Evolution - an Ecognostic Perspective

Early metamorphoses of the Earth (Anthroposophical Perspective)

formation of man and other beings in the ethereal world
Parallels in the original formation of the body of man and the animals, plants and minerals in the ethereal world.
From Gaiasophia, p.111

The following passage is from Kees Zoetmann's Gaiasophia, and gives a very readable overview of the evolution of life on Earth from the occult anthroposophical perspective.

This account, while totally absurd from a literal perspective, has I feel validity as myth and metaphor. However I argue that "man" as Steiner and the anthroposophist refer to him is not (as they seem to indiocate) hominid man (an absurd anthropocentric premise!) but rather the mythological primordial man (in Kabbalah "Adam Kadmon", in Manichaeism "Anthropos") or Primordial Person (the Purusha of the Rg Veda)

In order to arrive at an understanding of the relationship between man and nature, it is necessary first to find out how the seeds of the lower kingdoms originated. Steiner described the physical relationship between man and the animal and plant kingdoms, inter alia, in his lectures on Man as Symphony of the Creative Word {Steiner Press, London]. In order to grasp these images, we shall need to immerse ourselves again in these ideas. The above diagram contains a summary. It should be noted that all the seeds first originate in the ethereal world. It is paradoxical that the seeds which were formed last in evolution, namely, single cells, appeared first in the physical world.

During the Old Saturn metamorphosis, at the same time that the foundations were laid of man's senses, the seeds developed for butterflies and other insects in the ethereal heat. Steiner referred to the butterflies, dragonflies and other insects as the gifts of Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and the Sun, at a time when they were still united. The effect of the Sun can be recognized in the butterfly egg, the effect of Mars in the growth and movement of the caterpillar, the effect of Jupiter in the chrysalis, and the effect of Saturn in the butterfly itself. The butterfly is the cosmic embodiment of the sensory system, and more particularly of the memory.

The seed of the bird originated in the first half of the Old Sun metamorphosis. It is a creature of heat and air, and the body is virtually all head. The seed of the bird, for example, the eagle, originated at the same time as the formation of the human head.

The bird can be viewed as a sophisticated head, like the nervous system of a mammal. The feathers, which developed later, can be viewed as a materialized form of its thoughts. During the second stage of the Old Sun, when the outer planets broke away from the Earth, which was still united with the Sun and the inner planets, plant man developed the beginings of a chest and spine like a stem, and twelve pairs of ribs, like twelve leaf stalks. In this chest cavity the rhythmic systems of respiration and the circulation of the blood also developed. At the same time the seed was sown of animals which are all chest, such as lions. The lion's maw is the repercussion of the interaction between the heartbeat and respiration.

For the development of mineral man from Old Saturn to plant man of the Old Sun, it was necessary for some of the seeds of man to return to the level of mineral animals. On the Old Moon these seeds degenerated into mineral plants from which the first mineral rocks were formed on Earth, as explained above. These primeval rocks therefore had a plantlike character on the Old Moon. During the Old Moon metamorphosis man's first digestive organ, the belly, developed before the separation of the Sun. The cow and the bull are representatives of the digestive animals or ungulates which were first formed during this period. Following the separation of the Sun, lower forms of purely digestive animals originated during the Old Moon metamorphosis at the same time as the continued development of the seed of man. The intestines corresponded with amphibians and reptiles, which are no more than walking intestines. It was only during the Earth metamorphosis that they acquired a head. The kidneys corresponded with the snakes. The development of man's reproductive organs during the last stage of the Old Moon corresponds with the development of fishes and the even later water animals [note: c.f. the tantric and theosophical Swadhisthana chakra - associated with water, the genitals, and the moon]. The development of animal man on the Old Moon was at the expense of the second group of seeds of man to be cast back and remain behind as plant animals. The non-flowering trees developed from these on Earth. The seeds of flowering plants formed in a different and special way. They developed from some of the insect seeds formed on Old Saturn, which were influenced on the Old Moon by forces pulling downwards, and as a result, were pulled down to the physical world from the ethereal world. This meant they lost their capacity to move, and became immobilized images of the creatures fluttering around in the insect world. Parallel with the development of the butterfly from the egg, roots developed on Earth from the seed of the plant under the influence of the forces of the Moon. Under the influence of Venus, leaves spiralled upwards. It is like observing the effect of gravity on a caterpillar. The calyx is the chrysalis developing on Earth with the help of the forces of Mercury. Just as the butterfly develops from the chrysalis, the flower develops from the calyx. The seed then returns to Earth. This plant cycle had its beginnings on the Old Moon. To summarize, a flowering plant can be seen as a butterfly imprisoned in earth. The internal organs which develop in a butterfly become visible in the flower as leaves and blossom.

Finally, seeds of man were cast back on Earth by man for the third time, so that he could rise higher. At the eleventh hour the lowest animal seeds developed from these, some of which degenerated into single-cell organisms. During this period man's limbs developed. This developmental process reveals how man builds up his body in the spiritual world, descending from the head to the chest, belly and limbs. This is very different in the belly animals, which develop the chest and head from the belly upwards. Chest animals develop from the middle, both upwards (to the head) and downwards (to the belly). In the subsequent Earth metamorphosis, when the process of solidification started to take place, we see that the most degenerative forms are materialized first in the husks left behind by man as he develops. From that time their capacity for lurther spiritual development was interrupted for a long time. However, they were still able to specialize in the function which they assume in the physical world.
Kees Zoetmann, Gaiasophia, pp.110-113.

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