Evolution and Devolution-Chapter 1-To Self Consciousness
It will be necessary, in the first place, for the reader of these pages to have before his/her mind a tolerably complete idea in outline of mental evolution in all its three branches-sensuous, intellectual and emotional -up to and through the status of self consciousness. Without such a mental image as basis for the new conception this last (that is, cosmic consciousness) to most people would seem extravagant and even absurd. With such necessary foundation the new concept will appear to the intelligent reader what it is: A matter of course-an inevitable sequel to what preceded and led up to it.
Only a very short ime ago (and even yet by most) this break in the line of ascent (or descent) was supposed to be impassable by ordinary growth. It maybe said to be now known to be so passable, but it still stands out and apart from the even path of Cosmic development before our vision as that broad chasm or gap between the brute and the man. For some hundreds of thousands of years , upon the general plane of Self Consciousness, an ascent, to the human eye gradual, but from the point of view of Cosmic evolution rapid, has been made. In a race, large brained, walking erect, gregarious, brutal, but king of all other brutes, man in appearance, but not in fact, the so-called alalus homo, was, from the highest Simple Consciousness born the basic human faculty Self Consciousness and its twin, language.
From these and what went with these, through suffering, toil and war; through bestiality, savagery, barbarism; through slavery, greed, effort; through conquests infinite, through defeats overwhelming, through struggle unending; through ages of aimless semi-brutal existence; through subsistence on berries and roots; through the use of the casually found stone or stick; through life in a deep forest, with nuts and seeds, and on the shores of waters with mollusks, crustaceans, and fish for food; through that greatest, perhaps, of human victories, the domestication and subjugation of fire; through the invention and art of the bow and arrow; through the taming of animalsand the breaking of them to labor; through the long learning which led to the cultivation of the soil;through the adobe brickand the building of houses therefrom; through the smelting of metals and the slow births of the arts which rest upon these; through the slow making of alphabets and the evolution of the written word; in short, through thousands of centuries of human aspiration, of human growth, sprang the world of men and women as it stands before us and within us to-day with all its achievements and possessions. [124. 10-31].
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