THEOSOPHY, Vol. 24, No. 4, February, 1936
(Pages 157-160; Size: 12K)
(Number 63 of a 103-part series)



[Part II]

THE tangle of inverted truths as to the underlying causes of evolution in general, in which science finds itself enmeshed, holds sway equally in the particular of man's own origin.

The original Darwinian picture was quite simple; man and ape were co-descendants of some "ape-like" form -- Darwin in at least one writing, did call it an "ape" outright; and man reached his present form and status by a ladder of consecutive descent which could be easily established if only geological research would be kind in furnishing the necessary specimens. In course of time the specimens were found. It is true that there were many disconcerting discrepancies of skull-forms and geological strata, such evidence as was definite at all running fifty-per-cent contrary to the theory. The theory of course could not be hindered by such trivialities, and two devices, as clever and effective as though they had really been consciously employed, were brought into play. Device No. 1 consisted of building upon small and non-committal bone fragments, complete hypothetical skulls which couldn't possibly do anything but further the theory, since they were constructed in accordance with it. Device No. 2 consisted of scientifically correlating the geological strata of discovery with the skull-form in such manner that where the stratum was out of place in the theory, it was reclassified. All this was done bit by bit, so plausibly and scientifically, and for that matter in such good faith, that the enormous mountain of "proof" heaped up in this manner would resolve itself as the wholly incoordinate and meaningless jumble that it really is, only upon the closest scrutiny, stone by stone, by an almost superhumanly impartial eye. The reality of these things was pointed out by Madame Blavatsky in respect to a large number of discoveries. Some students have followed the continuation of her work in that particular as carried on in this publication for many years past.

Unlike the healthy agnosticism as to evolutionary causes which reigns in science, the creed of descent still reigns supreme as to man. Unfortunately, a coherent picture has been built up; and the fact that it is inverted is fatally hidden from the scientific mind by the orthodox hypnosis. There are too many undeniable anatomical factors which bind man to the ape; if only someone would suspect that they equally bind the ape to man!

It is hopeful, however, that present discovery has forced the hypothetical "common ancestor" back to unknown times. Man is now considered by some to have risen as early as the Miocene or even the Oligocene.(1) But just how old were the human skulls found by Dr. Webb near Mammoth Cave, embedded in onyx below a hundred feet of limestone?(2) This last item, of course, is the sort of thing that does not appear in the orthodox journals.

But behold the curious paradox: while "many evolutionary puzzles have been solved by the enormous range of time allowed by modern geology," all the supreme genetic puzzles hanging upon man are supposed to have been solved by the space allotted to the very newest of species. For that is what man is held to be, even when conceded the Oligocene! How in the name of the most elementary common sense could man have developed, in less time than that allotted the existence of any other species, powers enormously greater than all of the other species put together? Such a thing, objectively viewed, is simply a biological miracle.

Even in this, however, the truth is beginning to squeeze through in some strange directions. It is now found for instance, that the Negro, having larger nerves than the white, may be considered to have diverged more completely from the original stock; in other words, to be more highly evolved in the technical sense!(3) But as a matter of fact, the ape is a more highly specialized type than man, and on the same logic, must also have diverged more from the original stock!

Thus Theosophy has logic on its side on two counts: first, that man, the most intelligent species, is also the oldest -- of the mammals; second, that man is a sturdier, more permanent and persistent type, and so in fact the ancestor of the ape. If science could but consider this, it would find the immediate solution of most of its difficulties concerning the man-ape relationship. Unfortunately, to do so, it would have to re-examine and re-classify -- this time in accordance with the actual geological evidence --its museum exhibits. Fortunately, however, the former hypothetical ancestors of man, the Pithecanthropus, the Neanderthal, and other such primitives, have been abandoned as such, and are now known for what they actually were -- degenerate offshoots, not ancestors. It should not be a far step to realize that the current anthropoids are simply the extreme case of such degeneration -- plus an ancient hybridization. As to the Negro -- he is older than the Caucasian, being mostly of the Fourth or Atlantean Race, while the latter is of the Fifth. His civilization is therefore not primitive, but degenerate and dying.

That ancient hybridization is scoffed at, because the conditions of a time when types were more fluidic and fusible are not now imagined. Yet hybridizations of a most amazing throwback type do occur.

Of late, a more fruitful path of research has been entered upon; examination of the mental relationship between man and ape. More fruitful, because the mental is precisely what makes man. At one time in his career, although never anything but man in the essential mental factors, his body was "ape-like" enough to please any Darwinian; and it is from that stage that the ape inherited -- plus some other animal factors imported by the aforesaid hybridization. The principal difference detected is one which might have been foretold.(4)

It appears that for the first five months, while among the immediately physical applications of mind, the ape learns better and remembers longer than the human child. Yet from the beginning the incipient reasoning faculty is more powerful in the human. From the start the human child begins to learn by thinking out the problem in some kind of words. The most noteworthy of all differences is the fact that the human baby early begins to learn symbols. The ape never does. His reasoning is limited strictly to the direct object or action.

The problem then is: Whence these ROOTS? (Of language.) Max Müller argues that the existence of these ready-made materials of speech is a proof that man cannot be the crown of a long organic series. This potentiality of forming roots is the great crux which materialists almost invariably avoid....

The argument has never been met by the non-pantheistic Evolutionists. To say with Schmidt: "Forsooth are we to halt before the origin of language?" is an avowal of dogmatism and of speedy defeat. (Secret Doctrine, 1888, II, 662).

There is fundamental significance in these things for those who understand the sign-manual of manas, the spiritual thinking principle, possessed by man alone. The ape also can think, as distinguished from other animals -- for the simple reason that he is a degraded and submerged human Ego. But he remains Karmically submerged, belonging to the guiltier part of that human race which produced him and became degraded in him; remaining as an intellectual and moral curse to the modern scientific world which has drawn so many inverted, materialistic, and disastrous inferences from his existence.

As for the rest of us -- guilty in some degree of the moral degradations correlated with those times, we rest under a monstrous suggestive image inflicted upon our minds through the agency of an inverted form of science; the image of the ape presented as representing ourselves; whereas in real truth, it is a Karmic projection in living flesh of our animal nature, our lower self, only. Nowhere in science is any healthy counteracting image; and in religion -- only an attenuated, deified, anthropomorphized, pallid distortion of that Real Self which in fact the man Jesus did embody.

COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:


It is not molecularly constituted matter -- least of all the human body ... that is the grossest of all our "principles", but verily the middle principle, the real animal centre; whereas our body is but its shell, the irresponsible factor and medium through which the beast in us acts all its life. Every intellectual theosophist will understand my real meaning. Thus the idea that the human tabernacle is built by countless lives, just in the same way the rocky crust of our Earth was, has nothing repulsive in it for the true mystic. Nor can Science oppose the occult teaching, for it is not because the microscope will ever fail to detect the ultimate living atom or life, that it can reject the doctrine. --S.D. I, 260.

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(1) Science, November 3, 1933; February 23, 1934; August 10, 1934.
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(2) Los Angeles Times, July 27, 1932.
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(3) The Week's Science, November 17, 1930.
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(4) Prof. Leslie A. White, Scientific Monthly, January, 1932; Drs. W. N. Kellogg, Louis W. Gellermann, Science, September 16, 1932.
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