Last weekend my father and I had a long conversation about how to understand evolution from a spiritual standpoint. We resorted to this document, an assortment of the works of Frithjof Schuon. Schuon took on the “evolutionist error” and explains evolution in a way that incorporates the Divine. This stuff gets pretty heavy duty and many of you will already be “turned off” by the mere mention of “Divine” and this may mean you are either, not ready for, or inclined to, an understanding of existence at this level. Schuon explains that:
Original man was not a simian being barely capable of speaking and standing upright; he was a quasi-immaterial being enclosed in an aura still celestial, but deposited on earth.”
This “celestial aura” started the evolutionary process. Evolution did not occur by chance. There was a point to it, the point was to reflect the Divine in all its glory, and the ulitimate realizer of this is the human form.
Creation – or “creations” – should then be represented not as a process of transformism taking place in “matter” in the naively empirical sense of the word, but rather as an elaboration by the life-principle, that is to say, something rather like the more or less discontinuous productions of the imagination: images arise in the soul from a non-formal substance with no apparent link between them; it is not the images which transform themselves, it is the animic substance which causes their arising and creates them. That man should appear to be the logical issue, not indeed of an evolution, but of a series of “sketches” more and more centered on the human form – sketches of which the apes seem to represent disparate vestiges – this fact, or this hypothesis, in no way signifies that there is any common measure, thus a kind of psychological continuity, between man and the anthropomorphic and in some sense “embryonic” bodies which may have preceded him. The coming of man is a sudden “descent” of the Spirit into a receptacle that is perfect and definitive because it conforms to the manifestation of the Absolute; the absoluteness of man is like that of the geometrical point, which, strictly speaking, is quantitatively unattainable starting from the circumference. (1) [Stations of Wisdom, p.89].
What I see Schuon saying is that creation is like an artists sketch book in which you see the artist starting out with just a few rough lines and gradually the drawing takes form until the artist arrives at the finished product. The sketches are the artists imagination becoming clearer and clearer until the final work. Schuon goes on to explain that when humans were arrived at it was a sudden “decent” of the Spirit into the perfect receptacle for the Absolute.Scientists tend to extract the Divine from creation which makes it impossible to explain. Here is what Schuon states if the scientific world view is correct:
If the evolutionists are right, the human phenomenon is inexplicable and human life is not worth living. Moreover it is to theses conclusions that they arrive in the end, whence their axiom of the absurdity of existence; this is to say that they attribute to the object, which is inaccessible to them, the absurdity of the subject, which they have deliberately chosen by following the propensity towards not innocent, but human, animality.
The scope this existence we are experiencing is beyond words. It is our human nature it explore it and try to explain it, but we cannot use empirical knowledge to explain that which is beyond our limits.