MAN’S EVOLUTION, GOD’S INVOLUTION
In this lessen we are to learn how Evolution is to become Involution, and for this purpose, we must go back in order to trace clearly and consecutively the line of continuation wherein Evolution becomes, — for from the beginning of Expression to the ultimate of Manifestation. Creation is a circle which cannot be broken. The upper half of the circle is Man, the full, complete expression of First Cause which is the “Absolute” and what proceeds from It is a necessity compelled by what is not what God chooses. God as the governing Principle of Creation is the Fixed, Changeless, Beginningless Beginning. God is not a personal being, but is Spiritual Life, Love, Substance, Intelligent Mind, and Its activity gives us the Supreme Idea, the permanent, ever-living, ever-loving Being, that primary Effect of First Cause who is both different from and like it. There must be two in order that there may be both a likeness and a difference. So, we must consider “a difference” as well as “A likeness.”
We illustrate with the “Acorn and the oak tree.” The tree is potential in the acorn and must be evolved. The Acorn is the Imago and the tree that comes forth corresponds to the likeness. All the fractions in the Unit Man are harmoniously related to each ether, and each is in its own place, and will always remain so. But man is not only this whole and perfect Image of God, but the “likeness” as well, and the “Likeness” must be “brought forth.” Man must be finished or made as well as created. God created Him, the text reads first. “Male and female, created He them, and said unto them” (having blessed them), “Be fruitful and multiply, replenish the earth, and subdue it. In other words, “Let” the first of these natures be forthcoming. “Let” the rational and intuitional natures bring to manifestation what is in them. All, must now appear in the earth, as it is already in the Heaven. This wonderful variety in the Heavens is now (To come into manifestation, and because of this infinite variety in the upper half of the “circle” there must be equal variety in the lower half which is the evolution of what is potential in the heaven. “The earth” like its counterpart, “The Heaven” is One Whole, but contains wide variety. From this point, (Image) we have two lines of work. One from Man direct, and one direct from God, through Man, the activity of Being, is the “lesser” the “Greater” is from God. So, from the Greater Power will come the greater result, from the “lesser” a corresponding result. The lesser is the product known as “Shape” and the “Greater” is soul, and these two together give us Personality. Then PERSONALITY is in Creation and is related to the “Lord.” Why is the Nature-Man called the Lord? Because He is the sum of all the upper half of the circle, and as such is Lord of Hosts”. All this Host is in Him. You can no more exhaust His fractions than the fractions of the Unit. He is “Lord” over all the fractions in Himself. This “Sum” as “Lord” is the perfect, entire, whole, Changeless One, He changeth not from everlasting to everlasting, for with Him is no variableness or shadow of turning.” Shape, also has its place in Creation, and “living soul” coupled with it gives us a personality or the “Adam Man”. Then from the Adam to the Christ there is change; shape does not change, but soul or Self-consciousness does. “Living soul” is just “I am.” In this, I AM is expressed recognition of Being. I AM, I exist, but this is not enough. What I AM is yet to appear. Adam is to grow. Self-consciousness is the increase and multiply action which is prophesied, for we are to replenish the earth (or soul) which is not a literal garden out in the world, but is consciousness of what we are and what we can do, and this must increase before we can subdue “the earth.” What does it mean to subdue?
Taking up a point in our last lesson, we find that Adam as a natural product is innocent, good and right as such. No matter what his name, or where he was born he is Adam wholly innocent of self-knowledge. In view of this his crying need is more knowledge. He must have it if he is to subdue; to this end knowledge is a necessity for the soul. In our Basic lessons, we talk about “mortal sense” which is the “natural sense” of the “natural man.” It is mortal, because it has beginning and end. It is found with the Adam soul in its infancy. Take the Acorn. There is a germ in it, capable of growth. That growth will ultimate in a whole oak tree, but evidently, the first shoot is not the whole oak, while it is the promise of the tree. Adam corresponds to that “tiny shoot” coming into existence. What does he see? The world and all that belongs to it, or they that dwell therein. Then Adam will have his sense of what he sees which is, “mortal sense” as Adam sees only objects. He judges “according to appearance,” and thus, mistakes them for “living things” We have so pronounced upon them. Is this true, and are we justified in our conclusion? No, it is only sense evidence, and how far does this go? Just as far as it can see with the natural eye. Then the “infancy” of the soul is limited compared with the whole soul. As Paul said: “First the natural, afterward the spiritual.” In the “infancy” of the soul or the beginning of existence we see only the world. We say: “What I see. I know,” while in Truth what we see is just what we do not know. “I Am” is to “be followed by “What I AM.” When I say “Shape is I” sin has entered in to that conclusion. It is a mistake or mistake originating with the Adam Soul. Adam is to grow to the full stature and leave his mistakes behind him. He must grow from “infancy” to “childhood.” From “childhood” to “youth” and from “youth” to early “manhood” and from that to the full stature of spiritual “manhood”. Then from “Adam to the Christ” is the maturing of the Christ which is the work for us all, and the purpose of existence. This progress of the soul from “infancy to christhood” is the In-volution. Evolution of the soul is not the creating of something new, but the “coming forth” of what was primarily involved; the beginning of Evolution is existence. It is man’s unveiling, not his production. What man is as the Unit of Expression or Image of the Absolute is everlasting. But every unit contains its own fractions. The upper line is the unit of Expression. The lower line the Unit of Manifestation and the inner line the unit of Representation. Every shape has its degree of soul, — then back of all shapes from a blade of grass to the sum of all shapes (the human) everything has its quota of what belongs to the nature of Man. “God sleeps in the mineral, breathes in the vegetable, moves in the animal, and wakes in the human.” The human shape is the highest because it is the plus of all shapes. What will be the next step? Something we do not see with the natural sight, — something to be made behind the “veil” or this “shape of shapes.” Evolution is not the creating of something new. It is the increasing of self-recognition. I AM. I naturally wonder “what I am”. There must needs be an increase of Self-Knowledge. This shape is not I, for it is shape only. How came I to think it was I? Because of the beguiling of the serpent. When a boy begins the study of mathematics he uses figures. He would not have begun the study if he had not had the capacity to learn would he? But, despite this, he will (at first) invariably call the figure the number, and in this mistake he has “missed the mark” or “sinned” and, and he must “forsake” this sin, for he has “transgressed” the truth of mathematics, and he owes it to himself to rectify and “atone” for this sin. But how can he, until he knows more? A little knowledge is not enough to meet the requirement. More knowledge is a necessity. Adam may be likened to the young, inexperienced mathematician, for he makes a like mis-take.
He has a “sense” of Being. I AM. I EXIST, and shape is I. This false conclusion stands in the way of the soul. It is the beguiling of the “serpent” of “appearance.” The serpent is a symbol and not a “snake” or devil” or “satan.” It is the “suggestion” of appearance, and as we know, there is nothing more beguiling. Shape as an appearance seems, to be Man, and we each and all have been beguiled by this “appearance.” The serpent when “lifted up” as it was by Moses (spiritual perception) in the “wilderness” is Wisdom. The whole world when rightly understood makes one truly wise. Figures prove that there are numbers back of them. The serpent on the ground bites and stings. Those who are so bitten “die”. Suggestion (or serpent) from the ground says: “This (shape) is I.” Suggestion from the plane of materiality “bites” while “lifted up” suggestion from the standpoint of “true Being” “saves.” And the Lord God said: “I will put enmity between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman.” “The woman saw that the tree was good for food” and there is enmity between what the woman nature perceives and the “appearance” of objects in the world. But at the “end” of the world, we have the promised seed, The Christ. Did not Jesus “the Christ” destroy sin, sickness, and a “sense” of death. He also said, “The flesh profiteth nothing.” “Take no thought for the body,” and was he not put to death by those who did not recognise him to be what He was. The Jews judging Him from “appearances” and supposing Him to be only an ordinary man, making a “false” claim, put Him to death, but not before he had bruised the serpent’s head. We bruise the serpent’s head when we use “suggestion” instead of letting it use us. Jesus taught us what “suggestion” according to Wisdom would do. “The Christ” begins to “appear” at the center of the lower half of the circle opposite “Reproduction” in the upper half.
Evolution of soul, then, is the increase of self-consciousness. With this increase, we shall be able to subdue the earth. The lesser degrees of soul are to be subdued and our natural “mortal sense” tendencies and propensities “put under our feet.” Here is where dominion comes in. How could we exercise dominion if there were not something to dominate? And it is no force work. We assume it easily, naturally and willingly. The evolution of soul is the involution of Creation, working inversely back to origin. Adam, looking out upon the world, is the farthest from origin. He must get nearer and nearer to God, and we do not accomplish this through digging in materiality. The world is only a veil which hangs between us and the eternally Real, but this veil grows transparent as We gain knowledge of what it is in itself, and by the aid of this knowledge, We can “look through” the “world of shapes (or phenomena)” and see clearly the spiritual “entities” back of the symbol. Then, clearly, the evolution of soul is the involution of Creation and is the “end of the world” to each one individually, so we can begin now to bring our world to an end, for each has a “world” of his own, and truly it is the “end” of his world that should most concern him, and not the destruction of this outer world of figures.
TruthUnity note: "The evolution of soul is the involution of Creation, working inversely back to origin." As the soul evolves, creation becomes more Heaven-like.
Matter is both temporal and eternal. Working down from First Cause in the sense of order, it is eternal, working back to Origin, in sense of time, or soul-growth, we, the lookers-on will outgrow and leave it behind. Matter is eternal, as a fact in nature, but temporal to you and me, the users of it; soul exists but for how long? Till the Christ stage. Can the destruction of Shape hurt the soul? No. Soul lives on. “The Initial Impulse” pushes our souls until we step forward ourselves, until we voluntarily co-operate with the God-push. As we do this, our “sufferings” become less and less, and through persistent, conscious unity with the workings of Spirit, we finally rise above the plane of negation and leave all pain and sense of limitation behind. Now show that the “Evolution of man’s nature is the Involution of God’s nature.” Evolution is a going forth from, and Involution is a returning. The involution of Man’s nature is equivalent to going back over the upper half of the circle.