January 2007

Man is a living entity, a conscious son of God (a soul) occupying an animal body. Here lies the point. He is therefore in the nature of a link, and a far from missing link. He unifies in himself the results of the evolutionary process as it has been carried on during the past ages, and he brings into contact with that evolutionary result a new factor, that of an individual self-sustaining, self-knowing aspect. It is the presence of this factor and of this aspect which differentiates man from the animal. It is this aspect which produces in humanity a consciousness of immortality, a self-awareness and a self-centredness which make man truly to appear in the image of God. It is this innate and hidden power which gives man the capacity to suffer which no animal possesses, but which also confers on him the ability to reap the benefits of this experience in the realm of the intellect. This same capacity, in embryo, works out in the animal kingdom in the realm of the instincts. It is this peculiar property of humanity which confers upon it the power to sense ideals, to register beauty, to react sensuously to music, and to enjoy colour and harmony. It is this divine something which makes of mankind the prodigal son, torn between desire for the worldly life, for possessions and experience, and the attractive power of that centre, or home, from which he has come.

Esoteric Psychology, Vol. I, pp. 311-12