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Principal Factors Of Organic And Human Evolution

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

TABLE B.

I. FOUR UNIVERSAL LIFE ELEMENTS.

1. Electro-Magnetism.

2. The Vito-Chemical Life Element.

3. The Spiritual Life Element.

4. The Soul Life Element.

II. NATURE'S SUPERABOUNDING STOREHOUSE OF MATERIALS.

III. Two PHYSICAL STRUGGLES CAUSED BY THE FUNDAMENTAL DEMANDS OF NUTRITION AND REPRODUCTION.

1. The Struggle for Life.

2. The Struggle for the Life of Others.

IV. FIVE PSYCHICAL STRUGGLES CAUSED BY SOUL DEMANDS WHICH ARE ESSENTIALLY HUMAN.

1. The Struggle for Self-Completion.

2. The Struggle for Happiness.

3. The Struggle for Knowledge.

4. The Struggle for Morality.

5. The Struggle for Immortality.

Nothing like a comprehensive view of the grand process called evolution can be gamed without knowledge of these factors. In order to gain this knowledge, the History of Science should be studied. The facts of the record must be mentally digested and so thoroughly assimilated that they are parts of one's own consciousness. The number of books worthy of thorough study is almost endless. But if the few mentioned here are made as useful as they are capable of being, others will naturally be suggested by them.

I. FOUR UNIVERSAL LIFE ELEMENTS.

Chapter VI. of Harmonics of Evolution, by Florence Huntley, is the best exposition of this subject though it is also considered in the preceding section (section 19) of this chapter.

II. NATURE'S SUPERABOUNDING STOREHOUSE OF MATERIALS.

Those who think for a moment that nature has been niggardly in her supplies or her methods, need to know more of the discoveries of Science, particularly of the last ten years. Consult History of Science, 5 vols., by Henry Smith Williams; and The New Knowledge, by Robert K. Duncan.

III. Two PHYSICAL STRUGGLES CAUSED BY THE FUNDAMENTAL DEMANDS OF NUTRITION AND REPRODUCTION.

1. The Struggle for Life means the enforced action and competition of plant, animal, and human life to secure the necessary elements to sustain themselves in the midst of a seemingly hostile environment.

The works of Darwin, Huxley, Spencer, Haeckel, Cope, and others fully set forth the nature and conditions of this struggle.

2. The Struggle for the Life of Others means the willing endeavor of all parent forms, in their degree, to produce and to protect their offspring.

This Struggle was first given its true importance as a factor in evolution, by Henry Drummond, in The Ascent of Man.

THE PRINCIPAL FACTORS OF HUMAN EVOLUTION.

The literature of evolution has hitherto been exclusively occupied with the struggles caused by the fundamental physical demands of nutrition and reproduction. This is not wholly consistent with the facts, or rather, it is inconsistent with some of the facts.

Probably the satisfaction of physical demands constituted almost the entire conscious life of primitive man. These demands certainly occupy a large portion of the time and attention of the majority of human beings in the present stage of progress.

However, it is not only scientific but it is just and intelligent to judge a process by its latest developments and its highest attainments. The process of human. evolution has produced results which are very different and more important than those included in "nutrition" and "reproduction." Therefore, it becomes essential that we attach an importance commensurate with the facts to the FIVE PSYCHICAL STRUGGLES CAUSED BY SOUL DEMANDS WHICH ARE ESSENTIALLY HUMAN AND DIFFERENTIATED FROM THE ANIMAL, NAMELY :

1. THE STRUGGLE FOR SELF-COMPLETION.

2. THE STRUGGLE FOR HAPPINESS.

3. THE STRUGGLE FOR KNOWLEDGE.

4. THE STRUGGLE FOR MORALITY.

5. THE STRUGGLE FOR IMMORTALITY.

In other words, the Intelligent Soul of Man, or the Individual Intelligence, is conscious of demands which are not caused by the desires of the physical body and which cannot be satisfied through physical agencies. These Soul Demands have induced struggles which have resulted in personal attainments, happiness, art, music, science, philosophy, religion, and all the worthy accomplishments of humanity.

1. THE STRUGGLE FOR SELF-COMPLETION.

This refers to the logical outcome of nature's evolutionary process in human life. That it is only an ideal and not an actual result does not indicate that Self-Completion is not the logical tendency and consummation. Growth means a striving for maturity. This innate tendency in human beings has occasionally become an individual's conscious purpose.

Prior to human understanding and cooperation may be noted an apparently intelligent purpose, in nature's general plan. The race has been forced to make attainments under the terms of "The Struggle for Existence" and also persuaded by the many rewards offered as the results of effort.

The gradual detection of things to be avoided and other things to be attained constitutes the education of the race. For a long time this was a blind process to those most concerned. Nature was a hard school-mistress. But gradually the attention and cooperation of the pupils were secured. Now it is well-known that the basis and purpose of all education is a conscious striving for the development of an individual's faculties, capacities and powers. This result would be Self-Completion. "The average individual lives, struggles, and dies, without having recognized the real motives of his own activities."

The only works which deal with this most important subject in an adequate, scientific way, as far as I know, are the three volumes of the Harmonic Series.

2. THE STRUGGLE FOR HAPPINESS.

This means the endeavors of an individual to secure harmonious relations with another like entity of opposite polarity. The attempts are prompted by nature's law of affinity, and success depends largely upon the individual's degree of intelligence, capacity and development. It is not the blind attraction of chemical molecules nor the passion of physical desires which will secure Happiness.

No individual remains always contented with the relations established for him or her by others. There comes a time when father, mother, brothers, sisters and friends do not satisfy the soul's demands for companionship. Then there comes a definite seeking for a new love relation established by choice, and upon the success of this our Happiness depends.

See chapter XVII., The Evolution of Love; also, Harmonics of Evolution, by Florence Huntley.

3. THE STRUGGLE FOR KNOWLEDGE. The Struggle for Knowledge is certainly as real and as vivid in the history of the human race as the Struggle for Existence. It is a factor which is certainly equally important and it has produced far greater and grander results. It is a factor with which every individual is familiar and it assists to interpret the universal Struggle of which it is a part.

It is as impossible to give a history of this Struggle as it would be to give a history of all the individuals of the human family. The results are to be observed in all the records of Science, Philosophy and Religion. The highest altitude attained may be noted in the latest achievements in these departments and in the present value placed upon education.

4. THE STRUGGLE FOR MORALITY.

The Struggle for Morality is caused primarily by the presence in one organism of two natures, a physical nature and a psychical nature. Each of these natures craves certain satisfactions and they cannot both be gratified to the full extent at the same time.

This duality pervades all nature. Day and night cannot both be present at the same time. An object cannot be both light and heavy under the same conditions. A person cannot walk two ways at the same moment. A picture cannot be both beautiful and ugly from the same view-point, and considering the same particulars. There are at least two sides to every solid.

The person who identifies his essential personality with his physical nature is not aware of what man is capable of being or becoming. It is a sad mistake for any person not to identify his real self with those qualities and potentialities which differentiate him from ,the animal and which render him capable of ethical delights.

As defined in The Great Work, "MORALITY is man's established harmonic relation to the Constructive Principle of his own being." When this definition is thoroughly understood, it clearly differentiates between right and wrong. Right is that which builds up the essential nature of an individual and secures his permanent welfare. Wrong is that which injures the essential nature of an individual, or anything which has a tendency to hinder his higher development.

5. THE STRUGGLE FOR IMMORTALITY.

There is something in human nature which dreads extinction and which fears dissolution. The Struggle for Immortality has stimulated the other Struggles, notably the Struggle for Knowledge and the Struggle for Morality. Men have struggled for Knowledge in the endeavor to avoid death : they have controlled their desires in order to postpone it. Life has not been the same to any individual that it would have been if he had not had some consciousness of this factor.

The importance of this factor is so great that chapter III is devoted to the consideration of the theme, Nature's Analogy for Conditional Immortality.

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