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The Consciousness of the Atom - The Evolution of Form
Lecture III

The Evolution of Form, or Group Evolution

I want to enlarge tonight upon the basic idea of the unity of consciousness, or of intelligence, as developed somewhat in the lecture last week, and to extend the concept still further. It has been said that all evolution proceeds from the homogeneous, through heterogeneity, back again to homogeneity, and it has been pointed out that:

"Evolution is a continually accelerating march of all the particles of the universe which leads them simultaneously, by a path sown with destruction, but uninterrupted and unpausing, from the material atom to that universal consciousness in which omnipotence and omniscience are realized: in a word, to the full realization of the Absolute of God."

This proceeds from those minute diversifications which we call molecules and atoms up to their aggregate as they are built into forms; and continues on through the building of those forms into greater forms, until you have a solar system in its entirety. All has proceeded under law, and the same basic laws govern the evolution of the [54] atom as the evolution of a solar system. The macrocosm repeats itself in man, the microcosm, and the microcosm is again reflected in all lesser atoms.

These remarks and the previous lecture concern themselves primarily with the material manifestation of a solar system, but I shall seek to lay the emphasis in our future talks principally upon what we might call the psychical evolution, or the gradual demonstration and evolutionary unfoldment of that subjective intelligence or consciousness which lies behind the objective manifestation.

As usual, we will handle this lecture in four divisions:

  • First, we will take the subject of the evolutionary process, which, in this particular case is the evolution of the form, or the group;
  • then the method of group development;
  • next we will consider the stages that are followed during the cycle of evolution, and
  • finally we will conclude with an attempt to be practical, and to gather out of our conclusions some lesson to apply to the daily life.

The first thing necessary for us to do is to consider somewhat the question of what a form really is. If we turn to a dictionary we will find the word defined as follows: "The external shape or configuration of a body." In this definition the emphasis is laid upon its externality, upon its [55] tangibility and exoteric manifestation. This thought is also brought out if the root meaning of the word 'manifestation' is carefully studied. It comes from two Latin words, meaning "to touch or handle by the hand" (manus, the hand, and fendere, to touch), and the idea then brought to our minds is the triple thought that that which is manifested is that which can be felt) contacted, and realized as tangible. Yet in both these interpretations the most vital part of the concept is lost sight of, and we must look elsewhere for a truer definition. To my mind, Plutarch conveys the idea of the manifestation of the subjective through the medium of the objective form in a much more illuminating way than does the dictionary. He says:

"An idea is a being incorporeal, which has no subsistence by itself, but gives figure and form unto shapeless matter, and becomes the cause of the manifestation."

Here you have a most interesting sentence, and one of real occult significance. It is a sentence which will repay careful study and consideration, for it embodies a concept that concerns itself not only with that little manifestation, the atom of the chemist and the physicist, but of all forms that are constituted by their means, including the manifestation of a human being and of the Deity of a solar system, that great Life, that all-embracing, [56] universal Mind, that vibrant center of energy, and that great enfolding consciousness Whom we call God, or Force, or the Logos, the Existence Who is expressing Himself through the medium of the solar system.

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