Path of Initiation 2by Ann Frazier West on 07/19/12
This post is in response to Deborah's comment on "pain and suffering" in the previous post:
Deborah . . . Thank you for your thoughtful comments below. The topic of pain and suffering is related to our study of the initiations. Epigenisis is a term used in Science in our modern world, but it is also used in Theosophy. In the latter, epigenisis can denote "genius, originality, and free-will." In this use of the word we can say that epigenisis produces a spiral evolution of all the kingdoms ever moving up into higher vibrations instead of what would otherwise become a circular groove ending in static extinction." (Alder, 1972) So epigenisis is the instrument and the builder of evolution and progress and is brought into being by one agent - pain.
The feeling and desire nature are necessarily connected to the astral plane - it is sometimes called the plane of illusion and can in its imbalance in our being lead us into delusion. Creativity, originality, feelings and emotions - both positive and negative - are influenced by astral consciousness. The animal kingdom is building an emotional-desire body, developing an emotional nature, and they respond and react with feeling and instinct rather than with reason. A goal of the human kingdom is to learn to control the desire body - the emotional level and live more consciously in the mental level. The vibrations are higher on the mental level. As we evolve the astral or emotional level can still be used for pleasure, but the evolved human being will learn to control emotional pain from a higher level - mentally and spiritually.
The result of pain, according to Vera Stanley Alder in The Initiation of the World, is awareness, reaction, adaptability, modification, originality, genius, and epigenisis. We as humans have been given free will which explains why we are responsible for our own pain. As we evolve we will no longer need pain to help us learn right from wrong. We are learning about balance on all levels of our being and helping others to achieve balance, too.
Human selfishness, consciousness still at a relatively lower stage of development, greatly affects the animal kingdom. There are unthinkable cruelties still being inflicted upon millions of animals every year. The animals suffer at our expense. Each kingdom experiences sacrifice to the kingdom above it. It is an evolutionary process, and the sooner we develop and evolve spiritually in the human kingdom the sooner we can stop the suffering of the kingdoms below us.