Aug 23, 1997 02:50 AM
by Dallas TenBroeck
As always even a question about Neanderthals ends up involving
the whole of the Theosophial philosophy.
The whole matter about Neanderthal man revolves around the fossil
discoveries of skulls that archaeology assigned to that period
[named after the area where the first discovery was made].
A reference to NEANDERTHAL in the SECRET DOCTRINE INDEX will
offer about 6 references to this as dealt with by HPB and the
Masters in that book. It is a question of skull capacity.
In the evolutionary hypothesis that considered the PHYSICAL
evolution of man's body only, and to whaich was grafted the
concept that physical size denoted the level of INTELLIGENCE, it
was posited that the older remains would show a progressive
diminution in brain size (and hence in capacity ?) as older
fossils were disinterred.
In fact it was found that the Neanderthal skull was slightly
larger than the average brain capacity of modern man.
Another significant fact is that the average skull capacity for
brain is about 85 to 95 cubic inches. The largest of the Apes
has a capacity limited to about 35 cubic inches (Gorilla,
chimpanzee, etc...) and it is also significant that smaller sized
skulls do not progressively show up in archaeology so as to
support entirely the progressive physical size
diminution/increment theory, which was grauitously linked to a
supposed index of INTELLIGENCE.
If, as Science now tells us, we use only about 10% of our brain
capacity in living, what about the other 90% ?. What is it there
for? This is under investigation.
If we have records (medical) of abnormal conditions of the brain
as a result of accident or birth (congenital hydrocephalus, for
instance) where from time to time, in spite of the elimination of
a large mass of the brain, the functions of living and of human
thought and intelligence continue ,apparently lightly imparied,
or not impaired at all, one begins to wonder if INTELLIGENCE can
be linked ONLY to the physical brain.
Theosophy has advocated as doctrine that three (3) lines of
evolution focus in mankind (as they do, broadly, in the whole
evolutionary scheme around us.
It would not be out of place to suggest that we refer to THE
SECRET DOCTRINE and there read what HPB (and the Masters) wrote
on this process beginning, Vol. 1, p. 152, and going on to 269.
The 3 Lines of Evolution are detailed on p. 181, but they may
appear difficult to understand unless the earlier pages from at
least 152 are also read, so as to make a consecutive whole. [In
Vol2. more detailed and scientific explanations are offered for
those who desire precise knowledge. The S D INDEX is of great
help in finding one's way through this highly technical study.
HPB goes into great detail in the 2nd volume of the S D. To make
our work shorter, and less confusing, we ought to employ the
INDEX TO THE SD frequently, so we can quickly find out what HPB
Obviously the Theosophical teachings vary considerably from those
hypothese of Science (as above described and taught to us all in
school). An atttempt to recocile the hypotheses of Science with
the FACTS of Theosophical History [ Yes, Theosophy is really a
history -- a record of the research down the ages of generations
of scientists and experiemnters -- see SD I, pp. 272-3, Item 1.]
will show us that the Theosophical scheme is probably more
comprehensive and accurate.
If we think that Theosophy is some wild theory concocted by HPB
for the sake of bewildering us all, and confusing our
understanding of the Scientific theories, then our own prejudice
or inertia will prevent us from doing the necessary study,
opening our minds to consider and to understand what is being
said by Theosophy, or EVEN DOING THE NECESSARY STUDY.
So we need for a Theosophical Education.
We can only get that if we seek and study what is taught in
Theosophy. If we are going to take as true, and uncritically,
the OPINIONS of those who lived and wrote after HPB's death (when
she had no chance to read and correct that writing) we may be
easily lead astray by the OPINIONS so generated.
I can only say, that after about 50 or 60 years of studying
Theosophy back and forth and up and down, historically, not only
the books, but also the articles that have appeared seriatum in
THEOSPHIST, THE PATH, LUCIFER, THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, THE VAHAN,
IRISH THEOSOPHIST, THEOSOPHICAL ISIS, THEOSOPHICAL SIFTINGS, THE
WORD, and perhaps another dozen journals written since then; and
keeping up with the current group of "theosophical magazines," I
would rely FOR CONSISTENCY on HPB. But, that is of course my
pesonal opinion, and one I proved the vaue of for myself. But
others can do this too, and it would help Theosophy in the world
if everyone who is interested or who intutively values Theosophy
would try to find out whether the Theosophical teachings are
accurate, correct or not. Why should we deal with something that
is iffy ? There are plenty of iffy things in the world, and one
more is not needed.
Now no one need accept my say-so on this, but if one desires to
verify Theosophy, one need only select a few of the axioms
presented to us, and develop them logically. This is the only
way in which we can assure ourselves of the accuracy of
Theosophical doctrines. No "authority" is going to make them
"easier" for us to understand. Our own persistent and hard work
alone will take us to that understanding which cannot be shaken
and which enables a student to answer any question that can be
asked, or point to a source from which an answer that is
reasonable can be derived.
One might say that there are no horizons open, no further work to
But that is incorrect, for if we look inside our own natures, the
limits of our intelligence and understanding, we will find vast
areas we are quite ignorant, and can acquire information and
additional proof of the great logic that rules the Universe.
Suppose we start with the ideas:
1. Ther is a Univese that is multifaceted and very much alive.
WE are a part of that Universe and World. WE are in a
"situation," but we know we are free-willed and can choose our
own path within reasonable limits.
2. Every being (atom, cell, crystal, plant, animal, man is in
himself a MINIATURE reflection of that Universe in one or several
of those many facets of development that are available.
3. Man's position is that he draws into a single focus of
a. the physical world in all its vast complexity as the Material
b the psychic world of feelings, desires, urges, sensations as
the nexus where impulse meets reason, where hope vies with
memory, and where instinct and reationalism are at war with each
c the spiritual-Mind world of thought, knowledge, wisdom,
perception of Law, and a concept (however dim) that his mind can
and will eventually encompass the Universe he lives in. The
Spiritual "pole" would give him an intuitive perception of his
own immortality as an on-going and indestructible Intelligence.
4. Such a view leads to the concept of Karma (law of
interaction, just and impartial, fair and true for all beings)
and in the case of man's INTELLIGENCE of its pre-existence and
continuity through the process of REINCARNATION .
We thus have the concept of Unity. A single LIVING CAUSE for all
existence and for every being. The laws of interaction between
them, are based on fairness and equity, and the recognition that
each, as an individual, progresses at the speed that it chooses
for itself. Next idea is that no benefit from any experience is
ever lost to the individual (though it may be forgotten). This
leads to the concept if individual and collective IMMORTALITY for
every INTELLIGENCE. The fact that such INTELLIGENCE
persists from form to form is called reembodiment, or reincarnation.
What is the ultimate goal ? Have we not in this essay looked at
the basis for all Education ? Is not our world, each life, and
the entire Universe a symbol of that educational effort ? We are
the ETERNAL PUPILS. We carry as character, capacity to
understand and to think, in knowledge, wisdom and discrimination,
the marks of all the vast work we have put into our part of the
program of self-education that living really represents as the
purpoe of each student. There is no question that we each of us,
affect many others, and to the extent that this touch is
benevolent, to that extent we earn merit in terms of the Law of
Karma. In a nutshell the person who consciously applies
themselves to living according to the the law of cooperation and
altruism always prevails over the person who chooses the path of
isolation and selfishness. We have to learn to take more than a
"one life" viewpoint. Perhpas the most difficult feat of all,
for us in any one incarnation, is to gain the perception of
immortality as an actual condition of his or her essential
nature. Consider for a moment with me that all the hurry and
bustle of this life, to gain some desired advantage, turns to :
What ? ...at the time of physical death ? Ideals and idealism in
practice always survive the death of the body, and they reside in
the "soul" (or Mind aspect) of our nature, which physical and
materialistic science cannot find.
Now, if we think that we are the petty creatures of a whimsical
God, who "likes" to be "praised," or "prayed" to, and who at
whim, grants or withholds favors, then indeed we give up any
independence of character, and place ourselves in the hands of
others, who, hopefully will work to see that we have an easy time
for the rest of our life experiences. Look around. How many
answer and fit that kind of condition. Hope without knowledge.
The use of gadgets and appliances without understanding how or
why they work. The eternal search for "wealth," instead of the
capacities and powers that wre innate to us, which enable us to
sense and know these things as something more than wishful
If we recognize that interiorly we already possess any and all
powers present in the World, and only need to bring them forward,
then we have a constant set of goals that will ever urge us on.
Now, if we were to take these powers for our selfish use and
employ them against others, denying them equal conditions and
rights, the great Laws of Nature will work against us, because we
are unfair , noncooperative and selfish. We then meet with
circumstances and events that hurt us personally, that tend to
make us wake up, ask "Why me?" and take notice. This is a built
in power of universally sensitive Nature which is constantly
aware of all progress or delay. [ Compare this with a rose-thorn
prick in our finger -- suddenly the whole of our consciousness
becomes focused in that pain: Why ? How ? What is the lesson
there for us ?
But this is a wide divergence from the Neanderthal to a
presentation of the universal nature and capacity of theosophy.
It only goes to show that there is a link between the
consideration of the physical heredity, which leads us into the
mazes of the psycho-mental heredity and finally to a grasp of the
Spiritual Entity which we truly are in our ultimat ESSENCE. This
ENTITY has also been called "The Higher Self" in Mankind.
I offer this in the hope that it will cause more questions and
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