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Esoteric Psychology I - Section Two - II. The Rays and the Kingdoms in Nature
3. The Animal Kingdom
  • Influences: The third Ray of Active Intelligence or of Adaptability is potent in this kingdom and will express itself increasingly as time goes on, until it has produced in the animal world that reaction to life and to environment which can best be described as "animal one-pointedness." Then, at this point and cyclically, the sixth Ray of Devotion or Idealism can make its pressure felt as the urge towards a goal, and thus produce a relation to man which makes of him the desired goal. This is to be seen through the medium of the tamed, the trained and the domestic animals.
  • Results: In the one case we find the third ray producing the emergence of instinct, which in its turn creates and uses that marvelous response apparatus we call the nervous system, the brain, and the five senses which lie behind and which are responsible for them as a whole. It should be noted that, wide as we may regard the difference between man and the animals, it is really a much closer relation than that existing between the animal and the vegetable. In the case of the sixth ray, we have the appearance of the power to be domesticated and trained, which is, in the last analysis, the power to love, to serve and to emerge from the herd into the [252] group. Ponder on the words of this last paradoxical statement.
  • Process: This is called concretization. In this kingdom we have for the first time a true organization of the etheric body into what are called by the esotericist "the true nerves and the sensory centers." Plants also have nerves, but they have in them nothing of the same intricacy of relation and of plexus as we find in the human being and in the animal. Both kingdoms share the same general grouping of nerves, of force centers and channels with a spinal column and a brain. This organization of a sensitive response apparatus constitutes, in reality, the densification of the subtle etheric body.
  • Secret: This is called transfusion, which is a very inadequate word to express the early blending, in the animal, of the psychological factors which lead to the process of individualization. It is a process of life-giving, of intelligent integration and of psychological unfoldment, to meet emergency.
  • Purpose: This is called experimentation. Here we come to a great mystery, and one that is peculiar to our planet. In many esoteric books it has been stated and hinted that there has been a mistake, or a serious error, on the part of God Himself, of our planetary Logos, and that this mistake has involved our planet and all that it contains in the visible misery, chaos and suffering. Shall we say that there has been no mistake, but simply a great experiment, of the success or failure of which it is not yet possible to judge? The objective of the experiment might be stated as follows: It is the intent of the planetary Logos to bring about a psychological [253] condition which can best be described as one of "divine lucidity." The work of the psyche, and the goal of the true psychology, is to see life clearly, as it is, and with all that is involved. This does not mean conditions and environment, but Life. This process was begun in the animal kingdom, and will be consummated in the human. These are described in the Old Commentary as "the two eyes of Deity, both blind at first, but which later see, though the right eye sees more clearly than the left." The first dim indication of this tendency towards lucidity is seen in the faculty of the plant to turn towards the sun. It is practically non-existent in the mineral kingdom.
  • Divisions: First, the higher animals and the domestic animals, such as the dog, the horse and the elephant.
    Secondly, the so-called wild animals, such as the lion, the tiger, and the other carnivorous and dangerous wild animals.
    Thirdly, the mass of lesser animals that seem to meet no particular need nor to fill any special purpose, such as the harmless yet multitudinous lives found in our forests, our jungles and the fields of our planet. Instances of these in the West are the rabbits and other rodents. This is a wide and general specification of no scientific import at all; but it covers adequately the karmic divisions and the general conformation into which these groupings of lives fall in this kingdom.
  • Objective agency: Fire and Water, - fierce desire and incipient mind. These are symbolized in the animal power to eat and drink.
  • Subjective agency: Smell or Scent, - the instinctual discovery of that which is needed, from the activity of ranging forth for food and the use of [254] the power to scent that food, to the identification of the smell of a beloved master and friend.
  • Quality: Tamas or Inertia, - but in this case it is the tamasic nature of mind and not that of matter, as usually understood. The chitta or mind-stuff can be equally tamasic.
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