ROUNDS AND RACES
Oct 31, 2005 03:11 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
>From The OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY - As THEOSOPHY teaches:
ROUNDS AND RACES
The Theosophist agrees with the wise Prof. Huxley in the assertion that
there must be beings in the universe whose intelligence is as much beyond
ours as ours exceeds that of the black beetle, and those possessing such
advanced intelligence naturally take an active and cooperative part in the
government of the natural order of things. They are the active, and wise
assistants of Nature, [the UNIVERSE] as a whole. The Theosophist adds that
such Wise Sages are Intelligences which were once human, and came like all
of us from other and previous worlds.
The most intelligent being in the universe, man, has never, been without a
friend, but has a line of elder brothers who continually watch over the
progress of the less progressed, preserve the knowledge gained through aeons
of trial and experience, and continually seek for opportunities of drawing
the developing intelligence of the race to consider the great truths
concerning the destiny of the soul.
We are therefore not appearing for the first time when we come upon this
planet, but have pursued a long, an immeasurable course of activity and
intelligent perception on other systems of globes, some of which were
destroyed ages before the solar system condensed.
This immense reach of the evolutionary system means, that this planet on
which we now are, is the result of the activity and the evolution of some
earlier one that died long ago. It left its energy to be used in the
bringing into existence the earth. Further, the inhabitants of the Earth, in
their turn, came from some older world. They are now proceeding with their
destined work in the "matter" we are familiar with here.
The Elder Brothers of the human race, keep the knowledge they have gained of
the laws of nature in all departments, and are ready when cyclic law permits
to use it for the benefit of mankind. They have always existed as a body,
all knowing each other, no matter in what part of the world they may be, and
all working for the race in many different ways. [see ISIS UNVEILED, Vol. 2,
They have stood by the cradle of nations and seen the vast achievements of
the ancients, watched sadly the decay of those who had no power to resist
the cyclic law of rise and fall; and while cataclysms seemed to show a
universal destruction of art, architecture, religion, and philosophy, they
have preserved the records of it all in places secure from the ravages of
either men or time. They have made minute observations, through trained
psychics among their own order, into the unseen realms of nature and of
mind, recorded the observations, and have preserved the record. And,
greater feat than all -- one which implies a knowledge of the very
foundations of nature -- they know what the ultimate divisions of time are
and what are the meaning and the times of the cycles. [ see SECRET DOCTRINE
Vol. I, pp. 272-3 - THE ANCIENT SOURCE]
CYCLES OF KNOWLEDGE
Under cyclic law, during a dark period in the history of mind, the true
philosophy disappears for a time, but the same law causes it to reappear.
It is the Master's work to preserve the true philosophy, but the help of the
companions is needed to rediscover and promulgate it.
The periods, when out of the Great Unknown there comes forth the visible
universes, are eternal in their coming and going. These alternate with
equal periods of silence and rest in that Unknown. The object of these
mighty waves is the production of Perfect Man, the evolution of Soul, and
they always witness the increase of the number of Elder Brothers. The Elder
Brothers are the highest product of evolution through whom alone, in
cooperation with the whole human family, the further regular and workmanlike
prosecution of the plans of the Great Architect of the Universe can be
carried on. The Sanskrit "Mahatma" best identifies them. It means "Great
Soul," and as all men are Souls, the distinction of the Mahatma lies in
OUR EARTH IN THE UNIVERSE
The teachings of Theosophy deal for the present with our earth, although its
purview extends to all the worlds, since no part of the manifested universe
is outside the single body of laws which operate upon us. Our globe being
one of the solar system is certainly connected with other planets, but as
the great human family has to remain with its material vehicle -- the earth
-- until all the units of the race which are ready, are perfected, the
evolution of that family is of greater importance to the members of it.
SEVEN-FOLD NATURE AND MAN
The universe evolves from the unknown, on seven planes, and in seven ways in
all worlds. And this sevenfold differentiation causes all the worlds of the
universe, and the beings thereon, to have a septenary constitution.
The divisions of the sevenfold universe may be laid down roughly as: The
Absolute, Spirit, Mind, Matter, Will, Akasa or AEther, and Life. In place of
"the Absolute" we can use the word "Space." For "Space" is that which ever
is, and in which all manifestation must take place.
Our knowledge begins with differentiation, and all manifested objects,
beings, or powers are only differentiations of the Great Unknown.
The most that can be said of the Absolute" is that IT periodically
differentiates itself, and periodically withdraws the differentiated into
itself. As to "the Absolute," we can do no more than say IT IS. None of the
Great Teachers of the School ascribe qualities to "the Absolute," although
all qualities exist in It.
The first differentiation -- speaking metaphysically as to time -- is
Spirit, with which appears Matter and Mind. This is a Unit, and, called the
"Monad." [ In manifestation, it is a triune Unity, consisting of:
ATMA-BUDDHI-MANAS, or, Spirit - Wisdom - Mind] The Monad is held to be
immortal throughout the great life-cycle, whether Manvantara or Kalpa. It
is the basis for human Individuality.
The term "Akasa," taken from the Sanskrit, is used in place of AEther, to
properly designate that tenuous state of matter which is now sometimes
called "Ether" by modern science. Akasa is produced from Matter and Spirit.
Will is the force of Spirit in action. And Life (Jiva) is a resultant of
the action of Akasa, moved by Spirit, upon Matter.
But the Matter here spoken of, is not that which is commonly known as such.
It is the Real Matter which is always invisible, and has sometimes been
called Primordial Matter. In the Brahmanical system it is called
"Mulaprakriti" (or "Root Matter"). And it is sometimes referred to as
"Maha-Buddhi." [In considering this, one may think of an "atom" as
essentially an eternal, individualized field of electro-magnetic Force.
Physical material is condensed in and around it by attraction. The
formation of worlds, and the reincarnation of human Souls, may be thought of
in similar terms, and follow a similar pattern.]
The ancient teaching always held, as is now admitted by Science, that we see
or perceive only the phenomena but not the essential nature, cause or being
Mind (the Universal Mind or Mahat) is the intelligent part of the Cosmos.
In the collection of seven differentiations roughly sketched above,
Universal Mind is that in which the Plan of the Cosmos is fixed or
contained. This Plan is brought over from a prior period of manifestation,
which added to its ever-increasing perfectness as it proceeds. No limit can
be set to its evolutionary possibilities in perfectness, because, as there
was never any beginning to the periodical manifestations of "the Absolute,"
there never will be an end, but forever the going forth and withdrawing into
the Unknown will go on.
Wherever a world or system of worlds is evolving there the Plan has been
laid down in Universal Mind, the original force comes from Spirit, the basis
is Matter -- which is in fact invisible -- Life sustains all the forms, and
Akasa is the connecting link between Matter on one side and Spirit-Mind on
END OF A CYCLE -- CATACLYSMS
When a world or a system comes to the end of certain great cycles, men
record a cataclysm in history or tradition. These universal traditions
abound, all pointing to early teaching and dim recollection of periodical
destructions and renovations. Just as there are periodical minor cataclysms
or partial destructions, so, the doctrine holds, there is, as a prototype,
the universal evolution and involution.
Forever the Great Breath goes forth and returns again. As it proceeds
outwards, objects, worlds and men appear; as it recedes all disappear into
the original source.
This is the waking and the sleeping of the "Great Being;" and is symbolized
as the "Day" and the "Night" of Brahma. It is the prototype of our waking
days and sleeping nights as men, and, of our disappearance at the end of one
short human life, and, it also implies our return (through reincarnation) to
take up our unfinished work in a new body, in a new day.
AGE OF OUR EARTH?
The real age of the world has long been involved in doubt for Western
investigators, who up to the present have shown unwillingness to take
instruction from the records of Oriental people much older than the West.
Yet with the Orientals is the truth about the matter.
It is admitted that Egyptian civilization flourished many centuries ago, and
there are no living Egyptian schools of ancient learning to offend modern
pride. The inscriptions cut in rocks and written on papyri or ancient
books, obtain a little more credit today than the living thought and record
of the Hindus, Tibetans, Mayans and Chinese Those races and their
traditions, are still among us, and it would never do to admit that such
ancient, and recently conquered races, possesses knowledge respecting the
age of man and his world which the "West" still knows nothing of.
Ever since the ignorant monks and theologians of Asia Minor and Europe
succeeded in imposing the Mosaic account of the genesis of earth and man
upon the coming western evolution, the most learned even of our scientific
men have stood in fear of the years that elapsed since Adam, or have been
warped in thought and perception whenever their eyes turned to any
chronology different from that of the Jews.
But the Master Theosophists know what is to be the resurrection of the old
pyramid builders of the Nile valley, and where the plans of those ancient
master masons have been hidden from the profane eyes until the cycle should
roll round again for their bringing forth. When Egypt and India were younger
there was a constant intercourse between them. They both, thought alike, but
fate ruled that of the two the Hindus only should preserve the old ideas
among a living people.
No mind can comprehend the "Infinite and Absolute Unknown," which IS, has no
beginning and shall have no end; which IS both last and first, because,
whether differentiated or withdrawn into ITSELF, IT ever is. This is the
"God" spoken of as the one around whose pavilion there is darkness.
This cosmic and human chronology of the Hindus may still be laughed at by
western Orientalists and Scientists, yet they can furnish nothing better and
are continually disagreeing with each other on the same subject. As years
pass since Theosophy was promulgated, Science has come closer in their
estimates to the figures of the Oriental chronology. The Brahmanical
records of Hindustan, and their doctrine about the days, nights, years and
life of Brahma, who representing the universe and the worlds, at once upset
the interpretation so long given to the Mosaic tradition, insofar as time is
The Day of Brahma is said to last one thousand years, and his night is of
equal length. This may be construed to be a statement of the periodical
coming forth, for great days and nights of equal length of the universe of
manifested worlds. A Day of Brahma is made up of what are called Manvantaras
-- or period between two men -- fourteen in number. These include four
billion three hundred and twenty million mortal, or earth years, which is
one Day of Brahma. [4,320,000,000 years] And Brahma's "Night" is of similar
duration, when all is periodically withdrawn into the "Unknown Absolute."
When this day opens, cosmic evolution, so far as relates to this solar
system, begins and occupies between one and two billions of years in
evolving the very ethereal first matter before the astral kingdoms of
mineral, vegetable, animal and men are possible.
PLANS IN EVOLUTION
In these the, very distant and very silent past, Man could not have his
bodily temple to live in, until all the matter in and about his world had
been found by the Master, the spiritual and eternal Inner Man. Once found,
the plans for working it required to be carried out in detail, until all the
parts should be perfectly ready and fit for placing in the final structure.
This is the gradual coming forth of the known and heterogeneous from the
unknown and homogeneous. The ancient Egyptian and Hindu Theosophists never
admitted a creation out of nothing, but ever strenuously insisted upon
evolution, by gradual stages. All the various powers and potentialities
needed, had to be well worked out in this slow but sure process. At last
man is put upon the scene: a sevenfold being, a miniature of the universe
and earth, which are sevenfold.
Each of Man's seven principles is derived from one of the great first seven
divisions. And each relates to a planet, by analogy, or a scene of
evolution; and to a race in which that evolution was carried out. So the
first sevenfold differentiation is important to be borne in mind, since it
is the basis of all that follows; just as the universal evolution is
septenary so the evolution of humanity, sevenfold in its constitution, is
carried out upon a septenary Earth. This is spoken of in Theosophical
literature as the Sevenfold Planetary Chain, and is intimately connected
with Man's special evolution. [see SECRET DOCTRINE Vol. I, pp. 570-574]
CONSOLIDATION OF FORMS
This second step takes some three hundred millions of years, and then still
more material processes go forward for the production of the tangible
(physical matter) kingdoms of nature, including man. This covers over one
and one-half billions of years. And the number of solar years included in
the present "human" period is over eighteen millions of years. [SECRET
DOCTRINE Vol. I, pp. 150, footnote]
During all these ages before man's physical body came into being, evolution
was carrying on the work of perfecting various powers which are now our
possession. This was accomplished by the Ego or Real Man going through
experience in countless conditions of matter, all different one from the
other, and the same plan in general was and is pursued as prevails in
respect to the general evolution of the universe.
That is, details were first worked out in spheres of being very ethereal,
metaphysical, in fact. Then the next step brought the same details to be
worked out on a plane of matter a little more dense, until at last it could
be done on our present plane of what we miscall "gross matter." This is
called the "descent of Spirit into Matter."
When the rough work was completed, when the human "temple" was erected, many
more ages were required for all the servants, and the councilors to learn
their parts, so that man, the Master, might be able to use the physical
temple for its best and highest purposes. Theosophy alone, inclusive of all
systems and every experience, gives the key, the plan, the doctrine, the
truth of these great natural processes.
To state it in another way. The Plan comes first in the Universal Mind,
after which the astral model or basis is made, and when that astral model is
completed, the whole process is gone over so as to condense the matter, up
to the middle of the Fourth Round.
In the vast stretch of time which began after the first almost intangible
matter had been gathered and kneaded, the material and vegetable kingdoms
had sole possession here with the Master -- man -- who was hidden from
sight, within, carrying forward the plans for the foundations of the human
temple. All of this requires many, many ages, since we know that nature
It is stated that the stream of Monads begins first to work up the mass of
matter in what are called elemental conditions when all is gaseous or fiery.
For the ancient and true theory is that no evolution is possible without the
"Monads" as the innumerable vivifying agents. In this first stage there is
no animal or vegetable. Next comes the mineral when the whole mass hardens,
the Monads being all imprisoned within. Then the first Monads emerge into
vegetable forms which they construct themselves, and no animals yet appear.
Next the first class of Monads emerges from the vegetable and gradually
produce the animal forms. Then, the human astral and shadowy model is
constructed, and we have minerals, vegetables, animals and future men, for
the second and later classes are still evolving in the lower kingdoms.
Upon this earth and upon the whole chain of Globes of which it is a part
seven races of men appeared simultaneously, coming over to it from other
globes of an older chain. And in respect to this earth -- the fourth of this
chain -- these seven races came simultaneously from another Globe of this
This appearance of seven races together happens in the first and in part of
the second Round of the globes. In the second round the seven masses of
beings are amalgamated, and their destiny after that is to slowly
differentiate during the succeeding rounds until at the seventh round the
seven first great races will be once more distinct, as perfect types of the
human race as this period of evolution will allow.
At the present time the seven races are mixed together, and representatives
of all are in the many so-called races of men as classified by our present
science. The object of this amalgamation and subsequent differentiation is
to give to every race the benefit of the progress and power of the whole
derived from prior progress in other planets and systems.
For Nature never does her work in a hasty or undue fashion, but, by the sure
method of mixture, precipitation, and separation, brings about the greatest
perfection. And this method was one known to the Alchemists, though not
fully understood in all its bearings even by them. But there is no vagueness
on the point that seven great "Races, or types" have to evolve here on this
planet, and that the entire collection of races has to go seven times round
the whole series of seven Globes.
When the middle of the Fourth Round is reached no more Monads emerge into
the human stage, and will not until a new planetary mass, reincarnated from
ours, is made. This is the whole process roughly given, but with many
details left out, for in one of the Rounds man appears before the animals.
But this detail need lead to no confusion.
What has become at last "man" is of vastly greater age, for before the
present two sexes appeared, the human creature was sometimes of one shape
and sometimes of another, until the whole plan had been fully worked out
into our present form, function, and capacity.
This is found referred to in ancient books, where man is said to have been
at one time globular in shape. This was at a time when the conditions
favored such a form, and of course, it was longer ago than eighteen millions
of years. And when this globular form was the rule, the sexes as we know
them, had not differentiated and hence there was but one sex, or if one
prefers, no sex at all.
Human beings did not appear here in two sexes first. The first were of no
sex, then they altered into hermaphrodite, and lastly separated into male
and female. And this separation into male and female for human beings was
over 18,000,000 years ago. For that reason is it said, in these ancient
schools, that our humanity is 18,000,000 years old and a little over.
SENSES OF PERCEPTION
In these early conditions and states, the senses existed in germ, as it
were, or in idea, until the astral plane which is next to this one was first
arrived at, and then they were concentrated so as to become the actual
senses we now use through the agency of the outer physical organs.
These outer organs of sight, touch and hearing, smelling and tasting, are
often mistaken by the unlearned or the thoughtless for the real organs and
senses; but he who stops to think, must see that the senses are interior,
and that their outer organs are but mediators, or links, between the visible
universe and the real perceiver within.
Considering our Earth, the view put forward by Theosophy regarding its
genesis, its evolution and the evolution of the Human, Animal and other
Monads, is quite different from modern ideas, and in some things contrary to
accepted theories. We find that the Scientific theories of today are not
stable. They change with each century, while the Theosophical one never
alters. It is the result of age-old and continuous verification by the
Elder Brothers. These have now caused its repromulgation and pointed to its
confirmation in ancient books and traditions. To them, it is a statement of
facts in nature. The modern Scientific theories in an attempt to
speculatively rebuild an unknown past, are, on the contrary, always
doubtful, changeable, and continually altered. There are continuous attempts
to secure proof of these theories, but nothing has proved conclusive so far.
ROUNDS, GLOBES, RACES
The sevenfold Earth is a living oneness -- a sentient entity -- and not a
mere lump of gross matter. Being an entity of a septenary nature, there must
be six other Globes which roll with it in space.
This company of seven Globes has been called the "Earth Chain," or, the
"Planetary Chain." To make this concept clear Theosophy states: The earth
is one of seven globes, in respect to man's consciousness only, because when
he functions on one of the seven he perceives it as a distinct globe and
does not see the other six.
This is in perfect correspondence with man himself who has six other
constituents of which only the gross body is visible to him because he is
now functioning on the physical Earth, or the fourth Globe -- and his body
represents the Earth. We have a statement that these Globes are united in
one mass, each interpenetrating the others, but differing from each other in
substance, and, that this difference of substance is due to change of center
of consciousness. To explain further:
The whole seven "Globes" constitute one single mass or Great Globe, and they
all interpenetrate each other. We have to say "Globe," because the ultimate
shape is globular or spherical.
In studying the diagrams used in the Secret Doctrine to illustrate the
scheme, one has to pay close attention to the accompanying explanations and
cautions given by H. P. Blavatsky. Both she and her Adept teachers say, that
the seven globes of our chain are in "coadunition with each other but not in
consubstantiality." [Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 166, 200] This is further
enforced by cautions not to rely on statistics, or plane surface diagrams,
but to look at the metaphysical and spiritual aspect of the theory as stated
The Earth Chain of seven Globes as thus defined is the direct reincarnation
of a former chain of seven Globes, and that former family of seven was the
Moon chain, the moon itself being the visible representative of the fourth
Globe of the old chain.
When that former vast entity composed of the Moon and six others, all united
in one mass, reached its limit of life, it died just as any being dies. Each
one of the seven sent its energies into space and gave similar life or
vibration to cosmic dust -- matter, -- and the total cohesive force of the
whole kept the seven energies together. [ see SECRET DOCTRINE Vol. I pp.
152-154, 171-181 ]
This resulted in the evolving of the present Earth Chain of seven centers of
energy or evolution combined in one mass. As the Moon was the fourth of the
old series it is on the same plane of perception as the Earth, and as we are
now confined in our consciousness largely to Earth, we are only able to see
one of the old seven -- our Moon. When we are functioning on any of the
other seven planes of consciousness, we will perceive the corresponding old
corpse as a Moon.
NUMBER OF EGOS INCARNATING
The stream or mass of Egos which evolves on the seven Globes of our chain is
limited in number, yet the actual quantity is enormous. For though the
universe is limitless and infinite, yet in any particular portion of Cosmos
in which manifestation and evolution have begun, there is a limit to the
extent of manifestation and to the number of Egos engaged therein.
EVOLUTION FROM GLOBE TO GLOBE
The whole number of Monads now going through evolution on our Earth Chain
came over from the old seven Globes which I have described. This mass of
Egos has also been called a "life wave," meaning the stream of Monads. [
see SECRET DOCTRINE Vol. I pp 171-175 ]
It reached this planetary mass, represented to our consciousness by our
central point -- our Earth, and began on Globe A or No. I, coming like an
army, or river. The first portion began on Globe A and went through a long
evolution there in bodies suited to such a state of matter, and then passed
on to B, and so on through the whole seven greater states of consciousness
which have been called Globes.
When the first portion left A, others streamed in and pursued the same
course, the whole army proceeding with regularity round the septenary route.
This journey went on for four circlings round the whole, and then the whole
stream or army of Egos from the old Moon Chain had arrived, and being
complete, no more entered after the middle of the Fourth Round.
The same circling process of these differently arrived classes goes on for
seven complete "Rounds" of the whole seven planetary centers of
consciousness, and when the seven are ended as much perfection as is
possible in the immense period occupied, will have been attained, and then
this chain or mass of "Globes" will die in its turn to give birth to still
Hence we have the Rounds and Races. These are all periods of time.
The Round is a circling of the seven centers [Globes] of planetary
consciousness. [ S D I 200 ]
The Race, is the racial development on one of those seven. [This has nothing
to do with our modern definition of ethnic "races," or of the color of the
skin.] "Race" as used in Theosophy is a period of time.
There are seven Races for each Globe, but the total of forty-nine Races only
makes up seven Great Races, (the special septenate of Races on each Globe or
planetary center composing in reality one race of seven constituents or
special peculiarities of function and power).
As no complete Race could be evolved in a moment on any Globe, the slow,
orderly processes of nature, which allow no jumps, must proceed by
appropriate means. Hence Sub-Races have to be evolved one after the other
before the Perfect Root Race is formed. Then the Root Race sends off its
offshoots while it is declining and preparing for the advent of the next
Illustrating this, it is taught that on the Americas is to be evolved the
new -- sixth -- Race; and here all the races of the earth are now engaged in
a great amalgamation from which will result a very highly developed
Sub-Race, after which others will be evolved by similar processes until the
new one is completed.
Between the end of any great Race and the beginning of another there is a
period of rest, so far as the globe is concerned, for then the stream of
human Egos leaves it for another one of the chain in order to go on with
further evolution of powers and faculties there.
PERFECTION -- END OF EVOLUTION
Each one of the Globes is used by evolutionary law for the development of
seven "Races," and of senses, faculties and powers appropriate to that state
of matter. (the experience of the whole seven Globes being needed to make a
perfect development in man's consciousness and character).
Upon this earth and upon the whole chain of Globes of which it is a part
seven races of men appeared simultaneously, their destiny is to slowly
differentiate during the succeeding rounds until at the seventh round the
seven first great races will be once more distinct, as perfect types of the
human race as this period of evolution will allow. At the present time the
seven races are mixed together, and representatives of all are in the many
so-called races of men as classified by our present science. The object of
this amalgamation and subsequent differentiation is to give to every race
the benefit of the progress and power of the whole derived from prior
progress in other planets and systems. For Nature never does her work in a
hasty or undue fashion, but, by the sure method of mixture, precipitation,
and separation, brings about the greatest perfection.
But when the last, the seventh Race has appeared and fully perfected itself,
in the 7th Round and the 7th Globe, a great dissolution comes on, similar to
that which preceded the birth of the earth's chain. Then the world
disappears as a tangible thing, and so far as the human ear is concerned
there is silence. This, it is said, is the root of the belief so general,
that the world will come to an end, that there will be a judgment-day, or
that there have been in the past, universal floods, earthquakes,
submergences of continents, or fires.
Subsequent to that, which is our future, the whole mass is spiritualized
with full consciousness and the entire body of globes raised up to a higher
plane of development.
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