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The Consciousness of the Atom - The Goal of Evolution
Having seen that the two stages of atomic activity and radioactivity characterize the evolution of all atoms in the solar system, let us now see what are the different developments which may be expected as the consciousness within the human atom evolves. I should like to center our attention upon this human type of consciousness, as it is the central evolution in the solar system. When the three aspects of the divine life are [125] brought together - the indwelling life or spirit, the material form or substantial vehicle, and the factor of intelligent activity - certain specific results will eventuate. We shall have the gradual working out of consciousness of a particular kind; the development of psychic quality; the effect of the subjective life upon the material form; the utilization of the form for certain specific ends, and the attainment by the indwelling entity of certain qualities. The true nature of the central life, be it God or man, will be manifested during a life cycle, whether solar or human. That is true of you and it is true of me; it is probably true of the planetary Logos, and if true of him, therefore also of a solar Logos.

Let us try, if we can, to follow some of the different developments in connection with our four types of atoms - the atom of substance, the human atom, the planetary atom, and the cosmic atom. One of the first and most important developments will be conscious response to every vibration and contact - that is, the ability to respond to the not-self on every plane. Let me illustrate. I could go down to certain halls in this city, and gather together an audience composed of the unskilled laborers and illiterates, I could talk to them, and repeat what I have been saying this evening and get no response whatever. Yet I could go down and give them a talk such [126] as I gave ten years ago, along strictly evangelical or Gospel lines, and meet with a rapid reaction. Here the question of right or wrong does not enter in, but simply the difference in the ability of different grades and types of men at different stages of evolution to respond to contact and vibration. It simply means that certain people are at a stage where they can be reached by an emotional appeal, and dealt with along the line of their own personal salvation, being in the earlier atomic stage as yet. There is another stage which includes that, but which enables one to respond also to a more intellectual appeal, which gives one a certain amount of interest and satisfaction in such discussions as we have pursued, and which means investigation of those matters which concern the group, for instance. But both stages are equally right.

We can look at this matter from another angle: it is quite possible for us to meet great people, wonderful men and women, and fail to be impressed by them; we might pass them by without recognizing them, and thus miss that which they have to give us. This happened in Palestine in connection with the Christ, two thousand years ago. Why? Because, we ourselves are not yet great enough to respond to them. There is something still lacking in us, so that we are unable to realize or feel their particular vibration. I [127] have heard it said, and I think it is very true, that if the Christ were to come down upon earth again, and walk among men as He did before, He might live His life amongst us day after day and we would not notice anything so very different in Him from the other good and unselfish people whom we know. We have not yet cultivated within ourselves the ability to respond to the divine in our brother. We usually see only that which is bad and coarse, and are cognizant principally of our brother's faults. We are insensitive, yet, to the best people.

Another development will be that we shall be able to function consciously on all planes of being. We function consciously now on the physical plane, and there are a few people who are able to function equally consciously on the next subtler plane, that which is called the astral plane (a word I very much dislike, as it conveys no real meaning to our minds) or the plane of the emotional nature, on which a man is active when out of the physical body, in the hours of sleep or immediately after death. Very few human beings can function on the mental plane in fully awakened consciousness, and still fewer upon the spiritual plane. The object of evolution is that we should consciously function, with full continuity of realization, upon the physical, emotional, and mental planes. This is the great achievement [128] which will some day be ours. We shall then know what we do every hour of the day, and not for just about fourteen hours out of every twenty-four. At present we remain unconscious of where the real thinking entity is during the hours of sleep. We do not know what his activities are, nor the condition of his environment. Some day we shall utilize and employ every minute of every hour of the day.

Another purpose of evolution is a threefold one, and it is that we should have purpose or will, love, and energy coordinated. That is not so as yet. We have much intelligent energy continuously displayed now, but it is very rare indeed to meet a person whose whole life is animated by a central purpose, which is followed unswervingly, and which is animated and instigated by love working through intelligent activity. The time is coming, however, when we shall have expanded our consciousness to such an extent, and be so active within ourselves, that we shall become radioactive. We shall then carry forward a definite purpose which will be the outcome of love, and attain our objective by means of the intelligence. This is all that God is doing, is it not? At our present stage of development, we are certainly intelligent, but as yet there is very little love. We may have a little love for those we contact or meet, and a greater love for our [129] family and immediate friends, but we know practically nothing of group love. When group love is voiced for us by the great idealists of the race it is nevertheless true that we have reached the stage where we can respond somewhat to it, and feel that it is something we should like to see realized. It is good to remember that the more we think along such definitely altruistic lines, the more we shall build up something of very great value, and develop by slow and laborious degrees the rudiments of a real group consciousness, which as yet lies far ahead for most of us.

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