This year marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth on February 12,1809. His seminal work On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, was published in 1859.
Sixteen years later with Isis Unveiled (1875), and twenty-nine years later with The Secret Doctrine (1888), the World Mother of Theosophy H. P. Blavatsky (HPB), in her widely publicized works, frequently disputed Darwin’s premises.
In The Secret Doctrine 2:662-5, she writes:-
“The fact is, that only the partial truth of many of the secondary ‘laws’ of Darwinism is beyond question.”
Blavatsky is adamant:- “…the esoteric teaching is absolutely opposed to the Darwinian evolution, as applied to man, and partially so with regard to other species. It would be interesting to obtain a glimpse of the mental representation of Evolution in the Scientific brain of a materialist.”
“As to Natural Selection itself, the utmost misconception prevails among many present-day thinkers who tacitly accept the conclusions of Darwinism. It is, for instance, a mere device of rhetoric to credit ‘Natural Selection’ with the power of originating species.
“‘Natural Selection’ is no Entity,” HPB writes, “but a convenient phrase for describing the mode in which the survival of the fit and the elimination of the unfit among organisms is brought about in the struggle for existence.”
“‘Selection, as a Power,’ is in reality a pure myth,” she insists, “—especially when resorted to as an explanation of the origin of species. It is merely a representative term expressive of the manner in which ‘useful variations’ are stereotyped when produced. Of itself, ‘it’ can produce nothing, and only operates on the rough material presented to ‘it.’”
“The real question at issue is: what Cause
- combined with other secondary causes -
produces the ‘variations’ in the organisms themselves?”
A Theory Is Not Law
“A ‘theory’ is simply a hypothesis, a speculation, and no law. To say otherwise is only one of the many liberties taken now-a-days by scientists. They enunciate an absurdity, and then hide it behind the shield of Science. Any deduction from theoretical speculation is no better than a speculation on a speculation.“
“But, fortunately, the greatest, the most eminent thinkers and Scientists of the day are now beginning to rise against this “Pedigree,” and even Darwin’s natural selection theory, though its author had never, probably, contemplated such widely stretched conclusions.”
Darwin’s Grand Voyage
Blavatsky was the first to use the phrase “intelligent design,” while she acknowledged the “minor law” of adaptation to the environment meticulously detailed by Darwin: “The origin of the variety of organic forms, [are] made to fit their environments, with such evident intelligent design.”
“…by the existence and the mutual help and interaction of two principles in (manifest) nature, the inner Conscious Principle adapting itself to physical nature and the innate potentialities.”
“The whole order of nature evinces a progressive march towards a higher life. There is design in the action of the seemingly blindest forces. The whole process of evolution with its endless adaptations is a proof of this. The immutable laws that weed out the weak and feeble species, to make room for the strong, and which ensure the “survival of the fittest,” though so cruel in their immediate action—all are working toward the grand end.”
The very fact that adaptations do occur, that the fittest do survive in the struggle for existence, shows that what is called “unconscious Nature” is in reality an aggregate of forces manipulated by … the mind of the Universe and its immutable law.
As Above So Within
What Is Evolution?
HPB answers:- “If asked to define the full and complete meaning of the term … Webster does: ‘the act of unfolding; the process of growth, development; as the evolution of a flower from a bud, or an animal from the egg.’ Yet the bud must be traced through its parent-plant to the seed, and the egg to the animal or bird that laid it; or at any rate to the speck of protoplasm from which it expanded and grew.”
“And both the seed and the speck must have the latent potentialities in them for the reproduction and gradual development, the unfolding of the thousand and one forms or phases of evolution, through which they must pass before the flower or the animal are fully developed. Hence, the future plan, if not a design, must be there. Moreover, that seed has to be traced, and its nature ascertained.
“Have the Darwinists been successful in this?”
Irreducible complexity’s main proponent is Michael Behe, a biochemist at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. Among the systems that Behe claims are irreducibly complex are the bacterial flagellum, a microscopic whip-like structure that some bacteria use to swim:
The Bacterial Flagellum
The Bacterial Flagellum-2
“Nothing Dead In Nature”
Scientists think bacteria have lived on the Earth for 2 billion years!
“Everything is the product of one universal creative effort. . . . There is nothing dead, in Nature. Everything is organic and living, and therefore the whole world appears to be a living organism.” (Paracelsus, “Philosophia ad Athenienes,” F. Hartmann’s translations, p. 44.)
“The Universe was evolved out of its ideal plan,“ Blavatsky propounded, “upheld through Eternity in the unconsciousness of that which the Vedantins call Parabrahm. This is practically identical with the conclusions of the highest Western Philosophy — ‘the innate, eternal, and self-existing Ideas’ of Plato…”
There is no single “creator” per se, she says, rather a hierarchy of intelligent guides. The Process consists of: “(a) the irrational brute energy, inherent in matter, and (b) the intelligent soul or cosmic consciousness which directs and guides that energy …reflecting the Ideation of the Universal mind.”
The Origin Of Life?
This activity of cosmic consciousness results, she continues, “in a perpetual series of physical manifestations … the whole being subservient to Karma. As that process is not always perfect—and since, however many proofs it may exhibit of a guiding intelligence behind the veil, it still shows gaps and flaws, and even results very often in evident failures —
“Therefore, neither the collective Host (Demiurgos), nor any of the working powers individually,” Blavatsky says, “are proper subjects for divine honours or worship. All are entitled to the grateful reverence of Humanity, however, and man ought to be ever striving to help the divine evolution of Ideas, by becoming to the best of his ability a co-worker with nature in the cyclic task.”
A Maze Of Complexity
Without anyone realizing the implications, the discovery of the double helix (DNA) by Watson and Crick in 1953, opened the door to the eventual demise of unguided evolution.
The Eternity Of The Universe
Everything that is, was, and will be, eternally IS, even the countless forms, which are finite and perishable only in their objective, not in their ideal Form. They existed as Ideas, in the Eternity, and, when they pass away, will exist as reflections. Neither the form of man, nor that of any animal, plant or stone has ever been created, and it is only on this plane of ours that it commenced “becoming,”i.e., objectivising into its present materiality, or expanding from within outwards, from the most sublimated and supersensuous essence into its grossest appearance.
“The Language Of Life”
“Therefore our human forms have existed in the Eternity as astral or ethereal prototypes—according to which models, the Spiritual Beings (or Gods) whose duty it was to bring them into objective being and terrestrial Life, evolved the protoplasmic forms of the future Egos from their own essence.”
“After which, when this human … basic mould was ready, the natural terrestrial Forces began to work on those supersensuous moulds which contained, besides their own, the elements of all the past vegetable and future animal forms of this globe in them. Therefore, man’s outward shell passed through every vegetable and animal body before it assumed the human shape.”
Not By Chance Alone
After the human genome project was sequenced (2003), there was uncovered massive amounts of what science quickly labeled “junk DNA”— i.e. coding with no understood purpose. Many students of Blavatsky have intuited this discovery as revealing advanced coding for future human evolution, as outlined in The Secret Doctrine. And H. P. Blavatsky explains that earth, and its inhabitants, have only reached the halfway point in their evolution. We are a long way from fulfilling our destiny, and responsibilities to Mother Earth. In many ways we are very similar to complex, intelligent cells in the body of Gaia.
Entering The Heart Of The Cell
Darwin’s theory is still being debated 150 years later. While a majority of scientists still advocate random mutation and natural selection as their gold-standard, many respected scientists are sharply divided over the issue of an unguided evolution.
“It is seldom remembered,” writes Theodore Roszak in Unfinished Animal (1975), “that, in the years following publication of ‘The Origin of Species,’ HPB [Helena Petrovna Blavatsky] was the first person to aggressively argue the case for a transphysical element in evolution against the rising Darwinian consensus.”
Where The Evidence Leads
Professor Roszak continues:
Yet, buried in the sprawling bulk of her two major works…there lies, in rudimentary form, the first philosophy of psychic and spiritual evolution to appear in the modern West.
Her effort, unlike that of the Christian fundamentalists, was not to reject Darwin’s work, but to insist that it had, by its focus on the purely physical, wholly omitted the mental, creative, and visionary life of the human race, in short, it omitted consciousness, whose development followed a very different evolutionary path.
Darwin simply did not go far enough; his was not a big enough theory to contain human nature in the round. As HPB put it: “Darwin’s starting point is placed in front of an open door. We are at liberty with him to either remain within, or cross the threshold, beyond which lies the limitless and the incomprehensible.”
The Patterns Of Intelligence
“Here Science is once more silent. But since there is no Self-consciousness as yet in either speck, seed, or germ, according to both Materialists and Psychologists of the modern school …what is it that guides the force or forces so unerringly in this process of evolution? Blind force?
“For, whoever knows anything of the anatomy of the human, or even of any animal, body, and is still an atheist and a materialist, must be ‘hopelessly insane,’ according to Lord Herbert, who rightly sees in the frame of man’s body and the coherence of its parts … ‘to be the greatest miracle of nature.’
“Blind forces, ‘and no design’ in anything under the Sun— when no sane man of Science would hesitate to say that, even from the little he knows and has hitherto discovered of the forces at work in Kosmos, he sees very plainly that every part, every speck and atom are in harmony with their fellow atoms, and these with the whole, each having its distinct mission throughout the life-cycle.” (The Secret Doctrine 2:264)
Evolution On It’s Head
"Anjana and Friend"
In her first major work, Isis Unveiled, Blavatsky plainly laid out her challenging premise:
“Darwin was wholly mistaken in tracing man back to the ape. On the contrary … it is the ape which has evolved from man. That, in the beginning, mankind were, morally and physically, the types and prototypes of our present race and of human dignity, by their beauty of form, regularity of feature, cranial development, nobility of sentiments, heroic impulses, and grandeur of ideal conceptions.”
“This is a purely Brahmanic, Buddhistic, and kabalistic philosophy. Let any one inquire of an educated Brahman the reason for the respect shown to monkeys … indicated in the story of the valorous feats of Hanouma … and he would soon be disabused of the erroneous idea that the Hindus accord deific honors to a monkey-god. He would, perhaps, learn that the Hindu sees in the ape but what Manu desired he should: the transformation of species most directly connected with that of the human family — a bastard branch engrafted on their own stock before the final perfection of the latter.”
A Divine Spirit
“He might learn, further … the spiritual or inner man is one thing, and his terrestrial, physical casket another. That physical nature, the great combination of physical correlations of forces ever creeping on toward perfection, has to avail herself of the material at hand— she models and remodels as she proceeds, and finishing her crowning work in man, presents him alone as a fit tabernacle for the overshadowing of the Divine spirit.”
“…. to reject a scientific hypothesis, however absurd, is to commit the one unpardonable sin! We risk it.“