ROOT-RACES AND LIFE-WAVES
The following question was asked on the evening of January 31, 1937, after a lengthy discussion on the subject of Life-waves and allied subjects:
Dr. A. A. Beale — Is there any relation or connexion between the "other humanities" (1) that follow our Human Life-wave, and the seven human races that start contemporaneously at the commencement of our Manvantara, spoken of by H. P. B.?
Abbott Clark — There is one phase of this subject, "other humanities," on which many questions have been asked and to which I should like to speak. This phrase, "other humanities" on other globes of the planetary chain, has given rise to much speculation and some confusion of thought, followed by some enlightening study and research, the result of which is as follows:
In this case the phrase "other humanities" is used as a generalizing term for the other "life-waves" below man, which are all potentially human. It does not mean that there are other hosts of monads that are exactly and specifically in the same human stage as we are, i. e., self-conscious, thinking manases, evolving on other globes of this planetary chain concurrently with our evolution on Globe D. That would be contrary to the rest of the teaching on the subject.
The phrase, I believe, is meant to remind us of the essential hierarchical unity with all the monadic hosts which primarily sprang from man and which will ultimately achieve the human state. The mineral, vegetable, and beast kingdoms are all our younger brothers, vital parts of ourselves. They are differentiations of the chain hierarchy of which man is the crown on Earth. Hence they receive the impress of his character, and, in a broad way, his name, signifying that they are potentially human.
H. Savage — In direct answer to Dr. Beale's question, I do not think there is any connexion, except perhaps an analogical one, between the other life-waves, sometimes called "humanities," and the seven human races that started contemporaneously on our globe. This latter point has often been a subject for discussion among students. It seems reasonable to believe that the first Root-Race was different from the others, just as the first Round on our globe was different from the others; and that it was made up of seven aspects of humanity, foreshadowing the later development that has taken place and is still to take place in the other Root-Races. We know that in the evolutionary scheme each Root-Race develops one Principle — or shall we say sub-principle; and surely the seeds of these seven types of development were sown when man first appeared on this Earth in this Round. H. P. B. also speaks of these seven races as evolving simultaneously on seven different portions of the globe (2) but whether this means that the Sacred Imperishable Land which we are taught was the home of the First Root-Race was not one geographical locality but was seven localities known in Theosophy under a collective name is a question we have never been able to solve.
G. de P. — Just what did H. P. B. mean in using that phrase "different humanities"? It does not mean different bodies of human beings, as we now understand ourselves, but was a phrase adopted by her to hammer home the point that however unevolved the different classes of evolving monads may be, they all were on the way to humanity, i. e., to become "men," and therefore are by courtesy, as it were by forecast, "human beings," "humanities." That is what the different "humanities" following each other around the globes of the chain are: the different classes of monads of which our human stock is one class. Our human stock again is sub-divided into subordinate classes, smaller classes, families of men.
Now with regard to the other part of Brother Beale's question: this is something that has plagued the thought of many, many, many students; and it is understandable too, because it is a very ticklish point, and yet it is easily explainable. When human evolution began on this Globe, in this Fourth Round, or in any other Round, it was a Life-wave beginning to evolve, which means a class of monads, themselves sub-divided into seven subordinate classes; and as the Life-wave reached our Earth and struck it, of course it did so more or less as a whole — forerunners, however, of each subordinate class reaching the Earth and grouping themselves, not only each class to its own, but all the subordinate classes more or less together, just as we men do in a town: divide into families and classes, and yet we aggregate as a town.
Consider a ray from the sun as a light-wave. We know that it is sevenfold. We can, if we wish, say that the ray of light is subdivided into seven subordinate rays, the solar spectrum, which combine and form one compound ray. Now when a ray of light touches our globe, it touches it as a full compound ray or light-wave, i. e., Life-wave; which is but another way of saying that it has seven subordinate rays. Thus, consider a Life-wave to be a light-ray from the spiritual Sun making its round. When this Life-wave or light-ray reaches our globe, at the beginning of human evolution on this globe, it does so as a whole. I do not mean it is all there, there in totality, but all its seven parts are represented; in other words all the subordinate classes have representatives in the first contact with the globe. Do you see what I mean? Each subordinate class has its forerunners, forming a scouting-party, as it were. These scouting-parties touch the globe, evolution begins, the sishtas begin to awaken and to work, and afterwards there come pouring in the bulk of the egos. Just so is it when a sun-ray-tip touches the Earth: that ray-tip, so to speak, is septenary, sevenfold, it has all the spectral colors; and once the contact is made, the ray thereafter pours down and through that channel all that is in it. Do you see what I am trying to say?
There are thus two definite points of teaching here: the seven Life-waves of "humanities" mentioned by me a moment agone as the Life-waves making their rounds through the globes, comprise our human Life-wave as one among them; but, referring to our human Life-wave alone, it also is sevenfold, as was indicated by the forerunners of our human Life-wave which reached the Earth at the beginning of the Fourth Round on this Globe: our own human Life-wave reached this Globe with representatives of all its seven subordinate colors or minor classes of human monads, most of them as forerunners of the main body.
It is a very interesting thing that the seven classes of men, of mankind, i. e., the human Life-wave, began their evolution together. What else would we expect? Pause a moment in thought. Think analogically. When a human being is born into this world, the body is not born first, and then when it is grown up there occurs the birth of the astral; and then when that has grown up the prana comes in. Birth takes place — actually a very mysterious and wonderful process — on different planes at the same time. While the body is coming into birth, the other principles in a man's constitution are beginning to arrange themselves, and form themselves, each in its own sphere, each in its own way, making man's sevenfold constitution. Not only the birth of the human being, but the growth of a seed, a flower, what not, follows the same rule of more or less contemporaneous activity in all the principles of the entity. Thus the entire human Life-wave, and after the same manner as just stated, initiated human evolution on our Globe in this Round with seven different sub-classes, most of them, however, being forerunners or representatives each of its own part of the septenary Life-wave. (3)
1. Cf. Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy, p. 395: ". . . there are six other humanities or life-waves evolving similarly to our own course: intelligent, thinking beings on our planet — I do not necessarily say on our Globe D — evolving through these lokas and talas. How this stirs the imagination!" See also page 398. (return to text)
2. The Secret Doctrine, Vol. II, p. 1. (return to text)
3. The June issue of The Forum will contain further explanations of the foregoing subject by the Leader, in answer to numerous questions which from time to time have been asked by students in the class in The Secret Doctrine conducted by Dr Henry T Edge at the General Offices at Point Loma — Eds. (return to text)