The dictionary defines the word “plan” as “a scheme or method of acting...[or] doing.” It is also “a representation of a thing” drawn on...a map or diagram.”1 An example would be a plan for a living room, a garage, a supermarket or a city. Behind each of these “creations” there is a design or scheme of arrangement, which someone has thought through and developed over time. The things of this world, which human beings create, are the product of thought, design and planning. No one would argue this. Objects manufactured by human intelligence are based on a blueprint or plan of creation that some “thinker” has brought into manifestation through the power of thought. To build a new home, for example, a basic floor plan is required.
What then of “the things of this world” which human beings have not created—such as a field of flowers, a lake, or a snowcapped mountain? Is there “intelligent design” involved in such creations? And, if so, is there an “intelligent designer” behind them? Are the wonders of nature random happenings? Or is there a divine intelligence operating behind the scenes?
Such questions are answered differently by people who identify themselves as creationists, creation scientists, and Darwinian evolutionists. Creationists claim that all living organisms on earth and the universe itself were created by a supernatural being in a single event as depicted in the creation narrative in Genesis. Creation scientists attempt to provide support for this narrative, adding a scientific perspective to the thinking of creationists. Darwinists propose that the world that we see is the result of biological evolution, natural selection, and “survival of the fittest.”
Creationists and creation scientists stand in direct opposition to the basic premises of evolutionary science, typically found in western school curricula. The two camps reflect starkly different world views. The major area of contention between them is reflected in the belief of creationists that the universe was created “by a supernatural being in a single event.” Young earth creationists2, for instance, argue, “Most forms of creationism contend that an intelligence, not natural processes, created the universe and all life... [at one time—‘in the beginning’].”3 God “created the earth, the universe, and all life around 6,000 years ago...”4
Evolutionary theory paints quite a different picture, contending that “All life on Earth is descended from a last universal ancestor5 that lived approximately 3.8 billion years ago.”6 They hold that humans appeared 2.5 million years in the past. Below is a common artistic rendering of the life forms that preceded the present-day human form.
The contradiction between the notion of the fullness of creation occurring by a single divine fiat and the idea of evolutionary progress through successive generations produces a seemingly unbridgeable gap. That gap is closed, however, in the ageless wisdom teachings, which include and transcend both worldviews. Both intelligence and natural processes are seen as essential to the plan of creation.
The Ageless Wisdom presents “ideas, laws, and truths that have guided spiritual seekers throughout human history.”7 The Law of Evolution is one of these laws. The fact of God as creator of “the earth, the universe, and all life” is likewise a guiding principle of these teachings. Yet, the meaning and significance of both of these ideas is profoundly expanded in the Ageless Wisdom. Let us consider each of these truths in turn.
The Law of Evolution
|The Law of Evolution—as commonly understood—concerns the evolution of the form aspect as it is gradually fitted to be an exponent or an expression of soul energy...8
Evolution proceeds in stages and unfolds in more than one dimension. The Law of Evolution pertains both to forms and to consciousness unfolding within those forms. This law, as presented in the wisdom teachings, effects change over vast periods of time. It operates in cycles, governing the appearance of new and developing patterns for each racial epoch in the planetary life. In the case of human development, it governs both the perfecting of the physical body and the unfolding of the consciousness, the soul aspect, which inhabits the body.
Human evolution proceeds in a planned and ordered sequence along parallel streams of development, on different planes of being, moving gradually towards perfection on each plane. Eventually a form adequate for the expression of the soul on the material plane is developed and (in a parallel course of unfoldment in subtler realms) the overshadowing soul likewise is gradually prepared to take control of its vehicle. In the fullness of time, the two streams of evolution intersect and the soul “touches” or appropriates the outer form.
This momentous event of appropriation of the outer form by the soul is called “human individualization” in the wisdom teachings. It occurred millions of years of ago in the mists of pre-history.9 Esoteric or spiritual science describes the interaction between the soul and its instrument in the world of form—throughout the course of history—since that great happening. It examines the laws of the universe that govern cyclic unfoldment: both the laws, which govern material objects and systems of the world—which modern science investigates—and the laws of the soul and spirit, which metaphysicians and esoteric students explore.
Applied to the universe as a whole, spiritual science is the study of energies. It attributes the cause of all phenomena in the outer world to inner potencies that produce “the world pattern which moulds all planetary forms.”10
In human behavior, this pattern-forming tendency is recognized by modern psychology, which examines the effects of the emotional and thought patterns of individuals and groups. Some psychologists also study behavior types such as introvert and extrovert. When “mapping the psyche” of an individual they look for “core pattern[s] of emotions, memories, perceptions, and wishes in the personal unconscious...”11 that constitute different psychological complexes.
Esoteric science offers a different lens through which to view human nature and to organize its study of the human psyche. It uses the Science of the Seven Rays to identify the “molding patterns” behind evolutionary processes—both the evolution of consciousness on the level of the soul, and the evolution of the form, or the personality vehicles, which the soul inhabits. This energy science provides extensive information about human nature and personality development but its purview extends beyond the personality to include the soul.
The Seven Rays are reflected
in the seven colors of the spectrum of visible light.
The seven cosmic rays are the seven creative forces of the universe. Each ray has a distinctly different potency and each human being—on the level of the personality and the plane of the soul—is influenced by one or other of these rays. Sarah McKechnie, a longtime student and teacher of the Ageless Wisdom, has called the seven rays “A Tool For Understanding Ourselves, Our Fellowmen, And Our World.”12 She described this science as so profound and so expansive in nature that it seems at times to be “beyond the grasp of the human mind.” Nonetheless, the Ageless Wisdom assures us that through the awakening intuition—through the eye of wisdom of the soul—we may begin to catch a glimpse of these mysterious, inner, spiritual potencies, which lie back of all evolutionary progress on earth.
God — the Creator of the Evolutionary Plan
The image below portrays one artist’s conception of the Demiurge—the “grand designer” behind the circle of manifestation.13
[This term derives]...from Plato's Timaeus, written c. 360 BC, in which the demiurge is presented as the creator of the universe.
In the various branches of the Neoplatonic school (third century onwards), the demiurge is the fashioner of the real, perceptible world after the model of the Ideas.14
In the Ageless Wisdom God is the Creator—a Supreme Being who constructs the Universe through the power of thought. He is the Divine Thinker Who creates thought-forms expressive of Divine Intent, building their potency through the Law of Attraction to create the manifested worlds. He brings “the unseen” into living expression in the world of form through the building power of Divine Mind, plus the magnetic force of Love.
This cohesive force gathers together the atoms, which comprise the multitude of forms in the manifested worlds—producing identifiable shapes, fashioned according to the archetypal pattern held in the Divine Mind. The Creator’s ideas,15 held “in solution” on mental levels, are the fundamental building blocks of the Plan of Creation—conceived in love—and precipitated into outer form through the cooperation of the Guides of the Race, the Spiritual Hierarchy, Who represent the heart center of the planet.
The Hierarchy is the “Society of illumined and organized Minds”16 Who implement the Plan of God in service to His greater Will. Its members receive impression from the center of planetary Life called Shamballa, where the Lord of the World dwells. This Brotherhood of Light forms a vital link in a great chain of contact, providing a channel for the inflow of spiritual energy from Shamballa, the center where the will of God is known. These illumined Beings register the divine Purpose, transmitted through the power of thought from Shamballa, and together formulate ideas received into a Plan. In turn, They transmit these divine thoughts to sensitive workers within the ranks of humanity who seek to act upon these impressions in service to the greater good.
The use of the power of thought (propelled by love) to produce results in the outer world has been explored briefly in an article, The Greatest Secret of All, which highlights the role that the Law of Attraction plays in the co-creative process. As stated:
|The law of attraction, which influences all the creative processes in the universe, works out under the direction of a great Cosmic Thinker—the Creator of the evolutionary goals for our planet. These goals (these spiritual purposes) are formulated into a divine Plan which is implemented by a host of spiritual Beings working on inner planes.
The informing life of this planet is a Cosmic Thinker Who wields the Law of Attraction in cooperation with celestial Intelligences to produce the divine Plan, and maintain the ordered cyclic evolution of the outer worlds of form. He works with a myriad of Lives endowed with the co-creative powers of thought, imagination, and will. These Divine Thinkers, as a group, are referred to as the “Friends of Humanity” in The Spiritual Hierarchy, an article by Dorje Jinpa. Divine Messengers and the Custodians of the Plan, They are the embodiment of spiritual love, working through the soul of humanity, whose major characteristics are love and light.
“In meditation deep”, the Masters of Love and Wisdom register the thoughts in the Mind of God and transmit what They perceive to light workers in the world—the intuitives and spiritual workers within humanity, who consciously seek to cooperate in bringing the divine Plan into living demonstration on Earth. Through acts of service and sacrifice for the betterment of the whole, the Plan of the Great Ones thus gradually becomes a living reality in the world. Through this process the Spiritual Hierarchy acts as a center of thought reception and transmission, forming a bridge in consciousness between that which is above and that which is below. Those of us, who work (consciously or unconsciously) in cooperation with Them ground Their vision in the world.
The concept of an interactive chain of “divine thinkers,” cooperating with one another to register, transmit, and implement the Plan, is new to contemporary humanity. But it is a central pillar of the Ageless Wisdom. In the Introduction to When the Soul Awakens we have made an effort to build a bridge of understanding for those unfamiliar with this body of wisdom:
…the source of these teachings originates from a plane of consciousness higher than the analytic mind, beyond the scope of purely human awareness. The supra-human source of the teachings…[and the] revelations they contain cast new light on the assertion that a 5th kingdom in nature exists—a spiritual kingdom—in addition to the mineral, plant, animal, and human kingdoms. Within the spiritual kingdom are Masters of Wisdom, initiates of universal truth, who guide the evolution of humanity…
To comprehend the nature of these spiritual beings requires only an expansion of an idea that has now become widely accepted: the idea that human consciousness unfolds in stages. If we take that notion a step further and allow for the possibility that consciousness can evolve not only from one human state to another, but also beyond the strictly human dimension, it becomes possible to conceive of a higher kingdom in nature.17
The higher kingdom here referred to is the Kingdom of Souls, another name for the Spiritual Hierarchy. Among those who dwell there in consciousness are the Masters of Wisdom and Their Inner Groups of Illumined Workers. By treading the spiritual Path through many lifetimes, They have come to fulfill their divine potential. These initiates and Masters of the Universal Wisdom are the fruit of the evolutionary process, having progressed beyond the sphere of ordinary human experience into a higher realm of consciousness where They serve as Custodians of the Divine Plan, charged with the task of implementing that Plan with the cooperation of humanity. For the first time in planetary evolution humanity as a whole can become aware of this co-creative process.
As the new era dawns and the soul of humanity continues to awaken, growing numbers of people will come to realize these truths and begin to claim their spiritual destiny as co-creators with the divine. As evolution proceeds, many will recognize the existence of the higher realms and mount the Path of Return to Spirit—recognizing themselves as spiritual beings made in the image of the Creator. Discovering their hidden spiritual potentials and acknowledging the reality of the soul, they will, in time, recognize the Illumined Workers in the kingdom of souls, Who seek to guide and aid them, and take their place among those who serve the Divine Plan.
From the start of human evolution, it has been planned that humanity would one day “come of age” and begin to recognize and fulfill the divine potential seeded in them so long ago. Human beings were conceived as “sons and daughters of God.” As such, we are destined to become co-creators with the Divine Thinker Whose thought gave birth to the divine Plan, and Whose will keeps the wheel of evolution turning. Ultimately, we, too, will learn to wield the power of thought in cooperation with Divine Intent. Such truths as this, which now may seem beyond comprehension, will gradually infuse the consciousness of humanity in the new era.
Central to all the truths to be revealed in the Age of Aquarius—now unfolding in consciousness—is the basic truth that God is love. This principle, embraced by millions over the centuries, was expressed in by Alice Bailey in these words:
The ... determining factor in human life is love…”
and the creative force behind the divine Plan
is Love Itself, for "God is love.18
1 See Dictionary.com.
2 There are various forms of creationism, including old-earth creationism, progressive creationism, and young-earth creationism.
3 See answersingenesis.org. Italics added.
5 “The last universal ancestor (LUA), also called the last universal common ancestor (LUCA), or the cenancestor, is the most recent organism from which all organisms now living on Earth descend. Thus it is the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of all current life on Earth.” See Last Universal Ancestor.
6 See Evolutionary_theory in wikipedia. See also Feb 2014 breaking news from Nova announcing a 4.4 billion-year-old crystal found in the Earth’s crust.
7 “Glossary of Terms from the Wisdom Teachings,” When the Soul Awakens, p. 216.
8 Esoteric Healing, p. 659.
9 A future article in this series will explore the Ageless Wisdom’s teaching on the great epochs of racial unfoldment—remembered in ancient myths about the “lost lands” of Atlantis and Lemuria.
10 The Destiny of the Nations, p. 57.
11 See Complex (psychology).
12 See “The Science of the Seven Rays”—a talk given at the Theosophical Society of Edinburgh, 30 September 2010.
13 See God the Creator – The Demiurge. The demiurge is “a concept from the Platonic...schools of philosophy for an artisan-like figure responsible for the fashioning and maintenance of the physical universe. The term was subsequently adopted by the Gnostics.”— http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demiurge.
15 The idea of “spiritual brotherhood” is one of the key “ideas held in the mind of God,” which is slowly beginning to register in human hearts and minds as a founding principle of the coming new era.
16 The Rays and the Initiations, pp. 130-31.
17 When the Soul Awakens, p. 3
18 From Bethlehem to Calvary, p. 200.