49. The Difference In Origin Between Man And Animal


To make the difference in the origin of man and beast more clear, it is necessary to analyse the separate regions or spheres of God's wondrous Creation more closely than has been done hitherto. Up till now one spoke of the group-soul of the animal and of the ego of man. Though not in themselves wrong, these terms are not sufficiently exhaustive, for they only give a general outline of what lies nearest to the earth, and do not show clearly in what the real difference consists. It is taken for granted, that the essay on Development in Creation* where that is explained, has already been digested. A table, setting forth the order in which the principal steps succeed each other, starting from the highest, will demonstrate this best.

1. Divinity:

2. Spirituality:

3. Matter:

4. Animism:
Divinity
Unsubstantiate
Divine Substance
Conscious
Unconscious
Conscious
Unconscious
Ethereal
Physical
Man has his spiritual origin in unconscious spiritual substance or spirituality, whereas the beast has its origin in unconscious natural substance or animism. These steps are very far apart. The animating part of man is spirit, the animating part of an animal is the life of natural substance. The life of the spirit stands far above the life of nature. Thus the origin of man is much higher than that of the animal.

What they have in common is merely the origin of their physical vehicle.

The spirit of man, however, has generated a body (originally purely animal) to a far higher state of perfection than it was possible for the beast to do.

The theory of the natural development of species from the lowest animal forms up to the human being is right. The process demonstrates the continuous and uninterrupted upward movement of creative purpose in nature, a proof of her perfection. But one very great mistake is that this theory does not take account of what is beyond matter. When it affirms that the physical body of man has developed from the beast, it is right. But these bodies alone are but vessels, they do not make man or beast; they belong to matter alone and are necessary coverings. But to affirm that the inner life of man developed from the inner life of an animal, is an absolutely misleading and irresponsible statement that must cause dissensions and confusion, and engender the very justifiable feeling of aversion that so many have against this doctrine. On the one hand they are attracted by what is true with regard to the body and on the other repulsed by the utter shallowness and superficiality of the arguments brought forward to prove that what is right of the body is equally right of the origin of the inner life.

It is true that up till now science could hardly do otherwise than assert that the natural development of the human race must have begun with the animal and that the last stage of this development was the descent from the ape species as it came nearest the human form. This was because up till now science investigated matter only and principally gross matter which forms but a very minute part of Creation, and of this scientists only know the grosser outer attributes. Thus their knowledge is, in reality, infinitesimal, next to nothing. Today they have at last been able to appropriate and adapt to their service much that is valuable; not, however, as yet understanding the qualities or nature of what they found, technical terms have to do duty for the scientists absence of knowledge. These terms merely designate the temporary classification of an existing
something, they can utilise but the real nature of which they do not know, much less its origin.

Natural substance (animism) and in a greater degree spiritual substance, spirituality, stand above all
matter. They form the connecting link in the upward direction between the earth (physical matter) and the origin of all things or, in other words: natural and spiritual substance have preceded physical matter in evolution.

It must be remembered that all spiritual substance and all natural substance must needs be clothed in a body of matter as a cloak or covering, as soon as, in obedience to the law of development, they descend to the physical world to animate physical matter, to shape it and build it up. All dissensions will cease as soon as investigators begin to climb upwards above matter or when they are able to study the natural stages of development
from above downwards.

The time is at hand when the first move forward should be made. But the greatest care must be taken lest the strictly logical
spiritual knowledge gained be not degraded, and imperceptibly deteriorated by flights of untutored imagination. It must be observed that to understand what natural substance and what spiritual substance are, the mind of man must be quite unbiased and unhampered, for it is not possible to penetrate these mysteries with scales, dissecting knives and test tubes, such as are used in studying physical phenomena, nor must the mind be hampered by prejudice.

The primordial laws, which work automatically would make this impossible and no creature, however presumptuous, can alter these or bend Divine Will.

The difference between man and beast must be looked for
within; an animal can only return to natural substance, when it has cast aside its physical body, whereas man returns to spiritual substance which is far higher. It is true that in a certain sense man often descends to the level of the beast, but he must always remain human, for he cannot get rid of his responsibility, the adjunct of his spiritual origin, but an animal can never ascend to man's level. The difference in the bodies is only external. The form is more nobly developed in man by the spirit after its entrance into the physical vessel.**

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* Lecture No. 52
** Lecture No. 7 : The Creation of Man