Loehr-Daniels Study Course of Basic Teachings
By Franklin Loehr
What happens when the fourth emergent—human life--appears? What is the difference it makes in the total Earth picture, what purpose has it? Why does the soul incarnate, take on flesh, and live on Earth?
To raise animal consciousness to self-consciousness, and to bring God-consciousness to Earth.
Even our pets “revert to type” again and again. We have made them aware of us as friends. We have made them aware in a new way of themselves, as individual beings that are loved and provided for by us. But even years of being pets puts only a layer, sometimes distressingly thin, over their animal nature—the instincts and reactions with which they were born. And the animals which never are pets—the rabbit, the deer, running for its life; the birds whose nests are constantly threatened by a host of marauders and whose bodies are beset with lice; the wild things, whether hunted or hunter—what is their state of consciousness?
As pointed out, they do have a far greater ability than do plants to adapt themselves to their environment—moving when the food supply diminishes in one place, stalking prey, running to flee an attacker. But what do they know of themselves?
I have watched fish for
extended periods of time, through the glass portholes of the aquarium near
Whether or not my observations were sufficient and my conclusion correct, we do find in animals a lack of that self-consciousness we find in man. A cat has cat consciousness, a fish has fish consciousness, and an earthworm has earthworm consciousness—but none except man seems to have true self-consciousness.
You recognize by now that a certain long-pondered progression marks these lessons. So let us recall now the lessons on Atlantis, Lucifer, and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. There it was pointed out that what we call evil (symbolized by Lucifer, fallen angel of light, and his followers) find in the negative emotions of living things—incarnate life—an alternative source of food, of energy-replenishment, when they have turned from God.
Animal behavior well illustrates this. How often we have seen evil feed on animal hurt, cruelty, arrogance, death. I remember now particularly one early morning in 1951. Our little family was camping on a then quite deserted beach below Ensenada in Baja California, some 60 miles south of the Mexican-American border. I had gotten up quietly, leaving the others sleeping, this particularly early morning, and was simply sitting on a dune watching the sleepless ocean. Far up the beach I saw a group of five dogs coming along the beach. I watched them as they came down, passed in front of me, then trotted on out of sight down beach.
One was obviously the chief dog. He trotted along pompously, sure in his strength and place. The others fawned upon him. Three were in his favor. One poor dog was obviously in disfavor. He trotted along about 20 feet away from the others. He wanted so much to be accepted as one of the gang. But whenever he tried to come close, one or several of the retainer dogs would snarl and snap at him, and drive him back. Their self-righteous pride in having rendered such a service was quite evident as they returned to their favored positions near the lead dog.
What a feast of negative emotions for evil, I thought. The arrogance and disdain of the head dog, matching that of King Henry VIII. The fawning servility of the accepted followers. The forlorn hopes, the biting rejection, of the outcast.
The soul came into incarnation to change this.
The soul brings first of all a rich self-consciousness, an awareness of itself as an individual able to make its own decisions, set its own values, be of worth whatever others might think of it. The soul brings into the animal realm a self-consciousness wherein the individual knows itself, can discern between good and evil, has free will whereby it can choose what it will do in this situation or that, a God-consciousness which in time will redeem all life on Earth from its present bondage to matter. The soul does this by itself taking on a body form, producing the fourth emergent—the human being.
Consciousness is the battleground. It is our negative thoughts and feelings, not our physical bodies, upon which Lucifer and his followers feed. Therefore, it is into Earth animal consciousness that the soul comes, bringing new awareness, the new ability to make individual decisions, free will, and a new awareness of God and His relation to all life.
Let’s look again at the human body, the soul’s partner in incarnation. Yes, its nature and its formation from fetus to birth show the evolutionary nature of plant and animal life. Yes, the so-called anthropoid (meaning “man-life”) apes have the form and type of body most nearly like unto man’s. Yes, there is a difference, so that at one point we have a highly developed ape, then something happens and next we have an early human being. Scientists have long sought and never found this “missing link.” That difference between ape and man is still an obvious, unbridged difference.
It just may be that God, or the purpose of nature, or life, or whatever term you wish to use, when it made ready for the fourth emergent had to give some special final preparation to the body into which the soul would come. Yes, evolutionary processes had come a long way—now there was a warm-blooded vertebrate mammal who walked on only two legs, leaving the other two to be used as arms and hands. Yes, the skull-box had been enlarged, to make possible a bigger brain. But before a portion of a soul (only a portion incarnates at any one time, not the whole soul—we’ll go into that in another lesson soon)—before a portion of a soul could squeeze itself down to make contact with the animal body, that body needed to have some special finishing touches put upon it. The fourth emergent may well have included some direct Divine intervention to complete the human body, as well as to give it a soul.
This new creature, this embodied soul, faced the reality of the struggle to survive. Commissioned to “take dominion over the land, the sea, and the air” it first had to maintain itself against enemies most formidably equipped. The larger physical brain, providing more of a physical equipment for the soul’s mind to work with, helped early man’s ingenuity, his shrewdness in finding his enemies weak points and methods of enhancing his own strength. Intuition and quietness opened man to spiritual guidance and other help. The Creator, before introducing the fourth emergent into His Earth creation, doubtlessly prepared for it a body thoroughly animal, but yet one the soul would find completely adequate to the tasks awaiting.
The first task, then, was to become a success as an Earthling. Unless this were accomplished there would be no human species on Earth, no soul invasion of this planet to redeem the fallen ones for God.
But the real battle was not in the physical or body realm, as we know so well. Man has conquered nature, so to speak. Man may threaten the very existence of many species of animal, but none really threatens him. But the battle is not won. The battle has moved to another dimension—the dimension we call consciousness.
About 1948, while I was a minister in Northampton, Massachusetts, I was awakened one night with a vision. It was not a dream, though it proceeded like one. I was being taken through a large cave, lighted adequately but softly from some invisible source. My guide, whom I did not see, was quite capable; I felt no uneasiness. We were picking our way through what appeared to be many stone mushrooms growing on the floor of this cave. Finally we stopped, and I was amazed to see a mushroom right before me – about two feet high, compared to my 5 feet 11 inches – attempting to speak to me. I watched fascinated as with enormous effort that large mushroom slowly tilted its top, somewhat like opening its mouth, and laboriously spoke to me.
Slowly it spoke its message: “Don’t---bother---with---me. Save---my---son” --and it indicated a small stone mushroom beside it.
And I knew, even then before the Hadley Workshop or Religious Research years of my life, what it all meant. Life was trapped in that stone mushroom. All life in matter is trapped. But somehow you and I, being human beings, can and eventually will redeem that life, free it from its entrapment in matter, restore it to freedom and its native realm of spirit. A long job, yes. Uncounted generations of fathers, mothers, and children will go the full cycle of animal incarnation before they are released from the material forms of pigs, ducks, moles, sparrows, wolves, whales, flies.
I understood then what St. Paul had visioned when he wrote, “The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain” –how that stone mushroom had labored so, with great effort and pain, to speak to me! – “waiting for the manifestation of the glorious liberty of the children of God.” What is that distinctive “glorious liberty” that we, the begotten children of God, have? The liberty of self-consciousness, the freedom of being an individual and not just a member of a group or species ruled and held captive by its instincts, the emancipation of being able to make our own individual, personal decisions.
We humans have that glorious liberty! We know ourselves as individuals. We know God, and His love and power and patience and purpose. We are free of the limitations of body and consciousness that bind plant and lower animal incarnate life. We have self-consciousness and we can choose. We can choose for good against evil, for light against darkness, for the positive against the negative. We can feed good by our glad and beautiful feelings, and deny evil the food of negative emotions. We are co-Saviors with Jesus and the Buddha and Moses and Mohammed and every great prophet of every religion – co-Saviors of Earth!
This is what the incarnation of the soul is all about.
This is the role of human beings on Earth.
Attacked, yes – we are furiously attacked, for the incarnate soul is the beachhead on Earth of the redemptive forces of good. We are gradually drying up Lucifer’s food supply, in time forcing the hungry prodigal to come to himself, to reconsider his stand against God, to count its cost, to feel his hunger and needless heartache, to swallow his pride and return to his Father.
There is no magic. It is hard work, work too difficult for any form of life less than human to accomplish. But it is top priority work, top priority to the God Who loves everything He has made, including Lucifer – God Who prepared Earth with its incarnate life as the “Far Country” for the prodigal – and Who now comes Himself, in the form of individuated portions of Himself called souls, to bring about that redemption.
The magnificence of God! And of the cosmic drama of which we are part!
This is the why and the what of incarnation.
In our next lesson we study how this top priority work is accomplished. We see the soul, an individuated portion of God capable of receiving His love and of loving Him in return, asking to come into incarnation – as a service of love to our Creator, our Begetter, the Father-Mother God Who gives us self-existence even as an individuated, living, beloved, part of Himself.
We see the soul grow even as it serves on Earth. The experiences it has while incarnate are unique, and very maturing.
We see two purposes, then, for the soul incarnation – (1) to serve God in the battle to reclaim Lucifer, and (2) to grow in its own soul nature and beingness.
And we see that neither purpose is achieved adequately in any one incarnation. Woe unto us if we have to meet eternal judgment upon the basis of just one incarnation! And woe unto God if all the time He has to pit green soldiers, souls in their first and only incarnation, against the wily, experienced forces of evil! So we find the soul coming not just once into incarnation, but a number of times – apparently, from the research, between a low of perhaps 50-60 and high of sometimes about 200. No, we find no evidence for thousands upon thousands of incarnations. If you as a soul don’t learn and do what Earth has for you in two hundred lifetimes, there’s no use sending you here two hundred thousand. God does not waste incarnations, nor life, upon those even of His children who do not or will not profit from them. Only the good stewards are chosen to go on. A probable average of 80-90 significant lifetimes upon Earth seems indicated by reincarnation research. (More on this later.)
The next lesson takes up the important difference between you as a person and you as a soul. So many do not know that difference, but you never will understand yourself without knowing this dual two-in-one nature of your own beingness.
In this lesson we have considered the fourth emergent of the finding of science of emergent evolution and found it to be essentially the same as that which religion calls the soul.