Blavatsky Blogger

Taking Theosophical ideas

into the 21st century


H P Blavatsky the Emanationist

Darwin postulated a blind force

which gets there in the end.

H P Blavatsky postulated a

Conscious Life Force,

which drives our progress

and knows where we’re going.



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H P Blavatsky maintained that the development of life forms is driven by a conscious life force which seeks to find expression and this force exists throughout nature and in all kingdoms of nature. As Theosophy postulates that there is no dead matter in the Universe, then this force is also operating in the Mineral Kingdom.


The quest for expression leads the conscious life force to generate increasingly higher forms which emanate from the blueprint created by that force although the principle of involution, or descent into matter, means that emphasis between physical and spiritual progress changes. This runs counter to a pure Theory of Evolution in which a blind force leads species to change over a period of time and a spiritual dimension is not considered.


The operation of a conscious driving life force means that all life forms have a spiritual dimension or spiritual ego and are effectively projected into physical existence with characteristics already created in concept. Development will continue on other plains of nature during physical life and even when the entity no longer has a presence on the physical plane.



Here are definitions of Evolution and Emanation from H P Blavatsky’s Theosophical Glossary, published 1892




The development of higher orders of animals from lower. As said in Isis Unveiled: “Modern Science holds but to a one-sided physical evolution,

prudently avoiding and ignoring the higher or spiritual evolution, which would force our contemporaries to confess the superiority of the ancient philosophers and psychologists over themselves. The ancient sages, ascending to the

UNKNOWABLE, made their starting- point from the first manifestation of the unseen, the unavoidable, and, from a strictly logical reasoning, the absolutely necessary creative Being, the Demiurgos of the universe. Evolution began with

them from pure spirit, which descending lower and lower down, assumed at last a visible and comprehensible form, and became matter. Arrived at this point, they speculated in the Darwinian method, but on a far more large and comprehensive basis.”


The Doctrine of Emanation.


In its metaphysical meaning, it is opposed to Evolution, yet one with it. Science teaches that evolution is physiologically a mode of generation in which the germ that develops the foetus pre-exists already in the parent, the development and final form and characteristics of that germ being accomplished in nature; and that in cosmology the process takes place blindly through the correlation of the elements, and their various compounds.


Occultism answers that this is only the apparent  mode, the real process being Emanation, guided by intelligent Forces under an immutable LAW. Therefore, while the Occultists and Theosophists believe thoroughly in the doctrine of Evolution as given out by Kapila and Manu, they are Emanationists rather than Evolutionists. The doctrine of Emanation was at one time universal. It was taught by the Alexandrian as well as by the Indian philosophers, by the Egyptian, the Chaldean and Hellenic Hierophants, and also by the Hebrews (in their Kabbala, and even in Genesis). For it is only owing to deliberate

mistranslation that the Hebrew word asdt has been translated “angels” from the Septuagint, when it means Emanations, Æons, precisely as with the Gnostics. Indeed, in Deuteronomy (xxxiii., 2) the word asdt or ashdt is translated as” fiery law”, whilst the correct rendering of the passage should be “from his right hand went [ not a fiery law, but a fire according to law “; viz., that the fire of one flame is imparted to, and caught up by another like as in a trail of inflammable



This is precisely emanation as shown in Isis Unveiled :


“In Evolution, as it is now beginning to he understood, there is supposed to be in all matter an impulse to take on a higher form—a supposition clearly expressed by Manu and other Hindu philosophers of the highest antiquity. The philosopher’s tree illustrates it in the case of the zinc solution. The controversy between the followers of this school and the Emanationists may he briefly stated thus The Evolutionist stops all inquiry at the borders of ‘ the Unknowable “; the

Emanationist believes that nothing can be evolved—or, as the word means,

unwombed or born—except it has first been involved, thus indicating that life is

from a spiritual potency above the whole.”



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