Evolution of Life
According to Theosophy, life began when the Logos, in the
second aspect, sent forth the second life wave. This life wave descended
from above through the various worlds, causing an increasing
heterogeneity, and thereafter ascended, causing a return
to its original homogeneity.
Our present state of knowledge of life in these worlds extends
no further than the mental world. In the higher division
of that world is ensouled the relatively fine matter appropriate
thereto. If that matter is atomic it is known as monadic essence;
if nonatomic, as elemental essence, and this is the
first elemental kingdom. What we may call the inhabitants of
this kingdom are the higher order of angels.
Having functioned sufficiently long in the higher mental
world, the life wave now presses down to the lower level of that
world, where it appears as the second elemental kingdom, the
inhabitants of which are some of the lower orders of angels, the
Again pressing down, the life wave manifests itself in the astral
world, forming the third elemental kingdom, the inhabitants
of which are the lowest orders of angels, the passion
devas. It then enters the physical world and, in the fourth elemental
kingdom, ensouls the etheric part of minerals with the
elementary type of life that these possess. The middle of this
kingdom represents the farthest descent of the life wave, and
thereafter its course is reversed and it begins to ascend.
The next kingdom into which it passes is the fifth elemental
kingdom, the vegetable world, whence it passes to the sixth elemental
kingdom, the animal world, and lastly to the seventh elemental
During its stay in each kingdom, the life wave progresses
gradually from elementary to highly specialized types, and
when it has attained these, it passes to the next kingdom. This
means that successive currents of this great second life wave
have come forth from the Logos, since otherwise there would
be only one kingdom in existence at a time.
Also, in each kingdom the souls of the bodies that inhabit
it differ from those of the other kingdoms. In the seventh kingdom,
that of man, each individual has a soul. In the animal
kingdom, on the contrary, one soul is distributed among different
bodies, the number of which varies with the state of evolution.
To one soul may be allotted countless bodies of a low type
of development, but as the development increases the soul
comes to have fewer bodies allotted to it until in the kingdom
of man there is only one.
Clodd, Clara M. The Ageless Wisdom of Life. Adyar, India
Theosophical Publishing House, 1956.
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology 5th Ed. Evolution of Life
Introductory Study Course in Theosophy. Wheaton, Ill. Theosophical
Society of America, 1967.
Pearson, E. Norman. Space, Time and Self. Adyar, India
Theosophical Publishing House, 1957.
Evolution of Life