Evolution and Astrology
Elbert Benjamine 1951

In ancient times there were families which, generation after generation, specialized in cultivating what is now known as extrasensory perception. And even as today those who specialize in material science have gained tremendous knowledge of the outer plane, and how to use physical energies, so those people who specialized in developing extrasensory perception and used it to learn about inner-plane energies and the origin, development and destiny of the human soul, gained great knowledge of such things.

That they might not be lost to future generations – as ordinary language changes rapidly from race to race and from century to century – these ancient wise men recorded their findings in the language of universal symbolism, which anyone, no matter what his race or arbitrary language may be, can with a little study understand.

They used the stories of sacred literature, the pictures of the sacred tarot, and the designs of the 48 ancient constellations in the sky through which to convey to generations to come, in this language of universal symbolism, the more important things which they discovered.

There is no implication here that their ideas should be accepted merely because they thus recorded them. But because so many of the things they discovered and thus set forth have been proved through modern scientific research to be accurate, it does seem advisable to test as many of their findings as possible, and to accept those that are found to be factual, and to reject those – if such are found – that can be disproved.

They held that the soul is differentiated for the purpose of being educated to become a workman in God’s Great Evolutionary Plan, and that to learn how to handle the chemicals of higher forms of life – secretion and assimilation depending upon such Selectivity – on the physical plane it first had experiences in the mineral kingdom. Then to gain Sensitivity it had experiences in the vegetable kingdom. Experiments by modem scientists prove that plants do react to stimuli in a similar manner, but in less degree, than do animals possessing a nervous system. To develop Simple Consciousness it had to have experience in the animal kingdom below man. And to possess Self-Consciousness, which is essential effectively to understand what is perceived by extrasensory perception, which is the only avenue of acquiring knowledge after life on earth is done, and the possibilities of which are infinitely greater than those of the methods commonly used on earth, it had to be born into human form. And also to be able effectively to use psychokinesis, which is the only avenue of accomplishment after life on earth is done, and the possibilities of which are infinitely greater than those of the methods commonly used on earth, it had to be born in human form.

They held that the soul attached itself to successive evolutionary forms, at the very commencement of their individual development, through the power which has now been thoroughly demonstrated by university scientists, and by them is called psychokinesis. Its experience in one form gave it the know-how to attach itself to, and live in, a form somewhat more complex. At least, the records of the rocks during 1,750,000,000 years prove that life on earth has evolved from single-cell life-forms; and the neurosurgeons have now demonstrated that instead of mind being a function of the brain, the brain is merely an instrument through which mind operates. Their massive amputations of cerebral substance has now proved that no lobe of the cerebrum is essential to mind and memory. And all the evidence – some of which was not discovered by the neurosurgeons until 1950 – indicates that the ancient wise men were right, and that the mind, or soul, can and does function independent of the physical body, and that it is attached to, and functions through, the physical organism through that non-physical power which scientists now term psychokinesis.

Such a brief resume of the evolution of the soul, as taught by those who traced the ancient pictured constellation in the sky is necessary as a prelude to their spiritual teachings of astrology. And certainly there is ample room even in the physical cosmos for competent workmen. Extra-galactic nebulae are other universes. In 1949, when Brotherhood of Light Course XII-I, Evolution of Life, was published, we could report only the number of such universes as could be observed by the 100 inch telescope on Mt. Wilson – between 50 million and 100 million. But now, with the 200 inch telescope on Palomar Mountain, the observable cosmos has been extended. No limit has been found, but it is reported that as many universes other than our own can now be observed as there are people on the earth – over 2 billion. And the physical cosmos is but one level of an infinite number of levels on which life can exist and perform its functions.

Each of the 48 ancient constellations expounds, in the language of universal symbolism, a highly important teaching. This teaching has been condensed as a spiritual text, and is given in association with each of the 48 constellations picturing the 12 zodiacal signs and 36 decanates, in Course VII, Spiritual Astrology These teach us how to make the fastest strides in mastering this and other worlds.

– Elbert Benjamine Selection from April 1951 Quarterly article, "Spiritual Teachings of Astrology”