Study Group notes March 2004
Prepared by D Marsland
The Theosophical view is that evolution is spiritually based. Physical forms (there is no dead matter) are regarded as a means by which the spirit unfolds its potentialities to the limit that these forms allow. The motivating factor driving evolution is a constant urge towards ever less limitation, greater complexity and sensitivity of form in order that the indwelling consciousness may be able to express itself more and more fully.
The Darwinian Theory of Evolution presents man as an evolved animal which has become burdened by intelligence and some modern theorists postulate that humans separated from the animal kingdom because, by adaptation, the human brain became ever more complex to a point where it beame aware of its own existence. These theories may be tenable and contain some truth at the purely scientific level but at present science generally considers any spiritual or psychic dimension to evolution to be outside its remit. There is some evidence that scientific attitudes are changing but acceptance of any spiritual component in evolution is probably a long way off.
Complete denial of a spiritual dimension to evolution is a bit like presenting a flower cut from its roots and then claiming that the roots never existed.
To understand the Theosophical view of evolution it is necessary to be familiar with the following 3 concepts.
The Fundamental Unity of all Existence
Theosophy also postulates that Human Evolution can only be understood in relation to the evolution of the universe. This is because Theosophy maintains that existence is ONE THING and not a unified collection of things.
Blavatsky states that there is one being and that this being has two aspects, positive and negative.
POSITIVE = SPIRIT
NEGATIVE = SUBSTANCE (The subject of consciousness)