On the surface, Darwin’s theory of evolution or natural selection seems to be a very plausible or logical theory. But, when we delve deeper into the facts, we come to a different conclusion. Darwin believed that species evolved through random genetic mutation and the species that were most fit to survive and adapt to their environment tended to thrive and multiply while the rest became extinct. Thus, according to Darwin, human beings evolved into existence because those species that were cunning (or intelligent) in finding ways to survive in the world were able to procreate and multiply.
If this theory were true then the earth would be filled with ants or dinosaurs and all other species would be extinct. This is because dinosaurs would eat or destroy any other creature to survive. And we know that ants have sacrificed all other individual faculties in order to survive as colonies. Furthermore, if survival of the fittest or selfishness were the only factor that produced intelligent beings, human beings would never have developed conscience and compassion because these faculties only serve to impede man’s survival and success in the world. We also know that many humans derive joy from understanding the universe because human rationality is not cunning or maliciousness. And they equally derive joy from performing actions that are useful, meaningful and purposeful because the universe is not purely physical.
Surely, there is another element that is driving the origin of species on earth because the earth is filled with a rich variety of species of minerals, plants, animals and humans. And the form of most of these species is harmonic and graceful. Like the principle of least action of Natural Light guides all physical action in the universe, the Divine Order and Providence of Spiritual Light guides all biological and human evolution. In fact, the universe was generated from fields of Love, Wisdom and Light. And the involution and evolution of the universe continues to be sustained, maintained and guided by these harmonic fields. The reason all species on earth tend toward the human form is because this human form is the form of Love. And the purpose of the universe is to realize Divine Love or to generate a heaven of angels from the human race.
All species tend toward the human form because they are freely reflecting or returning Love. And, since there is a certain freedom involved in this reflection certain forms of these species are noxious, grotesque or cruel. In fact, all the mineral, plant, animal and bird species on earth correspond to man’s principles, knowledges, affections and thoughts. And, before man fell spiritually, there were only graceful, useful, gentle and innocent species of plants, animals and birds on earth. This is because man’s mind was in the Garden of Eden.
THE USES OF ALL CREATED THINGS ASCEND BY DEGREES FROM LAST THINGS TO MAN,
AND THROUGH MAN TO GOD THE CREATOR, FROM WHOM THEY ARE.
Last things, as was said above, are each and all things of the mineral kingdom, which are materials of various kinds, of a stony, saline, oily, mineral, or metallic nature, covered over with soil formed of vegetable and animal matters reduced to the finest dust. In these lie concealed both the end and the beginning of all uses which are from life. The end of all uses is the endeavor to produce uses, and the beginning is the acting force from that endeavor. These pertain to the mineral kingdom. Middle things are each and all things of the vegetable kingdom, such as grasses and herbs of every kind, plants and shrubs of every kind, and trees of every kind. The uses of these are for the service of each and all things of the animal kingdom, both imperfect and perfect. These they nourish, delight, and vivify; nourishing the bellies of animals with their vegetable substances, delighting the animal senses with taste, fragrance, and beauty, and vivifying their affections. The endeavor towards this is in these also from life. First things are each and all things of the animal kingdom. Those are lowest therein which are called worms and insects, the middle are birds and beasts, and the highest, men; for in each kingdom there are lowest, middle and highest things, the lowest for the use of the middle, and the middle for the use of the highest. Thus the uses of all created things ascend in order from outmost things to man, who is first in order.
In the natural world there are three degrees of ascent, and in the spiritual world there are three degrees of ascent. All animals are recipients of life. The more perfect are recipients of the life and the three degrees of the natural world, the less perfect of the life of two degrees of that world, and the imperfect of one of its degrees. But man alone is a recipient of the life both of the three degrees of the natural world and of the three degrees of the spiritual world. From this it is that man can be elevated above nature, while the animal cannot. Man can think analytically and rationally of the civil and moral things that are within nature, also of the spiritual and celestial things that are above nature, yea, he can be so elevated into wisdom as even to see God. But the six degrees by which the uses of all created things ascend in their order even to God the Creator, will be treated of in their proper place. From this summary, however, it can be seen that there is an ascent of all created things to the first, who alone is Life, and that the uses of all things are the very recipients of life; and from this are the forms of uses.
It shall also be stated briefly how man ascends, that is, is elevated, from the lowest degree to the first. He is born into the lowest degree of the natural world; then, by means of knowledges, he is elevated into the second degree; and as he perfects his understanding by knowledges he is elevated into the third degree, and then becomes rational. The three degrees of ascent in the spiritual world are in man above the three natural degrees, and do not appear until he has put off the earthly body. When this takes place the first spiritual degree is open to him, afterwards the second, and finally the third; but this only with those who become angels of the third heaven; these are they that see God. Those become angels of the second heaven and of the last heaven in whom the second degree and the last degree can be opened. Each spiritual degree in man is opened according to his reception of Divine Love and Divine Wisdom from the Lord. Those who receive something thereof come into the first or lowest spiritual degree those who receive more into the second or middle spiritual degree, those who receive much into the third or highest degree. But those who receive nothing thereof remain in the natural degrees, and derive from the spiritual degrees nothing more than an ability to think and thence to speak, and to will and thence to act, but not with intelligence. Emanuel Swedenborg [DLW 65-67]