The Ocean of Theosophy

Chapter 2: General Principles

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The teachings of Theosophy deal for the present chiefly with our earth, although its purview extends to all the worlds, since no part of the manifested universe is outside the single body of laws which operate upon us. Our globe being one of the solar system is certainly connected with Venus, Jupiter, and other planets, but as the great human family has to remain with its material vehicle — the earth — until all the units of the race which are ready are perfected, the evolution of that family is of greater importance to the members of it. Some particulars respecting the other planets may be given later on. First let us take a general view of the laws governing all.

It is important to see the earth as an important member of the family of man. Nature really is a mother and in many ways we are like children.  Thinking this way leads to a reverence for the Earth and a sense of stewardship of natural resources.

The water shortage in California is certainly showing us how connected to Mother Nature we are.

2nd paragraph

The universe evolves from the unknown, into which no man or mind, however high, can inquire, on seven planes or in seven ways or methods in all worlds, and this sevenfold differentiation causes all the worlds of the universe and the beings thereon to have a septenary constitution. As was taught of old, the little worlds and the great are copies of the whole, and the minutest insect as well as the most highly developed being are replicas in little or in great of the vast inclusive original. Hence sprang the saying, "as above so below" which the Hermetic philosophers used.

And in one paragraph WQJ makes a nod to the Great Mystery and points to the potential for Knowledge. Both play a role in Theosophical Philosophy.

Interesting observation.   There is room for both in the philosophy.  We have to respect the Unknowable while pursuing the knowable.  Some would like to forgo the journey because of the former.

What we can know is vast.  Just because there is something behind what we can know that is mysterious and "Unknowable" does not mean that we should not seek knowledge and wisdom.  It means we should not be dogmatic and final about our expressions of knowledge.  "Veil after veil before, veil after veil behind."

Mr. Judge makes  your point in the paragraph below.  I am pulling out a section of it to make it clear.

"As to the Absolute we can do no more than say IT IS. None of the great teachers of the School ascribe qualities to the Absolute although all the qualities exist in It. Our knowledge begins with differentiation, and all manifested objects, beings, or powers are only differentiations of the Great Unknown. The most that can be said is that the Absolute periodically differentiates itself, and periodically withdraws the differentiated into itself."

Next Section

The divisions of the sevenfold universe may be laid down roughly as: The Absolute, Spirit, Mind, Matter, Will, Akasa or Aether, and Life. In place of "the Absolute" we can use the word Space. For Space is that which ever is, and in which all manifestation must take place. The term Akasa, taken from the Sanskrit, is used in place of Aether, because the English language has not yet evolved a word to properly designate that tenuous state of matter which is now sometimes called Ether by modern scientists. As to the Absolute we can do no more than say IT IS. None of the great teachers of the School ascribe qualities to the Absolute although all the qualities exist in It. Our knowledge begins with differentiation, and all manifested objects, beings, or powers are only differentiations of the Great Unknown. The most that can be said is that the Absolute periodically differentiates itself, and periodically withdraws the differentiated into itself.

The first differentiation — speaking metaphysically as to time — is Spirit, with which appears Matter and Mind. Akasa is produced from Matter and Spirit, Will is the force of Spirit in action and Life is a resultant of the action of Akasa, moved by Spirit, upon Matter.

But the Matter here spoken of is not that which is vulgarly known as such. It is the real Matter which is always invisible, and has sometimes been called Primordial Matter. In the Brahmanical system it is denominated Mulaprakriti. The ancient teaching always held, as is now admitted by Science, that we see or perceive only the phenomena but not the essential nature, body or being of matter.

Maybe we could call Primordial matter something like spiritual matter, or how about spiritual substance? At any rate we are talking about etherealized matter.

Yes matter at a very homogeneous level.

Next Section:

Mind is the intelligent part of the Cosmos, and in the collection of seven differentiations above roughly sketched, Mind is that in which the plan of the Cosmos is fixed or contained. This plan is brought over from a prior period of manifestation which added to its ever-increasing perfectness, and no limit can be set to its evolutionary possibilities in perfectness, because there was never any beginning to the periodical manifestations of the Absolute, there never will be any end, but forever the going forth and withdrawing into the Unknown will go on.

Wherever a world or system of worlds is evolving there the plan has been laid down in universal mind, the original force comes from spirit, the basis is matter — which is in fact invisible — Life sustains all the forms requiring life, and Akasa is the connecting link between matter on one side and spirit-mind on the other.

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Permalink Reply by Grace Cunningham on August 22, 2015 at 9:59am

Could we say that Life, that most mysterious of things, is an interplay or dance between Spirit and Matter, Intelligence and Substance?

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on August 23, 2015 at 12:40pm

Why not?  The Second Fundamental of the Secret Doctrine speaks of polarity and the interplay of opposites:  Manvantara (incarnation) and Pralaya (Withdrawal).

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on August 23, 2015 at 12:43pm

Mr. Judge capitalizes Mind here.  Does that mean Logos or something beyond what we normally think of as human mind?

In a broader sense are we not primarily "mind-beings" and our identification with body great mistake of materialization?

Permalink Reply by Grace Cunningham on August 25, 2015 at 8:17am

It is interesting to me that Mr. Judge says "... no limit can be set to its evolutionary possibilities in perfectness..."  It reminds me of a painter who has no limit on how many great paintings can be produced, each one exquisite.  In a given lifetime we cannot set a limit to how much good we can do.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on August 30, 2015 at 11:11pm

Next Section

When a world or a system comes to the end of certain great cycles men record a cataclysm in history or tradition. These traditions abound; among the Jews in their flood; with the Babylonians in theirs; in Egyptian papyri; in the Hindu cosmology; and none of them as merely confirmatory of the little Jewish tradition, but all pointing to early teaching and dim recollection also of the periodical destructions and renovations. The Hebraic story is but a poor fragment torn from the pavement of the Temple of Truth. Just as there are periodical minor cataclysms or partial destructions, so, the doctrine holds, there is the universal evolution and involution. Forever the Great Breath goes forth and returns again. As it proceeds outwards, objects, worlds and men appear; as it recedes all disappear into the original source.

This is the waking and the sleeping of the Great Being; the Day and the Night of Brahma; the prototype of our waking days and sleeping nights as men, of our disappearance from the scene at the end of one little human life, and our return again to take up the unfinished work in another life, in a new day.

Permalink Reply by Tamiko Yamada on September 2, 2015 at 9:48pm

Do I understand this idea correctly.  The Great Flood of the Bible is really just a symbol for the great in breathing of the universe?  A Hindu Pralaya?

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on September 8, 2015 at 5:38pm

Next Section:

The real age of the world has long been involved in doubt for Western investigators, who up to the present have shown a singular unwillingness to take instruction from the records of Oriental people much older than the West. Yet with the Orientals is the truth about the matter. It is admitted that Egyptian civilization flourished many centuries ago, and as there are no living Egyptian schools of ancient learning to offend modern pride, and perhaps because the Jews "came out of Egypt" to fasten the Mosaic misunderstood tradition upon modern progress, the inscriptions cut in rocks and written on papyri obtain a little more credit today than the living thought and record of the Hindus. For the latter are still among us, and it would never do to admit that a poor and conquered race possesses knowledge respecting the age of man and his world which the western flower of culture, war, and annexation knows nothing of. Ever since the ignorant monks and theologians of Asia Minor and Europe succeeded in imposing the Mosaic account of the genesis of earth and man upon the coming western evolution, the most learned even of our scientific men have stood in fear of the years that elapsed since Adam, or have been warped in thought and perception whenever their eyes turned to any chronology different from that of a few tribes of the sons of Jacob. Even the noble, aged, and silent pyramid of Gizeh, guarded by Sphinx and Memnon made of stone, has been degraded by Piazzi Smyth and others into a proof that the British inch must prevail and that a "Continental Sunday" controverts the law of the Most High. Yet in the Mosaic account, where one would expect to find a reference to such a proof as the pyramid, we can discover not a single hint of it and only a record of the building by King Solomon of a temple of which there never was a trace.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on September 8, 2015 at 9:39pm

Is he saying that ancient human history is a dark mystery to western academics and the secrets lie in the East?  How does our sense of human history affect our conceptions of human nature?

Permalink Reply by Pierre Wouters on September 11, 2015 at 8:02pm

A rather long but interesting comment made by HPB in the Secret Doctrine I:326-7 may perhaps be helpful to your question:

"In modern language, the latter [Divine Thought] would be better named COSMIC IDEATION -- Spirit; the former, COSMIC SUBSTANCE, Matter. These, the Alpha and the Omega of Being, are but the two facets of the one Absolute Existence. The latter was never addressed, or even mentioned, by any name in antiquity, except allegorically. In the oldest Aryan race, the Hindu, the worship of the intellectual classes never consisted (as with the Greeks) in a fervent adoration of marvellous form and art, which led later on to anthropomorphism. But while the Greek philosopher adored form, and the Hindu sage alone "perceived the true relation of earthly beauty and eternal truth" -- the uneducated of every nation understood neither, at any time.

They do not understand it even now. The evolution of the GOD-IDEA proceeds apace with man's own intellectual evolution. So true it is that the noblest ideal to which the religious Spirit of one age can soar, will appear but a gross caricature to the philosophic mind in a succeeding epoch! The philosophers themselves had to be initiated into perceptive mysteries, before they could grasp the correct idea of the ancients in relation to this most metaphysical subject. Otherwise -- outside such initiation -- for every thinker there will be a "Thus far shalt thou go and no farther," mapped out by his intellectual capacity, as clearly and as unmistakeably as there is for the progress of any nation or race in its cycle by the law of Karma. Outside of initiation, the ideals of contemporary religious thought must always have their wings clipped and remain unable to soar higher; for idealistic as well as realistic thinkers, and even free-thinkers, are but the outcome and the natural product of their respective environments and periods. The ideals of both are only the necessary results of their temperaments, and the outcome of that phase of intellectual progress to which a nation, in its collectivity, has attained. Hence, as already remarked, the highest flights of modern (Western) metaphysics have fallen far short of the truth. Much of current Agnostic speculation on the existence of the "First Cause" is little better than veiled materialism -- the terminology alone being different. Even so great a thinker as Mr. Herbert Spencer speaks of the "Unknowable" occasionally in terms that demonstrate the lethal influence of materialistic thought, which, like the deadly Sirocco, has withered and blighted all current ontological speculation."

Our current Western thought on the beginning of a manifestation reflected in the "big-bang" theory is a good example of HPBs comment that:

"the highest flights of modern (Western) metaphysics have fallen far short of the truth. Much of current Agnostic speculation on the existence of the "First Cause" is little better than veiled materialism -- the terminology alone being different."

Permalink Reply by Alex Papandakis on September 15, 2015 at 4:15pm

This makes perfectly good sense to me.  There is no way a student can understand algebra without knowing basic addition, subtraction and multiplication.  There is no way a student can understand Calculus without a algebra background.  There are levels and preconditions of understanding.  We must walk before we can run or fly.  Contemporary thinkers  have forgotten this fact.  They assume that the heights of human knowledge is where they dwell where in truth they are really on a very low plane of observation neglecting the view from higher up the mountain.  Our foreshortened view of human history is just another example of this.

Permalink Reply by Tamiko Yamada on September 19, 2015 at 10:27pm

"The evolution of the GOD-IDEA proceeds apace with man's own intellectual evolution"

Is this a way to take the pulse of humanity, based on where the GOD-IDEA  has evolved?

Permalink Reply by Pierre Wouters on September 21, 2015 at 10:56am

I think that's a good point Tamiko, "taking the pulse of humanity"!

Of course this intellectual evolution relates to individual cultures, all dealing with their own "meta"-mental shortcomings. Islamic people believing in a personal but not anthropomorphic god, Christians believing in a personal AND anthropomorphic god, all the different denominations within a single religion wherein "literalism" is a standard approach. Then there are the atheists and materialists, philosophers, etc. So this intellectual evolution of humanity most likely refers to an average "pulse" for humanity as a whole, and yet HPB refers in the title page of the SD to "for they called it forth", so there seems to be light on the horizon :-)

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on September 28, 2015 at 10:35am

New Paragraph

But the Theosophist knows why the Hebraic tradition came to be thus an apparent drag on the mind of the West; he knows the connection between Jew and Egyptian; what is and is to be the resurrection of the old pyramid builders of the Nile valley, and where the plans of those ancient master masons have been hidden from the profane eyes until the cycle should roll round again for their bringing forth. The Jews preserved merely a part of the learning of Egypt hidden under the letter of the books of Moses, and it is there still to this day in what they call the cabalistic or hidden meaning of the scriptures. But the Egyptian souls who helped in planning the pyramid of Gizeh, who took part in the Egyptian government, theology, science, and civilization, departed from their old race, that race died out and the former Egyptians took up their work in the oncoming races of the West, especially in those which are now repeopling the American continents. When Egypt and India were younger there was a constant intercourse between them. They both, in the opinion of the Theosophist, thought alike, but fate ruled that of the two the Hindus only should preserve the old ideas among a living people. I will therefore take from the Brahmanical records of Hindustan their doctrine about the days, nights, years and life of Brahma, who represents the universe and the worlds.

Permalink Reply by Pierre Wouters on September 28, 2015 at 10:54am

"But the Theosophist knows why…"

That's an interesting intro to that paragraph, and I certainly have to exclude myself from that definition as I don't know why :-)

Permalink Reply by Pierre Wouters on September 28, 2015 at 3:48pm

That's a good point Nicholas, albeit that the article in Echoes was an address delivered April 17th, 1894, before the Parliament of Religions at San Francisco, so after the Ocean (written in 1893), but Judge may certainly have had this comment in mind. But apart from the Hebraic tradition being a drag on the mind of the West, there's many more things "the Theosophist" seems to know. I just found it odd that he introduced the paragraph with "But the Theosophist knows". Is he equating "Theosophist" here with the knowledge possessed by an adept?

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on October 3, 2015 at 3:01pm

How about the intuitional theosophical student perhaps, one who looks at things in a more unified way?

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on October 7, 2015 at 5:07pm

Next Section:

The doctrine at once upsets the interpretation so long given to the Mosaic tradition, but fully accords with the evident account in Genesis of other and former "creations," with the cabalistic construction of the Old Testament verse about the kings of Edom, who there represent former periods of evolution prior to that started with Adam, and also coincides with the belief held by some of the early Christian Fathers who told their brethren about wonderful previous worlds and creations.

The Day of Brahma is said to last one thousand years, and his night is of equal length. In the Christian Bible is a verse saying that one day is as a thousand years to the Lord and a thousand years as one day. This has generally been used to magnify the power of Jehovah, but it has a suspicious resemblance to the older doctrine of the length of Brahma's day and night. It would be of more value if construed to be a statement of the periodical coming forth for great days and nights of equal length of the universe of manifested worlds.

A day of mortals is reckoned by the sun, and is but twelve hours in length. On Mercury it would be different, and on Saturn or Uranus still more so. But a day of Brahma is made up of what are called Manvantaras — or period between two men — fourteen in number. These include four billion three hundred and twenty million mortal, or earth, years, which is one day of Brahma.

Permalink Reply by Pierre Wouters on October 7, 2015 at 5:52pm

"The Day of Brahma is said to last one thousand years, and his night is of equal length."

---

From SD II:69

the following computations by Rao Bahadur P. Sreenivas Row, are given from the "Theosophist" of November, 1885.

360 days of mortals make a year ........................................... 1

Krita Yuga contains ................................................. 1,728,000

Treta Yuga contains ................................................. 1,296,000

Dwapara Yuga contains .............................................. 864,000

Kali Yuga contains ...................................................... 432,000

The total of the said four Yugas constitute a

Maha Yuga ............................................................... 4,320,000

Seventy-one of such Maha-Yugas form the

period of the reign of one Manu .......................... 306,720,000 

The reign of 14 Manus embraces the duration

of 994 Maha-Yugas, which is equal to .............. 4,294,080,000

† Since a Maha-Yuga is the 1,000th part of a day of Brahmâ.

---

So a Maha Yuga (4,320,000 years, including the Sandhya (twilight)) x 1000 gives:

994 Maha-Yugas (4,294,080,000 years) or 14 Manus x 71 Maha-Yugas (=994) + the sandhyas (twilights) is a Day of Brâhma.

The length of our planetary chain being thus one Day of Brâhma = 7 rounds, or 14 Manus, or 1000 yugas.

It seems like all the cycles throughout a Day of Brâhma are equally divided, yet HPB warns that there are times where cycles accelerate or are slowing down. Not all rounds are of equal "time" length she says in the SD.

Are we dealing here with different numbers for seemingly equal time lengths or - since time is the succession of our states of consciousness, are we dealing with psychological time? Our perception of time changes (seemingly faster as we grow older), yet the earth (mechanical time?) still completes an orbit around the sun in one year for everyone!

 

Permalink Reply by Peter on October 8, 2015 at 5:55am

Good question, Pierre, which is essentially asking ‘what kind of time are we dealing with?’    The above table, which is the traditional Hindu exoteric one, appears to relate to what you’ve called ‘mechanical time’ given that the base line is set at ‘360 days of mortals makes a year’ and all the rest are multiples of that mortal year.

It might be that the from the esoteric point of view it is the ratios that are a constant while the actual number of years vary.   As I’m sure you know, the ratio of cycles operating within the Maha Yuga Cycles  is 4:3:2:1.

Krita        - 4     (4 x Kali = 1,728,000 yrs)

Treta        -3     (3 x Kali = 1,296,000 yrs)

Dwapara  - 2     (2 x Kali =    864,000 yrs)

Kali          - 1     (432,000 yrs)

We could have the same ratio between the cycles and a longer or shorter span of time, for example, if the Maha Yuga cycle were 5,000,000 yrs then we would have:

Krita          - 4     (2,000,000 yrs)

Treta          - 3   (1,500,000 yrs)

Dwapara    - 2    (1,000,000 yrs)

Kali             -1     (500,000 yrs)

I think one of the interesting corollaries from the table is relating the Yugas to the Root Races.  We are told we have only relatively recently entered into the Kali Yuga cycle i.e. it started 5,000 years ago.  Our 5th Root Race is said to be around 1,000,000 years old (SD II 10) This would place the beginnings of the 5th Root Race towards the end of the Treta Yuga with the endings of the Fourth Root Race starting in the Krita Yuga - no doubt there is a great deal of overlap.   The beginnings of the Fourth Root Race, which HPB says lasted for around four to five million years (SD II 10), would then have been at some point in the middle of Krita Yuga of the previous Maha Yuga.  

Only two Maha Yugas are accounted for if we use the years from the table on SD II 69 with what HPB has told us about the length of the Fourth Root Race and time for the Fifth on SD II 10.  HPB also says the evolution of ‘the Lemurian, the first physical man’ took place 18,000,000 yrs ago (SD II 46). Therefore the number of Maha Yugas since time up to now is just four.

Yet, it is said that 71 Maha Yugas form the period of one Manu.  Given that there are only four Maha Yugas since the beginnings of Lemurian physical man up to now, there are a lot of Maha Yugas yet to be accounted for in the period of one Manu.  This may be related to far longer periods of time needed for consolidation in the first and second races?

One question we might ask is, does the period of one Manu (71 Maha Yugas) in the table on SD II 69 equal the period of the seven root races, i.e. One Round.  Esoterically, the SD teaches that every Round has two Manus. However, by two it means there is Root Manu and a Seed Manu -the Root being that which develops in that Round, while the Seed is what is carried over from that Round though the period of pralaya to next round.  Thus it is said that a Manvatara is the period between  two Manus (manu-antara).

If we believe that the period of one Manu equals the period of the seven Root Races, then we have 67 Maha Yugas to account for (71 - 4 from Lemuria up to now).  If we think that an active period of a round is two Manus then we have over twice the number of Maha Yugas to account for.

Anyway, these are just some initial thoughts to ponder.  I’m really wondering how well the table of numbers stands if we put some figures of races into it and whether doing so throws any light on how literally, or not, we should accept the numbers given.

Permalink Reply by Pierre Wouters on October 9, 2015 at 2:24pm

“I’m really wondering how well the table of numbers stands if we put some figures of races into it and whether doing so throws any light on how literally, or not, we should accept the numbers given.”

Indeed, we have to work with what we've got :-)

Without taking this subject too far off track given the nature of the discussion in the Ocean - as it is really an SD subject :-), I’m just pondering over the following data.

The SD points out that the numbers relating to the cycles are approximations based on the Brahmanical calendar and that the esoteric true numbers are not being given although they are close HPB says (meaning that if you’d add or remove another number that can also be considered close!). The adepts are understandably reticent giving out the real numbers as their correspondences would lead us into misunderstood territory.

As to the root- and seed manu. They equally apply to a round as to an individual globe. So just for arguments sake let’s say that as the root manu starts on globe A (each globe going through 7 root-races) at the beginning of a round, perhaps his reign runs only for the length of the involution of that round (same on any globe) and would thus lead into the seed manu somewhere on globe D halfway the root races, so in the 4th sub of the 4th root race on globe D where the root manu imperceptibly changes slowly into the seed manu becoming more and more mature during the evolution process from globe D to G where he (it?) forms again the basis or seed for the new root manu of the next round (or globe as the case may be). SD I:235 fn*

“Thus the seven Manus become 14, the Root Manu being the Prime Cause, and the "Seed-Manu" its effect”.

The ascend (globe D to G) thus being the effect of the descend (globe A to D). Unless you want to reserve the seed manu specifically only for the very last at the end of globe G (which doesn't make any sense of course), the root evolves into the seed anyway.

This already raises questions as to the meaning of the amount of years relating to 71 Maha-Yugas (MY) as applied either to a round (manu) or to a globe (manu) since they correspond.

If there are 71 MY for one manu, and 2 manus in every round (root & seed), then we have 142 MY for one round x 7 rounds gives the 994 MY. Including the Sandhyas would give 1000 MY divided by 49 globes gives 20.40816326530612 Maha-Yugas per globe.

So 142 Maha-Yugas in one round divided over 7 globes gives 20.28571428571429 MY per globe not including the Sandhyas, or 20.40816326530612 including the Sandhyas.

Every Maha-Yuga contains 4 yugas, a Krita, Treta, Dwapara and Kali, totaling 4,320,000 years, so as there are about 20.4 MY for a globe, then each globe (if all cycles would be equal) would amount to roughly 20.40816326530612 x 4,320,000 years = 88,163,265.306 years, so rounded out gives about 88 million years for each globe in every round.

To finish it off, (roughly) 88 million per globe x 7 = 617 million years per round x 7 = 4,319, 999,999, so 4.320 billion years for a Day of Brahmâ or the length of the planetary chain (by the Brahmanical calendar). So this pans out with the 4.3 billion years we find in the SD :-)

HPB however refers in the SD II:715 fn† to the 1st root-race preceding the Pre-Secondary age as the esoteric teaching claims the 1st root-race to go back Pre-Secondary.

“This inclusion of the First Race in the Secondary is necessarily only a provisional working-hypothesis — the actual chronology of the First, Second, and Early Third Races being closely veiled by the Initiates. For all that can be said on the subject,the First Root-Race may have been Pre-Secondary, as is, indeed, taught. (Vide supra.)”

Pre-Secondary in the table in SD II:710 puts the 1st root-race then over a 100 million years back, before globe D as each globe would only amount to roughly 88 million years!

So I guess as we don’t really know what is meant by “time” and the numbers relating to cycles, and the accelerations and decelerations taking place in every round - as they are esoteric - we’ll have to make due with what we have and exercise our grey matter :-)

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on October 11, 2015 at 12:58pm

To what degree has modern science embraced or rejected a cyclical view of time and evolution versus a linear view?

Permalink Reply by Grace Cunningham on October 15, 2015 at 7:16am

I am not really a science person but it seems to me that modern physics has done a lot to break down the linear view.  Many other sciences are stuck in the linear view like anthropology.  And society in general has not caught up with the radical notions of cutting edge physics.  I am sure others know more than I about this.

Permalink Reply by Peter on October 15, 2015 at 12:09pm

Science does include theories pertaining to more than one universe in existence at the same time. They talk about multiverses - the idea that there could be an infinite number of universes existing at any one time.  The Second Fundamental Proposition of the SD talks of a play ground of universes appearing and disappearing, so there is a connection there.  

However, the multiverse theory is also a convenient tool to dismiss the ideas of people like Stephen Meyer, who argues that  DNA is a digital code so incredibly complex that you can only account for that level mathematical complexity with a theory that includes 'Intelligent Design.'  Meyers theory undermines the typical Darwinian type explanations for evolution that there is no design in nature, just random mutations of cell DNA.  Thus the zebra doesn't have stripes because it was designed that way; it's just that certain animals with stripes were better camouflaged, survived the predators and their genes continue to reproduce today.  Everything is nature is like that, say the Darwinists.

Meyer points out that Darwinism doesn't have a theory for the origin of life.  It doesn't explain how DNA, the genes or darwinian building blocks of life, came to be so mathematically complex in the first place. While Meyer argues such a level of digital complexity can only be the result of design, not randomly acquired, the Multiverse theorists argue that given there are an infinite number of possibilities for an infinite number of universes we shouldn't be surprised that one turned out like ours. We only think our universe is naturally the way it is just because its the only one we know, but it's just down to chance that it is the way it is.

Permalink Reply by Grace Cunningham on October 22, 2015 at 8:02am

Very interesting post.  I much appreciate it.  The world of DNA was unknown to Darwin and undoubtably casts the whole subject of evolution into new light.

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on October 15, 2015 at 11:17am

Next section: 

When this day opens, cosmic evolution, so far as relates to this solar system, begins and occupies between one and two billions of years in evolving the very ethereal first matter before the astral kingdoms of mineral, vegetable, animal and men are possible. This second step takes some three hundred millions of years, and then still more material processes go forward for the production of the tangible kingdoms of nature, including man. This covers over one and one-half billions of years. And the number of solar years included in the present "human" period is over eighteen millions of years.

This is exactly what Herbert Spencer designates as the gradual coming forth of the known and heterogeneous from the unknown and homogeneous. For the ancient Egyptian and Hindu Theosophists never admitted a creation out of nothing, but ever strenuously insisted upon evolution, by gradual stages, of the heterogeneous and differentiated from the homogeneous and undifferentiated. No mind can comprehend the infinite and absolute unknown, which is, has no beginning and shall have no end; which is both last and first, because, whether differentiated or withdrawn into itself, it ever is. This is the God spoken of in the Christian Bible as the one around whose pavilion there is darkness.

This cosmic and human chronology of the Hindus is laughed at by western Orientalists, yet they can furnish nothing better and are continually disagreeing with each other on the same subject. In Wilson's translation of Vishnu Purana he calls it all fiction based on nothing, and childish boasting. But the Free Masons, who remain inactive hereupon, ought to know better. They could find in the story of the building of Solomon's temple from the heterogeneous materials brought from everywhere, and its erection without the noise of a tool being heard, the agreement with these ideas of their Egyptian and Hindu brothers. For Solomon's Temple means man whose frame is built up, finished and decorated without the least noise. But the materials had to be found, gathered together and fashioned in other and distant places.

Permalink Reply by Grace Cunningham on October 22, 2015 at 8:04am

One is struck by the time frame.  Nature is deliberate if she is anything at all.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on November 2, 2015 at 9:48pm

Second to last section:

These are in the periods above spoken of, very distant and very silent. Man could not have his bodily temple to live in until all the matter in and about his world had been found by the Master, who is the inner man, when found the plans for working it required to be detailed. They then had to be carried out in different detail until all the parts should be perfectly ready and fit for placing in the final structure. So in the vast stretch of time which began after the first almost intangible matter had been gathered and kneaded, the material and vegetable kingdoms had sole possession here with the Master — man — who was hidden from sight within carrying forward the plans for the foundations of the human temple. All of this requires many, many ages, since we know that nature never leaps. And when the rough work was completed, when the human temple was erected, many more ages would be required for all the servants, the priests, and the counsellors to learn their parts properly so that man, the Master, might be able to use the temple for its best and highest purposes.

The ancient doctrine is far nobler than the Christian religious one or that of the purely scientific school. The religious gives a theory which conflicts with reason and fact, while science can give for the facts which it observes no reason which is in any way noble or elevating. Theosophy alone, inclusive of all systems and every experience, gives the key, the plan, the doctrine, the truth.

The real age of the world is asserted by Theosophy to be almost incalculable, and that of man as he is now formed is over eighteen millions of years. What has become at last man is of vastly greater age, for before the present two sexes appeared the human creature was sometimes of one shape and sometimes of another, until the whole plan had been fully worked out into our present form, function, and capacity. This is found to be referred to in the ancient books written for the profane where man is said to have been at one time globular in shape. This was at a time when the conditions favored such a form and of course it was longer ago than eighteen millions of years. And when this globular form was the rule the sexes as we know them had not differentiated and hence there was but one sex, or if you like, no sex at all.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on November 3, 2015 at 12:13pm

Is anyone aware of some of the current theories of man's age in modern anthropology?  Is there a movement in the direction of elongating man's age from the theories of  a century ago?

Permalink Reply by Pierre Wouters on November 3, 2015 at 2:23pm

Anthropology is a generic name for many sub-branches. (see Wikipedia anthropology): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropology. It's a long read!

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human (also a long read!)

According to: http://www.universetoday.com/38125/how-long-have-humans-been-on-earth/

"While our ancestors have been around for about six million years, the modern form of humans only evolved about 200,000 years ago. Civilization as we know it is only about 6,000 years old, and industrialization started in earnest only in the 1800s. While we’ve accomplished much in that short time, it also shows our responsibility as caretakers for the only planet we live on right now."

I doubt you'll find - besides general estimates - an official worldwide agreement on such a question, as the cultural and political approach to such a question needs to be taken into account. Are Indian scientists in agreement with western scientists or Russian scientists? This in itself could take several years of investigation :-)

On the whole however we can safely assume - looking through the history of the evolution of science especially since the 18th and 19th century - that just as in the case of pushing back the geological time scales, the existence of humanity has also been pushed back by millions of years as the two are undoubtedly related, something that is pointed out by HPB in the SD.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on November 8, 2015 at 10:52pm

Last paragraph for this chapter.

During all these ages before our man came into being, evolution was carrying on the work of perfecting various powers which are now our possession. This was accomplished by the Ego or real man going through experience in countless conditions of matter all different one from the other, and the same plan in general was and is pursued as prevails in respect to the general evolution of the universe to which I have before adverted. That is, details were first worked out in spheres of being very ethereal, metaphysical in fact. Then the next step brought the same details to be worked out on a plane of matter a little more dense, until at last it could be done on our present plane of what we miscall gross matter. In these anterior states the senses existed in germ, as it were, or in idea, until the astral plane which is next to this one was arrived at, and then they were concentrated so as to be the actual senses we now use through the agency of the different outer organs. These outer organs of sight, touch and hearing, and tasting, are often mistaken by the unlearned or the thoughtless for the real organs and senses, but he who stops to think must see that the senses are interior and that their outer organs are but mediators between the visible universe and the real perceiver within. And all these various powers and potentialities being well worked out in this slow but sure process, at last man is put upon the scene a sevenfold being just as the universe and earth itself are sevenfold. Each of his seven principles is derived from one of the great first seven divisions, and each relates to a planet or scene of evolution, and to a race in which that evolution was carried out. So the first sevenfold differentiation is important to be borne in mind, since it is the basis of all that follows; just as the universal evolution is septenary so the evolution of humanity, sevenfold in its constitution, is carried on upon a septenary Earth. This is spoken of in Theosophical literature as the Sevenfold Planetary Chain, and is intimately connected with Man's special evolution.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on November 9, 2015 at 10:18am

This passage reminded me of the perception in our modern times  to confuse the brain as the source of mind rather than seeing the brain as a tool of mind.  Mr. Judge certainly paints a grand vista of the enormous sweep of human evolution.  It is much different than we got in our biology classes in high school or college.

Permalink Reply by Alex Papandakis on November 12, 2015 at 10:49am

Are many of the powers that Mr. Judge talks about here that are now our possession currently dormant due to misuse or abuse, the third eye (spiritual vision) for example?

Permalink Reply by Pierre Wouters on November 12, 2015 at 12:48pm

Yes indeed, see Secret Doctrine, Vol II:290.

Although HPB refers there to the "third eye" as being dead in present humanity, it can be made active again by following the path (antaskarana or antahkarana) she describes in The Voice of the Silence. which however may take many reincarnations to accomplish. Although the third eye being dead - in the waking state - it still functions HPB says when we are in deep sleep (sleepless dream) and can therefore still influence humanity, and thus can even benefit criminal minds as there is still a possibility for remorse, the reason why the theosophical philosophy is against the death penalty because then that opportunity is lost.

Permalink Reply by Ryan Hauck on November 30, 2015 at 7:44am

Although the third eye being dead - in the waking state 

Is it really dead? Is something dead due to our lack of awareness of it? Trillions of cells and countless atoms make up our physicality, each completely outside of our awareness, yet functioning perfectly. 

The potential latent in each child to mature into greater awareness of itself and reach spectacular heights of evelopment and spirituality, is not dead until manifested. 

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on December 7, 2015 at 7:22pm

HPB uses the word dormant in some places.  If it is not functioning or active it might as well be for all intent and purposes dead to us.