This is the conclusion of essay originally which appeared in the Introduction to Magic, volume 3. See Part 2.
The Diagram discussed is from Edgar Dacqué. He was a German paleontologist whose was a devout Lutheran, a Theosophist, and was involved with the OTO.
In this conclusion, Avro explains how man arises from the collective. He makes use of the Aristotelean-Thomist teaching in an interesting way. The weakness of the A-T system is that it does not take the individual into account. Here Avro expands on that teaching, with the person as the form or idea and the genotype as the material.
In U, where it runs in the central direction, there is man as we know him. A, B, etc., can be considered as the nearest attempts, e.g., the diluvial man, the anthropoid, the ape-man. Further down and backward in time, there are the other, more elementary and divergent, attempts, the first to appear in the completely “densified” form of existence that we know, accessible to paleontology and whose region extends to the outside of the circular line marked in the figure. The individual points of exit on this line from which then a group of vectors and secondary deviations starts in turn, represent the “types” of each species; and these secondary deviations (which are, in the figure, the vectors U’U’’, A’A’’, B’B’’, F’F’’, etc., in respect to the directions U, A, B, F, which also continue to the outside the vector that comes from the axis) are the transformation that each species has undergone in a partial battle, in the middle of adaptation, selection, etc.: that is to say, in the middle of the factors to which Darwin wanted to reduce the whole. Instead, the passage from one species to another does not happen at the periphery: at the periphery only hybrids (as in Z and Y) can be verified, erroneously interpreted by evolutionists as “transitional forms”. The “passage” is instead determined by the issuing and from the emerging of a new branch that departs from the central direction (which goes toward man) to the head of a new impulse, at the failure of what preceded.
Here we can also take into account the true meaning of another of the facts that would seem to prove evolutionism, summarized in the idea that ontogeny repeats phylogeny. That man, in his development from the embryo, through a series of phases which have a certain resemblance with the animal forms of life, from our point of view, means only this: that each human realization includes in brief and retraces the attempts, whose possibility was included in the original stock: but to retrace them exactly on the base of the original impulse, that goes beyond them all; something evident in itself, insofar as an embryo stopped in any phase you want, always remains just a human embryo, not that of a fish or another animal species.
It is in a very special sense, not material, and not valid for biological consideration, that one can say that to the extent the central line UU passes through the origin of the various types of animality, man, before appearing as such in this world, lived in the hierarchy of animal forms. It is not a question, moreover, of any of the animal forms that are terrestrial and historical manifestations anterior to man: instead it is about that, which corresponded to the “sacred animals” in the ancient mystery traditions. In the cult of such “animals”, that in an involutive and restricted form often are found again in certain primitive peoples, that conceal the record of this knowledge, of this co-essentiality, being related to other planes or states of existence. The sacred animals are powers of life that made part of primordial man, and from which he separated to go beyond; they are not individual animals, but the “group soul” [anime di gruppo], daemons, whose body is the total life of a given animal species—and, each one, a transcendent experience, used up and abandoned in the wake of the past through a type of catharsis or purification. But, as I said, they were in origin parts of universal man, and terrestrial man was the most direct expression of the origin the relationships, the hidden correspondence, will remain: those that esoterism considers as marking the limbs, the functions, and the energies of the human body with the zodiac symbols or other equivalents.
Our figure corresponds, more or less, to the model of a branched tree which should be conceived in its external part as a continuous movement of expansion and return, similar to that produced by a heart: that, in order to indicate the appearance of the individuals of each species and their reabsorption into the original stocks to which they belong, and in which the dark will is conserved that continues to be blindly asserted in the dead-end efforts that constitutes it.
And as each one of these efforts constitutes, less a factor of fall and deviation, an approximation of the central will that reaches its realization only in man; equally humanity itself is an endless reiteration of attempts and approximations that achieves a prefect realization of the type only in very rare men. In a certain way, the battle expressed in the preceding image is still open: if man represents, at least on earth, the last conquered position, as the most advanced position, is the most difficult to maintain. The drifters, the fallen, the deserters, those who are overwhelmed by animal passions are again aspirated and redissolved in forces that bring them back, through contacts with the hidden forces of animality, are without number.
The doctrine of metempsychosis comes into play here in its correct light. It is true in the sense that the possibility of an involutive process is real, for which there is not—as in the vulgar interpretation—the passing of the soul of a man into the body of an individual animal: but there is instead its reabsorption into the being or archetype that constitutes the form of the animals born of a give species, whose hidden direction is similar to what informed the whole life of such a man.
Recalling what was said many times in these pages, we can moreover think that, also apart from such “sacrifices” of men to “sacred animals”, other possibilities exist and places of reabsorption. In general, the measure in which the human life receives collective influences, likewise indicates that of the reabsorption and the refoundation in the matrix of humanity, the individual serving as the material for other attempts, other blows, that more or less can happen at the center of the target.
In this regard, many things could be said to make clear the esoteric view about conditioned immortality and reincarnation, if only, to interpret phenomena correctly, like those of certain “inheritances”: which –I give it a quick look–do not have for its basis the transmission from individual to individual, but instead a type of “habit” picked up from the “genius” or “manes” of a given stock: from where every individual who is enucleated in it brings, at the most, a determined characteristic attribute that refers back to a collective influence.
Perhaps I will give myself the opportunity to add something about this. Here, I will conclude by mentioning that the Aristotelian-scholastic terminology, through which the “genus” is the matter and the individual is the form—from where, the more there is individuation, the more there is form and perfection—it is that which best reflects our ideas.
Everything in life that is still collective, shows how much there is in man that is still unaccomplished. Separating himself from all that is not himself, individuating himself absolutely from being only himself, and only himself, man goes beyond the destiny of rebirth, because he accomplishes the goal of that very rebirth. Without further variations and deviations, he than incarnates the pure central vector so from “not having more daemons” and from doing a single thing on earth with his “idea” and his “Name”.