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He instances the case of "spurs, plumes, and brilliant colours, acquired for battle or for ornament by male birds" and only partially inherited by their female descendants. In the problem to be dealt with, however, the need of a more satisfactory explanation is evident, the facts being of so much more prominent and important a character than the mere superficial details with which they are compared by Darwin. Why not candidly admit the argument in favour of the hermaphroditism which characterises the old fauna? Occultism proposes a solution which embraces the facts in a most comprehensive and simple manner. These relics of a prior androgyne stock must be placed in the same category as the pineal gland, and other organs as mysterious, which afford us silent testimony as to the reality of functions which have long since become atrophied in the course of animal and human progress, but which once played a signal part in the general economy of primeval life.
Unscientific as this may appear in our day of exact learning, Descartes was yet far nearer the occult truth than is any Hæckel. For the pineal gland, as shown, is far more connected with Soul and Spirit than with the physiological senses of man. Had the leading Scientists a glimmer of the real processes employed by the Evolutionary Impulse, and the winding cyclic course of this great law, they would know instead of conjecturing; and feel as certain of the future physical transformations of the human kind by the knowledge of its past forms. Then, would they see the fallacy and all the absurdity of their modern "blind-force" and mechanical processes of nature; realizing, in consequence of such knowledge, that the said pineal gland, for instance, could not but be disabled for physical use at this stage of our cycle. If the odd "eye" in man is now atrophied, it is a proof that, as in the lower animal, it has once been active; for nature never creates the smallest, the most insignificant form without some definite purpose and use. It was an active organ, we say, at that stage of evolution when the spiritual element in man reigned supreme over the hardly nascent intellectual and psychic elements. And, as the cycle ran down toward that point when the physiological senses were developed by, and went pari passu with, the growth and consolidation of the physical man, the interminable and complex vicissitudes and tribulations of zoological development, that median "eye" ended by atrophying along with the early spiritual and purely psychic characteristics in man. The eye is the mirror and also the window of the soul, says popular wisdom, † and Vox populi Vox Dei.
It is a curious fact that it is especially in human beings that the cerebral hemispheres and the lateral ventricles have been developed, and that the optic thalami, corpora quadrigemina, and corpora striata are the principal parts which are developed in the mammalian brain. Moreover it is asserted that the intellect of any man may to some extent be gauged by the development of the central convolutions and the fore part of the cerebral hemispheres. It would seem a natural corollary that if the development and increased size of the pineal gland may be considered to be an index of the astral capacities and spiritual proclivities of any man, there will be a corresponding development of that part of the cranium, or an increase in the size of the pineal gland at the expense of the hinder part of the cerebral hemispheres. It is a curious speculation which would receive a confirmation in this case. We should see, below and behind, the cerebellum which has been held to be the seat of all the animal proclivities of a human being, and which is allowed by science to be the great centre for all the physiologically co-ordinated movements of the body, such as walking, eating, etc., etc.; in front, the fore-part of the brain — the cerebral hemispheres — the part especially connected with the development of the intellectual powers in man; and in the middle, dominating them both, and especially the animal functions, the developed pineal gland, in connection with the more highly evolved, or spiritual man.