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The Consciousness of the Atom - The Evolution of Form
We have seen that the atom of chemistry, for instance, demonstrates the quality of intelligence; it shows symptoms of discriminative mind, and the rudiments of selective capacity. Thus the tiny life within the atomic form is demonstrating psychic quality. The atom is then built into all the different forms at varying times and stages, and each time it gains somewhat according to the force and life of the entity who ensouls that form, and preserves its homogeneity. Take, for instance, the atom that goes to the building of a form in the mineral kingdom; it shows not only discriminative selective mind, but elasticity. Then in the vegetable kingdom these two qualities appear, but a third is also found, which we might call sensation of a rudimentary kind. The initial intelligence of the atom has acquired something during the transition from form to form and from kingdom to kingdom. Its responsiveness to contact, and its general awareness have increased. When we come to the study of the evolution of consciousness we can take this up in greater [69] detail; all I am endeavoring to do tonight is to show that in the vegetable kingdom forms built up of atoms show not only discriminative intelligence and elasticity, but also are capable of sensation, or of that which, in the vegetable kingdom, corresponds to emotion or feeling, emotion being but rudimentary love. Next we have the animal kingdom, in which the animal forms show not only all the above qualities, but to them is added instinct, or that which will some day blossom into mentality. Finally, we come to the human being, who shows all these qualities in a far greater degree, for the fourth kingdom is but the macrocosm for the three lower. Man demonstrates intelligent activity, he is capable of emotion or love, and has added yet another factor, that of intelligent will. He is the deity of his own little system; he is not only conscious, but he is self-conscious. He builds his own body of manifestation, just as does the Logos, only on a tiny scale; he controls his little system by the great law of attraction and repulsion, as does the Logos, and he energizes it and synthesizes his threefold nature into a coherent unit. He is the three in one, and the one in three, just as is the Logos.

There is a future for every atom in the solar system. Before the ultimate atom there lies a tremendous goal, and as the aeons slip away the [70] life that animates that atom will pass through all the varying kingdoms of nature until it finds its goal in the human kingdom.

The idea might now be extended somewhat, and we might consider that great Entity Who is the informing life of the planet, and Who holds all the different kingdoms of nature within His consciousness. May it not be possible that His intelligence, as it informs the totality of all groups and kingdoms, is the goal for man, the human atom? Perhaps as time progresses the scope of his present realization may also be ours, and for His, as for all those great Lives Who inform the planets of the solar system, there may be the attainment of that tremendous reach of consciousness which characterizes that great Existence Who is the ensouling Life of the solar system. May it not be true that among the different grades of consciousness, extending, for instance, from the atom of the chemist and physicist, up to the Logos of the solar system, there are no gaps, and no abrupt transitions, but there is ever a gradual expansion and a gradual evolution from one form of intelligent manifestation to another, and always the life within the form gains in quality by means of the experience.

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