Theosophical University Press Online Edition
The Surplus of Life
More About the Surplus of Life
The Four Beasts of the Christian Apocalypse
Monkeys, Apes and Early Man
The Child Mirrors the Race
The expression 'surplus of life,' when describing the building of the globes of the planetary chain, is used in a technical sense which I will try to illustrate by pointing to two growing things, bringing forth with ever greater power and in ever fuller flow reserves, surplus, to wit: the growth of a seed into a plant, and the growth of a human being from a human germ. Out of the seed flows forth the surplus, in the technical sense, of life that the seed contains. This surplus is first the green shoot, then the blade, then the stem and the branches and the leaves, and finally the fruit producing other seeds. Surplusage means that which flows forth or unfolds from what is locked up within. So the growth of a human being from a human germ is also descriptive of the technical sense of surplus. Out of the seed comes the embryo, which grows into the unborn child, which finally enters the world, becomes the child, grows to be the boy or the girl, advances to manhood or womanhood, unfolds from within the hitherto latent powers and faculties of mind and heart; then the moral and spiritual attributes begin to show, which did not show in the germ, in the embryo, in the unborn child, the youth. This is the unfolding of the surplus life.
So that the 'surplus of life' after the life-waves have formed Globe A in any one Round, does not mean merely what is left over in the ordinary sense; but means what is left over as signifying the bulk, the greater part, the immense life, attributes, and powers and faculties stored up in Globe A, impossible to manifest there because that is not their field, and passing down to Globe B and unfolding Globe B, the next stage. And when Globe B has unfolded to a certain extent, in the First Round, the same surplus of life passes down and unfolds Globe C. And so on all around the chain.
When Round the First is completed, there is no longer this rolling out or rolling forth or unpacking. It is no longer an evolution of what is within as regards unmanifested globes, because now they are on the scene. They are there; and the life-waves when they enter the chain anew for the Second Round and all subsequent Rounds merely follow the pathways that have been laid down, evolving of course, growing of course, unfolding the surplus life of course, in themselves; but not in the building of the chain except as improving, improving, improving. Do you catch the thought? It is exactly what the ancient Stoics meant when they spoke of Spirit unrolling from within itself, its surplus life, as a child, the next plane in the cosmos, which let us say was Aether; and when Spirit and Aether were unrolled, the surplus of life, which merely means all the as yet unrolled, unevolved, passed down to the next stage and formed the third, the spiritual Fire. And then the next, Air, Water, Earth. After that the Universe is manifested, the house is completed: Jack is in his house and Jack begins to live as a householder.
Now the sishtas imbody a very different doctrine indeed, and we can call them also the remainders left behind after the surplus of life has passed on; but not in the technical sense that is intended when describing the First Round in the building of the Globes of a chain.
I will now make a few remarks on these diagrams (see Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy, pages 524-5).
We have here the four main Monads of the human constitution — the four main ones: the Divine Monad, the Spiritual Monad, the Human Monad, the Astral-Animal Monad. It is these four especially that you will find me frequently referring to in my books. There are others; but these four are what we may call the basic ones in our constitution. These are really very wonderful diagrams. They are not pictures. They are not photographs. They are symbols, emblems. They suggest verities. For instance, it would be ridiculous if we were to say that the Divine Monad is a triangle. That is not the idea. It means that there are latent in the Divine Triad three fundamental or elemental attributes which coalesce, unite; and, rising into this divine point, a laya center, pass into a higher hierarchy. Identically so with the lower triad. Now look: here we have a point in matter unfolding itself towards spirit — what is to it spirit — growth. And the diagram shows the converse verity of an entirely different character: that if a human being loses his grip on the god within him and falls, slowly he begins to shrink, contract: attribute, faculty, power, everything: into a point in matter, after which he is caught in a current of efflux, and drops to the pit.
Another thought: The Divine Monad has a range of action and consciousness over the entire galaxy, which includes our own solar world; the Spiritual Monad over our solar system; the Human Monad throughout our planetary chain; and the Animal-Astral on our globe, producing the mere earth-man. Thus the path downwards is technically called the lunar path, the path of the moon. The path upwards is technically called the solar path.
And a final thought: When the great cosmic manvantara approaches its end, when the prakritika pralaya approaches, when everything in the kingdom of our sun is on the verge of passing into the invisible, then — not only for man, but the diagram will stand for any being or entity — the lower triad is folded up, drawn within, disappears into, the lower duad. This in its turn is folded up, drawn within, disappears into, the upper triad. This in its turn, when the time for the same action comes, is folded up, drawn within, and disappears into, the Divine. That is the infolding, involution; and when the period for manifestation comes again, then the Divine emanates its surplus of life, building first its garment or child or vehicle. The same thing with the upper duad: the Spiritual Monad in its turn having at its heart the Divine, emanates, unfolds, unwraps, emanates the lower duad as its 'surplus of life'; and this, having at its heart the two upper, does precisely the same thing: sends out its surplus of life, in order to make its child, its own garment, its own clothing, the earth-man.
We see here in this other diagram (op. cit. p. 524) the same as the second, but unfolded, unrolled — the intermediate duad coalescing and forming the intermediate square topped by the Divine triad resting on the lower triad. And now I call your attention again, Companions, to what is really a very wonderful thought: the intermediate nature cannot manifest itself unless it be born from its Father in Heaven, the Divine Monad, and coincidently find for itself imbodiments growing up from the planes beneath and expanding to receive it. A strange paradox — meeting its own child born from itself, but itself growing upwards towards the Divine. Now as I said before, and I repeat it, if the man loses connexion with the upper and is attracted downwards, then the converse of what I said takes place, and he begins to shrink to a point and vanishes.
The surplus of life: This means that during the process of the unrolling of the manifested universe — and adopting the Christian analogy, we may speak of the unrolling of a scroll so that the writing on the scroll may be read, the writing being the manifested universe — during the process of this unrolling, whatever succeeds the first step is the surplus of life. Thus supposing the scroll unrolls seven times to bring forth the seven principles of man's constitution or in the constitution of the Universe or anything else. Each step or each unrolling is an expression of one-seventh of the entire life. Thus when the scroll of life has been unrolled once, one turn, Atman is manifested and six-sevenths remain unrolled, to wit: Buddhi, Manas, Kama, Prana, Linga-sarira and Sthula-sarira. When the scroll is unrolled two turns, so to speak, then Atman and Buddhi have appeared, and the surplus of life is of the other five, undeveloped.
Take the analogy of the building of the planetary chain or the solar chain: When Globe A first appears, the surplus of life which begins to unfold itself from Globe A when Globe A is vanished for that Round, contains Globes B, C, D, E, F, G, — all the other six Globes, if we follow the septenary idea. This excess of life or surplus of life remaining when Globe A has received its first outline of development or appearance, is all the other six Globes. Globe B, the surplus of life, then steps down one plane and then develops Globe B. The surplus of life then remains: Globes C, D, E, F, G, — five. The surplus of life rolls down from Globe B and works on Globe C to produce it in the fashion first outlined during the First Round. The surplus of life then leaves four Globes still unmanifested, still to be brought forth, Globes D, E, F, G. And so the process goes around until when the last Globe, Globe G, is outlined or sketched, there is no more surplus of life, the surplus of life having consisted of all the six Globes, once that Globe A had appeared.
And so it is in the human constitution. The same rule holds with regard to reincarnation. During reimbodiment the first of the seven principles to appear and act is Atman. Then comes the surplus of life, bringing forth Buddhi. The remaining surplus of life will bring forth Manas, and so it continues until man is builded: seven steps using up all the surplus of life until you have the complete man.
The surplus of life, therefore, at any stage means that the balance of the entire constitution or vital power has not yet unrolled into manifestation. When all the steps have been taken, all the surplus of life has been evolved.
Now with regard to the matter of the monads passing through the lower kingdoms: during the First Round of the Planetary Chain, all monads must begin at the top and make the round down to Globe D, the lowest, our Earth, and up again to Globe G; and every monad during that First Round, no matter what its stage, must pass through every one of the kingdoms of nature. Why? Because every single class of the monads is needed to help in the work of building up the skeleton of the future planetary chain, each monadic class contributing its own part: the highest classes contributing their highest part, the lower classes their lower, the lowest their lowest. Thus the gods in the First Round had to pass through every kingdom in order to bring forth, to initiate, to start going, the divine points in every kingdom. Then the second class of monads started to do the same thing — the spiritual. They had to go through from the beginning, in order that this next to the highest class should initiate, start, its work, in order to give all the kingdoms that second element, principle, faculty, power, stuff. And the third class of monads did the same in passing through every kingdom of every Globe, all of them from the gods to the mere life-atoms.
But beginning with the Round Two the process changed — and you can see why. It has been stated time after time. Because then the Architects had drawn the plan, the blue prints were there; the houses, the temples, the buildings, the structures were all started. Therefore beginning with the Second Round, each monadic class thereafter, when it had to pass through the lower kingdoms, did so swiftly because there was no attraction in them for the lower kingdoms. This is exactly the same today when the human ego reimbodies: in the body of an unborn infant it passes but a few months in the uterus. There is no attraction there, but it has to do this to get its body. But once it is born then it begins to grow. But the lower kingdoms have an immense attraction for the lower parts of nature. For instance they rush down to matter, they are attracted below. We call this the law of acceleration for the lower kingdoms — rushing downwards. But when they begin to rise the attraction is so strong towards matter that the lower kingdoms are pulled back. They have a terrific struggle. It is like an auto climbing a very steep hill, and then going slower and slower and slower, until it just gets to the top. I don't know whether they make autos like that today! On the contrary, on the downward arc the attraction of spirit for the spiritual monads is so tremendous that their dropping down becomes more and more difficult the further they go into matter and the process slows up. This we call the law of retardation, because their attraction is upwards. When these spiritual entities have reached Globe D, they have so little attraction here, that once the upward arc begins, as time goes on, they begin to walk, walk fast, and finally begin to run, until finally they are rushing up. It is a matter of attraction, and what we call the law of Acceleration and Retardation covers both.
The question was asked the other evening: just what is the meaning of the four beasts — the man, the lion, the bull, and the eagle — whether in the Christian Book of the Apocalypse or as used by early and medieval Christian artists? The question is not hard to answer. In the first place the Christian Book of Revelation was written by a Qabbalist, a student of the early, not the late, Qabbalah. (1) It was edited or touched up at a later date by a later Christian editor. No one knows what he took out, what he kept in. But it was touched up and given a more Christian coloring.
Now if you will read that chapter four of this Christian book called Revelation or the Apocalypse, you will see that it mentions these four beasts "full of eyes within," who proclaimed truths and unsealed seals, and they are stated to have encompassed the throne of the Hierarch.
Whether through this Qabbalistic book, or by early tradition now forgotten, or in some other way at present unknown to scholars, possibly through neo-Platonic sources, or neo-Pythagoric, the early Christians ascribed the same meaning to these four 'beasts' of the Apocalypse, and to the writers of the four Gospels, to wit, the man, the lion, the bull, and the eagle, that the Hindus ascribed to what they called their four Loka-palas, or guardians of the worlds, the four Maharajas if you like; albeit in simple justice be it said, the Hindu conception even today is incomparably vaster and more spiritually mystical than is the strongly anthropomorphic picture presented in the Christian book of Revelation. These four Maharajas, or four Loka-palas, were by exoteric explanation attributed severally and respectively to the North, the East, the South, and the West; and hence by those who did not understand the inner meaning, the Loka-palas were called the guardians of the four quarters. The public took the husk of the explanation and left the meat, the bread of the grain of truth.
Nature being spiritually generated and spiritually governed or controlled in so far as the divine law can have its way on this earth of matter, in the lower degrees of hierarchies where the conflict of wills rises daily and nightly in a hideous shriek to heaven — in so far as the divine law can control the affairs of men, it does so in four stages: the birth or the beginning technically called the North, the divine birth; adolescence or the sun-rise, technically called the East; full maturity of spirit and power in manhood, technically called the South, and governed by the Lord of Death, Yama; and the fourth, the West, the Land of Shades, the Land of the Great Passing — so called by Egyptian, and Persian, and Babylonian, and Hindu, and Greek, and American Red Skin, in fact all over the world.
The ancients also celebrated four holy seasons in the wheeling of the year: the winter solstice and the spring equinox, and the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox. First comes the Great Birth, the winter — the birth of the sun when he first begins to reassume his powers of light, when his journey to the South is over, and he begins to retrace his journey back to the North. It is called the great birth. And then comes Adolescence at the spring equinox, when the laws of life and light begin magically to work on the earth. Trees burgeon, flowers spring forth, Nature begins to sing with the new elements of life coursing through her veins. And in the summertime comes the Great Temptation or the great trial which a man always undergoes in maturity and full power of his strength, determining whether he goes up or down; for in the summertime likewise the fruits are ready for the harvest. Grain has been cut and stored. Nature is rich and powerful, overflowing with her exuberance of vitality. And then comes the fourth sacred season, that of the autumn equinox, when the sun, as it were, seems to take leave of the northern regions and pursues his journey southward. The days shorten, the nights lengthen, chills come upon the earth, the leaves fall, the sap retreats from twig, leaf, branch, and stock, into the roots. Rest comes and peace. And this was called the season of the Great Passing.
Thus, the ancients taught that the spiritual life which governs our world has its day of birth, has its day of adolescence, has its day of full material power and strength, has its day of passing, to begin anew the same cycle, let us hope on a somewhat higher plane. Year follows year and season follows season, the manvantaras come and the manvantaras go, the pralayas come and they go. But the divine endures forever.
These four Loka-palas governors of the world are the four as it were karmic divinities, actually not so much single entities but hierarchies of divinities, each Loka-pala representing a hierarchy, one inaugurating the manvantara or the beginning of manifested life in our world. When its duty is done, then the second hierarchy takes up the task which is passed on to it. The second Loka-pala steps into the arena of action and carries the burden for a while, like the bearer of a torch in a torch-race running swiftly to the goal, and on reaching it, handing the torch on to the next runner to carry it on to the next goal.
Thus when the second Loka-pala has finished his work, the torch, the duty, is passed to the third; from it to the fourth, and the cycle is ended! Karman has been expended, new karman has been written in the Book of Life by the Lipikas, the divine recorders. And the next manvantara, the next period of manifestation, will see the Loka-pala springing anew into spiritual and intellectual activity.
This is a very abstract and truly divine conception, Companions, difficult for Occidentals who are not accustomed to this way of thinking. The early Christians were fascinated by it, which showed they had their modicum of the original god-wisdom of Theosophy. But they found it difficult to explain. And by and by, the inner meaning of the four beasts, the four Loka-pala representations, symbols of the divinities: the soaring eagle, the thinking man, the bull of strength, and the lion of courage, symbols of qualities: the symbolic concept was forgotten, and the four animals were simply painted by early medieval artists, Christian artists, as symbols of the four Evangels who wrote the Gospels; because the early Church taught that in the four Gospels was the Word of God. The Word of God is the law of the universe, and in these four Gospels are the four laws of being, the four divine laws. So therefore these beasts later came merely to symbolize these transcripts, these gospels of early Christian Theosophical teaching; and the original, almost the divine meaning was lost.
We read in the very ancient and most interesting Hindu epic poems such as the Ramayana that the so-called apes — and please do not confuse the monkeys and the apes, they are not the same — were almost as intelligent as men, if not so completely. They talked, they formed armies, they fought in the great epic war of India according to the story, just like the men did. They had governments of their own, they evidently had systems of law. And so we are forced to look upon the apes of the great Hindu epic as something more than the apes as we know them today. And naturally if we are of an inquisitive bent of mind, we question ourselves why this should be so. Apes today do not do things like that.
The obvious answer is that the apes of that far past time during Atlantean days before the Fifth Root-Race had as yet come into its own, were not apes as we know them today, because today apes have no governments like the governments of men. They do not form themselves into armies and fight according to standard rules of combat. They do not interchange written intelligence as men do and then did. The only conclusion we can come to is that the apes chronicled in a great epic like the Indian Ramayana were beings just short of being men.
Now please hearken to this carefully. It is known today by biological studies that the apes are born looking more human than they do when they die — of old age of course I am now speaking of. In other words that the apes seem to grow more animal-like, more bestial, as they advance out of ape infancy into ape adulthood. And by all the laws of scientific thought well known to specialists, this would indicate, as the theory of recapitulation shows us, that there was a time in the distant past when the apes in appearance were far more human-like than now they are. And that is exactly our teaching: that when the apes first came into being or into imbodiment, they associated so closely with their human half-parent, that like children they partook very largely by imitation, imitatively and otherwise, of what their human half-parent did and felt and thought. In other words, the apes then were far more human than now they are.
This shows a degeneration in intellectual, psychical respects, quite in accordance with our theosophical teachings, that all the animals are approaching extinction as the animal beings ascend the luminous arc upwards.
Actually therefore the apes recorded in the Hindu Ramayana were just short of being men, so far as inner faculties are concerned, and they were of different colors, as stated in The Secret Doctrine. Just as in those days there were blue-faced men and red-faced men, so there were blue-faced apes and red-faced apes, and a few exist even today. This is the reason, and the real reason outside of other concurrent and contributory reasons, I believe, why the ancient Hindus, and the Hindus even to this day, look upon the present degenerated apes not so much with reverence as with a commingling of pity and psychical wonder. A certain religious awe covers the ape in the modern Hindu's mind, and he is therefore not so much respected as protected, as exactly was the case with the apes and monkeys indeed in Egypt and other ancient lands.
If you have read the Ramayana, or parts of it, you will remember how the apes even sat at the council-tables with the humans of that time, with Rama and his generals and prominent men, and debated points of importance. We find the apes today not doing this and not having the capacity to do such things.
The apes, including all other animals, but I refer particularly to the apes, will be practically extinct towards the end of the Sixth Root-Race in our Fourth Round. During the Seventh Root-Race they will have vanished. Their egos however will not follow the destined course of the egos of the other animal families which will likewise proceed to extinction as our Fourth Round progresses on its upward arc. Why? Because there is still enough of the psychical human traits, attributes, or characteristics, in the apes of today to allow them when their bodies become extinct towards the end of the Sixth Root-Race in this Fourth Round to imbody these egos. All the apes then will imbody in the very lowest, the least intelligent and least evolved remnants of what are now the savage and barbarous tribes of mankind. The egos of those savage and barbarous tribes will leave their present imperfect bodies to the ape-egos, and themselves will imbody in human vehicles of somewhat higher capacity.
Now with regard to the origin of the apes: we have so often spoken of this that I know you will all forgive me if I just repeat. The apes are the product of evolution of course, as human beings are. They were egos not yet having attained the human stage in their evolutionary progress but very close to it, who lacked physical vehicles to imbody in during the Third Root-Race of this Round, and during the very end of the Second Root-Race. So what we might call cosmic karman had to provide bodies for these egos. They needed their chance just as men had it. And this was provided by the karmic webs of destiny so closely knitting together all the kingdoms of earth, and particularly the adjunct kingdoms, kingdoms just beginning to enter into each other, interpenetrating as it were. These egos finally found bodies at the very end of the Second and the beginning of the Third Root-Race by the lowest human beings lacking the proper psychical instinct and lacking mind, conjoining themselves in the unions and in the types of union of that early day with imbodied animals just beneath their own human kingdom. The result of this union was the monkeys. And later on during the Fourth Root-Race other less progressed Atlanteans repeated the 'sin of the mindless,' in the words of the ancient scripture, with the descendants of these monkeys so that the apes, as rather neatly expressed, have as it were two drops of human blood in them. The first drop of blood from that first intermingling or miscegenation, and the second drop of blood from the act of the least progressed Atlanteans mingling with these only slightly human creatures. The fruit of these unions was the apes. The first apes resulting from these unions were far closer to man as man then was, not as man now is, than the apes of today would be could they be transported as now they are to that then period. I hope I make my meaning clear. The result of this was that the offspring of these semi-human, semi-animal unions mingled familiarly with the human race. They were looked upon askance by the higher or more evolved humans of the time but tolerated, and tolerated because they had glimmerings of our active minds. They were practically thinking entities of a low type, very imitative as all apes and monkeys even today are. Of course they imitated whatever they saw their Atlantean relations do. They spoke, they had languages of their own, peculiar languages, not the hisses and calls and bellows and snarls of beasts today, but a distinct language or group of languages of their own.
Now then, what happened? The most human of these apes died out, partly because the Atlanteans, realizing the sin of their own less evolved men, made vigorous war upon them, wars of extermination; and also because the milieu, the surroundings, were not conducive to the continuance of this partly-human partly-animal race. Only the least progressed of the apes were allowed to live by the Atlanteans; and the apes today are the descendants of those who were allowed to continue to live. The forefathers of the present day apes were the least progressed apes of that far past time. The psychic bars or barriers which today so greatly render any commingling of different kingdoms so horrible to human thought, in those days did not exist, and the unions were almost invariably followed by offspring.
Now early mankind passed through many stages, rupa-stages, stages of form — and I am now speaking specifically of human bodies, not of human egos. Thus, for instance, the first race had no form at all like our present forms. H. P. B. somewhere rather graphically calls the form of the First Root-Race that of pudding bags, globular, or egg-shaped spheres of ethereal stuff. You cannot call it flesh because flesh had not yet come into being. But astral pudding bags, astral eggs. As time passed and the First Race became the Second Race, the old waters of the first mingling with the new waters of the second, the pudding bag shape vanished, and many and curious were the karmic bodies that the human race in that extremely changing and changeful time had. For instance, towards the end of the Second Race, men had faces like dogs or as we would say like dogs today, dog-faced men. Some had faces like fish's heads, some had four arms and four feet. As you know they then had only one eye. Later on the two frontal eyes came into use, and the third eye remained functioning for a long time. Then man had three eyes. Finally the first eye, which we wrongly call the third eye, sank into the skull, was covered by bone and hair and became what is now called the pineal gland, and we now remain with two eyes. So thus man had one eye, and after a while three eyes, and now he has two eyes.
Now why did the human bodies or human rupas during the Second and very earliest Third Root-Race assume these particular and peculiar forms? Because they were molded on models in the astral light which the human races followed because the human race or human stock or human kingdom or human life-wave (choose any word you like), had those shapes during Rounds Second and Third. It was a case once more of recapitulation, just as the embryo today in the human womb recapitulates in a short period of nine months what the human race has gone through during ages in the far distant past. So did the early races of this Round recapitulate what the human kingdom went through during the early Rounds.
What will happen to the monads or egos of the apes or animals when they shall have died out as bodies during this Fourth Round and certainly all before the end of the Seventh Root-Race? The egos in the Fifth Round will be assorted according to their karmic destiny. The apes will then take on the form of the lowest human beings in the Fifth Round as indeed they will begin to do during the Seventh Root-Race in this Fourth Round; the egos of the entire animal kingdom during the Fifth Round will during the descending-arc for a while find bodies of low type, but will gradually die out before the ascending arc during the Fifth Round has advanced far along its course. The reason for this is that the animal monads, the monads of the beings of the animal kingdom, have not yet evolved the manasic qualities which will enable them to ascend the ascending arc during the manasic or Fifth Round.
There are literally innumerable evidences already known to scientific men of at least a large part of the past history of mankind; and as the greater part of mankind is his spirit and his mind, I include these also. But I refer now especially to the scientific evidences that man physically has passed in ages bygone through phases of his aeons-long evolutionary pilgrimage which have left their imprint upon him. And there are, as a matter of fact, a great many scientific facts which are not known.
I will refer here to one thing only, to a fact which used to have more scientific weight than it has today merely because the more modern scientific ideas are not so favorable to this fact; but I believe the scientists of the future will come back to the former ideas. It is called in embryology the theory of Recapitulation: that the human unborn child, the embryo, passes through in the small every phase of evolutionary development that the human race as a race has passed through in bygone times. Thus, is a child born today in full possession of mind, a thinking, reasoning entity? You all know the child is not. In the child's intrauterine life we know it passes briefly through many evolutionary physical phases that the race as a whole passed through in bygone times; but it is not for years after the child is physically born that it begins to think, I mean to think self-consciously, to meditate thoughts of grandeur, to make decisions of great worth and value. These come with the growing lad advancing into manhood, for with manhood the greater powers of mind and intellect grow progressively, and also the spiritual and ethical faculties in man.
Now then, you have heard the phrase, "the descent of mind into the early Third Root-Race of mankind." It was just that. Up to that time the race had developed bodies formed by evolution to meet the needs of their as yet unintellectual state, but you must not suppose that these unintellectual early men were absolutely without consciousness. Not at all. No more so than an unthinking child is up to say five or six or seven years. Mind at that age is, in fact, already beginning to show itself; and the showing advances progressively as the child grows into boyhood, and from boyhood into manhood, and from manhood into mature years. Now the early races were just like that, like little children.
They had instinct, they had flashes of intuition, they had feeling, they had consciousness, the vague diffuse consciousness of the human child today, but they were not thinkers. The child today does not sit down at a desk and write a noble essay or plan out a campaign of thought which will help and enlighten mankind. Why? The mind has not yet fully expressed itself through the as yet infantile brain. The brain needs further hardening, forming, to carry the current from the mind within-above the man.
The early Third Root-Race were just like children in that respect. They had consciousness. They had flashes of intuition; they had instinct highly developed. But the self-conscious thinking mind had not yet come to them. Then there happened one of the most marvelous events in all evolutionary history. We call it the "descent of the Manasaputras," the Sons of Mind, which took place not over night as it were, nor in an instant, nor through even a hundred thousand or several hundred thousand years. But it was a progressive process, exactly as on a small scale, the child does not wake up some morning and suddenly find itself in the possession of a mature mind. It is a matter of growth. Thus did the Manasaputras gradually over-enlighten or overshadow the minds of the nascent mankind, permeating these brains, even their nervous systems, with its divine fire of thought, until finally men thought, they were awakened. The mind had come into function. This was done by these Manasaputras, our own intellectual selves so to speak, incarnating through the ages for several hundred thousand years; and when it was ended, from the merely instinctual conscious but non-intellectual and as yet non-self-conscious early man, you have a race which thought, which could contemplate divinity; and this was possible because the link with the divine had been made. Mind was awakened.
And not only this: into a number of these prepared human beings, the most highly developed mankind of the time, there incarnated certain spiritual-intellectual entities, beings, highly evolved, who became the teachers and the guides of the then newly awakened mankind, who taught them, who showed them the ways of civilization, the mysteries, the secrets of science, the verities of philosophy. These were the days of the divine authority of our far past forefathers. It was they who founded the Mystery-Schools when they first began on this earth, and who lived and taught mankind, and were as said, their guides, their teachers, their protectors, their instructors. And that same body, or their descendants if you wish, their successors, still remain on earth today as mankind's guides, illuminators, initiators, teachers, elder brothers, friends.
Thus does the child recapitulate in its own growth from infancy to manhood what the race has attained today. It is natural, it must be, because there is but one fundamental law in the universe, one fundamental course of action, which with its universally wide sweep touches all and everything with dynamic power. Thus we find today a key to understand those ancient and earliest thinking men: how they came to be born, how it came that the mind suddenly awaked so that they could contemplate the universe and understand it instead of being like children, or like the higher animals, instinctual, intuitionally conscious, but not self-conscious. It is a marvelous thing that happens to the little child: it grows from instinct and intuition to receive the entrance into itself, the infilling, of the inspiration from the inner god. The waiting brain, the nervous system, the body, are infilled and enlightened. Mysteries and marvels take place around us all the time!
Now, while it is very marvelous, very wonderful indeed, and fills us with great reverence for what is in the universe, to look back into the past along the annals of the race, and see the stages that our feet have trodden, yet do not forget the future. We are but at the middle point of our evolution on this earth. We must come back to earth again and again and again to repeat and to learn ever more and more perfectly what we have already known, and to gain new wisdom. What, then, does the future hold? I will tell you. As our minds were awakened in the past by the manasaputric gods — for they are gods to men — so our minds themselves in the future shall be awakened by angels of the spirit. Even our minds which raise us from our unconsciousness to self-consciousness, and have brought us to the stage where we are now, so that we may contemplate the universe and sense divinity behind it, think grand and noble thoughts which raise our lives towards the gods — even our minds themselves need a higher inspiration, for our very minds can mislead us, lead us off the Path.
So just as in the past there took place the incarnation of the Manasaputras, the Sons of Mind, who gave us mind — so in the future, beginning now — it began already a million years back or more, and progressing with ever enlarging measure into the future — there will imbody itself within us, in our minds and fill us with its own glory, the heavenly light from the god within each one of us. Thereafter our evolution will be safe and assured, with that celestial guidance enlightening our hearts and firing our brains. No more will our feet stumble on the path, for we shall enlighten our pathway as we march upwards and onwards, ever upwards, ever onwards, to heights at present inconceivable even to our minds. That is what lies before us. When we raise our inner eye, our inner face towards the god within us, there comes an eternal radiance, not from anything outside, but from the god within-above each one of us. Call it a Christ, the immanent Christ, call it the inner Buddha, call it by what name you will. The thing is to come to realize its holy presence. Then a man is indeed blessed.
1. It is to be noted in passing, however, that the term Qabbalist as used in this connexion and similarly often used by H. P. B., refers not so much specifically to the Jewish Qabbalah itself as to mystical and philosophical lines of thought having kinship with the inner meaning of the Jewish Qabbalah, but not specifically using the technical terms of the Jewish Qabbalah, although of course both the Jewish Qabbalah and these other systems of so-called Qabbalistic thought are in greater or less degree all based on archaic Theosophy. Thus when I say that the writer of the Christian Book of Revelation, called the Apocalypse, was a Qabbalist, as H. P. B. also calls him, I do not mean that necessarily he was a follower of the strictly Jewish Qabbalah, but rather that he employed similar, or parallel lines of expression and thinking, which by no means necessarily had a Jewish origin. In other words the Jewish Qabbalah was used as a sort of standard manner of expression and terminology, yet greatly modified by these other schools who refused to accept the Jewish Qabbalah as such, but nevertheless followed its type and even its lead in thought in more than one particular. The reason for this of course stands out clearly: that the Jewish Qabbalah as well as these other later systems and indeed all ancient mystical and religious Theosophical thought, were either original offsprings from the archaic Theosophy or descendants from earlier archaic Theosophic branches or stems thereof. (return to text)