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The Consciousness of the Atom - Cosmic Evolution
Lecture VII

Cosmic Evolution

It might well be considered ridiculous for anyone to undertake to give a lecture on Cosmic Evolution, because, of course, it is a subject which neither I nor any other mortal knows anything about, and consequently we are utterly unable to express ourselves upon it. Nevertheless, there are certain deductions we can make under the law of analogy which may lead us to very interesting realms of thought.

We have for several weeks been considering the evolution of the atom from stage to stage, until we included the entire solar system under the term "atom." We studied first, along general lines, the atom of substance, then we studied the human atom, and later we applied what we knew about both these atoms to the still larger sphere, or atom, a planet, which we called a planetary atom; then we extended the idea still further to the atom of the solar system, predicating it as having a position within a still greater whole.

We studied three methods of evolution, or development, in connection with this subject. We [144] considered the aspects which were evolved by means of these atoms, their qualities, or psychic nature, and we saw how in the atom of substance the only psychic quality we could postulate about it was the quality of intelligence. We passed on then to atomic forms, subhuman forms, and saw how the forms in the two kingdoms of nature, the vegetable and animal, demonstrated another quality of the Deity, that of sensation, feeling, or embryo love and emotion; we also found that in the animal kingdom a third quality, that of rudimentary mind, began to show itself, and that when we arrived at the human atom, we had three aspects demonstrating - intelligence, love, and a central will. We extended this concept to the planet and to the solar system, and found that, working out through the form of the solar system, we had a great Intelligence or Mind; that the object of His utilization of form was the demonstration of another quality: love or wisdom, the whole being energized by a great central Will. We deduced therefrom that this central Will might be the manifestation of an Entity Who informs the entire system, from the very lowest atom of substance up to that great Life Who energizes the planetary scheme.

Having laid down these fundamentals we passed on to the consideration of the evolution [145] of the conscious life within the atomic form, finding that a higher type of consciousness is consistently evolved by each atom; that the human consciousness is distinguished from all other lower forms in that it is self-conscious; that man is an intelligent will, consciously performing every action, becoming aware of his surroundings, and working out a definite line of activity with a specific objective in view. The self-consciousness of man leads on again to something wider still, to the consciousness of the great planetary Spirit, which may perhaps be best expressed in the term 'group consciousness.' As evolution proceeds man will pass from the stage of self-consciousness in which you and I now are, to a realization of what is meant by group consciousness, something as yet practically unknown, except as some beautiful ideal, and a dream which may, at some distant time, materialize. Group consciousness, again, will logically lead on to that which we, for lack of a better term, might call God consciousness, though I deprecate the use of the word God because of the many quarrels it causes in the world between the different thinkers of the human family. These differences are founded largely upon differences in phraseology, upon the terms used to express fundamental ideas, and upon varying methods of organization. When the scientist, for [146] instance, speaks of force, or energy, and the Christian speaks of God, and the Hindu uses terms analogous to the 'I am that I am,' or the Self, they are all speaking of one and the same great life, but have lost much time in endeavoring to prove each other wrong, and to demonstrate the accuracy of their own interpretation.

We next saw that, roughly speaking, atomic evolution could be divided into two parts or stages; one stage we called the atomic stage, and another we called, for lack of a better term, the radioactive stage. The atomic stage is that in which the atom pursues its own self-centered life, is concerned entirely with its own evolution, and the effect of the contacts it makes. As evolution proceeds, it becomes apparent that in time the atom begins to react to a greater life outside itself, and in this you have the period analogous to that of the form-building stage, in which these atoms of substance are attracted by a greater charge of energy, or positive electrical force (if you like to call it such), which draws them, or attracts them to itself, and builds out of them a form; these atoms of substance, in turn, become then electrons. We found, then, how in your case and mine, as in the case of every self-conscious unit, the same procedure is followed, and that we have a central life holding within the sphere of its influence the [147] atoms that constitute the different bodies, mental, emotional, and physical; that we manifest, that we move and carry on our life, and work out our purposes, by attracting to ourselves the atoms of substance that are adequate to our needs, and through which we can make the necessary contacts. These atoms are to us, the central life, what the electrons are to the central positive charge in the atom of substance. Then we saw that if this is true, namely, that there is a self-centered stage, or purely atomic period, for the atom, and for the human atom, then again for the atom of the planet, indwelt by its central spiritual life, we should be able to predicate logically a similar state of affairs. Thus we were led into the field of speculation. We considered then whether all that transpires upon our planet may not be due to the self-centered condition of the Entity Who is working out His purposes by means of it. Finally we carried forward the same idea in connection with the solar system itself.

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