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Books > Philosophy > Global Philosophical and Ecological Concepts: (In Two Volumes) Cycles, Causality, Ecology and Evoultion in Various Traditions and Their Impact on Modern Biology
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Global Philosophical and Ecological Concepts: (In Two Volumes) Cycles, Causality, Ecology and Evoultion in Various Traditions and Their Impact on Modern Biology
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Global Philosophical and Ecological Concepts: (In Two Volumes) Cycles, Causality, Ecology and Evoultion in Various Traditions and Their Impact on Modern Biology
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We live in a time when humanity itself has become an ecological and evolutionary problem for the earth rather than a participating friend. At the same time we live in a unique epoch where many cultures of past and present come together, intermingle and fructify each other.

The concepts of cycles in nature, causality, hierarchical relationship, ecology and evolution are discussed from the angle of a select number of high cultures which determine our views and attitudes. This work is a selected presentation of important expressions concerning these concepts found in the cultures under study, their contrast with general occidental scientific thinking, and speculation about what may be the outcome of the blending of the heritage of the ages. At the end of the book, recorded interviews based on 20 questions with representative personalities in India, America and Europe have been printed in full.

The study is carried out in full and equal respect for all human thinking, and it values the achievements for the great minds of all cultures under study on the same level. It is the conviction of the author that, running through the garland of multicolored beads which make up the totality of human evolution, is the thread called truth, and that, despite the differences in approach, truth is what everyone is yearning for.

Rudi Jansma was born in 1949 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He studied Neotropical vegetation science and nature preservation. He worked for various environmental groups concerned with tropical ecosystems. Also he studied philosophy and Sanskrit. He did intensive studies in Theosophy and Eastern and other non-occidental thought systems, which lead to a Ph.D. at the Intercultural Open University. He traveled extensively and was in close contact with many cultures. At present he lives in Rajasthan, India. He hopes and expects that the knowledge and ethics of these and other cultures can significantly contributes to the global culture of the coming ages.

 

Introduction

Purpose and Motivation
Concepts of Philosophy and Science of Nature are a comparative study of basic concepts concerning the understanding of and the attitude toward nature among various cultures.

Our purpose is to acquire insight into the understanding of nature in some of the great traditions of the earth. This will essentially change the attitude of mankind toward nature, both philosophically and in practice. Biology has acquired a wide scope in the West. It is however noteworthy that western biology has been unable to prevent the human attitude which leads to the large-scale destruction of nature nowadays.

This dissertation is result of many rears of study of occult and religio-philosophical literature. Certain key ideas were found to be most fundamental for human thinking throughout the ages. These are also most relevant for our modern world culture, which will shape itself further in the coming centuries. They will be discussed below, and are the leitmotiv running through the whole work. This work is a selected presentation of important expressions concerning these concepts found in the cultures under study, their contrast with general occidental scientific thinking, and speculation about what may be the outcome of the blending of the heritage of the ages.

The cultures under study are:
1. Hinduism, with emphasis on Advaita Vedanta, and puranic literature which contains much detailed information concerning the processes of Cosmogenesis and evolution.
2. Jainism, with emphasis on the Tattvarthadhigama Sutra, which gives us details about cause and effect relationships in nature, and about an ecological view which includes all living beings as well as invisible forces and intelligences in the manifested universe.
3. Buddhism, in its Mahayana interpretation which gives us insight into the cycles of existence.
4. Native American cultures. Those parts of the Maya Popol Vuh relating to evolution were analyzed. Of North American cultures the emphasis is on the myths and symbolism of the Oglala Sioux, who teach us much about the universal meaning of oneness, brotherhood, cycles, and the meaning of cause and of effect within cyclic existence.
5. Theosophy as expressed in its modern form places the wisdom teachings which are discussed in this paper in a universal light and deepens their understanding, thus showing the oneness of origin of all genuine teachings.
6. Some of the fundamental views of modern science concerning nature are discussed. This is always done in relation with the views of the other traditions which are the subject of this study.

Occasional reference is made to other traditions.
We live in a unique epoch where many cultures of past and present come together, intermingle, and fructify each other. Thus we have the unique opportunity to build a new view of life. The study is carried out in full and equal respect for all human thinking, and it values the achievements of the great minds of all cultures under study on the multicolored beads which make up the totality of human evolution, truth is what everyone is yearning for. Just as among human individuals, some cultures may have been more intellectually or spiritually attuned than others, and some may have approached truth at deeper levels than others. In some cultures the orientation was far more spiritual than that one is generally aware. Also, every culture, like very human, penetrates the deeper levels of understanding according to its own svabhava, its own character. The totality of savabhavas makes up the spectrum of humanity throughout the ages on the whole earth. Today we have reached a stage where we can reap the fruits of all that. One of the aims of this work is to add to the mutual respect among cultures.

Spiritual and practical knowledge have almost always been integrated. The worlds of the spiritual/divine and super-sensorial are intimately integrated in the events of the manifested world. Occidental thought of the last few centuries is the only exception I know of. The occident has studied the properties of matter and even sociology and psychology in an isolated way, rejecting super physical intelligence, super physical intuition and purpose, and tends to regard consciousness and life as products of matter which in itself is purposeless. But also in the west, and part of the greatest thinkers have often (thought more or less secretly) had connections. Such are, to mention a few, the Alchemists, Rosicrucians, Freemasons, Druids, Theosophists, and Anthroposophists.

All these contain elements of the same spiritual knowledge found at the core of all great human cultures. In the world culture of today, the theosophical is- to my judgment- the most fundamental and pure. Theosophy seems to support- though greatly invisible to the masses, including scientists- the spiritual basis of our modern culture. Therefore, I include the purest modern theosophical teachings in this study.

Methods

Apart from a study of literature, many interviews were audio-taped with representatives of the cultures which are the subject of this study during three seasons of field work in India and the United States. Lists of questions and the complete interviews are given in Appendix 5.

B Philosophical Introduction

What is Life?
As regards the question what is life? The modern occidental world deviates very far from others. The gap between the occidental scientific axioms in this respect is so large that almost nobody dares to take the jump. To the western mind, including that of some of the most progressive biological thinkers of our days, life is conditioned by matter. Life can only exist (or manifest?) within a very narrow range of physical and chemical conditions. It can only arise where chemistry allows the formation of carbon-based organic structures and at temperatures and pressures where (liquid) water can exist. Official research and speculation concerning extraterrestrial life directs its efforts toward planets, moons, or perhaps meteorites which may answer these conditions. If such conditions are not met, life is thought impossible, at least at present. Therefore life on Mars or Venus is hardly expected, or at best life in a very primitive or rudimentary from. Other conditions we attach to the definition of life are procreation and active movement. This separates nature into two parts: living and nonliving, organic and inorganic, having DNA and not having DNA. Consequently, minerals do not live, because they don't meet he requirements. Nevertheless, from a philosophical point of view, these conditions are quite arbitrary. Rather they are descriptive of what we wish to include in the living world and what not, in order to satisfy our dualistic mind-set. But what if we detach life as a principle from these arbitrary conditions? What would happen if we were to define life as the energy of conscious existence? There is no irrefutable argument to define a point where consciousness begins and unconsciousness ends. As humans we may lose walking consciousness and enter dream consciousness, but does that mean that consciousness itself is interrupted?

Is consciousness defined by DNA? If so, do viruses, bacteriophages and mitochondri have consciousness, while other complex organic structures or inorganic crystals do not? Perhaps consciousness is a matter of graduation. The occidental division into life and non-life, consciousness and non-consciousness may be practical in daily society, but not very philosophical. If we discard this duality, we see life as a universal phenomenon which connects all things within it. Then the earth is alive, minerals are, the other planets of our or other solar systems are, and the sun, the stars and any other galactic structure. Even dead matter is alive. Life is no longer a mysterious phenomenon, mystically born out of dead matter as a result of particular molecular arrangements, but is the omnipresent consciousness-force in everything. We are indeed a living universe. This idea is at least as philosophically acceptable as the predominant occidental view. Yet the consequences resulting from the view we choose are tremendous. It seems a choice between darkness and light, because if the view of the universality of life is accepted, the whole universe becomes a living phenomenon, and everything that is essential to life becomes universally valid.

The occult definition of life as expressed in modern theosophical literature is "It is the One Life, eternal, invisible, yet omnipresent, without beginning or end, yet periodical in its regular manifestations, between which periods reigns the dark mystery of non-Being; unconscious, yet absolute consciousness; unrealizable, yet the one self- existing reality; truly, 'a chaos to the sense, a Cosmos to the reason.' Its one absolute attribute, which is ITSELF, eternal, ceaseless motion of the universe, in the sense of limitless, ever-present Space. That which is motionless cannot be Divine. But then there is nothing in fact and reality absolutely motionless within the universal soul" (SD1 1.2). Another theosophical work adds: "Life per se is conscious, substantial, spiritual force, manifesting in myriad ways as the various lives and as forms of energy, whether macrocosmic, microcosmic, or infinitesimal. Force and substance, or life-substance-intelligence. As there is a vast scale of substance-forces existing in all-various degrees of ethereality, so 'there is life per se, in individuals manifesting as a vital fluid belonging to each one such grade or stage or place of material manifestation- and these vital fluids in their aggregate form what we may call the Universal Life, manifesting in appropriate form on any one plane and functioning therefore through the various matters of that plane''' (ET 431).

"Life is an entity or process is all that is, the basis or essence of all that is beginningless and endless. It is the spiritual electricity, or the vital svabhava, of the monad [immortal essence, jiva], which it pours forth out of itself and thus produces the individual characteristics of every entity, celestial or terrestrial. As the divine monad is a breath of pure spirit, pure consciousness, life may be called the innumerable manifold phases of consciousness in time and space. 'Consciousness is the originant, and this originant by its own inherent powers and energies, faculties and attributes, produces life out of itself: not at any one time specifically, but continuously forever, and coincidentally with its own existing duration. Consciousness and life together originate and produce thereafter from themselves what men call the manifestations of force of energy, which in its turn deposits or lays down, so to say, the matters and substances of the Universe, much as wine will deposit its lees''' (ET 749/ETG).

The term jiva is used for life or living soul in Hinduism and Jainism, especially when referring to the eternal essential living soul of each being. Prana is the term used for the life as it manifests as streams of energy in each individual which withdraw at death, and pervade every cell or atom during life. Thud so-called life and death are but different phases of the eternal life of the jiva or living soul.

Another remarkable thing in the western mind is the almost absolute separation between certain scientific disciplines the one utterly ignorant about the other. Here I refer to the separation between the physical sciences and parapsychology. Parapsychology has in the last few centuries delivered thousands and thousands of proofs of the existence of life after death, spooks, apparitions, spiritualistic phenomena, gnomes, elementals, remembrances of former lives, etc., etc. This science has made it impossible to sustain the belief that life is confined to physical structure. What if your grandfather can still appear and tell you sensible things after his corpse has decomposed? Parapsychology is not a part of the present dissertation, but seems to have sufficiently proven that life-forms. So, is it impossible that people who stand closer to nature or are spiritually and psychically more receptive than most of us, have indeed gathered genuine and true information about invisible (non-physical) forms of life? We must take into consideration however that a lot of spiritual knowledge can not even be imagined by the minds of common people, and therefore is packed in a symbology that can be understood only when one is ready for it and the keys have been given. This symbology may take very different forms in different culture, though the symbols may for each be entrances to the same worlds of reality. Of course I am referring to genuine knowledge, not to the humbug that is sold at the street corner, especially in the modern western society. So, perhaps there are life-forms have been given in all corners of the world, including modern theosophy, and these details suggest that the approaches of such cultures have been scientific and can indeed be factually known, and that, if our own sciences become more open and spiritual, we too can know such worlds and learn what the forces and divinities of the universe really are.

Seven Fundamental Concepts

1 Cycles:
Cyclic processes are fundamental in manifested nature. They are recognized in such phenomena as the cycles of day and night, of the seasons, of ebb and flow, of the movements of celestial bodies and intra-atomic movement, etc. Cyclic processes have been acknowledged as fundamental by most great cultures of past and present. For this reason the circle is a most sacred symbol among many Native Americans. In Hinduism cycles linking every event in the universe, from the smallest to the largest. Most important, partly because of its ethical and psychological implications, is life as opposed to death. With many cultures life and death have been recognized as a cyclic alternation comparable to "life and death" of the sun each day, which means that something continues when life has withdrawn from the realm of visibility and later returns to manifested physical existence. In Buddhism the cycle of rebirth (bhavacakra) is a basic teaching, and Tibetan Buddhism in particular contains detailed descriptions of after-death states of consciousness. Also many Native Americans are acquainted with the concept of reincarnation or reembodiment.

2 Causality
Events are the results of previous causes. Results are expected to follow causes mathematically, and if related to matter in strict correspondence with the physical laws of nature. But the interpretation of causality varies greatly with different cultures. In occidental thinking the concept of chance has been introduced and absolutized, which makes it possible to calculate with the results of untraceable causes. Forces that transmit the information contained in a cause are supposed to act blindly, and uncontrolled by mind and intelligence. Other cultures seem to have explained results of unknown causes as fate, depending on the will and imponderable mind of God or gods. In the Indian systems the concept of karma is very important, which is neither blind, nor controlled by higher being outside the actor, but is the eternal "habit" of manifested nature to restore the balance, working on all levels of existence and for all being, including the gods. The explanations of Karma given by Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism lay emphasis on different aspects of this universal doctrine. We will see that, hidden beneath the surface of myth, the knowledge of karma exists with Native Americans as well. Causality is thus directly linked with individual responsibility in action and thought, and consequently with ethics. Karma is cyclic: results of actions sooner or later return to the actor.

3 Ecology

Ecology is the science concerned with the interconnectedness of things "especially as manifested by natural cycles and rhythms" (Webster's third international dictionary). Occidental ecology studies an ecosystem as a unit of individuals each striving for their own benefit, adapting to the given and changing biological, physical and chemical environment. At best beings cooperate because they co-evolved into a condition of mutual benefit. The interdependence of certain creatures, such as figs and wasps, has been established by accidental evolutionary steps, which finally led to a situation beneficial to both. Being successful, even the possibility of independence was selected away. What is hidden beneath the surface of ecological and evolutionary theory is a metaphysical motivation of self-preservation, success for oneself, and selfishness in general. There is in the pessimistic occidental view no recognition of an inherent factor of service to a greater purpose in nature, service to the community of all beings on earth, or of a harmonious overtone to which all being (unconsciously, semi-consciously, or consciously) obey. The west has lost the idea of a divine presence pervading all things, of a spiritual musical score according to which each plays (or tries to play) its individual tune in the universal symphony. The predominant scientific opinion sees only "blind" matter, but not intelligence, nor divine consciousness of beauty and harmony as inherent parts of an ecosystem. Yet who does not stand in awe when allowing himself or herself to be engulfed by the soft sounds of a tropical rainforest, or when abiding in places of pristine purity in nature. The view is different with other cultures. Buddhists see the Buddha-nature- which means wisdom and compassion, not blindness and selfishness-inherent in all manifestations of nature. According to Buddhism everything serves a higher purpose to reach the final goal of evolution. Everything helps everything because that is the real meaning of compassion. Evolution will lead us to unsoiled awareness of the essence of all being, unsoiled by any illusionary or erroneous mental perception. The obvious cruelties which keep the ecological balance within the animal kingdom are then considered just ripples of transient imperfection on the road to unspeakable and universal insight and bliss. These imperfections in the human as well as other kingdoms of nature are karma- results of actions disharmonious with the higher inner laws of nature. We with our senses and instruments can perceive only the omnipresence of physical matter and the coarser manifestations of energy. But from the standpoint of theosophy or Hinduism all principles of nature are omnipresent. Mind is considered by them omnipresent in the universe; so is intelligence. Beauty is then a reflection, recognition, of the divine presence in every facet of nature. Desire is everywhere: it was the motor of each universe's birth as well as of each individual action. Life is everywhere, and so on. We humans and other living beings contain all these universal principles within us. Our intelligence is a small-scale and but slightly awakened drop of universal intelligence. Are these ideas, reflected in the philosophical systems of cultures which have often shown themselves superior to the west in social, artistic and environmental accomplishments to be put aside as superstitions? Are these in any sense less philosophical than the occidental new cultures of the future?

Many great philosophers have revealed to the human mind what nature in all her being continuously exposes: the great interworking of divine, intelligent and lower forces, resulting in ecosystems and individuals of astounding beauty and intelligent balance within which there is room for each individual. Individuals and species in their lowest expression may be guided by selfish greed until they learn, perhaps out of despair, to turn to their god within. This, then, is the goal of existence.

For the western mind it is difficult to accept that the minerals in the earth were originally conceived in a higher mind, exactly to serve that purpose. For the mind of an Australian Aboriginal of High Degree, or a Jain or a theosophist, it is equally difficult, if not impossible, to accept that all this came about by chance, and that somewhere along the line selfishness was born out of nothing to become the guiding power of living nature. I am curious (and more hopeful than afraid) which line of thought humanity at large will choose in the coming centuries.

We see that the ecosystems of non-western cultures include numerous hierarchies of invisible beings of a higher or lower nature. Trained yogis or occult initiates in the higher Mysteries are said to be able to communicate with and understand such creatures. There is record of devoted students of spiritual truth who can confabulate with the "gods," and thus transfer their influence by their insights and works for the well-being of humanity and the kingdoms of nature. In a sense we all do so in a degree when we really unselfishly attune our mind to what is beneficial universal truth for the well-being of others, above the illusions of our personal opinions. This leads to promptings of unselfish love and intuition.

At the realms of the physical as well as spiritual ecosystems seem to exist within us: we are humans, but have the animal desire, vegetable vitality, and mineral firmness within us. But we also have higher levels within our psychological constitution, represented by hierarchies of divinities situated within again hierarchically ordered levels. If such higher and more subtle hierarchies would be studied from a psychological point of view, we would learn to recognize the higher and refined aspects of our own psychology.

4 The Essential Characteristic

Every species of living being and even every individual has something that causes it to be essentially different from others. According to the doctrines of Darwinism and neo-Darwinism, new characteristics may come into existence through sudden changes in the genetic information, probably due to outside influences. They may also disappear through the same mechanism. This is the basis for speciation (formation of new species) and the answer to the question of the origin of species.

From biblical and other sources the origin of species has been understood by some in the sense that God created all species as they are and that these never change. One may of course question whether this is the real meaning of the teaching in the Bible, and whether the theory is philosophically sound.

In some of the eastern system we find the concept of svabhava, which, may be understood as "essential characteristic" and which literally means "self-being" or "self-becoming." It means that every species, and indeed every individual, has a spiritual monadic essence which is its own source, and from which all further characteristics come forth. The teaching seems to lead to the conclusion that the essence of a species has always existed, but sequential manifestations of this essence may vary. From this point of view species may be either fundamentally deferent of sequential manifestations of the same essence. Species in the modern scientific sense are then only temporary manifestations of essence which exist during long cycles of evolution. The concept of svabhava is most important in relation to evolution theory.

5 Evolution

Evolution is one of the most prominent subjects of study in modern biology. The concept of evolution is relatively young in western culture, and even today evolution is denied by creationists within the dogmatic Christian traditions. In India, and also in America, teachings on evolution are thousands of years old.

Modern evolution theories describe and explain the transformation of one form into another. This is however not the real meaning of the word evolution, which means to roll forth, to unfold (from within). The Sanskrit concept of pravrtti comes closer to this. Pravrtti is linked with nivrtti (flowing back), or involution. Because, how could things evolve, if they have not first been involved, and vice versa? So it is a cyclic process. In the ancient west, the Mayas had their popol Vuh, which contains a very interesting narrative on evolution, including human cyclic evolution.

Most cultures teach, if they have a concept of evolution, that soul or mind existed before the processes of evolution began, and that the divine awoke first to guide evolution. The outward evolution of forms- the subject of scientific evolutionary studies is but an outer expression of inner evolution. Every evolutionary expression has a cause in consciousness. This is comprehensively discussed in the Chapter 8 on Jainism in section II. Inner evolution means the unfoldment of all inherent qualities of the soul, step by step, to which outer forms are adjusted, also step by step. Moreover evolution is circular, or rather spiral, breathing out and withdrawing again and again.

The prevailing occidental idea is that evolution is linear, either smooth or jumping, the result of chance material processes on the one hand, and the desire to survive as metaphysical motivating force on the other. There is no purpose other than individual survival- or rather that of each individual genome- and teleology might be called the greatest heresy in evolution science. Just as in ecology, mind, intelligence and their possible purpose are not taken into account, except when the human mind comes into play and gives humans partly the power to direct their own mental and intellectual evolution.

Not every culture has an explicit doctrine of evolution, but they definitely see a purpose of all life which we recognize through our innate higher longings. Evolution may run in cycles of ever higher unfoldment, thus making it cyclic rather than linear. Every next event in evolution finds its root in an earlier cause: the inner desire to move in a certain direction, which leads to its necessary result according to the universal natural law of cause and effect.

6 Spirit and Matter

It has been universally recognized that nature has a spiritual and a material side. But are spirit and matter, energy and matter, mind and matter, good and evil, God and Devil separate or dual aspects of the same thing? In the latter case, spirit is but ethereal matter. Or matter gross spirit. If spirit is infinite, there is no room for a second infinite. The finite can be but an illusionary aspect of the infinite. Reality is one, eternal, non-dual and omnipresent.

If spirit and matter are inseparable and indeed two aspects of the same, this inseparability applies ultimately to all dualities in nature. It means that all principle of nature are inseparable aspects of the one universal life-consciousness. Consequently, instead of being forever doomed to speculation on what we will never really understand, we will be able to unveil for ourselves the ultimate truth of the universe, because our mind is one with it, and wisdom. Everything in the cosmos exists in an absolute oneness. This conclusion shakes the basis of the prevailing occidental world view.

7 Knowledge of the Essence of Nature

Man being part of nature, his faculty of knowing nature is an inherent part of that same nature. Thus nature has its own built-in possibility to be known by conscious beings. Can we known it in its deepest essence? Does evolution have an inner purpose: the knowledge of our essential self, which because there is no separateness in non-dual nature, is the same as knowing all? Perhaps rather than our instinct for survival, it is our inborn drive toward perfection in all respect which is the motivating force of evolution.

With this study a work is begun and hinted at which may stimulate centuries of research along new lines and lead humankind in entirely new directions, though all is based on existing insights, the heritage of the world's culture throughout the ages.

A Personal Note

The author was trained as a tropical ecologist, and became inspired by the more refined stories that living nature tries to tell. He worked for several environmental groups concerned with education and advice about the beauty of tropical nature and the problems created by human attitudes toward it. He became aware that it is the human mind which creates these attitudes, and that this mind is fed from childhood mainly by ideas which spring forth from one culture- that of western science. If we really wish to change our attitude toward nature, the ideas which feed the mind should be taken from other sources as well, especially from those which show great intuitive insights, giving rise to attitudes toward nature which bring more happiness to all.

 

Contents

 

  Contents 5
  Acknowledgements 19
  Abbreviations 23
  Introduction 27
A General Introduction 27
  Purpose and Motivation 27
  Methods 29
B Philosophical Introduction 29
  What is Life? 29
  Seven fundamental concepts 32
  A personal Note 37
  Section I: The law of cycles 39
Chapter 1 The symbolism of the circle 41
1 The Eternal- A Native American Approach 42
  Parentless 47
  The Circumference 47
2 Wholeness and Brotherhood- A native American Approach 50
  The medicine wheel 50
  The sacred Hoop 53
  Cermonies 54
  Ceremonial Cycles 55
  Mandala 55
3 Duality 56
  Parabrahman 56
  57
  Svabhavat 57
  Mulaprakrti 57
  Akasa 57
  Duality in Hopi and Oglala Philosophy 58
  Upperworlds and Underworlds 66
4 The cycle of life and Death 74
5 The cycle of creation and evolution 83
6 Sacred Numbers 84
Chapter 2 The cycles of the Hindu Puranas and the Surya Siddhanta, and Theosophical explanations 94
1 The cycle of creation, destruction, and Renovation 94
2 The Hindu time division 95
3 The Divine year and the yugas 101
4 Cyclic Governors and helpers 103
5 Dissolution or Involution 104
Chapter 3 The Jain cycles of joy and suffering 107
1 Avasarpini and Utsarpini 109
Chapter 4 The Buddhist cycles of life and death 112
1 Bhavackra 112
2 Bardo Thodol 115
Chapter 5 The law of cycles in theosophy 119
1 Reincarnation 119
2 Rounds and Races 122
2.1 The seven rounds 128
2.2 Root-Races and continents 129
3 Reembodiment and Root-Races in the Plant Kingdom 135
4 Destruction of the continents 138
Chapter 6 Implications of cycles law for modern biology: Linear versus circular 139
1 Life of Eternal 139
2 Life Rather than life-forms 140
3 The cycles of paleontology 141
4 Medicine and Agriculture 142
  Section II: Causality 145
Chapter 7 Some aspects of causality in native American thinking 147
1 Introduction 147
2 Interconnectedness of all things 148
3 Harmony 150
4 Divination 152
5 Prophecy 155
6 Skan 157
7 Summary of aspects of causality in native American thinking 161
Chapter 8 Causality in Jainism 164
1 Introduction 164
2 Causality an Non-absolutism 164
3 Causality on the physical and the moral plane (Jiva/Ajiva) 166
4 The Jaina doctrine of Karma 167
5 The types of Karma 169
6 Bandha 174
7 Karmana-sarira and reincarnation 174
8 The origin of species 175
9 Karmabhumis 180
10 Cycles 181
11 Summary and conclusions 181
12 Bioological aspects 185
13 Nature, Many individuals or one wholeness? 186
14 The deepest motivation 186
15 Duality 187
16 Comparison of causality in Jain and Native American Thinking 187
Chapter 9 Causality in Hinduism 191
1 Causality in Advaita Vedanta 191
1.1 Gaudapada and Sankaracarya 191
1.2 Causality and Karma 196
1.3 Karma and Intelligence 196
2 Karma 197
Chapter 10 Cause and effect in Buddhism, in a theosophic light 202
1 Bhavacakra and the Nidanas 202
2 Karma 216
Chapter 11 The Karma doctrine in theosophy 223
1 Karma Aphorisms 223
2 Karma and compassion 232
3 Karma and Disease 233
4 Karma an Heredity 236
5 Karma after death and unmerited karma 237
6 Karma and animals 239
7 Karma, Lipikas and the four Maharajas 240
Chapter 12 The meaning of causaslity in modern science 244
1 The mechanistic model 244
2 Entropy <246/td>
3 From matter to consciousness 247
4 Implicate order 249
5 Discussion 252
Chapter 13 The implications of the Non-western causality doctrines for modern biology 254
1 From matter to consciousness 254
2 Karma and the mechanistic view 255
3 Interconnectedness 257
4 Teleology 258
5 Anthropomorphism versus Analogy 259
6 Respect for all beings 259
7 All causes have their origin in consciousness 260
8 Outer forms are the result of Inner causes 261
9 Karma and reincarnation 261
10 Real causality knows no statistics 262
11 Synchronicity 262
12 Free will 263
13 Energies are living entities 264
14 Cataclysms and thought power 264
15 Every act is recorded 265
  Section III: Ecology 267
Chapter 14 The meaning of ecology 269
1 What is ecology? 269
2 The hierarchical structure of nature 272
2.1 Hierarchy of worlds or levels of existence 273
2.2 Hierarchy of beings 274
2.3 Hierarchy of elements 274
2.4 Hierarchy of constituent principles 275
Chapter 15 Jain cosmology 276
1 Hierarchy of world or levels of existence 276
1.1 Introduction 276
1.2 The lower world 277
1.3 The middle world 278
  Mount meru en videha 279
1.4 The upper world 279
1.5 Discussion 280
1.6 Jambu and other Dvipas 281
1.7 Mahavideha and Meru 283
1.8 The occult meaning of meru 283
1.9 Lands of work and liberation 284
1.10 Guardians of the world 284
1.11 The world of physical incarnation 285
2 Hierarchy of being 285
2.1 Introduction 285
2.2 Classification 286
2.3 Some notes on ecology 295
2.4 Discussion of this section 298
2.5 Being of the lower world 298
2.6 Being of the upper world 301
2.7 Discussion 303
  Elements 303
  Nigodas 305
  Cosmographical distribution 306
  Evolution from within 306
  Devas, their functions and hierarchies 307
  Celestial bodies as Devas 309
  Bhavanavasins 309
  Vyantaras 310
  Hell-being 310
  Being of the upper world 310
3 Hierarchy of elements 311
4 Hierarchy of constituent principles 311
4.1 Bodies 311
4.2 Discussion 314
  Physical and other Bodies 314>
  Spontaneous generation 315
Chapter 16 Hindu cosmology 317
1 Hierarchy of worlds or levels of existence 317
1.1 Lokas and Talas in the Visnu Purana 319
1.2 Some significant quotes concerning the lokas and talas 321
a. Lokas 321
  Bhurloka 321
  Bhuvarloka 321
  Svarloka 322
  Maharloka 322
  Janarloka 323
  Taparloka 324
  Satyaloka 324
  Lokas, general 325
b. Talas 326
  Atala 326
  Vitala 326
  Sutala 326
  Talatala 326
  Mahatala 326
  Rasatala 326
  Patala 327
1.3 Discussion 327
2 Hierarchy of beings 329
2.1 Inhabitants of the lokas 329
  Inhabitants of Bhurloka 329
  Inhabitants of Bhuvarloka 330
  Inhabitants of Svarloka 331
  Inhabitants of Maharloka 335
  Inhabitants of Janarloka 339
  Inhabitants of Taparloka 341
  Inhabitants of Satyaloka 342
2.2 Inhabitants of Talas 342
3 Hierarchy of elements 343
3.1 Dissolution of the elements 348
4 Hierarchy of constituent principles 350
Chapter 17 Theosophical cosmology 356
1 Hierarchy of elements and beings 356
1.1 Some aspects of physics and biology in relation to the theosophical teachings concerning the atom 374
  Wave-particle relation and the nature of light 374
  Gravity 377
  Infinite divisibility of matter 378
  The chemical atom and its time-scale 380
  Life-atoms and mitosis: Microsomes and centrosomes 381
  Ecology and life-atoms 383
  Life-atoms and music 384
  Summary 385
1.2 Elements, Dhyani chohans and pitrs 387
2 Hierarchy of works or levels of existence 389
3 Hierarchy of constituent principles 392
  1 Atman 395
  2 Buddhi 396
  3 Manas 397
  4 Kama 400
  5 Prana 401
  6 Linga sarira 403
  7 Sthula sarira 404
4 The Hierarchy of compassion 405
Chapter 18 The western world: Some aspects of biology 410
1 Morphogenetic fields 410
1.1 The origin of forms 421
1.2 How the Linga sarira can be influenced 432
1.3 How the processes of the cell can be influenced 435
1.4 How does the Jiva adjust the body which it occupies 441
2 Gaia 443
  Contents of Volume II:  
  Contents to Volume II 453
  Section IV: Evolution 459
Chapter 19 Evolution in the popol Vuh 461
1 Introduction (by the mayan author) 461
2 Creation 468
2.1 The Gods enclosed in quetzal feathers- a glittering light 472
2.2 General outline of evolution 474
2.3 The three logoi 475
2.4 The cosmic mind 476
2.5 Manifestation and evolution 482
2.6 Early Humanity 485
2.7 The giants 490
2.8 The Twins 495
2.9 The history of thinking humanity and of the Mayas in particular 498
Chapter 20 Evolution in Jainism 503
Chapter 21 Evolution and Involution in the Visnu Purana 507
1 Introduction 507
2 Beyond and before creation 508
3 The cause of creation 510
4 Creation 511
5 The seven or more creations 512
6 The Egg of Brahma 517
7 Secondary creation 519
8 Human evolution 525
8.1 Rsis and Manus 526
8.2 Rsis 527
8.3 Manus 533
9 Involution 535
Chapter 22 Evolution in Theosophy 542
1 Fundamental concepts 542
1.1 Before the Birth of the cosmos 542
1.2 Precosmic ideation 542
1.3 Subject and object 543
1.4 Force 543
1.5 Cosmic Ideation 543
1.6 Evolution defined 544
1.7 Humans first 546
1.8 Evolution or emanation 547
1.9 Multi track evolution 548
1.10 Involution, Evolution and compassion 549
1.11 Designers of speciation and their mistakes 550
1.12 Mutation and speciation 552
1.13 Jiva defined 553
1.14 Svabhava 554
1.15 Svabhava and speciation 555
1.16 Fohat 556
1.16.1 Fohat and Atoms 557
1.16.2 Fohat as wisdom 558
1.16.3 Fohat as energy and force 558
1.16.4 Fohat cosmologically 559
1.16.5 Where does Fohat originally come from? 559
1.16.6 Fohat as cosmic and Human principle 560
1.16.7 Fohat and the laws of nature 560
1.16.8 Fohat in evolution 561
1.17 Sista 563
1.17.1 Minerals 566
1.17.2 Plants 567
1.17.3 Animals 568
1.17.4 Humans 569
1.17.5 Surplus of Life: Sistas and the unfolding of the Universe 569
1.17.6 Sistas and Reembodiment: the key to the doctrine of cycles 570
2 The stanzas of Dzyan 571
2.1 Coamic evolution 571
2.1.1 Stanza I 571
2.1.2 Stanza II 575
2.1.3 Stanza III 579
2.1.4 Stanza IV 582
2.1.5 Stanza V 583
2.1.6 Stanza VI 584
2.1.7 Stanza VII 585
2.2 Human evolution 587
2.2.1 Stanza I: Beginning of sentient life 588
2.2.2 Stanza II: Nature unaided fails 590
2.2.3 Stanza IV: Creation of the first races 592
2.2.4 Stanza VII: From the semi-Divine down to the first Human Races 594
2.2.5 Modes of Reproduction 596
2.2.6 Stanza VIII: Evolution of the animal mammalians 597
2.2.7 Stanza IX: The final evolution of man 599
2.2.8 The development of speech 600
2.2.9 Stanza X: The history of the fourth race 602
2.2.10 Stanza XI: Civilization and the destruction of the 4th and 5th Races   603
2.2.11 Stanza XII: The fifth race and its divine instructors 603
Chapter 23 Implications for modern evolution theory 605
1 Introduction 605
2 The origin of life 612
2.1 A Buddhist approach 614
2.2 A Native American approach 616
2.3 A jain approach 617
2.4 A Hindu approach 617
2.5 A theosophical approach 619
3 Competition or cooperation 621
4 Non-occidental approaches 632
5 Efficiency of adaptation 633
6 From Micro-evolution to Macro-evolution 636
6.1 Micro-evolution 636
6.2 Macro-evolution 638
6.3 What is a Taxon? 638
6.4 Conclusion 643
7 Gradualism or saltation 644
8 The origin of Novelties 646
8.1 Complexity 646
8.2 Homology and Analogy 651
8.3 Gene regulation and the origin of novelties and species 652
8.4 Attractors 654
8.5 Conclusion: the general line of evolution 655
8.6 Other cultures 656
9 Cataclysms and speciation Booms 656
10 God? 660
11 Aesthetics 662
12 Human evolution 664
12.1 Is the Human species an animal? 664
12.2 Why not many species of Humans? 668
  Section V: Appendices 671
Appendix 1: Karma in the Oglala Indian tradition 673
Appendix 2: The popol Vuh 676
Appendix 3: The Visnu Purana 683
Appendix 4: The way to an All-understanding mind: Spiritual evolution in Jainism;  
  The fourteen-fold path of the Jains 687
  The seed of Jaina Buddhas of compassion 694
Appendex 5 Interviews 701
  Introduction 701
  List of Interviewees 701
  List of questions 704
  Dr. Gregory Cajete 707
  Cycles 707
  Causality 707
  Prof. Dr. Alfonso Ortiz 708
  Wakan Tanka 708
  Nature 708
  Death and reincarnation 708
  Jim Barnett 709
  Duality 709
  Kachinas and Devas 712
  Bodhisattva Doctrine 715
  Reincarnation 716
  Cycles of development 718
  The origin of species 720
  Violence and sacrifice in Nature 721
  Causality 722
  Communication 723
  Swami Paramarthananda 726
  Some concepts (a selection) 743
  Manu 743
  Pralaya 744
  Upadhi 744
  Four cardinal directions 745
  Prof. Dr. M.D. Vasantharaj 745
  Dr. A. Thejagarajan 765
  Theerabantha Vajiranano 776
  M. Selaraman BA 790
  A.E. Devarajan MA 800
  The Mechanism of rebirth 802
  Possession 803
  Death 805
  Karma and Physical defects 806
  About life and death 807
  Creation and evolution 808
  Beyond the physical and the mind 811
  The supreme being and consciousness 812
  The goal of evolution 813
  Distinction between animals and humans 813
  The Pineal gland 815
  K. Sankariah BA 822
  Karma and rebirth 828
  The eating of plants 829
  Rebirth 830
  Extinction of species 831
  Reincarnations and twins 831
  S. Krishnachand Chordia 832
  Prof. B.V. Radhakrishnan 837
  Causality 837
  Albert F. Richter Msc 840
  Nivard Vas 844
  Dr. David Roef 847
Literature   869
Notes   879
Index   887

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Global Philosophical and Ecological Concepts: (In Two Volumes) Cycles, Causality, Ecology and Evoultion in Various Traditions and Their Impact on Modern Biology

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From the Jacket

We live in a time when humanity itself has become an ecological and evolutionary problem for the earth rather than a participating friend. At the same time we live in a unique epoch where many cultures of past and present come together, intermingle and fructify each other.

The concepts of cycles in nature, causality, hierarchical relationship, ecology and evolution are discussed from the angle of a select number of high cultures which determine our views and attitudes. This work is a selected presentation of important expressions concerning these concepts found in the cultures under study, their contrast with general occidental scientific thinking, and speculation about what may be the outcome of the blending of the heritage of the ages. At the end of the book, recorded interviews based on 20 questions with representative personalities in India, America and Europe have been printed in full.

The study is carried out in full and equal respect for all human thinking, and it values the achievements for the great minds of all cultures under study on the same level. It is the conviction of the author that, running through the garland of multicolored beads which make up the totality of human evolution, is the thread called truth, and that, despite the differences in approach, truth is what everyone is yearning for.

Rudi Jansma was born in 1949 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He studied Neotropical vegetation science and nature preservation. He worked for various environmental groups concerned with tropical ecosystems. Also he studied philosophy and Sanskrit. He did intensive studies in Theosophy and Eastern and other non-occidental thought systems, which lead to a Ph.D. at the Intercultural Open University. He traveled extensively and was in close contact with many cultures. At present he lives in Rajasthan, India. He hopes and expects that the knowledge and ethics of these and other cultures can significantly contributes to the global culture of the coming ages.

 

Introduction

Purpose and Motivation
Concepts of Philosophy and Science of Nature are a comparative study of basic concepts concerning the understanding of and the attitude toward nature among various cultures.

Our purpose is to acquire insight into the understanding of nature in some of the great traditions of the earth. This will essentially change the attitude of mankind toward nature, both philosophically and in practice. Biology has acquired a wide scope in the West. It is however noteworthy that western biology has been unable to prevent the human attitude which leads to the large-scale destruction of nature nowadays.

This dissertation is result of many rears of study of occult and religio-philosophical literature. Certain key ideas were found to be most fundamental for human thinking throughout the ages. These are also most relevant for our modern world culture, which will shape itself further in the coming centuries. They will be discussed below, and are the leitmotiv running through the whole work. This work is a selected presentation of important expressions concerning these concepts found in the cultures under study, their contrast with general occidental scientific thinking, and speculation about what may be the outcome of the blending of the heritage of the ages.

The cultures under study are:
1. Hinduism, with emphasis on Advaita Vedanta, and puranic literature which contains much detailed information concerning the processes of Cosmogenesis and evolution.
2. Jainism, with emphasis on the Tattvarthadhigama Sutra, which gives us details about cause and effect relationships in nature, and about an ecological view which includes all living beings as well as invisible forces and intelligences in the manifested universe.
3. Buddhism, in its Mahayana interpretation which gives us insight into the cycles of existence.
4. Native American cultures. Those parts of the Maya Popol Vuh relating to evolution were analyzed. Of North American cultures the emphasis is on the myths and symbolism of the Oglala Sioux, who teach us much about the universal meaning of oneness, brotherhood, cycles, and the meaning of cause and of effect within cyclic existence.
5. Theosophy as expressed in its modern form places the wisdom teachings which are discussed in this paper in a universal light and deepens their understanding, thus showing the oneness of origin of all genuine teachings.
6. Some of the fundamental views of modern science concerning nature are discussed. This is always done in relation with the views of the other traditions which are the subject of this study.

Occasional reference is made to other traditions.
We live in a unique epoch where many cultures of past and present come together, intermingle, and fructify each other. Thus we have the unique opportunity to build a new view of life. The study is carried out in full and equal respect for all human thinking, and it values the achievements of the great minds of all cultures under study on the multicolored beads which make up the totality of human evolution, truth is what everyone is yearning for. Just as among human individuals, some cultures may have been more intellectually or spiritually attuned than others, and some may have approached truth at deeper levels than others. In some cultures the orientation was far more spiritual than that one is generally aware. Also, every culture, like very human, penetrates the deeper levels of understanding according to its own svabhava, its own character. The totality of savabhavas makes up the spectrum of humanity throughout the ages on the whole earth. Today we have reached a stage where we can reap the fruits of all that. One of the aims of this work is to add to the mutual respect among cultures.

Spiritual and practical knowledge have almost always been integrated. The worlds of the spiritual/divine and super-sensorial are intimately integrated in the events of the manifested world. Occidental thought of the last few centuries is the only exception I know of. The occident has studied the properties of matter and even sociology and psychology in an isolated way, rejecting super physical intelligence, super physical intuition and purpose, and tends to regard consciousness and life as products of matter which in itself is purposeless. But also in the west, and part of the greatest thinkers have often (thought more or less secretly) had connections. Such are, to mention a few, the Alchemists, Rosicrucians, Freemasons, Druids, Theosophists, and Anthroposophists.

All these contain elements of the same spiritual knowledge found at the core of all great human cultures. In the world culture of today, the theosophical is- to my judgment- the most fundamental and pure. Theosophy seems to support- though greatly invisible to the masses, including scientists- the spiritual basis of our modern culture. Therefore, I include the purest modern theosophical teachings in this study.

Methods

Apart from a study of literature, many interviews were audio-taped with representatives of the cultures which are the subject of this study during three seasons of field work in India and the United States. Lists of questions and the complete interviews are given in Appendix 5.

B Philosophical Introduction

What is Life?
As regards the question what is life? The modern occidental world deviates very far from others. The gap between the occidental scientific axioms in this respect is so large that almost nobody dares to take the jump. To the western mind, including that of some of the most progressive biological thinkers of our days, life is conditioned by matter. Life can only exist (or manifest?) within a very narrow range of physical and chemical conditions. It can only arise where chemistry allows the formation of carbon-based organic structures and at temperatures and pressures where (liquid) water can exist. Official research and speculation concerning extraterrestrial life directs its efforts toward planets, moons, or perhaps meteorites which may answer these conditions. If such conditions are not met, life is thought impossible, at least at present. Therefore life on Mars or Venus is hardly expected, or at best life in a very primitive or rudimentary from. Other conditions we attach to the definition of life are procreation and active movement. This separates nature into two parts: living and nonliving, organic and inorganic, having DNA and not having DNA. Consequently, minerals do not live, because they don't meet he requirements. Nevertheless, from a philosophical point of view, these conditions are quite arbitrary. Rather they are descriptive of what we wish to include in the living world and what not, in order to satisfy our dualistic mind-set. But what if we detach life as a principle from these arbitrary conditions? What would happen if we were to define life as the energy of conscious existence? There is no irrefutable argument to define a point where consciousness begins and unconsciousness ends. As humans we may lose walking consciousness and enter dream consciousness, but does that mean that consciousness itself is interrupted?

Is consciousness defined by DNA? If so, do viruses, bacteriophages and mitochondri have consciousness, while other complex organic structures or inorganic crystals do not? Perhaps consciousness is a matter of graduation. The occidental division into life and non-life, consciousness and non-consciousness may be practical in daily society, but not very philosophical. If we discard this duality, we see life as a universal phenomenon which connects all things within it. Then the earth is alive, minerals are, the other planets of our or other solar systems are, and the sun, the stars and any other galactic structure. Even dead matter is alive. Life is no longer a mysterious phenomenon, mystically born out of dead matter as a result of particular molecular arrangements, but is the omnipresent consciousness-force in everything. We are indeed a living universe. This idea is at least as philosophically acceptable as the predominant occidental view. Yet the consequences resulting from the view we choose are tremendous. It seems a choice between darkness and light, because if the view of the universality of life is accepted, the whole universe becomes a living phenomenon, and everything that is essential to life becomes universally valid.

The occult definition of life as expressed in modern theosophical literature is "It is the One Life, eternal, invisible, yet omnipresent, without beginning or end, yet periodical in its regular manifestations, between which periods reigns the dark mystery of non-Being; unconscious, yet absolute consciousness; unrealizable, yet the one self- existing reality; truly, 'a chaos to the sense, a Cosmos to the reason.' Its one absolute attribute, which is ITSELF, eternal, ceaseless motion of the universe, in the sense of limitless, ever-present Space. That which is motionless cannot be Divine. But then there is nothing in fact and reality absolutely motionless within the universal soul" (SD1 1.2). Another theosophical work adds: "Life per se is conscious, substantial, spiritual force, manifesting in myriad ways as the various lives and as forms of energy, whether macrocosmic, microcosmic, or infinitesimal. Force and substance, or life-substance-intelligence. As there is a vast scale of substance-forces existing in all-various degrees of ethereality, so 'there is life per se, in individuals manifesting as a vital fluid belonging to each one such grade or stage or place of material manifestation- and these vital fluids in their aggregate form what we may call the Universal Life, manifesting in appropriate form on any one plane and functioning therefore through the various matters of that plane''' (ET 431).

"Life is an entity or process is all that is, the basis or essence of all that is beginningless and endless. It is the spiritual electricity, or the vital svabhava, of the monad [immortal essence, jiva], which it pours forth out of itself and thus produces the individual characteristics of every entity, celestial or terrestrial. As the divine monad is a breath of pure spirit, pure consciousness, life may be called the innumerable manifold phases of consciousness in time and space. 'Consciousness is the originant, and this originant by its own inherent powers and energies, faculties and attributes, produces life out of itself: not at any one time specifically, but continuously forever, and coincidentally with its own existing duration. Consciousness and life together originate and produce thereafter from themselves what men call the manifestations of force of energy, which in its turn deposits or lays down, so to say, the matters and substances of the Universe, much as wine will deposit its lees''' (ET 749/ETG).

The term jiva is used for life or living soul in Hinduism and Jainism, especially when referring to the eternal essential living soul of each being. Prana is the term used for the life as it manifests as streams of energy in each individual which withdraw at death, and pervade every cell or atom during life. Thud so-called life and death are but different phases of the eternal life of the jiva or living soul.

Another remarkable thing in the western mind is the almost absolute separation between certain scientific disciplines the one utterly ignorant about the other. Here I refer to the separation between the physical sciences and parapsychology. Parapsychology has in the last few centuries delivered thousands and thousands of proofs of the existence of life after death, spooks, apparitions, spiritualistic phenomena, gnomes, elementals, remembrances of former lives, etc., etc. This science has made it impossible to sustain the belief that life is confined to physical structure. What if your grandfather can still appear and tell you sensible things after his corpse has decomposed? Parapsychology is not a part of the present dissertation, but seems to have sufficiently proven that life-forms. So, is it impossible that people who stand closer to nature or are spiritually and psychically more receptive than most of us, have indeed gathered genuine and true information about invisible (non-physical) forms of life? We must take into consideration however that a lot of spiritual knowledge can not even be imagined by the minds of common people, and therefore is packed in a symbology that can be understood only when one is ready for it and the keys have been given. This symbology may take very different forms in different culture, though the symbols may for each be entrances to the same worlds of reality. Of course I am referring to genuine knowledge, not to the humbug that is sold at the street corner, especially in the modern western society. So, perhaps there are life-forms have been given in all corners of the world, including modern theosophy, and these details suggest that the approaches of such cultures have been scientific and can indeed be factually known, and that, if our own sciences become more open and spiritual, we too can know such worlds and learn what the forces and divinities of the universe really are.

Seven Fundamental Concepts

1 Cycles:
Cyclic processes are fundamental in manifested nature. They are recognized in such phenomena as the cycles of day and night, of the seasons, of ebb and flow, of the movements of celestial bodies and intra-atomic movement, etc. Cyclic processes have been acknowledged as fundamental by most great cultures of past and present. For this reason the circle is a most sacred symbol among many Native Americans. In Hinduism cycles linking every event in the universe, from the smallest to the largest. Most important, partly because of its ethical and psychological implications, is life as opposed to death. With many cultures life and death have been recognized as a cyclic alternation comparable to "life and death" of the sun each day, which means that something continues when life has withdrawn from the realm of visibility and later returns to manifested physical existence. In Buddhism the cycle of rebirth (bhavacakra) is a basic teaching, and Tibetan Buddhism in particular contains detailed descriptions of after-death states of consciousness. Also many Native Americans are acquainted with the concept of reincarnation or reembodiment.

2 Causality
Events are the results of previous causes. Results are expected to follow causes mathematically, and if related to matter in strict correspondence with the physical laws of nature. But the interpretation of causality varies greatly with different cultures. In occidental thinking the concept of chance has been introduced and absolutized, which makes it possible to calculate with the results of untraceable causes. Forces that transmit the information contained in a cause are supposed to act blindly, and uncontrolled by mind and intelligence. Other cultures seem to have explained results of unknown causes as fate, depending on the will and imponderable mind of God or gods. In the Indian systems the concept of karma is very important, which is neither blind, nor controlled by higher being outside the actor, but is the eternal "habit" of manifested nature to restore the balance, working on all levels of existence and for all being, including the gods. The explanations of Karma given by Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism lay emphasis on different aspects of this universal doctrine. We will see that, hidden beneath the surface of myth, the knowledge of karma exists with Native Americans as well. Causality is thus directly linked with individual responsibility in action and thought, and consequently with ethics. Karma is cyclic: results of actions sooner or later return to the actor.

3 Ecology

Ecology is the science concerned with the interconnectedness of things "especially as manifested by natural cycles and rhythms" (Webster's third international dictionary). Occidental ecology studies an ecosystem as a unit of individuals each striving for their own benefit, adapting to the given and changing biological, physical and chemical environment. At best beings cooperate because they co-evolved into a condition of mutual benefit. The interdependence of certain creatures, such as figs and wasps, has been established by accidental evolutionary steps, which finally led to a situation beneficial to both. Being successful, even the possibility of independence was selected away. What is hidden beneath the surface of ecological and evolutionary theory is a metaphysical motivation of self-preservation, success for oneself, and selfishness in general. There is in the pessimistic occidental view no recognition of an inherent factor of service to a greater purpose in nature, service to the community of all beings on earth, or of a harmonious overtone to which all being (unconsciously, semi-consciously, or consciously) obey. The west has lost the idea of a divine presence pervading all things, of a spiritual musical score according to which each plays (or tries to play) its individual tune in the universal symphony. The predominant scientific opinion sees only "blind" matter, but not intelligence, nor divine consciousness of beauty and harmony as inherent parts of an ecosystem. Yet who does not stand in awe when allowing himself or herself to be engulfed by the soft sounds of a tropical rainforest, or when abiding in places of pristine purity in nature. The view is different with other cultures. Buddhists see the Buddha-nature- which means wisdom and compassion, not blindness and selfishness-inherent in all manifestations of nature. According to Buddhism everything serves a higher purpose to reach the final goal of evolution. Everything helps everything because that is the real meaning of compassion. Evolution will lead us to unsoiled awareness of the essence of all being, unsoiled by any illusionary or erroneous mental perception. The obvious cruelties which keep the ecological balance within the animal kingdom are then considered just ripples of transient imperfection on the road to unspeakable and universal insight and bliss. These imperfections in the human as well as other kingdoms of nature are karma- results of actions disharmonious with the higher inner laws of nature. We with our senses and instruments can perceive only the omnipresence of physical matter and the coarser manifestations of energy. But from the standpoint of theosophy or Hinduism all principles of nature are omnipresent. Mind is considered by them omnipresent in the universe; so is intelligence. Beauty is then a reflection, recognition, of the divine presence in every facet of nature. Desire is everywhere: it was the motor of each universe's birth as well as of each individual action. Life is everywhere, and so on. We humans and other living beings contain all these universal principles within us. Our intelligence is a small-scale and but slightly awakened drop of universal intelligence. Are these ideas, reflected in the philosophical systems of cultures which have often shown themselves superior to the west in social, artistic and environmental accomplishments to be put aside as superstitions? Are these in any sense less philosophical than the occidental new cultures of the future?

Many great philosophers have revealed to the human mind what nature in all her being continuously exposes: the great interworking of divine, intelligent and lower forces, resulting in ecosystems and individuals of astounding beauty and intelligent balance within which there is room for each individual. Individuals and species in their lowest expression may be guided by selfish greed until they learn, perhaps out of despair, to turn to their god within. This, then, is the goal of existence.

For the western mind it is difficult to accept that the minerals in the earth were originally conceived in a higher mind, exactly to serve that purpose. For the mind of an Australian Aboriginal of High Degree, or a Jain or a theosophist, it is equally difficult, if not impossible, to accept that all this came about by chance, and that somewhere along the line selfishness was born out of nothing to become the guiding power of living nature. I am curious (and more hopeful than afraid) which line of thought humanity at large will choose in the coming centuries.

We see that the ecosystems of non-western cultures include numerous hierarchies of invisible beings of a higher or lower nature. Trained yogis or occult initiates in the higher Mysteries are said to be able to communicate with and understand such creatures. There is record of devoted students of spiritual truth who can confabulate with the "gods," and thus transfer their influence by their insights and works for the well-being of humanity and the kingdoms of nature. In a sense we all do so in a degree when we really unselfishly attune our mind to what is beneficial universal truth for the well-being of others, above the illusions of our personal opinions. This leads to promptings of unselfish love and intuition.

At the realms of the physical as well as spiritual ecosystems seem to exist within us: we are humans, but have the animal desire, vegetable vitality, and mineral firmness within us. But we also have higher levels within our psychological constitution, represented by hierarchies of divinities situated within again hierarchically ordered levels. If such higher and more subtle hierarchies would be studied from a psychological point of view, we would learn to recognize the higher and refined aspects of our own psychology.

4 The Essential Characteristic

Every species of living being and even every individual has something that causes it to be essentially different from others. According to the doctrines of Darwinism and neo-Darwinism, new characteristics may come into existence through sudden changes in the genetic information, probably due to outside influences. They may also disappear through the same mechanism. This is the basis for speciation (formation of new species) and the answer to the question of the origin of species.

From biblical and other sources the origin of species has been understood by some in the sense that God created all species as they are and that these never change. One may of course question whether this is the real meaning of the teaching in the Bible, and whether the theory is philosophically sound.

In some of the eastern system we find the concept of svabhava, which, may be understood as "essential characteristic" and which literally means "self-being" or "self-becoming." It means that every species, and indeed every individual, has a spiritual monadic essence which is its own source, and from which all further characteristics come forth. The teaching seems to lead to the conclusion that the essence of a species has always existed, but sequential manifestations of this essence may vary. From this point of view species may be either fundamentally deferent of sequential manifestations of the same essence. Species in the modern scientific sense are then only temporary manifestations of essence which exist during long cycles of evolution. The concept of svabhava is most important in relation to evolution theory.

5 Evolution

Evolution is one of the most prominent subjects of study in modern biology. The concept of evolution is relatively young in western culture, and even today evolution is denied by creationists within the dogmatic Christian traditions. In India, and also in America, teachings on evolution are thousands of years old.

Modern evolution theories describe and explain the transformation of one form into another. This is however not the real meaning of the word evolution, which means to roll forth, to unfold (from within). The Sanskrit concept of pravrtti comes closer to this. Pravrtti is linked with nivrtti (flowing back), or involution. Because, how could things evolve, if they have not first been involved, and vice versa? So it is a cyclic process. In the ancient west, the Mayas had their popol Vuh, which contains a very interesting narrative on evolution, including human cyclic evolution.

Most cultures teach, if they have a concept of evolution, that soul or mind existed before the processes of evolution began, and that the divine awoke first to guide evolution. The outward evolution of forms- the subject of scientific evolutionary studies is but an outer expression of inner evolution. Every evolutionary expression has a cause in consciousness. This is comprehensively discussed in the Chapter 8 on Jainism in section II. Inner evolution means the unfoldment of all inherent qualities of the soul, step by step, to which outer forms are adjusted, also step by step. Moreover evolution is circular, or rather spiral, breathing out and withdrawing again and again.

The prevailing occidental idea is that evolution is linear, either smooth or jumping, the result of chance material processes on the one hand, and the desire to survive as metaphysical motivating force on the other. There is no purpose other than individual survival- or rather that of each individual genome- and teleology might be called the greatest heresy in evolution science. Just as in ecology, mind, intelligence and their possible purpose are not taken into account, except when the human mind comes into play and gives humans partly the power to direct their own mental and intellectual evolution.

Not every culture has an explicit doctrine of evolution, but they definitely see a purpose of all life which we recognize through our innate higher longings. Evolution may run in cycles of ever higher unfoldment, thus making it cyclic rather than linear. Every next event in evolution finds its root in an earlier cause: the inner desire to move in a certain direction, which leads to its necessary result according to the universal natural law of cause and effect.

6 Spirit and Matter

It has been universally recognized that nature has a spiritual and a material side. But are spirit and matter, energy and matter, mind and matter, good and evil, God and Devil separate or dual aspects of the same thing? In the latter case, spirit is but ethereal matter. Or matter gross spirit. If spirit is infinite, there is no room for a second infinite. The finite can be but an illusionary aspect of the infinite. Reality is one, eternal, non-dual and omnipresent.

If spirit and matter are inseparable and indeed two aspects of the same, this inseparability applies ultimately to all dualities in nature. It means that all principle of nature are inseparable aspects of the one universal life-consciousness. Consequently, instead of being forever doomed to speculation on what we will never really understand, we will be able to unveil for ourselves the ultimate truth of the universe, because our mind is one with it, and wisdom. Everything in the cosmos exists in an absolute oneness. This conclusion shakes the basis of the prevailing occidental world view.

7 Knowledge of the Essence of Nature

Man being part of nature, his faculty of knowing nature is an inherent part of that same nature. Thus nature has its own built-in possibility to be known by conscious beings. Can we known it in its deepest essence? Does evolution have an inner purpose: the knowledge of our essential self, which because there is no separateness in non-dual nature, is the same as knowing all? Perhaps rather than our instinct for survival, it is our inborn drive toward perfection in all respect which is the motivating force of evolution.

With this study a work is begun and hinted at which may stimulate centuries of research along new lines and lead humankind in entirely new directions, though all is based on existing insights, the heritage of the world's culture throughout the ages.

A Personal Note

The author was trained as a tropical ecologist, and became inspired by the more refined stories that living nature tries to tell. He worked for several environmental groups concerned with education and advice about the beauty of tropical nature and the problems created by human attitudes toward it. He became aware that it is the human mind which creates these attitudes, and that this mind is fed from childhood mainly by ideas which spring forth from one culture- that of western science. If we really wish to change our attitude toward nature, the ideas which feed the mind should be taken from other sources as well, especially from those which show great intuitive insights, giving rise to attitudes toward nature which bring more happiness to all.

 

Contents

 

  Contents 5
  Acknowledgements 19
  Abbreviations 23
  Introduction 27
A General Introduction 27
  Purpose and Motivation 27
  Methods 29
B Philosophical Introduction 29
  What is Life? 29
  Seven fundamental concepts 32
  A personal Note 37
  Section I: The law of cycles 39
Chapter 1 The symbolism of the circle 41
1 The Eternal- A Native American Approach 42
  Parentless 47
  The Circumference 47
2 Wholeness and Brotherhood- A native American Approach 50
  The medicine wheel 50
  The sacred Hoop 53
  Cermonies 54
  Ceremonial Cycles 55
  Mandala 55
3 Duality 56
  Parabrahman 56
  57
  Svabhavat 57
  Mulaprakrti 57
  Akasa 57
  Duality in Hopi and Oglala Philosophy 58
  Upperworlds and Underworlds 66
4 The cycle of life and Death 74
5 The cycle of creation and evolution 83
6 Sacred Numbers 84
Chapter 2 The cycles of the Hindu Puranas and the Surya Siddhanta, and Theosophical explanations 94
1 The cycle of creation, destruction, and Renovation 94
2 The Hindu time division 95
3 The Divine year and the yugas 101
4 Cyclic Governors and helpers 103
5 Dissolution or Involution 104
Chapter 3 The Jain cycles of joy and suffering 107
1 Avasarpini and Utsarpini 109
Chapter 4 The Buddhist cycles of life and death 112
1 Bhavackra 112
2 Bardo Thodol 115
Chapter 5 The law of cycles in theosophy 119
1 Reincarnation 119
2 Rounds and Races 122
2.1 The seven rounds 128
2.2 Root-Races and continents 129
3 Reembodiment and Root-Races in the Plant Kingdom 135
4 Destruction of the continents 138
Chapter 6 Implications of cycles law for modern biology: Linear versus circular 139
1 Life of Eternal 139
2 Life Rather than life-forms 140
3 The cycles of paleontology 141
4 Medicine and Agriculture 142
  Section II: Causality 145
Chapter 7 Some aspects of causality in native American thinking 147
1 Introduction 147
2 Interconnectedness of all things 148
3 Harmony 150
4 Divination 152
5 Prophecy 155
6 Skan 157
7 Summary of aspects of causality in native American thinking 161
Chapter 8 Causality in Jainism 164
1 Introduction 164
2 Causality an Non-absolutism 164
3 Causality on the physical and the moral plane (Jiva/Ajiva) 166
4 The Jaina doctrine of Karma 167
5 The types of Karma 169
6 Bandha 174
7 Karmana-sarira and reincarnation 174
8 The origin of species 175
9 Karmabhumis 180
10 Cycles 181
11 Summary and conclusions 181
12 Bioological aspects 185
13 Nature, Many individuals or one wholeness? 186
14 The deepest motivation 186
15 Duality 187
16 Comparison of causality in Jain and Native American Thinking 187
Chapter 9 Causality in Hinduism 191
1 Causality in Advaita Vedanta 191
1.1 Gaudapada and Sankaracarya 191
1.2 Causality and Karma 196
1.3 Karma and Intelligence 196
2 Karma 197
Chapter 10 Cause and effect in Buddhism, in a theosophic light 202
1 Bhavacakra and the Nidanas 202
2 Karma 216
Chapter 11 The Karma doctrine in theosophy 223
1 Karma Aphorisms 223
2 Karma and compassion 232
3 Karma and Disease 233
4 Karma an Heredity 236
5 Karma after death and unmerited karma 237
6 Karma and animals 239
7 Karma, Lipikas and the four Maharajas 240
Chapter 12 The meaning of causaslity in modern science 244
1 The mechanistic model 244
2 Entropy <246/td>
3 From matter to consciousness 247
4 Implicate order 249
5 Discussion 252
Chapter 13 The implications of the Non-western causality doctrines for modern biology 254
1 From matter to consciousness 254
2 Karma and the mechanistic view 255
3 Interconnectedness 257
4 Teleology 258
5 Anthropomorphism versus Analogy 259
6 Respect for all beings 259
7 All causes have their origin in consciousness 260
8 Outer forms are the result of Inner causes 261
9 Karma and reincarnation 261
10 Real causality knows no statistics 262
11 Synchronicity 262
12 Free will 263
13 Energies are living entities 264
14 Cataclysms and thought power 264
15 Every act is recorded 265
  Section III: Ecology 267
Chapter 14 The meaning of ecology 269
1 What is ecology? 269
2 The hierarchical structure of nature 272
2.1 Hierarchy of worlds or levels of existence 273
2.2 Hierarchy of beings 274
2.3 Hierarchy of elements 274
2.4 Hierarchy of constituent principles 275
Chapter 15 Jain cosmology 276
1 Hierarchy of world or levels of existence 276
1.1 Introduction 276
1.2 The lower world 277
1.3 The middle world 278
  Mount meru en videha 279
1.4 The upper world 279
1.5 Discussion 280
1.6 Jambu and other Dvipas 281
1.7 Mahavideha and Meru 283
1.8 The occult meaning of meru 283
1.9 Lands of work and liberation 284
1.10 Guardians of the world 284
1.11 The world of physical incarnation 285
2 Hierarchy of being 285
2.1 Introduction 285
2.2 Classification 286
2.3 Some notes on ecology 295
2.4 Discussion of this section 298
2.5 Being of the lower world 298
2.6 Being of the upper world 301
2.7 Discussion 303
  Elements 303
  Nigodas 305
  Cosmographical distribution 306
  Evolution from within 306
  Devas, their functions and hierarchies 307
  Celestial bodies as Devas 309
  Bhavanavasins 309
  Vyantaras 310
  Hell-being 310
  Being of the upper world 310
3 Hierarchy of elements 311
4 Hierarchy of constituent principles 311
4.1 Bodies 311
4.2 Discussion 314
  Physical and other Bodies 314>
  Spontaneous generation 315
Chapter 16 Hindu cosmology 317
1 Hierarchy of worlds or levels of existence 317
1.1 Lokas and Talas in the Visnu Purana 319
1.2 Some significant quotes concerning the lokas and talas 321
a. Lokas 321
  Bhurloka 321
  Bhuvarloka 321
  Svarloka 322
  Maharloka 322
  Janarloka 323
  Taparloka 324
  Satyaloka 324
  Lokas, general 325
b. Talas 326
  Atala 326
  Vitala 326
  Sutala 326
  Talatala 326
  Mahatala 326
  Rasatala 326
  Patala 327
1.3 Discussion 327
2 Hierarchy of beings 329
2.1 Inhabitants of the lokas 329
  Inhabitants of Bhurloka 329
  Inhabitants of Bhuvarloka 330
  Inhabitants of Svarloka 331
  Inhabitants of Maharloka 335
  Inhabitants of Janarloka 339
  Inhabitants of Taparloka 341
  Inhabitants of Satyaloka 342
2.2 Inhabitants of Talas 342
3 Hierarchy of elements 343
3.1 Dissolution of the elements 348
4 Hierarchy of constituent principles 350
Chapter 17 Theosophical cosmology 356
1 Hierarchy of elements and beings 356
1.1 Some aspects of physics and biology in relation to the theosophical teachings concerning the atom 374
  Wave-particle relation and the nature of light 374
  Gravity 377
  Infinite divisibility of matter 378
  The chemical atom and its time-scale 380
  Life-atoms and mitosis: Microsomes and centrosomes 381
  Ecology and life-atoms 383
  Life-atoms and music 384
  Summary 385
1.2 Elements, Dhyani chohans and pitrs 387
2 Hierarchy of works or levels of existence 389
3 Hierarchy of constituent principles 392
  1 Atman 395
  2 Buddhi 396
  3 Manas 397
  4 Kama 400
  5 Prana 401
  6 Linga sarira 403
  7 Sthula sarira 404
4 The Hierarchy of compassion 405
Chapter 18 The western world: Some aspects of biology 410
1 Morphogenetic fields 410
1.1 The origin of forms 421
1.2 How the Linga sarira can be influenced 432
1.3 How the processes of the cell can be influenced 435
1.4 How does the Jiva adjust the body which it occupies 441
2 Gaia 443
  Contents of Volume II:  
  Contents to Volume II 453
  Section IV: Evolution 459
Chapter 19 Evolution in the popol Vuh 461
1 Introduction (by the mayan author) 461
2 Creation 468
2.1 The Gods enclosed in quetzal feathers- a glittering light 472
2.2 General outline of evolution 474
2.3 The three logoi 475
2.4 The cosmic mind 476
2.5 Manifestation and evolution 482
2.6 Early Humanity 485
2.7 The giants 490
2.8 The Twins 495
2.9 The history of thinking humanity and of the Mayas in particular 498
Chapter 20 Evolution in Jainism 503
Chapter 21 Evolution and Involution in the Visnu Purana 507
1 Introduction 507
2 Beyond and before creation 508
3 The cause of creation 510
4 Creation 511
5 The seven or more creations 512
6 The Egg of Brahma 517
7 Secondary creation 519
8 Human evolution 525
8.1 Rsis and Manus 526
8.2 Rsis 527
8.3 Manus 533
9 Involution 535
Chapter 22 Evolution in Theosophy 542
1 Fundamental concepts 542
1.1 Before the Birth of the cosmos 542
1.2 Precosmic ideation 542
1.3 Subject and object 543
1.4 Force 543
1.5 Cosmic Ideation 543
1.6 Evolution defined 544
1.7 Humans first 546
1.8 Evolution or emanation 547
1.9 Multi track evolution 548
1.10 Involution, Evolution and compassion 549
1.11 Designers of speciation and their mistakes 550
1.12 Mutation and speciation 552
1.13 Jiva defined 553
1.14 Svabhava 554
1.15 Svabhava and speciation 555
1.16 Fohat 556
1.16.1 Fohat and Atoms 557
1.16.2 Fohat as wisdom 558
1.16.3 Fohat as energy and force 558
1.16.4 Fohat cosmologically 559
1.16.5 Where does Fohat originally come from? 559
1.16.6 Fohat as cosmic and Human principle 560
1.16.7 Fohat and the laws of nature 560
1.16.8 Fohat in evolution 561
1.17 Sista 563
1.17.1 Minerals 566
1.17.2 Plants 567
1.17.3 Animals 568
1.17.4 Humans 569
1.17.5 Surplus of Life: Sistas and the unfolding of the Universe 569
1.17.6 Sistas and Reembodiment: the key to the doctrine of cycles 570
2 The stanzas of Dzyan 571
2.1 Coamic evolution 571
2.1.1 Stanza I 571
2.1.2 Stanza II 575
2.1.3 Stanza III 579
2.1.4 Stanza IV 582
2.1.5 Stanza V 583
2.1.6 Stanza VI 584
2.1.7 Stanza VII 585
2.2 Human evolution 587
2.2.1 Stanza I: Beginning of sentient life 588
2.2.2 Stanza II: Nature unaided fails 590
2.2.3 Stanza IV: Creation of the first races 592
2.2.4 Stanza VII: From the semi-Divine down to the first Human Races 594
2.2.5 Modes of Reproduction 596
2.2.6 Stanza VIII: Evolution of the animal mammalians 597
2.2.7 Stanza IX: The final evolution of man 599
2.2.8 The development of speech 600
2.2.9 Stanza X: The history of the fourth race 602
2.2.10 Stanza XI: Civilization and the destruction of the 4th and 5th Races   603
2.2.11 Stanza XII: The fifth race and its divine instructors 603
Chapter 23 Implications for modern evolution theory 605
1 Introduction 605
2 The origin of life 612
2.1 A Buddhist approach 614
2.2 A Native American approach 616
2.3 A jain approach 617
2.4 A Hindu approach 617
2.5 A theosophical approach 619
3 Competition or cooperation 621
4 Non-occidental approaches 632
5 Efficiency of adaptation 633
6 From Micro-evolution to Macro-evolution 636
6.1 Micro-evolution 636
6.2 Macro-evolution 638
6.3 What is a Taxon? 638
6.4 Conclusion 643
7 Gradualism or saltation 644
8 The origin of Novelties 646
8.1 Complexity 646
8.2 Homology and Analogy 651
8.3 Gene regulation and the origin of novelties and species 652
8.4 Attractors 654
8.5 Conclusion: the general line of evolution 655
8.6 Other cultures 656
9 Cataclysms and speciation Booms 656
10 God? 660
11 Aesthetics 662
12 Human evolution 664
12.1 Is the Human species an animal? 664
12.2 Why not many species of Humans? 668
  Section V: Appendices 671
Appendix 1: Karma in the Oglala Indian tradition 673
Appendix 2: The popol Vuh 676
Appendix 3: The Visnu Purana 683
Appendix 4: The way to an All-understanding mind: Spiritual evolution in Jainism;  
  The fourteen-fold path of the Jains 687
  The seed of Jaina Buddhas of compassion 694
Appendex 5 Interviews 701
  Introduction 701
  List of Interviewees 701
  List of questions 704
  Dr. Gregory Cajete 707
  Cycles 707
  Causality 707
  Prof. Dr. Alfonso Ortiz 708
  Wakan Tanka 708
  Nature 708
  Death and reincarnation 708
  Jim Barnett 709
  Duality 709
  Kachinas and Devas 712
  Bodhisattva Doctrine 715
  Reincarnation 716
  Cycles of development 718
  The origin of species 720
  Violence and sacrifice in Nature 721
  Causality 722
  Communication 723
  Swami Paramarthananda 726
  Some concepts (a selection) 743
  Manu 743
  Pralaya 744
  Upadhi 744
  Four cardinal directions 745
  Prof. Dr. M.D. Vasantharaj 745
  Dr. A. Thejagarajan 765
  Theerabantha Vajiranano 776
  M. Selaraman BA 790
  A.E. Devarajan MA 800
  The Mechanism of rebirth 802
  Possession 803
  Death 805
  Karma and Physical defects 806
  About life and death 807
  Creation and evolution 808
  Beyond the physical and the mind 811
  The supreme being and consciousness 812
  The goal of evolution 813
  Distinction between animals and humans 813
  The Pineal gland 815
  K. Sankariah BA 822
  Karma and rebirth 828
  The eating of plants 829
  Rebirth 830
  Extinction of species 831
  Reincarnations and twins 831
  S. Krishnachand Chordia 832
  Prof. B.V. Radhakrishnan 837
  Causality 837
  Albert F. Richter Msc 840
  Nivard Vas 844
  Dr. David Roef 847
Literature   869
Notes   879
Index   887

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