correctly described as sub-natural evolution. This process makes a halt in its stages at the Third, at the threshold of the Fourth stage, when it becomes, on the plane of the natural evolution, the first really manward stage, thus forming with the three elemental kingdoms, the ten, the Sephirothal number. It is at this point that begins: —
“A descent of spirit into matter equivalent to an ascent in physical
* “Physical” here means differentiated for cosmical purposes and work; that “physical side,” nevertheless, if objective to the apperception of beings from other planes, is yet quite subjective to us on our plane.
evolution; a re-ascent from the deepest depths of materiality (the mineral) towards its status quo ante, with a corresponding dissipation of concrete organism — up to Nirvana, the vanishing point of differentiated matter.” (“Five Years of Theosophy,” p. 276.)
Therefore it becomes evident why that which is pertinently called in Esoteric Buddhism “Wave of Evolution,” and mineral-, vegetable-, animal- and man-“impulse,” stops at the door of our Globe, at its Fourth cycle or Round. It is at this point that the Cosmic Monad (Buddhi) will be wedded to and become the vehicle of the Atmic Ray, i.e., it (Buddhi) will awaken to an apperception of it (Atman); and thus enter on the first step of a new septenary ladder of evolution, which will lead it eventually to the tenth (counting from the lowest upwards) of the Sephirothal tree, the Crown.
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; corresponding to the highest must be the lowest; the material to the spiritual. Thus, corresponding to the Sephirothal Crown (or upper triad) there are the three elemental Kingdoms, which precede the Mineral (see diagram on p. 277 in Five Years of Theosophy), and which, using the language of the Kabalists, answer in the Cosmic differentiation to the worlds of Form and Matter from the Super-Spiritual to the Archetypal.
Now what is a “Monad?” And what relation does it bear to an Atom? The following reply is based upon the explanations given in answer to these questions in the above-cited article: “The Mineral Monad,” written by the author.
“None whatever,” is answered to the second question, “to the atom or molecule as existing in the scientific conception at present. It can neither be compared with the microscopic organism, once classed among polygastric infusoria, and now regarded as vegetable, and classed among Algae; nor is it quite the Monas of the Peripatetics. Physically or constitutionally the mineral monad differs, of course, from the human monad, which is neither physical nor can its constitution be rendered by chemical symbols and elements.” In short, 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 “Monad” is the combination of the last two “principles” in man, the 6th and the 7th, and, properly speaking, the term “human monad” applies only to the dual soul (Atma-Buddhi), not to its highest spiritual vivifying Principle, Atma, alone. But since the Spiritual Soul, if divorced from the latter (Atma) could have no existence, no being, it has thus been called . . . . Now the Monadic, or rather Cosmic, Essence (if such a term be permitted) in the mineral, vegetable, and animal, though the same throughout the series of cycles from the lowest elemental up to the Deva Kingdom, yet differs in the scale of progression. It would be very misleading to imagine a Monad as a separate Entity trailing its slow way in a distinct path through the lower Kingdoms, and after an incalculable series of transformations flowering into a human being; in short, that the Monad of a Humboldt dates back to the Monad of an atom of horneblende. Instead of saying a “Mineral Monad,” the more correct phraseology in physical Science, which differentiates every atom, would of course have been to call it “the Monad manifesting in that form of Prakriti called the Mineral Kingdom.” The atom, as represented in the ordinary scientific hypothesis, is not a particle of something, animated by a psychic something, destined after aeons to blossom as a man. But it is a concrete manifestation of the Universal Energy which itself has not yet become individualized; a sequential manifestation of the one Universal Monas. 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 Peripatetics applied the word Monas to the whole Kosmos, in the pantheistic sense; and the Occultists, while accepting this thought for convenience sake, distinguish the progressive stages of the evolution of the concrete from the abstract by terms of which the “Mineral, Vegetable, Animal, (etc.), Monad” are examples. The term merely means that the tidal wave of spiritual evolution is passing through that arc of its circuit. 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 the higher degrees of intelligence.
Leibnitz conceived of the Monads as elementary and indestructible units endowed with the power of giving and receiving with respect to other units, and thus of determining all spiritual and physical phenomena. It is he who invented the term apperception, which together with nerve- (not perception, but rather) — sensation, expresses the state of the Monadic consciousness through all the Kingdoms up to Man.
Thus it may be wrong on strictly metaphysical lines to call Atma-Buddhi a monad, since in the materialistic view it is dual and therefore compound. But as Matter is Spirit, and vice versa; and since the Universe and the Deity which informs it are unthinkable apart from each other; so in the case of Atma-Buddhi. The latter being the vehicle of the former, Buddhi stands in the same relation to Atma, as Adam-Kadmon, the Kabalistic Logos, does to En-Soph, or Mulaprakriti to Parabrahm.
A few words more of the Moon.
What, it may be asked, are the “Lunar Monads,” just spoken of? The description of the seven classes of Pitris will come later, but now some general explanations may be given. It must be plain to everyone that they are Monads, who, having ended their life-cycle on the lunar chain, which is inferior to the terrestrial chain, have incarnated on this one. But there are some further details which may be added, though they border too closely on forbidden ground to be treated of fully. The last word of the mystery is divulged only to the adepts, but it may be stated that our satellite is only the gross body of its invisible principles. Seeing then that there are 7 Earths, so there are 7 Moons, the last one alone being visible; the same for the Sun, whose visible body is called a Maya, a reflection, just as man’s body is. “The real Sun and the real Moon are as invisible as the real man,” says an occult maxim.
And it may be remarked en passant that those ancients were not so foolish after all who first started the idea of “the seven moons.” For though
this conception is now taken solely as an astronomical measure of time, in a very materialised form, yet underlying the husk there can still be recognised the traces of a profoundly philosophical idea.
In reality the Moon is only the satellite of the Earth in one respect, viz., that physically the Moon revolves round the Earth. But in every other respect it is the Earth which is the satellite of the Moon, and not vice versa. Startling as the statement may seem it is not without confirmation from scientific knowledge. It is evidenced by the tides, by the cyclic changes in many forms of disease which coincide with the lunar phases; it can be traced in the growth of plants, and is very marked in the phenomena of human gestation and conception. The importance of the Moon and its influence on the Earth were recognized in every ancient religion, notably the Jewish, and have been remarked by many observers of psychical and physical phenomena. But, so far as Science knows, the Earth’s action on the Moon is confined to the physical attraction, which causes her to circle in her orbit. And should an objector insist that this fact alone is sufficient evidence that the Moon is truly the Earth’s satellite on other planes of action, one may reply by asking whether a mother, who walks round and round her child’s cradle keeping watch over the infant, is the subordinate of her child or dependent upon it; though in one sense she is its satellite, yet she is certainly older and more fully developed than the child she watches.
It is, then, the Moon that plays the largest and most important part, as well in the formation of the Earth itself, as in the peopling thereof with human beings. The “Lunar Monads” or Pitris, the ancestors of man, become in reality man himself. They are the “Monads” who enter on the cycle of evolution on Globe A, and who, passing round the chain of planets, evolve the human form as has just been shown. At the beginning of the human stage of the Fourth Round on this Globe, they “ooze out” their astral doubles from the “ape-like” forms which they had evolved in Round III. And it is this subtle, finer form, which serves as the model round which Nature builds physical man. These “Monads” or “divine sparks” are thus the “Lunar” ancestors, the Pitris themselves. For these “Lunar Spirits” have to become “Men” in order that their “Monads” may reach a higher plane of activity and self-consciousness, i.e., the plane of the Manasa-Putras, those who
endow the “senseless” shells, created and informed by the Pitris, with “mind” in the latter part of the Third Root-Race.
In the same way the “Monads” or Egos of the men of the seventh Round of our Earth, after our own Globes A, B, C, D, et seq., parting with their life-energy, will have informed and thereby called to life other laya-centres destined to live and act on a still higher plane of being — in the same way will the Terrene “Ancestors” create those who will become their superiors.
It now becomes plain that there exists in Nature a triple evolutionary scheme, for the formation of the three periodical Upadhis; or rather three separate schemes of evolution, which in our system are inextricably interwoven and interblended at every point. These are the Monadic (or spiritual), the intellectual, and the physical evolutions. These three are the finite aspects or the reflections on the field of Cosmic Illusion of atma, the seventh, the one reality.
1. The Monadic is, as the name implies, concerned with the growth and development into still higher phases of activity of the Monad in conjunction with: —
2. The Intellectual, represented by the Manasa-Dhyanis (the Solar Devas, or the Agnishwatta Pitris) the “givers of intelligence and consciousness”* to man and: —
3. The Physical, represented by the Chhayas of the lunar Pitris, round which Nature has concreted the present physical body. This body serves as the vehicle for the “growth” (to use a misleading word) and the transformations through Manas and — owing to the accumulation of experiences — of the finite into the infinite, of the transient into the Eternal and Absolute.
Each of these three systems has its own laws, and is ruled and guided by different sets of the highest Dhyanis or “Logoi.” Each is represented in the constitution of man, the Microcosm of the great Macrocosm; and it is the union of these three streams in him which makes him the complex being he now is.
“Nature,” the physical evolutionary Power, could never evolve intelligence unaided — she can only create “senseless forms,” as will be seen in our “Anthropogenesis.” The “Lunar Monads” cannot progress, for they have not yet had sufficient touch with the forms
* Vide Conclusion in Part II. of this Book.
created by “Nature” to allow of their accumulating experiences through its means. It is the Manasa-Dhyanis who fill up the gap, and they represent the evolutionary power of Intelligence and Mind, the link between “Spirit” and “Matter” — in this Round.
Also it must be borne in mind that the Monads which enter upon the evolutionary cycle upon Globe A, in the first Round, are in very different stages of development. Hence the matter becomes somewhat complicated. . . . Let us recapitulate.
The most developed Monads (the lunar) reach the human germ-stage in the first Round; become terrestrial, though very ethereal human beings towards the end of the Third Round, remaining on it (the globe) through the “obscuration” period as the seed for future mankind in the Fourth Round, and thus become the pioneers of Humanity at the beginning of this, the Fourth Round. Others reach the Human stage only during later Rounds, i.e., in the second, third, or first half of the Fourth Round. And finally the most retarded of all, i.e., those still occupying animal forms after the middle turning-point of the Fourth Round — will not become men at all during this Manwantara. They will reach to the verge of humanity only at the close of the seventh Round to be, in their turn, ushered into a new chain after pralaya — by older pioneers, the progenitors of humanity, or the Seed-Humanity (Sishta), viz., the men who will be at the head of all at the end of these Rounds.
The student hardly needs any further explanation on the part played by the fourth Globe and the fourth Round in the scheme of evolution.
From the preceding diagrams, which are applicable, mutatis mutandis, to Rounds, Globes or Races, it will be seen that the fourth member of a series occupies a unique position. Unlike the others, the Fourth has no “sister” Globe on the same plane as itself, and it thus forms the fulcrum of the “balance” represented by the whole chain. It is the sphere of final evolutionary adjustments, the world of Karmic scales, the Hall of Justice, where the balance is struck which determines the future course of the Monad during the remainder of its incarnations in the cycle. And therefore it is, that, after this central turning-point has been passed in the Great Cycle, — i.e., after the middle point of the Fourth Race in the Fourth Round on our Globe — no more Monads can enter the human kingdom. The door is closed for this Cycle and the balance struck. For were it otherwise — had there been a new soul
created for each of the countless milliards of human beings that have passed away, and had there been no reincarnation — it would become difficult indeed to provide room for the disembodied “Spirits;” nor could the origin and cause of suffering ever be accounted for. It is the ignorance of the occult tenets and the enforcement of false conceptions under the guise of religious education, which have created materialism and atheism as a protest against the asserted divine order of things.
The only exceptions to the rule just stated are the “dumb races,” whose Monads are already within the human stage, in virtue of the fact that these “animals” are later than, and even half descended from man, their last descendants being the anthropoid and other apes. These “human presentments” are in truth only the distorted copies of the early humanity. But this will receive full attention in the next Book.
As the Commentary, broadly rendered, says: —
1. “Every form on earth, and every speck (atom) in Space strives in its efforts towards self-formation to follow the model placed for it in the ‘ heavenly man.’ . . . Its (the atom’s) involution and evolution, its external and internal growth and development, have all one and the same object — man; man, as the highest physical and ultimate form on this earth; the monad, in its absolute totality and awakened condition — as the culmination of the divine incarnations on Earth.”
2. “The Dhyanis (Pitris) are those who have evolved their bhuta (doubles) from themselves, which rupa (form) has become the vehicle of monads (seventh and sixth principles) that had completed their cycle of transmigration in the three preceding Kalpas (Rounds) . Then, they (the astral doubles) became the men of the first Human Race of the Round. But they were not complete, and were senseless.”
This will be explained in the Books that follow. Meanwhile man — or rather his Monad — has existed on the earth from the very beginning of this Round. But, up to our own Fifth Race, the external shapes which covered those divine astral doubles changed and consolidated with every sub-race; the form and physical structure of the fauna changing at the same time, as they had to be adapted to the ever-changing conditions of life on this globe during the geological periods of its formative cycle. And thus shall they go on changing with every
Root Race and every chief sub-race down to the last one of the Seventh in this Round.
3. “The inner, now concealed, man, was then (in the beginnings) the external man. The progeny of the Dhyanis (Pitris), he was ‘the son like unto his father.’ Like the lotus, whose external shape assumes gradually the form of the model within itself, so did the form of man in the beginning evolve from within without. After the cycle in which man began to procreate his species after the fashion of the present animal kingdom, it became the reverse. The human foetus follows now in its transformations all the forms that the physical frame of man had assumed throughout the three Kalpas (Rounds) during the tentative efforts at plastic formation around the monad by senseless, because imperfect, matter, in her blind wanderings. In the present age, the physical embryo is a plant, a reptile, an animal, before it finally becomes man, evolving within himself his own ethereal counterpart, in his turn. In the beginning it was that counterpart (astral man) which, being senseless, got entangled in the meshes of matter.”
But this “man” belongs to the fourth Round. As shown, the monad had passed through, journeyed and been imprisoned in, every transitional form throughout every kingdom of nature during the three preceding Rounds. But the monad which becomes human is not the Man. In this Round — with the exception of the highest mammals after man, the anthropoids destined to die out in this our race, when their monads will be liberated and pass into the astral human forms (or the highest elementals) of the Sixth* and the Seventh Races, and then into lowest human forms in the fifth Round — no units of either of the kingdoms are animated any longer by monads destined to become human in their next stage, but only by the lower Elementals of their respective realms.†
The last human Monad incarnated before the beginning of the 5th
* Nature never repeats herself, therefore the anthropoids of our day have not existed at any time since the middle of the Miocene period; when, like all cross breeds, they began to show a tendency, more and more marked as time went on, to return to the type of their first parent, the black and yellow gigantic Lemuro-Atlantean. To search for the “Missing Link” is useless. To the scientists of the closing sixth Root-race, millions and millions of years hence, our modern races, or rather their fossils, will appear as those of small insignificant apes — an extinct species of the genus homo.
† These “Elementals” will become human Monads, in their turn, only at the next great planetary Manvantara.
Root-Race.* The cycle of metempsychosis for the human monad is closed, for we are in the Fourth Round and the Fifth Root-Race. The reader will have to bear in mind — at any rate one who has made himself acquainted with “Esoteric Buddhism” — that the Stanzas which follow in this Book and Book II speak of the evolution in our Fourth Round only. The latter is the cycle of the turning-point, after which, matter,
* Such anthropoids form an exception because they were not intended by Nature, but are the direct product and creation of “senseless” man. The Hindus give a divine origin to the apes and monkeys because the men of the Third Race were gods from another plane who had become “senseless” mortals. This subject had already been touched upon in “Isis Unveiled” twelve years ago as plainly as was then possible. On pp. 278-279, the reader is referred “to the Brahmins, if he would know the reason of the regard they have for the monkeys. For then he (the reader) would perhaps learn — were the Brahman to judge him worthy of an explanation — that the Hindu sees in the ape but what Manu desired he should: the transformation of species most directly connected with that of the human family, a bastard branch engrafted on their own stock before the final perfection of the latter. He might learn, further, that in the eyes of the educated ‘heathen’ the spiritual or inner man is one thing, and his terrestrial physical casket another. That physical nature, the great combination of physical correlations of forces, ever creeping onward towards perfection, has to avail herself of the material at hand; she models and remodels as she proceeds, and finishing her crowning work in man, presents him alone as a fit tabernacle for the overshadowing of the divine Spirit.”
Moreover, a German scientific work is mentioned in a footnote on the same page. It says that a Hanoverian scientist had recently published a Book entitled “Ueber die Auflosung der Arten durch Naturliche Zucht-wahl,” in which he shows, with great ingenuity, that Darwin was wholly mistaken in tracing man back to the ape. On the contrary, he maintains that it is the ape which is evolved from man. He shows that, in the beginning, mankind were morally and physically the types and prototypes of our present Race, and of our human dignity, by their beauty of form, regularity of feature, cranial development, nobility of sentiments, heroic impulses, and grandeur of ideal conception. This is a purely Brahmanic, Buddhistic and Kabalistic philosophy. The Book is copiously illustrated with diagrams, tables, etc. It asserts that the gradual debasement and degradation of man, morally and physically, can be readily traced throughout the ethnological transformation down to our time. And, as one portion has already degenerated into apes, so the civilized man of the present day will at last, under the action of the inevitable law of necessity, be also succeeded by like descendants. If we may judge of the future by the actual Present, it certainly does seem possible that so unspiritual and materialistic a body should end as Simia rather than as Seraphs. But though the apes descend from man, it is certainly not the fact that the human Monad, which has once reached the level of humanity, ever incarnates again in the form of an animal.
having reached its lowest depths, begins to strive onward and to get spiritualized with every new Race and with every fresh cycle. Therefore the student must take care not to see contradiction where there is none, as in “Esoteric Buddhism” Rounds are spoken of in general, while here only the Fourth, or our present Round, is meant. Then it was the work of formation; now it is that of reformation and evolutionary perfection.
Finally, to close this chapter anent various, but unavoidable misconceptions, we must refer to a statement in “Esoteric Buddhism” which has produced a very fatal impression upon the minds of many Theosophists. One unfortunate sentence from the work just referred to is constantly brought forward to prove the materialism of the doctrine. On p. 48, 5th Edition, the Author, referring to the progress of organisms on the Globes, says that “the mineral kingdom will no more develop the vegetable . . . than the Earth was able to develop man from the ape, till it received an impulse.”
Whether this sentence renders literally the thought of the author, or is simply (as we believe it is) a lapsus calami, may remain an open question.
It is really with surprise that we have ascertained the fact that “Esoteric Buddhism” was so little understood by some Theosophists, as to have led them into the belief that it thoroughly supported Darwinian evolution, and especially the theory of the descent of man from a pithecoid ancestor. As one member writes: “I suppose you realise that three-fourths of Theosophists and even outsiders imagine that, as far as the evolution of man is concerned, Darwinism and Theosophy kiss one another.” Nothing of the kind was ever realised, nor is there any great warrant for it, so far as we know, in “Esoteric Buddhism.” It has been repeatedly stated that evolution as taught by Manu and Kapila was the groundwork of the modern teachings, but neither Occultism nor Theosophy has ever supported the wild theories of the present Darwinists — least of all the descent of man from an ape. Of this, more hereafter. But one has only to turn to p. 47 of “Esoteric Buddhism,” 5th edition, to find there the statement that “Man belongs to a kingdom distinctly separate from that of the animals.” With such a plain and unequivocal statement before him, it is very strange that any careful student should have been so misled unless he is prepared to charge the author with a gross contradiction.
Every Round repeats on a higher scale the evolutionary work of the preceding Round. With the exception of some higher anthropoids, as just mentioned, the Monadic inflow, or inner evolution, is at an end till the next Manvantara. It can never be too often repeated, that the full-blown human Monads have to be first disposed of, before the new crop of candidates appears on this Globe at the beginning of the next cycle. Thus there is a lull; and this is why, during the Fourth Round, man appears on Earth earlier than any animal creation, as will be described.
But it is still urged that the author of “Esoteric Buddhism” has “preached Darwinism” all along. Certain passages would undoubtedly seem to lend countenance to this inference. Besides which the Occultists themselves are ready to concede partial correctness to the Darwinian hypothesis, in later details, bye-laws of Evolution, and after the midway point of the Fourth Race. Of that which has taken place, physical science can really know nothing, for such matters lie entirely outside of its sphere of investigation. But what the Occultists have never admitted, nor will they ever admit, is that man was an ape in this or in any other Round; or that he ever could be one, however much he may have been “ape-like.” This is vouched for by the very authority from whom the author of “Esoteric Buddhism” got his information.
Thus to those who confront the Occultists with these lines from the above-named volume: “It is enough to show that we may as reasonably — and that we must, if we would talk about these matters at all — conceive a life-impulse giving birth to mineral form, as of the same sort of impulse concerned to raise a race of apes into a race of rudimentary men.” To those who bring this passage forward as showing “decided Darwinism,” the Occultists answer by pointing to the explanation of the Master (Mr. Sinnett’s “teacher”) which would contradict these lines, were they written in the spirit attributed to them. A copy of this letter was sent to the writer, together with others, two years ago (1886), with additional marginal remarks, to quote from, in the “Secret Doctrine.” It begins by considering the difficulty experienced by the Western student, in reconciling some facts, previously given, with the evolution of man from the animal, i.e., from the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms, and advises the student to hold to the doctrine of analogy and correspondences. Then it touches upon the mystery of the Devas,
and even Gods, having to pass through states which it was agreed to refer to as “Inmetallization, Inherbation, Inzoonization and finally Incarnation,” and explains this by hinting at the necessity of failures even in the ethereal races of Dhyan Chohans. Concerning this it says:
“Still, as these ‘failures’ are too far progressed and spiritualized to be thrown back forcibly from Dhyan Chohanship into the vortex of a new primordial evolution through the lower kingdoms. . . . .” After which only a hint is given about the mystery contained in the allegory of the fallen Asuras, which will be expanded and explained in Book II. When Karma has reached them at the stage of human evolution, “they will have to drink it to the last drop in the bitter cup of retribution. Then they become an active force and commingle with the Elementals, the progressed entities of the pure animal kingdom, to develop little by little the full type of humanity.”
These Dhyan Chohans, as we see, do not pass through the three kingdoms as do the lower Pitris; nor do they incarnate in man until the Third Root Race. Thus, as the teaching stands:
“Man in the First Round and First Race on Globe D, our Earth, was an ethereal being (a Lunar Dhyani, as man), non-intelligent but superspiritual; and correspondingly, on the law of analogy, in the First Race of the Fourth Round. In each of the subsequent races and sub-races . . . he grows more and more into an encased or incarnate being, but still preponderatingly ethereal. . . . He is sexless, and, like the animal and vegetable he develops monstrous bodies correspondential with his coarser surroundings.
“II. Round. He (Man) is still gigantic and ethereal but growing firmer and more condensed in body, a more physical man. Yet still less intelligent than spiritual (1), for mind is a slower and more difficult evolution than is the physical frame . . .
“III. Round. He has now a perfectly concrete or compacted body, at first the form of a giant-ape, and now more intelligent, or rather cunning, than spiritual. For, on the downward arc, he has now reached a point where his primordial spirituality is eclipsed and overshadowed by nascent mentality (2). In the last half of the Third Round his gigantic stature decreases, and his body improves in texture, and he becomes a more rational being, though still more an ape than a
Deva. . . . (All this is almost exactly repeated in the third Root-Race of the Fourth Round.)
“IV. Round. Intellect has an enormous development in this Round. The (hitherto) dumb races acquire our (present) human speech on this globe, on which, from the Fourth Race, language is perfected and knowledge increases. At this half-way point of the Fourth Round (as of the Fourth Root, or Atlantean, race) humanity passes the axial point of the minor Manvantara cycle . . . . the world teeming with the results of intellectual activity and spiritual decrease . . . .”
This is from the authentic letter; what follows are the later remarks and additional explanations traced by the same hand in the form of footnotes.
(1.) “ . . . The original letter contained general teaching — a ‘bird’s eye view’ — and particularized nothing. . . . To speak of ‘physical man’ while limiting the statement to the early Rounds would be drifting back to the miraculous and instantaneous ‘coats of skin.’ . . . The first ‘Nature,’ the first ‘body,’ the first ‘mind’ on the first plane of perception, on the first Globe in the first Round, is what was meant. For Karma and evolution have —
‘ . . . centred in our make such strange extremes!
From different Natures* marvellously mixed . . .’
(2.) “Restore: he has now reached the point (by analogy, and as the Third Root Race in the Fourth Round) where his (“the angel”-man’s) primordial spirituality is eclipsed and overshadowed by nascent human mentality, and you have the true version on your thumb-nail. . . .”
These are the words of the Teacher — text, words and sentences in brackets, and explanatory footnotes. It stands to reason that there must be an enormous difference in such terms as “objectivity” and “subjectivity,” “materiality” and “spirituality,” when the same terms are applied to different planes of being and perception. All this must be taken in its relative sense. And therefore there is little to be wondered at, if, left to his own speculations, an author, however eager to learn, yet quite inexperienced in these abstruse teachings, has fallen
* The Natures of the seven hierarchies or classes of Pitris and Dhyan Chohans which compose our nature and Bodies are here meant.
into an error. Neither was the difference between the “Rounds” and the “Races” sufficiently defined in the letters received, nor was there anything of the kind required before, as the ordinary Eastern disciple would have found out the difference in a moment. Moreover, to quote from a letter of the Master’s (188-), “the teachings were imparted under protest. . . . They were, so to say, smuggled goods . . . and when I remained face to face with only one correspondent, the other, Mr. ———, had so far tossed all the cards into confusion, that little remained to be said without trespassing upon law.” Theosophists, “whom it may concern,” will understand what is meant.
The outcome of all this is that nothing had ever been said in the “letters” to warrant the assurance that the Occult doctrine has ever taught, or any Adept believed in, the preposterous modern theory of the descent of man from a common ancestor with the ape — an anthropoid of the actual animal kind, unless metaphorically. To this day the world is more full of “ape-like men” than the woods are of “men-like apes.” The ape is sacred in India because its origin is well known to the Initiates, though concealed under a thick veil of allegory. Hanuman is the son of Pavana (Vayu, “the god of the wind”) by Anjana, a monster called Kesari, though his genealogy varies. The reader who bears this in mind will find in Book II. passim, the whole explanation of this ingenious allegory. The “Men” of the Third Race (who separated) were “Gods” by their spirituality and purity, though senseless, and as yet destitute of mind, as men.
These “Men” of the Third Race — the ancestors of the Atlanteans — were just such ape-like, intellectually senseless giants as were those beings, who, during the Third Round, represented Humanity. Morally irresponsible, it was these third Race “men” who, through promiscuous connection with animal species lower than themselves, created that missing link which became ages later (in the tertiary period only) the remote ancestor of the real ape as we find it now in the pithecoid family.*
* And if this is found clashing with that other statement which shows the animal later than man, then the reader is asked to bear in mind that the placental mammal only is meant. In those days there were animals of which zoology does not even dream in our own; and the modes of reproduction were not identical with the notions which modern physiology has upon the subject. It is not altogether convenient to touch upon such questions in public, but there is no contradiction or impossibility in this whatever.
Thus the earlier teachings, however unsatisfactory, vague and fragmentary, did not teach the evolution of “man” from the “ape.” Nor does the author of “Esoteric Buddhism” assert it anywhere in his work in so many words; but, owing to his inclination towards modern science, he uses language which might perhaps justify such an inference. The man who preceded the Fourth, the Atlantean race, however much he may have looked physically like a “gigantic ape” — “the counterfeit of man who hath not the life of a man” — was still a thinking and already a speaking man. The “Lemuro-Atlantean” was a highly civilized race, and if one accepts tradition, which is better history than the speculative fiction which now passes under that name, he was higher than we are with all our sciences and the degraded civilization of the day: at any rate, the Lemuro-Atlantean of the closing Third Race was so.
And now we may return to the Stanzas.
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