May 13, 1998 07:17 AM
by W. Dallas TenBroeck
May 13th 1998
Dallas offers some ideas:
What about "Universal Evolution ?"
The doctrine of Universal Evolution offered by the Sages of the
"Wisdom Religion" is based on the proposition that the Spirit
(Purusha) proceeds from the "First Cause" [ an emanation of the
"Causeless Cause' -- the "Eternal Background of ALL" ]. And,
the Universe "awakes" from its vast and periodical "sleep
(Pralaya). At that time : the necessary form to provide the
awakening spirit is provided by Nature, following the pattern of
past manifestations. Matter is evolved at the same time as
Spirit awakens. These two as "primaries" of every aspect of
life, are inseparable.
Therefore, the Sages state that evolution proceeds, beginning in
the world of the spiritual from the highest; and simultaneously,
in the material world from the lowest form. Therefore the
mineral, vegetable and animal forms each imprison a spark of the
Divine, a portion of the indivisible "Purusha."
These "sparks" struggle to "return to the Father" or, to secure
self-consciousness and at last come into the highest forms on
Earth, that of Mankind, where alone self-consciousness is
possible to them. This embraces millions of ages and therefore
each of such "Sparks" has ample time in which to accomplish its
further mission -- the obtaining of complete self-consciousness
while in the form of a "man."
By this it is not meant that the coming into a human form confers
self-consciousness. That great work may be accomplished in the
same "Manvantara" (evolutionary age) during which the "spark"
first reaches the human stage and form, or it may not, and
several such periods may be required, as it is immortal.
All depends on the individual's will and efforts. Each
particular Spirit/spark thus goes through the Manvantara for its
own enrichment and for that of the Whole. It is the saga of the
development of the will, of the freedom to choose, and learning
how to handle that power. Each of us is engaged in that now.
Adepts, Mahatmas and Rishis are gradually evolved during each
Manvantara, and become after its expiration "planetary spirits"
who guide the evolution of future planets. The planetary Spirits
of our earth are those who in previous Evolutions made,
successfully, the effort needed, and became in the course of that
long period the "Mahatmas" the Great Souls.
Each Manvantara is for the same end and purpose. This systematic
process is seen to be based on the "identity of Spiritual Being."
and, under the name of "Universal Brotherhood," it continues the
basic idea and work as proposed in the doctrines that Theosophy
offers: for the establishing of Brotherhood among all humans;
and, for them to realize their parentage and inseparable relation
with all other beings in Nature. The same essence is in each.
The Adepts state that "Purusha" -- the Universal Spirit -- is at
the basis of all manifested objects. Without It, nothing could
exist or cohere. It interpenetrates everything, everywhere. It
is the "Reality" of which, or upon which, those things that we
call "real" are mere images. As Purusha, the Spirit, reaches to
and embraces all beings, they and we, are all connected together
(by the constant interchange of molecular and atomic substance,
as well as, the emanations of our thinking and of our feelings).
On the plane of that Spirit, there is a perfect consciousness of
every act, thought, object, feeling and circumstance of this
plane of living, or of any other.
Below the spirit and above the intellect is a plane of
consciousness in which experiences are noted. This is commonly
referred to as "man's spiritual nature." It is frequently said
that it can be cultivated, as also his body or his mind. This
intermediary plane performs another function: it is the real
register of all sensations and experiences. It is intimately
connected, therefore, to individual and mass Karma.
"Spiritual culture" is a misnomer. It is our human nature than
can be enhanced, raised in its aspirations. The real object to
be kept in view is to so open or make porous our lower nature
that the "spiritual nature" (the divine Spark) that we really
are, may shine through it, and become our constant guide and
It is only "cultivated" in the sense of having a vehicle prepared
by us for its use, and, into which it may 'descend.'
It is held by the Sages that the real Man is the Higher Self. It
is a being, a Spark of the Divine, before alluded to. It
overshadows us, as material beings and forms, and we have the
possibility, the potential, of uniting ourselves to the Spark
that dwells inside, or rather, "above" us. The choice and the
effort to do this represents the next step in our living.
But we may ask: What is the nature of this divine spark ? They
answer: It is always peaceful, harmless, unconcerned, blissful,
and full of absolute knowledge. It constantly bathes in the
Divine Absoluteness, and being that state itself, it sustains not
only our living, but is conjoined to, and a vital part of the
vast network of all living beings.
The object of the student seeker for Wisdom and Knowledge is to
let the light of that spirit shine through the lower coverings in
which he finds himself now living. "Spiritual cultivation" is
only attainable as the grosser interests, passions, and demands
of the flesh are subordinated to the interests, aspirations and
needs of the higher nature. And, this is a matter of both system
and of established experience and law covering untold aeons of
The Spirit can only become the ruler when the firm intellectual
acknowledgment or admission is made that IT alone IS. And this
has to be made with the full realization that it is not the
person alone who makes that decision in isolation, but that it is
made with a knowledge of, and a deep concern for the whole. It
is profoundly ecological.
All selfishness has to be eliminated from the lower nature before
it can reach to its divine estate. It is said by the Sages, who
have gone through this process by the strength of their will,
that so long as the smallest personal or selfish desire--even for
spiritual attainment for our own personal sake--remains, so long
is the desired goal put off. Hence the phrase: "demands of the
flesh" includes demands those that are not of the "flesh," -- but
desires of the personal nature, including those of the
"individual soul." This process of "spiritual cultivation" is
one which has been developed over many Manvantaras of living and
of effort in the immeasurable past.
When systematically trained according to the age-old system and
law, the human can attain to clear insight into the immaterial,
spiritual wold. The interior and finer faculties of the soul are
developed so that truth on any subject can be immediately
apprehended, as readily as our physical hands grasp the tools of
the sense, or our mental faculties handle reason and argument.
It has been said that the successful student in this "spiritual
self-cultivation" is "able to look directly upon ideas."
In the course of such spiritual cultivation and training a
student acquires perception of, and power over, various forces in
Nature. Some of these are not commonly known. And employing
these powers, they can perform what appear as "miracles," though,
in reality, it is but the use of natural laws which are not
widely known--because of the danger inherent in their selfish
use. What these powers are may be found in Patanjali's "Yoga
The testimony of the Masters of Wisdom, through Theosophy, as to
the super-sensuous truths and secret laws of Nature, verified by
evidence of their possession and use of such powers, challenges
candid examination from every interested mind.
The process of evolution up to a "reunion with the Divine" is and
includes successive elevation from rank to rank of power and
usefulness. The most exalted beings still in the flesh are known
as Sages, Rishis, Brothers, Masters of Wisdom. Their great
function is the preservation at all times, and when cyclic laws
permit, the extension of spiritual knowledge and influence. They
employ a designation for themselves which epitomizes the attitude
of the true seeker for wisdom. They call themselves the
"servants of humanity."
Students who are interested in more details concerning this
aspect of "spiritual cultivation" will find that Mr. Wm. Q. Judge
details the steps in his EPITOME OF THEOSOPHY, pp 25-27.
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