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The Cyclic Process Of Evolution

Another fact strikes the observer: the cyclic march of evolution.
After action comes reaction; after activity, rest; after winter,
summer; after day, night; after inspiration--the breath of life during
which universal Movement works in a molecular aggregate and there
condenses in the form of vitality--expiration--the breath of death,
which causes the individualised life to flow back into the ocean of
cosmic energy; after the systole, which drives the blood into every
part of the body, comes the diastole, which breathes back the vital
liquid into the central reservoir; after the waking state comes sleep;
life here and life hereafter; the leaves sprout and fall away
periodically, with the rising and descending of the sap; annual plants
die at the end of the season, persisting in germinal state within a
bulb, a rhizome, or a root before coming again to the light; in
"metamorphoses," we find that the germ (the egg) becomes a larva (a
worm), and then dies as a chrysalis, to be reborn as a butterfly.

Ideas also have their successive cycles of glory and decadence; is not
the present theosophical movement the renaissance of the Neoplatonic
movement which brought the light to Greece and Egypt fifteen hundred
years ago? In 1875 H. P. Blavatsky restored it to life, whilst its
previous birth look place in the time of Ammonius Saccas, the
theosophist, in the Schools of Alexandria. Those who have acquired the
power to read the cosmic records[44] will easily recognise amongst the
present pioneers of theosophy many a champion who in a former age
struggled and fought in the same sublime cause.

Races are born and grow up, die and are born again; pass through a
state of childhood, of youth, of maturity, and of old age. They
flourish in all their splendour when the vital movement which animates
them is at its height; when it leaves them and passes to other
portions of the globe, they gradually fall into old age; then the more
developed Egos--those incarnated in these races during their
maturity--come down into the advanced nations, living on the
continents animated by the "life-wave," whilst the less evolved go to
form the so-called degenerate races vegetating in obscure parts of the
world. Look now at the adolescence of Russia, the youth of America,
the old age of France, and the decrepitude of Turkey. Look backwards
at the glorious Egypt of bygone ages; nothing remains but deserts of
sand on which imperishable structures still testify to the greatness
of her past; the race that witnessed the majesty of the Hierophants
and the divine Dynasties is now inhabiting other lands.

Continents submit to the same law; history and science show how they
pass through a series of immersions and emersions; after Lemuria,
which bore the third race, came Atlantis, the mother of the fourth;
Europe and America now hold the various branches of the fifth; and
later on, when this old land of ours is again sunk beneath the waters,
new lands will have emerged from the ocean depths to bear the future
race, the sixth.

The very planets, too, come under this law; issuing as nebulae from the
great womb of the Universe at the beginning of the evolution of a
solar system they are absorbed back again when the hour of their
dissolution strikes. Finally, the very Universes go forth from the
breast of Brahma when he out-breathes, and return to him when he
in-breathes again.

Everything, then, in appearance is born and dies. In reality, each
thing springs from its germ, makes an effort--the effort of the divine
Will incarnated in this germ--develops its potentialities up to a
certain step in the ladder of evolution, then garners the acquired
qualities and again returns to activity in continuous cycles of life
until its full development is reached.

Next: Progress

Previous: The Evolutionary Series

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