To answer the criticism towards this part of Theosophy in the Esoteric Buddhism reading group, I claim such systems can be used, for example, as tools of self-reflection and as instruments with which to give names to things that are hard to name. For example if we are to acknowledge that the Lunar Spirits – Pitris – had such and such a role in building the base layers of humanity, we may recognize or ”apperceive” these layers within ourselves, name them, and realize their functionalities and how we can use them consciously to rise above the rather miserable state of having great powers yet being unconscious of how they should find relation to what we are learning now.
I believe the richness of Eastern occultism comes from this kind of all-encompassing teachings where every stage of every planet are observed, and the aims for the future can be predicted. I do agree that the teachings of these globes in different books seem as if grown out of proportions and perhaps given as answers to not so interesting questions of the students of that time, but on further consideration I have to close this option out. I believe this teaching is given for the Western schools to have an exo-skeleton on which they can add their own meat on. One might see quite clearly a way to continue from these examples the investigation of, for example, a condition of different planets and their relation to the condition of our own in the evolutive sequences, and to built temples and esoteric schools and systems according to such enriching base. It is as if the cosmic authority over the minutiae of why this or that has such a position, emphasis or meaning in the present stage of cosmos.
On the other hand, it really is more important to keep in mind the individually relevant things that affect directly ethics of the day-to-day life, and if the state of the cosmos and our solar system misdirects our focus away from it, rather than helps to face the ethics, such teachings are completely useless or presented in unsuitable context and phase for the student.
Blavatsky describes how the Lunar Spirits (Pitris, a classification of Monads) deal with the first three globes, forming the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms, and the Lunar Spirits present the human impulse in the second and third globe. Sinnett describes the same thing in Esoteric Buddhism by nothing how the Monads enters in to play only later on (Blavatsky sees the monads still present in the earlier stages, but it seems to be almost nominal or preparatory thing). The monads are said to be present in the first one’s as a collective, not really inhabiting the mineral and vegetable kingdoms with the intelligent, individualizing spirit. I’m interpreting this through the ideas of Logos and Mulaprakriti, the latter as the abstraction of matter has an unconscious emphasis in the mineral and vegetable kingdoms or their ”ghosts”, while the structuring made by the intelligence of Logos is still in a rudimentary stage – a glimmering presence far from a balance between the two. The ghosts of mineral kingdom meaning semi-abstraction, where the abstract matter starts to receive form from Logos, who by Fohat starts to arrange the chaos of the latent base of abstract matter.
Blavatsky wrote:It is they [Lunar Spirits, i.e. Pitris], therefore, who lead and represent the human element during the second and third Rounds, and finally evolve their shadows at the beginning of the Fourth Round for the second class, or those who come behind them.
Emphasis mine.This seems to be a pattern where the evolving monads of each times develop a double through which they reach to the next phase and leave the double to the following monads to continue humanity as they themselves evolve beyond. The evolving of the double in our Fourth Round, seems to be the much discussed immortal body which the occultist prepares for the Master within. The obscuration, or the ascending steps, seems to be done through building such a vehicle between the progression of beings. If by analogy we’d take this teaching on a level of occult school, we could observe this same thing happening between a student and a teacher.Original Commentary on the Book of Dzyan wrote:before it finally becomes man, evolving within himself his own ethereal counterpart, in his turn. In the beginning it was that counterpart (astral man) which, being senseless, got entangled in the meshes of matter.
As just now hinted, some sources of Western Esotericism have seen that we who are now human beings are to proceed through the Angelic Hierarchies as Angelic beings (or whatever you want to call them). This can be interpreted as the same idea as the one in Secret Doctrine which sees our Fourth Round as the ”fulcrum” of the balance – the point of most crucial activity, where as the proceeding rounds have been preparatory for this, and I guess, the following rounds being ”redeeming” rounds, meaning that they are the processes that harvests the fruit, so to speak. Our occult work here and now done in the crucifixion point of the human being, especially in the Kali Yuga, produces the fruit, and in turn this fruit carries on in to the entirely different way of being within the Hierarchies.
The long-winded defence against the Darwinian idea of man evolving from ape takes place as some Theosophists or criticists of that time had interpreted such acknowledgement from Esoteric Buddhism. The gist can be summarized by the idea that ”Man” is a phase in the life of a monadic-spiritual entity – an impulse of monad – and the shells of matter or subtle matter that a wild materialist recognizes as man is an entirely different thing. Thus it can not be said that Man evolved from apes, but rather Man is the intelligence that manifests itself within the preparations of matter as possible on each of the rounds and root races.
The most interesting notion amidst this defence against the too simple Darwinian evolution, where only a bent idea of the blind working of Mulaprakriti was to a degree recognized, not the guiding intelligence (although to have any structure to the unmanifested, hidden, immaculate chaos of Mulaprakriti there already is an intelligence of Logos at work), was the part where it was noted how there are failures even within the ranks of Dhyan Chohans and they become the fallen Asuras. They are not forced to go through all the mineral and vegetable stages of development again, but rather they incarnate in man and have to drink every drop of the karmic retribution of the failure. I’m pretty certain that serious occultists are quite intimately woven with these Fallen Dragons, if you allow such an expression of them. I'm reminded of the novel, The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov, where Master Satan, in a form "a gentleman" named Woland, has his helpers who have magnificently excelled in their previous lives, almost to the highest degree, but having done some minor missteps they were doomed to roam the Earth for ages at the side of Woland.