THE SOUL'S IMPERATIVE
1999 Blavatsky Lecture - by Harold Tarn
The Blavatsky Lecture [extracted from this paper] was delivered at the Summer School of the Theosophical
Society in England, University of Nottingham
Harold Tarn trained as an electrical engineer (high voltage switchgear design). However in his twenties he changed direction and became a teacher of mathematics, retiring as head of the careers department at a prominent grammar school in northern England.
The subject of this book is the most fundamental of all Nature's processes. They are all subsidiary to this central theme. The Ancient Wisdom states that the One Life has no attributes but one - Ever-Becoming. However, Life can be regarded as the dynamism in the whole cosmic process. It is immutable and therefore cannot become anything.
To manifest, Life must assume vehicles through which to operate at every level. These vehicles are all lives, units of Life, operating at the most spiritually ethereal level down to the objective physical level. Not only, however, is life ever-becoming, it has a progressive direction for the countless lives of infinite variety that it operates in and through. These range from the simplest imaginable, most elementary or fundamental forms as expressions of the One Life. Each of these forms has some characteristic quality, and these forms by aggregation comprise vehicles of ever- increasing complexity and magnitude as the "ladder of life" is ascended.
The Ancient Wisdom says that because everything in its way is an expression of the One Life, there is no dead matter, however appearances may seem to show otherwise. Physical atoms which compose the physical elements of all the substances that comprise the mineral kingdom are by this science assumed to be individual lives. These atoms combine to form the host of chemical compounds, leading eventually to formations that become recognizable as life as we know it, with man's physical body on this planet as the ultimate expression of life in terms of this process.
Every physical life has six inner invisible 'principles' i.e. lives in subjective realms of existence such that the higher lives ensoul the forms in the next realm below them. The three highest realms are divinely spiritual. The next two below that equate to a mental-emotional complex, a personal psyche or soul, with two others closely related to the physical body. Man is therefore inherently a divine being with the three highest principles quickening or animating all the lower principles.
This process of soul development is universal; it is the mechanism for ever-becoming. It operates throughout the Cosmos. The process is one of a continual tendency towards perfection, by stages. It is important to realize that the goal of this graded process towards perfection ever recedes, however high the level of development achieved; perfection in manifest form is unattainable.
It follows from the above that any vehicle of life is itself composed of lives which are also on the evolutionary journey at their respective levels. Every stage is cyclical; there is no uniform upward progression. Cycles succeed cycles and each cycle proceeds on an axis which is itself a cycle, with later cycles always further up the scale of development.
This process of Ever-Becoming as it applies to man is the means of his soul's development; it takes many millennia and many hundreds of ever-rising cycles of existence to transcend the lower realms and reach the higher. The process of reincarnation is the means of this cyclic evolution.
The Soul's Imperative then is both the urge to persist in this ever-perfecting journey and also the means of achieving full fruition by cyclical stages over many aeons.
These are stimulating days for the students of the perennial Wisdom and orthodox science, alike. Age-old topics such as the origin and fate of the Kosmos, the nature of consciousness and of the human self are now being tackled by scientists with increasing determination. Remarkable discoveries are being made hourly that are revealing a universe of elegance and awesome majesty - but this scientific universe is restricted to the physical plane.
It cannot be compared to the multi-plane vistas unveiled (partially only at the end of the 19th century) in the Ancient Wisdom by mystics and sages throughout thousands of generations. This doctrine is not a belief-system in the normal sense of the term.
Conventional science will probably never accept this last statement, although it is important to realize that the gap between the orthodox and occult sciences must always narrow, because they both treat of the same universe but view it from different angles - indeed natural science has confirmed many of the statements in the Ancient Wisdom.
There are, however, still many areas where the gap between the scientist and the sage is vast. Chief among these is perhaps the assertion that there are several planes and sub-planes of reality, together with the teachings on the true origin and goal of humankind. Both are of immense importance to our well-being.
The mind-sets of materialism and rationalism, nevertheless, hold the majority of us in a merciless grip. Truly, this Ancient Wisdom, or Theosophy as it is known by some - casts a flood of light on not only who or what we really are - but ...
Albert Einstein had this to say on the problem of creating a "Theory of Everything":
This is equally true of Theosophy, perhaps even more so, because H. P. Blavatsky [HPB] says that:
The following extracts are crucial to a basic understanding of the Wisdom teachings on evolution:
Here, it is essential to realize what it is that actually progresses. This is the Monad or monadic essence as defined and used in the Wisdom. In brief it is life manifesting as the essence of Being (all beings and things) in all that comprises our Cosmos. It is universal dynamism. 
Further, it cannot be over-emphasized that there are close correspondences between the structure of a universe, a solar system, a planet - and everything on or in that planet, including man. ['As it is in the Macrocosm, so it is in the Microcosm’] The component parts are called "principles" listed as follows: 
The preceding table illustrates and the following quotation emphasizes the number seven and the Septenary Law. Nature is septenary in ALL her aspects:
In other words ...
[If one interprets man as the personality or "lower self' - a common error - then confusion and misunderstanding is bound to result. Worse, it can lead to the 'worship of the personality' - arguably one of the most crippling emotional disorders of modern man.]
This last quotation (#12) contains two statements of immense importance to man - in every age. Firstly - that the ultimate goal of every thing on this planet is membership of the human kingdom - a statement fiercely contested, even derided, by the majority of scientists today. Secondly - that man has a divine origin, whereas the dominant mind-set of the day is that man evolved from the primates. Evolution, says science, is from the bottom up - from matter to mind. Theosophy says the opposite - consciousness is primal ... and evolution works from the top down - and back again.
Indeed, the Secret Doctrine (the Ancient Wisdom) underlines this last by asserting that:
It would be difficult to find more important statements relating to our human condition anywhere else in literature.
Armed with these fundamental statements, the student should be in a better position to proceed with confidence towards a more detailed study of the coming into being of a solar system and the hosts of entities that comprise it. The following statement by Albert Einstein is perhaps appropriate here:
THE SOLAR SCHEME
The Solar System - defined by Blavatsky as the Macrocosmos , to include all seven Planes [The term Microcosmos is applied to man, thus stressing the correspondence between the two] - emerges periodically from the Plane of subjectivity into the Plane of objectivity. It is an emanation, an unfolding, which means that everything in the Cosmos exists already before it becomes.
The student must always keep in mind that this and every system is a living entity, composed of hosts of beings which provide the structure, qualities and governance of the system and its sub-units - such as a planet, for example - and these various groups of living beings constitute a unity in which every component is intimately related to every other. 
These hosts are the "Hierarchies of Beings", the framers and shapers of this manifested system, those that control and adjust evolution. The chief groups are:
i) The Ah-Hi, the collective Hosts of spiritual Beings who are the vehicle for the manifestation of the divine or universal Thought and Will. 
Put in another way, from ...
... unfolds the Great Scheme of Planes (modes of consciousness ), suns and planets, "gods" and man - all "lives" in different rank and state (see Geoffrey Farthing Deity Cosmos and Man p27 bottom paragraph). Each scheme is a child of a former scheme ... as is every sub-scheme, down through man and to the atoms themselves. Further ...
The following diagram may be found useful at this stage:
Cosmic Planes and Human Principles
The Auric Envelope is the egg shaped invisible seven-part force field surrounding man, animal, plant and mineral. 
Bearing in mind that ... Truth arises from within ourselves (Paracelsus, Browning), the following extract is taken from Geoffrey Farthing Deity Cosmos and Man - pp25-26 as a cautionary note:
Furthermore, Mme Blavatsky went on to explain that the mode of thinking required in the study of The Secret Doctrine was ...
Again, Mme Blavatsky was at pains to point out that:
... and to cap it all, hinted that all keys are not yet available! 
Also there are Seven keys to all Allegories; 
Blavatsky defined these as astronomical/physical or physiological/metaphysical/anthropological/astrological/geometrical/mystical, symbolical, numerical.
Every system - great or small - has a period of activity followed by a period of rest, called Manvantaras and Pralayas, respectively. Thus there are universal, solar and minor Pralayas and Manvantaras. 
Again, each Globe - whether sun or planet - is septenary in nature 
It follows that:
Further, there is no exception to the statement that ...
Many scientists are now talking openly of an unfolding universe, a co-evolutionary system where large and small structures evolve together as a whole and where there is a growing sense of its being planned and directed. This is in marked contrast to those who are convinced that life has developed by pure chance, where man, for example is a wildly improbable evolutionary event well within the realm of contingency. (Stephen Jay Gould)
Here are two recent quotations taken from The Spirit of Science (Floris Books 1998):
THE TERRENE SCHEME
This is our chain of Globes, and what follows is an outline of their formation, status and history. And here comes a wonderful teaching ... that the planetary Lhas, who are especially linked to Earth, seven in all, assisted in, or are responsible for, the building of the Earth Chain. One of the seven ...
These are the so-called "seven sacred planets" viz. Sun, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Mercury, Mars and the Moon of the Earth.
The word "planet" here is used in the special esoteric sense just given, in that these are the Lhas who have particular responsibilities to the Terrene Scheme. This teaching is the esoteric basis of the occult science of astrology. Students wishing to pursue this area may find it useful to begin with a study of the Rays. 
Likewise, this planet (D) with its six invisible companion Globes (The Earth Chain) act:
...which will comprise another planetary system.
The diagram below is a pictorial representation of'a Chain of Globes, showing the correspondence between each Globe and its comparative human principle. 
Although there are seven cosmic planes, the whole stupendous drama of global and human evolution is enacted on the four lowest, the higher three (not shown) being inaccessible to human intellect as developed at present.
Each Plane, and their associated Globes, is denser, i.e., more material than its superior 'above'. The student must always bear in mind that any diagram is purely symbolic - thus although in actuality the companion Globes are united in a very special sense, they are not of the same grade of matter as this Earth - Globe D, the only one within our means of perception.
Evolution proceeds from above downwards in increasing materiality, shown on the diagram by the arrow of the descending arc - spirit into matter - then reversing in the physical plane, where everything gradually becomes less dense, more spiritual, as shown by the ascending arrow.
It may be useful at this stage to remember that the word evolution has lost its primal significance ...
Whereas the original definition is much wider, meaning ...
[Beginning with What is Evolution? and The whole order of Nature.]
The Kosmos itself - and everyone of its sub-units, whether galactic clusters, galaxies, solar-systems, suns, planets, man ... down to the atom ... obey the cyclic law of periodicity - an Outbreathing followed by an Inbreathing, a Day and a Night, of the Great Breath. It follows that there are successive ages ... solar and planetary, for example ... one within the other, all in groups of seven. Each group has its primordial Seven, who are, in a very real sense the group itself, i.e., this hierarchy IS the group, and not the other way round ... and they lay the archetypal foundations. Then follow other entities, the Architects and Builders, and so on ... thus The ONE becomes the Many. No matter at what level, each emanation is the child of a former group, in a sequence without beginning or end.
Again - each entity was either a man, of whatever shape or form, on other worlds or preceding Manvantaras ... or is on its way to becoming one. Because ...
It is beyond the scope of this synopsis to deal in any detail with any scheme other than with the septenary group of globes which include this Globe - the so-called Terrene Chain and Planetary Manvantara. Moreover, it cannot be over-emphasized that the unfolding procedure - at any level - is basically the same.
Each Monad [the essence of the ONE] of whatever rank, is a Life on a cyclic journey, expressing itself as a combination of forms from the planes from within which it operates. Thus there are two aspects ... life and form ... subjective/objective ... eternal/transient ... ever changing ... evolving ... ever-becoming (see The Occult Way by P. G. Bowen, where on p24, Life is defined as an unconditioned compound of Consciousness, Energy and Substance). In the case, say, of a Planetary Builder - a member of the Causative Hierarchy - he evokes dormant hosts of lives from within himself (they are part of him just as the heart is part of a man) which develop into ever more complex forms or vehicles of substance - an aggregation of lives. Where does he - and his indwelling entities - come from? The answer is simple but profound - from the parent Chain.
The last diagram depicted the present Chain of seven Globes, A to G. The monadic hosts in rank and state progress in sequence round these Globes seven times and each complete cycle is called a Round. There are seven Rounds in a Planetary Manvantara, with intervals of rest between each Round (called Pralayas). The present Round on our Earth is the Fourth.
The planetary parent of the Earth (Globe D) is our present satellite moon. Our parent Chain is therefore referred to as the Lunar Chain. For ...
... and the process of transition from a chain to its successor is described thus -
The building of the new Globes, in sequence as shown, is in reality, a transfer of classes of principles - which are classes of entities at various stages of development - enfolded within each other and evoked when their time has come. Note the correspondence between this process and that of a man awakening in the morning after a nights sleep and that of the reincarnation of an Individuality to a new life. (see H.P. Blavatsky The Secret Doctrine Vol.II, p306).
Again, the words energy and life are used in the last quotation ... but energy is Matter in motion - movements inherent in the duality of spirit/matter. The Mahatmas are quite clear here, stating that ...
Motion is a fundamental feature of existence. It can now be seen that energy is Consciousness in creative motion, for:
A Tibetan has spoken of All things as aggregations of atoms that dance and by their movements produce sounds. When the rhythm of the dance changes the sound it produces also changes. Each atom perpetually sings its song and the sound at every movement creates dense and subtle forms. (From The Tibetan Journey, Alexandra D. Neal).
From all this comes the fundamental conception that there is One Substance, called primordial Matter, which when a fraction Having pervaded this whole universe with one fragment of Myself, I remain - (Baghavad Gita chapterX verse42) comes into manifestation - a universe, for example - are primal atoms which manifest firstly as seven great cosmic Elements, themselves differentiating into myriad forms, constantly changing in each Round. One such secondary development on this physical Sub-plane are the present elements now known to science. 
Four of these Elements - in their primal state - are known as Fire, Air, Water and Earth, but these bear little relation to their meaning today, underlining the fact that our Globe, comprising all of its kingdoms of Nature, was vastly different then from what it is now and indeed it changed substantially in each Round, at critical stages within a Round. One Element is developed in each Round - but a more detailed description is given in the above sources.  & 
Attention must now be drawn to the kingdoms of Nature, of which there are seven main classes. They have been described as waves of evolving life, although The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett tells us that other and innumerable chains of Globes and other solar systems have their own kingdoms which may or may not include a human kingdom. 
The physical forms of four of these kingdoms are objective to us and for that reason are the only ones recognized by science [the other six principles of these kingdoms are invisible]. The four are the mineral, plant, animal and the human kingdom - this last ...
These three are the elemental kingdoms - which are subjective and therefore unseen. It must always be born in mind that each kingdom consists of hosts of entities pursuing evolutionary experiences, gradually mounting the Ladder of Life over enormous periods of time. They have their structure (principles) and hence have two aspects - life and form - although both may be inconceivable to man. The lower, subjective (sub-physical) kingdoms are referred to as incipient Monads or ...
Thus, under the guidance of high entities, they are the first rung in the ladder and the first stage in the formation of the Globes ... where, beginning with these lowest orders and Globe after Globe in succession, the kingdoms in ascending order - wave after wave - perform their duties and pass on to the next stage, or Globe, when ready. Each kingdom underpins the one above it - as the plant kingdom depends on the mineral, for example - and is a part of it. Obviously the higher the life form, the more complex the being ... the more an amalgam of kingdoms, with the associated principles, because for example ...
By the time that the three Elemental kingdoms have completed their work and the next kingdom - the first physical kingdom, the mineral - commences, a palpable Globe is in place although in a state utterly different in any way to what can be imagined now. That is not the only thing the Elementals (as defined above) do. There are seven main classes and many grades within each class. The more advanced classes are continually associated with the higher kingdoms - mineral plant, and human at all stages. Indeed:
In short - Elementals are everywhere and play a key role in evolution at every stage. Hence any scheme consists of immense numbers of "sparks" of the ONE in their domains, classes and sub-classes, mainly in cycles or "rings" of seven, or multiples of seven.
The evolutionary pilgrimage is described in The Secret Doctrine:
Again, it is essential to realize that the spark has no individuality until a relatively late stage, for ...
The Secret Doctrine is full of the most wonderful prose and here in the Proem is one of the most magnificent passages:
It should now be possible to envisage the whole mighty process as it unfolds at the dawn of a Manvantara. Although the first to appear on the Chain-to-be are certain classes of the Dhyani - Chohanic kingdoms which act as guardians and dwell in high spiritual realms until the advent of the human kingdom, the process proper begins with the lowest Elemental kingdom on Globe A - part of which assists in forming the Globe itself - performing seven developmental stages (as does every member of every kingdom at every stage) before the majority leave for the 'lower' Plane to pass into and form Globe B, plus further tasks through seven stages - and so on through the four Planes and ending with Globe G, thus completing a Round for that class.
Not all the hosts of lives pass over to a new Globe - every kingdom leaves behind, on every Globe, a small proportion of progressed entities to provide future seeds of life to that class when it returns to that sphere in subsequent Rounds. Thus the returning Life-wave need not rebuild a new form, but takes up the evolutionary stage at which it was at the end of that (seventh) stage. The Sanskrit term for this group is 'Sishta' and while awaiting the return of the majority they pass into a quasi-Nirvanic condition and are not caught up in the evolutionary whirl of activities. 
Each kingdom enters the arena, so to speak, in strict order. When the third Elemental kingdom floods on to Globe B, the second awakes and arrives on A, completes its seven major cycles (or rings), then rests, moving on to B when the time is ripe.
At the same time, the first wave goes to Globe C (or in the case of the First Round, the centre that will be C), whilst the first Elemental kingdom - the third wave - arrives on A. And so on through to G, the descending-arc - spirit into matter - turning at Globe D, the lowest plane - and into the ascending arc - matter into spirit. 
Going back to Globe A: as the third Life-wave arrives at B, the fourth kingdom, the mineral, commences the first of its seven cycles or rings, whence by now a palpable Globe is formed, as stated earlier. The minerals are first "soft and plastic", only becoming hard and concrete in the seventh 'ring' or circuit. 
When that kingdom arrives on B, the hosts of the vegetable kingdom arrive on A. In due course the germs of the animal kingdom enter A and:
The diagram below roughly represents the development of humanity on a planet, and a whole Manvantaric Chain of worlds. 
In the First Round, the arrival of the human Life-wave (in essence or germ) on Globe A compels a certain class of Dhyan-Chohan ("failures" in a sense!) to arise from their inactive state and become an active force;
Hence from the onset is established the vital fact that man is divine - he is a part of, and his source is, a highly advanced entity - a crucial point when dealing with present day scientific evolutionary theories and Darwinism in particular. The neo-Darwinian paradigm of chance mutation and natural selection is now being heavily attacked on many fronts. Numerous commentators are becoming increasingly convinced that the theory is untenable, having thrown up too many anomalies. [* See The Facts of Life (Richard Milton, 1992); Beyond Natural Selection (Robert Wesson, 1991); Darwin's Black Box, (Michael Behe, 1996).]
Some interesting alternatives to Darwinism are being considered (although "Creationism" - based on a literal interpretation of the Christian Bible and the idea of a sudden creation from nothing by God, each species whole and complete - is rejected by all scientists and has no place in theosophical teaching) together with some startling ideas ... such as the Universe has dynamic self-organizing properties and is the product of intelligent design (!!) Is the principle of holism beginning to take root in the rational mind?
The Monads of the human kingdom in this and every Round are not of the same degree - indeed the disparity between the classes become ever more marked as the Chain unfolds. There are seven classes of human Monads, in three main groups:
A The most developed Monads, the first to reach the human 'form' in the First Round, although ...
They have many names and are the lower classes of high entities ...
They are the Fathers or Progenitors of the first "men" of the chain. They lead and represent the human element in the Second and Third Rounds. They are lunar gods, called Lunar Pitris (Pitris means Father). Their function in the First Round is to pass through the three lower manifested kingdoms in their most rudimentary forms in order to assimilate the nature of the newly formed Chain. With these experiences the first human form is evolved.
B (Classes 2,3,4.) Those Monads that are the first to reach the human stage during the first three and a half Rounds and to become men. Further:
These classes (5,6,7,) are those upon which the "door" has closed, actually at the mid-point of the Fourth Round, and are still occupying animal forms at this stage. Owing to the evolution of the other classes they are so far behind in development they will reach the human stage only at the close of the Seventh and last Round.
There is only one exception in these final classes. This will be dealt with later in the section on the Fourth Round, dealing with the Fourth Root-Race.
The Secret Doctrine postulates three separate schemes of evolution for man - spiritual, intellectual and physical. In our system, they are inextricably interwoven and interblended at every point. Suitable vehicles are fashioned - using the appropriate material of the corresponding Plane and in patterns already established - for the expanding of the functions and faculties needed by the human constitution. By the Fourth Round the physical vehicle is sufficiently developed for the emotional stage to be augmented and the next Round develops the full capabilities of mind.
Further, the physical evolutionary grades run parallel with the evolution of the Elements and hence correspond with man's physical senses as the great scheme unfolds. As the most advanced kingdom - the human - completes its seven developmental stages (called Root-Races) on each of the Globes of the chain in sequence (leaving its Sishtas on each Globe) each sphere passes into a state of dormancy and when these cycles are concluded on the last Globe (G ), the whole chain of Globes rest - an "inter-round" Nirvana. At the end of a Round, all the kingdoms will have finished their evolutionary stages on that Globe. However, this demands a rather complicated process of relative speeds of development of each kingdom within each cycle, major and minor, as obviously the lower the kingdom the longer the time needed to evolve.  [* For a description of man during the first four Rounds up to the present see H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine Vol.I pp188-9; Geoffrey A. Barborka The Divine Plan p354.]
Moreover, a small percentage of the classes in the aforesaid second main group evolve very quickly and can be as much as one Round ahead thereby accounting for the sage and the genius. 
Very little information is given about the first three Rounds and the first three Globes of the Fourth Round. On the other hand there is a great deal of information about this Earth (Globe D) in this Round (the Fourth). Even this mass of material is, in the final analysis, only a basic outline. However as the processes expounded for this Globe have essential correspondences with the processes on every Globe in whatever Round, attention will now focus on what has happened to this planet itself during this Round up to the present time, and the paper will close with a sketch of the final stages of the Earth, mainly in this Round.
PLANET D IN THE FOURTH ROUND
Having been subjected to three major Life-waves, the Globe, becoming more dense in each successive Round, has now to settle and harden throughout this, the Fourth Round. In the final three Rounds of the Manvantara the planet gradually returns to its first ethereal form - but a stage higher in overall development. 
At the beginning of a new Round the Sishtas are ready to fulfil their role. The planet has in a sense to be reborn, rather like a human being in the womb with the attendant convulsions of the birth. As each incoming wave is more advanced than the corresponding stage in the last Round, the existing matter of the physical Globe has to be upgraded, resulting in massive geological upheavals throughout the Round, particularly in the early stages.
As the Earth evolves during the descending arc in this and every other Round, the forms of the kingdoms change and become more dense and so, as in this Round, change gradually from an astral state into the present physical state.
Hence there are ...
... then ...
All of this in a constant state of chaos, deluges and the like.
As to the early stones, minerals, plants and animals that came into manifestation at this time ...
... and ...
It will now be possible to understand the quotation from the second chapter of Genesis (2: 4-5);
... which brought the following comment from The Secret Doctrine:
After this there were further great time-spans, where in the creative language of the Stanzas of Dzyan;
An explanation was added:
These graphic passages depict the first chaotic attempts of the newly-awakened Earth to create suitable forms for the human monadic Life-wave (still on Globe C) using the "dross and slime" of former Rounds - i.e., the mineral, vegetable and animal residue together with the remains of the man of that Round. This still astral material, used to form the lower beings of the animal kingdom which preceded man, gradually became more dense - like everything else - as the fourth element-principle earth is developed, becoming the ...
These crude productions - akin to the clumsy fumblings of the baby and very young child - resulted in monsters, combinations of animals, fishes, reptiles and men.  These dreadful, hideous lower creations were quite unsuited as vehicles for the incoming human Monads and were destroyed eventually by superior Beings, a higher creative class of Planetary Spirit, the Dhyanis.
There were further major changes on the Globe's surface, with water predominating and new land-masses rising and forming. Thus the scene was being set for the peopling of the Earth. The incoming Monads had to be supplied with appropriate vehicles and these were provided by advanced entities who had developed the human form during the previous Chain - the Moon Chain - hence are called the Lunar Pitris or Fathers. By command from the great Chohans, these Progenitors created man out of their own astral bodies:
As time passes, these forms will be clothed by Elementals which gradually build the external physical bodies.  In other words, the first human stock was projected by higher and semi-divine Beings out of their own essences and shapes [Chhayas]. Furthermore, man was not "created" the complete being he is now, however imperfect he still remains. 
Physical development is only part of this stupendous process - there is a psychical, intellectual and spiritual unfolding - from the simple to the complex and the homogeneous to the heterogeneous. There were seven groups of Lunar Pitris, each group being allocated its own portion of the Earth's surface then available. Thus when they then produced the first forms, the stage was set for the Monads (in their different classes) to occupy, in stages, these ethereal bodies constituting the "seven First-Born" - the primordial human groups - which, in toto comprise the so-called First Root-Race.  These races are seven major developmental stages of evolution and present humanity is in the fifth stage.
In its presentation of Anthropogenesis, The Secret Doctrine submits three postulates in its claims for man: 
THE FIRST ROOT-RACE
The first primordial groups comprising this race had astral forms and a constitution quite unlike that of present-day man. This was also the case with the animal kingdom, although - relevant to postulate (iii) just quoted -
This means that the mammalians 'physicalized' earlier than man, and separating refers to their becoming two-sexed animals prior to humans. This First Race were called "pudding-bags" by H. P. Blavatsky because of their having no bony structure. There was no rigidity to the frame.
At the end of its allotted seven main cyclical periods, occupying some millions of years, the first sense - that of hearing - had been perfected, together with its organ. The remaining six senses, to be developed in the six following races, were present, but solely in rudimentary stages. 
All developmental stages, major and minor, overlap considerably. As each race adapts to the Globe - which itself undergoes seven entire changes which go pari passu with the races - it follows that each Race has its own type of land. The preparation of the land for the next race starts around the middle period of a Root-Race cycle, the process lasting many ages, and marked with many convulsions ...
The only exception to this rule is the First Root-Race and its land, called "The Imperishable Sacred Land."  Neither were swept away during the immense changes that occurred in preparation for the Second Root-Race, and its associated Continent (called by HPB "Hyperborean" - i.e., was in the extreme north) gradually became less ethereal ...
The First Sacred Land was astral and crowned the North Pole like a skull cap. 
THE SECOND ROOT-RACE
This evolved gradually from the First by a process of extrusion known as "budding", in effect the a-sexual from the sexless, hence they were known as the "sweat-born". 
It follows that the First Race never died, being absorbed by their own progeny which became more human, more solid, although as a rigid frame had not yet developed they were called "boneless", as well as being ...
During this second stage of humanity the second sense, Touch, was developed and even a kind of "sound-language ... chant like sounds".  Finally there dawned the first spark or germ of intelligence. 
Before dealing with the next (third) stage of human evolution, attention will now be turned to mammalian development, the better to understand several crucial events in this, probably the most climacteric Race, in this Round.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE MAMMALS
As has already been stated, the Occult Doctrine maintains that in this Round, the mammals were a work of evolution later than man.  With respect to the present day evolutionary theories relating to the origin of man, this statement is undoubtedly one of the most important claims made in The Secret Doctrine - for it means that man was not "descended from the ape". 
For if ...
it follows that ...
In addition ...
This evolving sequence is found in Genesis, evoking the following comment from HPB:
In the course of time as the third stage proceeded, the boneless animals gradually changed and became more solid, developing a vertebrae and bones.  Again, the early animals were hermaphroditic, and when they did separate into male and female bred a wide variety of types - many far beyond even the imagination of present-day naturalists. 
Sometime later, after man had separated in sexes, there was inter-breeding between the lowest grade of man and these animals with disastrous karmic results for animal, man and Manasa. However this episode may be covered in its correct sequence in the history of the Third Race proper, it is probably one of the most important developmental phases of humanity.
THE THIRD ROOT-RACE.
During this stage the pace of unfolding increases rapidly, with great changes in the form of human beings which became more dense and skeletal. Ultimately came the bestowing of mental faculties - a gift of the Lords of The Flame - but only when man was ready. THIS IS ARGUABLY THE MOST SIGNAL EVENT IN A PLANETARY MANVANTARA - CERTAINLY IN THE HISTORY OF MAN.
The modes of reproduction also changed markedly, in three distinct stages.
Then came the second stage - androgenous, the Egg-born;  and, finally, the third division in the late sub-races, resulting in males and females - all of this however over a period of millions of years.  This race developed ...
The separation of the sexes (in man) came during the Fifth Sub-race of the Third Root Race over eighteen million years ago,  and by the Sixth Sub-race the men (of that era) were building their own primitive structures from stone and lava. The first large cities appeared on the then continent (which HPB called "Lemuria"- its real name has not been divulged) in the area of Madagascar, built by the most highly evolved types under the guidance of their Divine Rulers. There were then cultivated men (who practised arts and sciences and knew some astronomy, architecture and mathematics) as well as savages - as there are now, still. 
These Divine Rulers also known as the Elect Race or "the Sons of Will and Yoga", were the first of the Divine Dynasties - one for every Root-Race beginning with the Third, each series according and adapting to its humanity.  These incarnating "gods" from previous Manvantaras, were born by Will-power and Yoga (Kriya-Sakti) in that earlier portion of the Third - before the separation of the sexes - already animated with the divine spark of spiritual and superior intelligence. They were truly an Immaculate Conception - not procreated physically - and they were the Holy Seed-grain (ancestors) of all the subsequent and present Arhats. 
Lemuria was a gigantic land ...
Around the middle point of the Third Race there were cataclysmic land changes, with the polar axis tilting, such that a portion of the race, including the contemporary plants and animals, experienced enormous changes of temperature, from tropical heat to snow and ice, which stunted the growth of things living in that zone. Many perished, and those that remained - in contrast to their giant brethren in other areas - were ...
Thus was set in motion preparations for the Fourth Root Race - although the Third had still to complete its appointed later cycles.
The separation of the sexes in man forced the creative gods (known variously as the Solar Pitris, Lords of the Flame, Manasaputras, Sons of Mind) compelled by karmic law, to incarnate into what were, in effect, mindless men - nearly the whole of the then Third Race.  This is known as "the awakening of the Mind-principle", where nascent man is endowed with the initial capacity to evolve intellectually and spiritually in order to gain his eventual, distant, divine goal - to know the Atman within, in other words THOU ART THAT. 
Here it must be stressed that attention again be drawn not only to what must be the mostly allegorical nature of the narratives in the Doctrine, but to the fact that they deal with events that cannot possibly be comprehended in any real depth by man as he is today - in other words they are Mysteries, yielding their secrets only to the Initiate.  As each Round develops one of the seven principles of man, the Fourth develops the principle of desire (Kama) the essential vehicle for the Fifth Principle, Manas. To manifest, the latter is only relatively fully developed in the next (Fifth) Round, introduced as it is by degrees in the Third Race in the middle Round. 
The whole process is immensely complicated. Firstly, mankind itself varied in its response to the incoming mind. Secondly, the incarnating Dhyanis - constituting a real Fall of Angels - differed in rank, the highest making a conscious choice to incarnate (the Elect Race), while others from preceding Manvantaras whose duty it was to assist at this stage, worked willingly, but others less so. A remainder (the so-called "failures" from a previous scheme) were compelled by their own karma to re-evolve through the human stage. 
The importance to future Races of these divisions cannot be over- emphasized. What was done ...
Further, the statement "they incarnated in mankind" is far too simplistic and confusing. The essence or monadic Ray of each primitive entity was strengthened and enhanced - by no means were there two Monads occupying the same form - the Dhyanis actually became the Egos of mankind, becoming immersed in us, losing their identity in the process ... an analogy used is a cup of water in the ocean, where the water in the cup is flavoured or coloured.  [see Blavatsky Lecture for 1981; An inquiry into the Nature of Mind, by Adam Warcup link]
That mind (Manas , one who thinks) as a specific faculty, is a concept totally foreign to science, which is convinced that mentality either evolved through natural selection, trial and error, or as a product of biological determinism. However, Stanza VII, slokas 24-28 (Second Series)  outlines in graphic terms how the human Monads were endowed with mind, some with a large and some with a small portion, a "spark" (constituting average humanity which has to wait until the next Round before further development) and some none at all - the "narrow- headed". Some higher entities hesitated, not wanting to lose their intellectual freedom and in making a choice, acted too late with terrible karrnic consequences, a vivid reminder that every entity, however advanced, is still evolving, has a karma - and can make mistakes. 
The fate of the mindless (the "narrow-brained"), those not yet animated by the Dhyanis, was terrible. They interbred with the animalistic forms devised by unaided Nature, producing a hybrid race and polluting the stock.  They bred crooked red-hair-covered monsters going on all fours.  This unnatural cross-breeding resulted in due course in the lowest specimens of humanity; while further bestiality and the fruit of the first animal efforts of reproduction begat a species which developed into the mammalian apes ages later.  This was the first "physical fall into matter", showing that the apes belong to the human - and not to the animal-kingdom.* Their future is as the lowest human forms of the Fifth Round.
[* Occult Science has never claimed that the apes evolved from man. Evolve comes from 'volvere', meaning 'to roll out', signifying something that is unfolded from an originating centre in an orderly manner according to the laws and doctrines of its development. Occult Science logically and demonstrably shows the ape to be the bastard progeny resulting from illicit union between prehistoric Man and an early animal species and such progeny is certainly not an evolutionary process! (Dr. Edi Bilimoria) ]
But the arc was still descending and what follows is an explanation of the processes at work:
This dreadful state of affairs, caused by unnatural (unconscious) acts - for their minds were slumbering - aroused great sorrow among those Solar Pitris who had refused to enter those "who were not ready at all". Realizing their mistake and its karmic outcome, they endowed what was left of the race with mind, in case worse should befall all concerned. 
Another developmental phase of this race, and reaching into the Fourth Race, was the matter of the Third Eye.* As previously stated, a sense is developed with each Race, in this case sight (at first astral) beginning with a single eye in (androgynous) man and animal - hence the source of the ancient myths. This Cyclopean eye was at the back of the head and as time wore on, was replaced by two gradually developing eyes in the front of the head. At one stage there were hermaphrodites with two faces and three eyes, but the single eye (the source of spiritual sight) was drawn deep into the head and now acts no longer for the majority of mankind. It has left behind a carefully hidden witness, the pineal gland. 
This Third Eye, also known as the Eye of Siva, was stored and laid aside by nature for further development by the Seventh Race. It was re-activated during the middle period of the Fourth Race, who knew how to do it for their own ends - incurring karrnic debt, as is the Law.  The Third Root-Race during its long and convoluted history, is seen to be the source of many so-called myths: the Fall of the Angels; the tasting of "the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge"; the true 'missing link' - the primal root of the anthropoid; horrible one-eyed monsters and the history of the pineal gland. (For the 'Fall' see The Secret Doctrine Vol II p232, 246.)
Above all, there is elucidated a supreme fact that ...
[* The Third Eye has been used as a symbol for centuries. The Egyptian hieroglyphic Ru (a doorway and 'the gate of birth') denotes the Third Eye. When set upright on the Tau-Cross it becomes the Ankh, linked with the Ankh-tie , the chord or 'pasa' which Siva holds in the hand of his right back arm. Little imagination is needed to see the connection between these symbols and the Fish, the Cross, the Masonic Eye, the Eye of Horus, the mathematical sign for infinity and, particularly, the Vesica Piscis. (see p201 fig 35, p203 and p175 fig 32 of Land of the Fallen Star Gods by John Gordon. Orpheus 1997). This last has played a prime position in the foundation of many holy buildings, such as temples and cathedrals. Its geometry represents the Higher Triad, the Law of Three and the Eye. Finally, Schwaller de Lubicz has written a great deal on the connection between the Third Eye, the Pineal Gland (see also H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings Vol.XII, p6l6), and the Golden Section of the Greeks. The Tuatara, a nocturnal reptile found on New Zealand, has a third eye. This is visible through the skin on the top of the head at birth, but is later covered by scales. It is light sensitive, probably working with the pineal gland, absorbing ultra-violet rays that are vital to early development.]
THE FOURTH ROOT-RACE
This, the "Atlantean" developed from a nucleus of northern Lemurian men, was centred in what is now the mid-Atlantic Ocean and became the first completely human species, becoming wholly physical but much larger in size than we are now.  They developed the fourth sense - taste - and the two front eyes as physical organs only in the beginning of the Race.  Around the middle period of thy Fourth Sub-race - over two million years ago - the physical form reached its acme in beauty and symmetry.  Intellect (not to be confused with spirituality) grew, together with marked advances in speech. From the monosyllabic of the late Third developed the agglutinative languages, which decayed eventually and the more advanced sub-races evolved the inflectional languages, the first of which was the root of the Sanskrit tongue. 
An inevitable result of man gaining the cognitive stage was his increasing divergence from the animal kingdom, so much so, that by the mid-point of the Atlantean cycle there was a distinct separation between the two.
This is the fulcrum of the global chain and it is the point where any Monad using the vehicles of the animal kingdom for its evolutionary experience is barred from entry into the human kingdom - actually a karmic adjustment:
As the Fourth Race reached its prime, some of the Sub-races became swollen with pride, thinking themselves kings, or even gods. Being able to make choices, they renewed the "Sin of the Mindless" - this time with full responsibility - breeding with their descendants (the lower apes of the Miocene period) choosing their wives from animals having human shape, bipeds "fair to look at" but with their lower extremities covered with hair. Again the karmic consequences were disastrous - resulting in the species of ape now known as anthropoid.  [Information as to the height of the first four races can be found in The Secret Doctrine Vol 11 pp339-40.]
Many of the Race acquired divine knowledge, but even more degenerated morally, taking-the 'left path' and becoming renowned for their magic powers and wickedness, their ambition and defiance of the gods.  Thus were the Atlanteans approaching destruction in their turn. 
Before the destruction of the "unholy", largely by drowning, the Race had accomplished many remarkable achievements in meteorology, mineralogy, alchemy (chemistry), geology, physics and astronomy - but above all - aeronautics and the "knowledge of flying in air vehicles", known as vimanas. This knowledge, that "bundle of wonderful things" (mentioned in the Mahabharata) they passed on to the First Sub-race of the Fifth Race, the Aryans. 
But it is the fate of every continent to be utterly changed by cataclysms.
The Fourth Continent, then, was overwhelmed by water ... and quoting again from the last letter;
The fate of its inhabitants is described in a remarkable account in The Secret Doctrine Vol 11, pp426-28, where the more highly developed portion escaped the waters, and the rest perished:
Here is an engrossing tale of how the adepts in white magic used their powers to outwit the Lords of the Dark Face, thus preserving that portion of the Fifth Root-Race (which had been in formation long before the downfall of the Fourth) who were ruled over and instructed by the first Divine Kings. 
THE FIFTH ROOT-RACE
This Aryan 'portion' - the beginning of the Race proper - was ...
When it became a Race in its own right, i.e., quite free from its parent stem about one million years ago (The Secret Doctrine Vol II, p435), it was an isolated group in that it had not received the benefits of Atlantean civilization or culture, thus the better prepared for instruction and guidance by the Dragons of Wisdom. 
Again, The Secret Doctrine (Vol II, p434) reminds us that:
The majority of today's humanity, nevertheless, has characteristics associated with the Seventh Sub-race of the Fourth Root-Race:
The same letter also states:
The whole of this letter is fascinating and well worth close study.
However, Geoffrey Barborka  has concluded that the Fifth Race's intellectual-spiritual evolutionary development has been retarded, due, in no small measure, to the karmic burden of the last two root-races.  A price is being paid in that the spiritual Inner Man has had to step back to make room for the development of kama-manas, the lower mind, the predominating phase of the Fifth stage. 
Having gained - just - the ascending evolutionary arc, some sub-races are still on the descending arc of their own national cycle, while ...
The Fifth Race developed the fifth sense, that of smell, as the Fourth had developed the sense of taste, the fourth. Further, the Divine Instructors ...
This Race will last well into the period of the Sixth Race, but the fifth continent will be changed, the greater part of the changes will occur by means of volcanic fires and then submergence - as took place on the third continent.
The Secret Doctrine continues:
The Sixth Root-Race will rapidly grow out of its bonds of matter, and even of flesh  and begin developing the sense of clairvoyance - which suggests that the Third Eye will be re-activated gradually and used consciously. 
The Seventh Root-Race is the last on this Fourth Globe (D) in this Fourth Round - but the Round will continue through the superior Globes E, F and G of this Chain, as described earlier. At the close of this Race, the ...
The seventh sense will be developed, that of instant perception of knowledge, using the pituitary gland and the pineal gland - the Third Eye. 
The following diagram illustrates the evolution of the Root-Races in the Fourth Round: 
It is in the Fifth Round that the full development of Manas will be finally reached.  The mankind of this round will be immensely more advanced than the humanity of the Fourth and some of these great men - such as Plato and Confucius - have been coming in for the last few thousand years ... while Gautama Buddha and Sankaracharya are termed Six Rounders. 
The fifth cosmic Element, ether, (not that hypothesised by Isaac Newton) will reign supreme over the first four in this Round - although it will appear in the air towards the end of this present Round. The remaining two are as yet absolutely beyond the range of human perception. These latter will, however, appear as presentiments during the 6th and 7th Races of this Round and will become known in the 6th and 7th Rounds respectively. 
Not until the close of the Seventh Race of the Seventh Round will the Monad ...
The following quotation illustrates the distinction between the fleeting personality and the permanent, deathless Self (his Father in Heaven):
However, when one does become fully illumined:
^1 The Secret Doctrine. H. P. Blavatsky (Two-volume edition 1982) viii