An Outline of Occult Science
whom they believed to be reappearing in them. This was an erroneous idea of reincarnation, which arose especially in the later Atlantean period. The true doctrine of reincarnation could be learned only in the schools of the Initiates. They could see how the human soul passes through the disembodied state on its way from one incarnation to another, and they alone were able to impart the real truth of the matter to their disciples.
In the remote past which is now under consideration, man's physical form was very different from his present form. It was still, to a great extent, the expression of the qualities of his soul. Man was composed of a softer and more delicate substance than that which he has since acquired. That which is now solidified in the limbs was then soft, flexible, and plastic. The bodily structure of the more psychic and spiritual human beings was delicate, supple, and expressive. These less evolved spiritually possessed coarser, heavier, less mobile bodily structures. A high degree of psychic maturity contracted the extremities, and the Stature remained small; backwardness of the soul and entanglement in sensuality were outwardly expressed by gigantic size. While man was growing to maturity his body was being formed in accordance with what was developing in his soul, in a way which would appear incredible and fabulous to contemporary ideas. Depraved passions, impulses, and instincts brought in their train a colossal increase of matter. Man's present physical form has come about through a contraction, thickening, and consolidation of the Atlantean human form. And whereas man, before the Atlantean period, had been an exact image of his soulnature the events of the Atlantean evolution bore within them the causes which lead to the formation of post-Atlantean man, whose physical form is solid and comparatively independent of the qualities of the soul. (The forms of the animal kingdom had solidified during far more remote Earth periods than those of man.) The laws now governing the shaping of forms in the kingdom of nature certainly did not prevail in the remote past.