The Mineral World
~ Our Forgotten Ancestry ~
For more than a century, learned scientists have informed us that humanity emerged from the animal kingdom through the processes of evolution. Though some differences do exist, the Esoteric Philosophy is generally in agreement with this notion. However, esotericism goes on to say that our animal relatives are not our most distant kin, but instead our closest. Though our mammalian or reptilian friends do represent previous stages in human development, it is the mineral kingdom that is the domain of our most distance ancestry and origin.
To begin our inquiry into this obscure subject, we must first acquaint ourselves with the principle of hylozoism. It is an axiom that is foundational to the esoteric view of reality, and therefore crucial in our consideration of the mineral kingdom. Hylozoism is an ancient spiritual law that suggests that there is no such thing as inorganic matter. For long we have been conditioned to believe that there is a distinction between matter that is living from substance that is void of life. This organic/inorganic distinction has been a major conditioning factor in the way modern humanity views existence. Yet, this is occultly considered an erroneous view. Ancient esotericism states that there is only One Life in all of creation, and that the universe (and all that it contains) is the outward expression of that One Life. In our Western framework we call this universal entity God, and from the Eastern viewpoint Brahma is the title given to this all encompassing being. It is not God and creation but God as creation that is at the root of esoteric thought. We can see why it is, therefore, that the organic/inorganic duality is illusionary. For if there is only One Life manifesting as (and through) creation, then nothing can escape the livingness of that One Life, not even mineral forms.
Having established the hylozoic principle, we need then to understand that the spirit (monad) within each human being is destined to evolve through every kingdom of nature, from lowest to highest. The fact that we exist in the human kingdom necessitates that we have already journeyed though three previous domains of life – the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms. There is an old saying that the spirit sleeps in the mineral, awakens in the vegetable, develops motion in the animal, and realizes its individual consciousness in the human kingdom. Though a simple notion to be sure, it nonetheless is an expression of a profound truth. Each kingdom in nature provides the spirit with new and important attributes essential for developing self-consciousness when it finally begins its journey through the human kingdom. The amount of time a monad resides within a kingdom of nature is enormously long, spanning millions of years per kingdom, the longest being the period of mineral existence.
Because the mineral kingdom is the foundational domain in nature, it provides the monad with the experiences necessary to develop the foundation of consciousness. To understand what is learned when in this kingdom, we must first consider what life is like for the monad (individual spirit) prior to it incarnating into mineral forms. In truth, words can’t adequately describe such a state. However, a poor attempt would be to say that it is divine bliss, ignorantly perceived. At this pre-incarnational time, the monad is not individually conscious. Rather it is naively identified with the Boundless All (to use an ancient name for God), and the bliss that accompanies such a state. It does not know itself as a part within the whole. The journey of the monad through the kingdoms of nature make it possible for it to slowly discover its own individualness. When this long sojourn is complete (after traveling through 7 kingdoms of nature) the monad is then able to know itself as individual and universal, the part and whole, and this simultaneously. It is what all people, as spirits, are seeking to eventually realize, and will inevitably do so in the distant future. The monad’s descent into the mineral kingdom provides it with experience that is foundational to understanding itself as individual, though such realization does not manifest consciously until it reaches the human kingdom. When incarnate as mineral, the monad is forced to exist in a state of inert concretion. As it descends into mineral form, it experiences a condensation of itself. In so doing, it sacrifices its realized unity with the Boundless All, in order to begin to experience itself as an individual part. Mineral existence is the most isolative and restrictive domain of life. As such, the spirit is forced to realize profound limitation. As earlier stated, this is not a conscious realization, because at this point in its development the monad cannot reflect on its experience. Rather, mineral experience creates the first unconscious etchings into that which becomes the mind much later. To use a very tangible analogy, we can examine the life of a newborn baby to see this dynamic at work. As is well known through research, the consciousness of a newborn child is non-dualistic. For the first few weeks of life, a child is unable to distinguish between him/herself and the world around him/her. To the newborn, s/he is all that is, and it is only later that the mind begins to correctly separate these two aspects of experience. Eventually, through the gradual development of the brain and the interactions experienced with the environment, the child becomes aware of the subject/object distinction, the self and the not-self. By analogy, we can see that this is similar to the dilemma that the monad faces as it enters into the mineral kingdom, in that the issue centers upon the assumption of being the All, and the forfeiture of that awareness in order to discover its individualness.
While in this first kingdom, the monad evolves through four broad categories of mineral. Each of these categories provides the spirit with needed experience. Below are these categories, as well as their developmental sequence. Each movement from one category to another is equivalent to an initiation of sorts, and has a correspondence to the spiritual initiations that a human must eventually go through (see article entitled, Spiritual Initiation, Milestones to Enlightenment. Point of Light, Summer 2001 issue).
Base Metals 1st initiation
Standard Metals 2nd initiation
Semi-Precious Stones 3rd initiation
Precious Jewels 4th initiation
When we speak of evolution within the mineral kingdom, fire, heat and pressure are the forces that facilitate this evolution. These tectonic forces create the circumstances needed for the monad to evolve through the categories of mineral forms noted above. This too is similar to the experiences of a human being who is trying to evolve consciously upon the Path. Always initiation is a fiery experience generated by the soul, and through the resulting inner heat, the lower self is thus transformed. This is experienced by the human personality (lower-self) as an inner pressure that forces conformity to the soul’s intention.
Most importantly, as the monad slowly evolves through the mineral kingdom, two essential attributes are gradually developed. They are the qualities of geometric precision, and the power of radiation, both of which make it possible for the monad to evolve into higher kingdoms of nature. With regard to the first attribute, geometric precision, we are here referring to the monad incarnating as crystalline structure, and to thereby demonstrate the capacity to organize physical substance with mathematical exactness. The geometric precision evident in a crystal is testament to the power of its indwelling life to efficiently organize its form expression. This attribute will continue its expression in various ways, even after the spirit has evolved into higher kingdoms.
The forms found in the plant and animal kingdoms are more complex, and are precise in their geometries. In the case of the human body, the quality of geometric precision is clearly evident in its complexity and symmetry. As such, the experiences learned when in crystalline substance make these later elaborations of higher forms possible.
The second attribute that the spirit must develop (in rudimentary form) is the capacity to be radioactive. Radioactive substance, such as uranium, represents a form of mineral life of a very high order. Its capacity to emit radiation indicates that it has mastered its form expression to such an extent that its inherent life is not longer imprisoned within that form. As such, radiation is understood as the livingness of spirit radiating through form without encumberment. This attribute, now foundationally developed in the mineral kingdom, makes it possible for the spirit to express its essential nature through higher forms of life within more evolved kingdoms. For example, one need only witness the beauty of a flower to recognize the life principle radiating through such a magnificent form of life. Within the human kingdom, this quality is further developed. Over the course of countless incarnations, the human soul learns how to radiate its essential nature through the mental, emotional and physical bodies it is encased within. Enlightenment is then achieved. For what is enlightenment, but the capacity of the soul to radiate its “light” through its lower forms, and thus demonstrate its radioactive power? Such a state of development indicates that there is no longer anything within one’s personality that can now hinder the light of the soul from shining through its personality vehicle. This then signifies that one has mastered form life within the human kingdom, and liberation into the 5th kingdom is now his/her immediate destiny. This is precisely what is occurring with life found within radioactive substance, though of course on a much lower level of evolution. In this case, the spirit within such form is demonstrating perfection of expression through that form, and liberation into the vegetable kingdom is now its just reward. At the beginning of the spirit’s journey into the mineral domain, its life was completely imprisoned in a condition of inertness. Yet, through the fiery ordeal of heat and pressure its capacity slowly grows, and at the acme of its mineral experience the spirit then demonstrates its readiness to upward move, for the glory of its radioactive display gives testament to this readiness. The rite of passage is then granted, and a new regime in the growth of consciousness begins, but now of a higher order. Whether mineral, vegetable, animal or human, movement from one kingdom to the next must be earned. Always this is done through demonstrating freedom from the form limitations found within the kingdom that the spirit desires to rise above. Such is the nature of evolution.
In this brief discussion we have focused on the fact that life is evolving through all kingdoms in nature, including the mineral domain. Contrary to most scientific thought, minerals are teeming with life, thus casting aside the illusion of organic versus inorganic matter. In truth, each and every human being, by necessity, evolved through the mineral kingdom aeons ago. It is a past hidden deep within the recesses of consciousness. During that time so long ago, the foundations of the human mind were laid. It was a period when consciousness was so subtle and undeveloped that the specific experiences are not retrievable to our conscious minds. Though the memory of it is lost in the mist of time, the gift of efficient organization of form, and the power to radiate one’s being through form, were the foundational lessons learned when we resided within the mineral kingdom. Without such rudimentary experiences, we could not be the complex beings that we are today. Our experience as mineral life established the substructure from which higher dimensions in consciousness could later be built. As we walk along the countless footpaths of nature, let us therefore be more mindful of the ground that we are stepping upon, for to know its livingness is to appreciate its sacredness.
© 2001 William Meader
William Meader is an author, teacher and counselor. Much of his work is focused on the subjects of Spiritual Creativity, the Evolution of Consciousness and the Art of Meditation. At present he is teaching in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. He resides in Oregon, and can be contacted through his website at meader.org.