Theosophy ~ SCIENCE AND THE ESOTERIC PHYLOGENY

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    Having dealt almost exclusively with the question of the origin of Man in the foregoing criticism of Western Evolutionism, it may not be amiss to define the position of the Occultists with regard to the differentiation of species. The pre-human fauna and flora have been already generally dealt with in the Commentary on the Stanzas, and the truth of much of modern biological speculation admitted, e.g., the derivation of birds from reptiles, the partial truth of “natural selection,” and the transformation theory generally. It now remains to clear up the mystery of the origin of those first mammalianfauna which M. de Quatrefages so brilliantly endeavours to prove as contemporary with the Homo primigenius of the Secondary Age.

The somewhat complicated problem relating to the “Origin of Species” –  more especially of the varied groups of fossil or existing mammalian fauna – will be rendered less obscure by the aid of a diagram. It will then be apparent to what extent the “Factors of Organic Evolution,” relied upon by Western biologists, 1 are to be considered as adequate to meet the facts. The line of demarcation between etherospiritual, astral and physical evolution must be drawn. Perhaps, if Darwinians deigned to consider the possibility of the second process, they would no longer have to lament the fact that “we are referred to conjecture and inference for the origin of the Mammals”!! (The Doctrine of Descent and Darwinism, p. 268, by Professor O. Schmidt.) At present the admitted chasm between the systems of reproduction of the oviparous vertebrates and mammalia, constitutes a hopeless crux to those thinkers who, with the Evolutionists, seek to link all existing organic forms in a continuous line of descent.

Let us take – exempli gratia – the case of the ungulate mammals. “In no other division,” it is said, “do we possess such abundant fossil material.” So much progress has been made in this direction, that in some instances the intermediate links between the modern and Eocene ungulates have been unearthed; a notable example being that of the complete proof of the derivation of the present one-toed horse from the three-toed Anchitherium of the old Tertiary. This standard of comparison between Western Biology and the Eastern doctrine could not, therefore, be improved upon. The pedigree here utilized, as embodying the views of scientists in general, is that of Schmidt based on the exhaustive researches of Rutimeyer. Its approximate accuracy – from the standpoint of evolutionism – leaves little to be desired:

UNGULATE MAMMALS

blavatsky1

The midway point of evolution. Science comes to a standstill. “The root to which these two families lead back IS UNKNOWN” (Schmidt).

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No. I. represents the realm explored by Western Evolutionists, the area in which climatic influences, “natural selection,” and all the other physical causes of organic differentiation are present. Biology and palæontology find their province here in investigating the many physical agencies which contribute so largely, as shown by Darwin, Spencer and others, to the segregation of species. But even in this domain the sub-conscious workings of the Dhyan-Chohanic wisdom are at the root of all the “ceaseless striving towards perfection,” though its influence is vastly modified by those purely material causes which de Quatrefages terms the “milieux” and Spencer the “Environment.”

The “midway point of evolution” is that stage where the astral prototypes definitely begin to pass into the physical, and thus become subject to the differentiating agencies now operative around us. Physical causation supervenes immediately on the assumption of “coats of skin” – i.e., the physiological equipment in general. The forms of Men and mammalia previous to the separation of sexes 2 are woven out of astral matter, and possess a structure utterly unlike that of the physical organisms, which eat, drink, digest, etc., etc., etc. The known physiological contrivances in organisms were almost entirely evolved subsequently to the incipient physicalization of the 7 Root-Types out of the astral – during the “midway halt” between the two planes of existence. Hardly had the “ground-plan” of evolution been limned out in these ancestral types, than the influence of the accessory terrestrial laws, familiar to us, supervened, resulting in the whole crop of mammalian species. Æons of slow differentiation were, however, required to effect this end.

No. II. represents the domain of the purely astral prototypes previous to their descent into (gross) matter. Astral matter, it must be noted, is fourth state matter, having, like our gross matter, its own “protyle.” There are several “protyles” in Nature, corresponding to the various planes of matter. The two sub-physical elemental kingdoms, the plane of mind (manas, the fifth state matter), as also that of Buddhi (sixth state matter), are each and all evolved from one of the six “protyles” which constitute the basis of the Object-Universe. The three “states,” so-called of our terrestrial matter, known as the “solid,” “liquid,” and “gaseous,” are only, in strict accuracy, SUB-states. As to the former reality of the descent into the physical, which culminated in physiological man and animal, we have a palpable testimony in the fact of the so-called spiritualistic “materializations.”

In all these instances a complete temporary mergence of the astral into the physical takes place. The evolution of physiological Man out of the astral races of early Lemurian age – the Jurassic age of Geology – is exactly paralleled by the “materialization” of “spirits” (?) in the seance-room. In the case of Professor Crookes’ “Katie King,” the presence of a physiological mechanism – heart, lungs, etc. – was indubitably demonstrated!!

This, in a way, is the ARCHETYPE of Goethe. Listen to his words: “Thus much we should have gained . . . all the nine perfect organic beings . . . (are) formed according to an archetype which merely fluctuates more or less in its very persistent parts and, moreover, day by day, completes and transforms itself by means of reproduction.” This is a seemingly imperfect foreshadowing of the occult fact of the differentiation of species from the primal astral root-types. Whatever the whole posse comitatus of “natural selection,” etc., etc., may effect, the fundamental unity of structural plan remains practically unaffected by all subsequent modifications. The “Unity of Type” common, in a sense, to all the animal and human kingdoms, is not, as Spencer and others appear to hold, a proof of the consanguineity of all organic forms, but a witness to the essential unity of the “ground-plan” Nature has followed in fashioning her creatures.

To sum up the case, we may again avail ourselves of a tabulation of the actual factors concerned in the differentiation of species. The stages of the process itself need no further comment here, being the basic principles underlying organic development, than to enter on the domain of the biological specialist.

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1 The Darwinian theory has been so strained, that even Huxley was forced at one time to deprecate its occasional degeneration into “fanaticism.” Oscar Schmidt presents a good instance of a thinker who unconsciously exaggerates the worth of an hypothesis. He admits (“The Doctrine of Descent and Darwinism,” p. 158), that “natural selection” ” is in some cases . . . inadequate, . . . in others . . . not requisite, as the solution of the formation of species is found in other natural conditions.” He also asserts the “intermediate grades are . . . wanting, which would entitle us to infer with certainty the direct transition from unplacental to placental mammals” (p. 271); that “we are referred entirely to conjecture and inference for the origin of the mammals” (p. 268); and the repeated failures of the framers of “hypothetical pedigrees,” more especially of Hæckel. Nevertheless he asserts on p. 194, that “what we have gained by the Doctrine of Descent based on the theory of selection is the KNOWLEDGE of the connection of organisms as ‘consanguineous beings.’ ” Knowledge in the face of the above-cited concessions, is, then, the synonym for conjecture and theory only?
2 Bear in mind, please, that though the animals – mammalians included – have all been evolved after and partially from man’s cast-off tissues, still, as a far lower being, the mammalian animal became placental and separated far earlier than man.

The Secret Doctrine, ii 734–737
H. P. Blavatsky

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