BLIND chance could never on its own have produced a self aware and self-conscious thinking being. Certainly would never have evolved a world class athlete, prima ballerina, a Mozart or Shakespeare.
If there were only random forces ruling the world there would be no progress or evolution needed because life would be inherently purposeless and pointless.
Instead, Theosophy postulates that the process of evolution is inherently purposeful, guided by three different aspects, or “schemes — inextricably interwoven and interblended at every point. It now becomes plain that there exists in Nature a triple evolutionary scheme . . . or rather three separate schemes of evolution.”
These are the Monadic (or spiritual), the intellectual, and the physical evolutions. These three are the finite aspects or the reflections on the field of Cosmic Illusion of atma, the seventh, the one reality.
–H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine 1:181
[The word Theosophy} “comes to us from the Alexandrian philosophers, called lovers of truth, Philaletheians, from phil ‘loving,’ and aletheia ‘truth.’ The name Theosophy dates from the third century of our era, and began with Ammonius Saccas and his disciples, who started the Eclectic Theosophical system.”
“We can show the line of descent of every Christian religion, as of every, even the smallest, sect. The latter are the minor twigs or shoots grown on the larger branches; but shoots and branches spring from the same trunk — the WISDOM-RELIGION.
“To prove this was the aim of Ammonius, who endeavoured to induce Gentiles and Christians, Jews and Idolaters, to lay aside their contentions and strifes, remembering only that they were all in possession of the same truth under various vestments, and were all the children of a common mother. This is the aim of Theosophy likewise.”
- H. P. Blavatsky, The Key to Theosophy, Section 1
Thinking or purpose of any sort it is not needed by the random blind productions of a purposeless evolutionary. Put in reality: no intelligence required.
But even children understand that figuring anything out in life is a learning process seasoned by reason, healthy emotions, and aha moments.
A conscious, observant puzzle-solver undeniably exists in the background of thought. The numerous paradoxes inherent in human, and even animal intelligence, will remain ever an unsolvable puzzle to reductionist thinkers.
Not unlike the caterpillar’s irrepressible urge to grow wings and fly, truth finding and spiritual growth are guided by a built-in system H. P. Blavatsky calls in her Secret Doctrine ‘progressive awakenings’:
and the upward progress of the Ego is a series of progressive awakenings, each advance bringing with it the idea that now, at last, we have reached ‘reality’—
In her article Spiritual Progress, H. P. Blavatsky made what seemed kind of obvious point (paraphrased):
The true Adept must become,
[she] cannot be made.
“The true Adept, the developed man,” Blavatsky wrote, “must, we are always told, become – he cannot be made. The process is therefore one of growth through evolution, and this must necessarily involve a certain amount of pain.
“Again, the idea of growth involves also the idea of disruption: the inner being must continually burst through its confining shell or encasement, and such a disruption must also be accompanied by pain, not physical but mental and intellectual.”
- H. P. Blavatsky, Spiritual Progress
The growing recognition of the intelligence underlying all life, she wrote, is one of ” growth through evolution, and this must necessarily involve a certain amount of pain” — (at least by our human perception.)
Even progressed disciples, aspiring Adepts, may yet experience psychological pain as described in The Voice of the Silence III:
That Secret Path leads the Arhan to mental woe unspeakable; woe for the living Dead, and helpless pity for the men of karmic sorrow; the fruit of Karma Sages dare not still.
We may experience stress in the moment, a research study suggests, “but experience greater happiness on a daily basis and longer term.”
“No pain, no gain is the rule when it comes to gaining happiness from increasing our competence at something,” said Ryan Howell, assistant professor of psychology at San Francisco State University. “People often give up their goals because they are stressful, but we found that there is benefit at the end of the day from learning to do something well. And what’s striking is that you don’t have to reach your goal to see the benefits to your happiness and well-being.”
Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Does the journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.
- Christina Rossetti
The major cause of suffering, and obstacle to spiritual progress, is the widely accepted Neo-Darwinian model of evolution, which holds that “natural selection” is blind and devoid of any thinker or planner, and life is therefore without design or purpose.
Evolution is a “blind watchmaker” according to Richard Dawkins’ in his book of that title, in which he opposes William Paley’s reasoning that the existence of a watch compels belief in an intelligent watchmaker.
Chicken or Egg
“The main cause of pain,” Blavatsky says in Spiritual Progress, “lies in our perpetually seeking the permanent in the impermanent, and not only seeking, but acting as if we had already found the unchangeable, in a world of which the one certain quality we can predicate is constant change. And always,
just as we fancy we have taken a firm hold upon the permanent, it changes within our very grasp, and pain results.
She adds something what we all know is true about progressive awakenings and evolving consciousness: “the idea of growth involves also the idea of disruption, the inner being must continually burst through its confining shell or encasement,
and such a disruption must also be accompanied by pain, not physical but mental and intellectual.
Proteins are the building blocks of all organic matter, and the blueprints for making the thousands of proteins necessary for complex organisms like animals and humans is guided by the information stored in our DNA.
One of the most convincing arguments for intelligent design (ID) is the result of one simple fact in biology which, without intelligence, sets up an insoluble conundrum:
The information for making proteins would have to also be used to create the protein based DNA molecule, but which molecule itself holds the information for making them. [?!]
Since the DNA molecule is itself made of proteins, this can only result in the classic chicken or the egg paradox—which came first?
So, either there is some DNA hiding under a bush somewhere, which only fuels the paradox, or we must accept the inference to a preexistent plan. And plans are the result of intelligent planners.
Is life on Earth the product of purely undirected processes like time, chance and natural selection?
If not, then the origin and diversity of living organisms must be traced to an intelligent cause.
Order in Nature
Acknowledging that “adaptation” is indeed a law, Blavatsky quickly pointed out that this fact only strengthens the necessity of a conscious organizing intelligence at work behind the scenes of evolution.
An intelligence is required to recognize the need for, and initiate, the required adaptations — and this is the antithesis of blind chance.
“There is,” Blavatsky wrote, “but one indivisible and absolute Omniscience and Intelligence in the Universe,
…and this thrills throughout every atom and infinitesimal point of the whole finite Kosmos.
“The whole order of nature evinces a progressive march towards a higher life,” Blavatsky wrote, and “the very fact that adaptations do occur, that the fittest do survive in the struggle for existence, shows that
what is called ‘unconscious Nature’ is in reality”— evidence for the existence of an organizing intelligence.
Accepting all this, must we adopt a belief an all-powerful personal God as the only resolution to the paradox?
Theosophy says a personal deity and savior are not necessary— we only need to be willing to consider the ancient doctrine that teaches there is not just one ‘almighty god,’ but many gods and forces that shape nature and man.
“The whole Kosmos is guided, controlled, and animated by almost endless series of Hierarchies of sentient Beings, each having a mission to perform,” Blavatsky wrote in The Secret Doctrine, “… whether we give to them one name or another, and call them Dhyan-Chohans or Angels —
they are ‘messengers’ in the sense only that they are the agents of Karmic and Cosmic Laws.
These messengers were all thinkers, mind beings, perfected in former periods of an endless evolution, who oversee evolution on this planet by adapting the plans used in those prior periods — which in turn were the adaptations of still older systems.
But it is always possible to reverse of the flow of energy from the spiritual darkness of an accidental self, to a master-navigator self, and to a recognition of intelligence in Nature.
Gaining a healthy outlook in life is only possible if we believe in a conscious, organized system, not in a blind, purposeless world.
Recognition of this fact of self-reliance, often requires the brave commitment to unchaining the Promethean fire within us. A human being with it billions of invisible cells are not self-organizing. There is a organizer at the helm directing the plan as a conductor does for an orchestra.
A mechanical machine cannot restore its own energy-loss, or organize itself, even computers cannot make decisions on their own.
Each requires an information system or “software” — and an intelligent programmer at the helm.
The theory that infinite monkeys with infinite time could produce Hamlet collapses on itself under the sheer weight of probability.
There are not enough years in our evolutionary system to accomplish it.
Insisting on a “blind watchmaker also inevitably leads to a conviction that “mind” is the random product of the physical brain – the position taken in today’s standard model neuroscience. So far, proving this notion experimentally has lead researchers to persistent contradictions and down blind alleys.
“Chemistry and physiology [‘bio-chemistry’?] are the two great magicians of the future,” wrote Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine (1:261 ‘Occult Chemistry’),
who are destined to open the eyes of mankind to the great physical truths.
It is unlikely to believe that “chance” has anything to do with the processes that produce life forms.
How could anyone imagine that Shakespeare himself was the result of a random process, when it is quite clearly impossible for even a trivial fragment of his work to have arisen by chance?
In Universal Theosophy (p. 4-5), Robert Crosbie wrote that “Nature does not exist separate and apart from us. The laws of nature are but the interrelations and interdependence of all beings concerned in this stream of evolution.
The forces of nature do not exist of themselves,” he said, and “there never was a force of any kind that was not the result of intelligent action.
“We as spiritual beings are internally creating forces — for every man’s brain and every thought has a dynamic power.”
“All the powers in the universe are latent in us if we only open the doors to their use. Every one of us is a little copy of the whole universe. There is not a single element existing anywhere which each one of us does not contain within his own sphere — there is no power anywhere that can not be drawn upon.”
“Always the director of that power is the Self within each one. If that Self sees darkly, it is because the mirror into which the Self looks is covered with the dust of false ideas, he sees distorted images.”
The Big Picture
In conclusion, the blind, undirected dogmas of Neo-Darwinism are no match for the Theosophical explanatory view of intelligent evolution advocated by ancient sages.
Consider one of H. P. Blavatsky’s most compelling arguments for intelligent design:
“Suppose an Occultist were to claim that the first grand organ of a cathedral had come originally into being in the following manner. First, there was a progressive and gradual elaboration in Space of an organizable material, which resulted in the production of a state of matter named organic PROTEIN.
“Then, under the influence of incident forces, those states having been thrown into a phase of unstable equilibrium, they slowly and majestically evolved into and resulted in new combinations of carved and polished wood, of brass pins and staples, of leather and ivory, wind-pipes and bellows.
After which, having adapted all its parts into one harmonious and symmetrical machine, the organ suddenly pealed forth Mozart’s Requiem.
“This was followed by a Sonata of Beethoven, etc., ad infinitum — its keys playing of themselves and the wind blowing into the pipes by its own inherent force and fancy….
What would Science say to such a theory?