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Fighting Materialism with the Facts of Evolution

Elbert Benjamine - 1949

Evolution is still a much-debated subject, but the record of the rocks is testimony so irrefutable that almost no well informed person can doubt its authenticity. Since she began to solidify, less than two million years ago, Mother Earth has painstakingly kept a diary in her own handwriting. Erosion took place and as sand and silt covered some specimens of the life-forms then present they were sealed in the rocks under the terrific weight of the accumulated sediment. The impress, or casts, of these life forms, and even under certain circumstances their shells or bones, have been left as an indelible record.

The carefully kept chronological pages of this diary follow each other in the order of succession of sedimentation, the earlier leaves being overlaid by those inscribed later. Thus the time sequence and the approximate date when each page was written are now known

These factors are so widely recognized at the present day that it would be redundant to discuss them here were it not that the materialists have completely failed to recognize three outstanding influences which in the past have profoundly affected evolution, and which continue to affect it now. From (Darwin’s grand theory of) evolution they have drawn erroneous conclusions and they’re currently (1949) threatening the very existence of every man, woman and child upon the Earth.

Evolution implies a widening of individual freedom and liberty. Slavery, including human regimentation, even though it enables the species to survive indefinitely, halts evolution. Bacteria similar to those which left the earliest imprint on Earth's diary still persist, but they continue to be enslaved to conditions which prevent them from being anything but bacteria. Sand worms, similar to those that may be found along most beaches today, existed in Pre-Cambrian times more than a billion years ago. As a race they survived, but as they were enslaved by beach conditions they made no progress. Progress as indicated by the diary of Mother Earth, is always in the direction of increased freedom.

All Life is Struggling Toward the Realization of God's Great Evolutionary Plan

One of the influences which the materialists have overlooked, simply because their reaction to orthodox religious fallacies, which in the past insulted their intelligence, caused their minds to swing to the other extreme, is the design of evolution. Those having some extrasensory perception ability can sense an all-pervading divine intelligence which they term God; and the diary which Mother Earth so carefully preserves bears witness that life-forms on Earth are struggling, not according to haphazard chance, but to fill out a special design.

There are closet naturalists who study dry bones and skeletons and fossils in laboratories who remain materialists. But I have never encountered or heard of an outdoor naturalist who communed with the insects, the trees, the flowers, the birds and beasts in their natural habitat, who was not convinced that presiding over all life is a supreme all-pervading intelligence. Those having real insight into nature are not convinced that the pattern they see and observe developing through the processes of evolution is the result of blind chance and material forces alone.

Another influence overlooked by the materialists, because they stubbornly refuse to investigate the possibility of there being inner-plane forces, is the part played by astrological energies in evolution. They recognize that life-forms must secure food, obtain protection from inclement weather and enemies and reproduce the species so they struggle to adapt to their natural surroundings. But the changes in the physical environment, to which they must adapt, and the desires instigating their behavior are both profoundly influenced by astrological energies. On the level of their intelligence and functions, a birthchart portrays the desires and consequent tendency towards behavior of one individual of a species from that of another individual of the same species. At least, dogs, cats, horses and cows portray differences characteristic of their birthcharts, as ascertained by observation; and they react to progressed aspects in their behavior in ways characteristic of those aspects.

Succeeding patterns of astrological influence have had a guiding power over the desires and struggles of life-forms. The all-pervading intelligence we call Deity has provided astrological energies that have guided life to develop in the direction of the pattern evolution has followed. This is true not only of the evolution of the human form which now dominates the world, but also the evolution of its civilizations. Life which does not develop along this astrological pattern falls by the wayside, and usually becomes extinct.

The third influence overlooked by materialists, because they are determined to recognize nothing but physical energies, is that which scientists now demonstrate as the Psychokinetic Effect. It is the power of the mind to affect physical things without aid of intermediary physical energies. The PK Effect clearly implies that prayer is capable of molding conditions to bring the realization of its supplication, and that it is possible by mental power to bring about changes in the physical environment, which constitute the demonstration of the condition it desires.

The power of mind to exert an influence on physical substance has been a powerful force in evolution. Life-forms have desired ardently to surmount whatever difficulty they faced, and which threatened their extinction. The power of these desires was fed by astrological energies. And even as people now, when progressed aspects are favorable, are able to accomplish that which earlier has been impossible, so under proper astrological influences a certain individual of the species was able to demonstrate some unusual and novel adaptation through mutation in offspring.

So strong may have been the desire, and so reinforced by favorable planetary energy that a new and quite complex structure may have developed in the offspring. And, instead of being just a chance mutation, this original and complex structure may have been exactly what was needed to enable the offspring to survive. And through the now well established principle that acquired characteristics are inherited a new type of life-form was thus established upon the Earth.

Not only do the materialists quite overlook that a supreme mind has formulated a progressive design which evolution struggles to realize, that astrological energies channel the direction of development toward realizing this design, and that the influence of the unconscious mind of even lower forms of life has much power to demonstrate the end they desire, but they obdurately refuse to consider, in the face of tremendous evidence, that evolution can and does continue on the inner-plane after the dissolution of the physical body.

Not only is their evolution purposeless, and without meaning, but it is confined to the realm of matter. Thoughts, to them, including the highest ideals of all time, are merely an excrescence of physical functions.

The Divine Plan is so stupendous that human intelligence can only grasp a few of its fundamentals. But what we can observe convinces us that the purpose in evolution is to educate souls, each to perform a special function and to do a particular required work, in the realization of a cosmic plan which is never completed because it eternally moves forward to greater and greater perfection.

Material evolution on Earth provides the successive forms by which the soul is educated. And the human form – the apex of material evolution – provides the final education in intelligence and good-will on Earth – further education being provided on the inner-planes after life on Earth is done. Through evolution many powers have been developed, all of which can be put to good use in assisting to realize the Divine Plan. But the apex of evolution on Earth is only reached when the universal moral code is recognized and put into practice. The code states that instead of acquiring unjust privileges and selfishly grabbing material things you should contribute your utmost to universal welfare.

But the materialist can never grasp the reason why anyone would ever do anything that does not benefit the self materially or intellectually. To them the individual who believes that by benefiting others they are assisting in realizing the Divine Plan, or as the orthodox so often phrase it 'doing God's work', is ridiculous. Instead, in the famous words that, because they are believed by millions, are today making it so difficult for nations to reconcile their differences, they assert of themselves, 'Law, morality, religion, are to him so many bourgeois prejudices, behind which lurk just as many bourgeois interests.'

I have quoted from a famous manifesto which accuses the capitalist class of using law, morality and religion to maintain unjust power and privilege and observation of its behavior makes it evident that many capitalists do concur in the opinion that law, morality and religion have no significance beyond being tools through which they may gain and keep whatever they want because they argue that, death ends all. Why should they deprive themselves of anything they desire, no matter what suffering it brings others, as life is meaningless and in a few short years all thought and consciousness will suffer complete extinction?

From the materialistic point of view, life is a competition between people for advantages so a clash of personalities is inevitable. Those with no more than perfunctory consideration of their effect on others, strive for special privileges, and exploit those less fortunate whenever it enables them to gain what they want. And any nation is justified in using force – bombs, tanks and guns – to acquire material resources and subjugate other peoples to its particular brand of ideology. Such an attitude toward life has been common, even when camouflaged by pious phrases. Church members of good standing have owned and profited by unsanitary tenements and sweatshops, and have carried Christian doctrines into foreign lands for commercial profit by means of torch and sword.

Now as a result of earlier struggles the dominant form of life on Earth is us, and within the last hundred years our numbers have increased from one and half billion to seven billion (2013 figure). But if humanity were to review Mother Earth's diary its present position at the top of the ladder of life would not cause it to become pompous and arrogant. Time after time some form of life became dominant and overrun the world. And time after time some change in environmental conditions, hastened by the pressure of astrological energies, presented this dominant life-form with a new set of problems to solve. And, in each instance, because it only partially solved these problems it persisted as a static species, or it failed to solve the problems and became extinct, while some other form which solved the problems, more effectively, moved ahead to assume world dominance.

Solve the Problem and Adapt, or Perish

During the geological period called the Cambrian – about half a billion years ago – crustaceans named trilobites became the dominant and most aggressive forms of life in the world. But geological changes that occurred placed a premium on rapid water locomotion and the trilobites could not solve this problem of adaptation. By the end of the Permian period they were completely extinct.

During the Ordovician period the cephalopods, especially the active and carnivorous forms, became dominant. They had solved the problem of rapid water locomotion. But later some of the fishes solved it better, and provided themselves with scaly armor. A few species of the cephalopods survive to this day, such as the squids and cuttlefishes, but after a time most forms became extinct.

During the Devonian period – about a quarter of a billion years ago – fish were the dominant form of life upon the Earth. Various armored and shark-like fish developed. But these armored monsters of the deep, that brooked no opposition, and the dominant type of shell-feeding sharks, which were masters of the Mississippian period that followed, were unable to solve new problems which arose in the early Permian ice age and became extinct.

The Mesozoic era saw the rise of reptilian forms. For a long time, up to a little over 50 million years ago, they dominated not merely the sea but also the land and air. And of these the dinosaurs became the undisputed masters of the world. Through pictures, or through seeing their bones and restorations in museums, most are familiar with the tremendous size of some of the herbivorous types, and of the size and strength and terrible armament of the carnivorous kinds which preyed on them.

The dinosaurs lorded over all other creatures for perhaps 50 million years. They were mighty in muscle but impoverished in brain and when the crust of the Earth changed in the Laramide revolution, none of these arrogant reptiles were able to adapt themselves to the new conditions that then confronted them. During this time little primitive birds and mammals were present, but they had no chance against the mighty dinosaurs. To survive and subsist they had to live obscurely. They had to be cunning and sly. They had to develop their brains.

With the extinction of the dominant forms of cold-blooded reptiles, warm-blooded birds, and warm-blooded furry mammals began to develop rapidly in the Cenozoic era. But many of these once numerous species, when climatic changes altered the food supply during the glacial periods and at the end of the last ice age, became extinct. The imperial elephant, bigger than Jumbo, with long curling tusks, once ambled over the hills about Los Angeles; and the saber-tooth tiger preyed upon the giant ground sloth in the same vicinity. But these powerful creatures, and numerous others whose bones and fossils can be seen in museums, some 25,000 years ago, were confronted by new conditions to which they were unable to adapt themselves, and became extinct.

Now the human species dominates the scene. Great brain power enables it to solve problems of technical science. But it should not become too arrogant. The reptiles dominated the world for 50 million years, and then all but the smallest forms became extinct. Even among the mammals, most species have lasted at least several million years. Yet the evidence that humankind has been on the Earth much over one million years is so scanty as to be discounted by most paleontologists. (The latest figures place the appearance of the early hominoid Australopithecus at 3.5 - 4.4 million years ago and the development of modern humans at approximately 200,000 years ago.)

This brief résumé of Earth's Diary has one purpose. It is to show by indisputable records that time after time some life-form has risen to a position of unchallenged dominance in the world, eventually to be confronted by some new problem which it could not solve. Not being able to solve the problem, it sank to unimportance or became extinct and such a new problem faces humankind today.

It is not a problem of securing food, or protection from the inclemency's of the weather, or of defeating other species of creatures which are enemies. These were the chief problems in the past which, because they could not be solved, led to the extinction of, unconsciously taking the materialistic attitude that the poverty of the farmer was none of their concern certain types of life. The problem that has now arisen follows from humankind's own technological knowledge and skill, exemplified in bombs and nuclear weapons. It is the problem of getting people and nations to solve their differences without resorting to force.

To solve this problem, and escape extinction or the extermination of much of humanity doctrines which have arisen from the materialistic attitude must be abandoned. The solution lies in their replacement with doctrines having spiritual attributes.

The whole concept that one individual is justified in taking advantage of another through force or cunning must be relinquished. Even in the most Christian of communities the individual who could get the best of another in a trade has been admired. To sell something at a price that would yield the seller enormous profit has been the ideal of successful salesmanship. To squeeze the last cent from the pocket of the consumer by marking up the price of necessities has been the common practice in merchandising.

Whenever a condition arises, or can be developed, by which one group can take advantage of another, the general attitude at present is to make the most of it for personal gain regardless of the suffering it may bring the group that has been placed at a disadvantage. Industrialists in the past, unconsciously acting from the materialistic attitude, have tried to get laws passed by which they could break the unions and create a reservoir of cheap labor. Unions in the past, unconsciously acting from the materialistic attitude, have put the industrialists out of business. Industrial labor, unconsciously taking the materialistic attitude that the poverty of the farmer was none of their concern, has clamored for high wages and for low cost farm products. And the farmer, unconsciously taking the same materialistic attitude, has demanded low prices for industrial products and high prices for the food he produces, with no thought of the hardship caused to the industrial worker.

If this materialistic attitude of indifference to the welfare of others when gaining personal advantage is prevalent in the dealings of individuals and groups within a nation it cannot be confined to national boundaries. If the people of a nation gloat on taking unfair advantage of each other, and groups within the nation manipulate politics, create artificial shortages, and resort to strikes and lockouts to gain these materialistic advantages, they are not going to change this materialistic attitude when their nation deals with other nations. Instead, they are going to use all the cunning they possess to gain unfair advantages over other countries. And the resentment of the peoples of countries that are convinced they have been unfairly treated is the sure road to conflict and war. Yet the human race cannot afford to have another world war.

The final answer to this problem is obvious. Through freedom of information, all the relevant facts must be made known. Facts not distorted to favor any individual group or nation. Differences between individuals, between groups within nations, and between nations, should be justly arbitrated after full discussion of all the facts involved.

The difficulty in solving this problem is that the materialistic attitude has become so entrenched and habitual. Instead of seeking a just settlement for their differences the peoples of materialistic nations and Christian, Mohammedan, Islamic and Buddhist nations all too often are determined to gain unfair advantage. Unless the other nation is willing to concede to its demands, it leaves the conference table.

In the immediate future the best that can be hoped for is a powerful enough United Nations that it can enforce compulsory arbitration, and under its authority a powerful peace-keeping force that will deter nations assaulting each other.

But this is not the final solution; for sooner or later some nation or group of nations will become powerful enough – perhaps through further technological discoveries – that it can defy the authority of the UN and try to enforce its materialistic desire for unfair advantage on other nations. That road leads over the precipice where so many now extinct forms of life have fallen.

Not only is the final answer to the problem obvious, but also the final means of solving it. People all over the world must be educated so that they will abandon the short-sighted materialistic attitude. They must be shown that, in spite of materialistic claims to the contrary, there are inner-plane forces such as astrology implies which have an influence over human life and destiny. They must be shown, in spite of materialistic claims to the contrary, that inner-plane faculties capable of exercising extrasensory perception and psychokinetic power do exist. They must be shown that, in spite of materialistic philosophy, there is a tremendous accumulation of evidence that the soul lives beyond the grave and continues its progress on the inner-plane. And they must be taught to recognize the existence of an all-pervading divine intelligence, and given a desire to aid in the realization of God's Great Evolutionary Plan.

Until people recognize these facts we will have to take the chance, because we have no choice, that the United Nations will be powerful enough to enforce compulsory arbitration of differences between nations. But if humankind is not to halt its evolutionary progress or become extinct, it will have to abandon its materialistic attitude and develop a spiritual attitude. With a spiritual attitude dominant, differences will be settled fairly through discussion and arbitration, and nations will not be tempted to settle their differences through the use of force.

With the indicated facts before them, people will gradually abandon the materialistic attitude. They will recognize that not only the welfare of all depends upon cooperation between people, between groups and between nations, but that the type of life most worth striving for is one in which the individual endeavors to contribute his or her utmost to universal welfare.

End note:

By DW Sutton

Elbert Benjamine (CC Zain) wrote this article in 1949 when he revised and updated Course 12-1 – Evolution of Life – and at the time his concerns for humanity’s future were well founded. In 1948 Russia dominated Eastern Europe and the Cold War set in. In 1949 Berlin got divided and in 1950 the Cold War escalated when Russia, China and the USA got involved in the Korean War. In1952, the UK exploded its first atom bomb and then the US exploded the first hydrogen bomb. And in 1953 materialism got a big endorsement when the double-helix structure of DNA was discovered and the DNA genie was let loose. Now, in 2013, Darwin’s atheistic disciples preach that organic evolution explains everything and its driving force is the ‘selfish’ gene.

But, batting for the other team, are many fundamentalist Christians and ultra-orthodox Jews who rigorously oppose evolutionary theory. They prefer the six-day creation story. A Gallup poll conducted in February 2001 involving a thousand telephone interviews found that 45% of US adults agreed that ‘God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.’ Gallup interviews in 1982, 1993, 1997 and 1999 posed the same questions and a consistent figure of 44% of respondents in each poll preferred the belief that God alone, and not evolution, produced human beings and Charles Darwin was wrong.

So there’s a great divide between the proponents of organic evolution and creationism and Elbert Benjamine’s spiritual insights, by incorporating an astral intelligence and inner-plane forces into God’s Divine Plan, allow you to glimpse what’s really going on. Those readers interested in this subject are referred to Brotherhood of Light Course 12-2 – Evolution of Religion (Lesson No 140, Astrology is Religion’s Road-Map – subheading, "Every Step in Evolution is Toward Greater Freedom") where it’s explained that the drivers of evolution are the drive for significance, the drive for nutrition and the drive to reproduce and that these three irrepressible drives find expression through actions that strive for freedom from want, freedom from fear, freedom of expression and freedom of worship.

Published May 7, 2013

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