Archaic History of the Human Race

As recorded in "The Secret Doctrine" by H. P. Blavatsky

By Gertrude W. van Pelt, MD

First Edition copyright © 1934 by Theosophical University Press.


Part 1: Sections 1-2
Part 2: Sections 3-5 (42K)
Part 3: Sections 6-8 (52K)

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Section 1

The chapters of this book might with equal fitness be entitled "The Story of Evolution," but I prefer the above heading because it carries with it rather the idea of continuous existence, since the process of evolution for man is unfinished. In fact, the human race is in an early stage, our planet itself being not far beyond the midway point of its life. The subject matter is almost entirely a transcription from H. P. Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine, her own language so far as possible being used, to avoid any deviation from her meaning. It is an attempt to place consecutively the revelations of the ancient wisdom regarding human life on this planet, which she so courageously and with such consummate skill brought to the Western world.

The Secret Doctrine is a mine of information which seems literally inexhaustible, for the more one develops, the more he discovers in its contents. The whole range of human thought is there illuminated. Every sentence is aglow with possibilities, and knowledge in all directions is so profuse in her writings that the mind at first is overwhelmed and bewildered by the magnitude of her work. In speaking of theosophy in Volume 1, pages 272-3, she says:

But modern science believes not in the "soul of things," and hence will reject the whole system of ancient cosmogony. It is useless to say that the system in question is no fancy of one or several isolated individuals. That it is the uninterrupted record covering thousands of generations of Seers whose respective experiences were made to test and to verify the traditions passed orally by one early race to another, of the teachings of higher and exalted beings, who watched over the childhood of Humanity.

The effort in that which follows, while adhering strictly to the text, will be to sift out from the many related facts which enrich this marvelous work an outline of what she has told us regarding our ancient selves, and to arrange the events in chronological order for the benefit of those too occupied to read the whole. References to volume and page will enable those who wish to do so to verify or amplify the subject from The Secret Doctrine.

If the whole human family knew and realized its history, the entire aspect of life would change. A new dignity, a new sense of responsibility, a new courage would transform this unhappy world into a paradise. Each would see in others something deeper and greater than he sees now. The grooves of discord which are cut so deeply into our human minds, would no longer serve as channels for thought. And wars would cease of themselves -- would melt away -- having nothing to feed upon.

It goes without saying that the ancient wisdom is based on the unity of all life, without which it could not be wisdom. Among its fundamental teachings is that of the universal rhythmic expression of life, shown in alternate periods of activity and rest. When these relate to the great worlds in space, they are poetically described as the Day and Night of Brahma. But this, like every other inherent habit of being, is repeated throughout the scale from universes to atoms, like a pattern growing ever smaller. "As above, so below" is the old Hermetic axiom. Hence "reasoning from analogy" is often the clue which starts the searcher after truth on the right road.

The larger part of The Secret Doctrine is a commentary on "The Stanzas of Dzyan," an archaic record to which the Western world has not heretofore had access. I shall quote some of them presently, but first will give a description of the coming of the Night -- a Night which might apply to any world, or to one of the several great Nights which come to this Earth on her journey -- in the words of Vamadeva Modelyar, taken from The Secret Doctrine (1: 376) -- quoted from Isis Unveiled:

Strange noises are heard proceeding from every point. . . . These are the precursors of the Night of Brahma; dusk rises at the horizon, and the Sun passes away behind the thirteenth degree of Makara (sign of the Zodiac). . . . Gradually light pales, heat diminishes, uninhabited spots multiply on the earth, the air becomes more and more rarefied; the springs of waters dry up, the great rivers see their waves exhausted, the ocean shows its sandy bottom and plants die. Men and animals decrease in size daily. Life and motion lose their force, planets can hardly gravitate in space; they are extinguished one by one, like a lamp which the hand of the chokra (servant) neglects to replenish. Surya (the Sun) flickers and goes out, matter falls into dissolution (pralaya), and Brahma merges back into Dyaus, the Unrevealed God, and, his task being accomplished, he falls asleep. Another day is passed, night sets in and continues until the future dawn.

In the Stanzas of Dyzan, the drama opens with the dawn, as follows:

1. "The Eternal Parent (Space), wrapped in her ever invisible robes, had slumbered once again for seven eternities."
2. Time was not, for it lay asleep in the infinite bosom of duration.
3. . . . Universal mind was not, for there were no Ah-hi (celestial beings) to contain (hence to manifest) it.
4. The seven ways to bliss (Moksha or Nirvana) were not. The great causes of misery (Nidana and Maya) were not, for there was no one to produce and get ensnared by them.
5. Darkness alone filled the Boundless All, for Father, Mother and Son were once more one, and the Son had not awakened yet for the new wheel and his pilgrimage thereon.
6. The seven sublime Lords and the seven Truths had ceased to be, and the Universe, the son of necessity, was immersed in Paranishpanna (absolute perfection, Paranirvana, which is Yong-Grub) to be out-breathed by that which is and yet is not. Naught was.
7. The causes of existence had been done away with; the visible that was, and the invisible that is, rested in eternal non-being, the one being.
8. Alone, the one form of existence stretched boundless, infinite, causeless, in dreamless sleep; and life pulsated unconscious in universal space, throughout that All-Presence which is sensed by the "Opened Eye" of the Dangma. -- The Secret Doctrine, 1: 35-46
. . . . . . .
1. . . . Where were the builders, the luminous sons of manvantaric dawn? . . . In the unknown darkness in their Ah-hi (Chohanic, Dhyani-Buddhic) Paranishpanna, the producers of form (rupa) from no-form (arupa), the root of the world -- the Devamatri and Svabhavat, rested in the bliss of non-being.
2. . . . Where was silence? Where were the ears to sense it? No! there was neither silence, nor sound. Naught save ceaseless, eternal breath (Motion) which knows itself not.
3. The hour had not yet struck; the ray had not yet flashed into the germ; the matri-padma (mother lotus) had not yet swollen.
4. Her heart had not yet opened for the one ray to enter, thence to fall as three into four in the lap of Maya.
5. The Seven (Sons) were not yet born from the Web of Light. Darkness alone was Father-Mother, Svabhavat, and Svabhavat was in darkness.
6. These two are the Germ, and the Germ is -- one. The Universe was still concealed in the Divine Thought and the Divine Bosom. -- 1: 53-61
1. The last vibration of the seventh eternity thrills through infinitude. The mother swells, expanding from within without like the bud of the lotus.
2. The vibration sweeps along, touching with its swift wing (simultaneously) the whole universe, and the germ that dwelleth in darkness: the darkness that breathes (moves) over the slumbering waters of life.
3. "Darkness" radiates light, and light drops one solitary ray into the waters, into the mother deep. The ray shoots through the virgin-egg; the ray causes the eternal egg to thrill, and drop the non-eternal (periodical) germ, which condenses into the world egg.
. . . . . . .
6. The root of life was in every drop of the ocean of immortality (Amrita) and the ocean was radiant light, which was fire and heat and motion. Darkness vanished and was no more. It disappeared in its own essence, the body of fire and water, of father and mother.
7. Behold, oh Lanoo! the radiant Child of the two, the unparalleled refulgent Glory, Bright Space, Son of Dark Space, who emerges from the depths of the great Dark Waters. . . . He shines forth as the Sun. He is the blazing Divine Dragon of Wisdom. . . . Behold him lifting the Veil, and unfurling it from East to West. He shuts out the above and leaves the below to be seen as the great Illusion. He marks the places for the shining ones (stars) and turns the upper (space) into a shoreless Sea of Fire, and the One manifested (element) into the Great Waters.
. . . . . . .
10. Father-Mother spin a web whose upper end is fastened to Spirit (Purusha), the light of the one Darkness, and the lower one to Matter (Prakriti) its (the Spirit's) shadowy end; and this web is the Universe spun out of the two substances made in one, which is Svabhavat. -- 1: 62-83
. . . . . . .
1. Listen, ye Sons of the Earth, to your instructors -- the Sons of the Fire. Learn there is neither first nor last; for all is one number, issued from no number.
2. Learn what we who descend from the Primordial Seven, we, who are born from the Primordial Flame, have learned from our Fathers. -- 1: 86-8

What follows is to the Sons of the Earth from their Instructors.

In accordance with the law of analogy, these Stanzas would apply to any denouement, whether of earth, of sun, of greater universes; or to the many periods of rest and activity throughout the life of our planet, earth. Of the great manvantaras (or periods of manifestation) it is said, "millions and billions of worlds are produced."

The Commentaries on the above Stanzas give a long account of the formation of worlds and shed a flood of light on problems which vex our scientists and which they have failed to solve. But it is not the purpose of these papers to transfer this part of the subject matter except in so far as it has a direct bearing on the ancient history of man.

These first Stanzas are quoted as a starting point because they carry an atmosphere which tends to lift one out of his own small personality into a finer, purer air, into an open unclouded space where he can study himself dispassionately and so more truly. With the vivid and majestic picture these simple, graphic words bring before the mind's eye, comes also a conviction of their truth. They are not born simply out of a trained imagination, but are charged with the aroma of truth and authority. And volumes could not tell more exhaustively or with greater completeness the fact of the Brotherhood of man as of all life. To this latter purpose all of H. P. Blavatsky's works are directed.

For us, the story may begin with our migration to this planet. Our old home, which we are told was our present moon, is now a corpse in process of disintegration. Ages upon ages have passed since its monads moved in orderly sequence to the bosom of their "Eternal Parent" to slumber there for seven eternities.

"The last vibration of the seventh eternity" thrills through space. The hour for this new world to be born strikes and life stirs through all the sleeping monads. Many changes and transformations take place before work on the new world is begun and then prepared for the various grades of life which are destined to use it.

Monad is a term which has been employed by various philosophers from the Neoplatonists to Bruno, to Van Helmont, and Leibnitz, with various shades of meaning. In the ancient teachings it refers to the essential essence of an entity, the core of the self; the quintessence; the subjective reality; the pith and marrow of being into which all potentialities are withdrawn during the Night of Life and from which all the various vehicles (corresponding to the evolutionary development so far reached) are emanated during the Day of Life. In the case of man, the physical body is the last, the grossest, of such vehicles -- all of which crumble as the consciousness which called them together is withdrawn, to reassemble at the same bidding when the hour for a new cycle strikes.

Before saying more as to the monads, it will be necessary to outline their journey on this earth, as the terms for the different cycles must be used even to describe the transference from one planet to another. The earth, as indeed was also the case with the moon, and all worlds, is said to consist of seven globes called a planetary chain. Every monad must pass seven times around these globes, each turning being referred to as a round. In going from one globe to another, there is a period of minor obscuration, analogous to the great pralaya, or rest, depicted in the Stanza quoted above; and between every two rounds there is a longer and deeper "Sleep of Brahma," in which all life retires to re-emerge again at the dawn for a new round. It is difficult to convey through the brain-mind these deep spiritual truths. Intuition, imagination, and the brooding faculty must be called into service. Thus these globes are described in several different ways. More truly, perhaps, they represent different rates of vibration, analogous to the seven grades of consciousness within man. We can catch the suggestion by reflecting that when the body is asleep, the consciousness is quite differently centered from what it is during the day. With this caution, it is safe to refer to the diagrammatic picture below.


The Globes are placed in a circle: globes A and G at the top, both on the same spiritual plane of consciousness. B and F come next, one on each side of the circle; C and E, still lower; and at the bottom is globe D -- our limit of material consciousness. It is on this globe that we are now functioning. Every monad descends from A to D, and the rises from D to G. The movement must be imagined as a spiral, because on the upward journey the Ego carries all the experience gained on the downward, so that though A and G are on the same spiritual plane, the consciousness and development of a monad on G is much beyond that which it had on globe A. Further, there are seven races on each globe, with their special characteristics, through which every monad passes, and each race has seven great sub-races besides a large number of off-shoots, so that even the experience on one globe of one round is enormous, and enough to make one breathless in contemplating its immense sweep. The exact age of our planet is not given, but enough is revealed to show that the dreams of science are dwarfed by the reality. According to the ancient computation, the life of a planet (i.e., its seven rounds) is called a Day of Brahma, which covers 4,320,000,000 of our mortal years. After its long Night which is of equal length, it reimbodies itself with all the lives that belong to it, each succeeding chain of globes being on a higher level than the last. All of which is premature in this narrative, but it gives a hint, to start with, of the immensity of the life of a planet, and clears away the vagueness of terms necessary to use in describing the migration to earth.

And now, to return, the monads appear in the order of their development. One learns in studying theosophy, how gradually and thoroughly nature proceeds in all her works. It is taught that the monads cycling round any septenary chain are divided into seven classes, according to their respective stages of evolution, consciousness, and merit. It is the most advanced class, naturally, which leaves the moon first, passing ultimately, i.e., after its long rest and after the various changes which result in its formation, to globe A, where it is imbodied in the lowest kingdom, and the time-spaces are so adjusted that when the seventh class of the old chain is transferred, the first class is ready to pass on to globe B; and so on, all around the chain.

The result of this is, that it is only the first class of Monads which attains the human state of development during the first Round, since the second class, on each planet, arriving later, has not time to reach that stage. Thus the Monads of Class 2 reach the incipient human stage only in the Second Round, and so on up to the middle of the Fourth Round. But at this point -- and on this Fourth Round in which the human stage will be fully developed -- the "Door" into the human kingdom closes; . . . . For the Monads which had not reached the human stage by this point will, owing to the evolution of humanity itself, find themselves so far behind that they will reach the human stage only at the close of the seventh and last Round. They will, therefore, not be men on this chain, but will form the humanity of a future Manvantara and be rewarded by becoming "Men" on a higher chain altogether, thus receiving their Karmic compensation. To this there is but one solitary exception, for very good reasons, of which we shall speak farther on. But this accounts for the difference in the races. -- 1: 173

Elsewhere we are told that humanity is just one race beyond the midway point of earth's journey, being now on the fourth globe of the fourth round, and near the midway point of the fourth Sub-race of the fifth root-race. This shows how very gradual was the transference from the old world, whose principles and life-forces, as it died, passed, after an aeonic repose, into the corresponding globe of the new chain. For a world is not a mass of dead matter, but is an entity, with a septenary nature just as has man, having its birth, youth, and old age.

It is said that the planetary chains have their "Days" and their "Nights" -- i.e., periods of activity or life, and of inertia or death -- and behave in heaven as do men on Earth: they generate their likes, get old, and become personally extinct, their spiritual principles only living in their progeny as a survival of themselves. -- 1: 154-5

Echoes of this ancient teaching reach us through some of the older religions, where such terms as Mother-Earth, the Spirit of the Earth, etc., are in constant use.

Our Earth, as the visible representative of its invisible superior fellow globes, its "lords" or "principles" . . . has to live, as have the others, through Seven Rounds. During the first three, it forms and consolidates; during the fourth it settles and hardens; during the last three it gradually returns to its first ethereal form: it is spiritualized, so to say. 1: 159

The same is true of men, the children of earth. The monads pass through all the forms of being up to man, on every globe in the three preceding rounds, becoming gradually more material, each during the first three being the shadowy prototype of the round to follow:

the preliminary, hardly defined, and evanescent sketch on the canvas, of objects, which are destined to receive the final and vivid form under the brush of the painter. . . . On strict analogy, the cycle of Seven Rounds, . . . [is] repeated on a microscopical scale in the first seven months of gestation of a future human being. . . . As the seven-months-old unborn baby, though quite ready, yet needs two months more in which to acquire strength and consolidate; so man, having perfected his evolution during seven Rounds, remains two periods more in the womb of mother-Nature before he is born, or rather reborn a Dhyani, still more perfect than he was before he launched forth as a Monad on the newly built chain of worlds. -- 2: 256-7

Having outlined in broad terms the general plan, the next chapter will begin the story of the monads.

Section 2

The monadic host from the moon may be roughly divided into three great classes:

1. The most developed Monads (the Lunar Gods or "Spirits," called, in India, the Pitris), whose function it is to pass in the first Round through the whole triple cycle of the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms in their most ethereal, filmy, and rudimentary forms, in order to clothe themselves in, and assimilate, the nature of the newly formed chain. They are those who first reach the human form (if there can he any form in the realm of the almost subjective) on Globe A in the first Round. It is they, therefore, who lead and represent the human element during the second and third Rounds, and finally evolve their shadows at the beginning of the Fourth Round for the second class, or those who come behind them.
2. Those Monads that are the first to reach the human stage during the three and a half Rounds, and to become men.
3. The laggards; the Monads which are retarded, and which will not reach by reason of karmic impediments, the human stage at all during this cycle or Round, save one exception which will be spoken of elsewhere as already promised. -- 1: 174-5

The modern mind will not grasp at first all that is implied in the term "Monad." For help, one can brood over the First Fundamental Proposition, and try to realize that basically there is but the one life; that there is nothing else; that it is space itself, boundless and infinite; and that from its every point emanate the potentialities of the whole. The monad is of this divine essence.

It is not of this world or plane, and may be compared only to an indestructible star of divine light and fire. -- 1: 174n
the spiritual Monad is One, Universal, Boundless and Impartite, whose rays, nevertheless, form what we, in our ignorance, call the "Individual Monads" of men. -- 1: 177

It cannot be said to develop, yet around it gather higher and higher forms of life through its infinite embodiments. It passes from the lowest kingdoms up to the highest spiritual, yet is ever one and the same monad:

The Monad is a drop out of the shoreless Ocean beyond. . . . It is divine in its higher and human in its lower condition -- the adjectives "higher" and "lower" being used for lack of better words -- and a monad it remains at all times, save in the Nirvanic state, under whatever conditions, or whatever external forms. . . . the Kabalists say correctly that "MAN becomes a stone, a plant, an animal, a man, a Spirit, and finally God. . . ." But by "Man," the divine Monad is meant, and not the thinking Entity, . . . -- 2: 186

The above suggests an interpretation of the quotation from the Book of Manu, in Isis Unveiled (2: 263, by H. P. Blavatsky, as follows:

Plants and vegetation reveal a multitude of forms because of their precedent actions; they are surrounded by darkness, but are nevertheless endowed with an interior soul, and feel equally pleasure and pain.

And from The Secret Doctrine:

Everything in the Universe throughout all its kingdoms, is CONSCIOUS: i.e., endowed with a consciousness of its own kind. . . . There is no such thing as either "dead" or "blind matter," . . . -- 1: 274

The, number seven upon which the universe is built also appears in the kingdoms, there being three elemental ones below the mineral which we know. It will be seen that the whole process of development presents wheels within wheels, every stage running through all the forms over and over again. For example, every globe is the arena of an evolution, similar to the last, only repeated each time on a higher scale, and all its monads share in the experience. Again, each round develops one element.

Thus, in the first Round, the globe, having been built by the primitive fire-lives, i.e., formed into a sphere -- had no solidity, nor qualifications, save a cold brightness, nor form nor color; it is only towards the end of the First Round that it developed one Element, which from its inorganic, so to say, or simple Essence became now in our Round the fire we know throughout the system. . . .
The Second Round brings into manifestation the second element -- AIR. . . . "From the second Round, Earth -- hitherto a foetus in the matrix of Space -- began its real existence: it had developed individual sentient life, its second principle. . . ."
The Third Round develops the third principle -- WATER; while the Fourth transformed the gaseous fluids and plastic form of our globe into the hard, crusted, grossly material sphere we are living on. -- 1: 259-60

To one trained in nineteenth century science, perhaps the most unexpected feature of evolution as here given is its spiritual nature. It is the divine that shines through all. Matter is but the outer covering of spirit, and even matter, being born from the same source, being its other pole in fact, is spiritualized. There is no chance or haphazard arrangement. Every detail of growth is directed from within outward, by intelligence, by law, by compassion.

The whole Kosmos is guided, controlled, and animated by almost endless series of Hierarchies of sentient Beings, each having a mission to perform. . . . They vary infinitely in their respective degrees of consciousness and intelligence; and to call them all pure Spirits . . . is only to indulge in poetical fancy. For each of these Beings either was, or prepares to become, a man, if not in the present, then in a past or a coming cycle (Manvantara). -- 1: 274-5
as the work of each Round is said to be apportioned to a different group of so-called "Creators" or "Architects," so is that of every globe; i.e., it is under the supervision and guidance of special "Builders" and "Watchers" -- the various Dhyan-Chohans. -- 1: 233
the Dhyanis watch successively over one of the Rounds and the great Root-races of our planetary chain. They are, moreover, said to send their Bodhisattvas, the human correspondents of the Dhyani-Buddhas . . . during every Round and Race. Out of the Seven Truths and Revelations, or rather revealed secrets, four only have been handed to us, as we are still in the Fourth Round, and the world also has only had four Buddhas so far. -- 1: 42

Likewise man is "the handiwork of hosts of various spirits" -- as to his form, his physical matter, his moral, psychic, and spiritual nature. Further, his body is composed of countless myriads of lives.

Science teaches us that the living as well as the dead organisms of both man and animal are swarming with bacteria. . . . But Science never yet went so far as to assert with the occult doctrine that our bodies, as well as those of animals, plants, and stones are themselves altogether built up of such beings; which, except larger species, no microscope can detect. . . . Not only the chemical compounds are the same, but the same infinitesimal invisible lives compose the atoms of the bodies of the mountain and the daisy, of man and the ant, of the elephant, and of the tree which shelters him from the sun. Each particle -- whether you call it organic or inorganic -- is a life. -- 1: 260-1

All of this will be given later in more detail; and now we shall return to the monads from the moon.

The lunar deities or pitris fashioned the physical man, while the agnishvattas or kumaras are solar deities lords of the inner man. Very little is told in detail of human evolution before the beginning of our fourth round. No doubt the conditions would be impossible for us to conceive, and in any case, do not here so much concern us. The earliest rounds were devoted to the developing of the kingdoms below the mineral, all of which, of course, are an essential part of our present bodies. Each round foreshadowed the coming kingdoms, evolving that which was to become a mineral, a plant, an animal, a man, and approaching form more and more in each round. Through all of these states the lunar monads passed until knowledge of their conditions became instinctive and absolute. The more advanced monads, as was said earlier, preceded -- the enormous period of three and a half rounds being necessary for the arrival of all.

The most developed Monads (the lunar) reach the human germ-stage in the first Round; become terrestrial, though very ethereal human beings toward the end of the Third Round, remaining on it (the globe) through the 'obscuration' period as the seed for future mankind in the Fourth Round. -- 1: 182

These are they who became the pioneers for the future human race -- but only in its physical aspect, as will be explained later.

But before this comes to pass, there were enormous periods when conditions were gradually shaping themselves, when many exotic exuberances of the forces not yet marshaled into order, came into being -- forms and events evidently not a part of the general plan. The fourth round had started; the early beginnings of human life were imminent. The earth is represented in the Stanzas as being impatient.

2. Said the Earth, "Lord of the Shining Face (the Sun) my house is empty. . . . Send thy sons to people this wheel (Earth). Thou hast sent thy seven sons to the Lord of Wisdom. Seven times doth He see thee nearer to Himself; seven times more doth He feel thee. Thou hast forbidden Thy servants, the small rings, to catch Thy light and heat, Thy great Bounty to intercept on its passage. Send now to Thy servant the same!" -- 2: 27
3. Said the "Lord of the shining Face." "I shall send thee a fire when thy work is commenced. Raise thy voice to other Lokas, apply to thy Father the Lord of the Lotus (Kumuda-Pati) for his Sons. . . . Thy people shall be under the rule of the Fathers (Priti-pati). Thy men shall be mortals. The men of the Lord of Wisdom (Budha, Mercury) not the sons of Soma (the Moon) are immortal. Cease thy complaints. Thy seven skins are yet on thee. . . . Thou art not ready. Thy men are not ready." -- 2: 44
4. And after great throes she (the Earth) cast off her old three and put on her new seven skins, and stood in her first one. -- 2: 46
5. The Wheel whirled for thirty crores (of years, or 300,000,000). It constructed rupas (forms). Soft stones, that hardened (minerals); hard plants, that softened (vegetation). Visible from invisible, insects and small lives (sarisripa, svapada). She (the Earth) shook them off her back, whenever they overran the mother. After thirty crores of years, she turned round. She lay on her back: on her side. . . . She would call no sons of Heaven, she would ask no sons of Wisdom. She created from her own bosom. She evolved water-men terrible and bad. -- 2: 52

The design was not behind these forms. They might be an expression of nature's superabundant energy before things were quite ready.

It was the Moon (Omoroka) who presided over the monstrous creation of nondescript beings. . . . -- 2: 115
STANZA II (continued)
6. The Water-men terrible and bad she herself created. From the remains of others (from the mineral, vegetable and animal remains) from the first, second, and third (Rounds) she formed them. The Dhyani came and looked. . . . The Dhyani from the bright Mother-Father, from the white (Solar-lunar) regions they came, from the abodes of the Immortal-Mortals. -- 2: 55

These higher beings had a special interest in the human bodies which were to people earth. Their destiny was bound up with them. When more is told of them later, the meaning of the strange expression "immortal mortals" will be plain.

STANZA II (continued)
7. Displeased were they. Our flesh is not there (they said). This is no fit rupa for our brothers of the fifth. No dwellings for the lives. Pure waters, not turbid, they must drink. Let us dry them (the waters). -- 2: 57

So, as it is stated in the next Stanza, the Flames came and slew the forms which were two-faced and four-faced. The Flames refer to a hierarchy of spirits, who with their workers on lower planes are ever overseeing the development of the world they have in charge. Great geological changes were brought about and immense periods of time passed. When finally the work of destruction was ended, and Mother Earth was bare, in the poetical symbology of the Ancients,

12. The great chohans (Lords), called the Lords of the Moon, of the airy bodies. "Bring forth men, (they were told), men of your nature. Give them (i. e., the Jivas or Monads) their forms within. She (Mother Earth or Nature) will build coverings without (external bodies). (For) males-females will they be. Lords of the flame, also." -- 2: 75

And now we come to the pioneers spoken of above, who were the lords of the moon, being the most advanced monads. If they gave the design, nature would be able to carry this out and form suitable bodies. But she was utterly incapable of initiating the work. These pioneers, through the aid of a long series of beings, one might also say of almost infinite grades, had reached on the fourth globe of the fourth round, the human stage in large astral forms. They attained this development of form that they might provide bodies for the future men of this earth -- for themselves, in fact. These lords, known also as lunar pitris, were called to undertake the task of guiding the next step in the evolution of human bodies. When therefore the order from their superiors comes, they

ooze out their astral doubles from the "ape-like" forms which they had evolved in Round III. And it is this subtle, finer form, which serves as the model round which Nature builds physical man. -- 1: 180; see also 2: 115

And the agencies are not the blind forces modern science proclaims, but lives of varying degrees and kinds of consciousness, which either make up, or help those who do make up, the slowly evolving human form.

Thus, as we shall find, for the first three and a half Root-Races, up to the middle or turning-point, it is the astral shadows of the "progenitors," the lunar Pitris, which are the formative powers in the Races, and which build and gradually force the evolution of the physical form toward perfection. -- 2: 110