Emergence of the Animal-Man, pp. 158-159

Opening Remarks
Slowly out of the plant life emerges the life of the beast and then the animal-man closer to the animal kind.

Glimpses of a secret self
Impelled by an unseen Will there could break out
Fragments of some vast impulse to become
And vivid glimpses of a secret self,
And the doubtful seeds and force of shapes to be
Awoke from the inconscient swoon of things.

The animal life begins to grow dimply aware of the something beyond itself. Along with this awareness there also comes the urge to grow and become that which it is not yet.

Between the earth and sky
An animal creation crept and ran
And flew and called between the earth and sky,
Hunted by death but hoping still to live
And glad to breathe if only for a while.

In the beast and bird life begins to run and fly as if to span the earth and reach out to the sky. It is a symbol of what is yet to come. The urge to live in a field of death was born and the joy of life, even if precarious and temporary took roots.

Then man was moulded
Then man was moulded from the original brute.

When the stage was thus ready, the primitive humanity began to emerge still very much in close kinship with the beast.

A thinking mind
A thinking mind had come to lift life’s moods,
The keen-edged tool of a Nature mixed and vague,
An intelligence half-witness, half-machine.

Though still driven by animal impulses, thought and mind came in to qualify and magnify the mood and the experience by giving it a voice and sense. Out of the machine a self-reflective intelligence began to emerge. It is this that would eventually emerge fully in the developed man.

He raised his eyes
This seeming driver of her wheel of works
Missioned to motive and record her drift
And fix its law on her inconstant powers,
This master-spring of a delicate enginery,
Aspired to enlighten its user and refine
Lifting to a vision of the indwelling Power
The absorbed mechanic’s crude initiative:
He raised his eyes; Heaven-light mirrored a Face.

Man’s very form is symbolic. He stands erect and can look up towards the skies which he must conquer one day. Though still driven by Nature, he is filled with the idea of mastering her forces and find her laws and use them for his purposes. A conscious motive is born as an impelling force and man begins to look towards the heights to understand and reach out and master.

She looked upon the world
Amazed at the works wrought in her mystic sleep,
She looked upon the world that she had made:
Wondering now seized the great automaton;
She paused to understand her self and aim,
Pondering she learned to act by conscious rule,
A visioned measure guided her rhythmic steps;
Thought bordered her instincts with a frame of will
And lit with the idea her blinded urge.

In man and through man, material nature herself begins to become conscious. She wonders at the world she has built in her sleep and seeks to understand it. A conscious will begins to replace an instinctive wisdom. Thoughts begin to define her movements and rhythms in man who loses the sure instinct of the animal and replaces it with deliberate thought.

Patterned law
On her mass of impulses, her reflex acts,
On the Inconscient’s pushed or guided drift
And mystery of unthinking accurate steps
She stuck the specious image of a self,
A living idol of disfigured spirit;
On Matter’s acts she imposed a patterned law;
She made a thinking body from chemic cells
And moulded a being out of a driven force.

Man begins to grow conscious of his impulses and aim and the drift of his journey. A rudimentary sense of self (the ego-self) is born which is a distorted reflection of the soul in the field of nature. The body and brain are moulded to bear the pressure of thought and feelings tied to habit. The fixed grooves of nature through which the thoughts and feelings run becomes a pattern and a law. But there is nothing ineluctable about it. It is just the tendency or habit to run in certain grooves of nature held on from the past evolution.

Closing Remarks
Thus man emerges out of the beast, a strange mixture of the brute and the yet to emerge developed humanity.

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