Theosophical University Press Online Edition
EVOLUTION OF THE ANIMAL MAMMALIANS. — THE FIRST FALL.
§§ (28) How the first mammals were produced. (29) A quasi-Darwinian Evolution. (30) The animals get solid bodies. (31) Their separation into sexes. (32) The first sin of the mindless men.
28. From the drops of sweat (a); from the residue of the substance; matter from dead bodies and animals of the wheel before (previous, Third Round); and from cast-off dust; the first animals (of this Round) were produced.
(a) The Occult doctrine maintains that, in this Round, the mammalians were a later work of evolution than man. Evolution proceeds in cycles. The great Manvantaric cycle of Seven Rounds, beginning in the First Round with mineral, vegetable, and animal, brings its evolutionary work on the descending arc to a dead stop in the middle of the Fourth Race, at the close of the first half of the Fourth Round. It is on our Earth, then, (the Fourth sphere and the lowest) and in the present Round, that this middle point has been reached. And since the Monad has passed, after its “first inmetallization” on Globe A, through the mineral, vegetable, and animal worlds in every degree of the three states of matter, except the last degree of the third or solid state, which it reached only at the “mid-point of evolution” it is but logical and natural that at the beginning of the Fourth Round on Globe D, Man should be the first to appear; and also that his frame should be of the most tenuous matter that is compatible with objectivity. To make it still clearer: if the Monad begins its cycle of incarnations through the three objective kingdoms on the descending curved line, it has necessarily to enter on the re-ascending curved line of the sphere as a man also. On the descending arc it is the spiritual which is gradually transformed into the material. On the middle line of the base, Spirit and Matter are equilibrized in Man. On the ascending arc, Spirit is slowly re-asserting itself at the expense of the physical, or matter, so that, at the close of the seventh Race of the Seventh Round, the Monad will find itself as
free from matter and all its qualities as it was in the beginning; having gained in addition the experience and wisdom, the fruition of all its personal lives, without their evil and temptations.
This order of evolution is found also in Genesis (ch. 1 and 2) if one reads it in its true esoteric sense, for chapter i. contains the history of the first Three Rounds, as well as that of the first Three Races of the Fourth, up to that moment when Man is called to conscious life by the Elohim of Wisdom. In the first chapter, animals, whales and fowls of the air, are created before the androgyne Adam.* In the second, Adam (the sexless) comes first, and the animals only appear after him. Even the state of mental torpor and unconsciousness of the first two races, and of the first half of the Third Race, is symbolized, in the second chapter of Genesis, by the deep sleep of Adam. It was the dreamless sleep of mental inaction, the slumber of the Soul and Mind, which was meant by that “sleep,” and not at all the physiological process of differentiation of sexes, as a learned French theorist (M. Naudin) imagined.
The Puranas, the Chaldean and Egyptian fragments, and also the Chinese traditions, all show an agreement with the Secret Doctrine as to the process and order of evolution. We find in them the corroboration of almost all our teaching. For instance: the statement concerning the oviparous mode of procreation of the Third Race, and even a hint at a less innocent mode of the procreation of the first mammal forms, “gigantic, transparent, dumb and monstrous they were,” says the Commentary. Study the stories of the several Rishis and their multifarious progeny; e.g., Pulastya is the father of all the Serpents and Nagas — the oviparous brood; Kasyapa was grandsire, through his wife Tamra, of the birds and of Garuda, king of the feathered tribe; while by his wife Surabhi, he was the parent of cows and buffaloes, etc., etc.
In the Secret Doctrine, the first Nagas — beings wiser than Serpents — are the “Sons of Will and Yoga,” born before the complete separation of the sexes, “matured in the man-bearing eggs† produced by the power (Kriyasakti) of the holy sages” of the early Third Race.‡
* An allegorical reference to the “Sacred Animals” of the Zodiac and other heavenly bodies. Some Kabalists see in them the prototypes of the animals.
† In “Hesiod,” Zeus creates his third race of men out of ash-trees. In the “Popol Vuh” the Third Race of men is created out of the tree Tzita and the marrow of the reed called Sibac. But Sibac means “egg” in the mystery language of the Artufas (or Initiation caves). In a report sent in 1812 to the Cortes by Don Baptista Pino it is said: “All the Pueblos have their Artufas — so the natives call subterranean rooms with only a single door where they (secretly) assemble. . . . . These are impenetrable temples . . . . and the doors are always closed to the Spaniards. . . . . They adore the Sun and Moon . . . . fire and the great snake (the creative power), whose eggs are called Sibac.”
‡ There is a notable difference esoterically between the words Sarpa and Naga, though [[Footnote continued on next page]]
“. . . . . In these were incarnated the Lords of the three (upper) worlds, the various classes of Rudras, who had been Tushitas, who had been Jayas, who are Adityas;” for, as explained by Parasara, “There are a hundred appellations of the immeasurably mighty Rudras.”
Some of the descendants of the primitive Nagas, the Serpents of Wisdom, peopled America, when its continent arose during the palmy days of the great Atlantis, (America being the Patala or Antipodes of Jambu-Dwipa, not of Bharata-Varsha). Otherwise, whence the traditions and legends — the latter always more true than history, as says Augustin Thierry — and even the identity in the names of certain “medicine men” and priests, who exist to this day in Mexico? We shall have to say something of the Nargals and the Nagals and also of Nagalism, called “devil-worship” by the Missionaries.
In almost all the Puranas, the story of the “Sacrifice of Daksha” is given, the oldest account of which is to be found in Vayu Purana. Allegorical as it is, there is more meaning and biological revelation in it to a Naturalist, than in all the pseudo-scientific vagaries, which are regarded as learned theories and hypotheses.
Daksha, who is regarded as the Chief Progenitor, is, moreover, pointed out as the creator of physical man in the “fable,” which makes him lose his head from his body in the general strife between the gods and the Raumas. This head, being burnt in the fire, is replaced by the head of a ram (Kasi-Khanda). Now the ram’s head and horns are ever the symbol of generating power and of reproductive force, and are phallic. As we have shown, it is Daksha who establishes the era of men engendered by sexual intercourse. But this mode of procreation did not occur suddenly, as one may think, and required long ages before it became the one “natural” way. Therefore, his sacrifice to the gods is shown as interfered with by Siva, the destroying deity, evolution and progress personified, who is the regenerator at the same time; who destroys things under one form but to recall them to life under another more perfect type. Siva-Rudra creates the terrible Virabhadra (born of his breath) the “thousand-headed, thousand-armed” (etc.) monster, and commissions him to destroy the sacrifice prepared by Daksha. Then Virabhadra, “abiding in the region of the ghosts (ethereal men) . . . .
[[Footnote continued from previous page]] they are both used indiscriminately. Sarpa (serpent) is from the root Srip, serpo to creep; and they are called “Ahi,” from Ha, to abandon. “The sarpa was produced from Brahma’s hair, which, owing to his fright at beholding the Yakshas, whom he had created horrible to behold, fell off from the head, each hair becoming a serpent. They are called Sarpa from their creeping and Ahi because they had deserted the head” (Wilson). But the Nagas, their serpent’s tail notwithstanding, do not creep, but manage to walk, run and fight in the allegories.
created from the pores of the skin (Romakupas), powerful Raumas,* (or Raumyas).” Now, however mythical the allegory, the Mahabharata, which is history as much as is the Iliad, shows† the Raumyas and other races, as springing in the same manner from the Romakupas, hair or skin pores. This allegorical description of the “sacrifice” is full of significance to the students of the Secret Doctrine who know of the “Sweat-born.”
In the Vayu Purana’s account of Daksha’s sacrifice, moreover, it is said to have taken place in the presence of creatures born from the egg, from the vapour, vegetation, pores of the skin, and, finally only, from the womb.
Daksha typifies the early Third Race, holy and pure, still devoid of an individual Ego, and having merely the passive capacities. Brahma, therefore, commands him to create (in the exoteric texts); when, obeying the command, he made “inferior and superior” (avara and vara) progeny (putra), bipeds and quadrupeds; and by his will, gave birth to females . . . . to the gods, the Daityas (giants of the Fourth Race), the snake-gods, animals, cattle and the Danavas (Titans and demon Magicians) and other beings.”
. . . . “From that period forward, living creatures were engendered by sexual intercourse. Before the time of Daksha, they were variously propagated — by the will, by sight, by touch, and by Yoga-power.”‡ And now comes the simply zoological teaching.
29. Animals with bones, dragons of the deep and flying sarpas (serpents) were added to the creeping things. They that creep on the ground got wings. They of the long necks in the water, became the progenitors of the fowls of the air (a).
(a) This is a point on which the teachings and modern biological speculation are in perfect accord. The missing links representing this transition process between reptile and bird are apparent to the veriest bigot, especially in the ornithoscelidae, hesperornis, and the archaeopteryx of Vogt.
30. During the Third (Race), the boneless animals grew and changed: they became animals with bones (a), their Chhayas became solid (also).
* Wilson translates the word as “demigods” (See his Vishnu Purana, p. 130); but Raumas or Raumyas are simply a race, a tribe.
† xii. 10308.
‡ “Vishnu Purana”
31. The animals separated the first (into male and female) (b) . . . .
(a) Vertebrates, and after that mammalians. Before that the animals were also ethereal proto-organisms, just as man was.
(b) The fact of former hermaphrodite mammals and the subsequent separation of sexes is now indisputable, even from the stand-point of Biology. As Prof. Oscar Schmidt, an avowed Darwinist, shows: “Use and disuse combined with selection elucidate (?) the separation of the sexes, and the existence, totally incomprehensible, of rudimentary sexual organs. In the Vertebrata especially, each sex possesses such distinct traces of the reproductive apparatus characteristic of the other, that even antiquity assumed hermaphroditism as a natural primeval form of mankind. . . . The tenacity with which the rudiments of sexual organs are inherited is remarkable. In the class of mammals, actual hermaphroditism is unheard of, although through the whole period of their development they drag along with them these residues born by their unknown ancestry, no one can say how long ago.”*
31. . . . . They (the animals) began to breed. The two-fold man (then) separated also. He (man), said “Let us as they; let us unite and make creatures.” They did. . . .
32. And those which had no spark (the “narrow-brained”†) took huge she-animals unto them (a). They begat upon them dumb races. Dumb they were (the “narrow-brained”) themselves. But their tongues untied (b). The tongues of their progeny remained still. Monsters they bred. A race of crooked, red-hair-covered monsters, going on all fours.‡ A dumb race, to keep the shame untold.§
(a) The animals “separated the first,” says Stanza 31. Bear in mind that at that period men were different, even physiologically, from what
* “Doctrine of Descent and Darwinism,” pp. 186-7. The “Unknown Ancestry” referred to are the primeval astral prototypes. Cf. § II., p. 260 (a).
† See verse 24.
‡ These “animals,” or monsters, are not the anthropoid or any other apes, but verily what the Anthropologists might call the “missing link,” the primitive lower man; see infra.
§ The shame of their animal origin which our modern scientists would emphasize if they could.
they are now, having passed the middle point of the Fifth Race. We are not told what the “huge she-animals” were; but they certainly were as different from any we know now, as were the men.
This was the first physical “fall into matter” of some of the then existing and lower races. Bear in mind Stanza 24. The “Sons of Wisdom” had spurned the early Third Race, i.e., the non-developed, and are shown incarnating in, and thereby endowing with intellect, the later Third Race. Thus the sin of the brainless or “mindless” Races, who had no “spark” and were irresponsible, fell upon those who failed to do by them their Karmic duty.
(b) See later on concerning the beginning of human speech.
What may be the Objections to the Foregoing.
Thus Occultism rejects the idea that Nature developed man from the ape, or even from an ancestor common to both, but traces, on the contrary, some of the most anthropoid species to the Third Race man of the early Atlantean period. As this proposition will be maintained and defended elsewhere, a few words more are all that are needed at present. For greater clearness, however, we shall repeat in brief what was said previously in Book I., Stanza VI.
Our teachings show that, while it is quite correct to say that nature had built, at one time, around the human astral form an ape-like external shape, yet it is as correct that this shape was no more that of the “missing link,” than were the coverings of that astral form, during the course of its natural evolution through all the kingdoms of nature. Nor was it, as shown in the proper place, on this Fourth Round planet that such evolution took place, but only during the First, Second, and Third Rounds, when man was, in turn, “a stone, a plant, and an animal” until he became what he was in the First Root-Race of present humanity. The real line of evolution differs from the Darwinian, and the two systems are irreconcilable, except when the latter is divorced from the dogma of “Natural Selection” and the like. Indeed, between the Monera of Haeckel and the Sarisripa of Manu, there lies an impassable chasm in the shape of the Jiva; for the “human” Monad, whether immetallized in the stone-atom, or invegetallized in the plant, or inanimalized in the animal, is still and ever a divine, hence also a human Monad. It ceases to be human only when it becomes absolutely divine. The terms “mineral,” “vegetable” and “animal” monad are meant to create a superficial distinction: there is no such thing as a Monad (jiva)
other than divine, and consequently having been, or having to become, human. And the latter term has to remain meaningless unless the difference is well understood. The Monad is a drop out of the shoreless Ocean beyond, or, to be correct, within the plane of primeval differentiation. It is divine in its higher and human in its lower condition — the adjectives “higher” and “lower” being used for lack of better words — and a monad it remains at all times, save in the Nirvanic state, under whatever conditions, or whatever external forms. As the Logos reflects the Universe in the Divine Mind, and the manifested Universe reflects itself in each of its Monads, as Leibnitz put it, repeating an Eastern teaching, so the Monad has, during the cycle of its incarnations, to reflect in itself every root-form of each kingdom. Therefore, the Kabalists say correctly that “Man becomes a stone, a plant, an animal, a man, a Spirit, and finally God. Thus accomplishing his cycle or circuit and returning to the point from which he had started as the heavenly Man.” But by “Man” the divine Monad is meant, and not the thinking Entity, much less his physical body. While rejecting the immortal Soul, the men of Science now try to trace the latter through a series of animal forms from the lowest to the highest; whereas, in truth, all the present fauna are the descendants of those primordial monsters of which the Stanzas speak. The animals — the creeping beasts and those in the waters that preceded man in this Fourth Round, as well as those contemporary with the Third Race, and again the mammalia that are posterior to the Third and Fourth Races — all are either directly or indirectly the mutual and correlative product (physically) of man. It is correct to say that the man of this Manvantara, i.e., during the three preceding Rounds, has passed through all the kingdoms of nature. That he was “a stone, a plant, an animal.” But (a) these stones, plants, and animals were the prototypes, the filmy presentments of those of the Fourth Round; and (b) even those at the beginning of the Fourth Round were the astral shadows of the present, as the Occultists express it. And finally the forms and genera of neither man, animal, nor plant were what they became later. Thus the astral prototypes of the lower beings of the animal kingdom of the Fourth Round, which preceded (the chhayas of) Men, were the consolidated, though still very ethereal sheaths of the still more ethereal forms or models produced at the close of the Third Round on Globe D.* “Produced from the residue of the substance matter; from dead bodies of men and (other extinct) animals of the wheel before,” or the previous Third Round — as Stanza 24 tells us. Hence, while the nondescript “animals”
* Vide “Esoteric Buddhism.”
that preceded the astral man at the beginning of this life-cycle on our Earth were still, so to speak, the progeny of the man of the Third Round, the mammalians of this Round owe their existence, in a great measure, to man again. Moreover, the “ancestor” of the present anthropoid animal, the ape, is the direct production of the yet mindless Man, who desecrated his human dignity by putting himself physically on the level of an animal.
The above accounts for some of the alleged physiological proofs, brought forward by the anthropologists as a demonstration of the descent of man from the animals.
The point most insisted upon by the Evolutionists is that, “The history of the embryo is an epitome of that of the race.” That “every organism, in its development from the egg, runs through a series of forms, through which, in like succession, its ancestors have passed in the long course of Earth’s history.* The history of the embryo . . . . is a picture in little, and outline of that of the race. This conception forms the gist of our fundamental biogenetic law, which we are obliged to place at the head of the study of the fundamental law of organic development.”†
This modern theory was known as a fact to, and far more philosophically expressed by, the Sages and Occultists from the remotest ages. A passage from “Isis Unveiled” may here be cited to furnish a few points of comparison. In Vol. I., pp. 388-9, it was asked why, with all their great learning, physiologists were unable to explain teratological phenomena? Any anatomist who has made the development and growth of the embryo “a subject of special study,” can tell, without much brain-work, what daily experience and the evidence of his own eyes show him, viz., that up to a certain period, the human embryo is a facsimile of a young batrachian in its first remove from the spawn — a tadpole. But no physiologist or anatomist seems to have had the idea of applying to the development of the human being — from the first
* “A very strong argument in favour of variability is supplied by the science of Embryology. Is not a man in the uterus . . . . . a simple cell, a vegetable with three or four leaflets, a tadpole with branchiae, a mammal with a tail, lastly a primate (?) and a biped? It is scarcely possible not to recognise in the embryonic evolution a rapid sketch, a faithful summary, of the entire organic series.” (Lefevre, Philosophy, p. 484).
The summary alluded to is, however, only that of the store of types hoarded up in man, the microcosm. This simple explanation meets all such objections, as the presence of the rudimentary tail in the foetus — a fact triumphantly paraded by Haeckel and Darwin as conclusively in favour of the Ape-Ancestor theory. It may also be pointed out that the presence of a vegetable with leaflets in the embryonic stages is not explained on ordinary evolutionist principles. Darwinists have not traced man through the vegetable, but Occultists have. Why then this feature in the embryo, and how do the former explain it?
† “The Proofs of Evolution,” a lecture by Haeckel.
instant of its physical appearance as a germ to its ultimate formation and birth — the Pythagorean esoteric doctrine of metempsychosis, so erroneously interpreted by critics. The meaning of the axiom: “A stone becomes a plant; a plant, a beast; a beast, a man, etc.” was mentioned in another place in relation to the spiritual and physical evolution of men on this Earth. We will now add a few more words to make the matter clearer.
What is the primitive shape of the future man? A grain, a corpuscle, say some physiologists; a molecule, an ovum of the ovum, say others. If it could be analysed — by the microscope or otherwise — of what ought we to expect to find it composed? Analogically, we should say, of a nucleus of inorganic matter, deposited from the circulation at the germinating point, and united with a deposit of organic matter. In other words, this infinitesimal nucleus of the future man is composed of the same elements as a stone — of the same elements as the Earth, which the man is destined to inhabit. Moses is cited by the Kabalists as authority for the remark that it required earth and water to make a living being, and thus it may be said that man first appears as a stone.
At the end of three or four weeks the ovum has assumed a plant-like appearance, one extremity having become spheroidal and the other tapering like a carrot. Upon dissection it is found to be composed, like an onion, of very delicate laminae or coats, enclosing a liquid. The laminae approach each other at the lower end, and the embryo hangs from the root of the umbilicus almost like the fruit from the bough. The stone has now become changed, by “metempsychosis,” into a plant. Then the embryonic creature begins to shoot out, from the inside outward, its limbs, and develops its features. The eyes are visible as two black dots; the ears, nose, and mouth form depressions, like the points of a pineapple, before they begin to project. The embryo develops into an animal-like foetus — the shape of a tadpole — and, like an amphibious reptile, lives in water and develops from it. Its Monad has not yet become either human or immortal, for the Kabalists tell us that this only occurs at the “fourth hour.” One by one the foetus assumes the characteristics of the human being, the first flutter of the immortal breath passes through its being; it moves; and the divine essence settles in the infant frame, which it will inhabit until the moment of physical death, when man becomes a spirit.
This mysterious process of a nine-months’ formation, the Kabalists call the completion of the “individual cycle of evolution.” As the foetus develops amidst the liquor amnii in the womb, so the Earths germinate in the universal ether, or astral fluid, in the womb of the Universe. These cosmic children, like their pigmy inhabitants, are at first nuclei; then ovules; then gradually mature; and becoming
mothers, in their turn, develop mineral, vegetable, animal, and human forms. From centre to circumference, from the imperceptible vesicle to the uttermost conceivable bounds of the Kosmos, those glorious thinkers, the Occultists, trace cycle merging into cycle, containing and contained in an endless series. The embryo evolving in its pre-natal sphere, the individual in his family, the family in the state, the state in mankind, the Earth in our system, that system in its central universe, the universe in the Kosmos, and the Kosmos in the one cause . . . thus runs their philosophy of evolution, differing as we see, from that of Haeckel: —
“All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whose body Nature is, and (Parabrahm) the soul . . .”
These are the proofs of Occultism, and they are rejected by Science. But how is the chasm between the mind of man and animal to be bridged in this case? How, if the anthropoid and Homo primigenius had, argumenti gratia, a common ancestor (in the way modern speculation puts it), did the two groups diverge so widely from one another as regards mental capacity? True, the Occultist may be told that in every case Occultism does what Science repeats; it gives a common ancestor to ape and man, since it makes the former issue from primeval man. Ay, but that “primeval man” was man only in external form. He was mindless and soulless at the time he begot, with a female animal monster, the forefather of a series of apes. This speculation — if speculation it be — is at least logical, and fills the chasm between the mind of man and animal. Thus it accounts for and explains the hitherto unaccountable and inexplicable. The fact that, in the present stage of evolution, Science is almost certain that no issue can follow from the union of man and animal, is considered and explained elsewhere.
Now what is the fundamental difference between the accepted (or nearly so) conclusions, as enunciated in “The Pedigree of Man,” viz., that man and ape have a common ancestor; and the teachings of Occultism, which deny this conclusion and accept the fact that all things and all living beings have originated from one common source? Materialistic science makes man evolve gradually to what he is now, and, starting from the first protoplasmic speck called Moneron (which we are told has, like the rest, “originated in the course of immeasurable ages from a few, or from one simple, spontaneously arising original form, that has obeyed one law of evolution”), pass through “unknown and unknowable” types up to the ape, and thence to the human being. Where the transitional shapes are discoverable we are not told; for the simple reason that no “missing links” between man and the apes have ever yet been found, though this fact in no way prevents men like Haeckel from inventing them ad libitum.
Nor will they ever be met with; simply, again, because that link which unites man with his real ancestry is searched for on the objective plane and in the material world of forms, whereas it is safely hidden from the microscope and dissecting knife within the animal tabernacle of man himself. We repeat what we have said in Isis Unveiled: —
“. . . . . . . All things had their origin in spirit — evolution having originally begun from above and proceeded downward, instead of the reverse, as taught in the Darwinian theory. In other words, there has been a gradual materialization of forms until a fixed ultimate of debasement is reached. This point is that at which the doctrine of modern evolution enters into the arena of speculative hypothesis. Arrived at this period we will find it easier to understand Haeckel’s Anthropogeny, which traces the pedigree of man ‘from its protoplasmic root, sodden in the mud of seas which existed before the oldest of the fossiliferous rocks were deposited,’ according to Professor Huxley’s exposition. We may believe the man (of the Third Round) evolved ‘by gradual modification of an (astral) mammal of ape-like organization’ still easier when we remember that (though in a more condensed and less elegant, but still as comprehensible, phraseology) the same theory was said by Berosus to have been taught many thousands of years before his time by the man-fish Oannes or Dagon, the semi-demon of Babylonia* (though on somewhat modified lines).
“But what lies back of the Darwinian line of descent? So far as he is concerned nothing but ‘unverifiable hypotheses.’ For, as he puts it, he views all beings ‘as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Silurian system was deposited.’† He does not attempt to show us who these ‘few beings’ were. But it answers our purpose quite as well, for, in the admission of their existence at all, resort to the ancients for corroboration and elaboration of the idea receives the stamp of scientific approbation. . . . ”
Truly, as also said in our first work: “If we accept Darwin’s theory of the development of species, we find that his starting-point is placed in front of an open door. We are at liberty with him, to either remain within, or cross the threshold, beyond which lies the limitless and the incomprehensible, or rather the Unutterable. If our mortal language is inadequate to express what our spirit dimly foresees in the great ‘Beyond’ — while on this earth — it must realize it at some point in the timeless Eternity.” But what lies “beyond” Haeckel’s theory? Why Bathybius Haeckelii, and no more!
A further answer is given in Part III. Addenda.
* Cory: “Ancient Fragments.”
† “Origin of Species,” pp. 448, 489, first edition.