Reprinted by Blavatsky Study Center
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Teaching on Lower Kingdoms Vs. "Group Souls"
"Man was the store-house, so to speak, of all the seeds of life for this Round, vegetable and animal alike... Having appeared at the very beginning, and at the head of sentient and conscious life, man (the astral, or the 'Soul,' for the Zohar, repeating the archaic teaching, distintcly says that 'the real man is the Soul, and his material frame no part of him') - man became the living and animal UNIT, from which the 'cast-off clothes' determined the shape of every life and animal in this Round.
"Thus, he 'created' for ages the insects, reptiles, birds, and animals, unconsciously to himself, from his remains and relics from the Third and Fourth Rounds." (Secret Doctrine II, pp. 289-90)
"The Monad is a drop out of the shoreless Ocean beyond, or, to be correct, within the plane of primeval differentiation. It is divine in its higher and human in its lower condition... and a monad it remains at all times, save in Nirvanic state, under whatever conditions, or whatever external forms. ...the MONAD has, during the cycle of its incarnations, to reflect in itself every root-form of each kingdom. Therefore, 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, much less his physical body. ... It is correct to say that the man of this Manvantara, i.e., during the three preceeding Rounds, has passed through all the kingdoms of nature. That he was 'a stone, a plant, an animal.' But (a) these stones, plants, and animals were the prototypes, the filmy presentments of those of the Fourth Round; and (b) even those at the beginning of the Fourth Round were the astral shadows of the present, as the Occultists express it... Thus the astral prototypes of the lower beings of the animal kingdom of the Fourth Round, which preceeded (the chhayas of) Men, were the consolidated, though still very ethereal sheaths of the still more ethereal forms or models produced at the close of the Third Round on Globe D. 'Produced from the residue of the substance matter; from dead bodies of men and (other extinct) animals of the wheel before,' or the previous Third Round - as Stanza 24 tells us. Hence, while the nondescript 'animals' that preceeded the astral man at the beginning of thi's life-cycle on our Earth were still, so to speak, the progeny of the man of the Third Round, the mammalians of this Round owe their existence, in a great measure, to man again. Moreover, the 'ancestor' cf the present anthropoid animal, the ape, is the direct production of the yet mindless Man, who desecrated his human dignity by putting himself physically on the level of the animal." (Secret Doctrine II, pp. 186-7)
"...the Manasaputras, the Sons of Wisdom who informed the mindless man, and endowed him with his mind (manas)." (Secret Doctrine II, p. 608)
"Thus by their repeated plant-reincarnations the monadic group-souls in the vegetable kingdom evolve, until those that ensoul the highest members of the kingdom are ready for the next step.
"This step carries them into the animal kingdom, and here they slowly evolve in their physical and astral vehicles a very distinct personality ... The monadic group-soul incarnates in a decreasing number of forms as it gradually approaches the point at which complete individualization will be reached ... At last the decreasing number of forms animated by a monadic group-soul comes down to unity, and it animates a succession of single forms -a condition differing from human reincarnation only by the absence of Manas, with its causal and mental bodies. The mental matter brought down by the monadic group-soul begins to be susceptible to impacts from the mental plane, and the animal is then ready to receive the third great outpouring of the life of the LOGOS - the tabernacle is ready for the reception of the human Monad.
"... Doubtless, in the course of aeons of evolution, the upwardly evolving Monad of form might have unfolded Manas by progressive growth, but both in the human race in the past, and in the animals of the present, such has not been the course of Nature. When the house was ready the tenant was sent down: from the higher planes of being the atmic life descended, veiling itself in Buddhi, as a golden thread; and its third aspect, Manas, showing itself in the higher levels of the formless world of the mental plane, germinal Manas within the form was fructified, and the embryonic causal body was formed by the union. This is the individualization of the spirit, the incasing of it in form, and the spirit incased in the causal body is the soul, the individual, the real man ...
"Further, this outpoured life reaches the evolving forms not directly but by intermediaries. The human race having attained the point of receptivity, certain great Ones, called Sons of Mind, cast into men the monadic spark of Atma-Buddhi-Manas." (Annie Besant, Ancient Wisdom, pp. 210-13)