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The Consciousness of the Atom - The Evolution of Man, the Thinker
In a very old occult book - so old that the date of it cannot be ascertained - can be found a definition of man which is very illuminating, and in line with the thought that we are seeking to develop tonight. Man is there defined as "the Life and the lives." We have seen that the atom is a life, manifesting by means of the little sphere of which it is the center. We have seen that all forms are an aggregate of lives, built up into the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms. Now we can pass to the next stage on this great ladder of evolution, and we will then find that the human being is the logical sequence that grows out of all these earlier developments. First, the primordial stuff, essentially intelligent energy; next, atomic matter, in all its varying activity forming the elemental combination; then the form, the aggregate of these atoms, up to the dweller within the form, who is not only active intelligence, not only inherent attraction and love, but is also a purposeful will. This "dweller within" took possession of the form when it had reached a certain stage of preparedness, and when the component [85] lives had reached a certain vibratory capacity; he is now utilizing it, and repeating, within his own sphere of influence, the work of the atom of matter; he demonstrates, nevertheless, not in one way, nor in two, but in three. In man, therefore, in deed and in truth, you have what the Christian would term the "image of God." For, as must be apparent to all thinkers, the only way in which we can know God is through the study of His nature, or His psychic quality. We know that God is intelligence, we know that He is love, or the great attractive force of the solar system, and we know that He is the great will or purpose back of all manifestation. In every Scripture in the world the Deity is pictured under these three aspects, and manifests through nature in this triple manner.

The evolution of substance is a thing of gradual growth; it is in time supplemented by the slow working out of the inner subjective quality of the life of God, and thus His essential nature is demonstrated. First, you have one aspect demonstrating, then another slowly appears, and finally the third can be seen, and you have the stupendous combination and consummation, the human being. He synthesizes and blends the three aspects, uniting them in himself. He is the totality of the divine attributes, though as yet they are largely embryonic, and he has to repeat within his cycle [86] of evolution the identical processes that the atom itself has followed. Just as the atom pursues its own internal course, and just as it also has later to be drawn into and to merge and blend with other atoms in the formation of a group, so the human atom equally has to find his place within a greater form.

Let us, therefore, consider for a little what is the method of the evolutionary process for a human being. We have seen that in him the three lines converge, and that he is a point of synthesis, with one aspect as yet predominant, that of the intelligence, with the second aspect of love-wisdom just beginning to make its presence felt, and with the highest aspect of spiritual will as yet purely embryonic.

We have, nearly all of us, been brought up in the belief in what is called "the fall of man." There are few these days who believe the story of the fall as it is given in the third chapter of Genesis, and we most of us credit it as having an allegorical interpretation. What is the occult truth underlying this curious story? Simply that the truth about the fall of the spirit into matter is conveyed by means of a picture to the infant mentality of man. The process of the converging of these lines is a twofold one. You have the descent into matter of the entity, of the central life, and the incarnation of spirit, and then you [87] have the working up, out of matter, of that life or spirit, plus all that has been gained through the utilization of form. By experimenting with matter, by dwelling within the form, by the energizing of substance, by the going out of the Garden of Eden (the place where there is no scope for necessary development), and by the wandering of the Prodigal Son in the far country, you have the various stages which are pictured in the Christian Bible where man makes the discovery that he is not the form, but that he is the one who utilizes it. He is intelligence, and therefore he is made in the image of the third Person of the Trinity; he is love, and through him the love aspect of the Deity will some day perfectly manifest, and he will be able to say with his elder Brother, the Christ, in reply to the demand "Lord, show us the Father," that "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father," for God is Love; and finally, through him the highest aspect, the will of God, will become manifest, and he will be perfect, even as his Father in heaven is perfect.

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