back to House of the Sun

Humanity: Evolution, Regression or an Experiment? banner

This article is also available in PDF format

It is an issue that pops up again and again. Did humanity evolve from the apes? Did humanity come from other planets. Did somebody tinker with the genetics of humanity? Are we evolving or devolving? The following is a collection of thoughts based on many different sources. Mankind seems to have that unshakable memory that in the distant past something went wrong, and we are still suffering from it. Many visionaries have given their own ideas of what went wrong. Each is like a piece of the puzzle. I have put some of these pieces together. It is not the entire puzzle, but it gives you some idea of what it is all about.
From when I was young, I asked myself: "We have everything to make everybody on this planet happy and to live in a luxurious lifestyle, but we don't do it. Why is that?" If humanity is supposed to be the "Crown of Creation", and we are God's children, and God is perfect, why are we messing it up so much? Later on I thought: "If one would cast a horoscope for somebody born on Mars, what energy would we assign to the planet Earth?" Planet Earth might look lovely from outer space, but the history of mankind is one of destructive chaos. For as long as written history stretches man has been fighting each other, murdering each other, torturing each other.
I you think we presently live in a civilized society, if you think that we evolved from primitive cave men and we are now so much better, look around you. You will see that we are not one inch better or more evolved. Man still fights each other, still tortures, still wages war, still murders. In the two World Wars millions of people perished. After that there were plenty more little wars, and even today the killing goes on. We speak about peace, and bringing democracy and freedom to other countries, but in reality more chaos, more destruction, more killing goes on. Pollution is epidemic and is creating a whole new series of degenerative diseases. Depleted uranium is spread out by the ton through new super weapons, they have contaminated this planet to the end of its existence. We haven't evolved one inch.
In the esoteric field it is said that Jesus Christ came to Earth because mankind has sunk to such a low state that it had itself cut off from the Divine Source. Wandering in a darkened consciousness, it might be doomed to extinction, like a plant cut off from water will slowly wither away and die. Christ came here to make mankind aware again not only that the Divine Source exist, but that it is present in each one of us. He infused the Earth with an energy that man could use to pull himself up from the darkness. Mankind, up to that moment, only believed in a creator-God (the god of the Old Testament), a God that rewards or punishes. When you read the Old Testament, he sure likes blood. It is a reflection man's state of mind at that time (and of our present time), but there is more to it.
I have been stumbling more and more on the idea that humanity is not evolving, but actually degenerating. This might be a strange idea to you, as it is contrary to what you learned in school. I have been coming across this idea from several different sources. They all explain it in somewhat different terms, but the underlying idea is the same. Again, when I was young I was asking myself, why is man, compared with the animals, physically or biologically so weak? Animals, can drink water from pools, if we do it we get sick. Man is very vulnerable to diseases. Animals can survive easily in harsh weather. Some animals, like the deer are outside all the time, in rain, and on cold, freezing nights in the winter. If man would do that, he would get sick right away, or just freeze to death. Animals are physically well developed, especially their muscles. Man is physically very weak. Try to wrestle with any animals, and you know what I am talking about. I studied horticulture. It is well known that when you cross breed plants to gain certain new characteristics, the new species will often get weaker. The same happens with inbreeding of animals. What you end up with is a weakened species. Mankind has all the characteristics of a weakened species.
It all looks like man is not the result of evolution, at least not on this planet. He seems to have been more the result of an experiment, an experiment that didn't quite work out. Remarkably, we find a similar idea in the Cabala. Cabala teaches that the Divine created the Tree of Life, containing the archetypes of creation. The Tree of Life consists of ten Sephiroth (=vessels) containing ten archetypical energy emanations. The Jewish books explain that originally the first Tree of Life, called the Qliphoth, was unbalanced. The worlds thus created (based on the unbalanced Sephiroth) were destroyed, separated, or cast down. They have been traditionally interpreted as the source of all the evil forces in the present world. A Hasadic view states that in the process of creation, ten sephiroth were created, each encapsuled by a qliphah. The ten sephiroth are thought to be ten divine "enumerations" or "emanations" of God into the universe . The first set of ten qliphoth proved too weak to hold the emanating force, and the lower seven of them broke. They were replaced, but the broken former set, animated by a residue of the creative power of God, remained and conflicts with those aspects of the world corresponding to the lower seven sephiroth. The importance of the Qlipoth for today's humanity varies, but in general it is seen that the energies and entities from those destroyed worlds are still causing all kinds of imbalances in today's world. Some see them as evil, other's see them as a shadow that man to work out. There are like unbalanced forces in the unconsciousness of man. They may be unconscious, but that doesn't mean they are inactive. Dion Fortune (a famous British occultist) describes the Qliphoth as "aptly termed the evil and averse Sephiroth and are the unbalanced and destructive aspect of the Holy Stations (Sephiroth) themselves". She goes on to write that "Whoever attempts to work with the positive aspect of a Sephirah must remember that it has a negative aspect" and it's important to maintain the balance of forces. The Qliphoth is looked at as the place where one finds the Absolute of all averse conditions as in absolute lust, absolute envy, etc.
God created a first world that was unbalanced. We have approached it from the Cabalistic point of view. There are several sources that speak of ancient worlds and human beings that weren't created right and were destroyed. Mankind really seems to have an unconscious memory of it, as it surfaces in many tales. So, did God make a mistake? Maybe we should approach it from another angle. Let's leave behind the word God, as it invokes a rather the idea of an ancient old man. The Divine is an undifferentiated energy about which we cannot say much. But we can say (in simplistic terms) that part of the Divine (if not all) split itself into innumerable pieces that entered the universe and became conscious beings. These conscious beings, of all different kinds, created everything in the universe. So, each of us, and that includes you too, is a little piece of the Divine. It is like a big sandbox out here, and the Divine let us play in it. There are spiritual beings who create galaxies, planets, and the life on it. As the universe has been around a long time, many intelligent beings flourished on many planets. Our solar system is a second generation solar system. That means that it was formed out of the ashes of previous exploded stars and solar systems. Now, in the last decades there has been a growing awareness of the possibility of extraterrestrial civilizations. This also is reflected in the esoteric circles. We see more and more sources that claim, each in their own way, that humanity did not evolve on this planet, but was seeded from other planets. Not once, but many times. There also seems to be evidence that humanity was genetically altered in the past. Visionaries tell that the Atlantean people were familiar with genetic engineering. But even earlier than Atlantis there were races that came and went, not all being successful in surviving. There is a lot of information that points to the fact that humanity did not evolve from the apes (an idea that now has been abandoned by most scientist). The esoteric circles have always claimed that the apes evolved from the humans, that is, the apes de-volved from a branch of human bodies that could not hold the human spirits anymore. In other worlds, this branch of human bodies was too degenerated (genetically). Similar things seem to have happened in the distant time on this planet. Humanity, already genetically altered when it came to this planet, had unbalanced bodies. The souls incarnated in the human bodies were not always able to live a normal, balanced life in harmony with the Divine. Mythologically, we remember this as the Fall. Mankind turned away from the Divine as the forces of the unbalanced physical body created too much havoc on the souls.
Lucifer (forget what the Catholic Church has said about it), was originally the Light-bearer, the favorite angel of God. But he turned away and got cast into the darkness. Lucifer is the symbol of individualized consciousness. The consciousness that makes you an individual person is like a double edged sword. You get to be an individual (in contrast to a group mind) but at the same time you get cut of from the Divine source.
Rudolf Steiner, the founder of the Anthroposophical movement and a visionary, explained this change in mankind in ancient times. Steiner said that in the Lemurian period the Luciferian spirits developed the brain of man too soon, by which man began to direct his attention to the physical world around him, and he was not ready for that. By this act man lost contact with the spiritual world and the spiritual guides who were instructing man how to live. Cut off from this contact man did gain the precious gift of individualized consciousness and free will. But free will implies the possibility of error, and thus of suffering. So here again, we have something that happened to mankind that wasn't quite right and was unbalanced. So, now, mankind still is carrying around those mistakes made in the past. It is like a shadow that follows him with every move. Steiner considered the course of the human path to be aimed at the realization of the Christ consciousness, which seeks the harmonious manifestation of all aspects of the human being in balance. But man is opposed by a current of consciousness based on destruction, imbalance and conflict. This current is twofold: Lucifer and Ahriman: Lucifer is the symbol of energy, dynamic motion, dissolution of boundaries; Ahriman is the symbol of matter, crystallization, formation of boundaries and limitations, solidification in all regions.
Let me finish with this:
The human body might be the result of a failed experiment, but remember you are not the body. You are a Divine Spirit that incarnated in this body to gain experience, to develop your consciousness. Incarnating in an imbalanced human body gives the opportunity to balance out the disharmony. That might take time, a lot of time. With many mistakes. It seems that incarnating on this planet Earth gives the human spirit the chance of individualized consciousness, a freedom of choice, and to develop his own strength. It is a difficult task to work in an unbalanced world, but the rewards are great. unfortunately, a lot of people are swept away by the unbalanced forces. As one visionary once said: "Uneducated man reverts back to the animal state." That is what we need: education. To teach people how to handle this human life in harmony with the Divine. That is what Christ and many other spiritual teachers came here for. That is the task of all of you, spiritual seekers, to do the same for your fellow man. If we fail, man will surely destroy himself (again).
I also came across a Rosicrucian source, the Lectorium Rosicrucianum, (LR), founded by Jan Leene who took the pen name Jan van Rijckenborgh. As a Rosicrucian order (there are several), he took the rather unusual point of view that “there is no evolution whatsoever, only degeneration”. Mankind, if left alone, would only degenerate and return to a barbaric state. Man has no real soul, but only a replacement soul, which is mortal, made of corruptible fluids. Therefore, a radical revolution and transformation is needed. A New Man must be born, after the old personality dies. No master should intervene in this process, and only self-initiation in the candidate is awaited. Jan van Rijckenborgh's teachings are very Gnostic. The LR proposes a classical Gnostic dualism between the divine world (static) and the natural world (dialectic). The so-called living beings that we are, having forgotten their divine origin, are imprisoned in this dualist and absurd world. Yet, they possess a "spirit spark atom" which manifests itself in many as a remembrance or pre-remembrance and nostalgia. The path of transfiguration as proposed by the LR aims to awaken the divine spark ("the rose of the heart") and to lead humans back to their original condition.
In the light of the above, it is the task of humans on this Earth, to use this imperfect world and these imperfect physical bodies to become aware of their divine origin and to transform themselves into spiritually evolved beings. The fact that the human body on this planet is unbalanced is something we have to deal with.