The separation of the sexes
Please may I know what is really meant by the teaching about the separation of the sexes in an early Root-Race. Is this connected in any way with the idea of "twin-souls'?
G. de P. — As regards this question concerning the separation of human individuals into distinct sexes which took place more or less during the Third Root-Race: this separation of each individual was brought about by the natural course of early human evolution, and is founded on the dual nature of mind, of the manasic part in us. When mind entered into the previously "mindless" race, the dual character of mind immediately made itself felt throughout all the lower quaternary, and when I say "immediately," I mean dating from that time. Thus it was that the androgynous race of the time slowly drew apart into the separate individuals as they now exist, into man and woman in other words; and the animals and indeed some of the plants likewise followed suit because of the strong psychic impression made by the human race on the astral mold of our world.
Thus this separation was a purely natural affair, based fundamentally on what you can call the positive and negative sides of mind; or you can otherwise phrase it as being based on the bi-polar character of the manas within us. Thus sex is really very little higher than the lower parts of the manas, and consequently is not a spiritual thing at all, a mere passing phase in evolution. As the human race evolves and rises out of the lower mind into the higher, sex will disappear.
In connexion with this, let me utter a word of warning: the idea of some rather sensuous people that the higher nature of human evolution is to be achieved by "the union of twin souls" is altogether wrong. The secret lies in the individual himself or herself, for in each individual there are the two poles. Thus it comes about that a human individual for two or three or more incarnations is a man or a woman; and as karman makes for adjustment in these things and prevents extremes, slowly such an individual begins to lean or have a bias towards the other half of mankind, as I have often explained, and when that reaches a certain point, then the man's incarnations become feminine, and the woman's incarnations, as above explained, become masculine. Thus it is that our destiny swings us from incarnations as a man to incarnations as a woman, then back to a man, then back to a woman; and this will last until sex disappears slowly and inevitably.
The twin-soul idea is a very dangerous one, and in fact fundamentally all wrong. What we must strive to do is to rise above sex in both thought and feeling, directing our efforts towards the spiritual within us, in which there is neither sex nor any of its attributes.
Do animals at death pass into Kama-loka and Devachan before rebirth? When dogs sleep they appear to dream. Do they do so? — R. B.
L. R. — The answer to the second question is found in The Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge, where the subject discussed was the difference between the dreams of men and those of animals. Mme. Blavatsky said:
The dream state is common not only to all men, but also to all animals, of course, from the highest mammalia to the smallest birds, and even insects. Every being endowed with a physical brain, or organs approximating thereto, must dream. Every animal, large or small, has, more or less, physical senses; and though these senses are dulled during sleep, memory will still, so to say, act mechanically, reproducing past sensations. . . . Like the last embers of a dying fire, with its spasmodic flare and occasional flames, so acts the brain in falling asleep. . . . The instinctual mind finds expression through the cerebellum, and is also that of the animals. With man during sleep the functions of the cerebrum cease, and the cerebellum carries him on to the Astral plane.
It often happens that men are conscious enough in sleep to know that they are dreaming, which shows that a man can separate himself on the mind plane into two or more entities. When awake, he can reason about himself as a composite being; he can, so to say, stand aside and see himself go by. An intelligent animal can think, but the light of reason has not been developed in it, though it has a more unerring instinct to guide it than man has. The pet dog, asleep, and evidently dreaming, is physically unconscious; he has not yet evolved a conscious higher mind or spiritual sense to function in Devachan, either asleep or after death. Therefore, in his dreams he is conscious somewhere on an intermediate level of being in the astral realm, and the Kama-loka is just such a subjective state. Unlike man, he would not ever dream that he was dreaming; nor would he have the human lower mind's imagination which animates present desires with pictures of past and future indulgences. His horizon is limited to the present; he awakes quickly, easily, and fully, ready for physical action. Likewise, his sleep after death must be correspondingly brief, light, and uneventful, before he is instinctively drawn back to another round of incarnation. Earth-life being his present evolutionary field of progress, Mother Nature provides for the most of his time to be spent here. If he is brought back to his old master — as may happen — he will know the latter instinctively, while the master will reason about the mutual feeling of an old bond of association. The animal "soul" is still on the descending arc of materializing spirit, as man was before his latent fires of mind were lighted by solar deities, in the Third Root-Race. The post-mortem condition of animals was discussed briefly in The Theosophical Forum for April, 1938.
Can you treat the subject of identical twins in its various aspects and phases, and do so from the occult standpoint; also discuss the significance of identical destinies in identical twins?
H. T. E. — In answer to questions about the bearing of individual destiny on the question of identical twins, it may be pointed out that, even if it be true that such twins are born from one cell, it is also true that every cell contains a number of lesser constituents (nucleus, nucleole, genes, chromosomes, etc.) which biologists are now investigating. Also, the cell merely furnishes a vehicle for the incoming entity, and it would seem no more reasonable to suppose that two monads using the same vehicle would be exactly alike, than to suppose that two people living in the same house would be alike. The expression "identical destinies" is surely unwarranted by any facts; unless "identical destinies" merely means "similar."
O. I. C. — Scientists are making a considerable study of human identical twins. It is clearly established that they are not identical physically or mentally, though they are usually very similar in appearance and personal traits, at least superficially. Nor are any two plants or animals entirely identical, science avers.
We do not know that any scientist claims or even admits that in any case "identical" twins have "identical destinies." Sensational and evidently inaccurate accounts which have sometimes attracted wide attention in the popular press cannot be taken too seriously. Nevertheless, it seems quite reasonable that having the same heredity and environment and voluntarily cultivating the same characteristics, attitudes, and likes and dislikes, as twins often do, they should attract to themselves similar happenings. But this is voluntarily induced destiny, not predestination.
We all of us, in accordance with our karman, attract to ourselves the conditions, events, and even accidents which we call our destiny. The fact that persons incarnate in the same family shows clearly some similarity of their karman or some karmic relationship. Being born as "identical" twins would seem to show a still closer karmic similarity or affinity. It is well known that brothers and sisters sometimes experience remarkable similarity of events and even of life history. It seems natural that such similarities should occur more often in the case of "identical" twins. However, there are as yet no statistical data as to the frequency of the similarities of life events, though a considerable number of scientists studying heredity and evolution are painstakingly collecting data as to every detail of the case histories of human "identical" twins.
There have always been twins. If their life history were always or usually identical or nearly so, that fact would have been generally known long ago. There are no two things in the universe that are identical, and yet there are fundamental similarities running through all things. Individuals may have bodies and personal traits astonishingly similar, but their inner natures may be poles apart.
Truly the questioner is right in holding that the facts in this matter (like all other facts in human life when rightly understood) give support to the Theosophical doctrines of Karman and Reincarnation. We choose our incarnations and life events by and because of our desires and attractions and needs, previously set up or chosen at the time. Heredity helps to provide the body but the incarnating ego helps to build it. There is no injustice or chance or fatalism. We have even chosen in the past and constantly do choose to share the karman and destiny of the human race and none of us would long stay dissociated from the human race if we had the chance to do so.
Individuals of inactive will may be carried along by heredity and circumstances and family and racial karman, but those of more active will can and do shape the present and the near future to at least a large degree, as we all know that we are doing in almost every thought and act of every day.
We are not completely bound by any outward circumstance. We attract to ourselves whatever we deserve, and when we have learned our lessons and work with the Higher Law our destiny will be good, because the inmost of every human being and of the universe is good.
The Development of Intuition
I once remarked that I would enjoy getting into certain lines of Theosophical work provided I knew more about Theosophy. A friend said to go right ahead and rely on the right answers to come as needed; that my intuition would work infallibly if only I used it. It seems to me that when a person has naturally evolved to the point where these powers are desirable or needed they will manifest themselves; I believe it is not the best thing for a person to try to force the development of any of the higher powers, among which is intuition. Would you care to elaborate on this subject? — G. C.
Q. W. — I think this is what your friend meant when he spoke of the answers coming, as it were, automatically. It is obviously almost impossible to remember all the details, as details. But it is possible to figure out a fairly correct solution if you work from universals to particulars, which is the Platonic way. Of course intuition is really the thing to be worked towards, but it is necessary to have a background of knowledge to build against. Regardless of how well developed the intuition may be, its expression is through the brain-mind. And it is the brain-mind that has to be trained to reflect and express truly that for which it is the channel. Intuition is to be developed, but not, I think, through any systematic set of exercises or anything like that. It will come through a close application of all the faculties to the subjects studied, and soon you will be putting two and two together and getting answers. The real teaching is given in hints, which the student must catch and follow up for himself, finding a contributory hint here, and a confirming hint there.
Of course the development of intuition is karmic, that is, it is the result of precedent causes. I think one of the best means of development is trying to make our Theosophy a living power in our daily lives, together with a real study of the technical teachings.
The Theosophical ForumTHEOSOPHICAL UNIVERSITY PRESS ONLINE