Some Answered Questions
51: THE SPIRIT AND MIND OF MAN HAVE EXISTED FROM THE BEGINNING
Question.--Does man in the beginning possess mind and
spirit, or are they an outcome of his evolution?
Answer.--The beginning of the existence of man on the
terrestrial globe resembles his formation in the womb of
the mother. The embryo in the womb of the mother
gradually grows and develops until birth, after which it
continues to grow and develop until it reaches the age of
discretion and maturity. Though in infancy the signs of
the mind and spirit appear in man, they do not reach the
degree of perfection; they are imperfect. Only when man
attains maturity do the mind and the spirit appear and become
evident in utmost perfection.
So also the formation of man in the matrix of the world
was in the beginning like the embryo; then gradually he
made progress in perfectness, and grew and developed
until he reached the state of maturity, when the mind and
spirit became visible in the greatest power. In the beginning
of his formation the mind and spirit also existed, but
they were hidden; later they were manifested. In the
womb of the world mind and spirit also existed in the embryo,
but they were concealed; afterward they appeared.
So it is that in the seed the tree exists, but it is hidden and
concealed; when it develops and grows, the complete tree
appears. In the same way the growth and development of
all beings is gradual; this is the universal divine organization
and the natural system. The seed does not at once become
a tree; the embryo does not at once become a man;
the mineral does not suddenly become a stone. No, they
grow and develop gradually and attain the limit of perfection.
All beings, whether large or small, were created perfect
and complete from the first, but their perfections appear in
them by degrees. The organization of God is one; the
evolution of existence is one; the divine system is one.
Whether they be small or great beings, all are subject to
one law and system. Each seed has in it from the first all
the vegetable perfections. For example, in the seed all the
vegetable perfections exist from the beginning, but not
visibly; afterward little by little they appear. So it is first
the shoot which appears from the seed, then the branches,
leaves, blossoms and fruits; but from the beginning of its
existence all these things are in the seed, potentially,
though not apparently.
In the same way, the embryo possesses from the first all
perfections, such as the spirit, the mind, the sight, the
smell, the taste--in one word, all the powers--but they
are not visible and become so only by degrees.
Similarly, the terrestrial globe from the beginning was
created with all its elements, substances, minerals, atoms
and organisms; but these only appeared by degrees: first
the mineral, then the plant, afterward the animal, and
finally man. But from the first these kinds and species
existed, but were undeveloped in the terrestrial globe, and
then appeared only gradually. For the supreme organization
of God, and the universal natural system, surround
all beings, and all are subject to this rule. When you consider
this universal system, you see that there is not one of
the beings which at its coming into existence has reached
the limit of perfection. No, they gradually grow and develop,
and then attain the degree of perfection.