Evolving Life Forms
The elementary evolving life forms were of a very simple structure, and
were but a degree above the crystals. They were composed of identically
the same substance as the crystals, _the only difference being that
they displayed a greater degree of mind_. For that matter, even the
highest physical form known to us today is composed of simple chemical
And these chemical materials are obtained, either directly
or indirectly, from the air, water, or earth. The principal materials
composing the physical bodies of plants, animals, and man, are oxygen,
carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, with a still smaller proportion of sulphur
and phosphorus, and traces of a few other elements. The material part
of all living things is alike--the difference lies in the degree of
Mind controlling the matter in which it is embodied.
Of these physical materials, carbon is the most important to the living
forms. It seems to possess properties capable of drawing to it the
other elements, and forcing them into service. From carbon proceeds
what is called "protoplasm," the material of which the cells of animal
and vegetable life is composed.
From protoplasm the almost infinite
varieties of living forms have been built up by the process of
Evolution, working gradually and by easy stages. Every living form is
made up, or composed, of a multitude of single cells, and their
combinations. And every form originates in a single cell which rapidly
multiplies and reproduces itself until the form of the amoeba; the
plant; the animal; the man, is completed. All living forms are but a
single cell multiplied. And every cell is composed of protoplasm.
Therefore we must look for the beginning of life in the grade of matter
called protoplasm. In this both modern Science and the Yogi Teachings
In investigating protoplasm we are made to realize the wonderful
qualities of its principal constituent--Carbon. Carbon is the wonder
worker of the elements. Manifesting in various forms, as the diamond,
graphite, coal, protoplasm--is it not entitled to respect?
The Yogi Teachings inform vis that in Carbon we have that form of matter which
was evolved as the physical basis of life. If any of you doubt that
inorganic matter may be transformed into living forms, let us refer you
to the plant life, in which you may see the plants building up cells
every day from the inorganic, chemical or mineral substances, in the
earth, air, and water. Nature performs every day the miracle of
transforming chemicals and minerals into living plant cells.
And when animal or man eats these plant cells, so produced, they become
transformed into animal cells of which the body is built up. What it
took Nature ages to do in the beginning, is now performed in a few
hours, or minutes.