Emanation and Evolution
Sep 12, 1994 03:55 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker
This is by Eldon Tucker
Two terms that we read about in Theosophy are "evolution"
and "emanation." They are sometimes used as though they mean the
same thing. At other times they are shown to have different
meanings. What is the difference between them?
The word "emanation" refers to the bringing forth of that
which already exists within. An example is found in our
childhood: we emanate some of our talents, our skills that we
have acquired in previous lifetimes. We bring forth some facets
of the Reimbodying Ego, some of our personal treasury of
experience. Someone with considerable musical experience, may be
a prodigy, and write concerts long before adulthood. Another
person may never have an ear for music. What is the difference?
One has acquired musical skills through many lifetimes of
training and effort. These talents are retained in the
Reimbodying Ego, although they do not show up in the personality
unless they are emanated in this life.
The totality of ourselves, what we have made over countless
previous existences, is carried in our Auric Egg. It is
unmanifest. It consists of karmic seeds, of latent potential for
action. It is ourselves, what we have made ourselves into being,
our entire nature--both seen and unseen--as of this moment in
time. At each moment, with increasing experience, we, as
personalities, grow. And the Auric Egg also grows, and the
envelope of the outer bounds of our consciousness expands.
The particular personality of any lifetime can only contain
a portion of the totality of ourselves. Only part of it may be
emanated into manifest existence. When such a part of ourselves
is being emanated, we may feel that we are learning new things,
but we are not. We are remembering things that we already knew,
and carry in a deeper part of ourselves. Emanated talents,
emanated capabilities come forth easily, quickly, and almost
without effort. It is a form of recapitulation, a recovery of
territory previously covered.
There are other things in life that we cannot do. They are
simply too hard. We have no latent talents in a particular
direction, and can seem to evoke nothing from within to readily
learn and grow in the new direction. This is where evolution
begins. When we have nothing more to emanate, and face the slow,
hard work of embracing in our consciousness that which it has
never contained before, we are undertaking new evolution.
With evolution, we are not dealing with the recapitulation
of previously-acquired faculties. We have nothing in our karmic
treasury to draw upon. There are no contents of our Auric Egg of
that nature. Instead, we are exploring new territory. We are
embracing the unknown, and it is not easy work. Emanation comes
easily; we can readily be many different people in different
lifetimes, because only a portion of our totality comes out in
any lifetime. Evolution, though, is slow, because we have no
previous experience to draw upon.
Evolution and emanation can be the same thing, in a sense.
When we are actually evolving, the new consciousness arises
simultaneously in our karmic treasury, the Auric Egg, and in our
outer, manifest personal self. Since it happens at the same time,
we cannot say that it happened first in the Auric Egg, and then
was emanated, nor can we can that it happened first in the
personality, and then was stored in the Auric Egg as the
resultant karmic seed. Rather, emanation and evolution are one
and the same at the moment of new evolution.
With increased evolution, the Auric Egg is growing,
expanding in size, embracing more of the unknown. Projecting
itself into the manifest world, with increased emanation, it
gives expression to more of the totality of itself. The ray of
consciousness that it, the Monad, projects into matter, widens,
becomes brighter, shows more of its light. With increased
emanation, then, the manifest Self grows, expands in size, and
embraces more of the contents of its parent.
Consider a little girl getting ready to draw. She gets out
her crayons, paper, and drawings being worked on (gathers the
Skandhas or attributes of previous manifest existence). Drawings
are selected to continue work on (emanation of previously-
developed talents). And she starts drawing (new evolution which
surpasses previously visited territories).
The Auric Egg is beyond manifest existence. It grows with
each cycle of evolution. Is it not immortal? No. Since it is
ever-changing, and thereby subject to conditioned time, it has a
beginning and an end. What is its lifetime? That of a
Mahamanvantara, the duration of a Life of Brahma.
The Auric Egg, like the other principles, could be
considered dual in nature. There is a part that is material,
form-like, looking-down in nature. There is another part that is
energic, wave-like, looking-up in nature. It is the lower or
material side of the Auric Egg which is subject to periodic
dissolution. But when or how could this happen: the dissolution
of something that does not exist? The answer has to do with the
fact that the Auric Egg participates in the sense of time.
The lower part of the Auric Egg looks down upon manifest
existence. It participated in conditioned time, time that is
measured, cut-up, relative to the changing nature of a world.
That world has its periodic manvantaras (periods of existence)
and pralayas (periods of dissolution or non-existence). The down-
looking Auric Egg participates in this. It changes with the flow
of life in the world that it looks upon, but never directly
With complete dissolution of that world, its death or
Mahapralaya, the world completely ceases to exist. The Auric Egg
participates in the waking and sleeping of that world, its
manvantaras and pralayas of lesser nature, but with the death of
the world, there is no longer anything to participate in. The
world is gone, for an indeterminable period of time, and the
lower nature of the Auric Egg also dies.
The upper-looking portion of the Auric Egg still persists,
that aspect of its nature that has always gazed upon the
Timeless, and remained untouched by the temporal events of the
manifest world. This part of the Auric Egg also participates in
time, but it participates in unconditioned time, time not in
relation to conditioned or manifest things. The higher part of
the Auric Egg is immortal because it clings to Timelessness.
Besides the growth of the Auric Egg, evolution, and besides
the pouring forth of the Auric Egg into manifest life, known as
emanation, we have a third aspect of the experience of
consciousness: creation. The consciousness of the moment is the
creative consciousness. It consists of that portion of our
personal selves, the sumtotal of our emanation, that we are aware
of at this very moment.
Consider the mind. Within its contents, we carry with us a
considerable amount of learning and memories. What are we
thinking of at this moment? Certainly not all that we know. There
are certain ideas that take center stage, that get the spotlight,
that are the leaders at this moment in time. That spotlight which
we cast upon those ideas is the creative consciousness. How
conscious we are at this moment depends upon how bright that
spotlight is. And how broad our outlook, how vast and sweeping
our awareness depends upon how wide the beam of that spotlight,
upon how much it illumines. We train, in meditative practice, to
both brighten and broaden that beam of light, which in a sense is
our "inner eye," when taken as a metaphor (rather than considered
as extended-sensory perception or psychical faculties).
We have, then, three degrees of the unfolding of
consciousness. The awareness of the moment, creation, comes
first. Then the limits of what we have made ourselves into in
this lifetime, emanation, second. And finally the limits of all
our previous existences, our outer bounds of experience,
evolution. Were we in a near-perfect world, the three would be
one and the same: the consciousness of the moment would bring in
the totality of the personality and the personality would contain
the totality of previous evolutionary experience. Life is not
perfect, though, and our world is far from being completely
responsive to the life within. But we continue to grow in the
right direction, and in later Rounds, and in still later days of
Brahma, we'll find life becoming more expressive.
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