A writer on the subject of the evolution of the soul has well given the following words of warning:
“The awakening of the intellect in man does not necessarily make him a better being. While it is true that the unfolding of a higher faculty gives an upward tendency to man, it is also true that some men are so closely wrapped in the folds of the animal sheath—so steeped in the material side of things—that the awakened intellect only tends to give them increased powers to gratify their low desires and inclinations. Man, if he chooses, may excel the beasts in bestiality—he may descend to depths of which the beast never would have thought. The beast is governed solely by instinct, and his actions, so prompted, are perfectly natural and proper, and the animal is not to be blamed for following the impulses of his nature. But man, in whom intellect has unfolded, knows that it is contrary to his highest nature to descend to the level of the beasts—yea, lower by far. He adds to the brute desires the cunning and intelligence which have come to him, and deliberately prostitutes his higher principle to the task of carrying out the magnified animal propensities. Very few animals abuse their desires—it is left for some men to do so. The higher the degree of intellect unfolded in a man, the greater the depths of low passions, appetites, and desires possible to him. He may actually create new brute desires, or rather, build edifices of his own upon the brute foundations. It is unnecessary for us to state that all occultists know that such a course will bring certain consequences in its train, which will result in the soul having to spend many weary years in retracing its steps over the backward road it has trodden. Its progress has been retarded, and it will be compelled to retravel the road to freedom, in common with the beastlike natures of undeveloped creatures whose proper state of the journey it is, having an additional burden in the shape of the horror of a consciousness of its surroundings, whereas its beast-companions have no such consciousness and suffer not therefrom. If you can imagine the feeling of a cultured, civilized man being compelled to dwell among the African Bushmen for many years, with a full recollection of his past living in civilization, you may form a faint idea of the fate in store for one who deliberately sinks his higher powers to the accomplishment of low ends and desires. But even for such a soul there is escape—in time.”
The Human Soul occupies a place of great trials and struggles between two conflicting forces. On the one hand is the force of the lower animal nature, striving to pull it downward into the plane of the Animal Soul and urging him to employ his newly awakened intellectual powers on the lower plane. On the other hand is the awakening forces of the higher spiritual nature, striving to draw him upward into a consciousness of his relationship to the All, and urging him to open his intellect to the inflow of the higher vibrations of spiritual consciousness and to turn his faculties to the carrying out of the dictates of the higher portion of himself.