Man: Whence, How and Whither - Annie Besant - ebook

Man: Whence, How and Whither ebook

Annie Besant



The problem of Man' s origin, of his evolution, of his destiny, is one of inexhaustible interest. Whence came he, this glorious Intelligence, on this globe, at least, the crown of visible beings? How has he evolved to his present position? Has he suddenly descended from above, a radiant angel, to become the temporary tenant of a house of clay; or has he climbed upwards through long dim ages, tracing his humble ancestry from primeval slime, through fish, reptile, mammal, up to the human kingdom? And what is his future destiny? Is he evolving onwards, climbing higher and higher, only to descend the long slope of degeneration till he falls over the precipice of death, leaving behind him a freezing planet, the sepulchre of myriad civilisations; or is his present climbing but the schooling of an immortal spiritual Power, destined in his maturity to wield the sceptre of a world, a system, a congeries of Systems, a veritable God in the making? This comprehensive survey of the past and future history of mankind was obtained by clairvoyant investigation.

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Man: Whence, How and Whither

Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater


Man: Whence, How and Whither



Chapter I - Preliminaries

Chapter Ii - The First And Second Chains

Chapter Iii - Early Times On The Moon Chain

Chapter Iv - The Sixth Round On The Moon Chain

Chapter V - The Seventh Round On The Moon Chain

Chapter Vi - Early Times On The Earth Chain

Chapter Vii - Early Stages Of The Fourth Round

Chapter Viii - The Fourth Root Race

Chapter Ix  - Black Magic In Atlantis

Chapter X - The Civilisation Of Atlantis

Chapter Xi - Two Atlantean Civilisations

Chapter Xii - Two Atlantean Civilisations

Chapter Xiii - Two Atlantean Civilisations

Chapter Xiv - Beginnings Of The Fifth Root Race

Chapter Xv - The Building Of The Great City

Chapter Xvi - Early Aryan Civilisation And Empire

Chapter Xvii - The Second Sub-Race, The Arabian

Chapter Xviii - The Third Sub-Race, The Iranian

Chapter Xix - The Fourth Sub-Race, The Keltic

Chapter Xx - The Fifth Sub-Race, The Teutonic

Chapter Xxi - The Root-Stock And Its Descent

Chapter Xxii - The Beginnings Of The Sixth Root Race

Chapter Xxiii - The Beginnings Of The Sixth Root Race

Chapter Xxiv - Religion And The Temples

Chapter Xxv - Education And The Family

Chapter Xxvi -. Buildings And Customs

Chapter Xxvii - Conclusion


I - The Moon Chain

Ii - In The City Of The Golden Gate

Iii - Ancient Peru

Iv - Peru, About 12,000 B.C.

V - On The Shore Of The Gobi Sea, About 72,000 B.C.

Vi - In Shamballa, About 60,000 B.C.

Vii - In The City Of The Bridge, And The Valley

Viii - In The City Of The Bridge And The Valley

Ix - In The Emigration, About 30,000 B.C.

X - The First Aryan Immigration Into

Xi - An Aryan Immigration Into India, 17,455 B.C.

Xii - An Aryan Immigration Into India 15,950 B.C.

Xiii - In Northern India, 12,800 B.C.

Xiv - The Aryanisation Of Egypt

Man: Whence, How and Whither, Besant/Leadbeater

Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck

86450 Altenmünster, Loschberg 9


ISBN: 9783849641832

[email protected]

Man: Whence, How and Whither


THE idea that clairvoyant observation is possible is no longer regarded as entirely insane. It is not generally accepted, nor indeed is it accepted to any large extent. A constantly growing minority, however, of fairly intelligent people believe clairvoyance to be a fact, and regard it as a perfectly natural power, which will become universal in the course of evolution. They do not regard it as a miraculous gift, nor as an outgrowth from high spirituality, lofty intelligence, or purity of character; any or all of these may be manifested in a person who is not in the least clairvoyant. They know that it is a power latent in all men, and that it can be developed by any one who is able and willing to pay the price demanded for its forcing, ahead of the general evolution.

The use of clairvoyance for research into the past is not new. The Secret Doctrine of H. P. Blavatsky is a standing instance of such use. Whether or not the work thus done is reliable is a question which must be left for decision to future generations, possessing the power which is now used for this purpose. We shall, we know, have a large body of readers who are students, who, believing the power to be a reality, and knowing us to be honest, will find this book both interesting and illuminative. For them it has been written. As the number of students increases, so will increase the number of our readers. More than this we cannot hope for. Centuries hence, when people will be able to write much better books, based on similar researches, this will be looked on as an interesting pioneer, considering the time at which it was written.

Proofs of its general accuracy obviously cannot be given, though from time to time discoveries may be made which confirm an occasional statement. The truth of clairvoyant research can no more be proved to the general public, than colour can be demonstrated to a blind man. The general public, so far as it reads the book, will regard it with blank incredulity; some may think it an interesting fabrication; others may find it dull. Most will regard the authors as either self-deceived or fraudulent, according as the judges are kind-hearted or malevolent.

To students we would say: Accept it so far as it helps you in your studies, and throws light on what you already know. Amplification and correction may be made in the future, for we have only given a few fragments of a huge history, and the task has been a very heavy one.

The research work was done at Adyar in the summer of 1910; in the heat of the summer many of the students were away, and we shut ourselves up, so as to be uninterrupted, for five evenings every week; we observed, and said exactly what we saw, and two members, Mrs. Van Hook and Don Fabrizio Ruspoli, were good enough to write down all we said, exactly as we said it; these two sets of notes have been preserved. They are woven into the present story written partly during the summer of 1911, when a few weeks were stolen for the purpose, and completed in April and May 1912, similarly stolen out of the rush of busy lives. This kind of work cannot be done in the midst of constant interruptions, and the only way to accomplish it is to escape from the world for the time, to “go into retreat,” as the Roman Catholics call it.

The broad Theosophical outline of evolution has been followed, and it is given among the “preliminaries” in Chapter I. This governs the whole, and is the ground-plan of the book. The fact of an Occult Hierarchy, which guides and shapes evolution, is throughout taken for granted, and some of its members inevitably appear in the course of the story. In order to throw ourselves back into the earliest stages, we sought for our own consciousnesses, present there, and easier to start from than anything else, since no others were recognisable. They gave us, as it were, a footing in the first and second Chains. From the latter part of the third Chain and onwards, we traced humanity' s story by following a group of individuals, except where this group was otherwise occupied during any important stage of evolution-- as in the beginnings of the third and fourth sub-races of the fifth Root-Race; when that was the case we left it, and followed the main stream of progress. In this record comparatively few details as to persons can be given, the sweep of the story being so large. Many detailed lives, however, have been published in 'The Theosophist, under the general title “Rents in the Veil of Time”-- rents through which glimpses of the past of individuals may be seen. A volume of these, named Lives of Alcyone, will, we hope, one day be published, and to that will be appended full genealogical tables, showing the relationships in each life of all the characters so far identified. Work of this kind might be done ad libitum, if there were people to do it.

As a history cannot be written without names, and as reincarnation is a fact-- and therefore the re-appearance of the same individual throughout succeeding ages is also a fact, the individual playing many parts under many names-- we have given names to many individuals by which they may be recognised throughout the dramas in which they take part. Irving is the same Irving to us, as Macbeth, Richard III, Shylock, Charles I, Faust, Romeo, Matthias; and in any story of his life as actor he is spoken of as Irving, whatever part he is playing: his continuing individuality is recognised throughout. So a human being, in the long story in which lives are days, plays hundreds of parts but is himself throughout-- be he man or woman, peasant, prince, or priest. To this “himself” we have given a distinguishing name, so that he may be recognised under all the disguises put on to suit the part he is playing. These are mostly names of constellations, or stars. For instance, we have given to Julius Caesar the name of Corona; to Plato that of Pallas; to Lao-Tze that of Lyra; in this way we can see how different are the lines of evolution, the previous lives which produce a Caesar and a Plato. It gives to the story a human interest, and teaches the student of reincarnation.

The names of those who constantly appear in this story as ordinary men and women, but who are now Masters, may make those great Beings more real to some; They have climbed to where They stand on the same ladder of life up which we are climbing now; They have known the common household life, the joys and sorrows, the successes and the failures, which make up human experiences. They are not Gods perfect from unending ages, but men and women who have unfolded the God within themselves and have, along a toilsome road, reached the superhuman. They are the fulfilled promise of what we shall be, the glorious flowers on the plant on which we are the buds.

And so we launch our ship on the stormy ocean of publicity, to face its destiny and find its fate.





Four of the Lords of the Flame, still living in Shamballa.



The Bodhisattva of the time, appearing as Vyasa, Thoth (Hermes), Zarathushtra, Orpheus, finally as Gautama; who became the Lord Buddha


The Lord Maitreya, the present Bodhisattva, the Supreme Teacher of the world.

MANU ...

The Head of a Root-Race. If with a prefix, Root-Manu or Seed-Manu, a yet higher Official, presiding over a larger cycle of evolution - a Round or a Chain. The cognomen Vaivasvata is given in Hindu books both to the Root-Manu of our Chain and the Manu of the Aryan, or fifth, Root Race.


The Maha-Chohan, a high Official, of rank equal to that of a Manu or a Bodhisattva.


Now a Master, spoken of in some Theosophical books as `The Venetian'.


Now a Master, residing in the Nilgiri Hills.

MARS ...

Now the Master M. of the Occult World.


Now the Master K. H. of the Occult World.


Now the Master Hilarion.


Now the Master Serapis.


Now the Master Jesus.


Now the Master Ragozci (or Rakovzky), the `Hungarian Adept,' the Comte de S. Germain of the eighteenth century.


Now the Master D. K.


Now a Master: known in His last earth-life as Sir Thomas More.


Now a Master; know on earth as Thomas Vaughan, `Eugenius Philalethes'.

ALBA ...                                                                     Ethel Whyte

ALBIREO ...                                                               Maria-Luisa Kirby

ALCYONE ...                                                             J. Krishnamurti

ALETHEIA ...                                                            John van Manen

ALTAIR ...                                                                 Herbert Whyte

ARCOR ...                                                                  A. J. Wilson

AURORA ...                                                               Count Bubna-Licics

CAPELLA ...                                                              S. Maud Sharpe

CORONA ...                                                               Julius Caesar

CRUX ...                                                                    The Hon. Otway Cuffe

DENEB ...                                                                  Lord Cochrane (Tenth Earl of Dundonald)

EUDOXIA ...                                                              Louisa Shaw

FIDES ...                                                                     G. S. Arundale

GEMINI ...                                                                 E. Maud Green

HECTOR ...                                                               W. H. Kirby

HELIOS ...                                                                  Marie Russak

HERAKLES ...                                                           Annie Besant

LEO ...                                                                        Fabrizio Ruspoli

LOMIA ...                                                                   J. I. Wedgwood

LUTETIA ...                                                               Charles Bradlaugh

LYRA ...                                                                     Lao-Tze

MIRA ...                                                                     Carl Holbrook

MIZAR ...                                                                   J. Nityananda

MONA ...                                                                   Piet Meuleman

NORMA ...                                                                 Margherita Ruspoli

OLYMPIA ...                                                              Damodar K. Mavalankar

PALLAS ...                                                                 Plato

PHOCEA ...                                                                W. Q. Judge

PHOENIX ...                                                              T. Pascal

POLARIS...                                                                B. P. Wadia

PROTEUS...                                                               The Teshu Lama

SELENE...                                                                  C. Jinarajadasa

SIRIUS...                                                                    C. W. Leadbeater

SIWA...                                                                      T. Subba Rao

SPICA...                                                                     Francesca Arundale

TAURUS ...                                                                Jerome Anderson

ULYSSES...                                                                H. S. Olcott

VAJRA ...                                                                   H. P. Blavatsky

VESTA ...                                                                   Minnie C. Holbrook


THE problem of Man' s origin, of his evolution, of his destiny, is one of inexhaustible interest. Whence came he, this glorious Intelligence, on this globe, at least, the crown of visible beings? How has he evolved to his present position? Has he suddenly descended from above, a radiant angel, to become the temporary tenant of a house of clay; or has he climbed upwards through long dim ages, tracing his humble ancestry from primeval slime, through fish, reptile, mammal, up to the human kingdom? And what is his future destiny? Is he evolving onwards, climbing higher and higher, only to descend the long slope of degeneration till he falls over the precipice of death, leaving behind him a freezing planet, the sepulchre of myriad civilisations; or is his present climbing but the schooling of an immortal spiritual Power, destined in his maturity to wield the sceptre of a world, a system, a congeries of Systems, a veritable God in the making?

To these questions many answers have been given, partially or fairly fully, in the Scriptures of ancient religions, in the shadowy traditions handed down from mighty men of old, in the explorations of modern archaeologists, in the researches of geologists, physicists, biologists, astronomers, of our own days. The most modern knowledge has vindicated the most ancient records in ascribing to our earth and its inhabitants a period of existence of vast extent and of marvellous complexity; hundreds of millions of years are tossed together to give time for the slow and laborious processes of nature; further and further back ` primeval man' is pushed; Lemuria is seen where now the Pacific ripples, and Australia, but lately rediscovered, is regarded as one of the oldest of lands; Atlantis is posited, where now the Atlantic rolls, and Africa is linked to America by a solid bridge of land, so that the laurels of a discoverer are plucked from the brow of Columbus, and he is seen as following long-perished generations who found their way from Europe to the continent of the setting sun. Poseidonis is no longer the mere fairy-tale told by superstitious Egyptian priests to a Greek philosopher; Minos of Crete is dug out of his ancient grave, a man and not a myth; Babylon, once ancient, is shown as the modern successor of a series of highly civilised cities, buried in stratum after stratum, glooming through the night of time. Tradition is beckoning the explorer to excavate in Turkestan, in Central Asia, and whispering of cyclopean ruins that await but his spade for their unburying.

Amid this clash of opinions, this conflict of theories, this affirmation and repudiation of ever-new hypotheses, it may be that the record of two observers, two explorers-- treading a very ancient path that few feet tread to-day, but that will be trodden more and more by thronging students as time its stability-- may have a chance of being read. Science is to-day exploring the marvels of what it calls the ` subjective mind,' and is finding in it strange powers, strange upsurgings, strange memories. Healthy and balanced, dominating the brain, it shows as genius; out of equilibrium with the brain, vagrant and incalculable, it shows as insanity. Some day Science will realise that what it calls the subjective mind, Religion calls the Soul, and that the exhibition of its powers depends on the physical and super-physical instruments at its command. If these are well-constructed, sound and flexible, and thoroughly under its control, the powers of vision, of audition, of memory, irregularly up-welling from the subjective mind, become the normal and disposable powers of the Soul; if the Soul strive upwards to the Spirit-- the Divine Self-- veiled in the matter of our System, the true Inner Man, instead of ever clinging to the body, then its powers increase, and knowledge, otherwise unattainable, comes within its reach.

Metaphysicians, ancient and modern, declare that Past, Present, and Future are ever simultaneously existent in the divine Consciousness, and are only successive as they come into manifestation, i.e., under Time which is verily the succession of states of consciousness. Our limited consciousness existing in Time, is inevitably bound by this succession; we can only think successively. But we all know, from our experience of dream-states, that time-measures vary with this change of state, though succession remains; we know also that time-measures vary even more in the thought-world, and that when we construct mental pictures we can delay, hasten, repeat, the succession of thought-images at will, though still ever bound by succession. Pursing this line of thought, it is not difficult to conceive of a mind raised to transcendent power, the mind of a LOGOS or WORD-- such a Being, e.g., as is described in the Johannine Gospel, i. 1- 4 -- containing within itself all the mental images embodied in, say, a Solar System, arranged in the order of succession of their proposed manifestation, but all there, all capable of review, as we can review our own thought-images, though we have not yet attained to the divine power, so strikingly voiced by the Prophet Muhammad, as: “He only saith to it: ` Be,' and it is”.¹ (¹ Al Quran, xi. 17.) Yet, as the infant of a day contains within himself the potentialities of his sire, so do we, the offspring of God, contain within ourselves the potentialities of Divinity. Hence, when we resolutely turn the Soul away from earth and concentrate his attention on the Spirit-- the substance whereof he is the shadow in the world of matter-- the Soul may reach the “Memory of Nature,” the embodiment in the material world of the Thoughts of the LOGOS, the reflection, as it were, of His Mind. There dwells the Past in ever-living records; there also dwells the Future, more difficult for the half-developed Soul to reach, because not yet manifested, nor yet embodied, though quite as ` real' . The Soul, reading these records, may transmit them to the body, impress them on the brain, and then record them in words and writings. When the Soul is merged in the Spirit-- as in the case of “men made perfect,” of Those who have completed human evolution, the Spirits who are ` liberated,' or ` saved' 1 (¹ The terms used by Hindus and Christians respectively to mark the end of purely human evolution.) -- then the touch with the divine Memory is immediate, direct, ever available, and unerring. Before that point is reached, the touch is imperfect, mediate, subject to errors of observation and transmission.

The writers of this book, having been taught the method of gaining touch, but being subject to the difficulties involved in their uncompleted evolution, have done their best to observe and transmit, but are fully conscious of the many weaknesses which mar their work. Occasional help has been given to them by the Elder Brethren, in the way of broad outlines here and there, and dates where necessary.

As in the case of the related books which have preceded this in the Theosophical movement, the “treasure is in earthen vessels,” and, while gratefully acknowledging the help graciously given, they take the responsibility of all errors entirely on themselves.


WHENCE comes man and whither goes he? In the fullest answer we can only say: Man, as a spiritual Being, comes forth from God and returns to God; but the Whence and Whither with which we deal here denote a far more modest sweep. It is but a single page of his life-story that is copied out herein, telling of the birth into dense matter of some of the Children of Man-- What lies beyond that birthing, O still unpenetrated Night?-- and following on their growth from world to world to a point in the near future but some few centuries hence-- What lies beyond that cloud-flush in the dawning, O still unrisen Day?

And yet the title is not wholly wrong, for he who comes from God and goes to God is not precisely ` Man' . That Ray of the divine Splendour which comes forth from Divinity at the beginning of a manifestation, that “fragment of Mine own Self, transformed in the world of life into an immortal Spirit,”¹ (¹ Bhagavad-Gita, xv.7.) is far more than Man. Man is but one stage of his unfolding, and mineral, vegetable, animal, are but stages of his embryonic life in the womb of Nature, ere he is born as Man. Man is the stage in which Spirit and Matter struggle for the mastery, and when the struggle is over and Spirit has become Lord of Matter, Master of life and death, then Spirit enters on his superhuman evolution, and is no longer Man, but rather Superman.

Here then we deal with him only as Man: with Man in his embryonic stage, in the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms; with Man in his development in the human kingdom; with Man and his worlds, the Thinker and his field of evolution.

In order to follow readily the story told in this book, it is necessary for the reader to pause for a few minutes on the general conception of a Solar System, as outlined in Theosophical literature,1 (¹ The student may find it in H. P. Blavatsky' s The Secret Doctrine, A. P. Sinnett' s Esoteric Buddhism, and Growth of the Soul, Annie Besant' s The Ancient Wisdom, etc. There are minor differences-- such as H. P. Blavatsky' s and A. P. Sinnett' s naming of the globes of the earth-chain-- but the main facts are identical.) and on the broad principles of the evolution therein carried on. This is not more difficult to follow than the technical terminology of every science, or than other cosmic descriptions, as in astronomy, and a little attention will easily enable the student to master it. In all studies of deep content, there are ever dry preliminaries which have to be mastered. The careless reader finds them dull, skips them, and is, throughout his subsequent reading, in a more or less bewildered and confused condition of mind; he is building his house without a foundation, and must continually be shoring it up. The careful reader faces these difficulties bravely, masters them once for all, and with the knowledge thus gained he goes easily forward, and the details he meets with later fall readily into their places. Those who prefer the first plan, had better miss the present Chapter, and go on to Chapter II; the wiser readers will give an hour to mastering what follows.

That great Sage, Plato, one of the world' s master-intellects, whose lofty ideas have dominated European thought, makes the pregnant statement: “God geometrises.” The more we know of Nature, the more we realise this fact. The leaves of plants are set in a definite order of succession, ½, 1/3,1/5, 3/8, 5/13, and so on. The vibrations that make the successive notes of a scale may be correspondently figured in a regular series. Some diseases follow a definite cycle of days, and the 7th, the 14th, the 21st mark the crises that result in continued physical life or in death. It is useless to multiply instances.

There is, then, nothing surprising in the fact that we find, in the order of our Solar System, the continual recurrence of the number Seven. Because of this, it has been called a ` sacred number' ; a ` significant number' would be a better epithet. The moon' s life divides itself naturally into twice seven days of waxing and an equal number of waning, and its quarters give us our week of seven days. And we find this seven as the root-number of our Solar System, dividing its departments into seven, and these again divided into subsidiary sevens, and these into other sevens, and so on. The religious student will think of the seven Ameshaspentas of the Zoroastrian, of the seven Spirits before the throne of God of the Christian; the Theosophist of the supreme Triple LOGOS of the system, with His Ministers, the “Rulers of seven Chains,”¹ (¹ These have been called Planetary Logoi, but the name often causes confusion, and is therefore here dropped.) round Him, each ruling His own department of the system, as a Viceroy for an Emperor. We are concerned here with but one department in detail. The Solar System contains ten of these, for while rooted in the seven, it develops ten departments, ten being, therefore, by Mystics, called the ` perfect number' . Mr. A. P. Sinnett has well named these departments ` Schemes of Evolution,' and within each of these Schemes humanities are evolving or will evolve. We will now confine ourselves to our own, though never forgetting that the others exist, and that very highly evolved Intelligences may pass from one to another. In fact, such visitors came to our earth at one stage of its evolution, to guide and help our newly-born humanity.

A scheme of Evolution passes through seven great evolutionary stages, each of which is called a Chain. This name is derived from the fact that a Chain consists of seven Globes, mutually interrelated; it is a chain of seven links, each link a globe. The seven Schemes are shown in Diagram I, around the central sun, and at any one period of time only one of the rings in each Scheme will be active; each ring of each of these seven Schemes is composed of seven globes; these are not figured separately but form what we here have drawn as a ring, in order to save space. The globes are shown in the next Diagram.

In Diagram II we have a single Scheme, figured in the seven stages of its evolution, i.e., in its seven successive Chains; it is now shown in relation to five of the seven spheres, or types, of matter existing in the Solar System; matter of each type is composed of atoms of a definite kind, all the solids, liquids, gases, and ethers of one type of matter being aggregations of atoms of a single kind;¹ (¹ See Occult Chemistry, Annie Besant and C. W. Leadbeater.) this matter is named according to the mood of consciousness to which it responds: physical, emotional, mental, intuitional, spiritual. ² (² Physical matter is the matter with which we are daily dealing in our waking life. Emotional matter is that which is set vibrating by desires and emotions, and is called astral in our older books, a name we retain to some extent. Mental matter is that which similarly answers to thoughts. Intuitional matter (buddhic, in Samskrit) is that which serves as medium for the higher intuition and all-embracing love. Spiritual matter (atmic) is that in which the creative Will is potent.) In the first Chain, its seven Worlds, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, are seen arranged: ³ (³ The top left-hand globe is A; the next lower is B; and so on up to G, the top right-hand globe.) A and G, the root-world and the seed-world, are on the spiritual plane, for all descends from the higher to the lower, from the subtle to the dense, and climbs again to the higher, enriched with the gains of the journey, the gains serving as seed for the next Chain; B and F are on the intuitional plane, one gathering and the other assimilating; C and E are on the higher mental, in similar relationship; D, the turning point, the point of balance between the ascending and descending arcs, is in the lower part of the mental plane. These pairs of globes in every Chain are ever closely allied, but the one is the rough sketch, the other the finished picture. In the second Chain, the globes have all sunk one stage lower into matter, and D is on the emotional plane. In the third Chain, they have sunk yet one stage further, and D reaches the physical plane. In the fourth Chain, and on the fourth only, the midmost Chain of the seven, the most deeply involved in densest matter, the turning point of the Chains as is D of the globes, there are three of the globes-- C, D, and E-- on the physical plane. On the return journey, as it were, the ascent resembles the descent: in the fifth Chain, as in the third, there is one physical globe; in the sixth, as in the second, globe D is emotional; in the seventh, as in the first, globe D is mental. With the ending of the seventh Chain the Scheme has worked itself out, and its fruitage is harvested.

The seven Schemes of our Solar System may, for convenience sake, be named after the globe D of each, this being the globe best known to us; these are: Vulcan, Venus, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune (see Diagram I). In the Scheme to which our Earth belongs, the Chain which preceded our terrene Chain was the third of its series, and its one physical globe, globe D, was the globe which is now our Moon; hence the third Chain is called the lunar, while the second and first Chains are designated only by numbers; our Earth Chain, or terrene Chain, is the fourth in succession, and has therefore three of its seven globes in physical manifestation, its third globe, C, being what is called the planet Mars, and its fifth globe, E, what is called the planet Mercury. The Neptunian Scheme also, with Neptune as its globe D, has three globes of its Chain in physical manifestation-- C and E being the two physical planets connected with it, the existence of which was mentioned in Theosophical literature before they were recognised by Science-- and hence has reached the fourth Chain of its series. The Venusian Scheme is reaching the end of its fifth Chain, and Venus has consequently lately lost her Moon, the globe D of the preceding Chain.1 (¹ It may be remembered that the Moon of Venus was seen by Herschel.) It is possible that Vulcan, which Herschel saw, but which, it is said, has now disappeared, is in its sixth Chain, but on that we have no information, either direct or mediate. Jupiter is not yet inhabited, but its moons are, by beings with dense physical bodies.

Diagrams III and IV represent the relationships between the seven Chains within a Scheme, showing the evolutionary progress from Chain to Chain. Diagram III should be first studied; it is merely a simplification of Diagram IV, which is a copy of one drawn by a Master; this-- though at first sight somewhat bewildering-- will be found very illuminative when understood.

Diagram III places the seven Chains in a Scheme as columns standing side by side, in order that the divine Life-Streams, figured by the arrows, may be traced from kingdom to kingdom in their ascent. Each section in a column represents one of the seven kingdoms of Nature-- three elemental, mineral, vegetable, animal, human.1 Follow Life-Stream, 7, the only one which goes through the seven kingdoms within the Scheme; it enters the first Chain at the first Elemental Kingdom, and there develops during the life-period of the Chain; it passes into the second Elemental Kingdom on the second Chain, and develops therein during its life-period; it appears in the third Elemental Kingdom on the third Chain, and enters the Mineral on the fourth; it then successively develops through the Vegetable and Animal Kingdoms on the fifth and sixth Chains, and attains the Human in the seventh. The whole Scheme thus provides a field of evolution for a stream of the divine Life from its ensouling of matter up to man.2 The remaining streams either have commenced in another Scheme and entered this at the point of evolution therein reached, or enter this too late to reach the human kingdom here.

The ` elemental' kingdom are the three stages of life on its descent into matter-- involution-- and the seven kingdoms might be figured on a descending and ascending arc, like Chains and globes:

1st Elemental              Human

2nd Elemental             Animal

3rd Elemental              Vegetable


These seven Life-Streams and the six additional ingresses for the lowest Elemental Kingdom in the remaining six Chains, thirteen in all, are the successive impulses which make up, for this Scheme, what Theosophists call the ` second Life-wave,' i.e., the form-evolving current of Life from the Second LOGOS, the Vishnu of the Hindu, the Son of the Christian, Trinities.

The study of Diagram IV must be begun by realising that the coloured circles are not seven Chains of globes, as might be expected, but the seven Kingdoms of Nature in each successive Chain, and therefore correspond with the sections of columns in Diagram III. We have here a whole Scheme of Evolution, with the place of each Kingdom shown in each Chain. The student should select a line of any colour in the first circle and trace it carefully onwards.

Let us take the blue circle at the top left-hand, pointed out by the arrow; it represents the first Elemental Kingdom on the first Chain. Leaving the first Chain for the second-- the next ring of coloured circles-- this blue stream divides on arriving there; its least advanced part, which is not ready to go on into the second Elemental Kingdom, breaks off from the main stream and goes again into the first Elemental Kingdom of this second Chain, joining the new Life-stream-- coloured yellow and marked with an arrow-- which enters on its evolution in that Chain, and being merged in it; the main blue stream goes on into the second Elemental Kingdom of this second Chain, receiving into itself some laggards from the second Elemental Kingdom of the first Chain, assimilating them, and carrying them on with itself; it will be noticed that only a blue stream leaves this Kingdom, the foreign elements having been completely assimilated. The blue stream flows on into the third Chain, divides, leaves its laggards to continue in the second Elemental Kingdom in the third Chain, while the bulk goes on to form the third Elemental Kingdom of this third Chain; again it receives some laggards from the third Elemental Kingdom of the second Chain, assimilates them, and carries them on with itself, an undiluted blue stream, into the Mineral Kingdom of the fourth Chain; as before, it leaves some laggards to evolve themselves in the third Elemental Kingdom of the fourth Chain, and receives some from the Mineral Kingdom of the third Chain, assimilating them as before. It has now reached its densest point in evolution, the Mineral Kingdom. Leaving this-- we still follow the blue line-- it climbs into the Vegetable Kingdom of the fifth Chain, sending off its laggards to the Mineral Kingdom of this Chain, and taking up the laggards of the Vegetable Kingdom of the fourth Chain. Again it climbs upwards, now into the Animal Kingdom of the sixth Chain, leaving its insufficiently developed vegetables to complete that stage of their evolution in the Vegetable Kingdom of the sixth Chain, and receiving undeveloped animals from the fifth Chain into its own Kingdom. Lastly, it completes its long evolution by entering the Human Kingdom on the seventh Chain, dropping its too undeveloped animals into the Animal Kingdom of the seventh Chain, receiving some human beings from the Human Kingdom of the sixth Chain, carrying them on with itself to its triumphant conclusion, where human evolution is perfected and the superhuman begins, along one or another of the seven paths, indicated in the blue plume at the end. In another Scheme, those we left as laggards in the Animal Kingdom of the seventh Chain will appear in the Human Kingdom of the first Chain of that new Scheme, and therein reach perfection as men. They will be in the circle corresponding to the grey-brown circle. with its plume in the first Chain of the present Diagram.

Each line can be followed in this way from Kingdom to Kingdom in successive Chains. The life in the second, the orange, circle, representing the second Elemental Kingdom in the first Chain-- and having, therefore, one stage of life in a Chain behind it, or, in other words, having entered the stream of evolution as the first Elemental Kingdom in the seventh Chain of a previous Scheme (see the top left-hand circle with arrow in the seventh Chain in our Diagram)-- reaches the Human Kingdom in the sixth Chain and passes on. That in the third circle purple, with two Kingdoms behind it in a previous Scheme, reaches the Human Kingdom in the fifth Chain and passes on. That in the fourth, the Mineral Kingdom, passes out in the fourth Chain. That in the Vegetable Kingdom passes out in the third Chain; that in the Animal in the second; that in the Human in the first.

The student who will thoroughly master this diagram will find himself in possession of a plan into the compartments of which he can pack any number of details without, in the midst of their complexity, losing sight of the general principles of aeonian evolution.

Two points remain: the sub-elemental and the super-human. The Life-Stream from the LOGOS ensouls matter first in the first, or lowest, Elemental Kingdom; hence when that same stream from the Chain enters the second Elemental Kingdom on the second Chain, the matter which is to be that of the first Elemental Kingdom on that second Chain has to be ensouled by a new Life-Stream from the LOGOS, and so on with each of the remaining Chains.1 (¹ “My Father worketh hitherto and I work.” S. John, 17. See in Chapter V the description of this on our Earth, when the Spirit of the Moon incarnates therein.)

When the Human Kingdom is traversed, and man stands on the threshold of His superhuman life, a liberated Spirit, seven paths open before Him for His choosing: He may enter into the blissful omniscience and omnipotence of Nirvana, with activities far beyond our knowing, to become, perchance, in some future world an Avatara, or divine Incarnation; this is sometimes called, ` taking the Dharmakaya vesture' . He may enter on ` the Spiritual Period' -- a phrase covering unknown meanings, among them probably that of ` taking the Sambhogakaya vesture' . He may become part of that treasure-house of spiritual forces on which the Agents of the LOGOS draw for Their work, ` taking the Nirmanakaya vesture' . He may remain a member of the Occult Hierarchy which rules and guards the world in which He has reached perfection. He may pass on to the next Chain, to aid in building up its forms. He may enter the splendid Angel-- Deva-- Evolution. He may give Himself to the immediate service of the LOGOS, to be used by Him in any part of the Solar System, His Servant and Messenger, who lives but to carry out His will and do His work over the whole of the system which He rules. As a General has his Staff, the members of which carry his messages to any part of the field, so are These the Staff of Him who commands all, “Ministers of His that do His pleasure”.¹ (¹ Psalms, ciii, 21.) this seems to be considered a very hard Path, perhaps the greatest sacrifice open to the Adept, and is therefore regarded as carrying with it great distinction. A member of the General Staff has no physical body, but makes one for Himself by Kriyashakti-- the ` power to make' -- of the matter of the globe to which He is sent. The Staff contains Beings at very different levels, from that of Arhatship² (² Those who have passed the fourth Great Initiation.) upwards. There are some who dedicated themselves to it on reaching Arhatship in the Moon-Chain; others who are Adepts;³ (³ Those who have passed the fifth Great Initiation.) others who have passed far beyond this stage in human evolution.

The need for the provision of such a Staff arises probably, among many other reasons unknown to us, from the fact that in the very early stages of the evolution of a Chain-- especially of one on the downward arc-- or even of a globe, more help from outside is needed than is required later. On the first Chain of our Scheme, for instance, the attainment of the first of the Great Initiations was the appointed level of achievement, and none of its humanity attained Adeptship, which is itself nowhere near Buddhahood; it would therefore be necessary to supply the higher officers from outside. So again later Chains were helped, and our Earth will have to provide high Officials for the earlier Chains of other Schemes, as well as yielding the normal supply for the later globes and Rounds of our own Chain. Already from our own Occult Hierarchy two Members, within our own knowledge, have left our Earth, either to join the General Staff, or lent by the Head of our Hierarchy to the Head of the Hierarchy of some other globe outside our scheme.

The human beings who, in any Chain, do not reach by a certain time the level appointed for the Humanity of the Chain, are its ` failures' ; the ` failure' may be due to youth and consequent lack of time, or to lack of due exertion, and so on; but, whatever the cause, those who fail to reach a point from which they can progress sufficiently, during the remaining life of a Chain, to attain the required level by its end, drop out of its evolution before that evolution is complete, and are obliged to enter the succeeding Chain at a point determined by the stage already reached, that they may complete their human course. There are others who succeed in passing this crucial point, the ` Day of Judgement' for the Chain, but who yet do not progress with sufficient rapidity to reach the level from which the seven Paths open out. These, though not ` failures,' have not wholly succeeded, and they therefore also pass on into the next Chain and lead its humanity, when that humanity has reached a stage at which the bodies are sufficiently evolved to serve as vehicles for their further progress. We shall find these various classes in our study, and this is but a bird' s-eye view of them; the detail will make them come out more clearly. Only in the first chain we noticed no failures dropping out of its evolution. There were some there who did not succeed, but if that Chain had its Day of Judgment, we failed to observe it.

In a single Chain the evolutionary wave sweeps from A to G, using each globe in turn as the field of growth; this circling round the Chain is appropriately named a Round, and seven times the wave sweeps round, ere the life of the Chain is over, its work complete. Then the results are gathered up and garnered, and all form the seed for the succeeding Chain, save Those who, having finished Their course as men, and become Super-men, elect to serve in other ways than in guiding that coming Chain upon its way, and who enter on another of the seven Paths.

To conclude these preliminaries. In the Monadic Sphere, on the super-spiritual level, dwell the Divine Emanations, the Sons of God, who are to take flesh and become Sons of Man in the coming universe. They ever behold the Face of the Father, and are the Angel-Counterparts of men. This divine Son in his own world is technically called a ` Monad,' a Oneness. He it is that, as said on p. 3, is “transformed in the world of life into an immortal Spirit”. The Spirit is the Monad veiled in matter, triple therefore in his aspects of Will, Wisdom, and Activity, being the very Monad himself, after he has appropriated the atoms of matter of the spiritual, intuitional and mental sphere, round which his future bodies will be formed. In the Monad wells up the intarissable fount of life; the Spirit, or himself veiled, is his manifestation in a universe. As he gains mastery over matter in the lower sphere, he takes more and more control of the evolutionary work, and all the great choices which decide a man' s destiny are made by his Will, guided by his Wisdom, and achieved by his Activity.


WE have to face what is practically the only great difficulty of our study at the very outset-- the evolutionary cycles on the first and second Chains of our Scheme. A Master said smilingly as to this: “Well, you will be able to see it, but it is doubtful how for you will be able to describe it in intelligible language, so that others may understand.” The conditions are so different from all that here we know: the forms are so tenuous, so subtle, so changing; the matter so utterly “the stuff which dreams are made on,” that clear voicing of the things seen is well-nigh impossible. Yet however imperfect the description, some description must be essayed, in order to render intelligible the later growth and unfolding; poor as it must be, it may be better than none.

A real ` beginning' may not be found; in the endless chain of living things a link may be studied, fairly complete in itself; but the metal thereof has somewhere slept in the bosom of the earth, has been dug out from some mine, smelted in some furnace, wrought in some workshop, shaped by some hands, ere it appears as a link in a chain. And so with our Scheme. Without previous Schemes it could not be, for its higher inhabitants began not here their evolution. Suffice it, that some of the fragments of Deity, eternal Spirits, who otherwhere had passed through the downward arc-- involving themselves in ever-densifying matter through the Elemental Kingdoms, and reaching their lowest point-- began in the Mineral Kingdom of this first Chain their upward climbing, their long unfolding in evolving matter; and in that Chain, learning our first evolutionary lessons in that Mineral Kingdom, were we-- the humanity of our present earth. It is these consciousnesses that we propose to trace from their life in minerals in the first Chain to their life in men in the fourth. Ourselves part of the humanity of the earth, it is easier to trace this than to trace something entirely alien from ourselves. For in this we are but evoking from the Eternal Memory scenes in which we ourselves played our part, with which we are indissolubly linked, and which we therefore can more easily reach.

Seven centres are seen, forming the first Chain, the first and seventh, as already said, on the spiritual level,1 (¹ Nirvanic) the second and sixth on the intuitional,2 (² Buddhic) the third and fifth on the higher mental, the fourth on the lower mental. We name them in the fashion of later globes, A and G, B and F, C and E, and in the centre D, the turning point of the cycle. In the first Round of the fourth Chain, which is to some extent a coarse copy of the first Chain, the Occult Commentary quoted in The Secret Doctrine says of the Earth that it was “a foetus in the matrix of Space,” and the simile recurs to the mind. This Chain is the future worlds in the matrix of thought, the worlds that later are to be born into denser matter. We can scarcely call these centres ` globes' ; they are like centres of light in a sea of light, foci of light through which light is rushing, wrought of the very substance of light and only light, yet modified by the flood of light which courses through them; they are as vortex-rings, yet the rings are but light, only distinguishable by their whirling, by the difference of their motion, like whirlpools made only of water in the midst of water; but these are whirlpools of light in the midst of light. The first and seventh centres are both modifications of spiritual matter, the seventh the perfected outworking of the broad outlines visible in the first, the finished picture outwrought from the rough sketch of the divine Artist. There is a humanity there, a very glorified humanity, product of some previous evolution, which is here to complete its human course on this Chain (see the top right hand circle in the first Chain in Diagram IV); hereon each entity will acquire his lowest body-- in the fourth globe of each Round-- the body of mental matter which is the densest the Chain can give. The level fixed for achievement on this Chain-- the non-attainment of which would imply the necessity for rebirth on the following Chain-- is the first of the great Initiations, or what corresponds to it there. On this first Chain there are-- so far as we could see-- none who drop out as failures, and some, as always seems to be the case in later Chains also, pass far beyond the appointed level; in the seventh Round the members of that humanity who became Initiates entered on one or other of the Seven Paths before mentioned.

All stages of ego-hood appear to be present on this Chain, but the absence of the lower levels of matter to which we are accustomed makes one notable difference in the evolutionary method that strikes the observer: everything not only starts but also progresses ` above,' there being no below and no ` forms' in the ordinary sense of the word, but only centres of life, beings without stable forms; there are no physical and emotional worlds-- in the first three globes not even a lower mental-- from which impulses can surge upwards, calling down the higher in response to ensoul and use the forms already existing on the lower levels. The nearest approach to such action is on globe D, where the animal-like thought-forms reach upwards attracting the attention of the subtle centres floating above them; then more of the life of the Spirit pulses out into the centres, and they anchor themselves to the thought-forms and ensoul them, and the thought-forms become human.

It is difficult to mark off the successive Rounds; they seem to fade one into the other like dissolving views,¹ (¹ It may be remembered that the first and second Races on our present world also showed something of this peculiarity, though on a level so much lower.) and are marked only by slight increases and diminutions of light. Progress is very slow; one recalls the Satya Yuga of the Hindu Scriptures, where a life lasts for many thousands of years without much change.2 (² The Hindus divide time into cycles composed of four Yugas, or Ages, that succeed each other, the Satya, the first of the series, being the most spiritual and the longest. When the fourth is ended, a new cycle opens, again with a Satya.) The entities unfold very slowly, as rays of magnetised light play upon them; it is like a gestation, like growth within an egg, or of a flower-bud within its sheath. The chief interest of the Chain is in the evolution of the Shining Ones-- the Devas, or Angels-- those who live habitually on these high levels; while the lower evolutions seem to play a subsidiary part. Humanity is much influenced by these, mostly by their mere presence and by the atmosphere created by them, and occasionally a Shining One may be seen to take a human being almost as a toy or as a pet. The vast angelic evolution helps humanity by its very existence; the vibrations set up by these glorious Spirits play on the lower human types, strengthening and vivifying them. Looking at the Chain as a whole, we saw it as a field for this Angel Kingdom primarily, and only secondarily for humanity; but perchance that may ever be so, and that it is because we are human that we regard the world as so specially our own.

On the fourth globe, now and again a Shining One may be seen deliberately to aid a human being, transferring matter from his own body into the human, and thus increasing the responsiveness and susceptibility of the latter. Such helpers belong to the class of Form-Angels-- Rupa-Devas-- who live normally in the lower mental world.

When we turn to the mineral kingdom, we are among those some of whom will become men on the Moon Chain, and some on the Earth Chain. The consciousness asleep in these minerals is to awaken gradually and to unfold through long stages into the human.

The vegetable kingdom is a little more awake, but very dully and sleepy still; the normal progress herein will carry the ensouling consciousness into the animal kingdom on the second Chain, and into the human on the third.

At present, while we must needs speak of these kingdoms as mineral and vegetable, they are really composed of mere thoughts-- thoughts of minerals, thoughts of vegetables, with the Monads who dream in them, as it were, floating over them, sending down faint thrills of life into these airy forms; these Monads are, it would seem, forced now and again to turn attention to them, to feel through them, to sense through them, when some external touch compels a drowsy notice. These thought-forms are as models in the Mind of the Ruler of the Seven Chains, living within Him, products of His meditation, a world of thoughts, of ideas; we see that the Monads who have acquired permanent atoms in some previous Scheme, and who are floating over these thought-forms, attach themselves to them, and become vaguely conscious in and through them. Vague as this consciousness is there are differences in it; the lowest grade can scarcely be called consciousness, the life in the thought-forms of types resembling what we should now call earth, rocks, stones. Monads touching these can scarcely be said to be aware of anything through them, save of pressure, drawing from them a dull stirring of life, showing itself as resistance to the pressure, and thus different from the yet duller life in the chemical molecules unattached to Monads, and sensing no pressure. In the next grade, in the thought-forms resembling what we should now call metals, the sense of pressure is stronger and the resistance to it a little more definite; there is almost an effort to push outwards against it, a reaction causing expansion. When this sub-conscious reaction is in several directions, the thought-model of a crystal is formed. We noticed that when our own consciousness was in the mineral, we felt only the sub-conscious re-action; but passing out, and trying to feel the re-action from outside, it figured itself in our consciousness as a vague discontent at the pressure, and a dull resentful effort to resist and push against it. “I feel a discontented sort of mineral,” one of us remarked. Probably the Monadic life, seeking expression, did vaguely feel displeasure at its frustration, and this we felt when we came out of the mineral, feeling it in ourselves as we felt it in that part of our consciousness which was at that time outside the rigid form. If we glance hastily forward, we may see that Monads attached to crystals do not enter the next Chain in the lowest forms of vegetable life, but only in the higher, and, passing through those, enter the Moon Chain at its middle point as mammals, becoming individualised there, and taking human birth in its fifth Round.

One most disconcerting fact for observers is that these ` thoughts of minerals' are not immobile, but mobile; a hill, which one expects to be steady, will turn over or float away, or change its form; there is no solid earth, but a shifting panorama. It requires no faith to move these mountains, for they move of themselves.

At the end of this first Chain, all who attained the appointed level set for it-- that which, as said before, corresponded to our first Initiation-- entered on one or other of the seven Paths, one of these leading to work on the second Chain as the builders of the forms of its humanity, playing to it a part similar to that played later on our earth by the ` Lords of the Moon' .¹ (¹ The Barhishad Pitris of The Secret Doctrine. ) These are called by H. P. Blavatsky ` Asuras,' i.e., ` living beings' ; later the term was confined by usage to living beings in whom intellect, but not emotion was developed.2 (² These Asuras acted on the second Chain as Barhishad Pitris, and on the third as Agnishvatta Pitris, and formed one of the highest classes of the superhuman Manasaputras who came to our earth, according to The Secret Doctrine. It must be remembered that these stages are all superhuman; they apparently indicate the superhuman stages of the fifth of the seven Paths named on p.14. In The Secret Doctrine a difficulty is created by the use of this same name Asuras for those who left the lunar Chain from the first globe of its seventh Round, and who caused trouble on Earth by ` refusing to create' . Readers of The Pedigree of Man must correct it by this, and by details given later, for I was led into a mistake by the double use of the word in The Secret Doctrine. The human beings can never exist, as such, on more than two successive Chains. They must have become Supermen, for such appearance.-- AB.) Those who did not succeed in reaching this level entered the second Chain for their own further evolution at its midmost point and led its humanity, at the close of that Chain reaching liberation and being among its ` Lords' ; some of these Lords, in turn, worked on the third Chain in building the forms of its humanity.¹ (¹In the nomenclature of The Secret Doctrine, becoming its Barhishad Pitris.) The early humanity on the second Chain was drawn from the animal kingdom of the first; the animal kingdom of the second Chain from the vegetable of the first; while the vegetable kingdom of the second came from the mineral of the first. The three elemental kingdoms on the downward arc of the first Chain passed similarly into the second Chain, filling the mineral kingdom and two of the elemental, while the first elemental kingdom was formed from a new impulse of life from the LOGOS.

In the second Chain, the further descent into matter gives us a globe on the emotional plane, an astral globe, and the denser material makes things a little more coherent and comprehensible. We have then A and G on the intuitional level, B and F on the higher mental, C and E on the lower mental, and D on the emotional. On this lowest globe, things were a little more like those to which we are accustomed, though still very strange and weird. Thus things with the general appearance of vegetables moved about with the freedom of animals, though apparently with little, if any, sentiency. They were not anchored to physical matter, and hence were very mobile. The young humanity here lived in close contact with the Shining Ones, who still dominated the evolutionary field, and the Form-Angels and the Desire-Angels-- Rupa-Devas and Kama-Devas-- strongly, but for the most part unintentionally, influenced human evolution. Passion showed itself in many who now had emotional bodies on globe D, and its germs were visible in animals. Differences were noticeable in the capacity to respond to vibrations sent out, consciously and unconsciously, by the Shining One, but changes were very gradual and progress was slow. Later, when the intuitional consciousness unfolded, there was communication between this Scheme and the Scheme of which Venus is now the physical globe; that Scheme is a Chain ahead of ours, and some came to our second Chain from there; but whether they belonged to the Venus humanity, or were members of the “Staff,” we could not tell.