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The Secret Doctrine

By Helena P. Blavatsky

Book II-Part I- 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"

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------
* 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 facsimile of a young batrachian in its first remove from the spawn -- tadpole. But no physiologist or anatomist seems to have had the idea of applying to the development of the human being -- from the first 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.

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------
* Cory: "Ancient Fragments."

** "Origin of Species," pp. 448, 489, first edition.




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