MANY millions of years ago, ancient sages taught, man and all the kingdoms of nature were in their early formative stages.
The living prototypes were held in an invisible astral matrix, a semi-physical energy field, the repository of Earth’s pre-evolutionary blueprints.
There was no ‘solid matter’ as we know it in those astral times, more than 300,000,000 years ago.
Nevertheless, there was an active hive-mind at work behind-the-scenes, busily retrofitting the numerous forms of nature and man —preparing them to be born on Earth, guided by immutable cyclic law.
Just as Earth mother nourished and birthed innumerable beings in the faraway past, the same grand evolutionary scheme is mirrored today in the differentiation of the human fetus— stages that traverse single-celled zygote, which becomes a mass of cells known as a blastocyst
Day by day mineral, plant, animal and human kingdoms are all represented sequentially over a relatively short period as the developing fetus takes shape from a tiny egg invisible to the naked eye.
Just 12 days after fertilization, the cells destined to become the fetus turn into something else first: the embryo. By month’s end, this embryo is about the size of a grain of rice, and it looks more tadpole than human, sporting a tail where legs should be.
“The path of spirituality turns, corkscrew-like, within and around physical, semi-physical, and supra-physical evolution.”
– H. P. Blavatsky
Theosophist, January, 1886
There was also a critical cycling in Earth’s development, when a relatively rapid appearance of forms occurred, “seemingly abruptly and from nowhere.” Nearly all of the major phyla in the animal kingdom appeared in a sudden burst of evolution.
This was during the Cambrian explosion and is memorialized in the fossil record — a record which sorely vexed Charles Darwin with his slow, predictable, though random evolutionary theory, and still generates extensive scientific debate today.
The phenomenon represents for Theosophists, however, prima facie evidence of the universal gestation on invisible spheres, as is described by Occult evolutionary science in The Secret Doctrine.
But, according to The Secret Doctrine (2:52), “nature unaided fails,” and the long period of ancient evolution was neither random or blind. On the job at the same time were highly evolved intelligent beings who assisted in transferring and reorganizing the many root-types carried over from an older system.
The duties of those ancient hierarchies, called Dhyanis, consisted of “alteration and addition,” wrote W. Q. Judge in The Ocean of Theosophy (Ch.15),
“which resulted in the differentiation afterwards, on this gross plane, into the various families, species, and genera.”