The first volume of The Secret Doctrine has as its subject matter the becoming of the Cosmos - "Cosmogenesis". The second volume (Vol. III in the Adyar 6-vol. editions) is concerned with the becoming of Man - "Anthropogenesis". Its first section, like that of the preceding volume, is based on stanzas "drawn from the same Archaic Records as the Stanzas on Cosmogony". As an indication of its main theme, the Preliminary Notes which serve as an introduction to the further stanzas and commentaries are preceded by a passage from Isis Unveiled. Provocative and challenging to the leaders of contemporary scientific and religious thought, the extract prepares the reader for the seemingly revolutionary ideas about the story of Man that are offered in the occult record.
In the Bowen notes, Madame Blavatsky draws the student's attention to these Preliminary Notes, which begin with a statement of three new propositions concerning the evolution of Man.
THREE NEW PROPOSITIONS
Modern Science insists upon the doctrine of evolution; so do human reason and the Secret Doctrine, and the idea is corroborated by the ancient legends and myths, and even by the Bible itself when it is read between the lines. We see a flower slowly developing from a bud, and the bud from its seed. But whence the latter, with all its predetermined programme of physical transformation, and its invisible, therefore spiritual, forces which gradually develop its form, colour and odour? The word evolution speaks for itself. The germ of the present human race must have pre-existed in the parent of this race, as the seed, in which lies hidden the flower of next summer, was developed in the capsule of its parent flower; the parent may be but slightly different, but it still differs from its future progeny. The antediluvian ancestors of the present elephant and lizard were, perhaps, the mammoth and plesiosaurus: why should not the progenitors of our human race have been the "giants" of the Vedas, the Voluspa, and the Book of Genesis? While it is positively absurd to believe the "transformation of species" to have taken place according to some of the more materialistic views of the evolutionists, it is but natural to think that each genus, beginning with the molluscs and ending with man, has modified from its own primordial and distinctive form.
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