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The Consciousness of the Atom - The Evolution of Form
It may therefore seem to some of us a logical hypothesis that just as the atom of chemistry is a tiny sphere, or form, with a positive nucleus, which holds rotating around it the negative electrons, so all forms in all the kingdoms of nature are of a similar structure, differing only in degree of consciousness or intelligence. We can therefore regard the kingdoms themselves as the physical expression of some great subjective life, and can by logical steps come to the recognition that every unit in the human family is an atom in the body of that greater unit who has been called in some of the Scriptures the "Heavenly Man." Thus we arrive finally at the concept that the solar system is but the aggregate of all kingdoms and all forms, and the Body of a Being Who is expressing Himself through it, and utilizing it in order to work out a definite purpose and central idea. In all these extensions of our final hypothesis, the same triplicity can be seen; an informing Life or Entity manifesting through a form, or a multiplicity of forms, and demonstrating discriminative intelligence.

It is not possible to deal with the method whereby the forms are built up, or to enlarge upon the evolutionary process by means of which atoms [62] are combined into forms, and the forms themselves collected into that greater unity which we call a kingdom in nature. This method might be briefly summed up in three terms:

  • involution, or the involving of the subjective life in matter, the method whereby the indwelling Entity takes to itself its vehicle of expression;
  • evolution, or the utilization of the form by the subjective life, its gradual perfecting, and the final liberating of the imprisoned life;
  • and the law of attraction and repulsion, whereby matter and spirit are coordinated, whereby the central life gains experience, expands its consciousness, and, through the use of that particular form attains self-knowledge and self-control.

All is carried forward under this basic law. In every form you have a central life, or idea, coming into manifestation, involving itself more and more in substance, clothing itself in a form and shape adequate to its need and requirement, utilizing that form as a means of expression, and then - in due course of time - liberating itself from the environing form in order to acquire one more suited to its need. Thus through every grade of form, spirit or life progresses, until the path of return has been traversed and the point of origin achieved. This is the meaning of evolution and here lies the secret of the cosmic incarnation. Eventually spirit frees itself from form, and attains liberation plus [63] developed psychical quality and graded expansions of consciousness.

We might look at these definite stages, and study them very cursorily. We have in the first case the process of involution. This is the period in which the limiting of the life within the form or sheath proceeds, and it is a long slow process, covering millions upon millions of years. This great cycle is participated in by every type of life. It concerns the life of the Solar Logos manifesting through a solar system. It is part of the life cycle of the planetary Spirit manifesting through such a sphere as our Earth planet; it includes that life which we call human, and sweeps into the path of its energy the tiny life which functions through an atom of chemistry. It is the great process of becoming, and that which makes existence and being itself possible. This period of limitation, of a gradually increasing imprisonment, and of an ever deeper descent into matter, is succeeded by one of adaptation, in which the life and the form become intimately interrelated, and subsequent to this is the period wherein that inner relation becomes perfected. The form is then adequate to the needs of the life, and can be utilized. Then, as the life within grows and expands, it is paralleled by the crystallization of the form, which no longer suffices as a means of expression. Following upon crystallization, we [64] have the period of disintegration. Limitation, adaptation, utilization, crystallization, and disintegration, - these are the stages which cover the life of an entity, or embodied idea of greater or less degree, which seeks expression through matter.

Let us carry out this thought in connection with the human being. The process of limitation can be seen in the taking of a physical form, and in those early rebellious days, when a man is full of desires, aspirations, longings and ideals, which he seems unable to express or to satisfy. Then comes the period of adaptation, wherein the man begins to utilize what he has, and to express himself as best he may through the medium of those myriads of lesser lives and intelligences which constitute his physical, his emotional, and his mental bodies. He energizes his threefold form, forcing it to carry out his behests and fulfil his purposes, and thus carry out his plan, whether for good or evil. This is succeeded by the stage in which he utilizes the form as far as in him lies, and comes to what we call maturity. Finally, in the later stages of life, we have the crystallization of the form, and the man's realization of its inadequacy. Then comes the happy release which we call death, that great moment in which the "spirit in prison" escapes from the confining walls of its physical form. Our ideas about death [65] have been erroneous; we have looked upon it as the great and ultimate terror, whereas in reality it is the great escape, the entrance into a fuller measure of activity, and the release of the life from the crystallized vehicle and an inadequate form.

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