Way of the Gallant Heart (1.1)

Tractate 1.1 Significance of the Appearance of Sexual Reproduction

Over many thousands of years of inner explorations, the Initiates of genuine esoteric schools discovered that the narrow pathway leading to the Unknowable, the Ein Sof, the Absolute, the One, the Source, the God of all Gods, the All, is engraved upon our innermost heart, the metaphorical organ where conscience joins compassion. It cannot be found by intellectual or physiological methods alone, as are taught in many modern schools. Why? For esoteric Work demonstrates, regardless of the emphasis of ones preferred school, that all enlightened beings, eventually, lodge their ‘centers of being’ into one of several Streams flowing to the Heart of God.

I am aware of the pedagogic arguments supporting many ancient and modern theories as to man and the universe, scientific, theological, or philosophical. Much of what is taught is useful for mundane success within the material and psychoistic worlds, but such knowledge is not esoteric.

Finding a suitable answer as to why Divinity must first be approached through the spiritual heart, then later with the higher intellect, will require many pages of exposition and many hours of study and contemplation. Answering this first question is the purpose of this First Disquisition.

Although, the ancient mystery schools offered various arguments supporting the statement that God must be approached through the metaphorical heart and not the mind, the easiest starting point is evolutionary psychophysiology. After all, our primary rational desire, as an intentional conscious creature, is to arrive at an accurate understanding of: [1] the overall purpose of Creation Itself, [2] the overall purpose the human species serves in the general economy of Evolution, and [3] whether or not we can rise ‘above the path of general evolution’ so to become Immortals and Cosmically Significant Beings (as I have discussed elsewhere).

In our evolutionary journey, we must travel backwards in time, only possible in our imaginations, some 1300 million years ago, into what is called the Proterozoic Era. During the Proterozoic Era, the earth saw the appearance of complex multicellular life forms, reproducing sexually, rather than by simple, asexual cell division typical of more ancient eukaryotes and prokaryotes.

The appearance of sexual reproduction was a major evolutionary adaptation over simple cell division into near identical daughter cells possessing inconsequential variation in the genome. The stability of the single cell genome was disadvantageous, as to the operation of biological evolution, as the only way for the genome to change was by mutation–without any possible method for amplifying beneficial modifications in somatic phenotypes.

Many scientific theories have been proposed to explain why sexual reproduction, as an evolutionary adaptation or exaptation, was so very successful. I consider a few of the most reasonable theories below so to be complete.

The most pressing question is to explain why sexual reproduction is so common?

There are cost disadvantages to sexual reproduction, as it requires the production of nonreproducing males. In other words, asexual reproduction produces two female cells, while, sexual reproduction produces on a single female. The aforementioned points might suggest that sex is a losing enterprise. However, sex is incredibly common. Furthermore, even though asexual lineages do arise, they rarely persist for long periods of evolutionary time. Among flowering plants, for example, predominantly asexual lineages have arisen more than 300 times, yet none of these lineages is very old. Furthermore, many species can reproduce both sexually and asexually, without the frequency of asexuality increasing or the eliminating sexual reproduction.

Current models indicate that sex evolves more readily when a species’ environment changes rapidly. When the genetic associations built up by past selection are no longer favorable, sex and recombination can improve the fitness of offspring, thereby turning the recombination load into an advantage. One important source of environmental change is a shift in the community of interacting species, predator and prey. Increased allocation to sexual reproduction can evolve because of such interactions, but only if selection is strong enough to cause rapid switches in which gene combinations are favorable.

Sex can also be favored when selection varies over space, as long as the genetic associations created by migration are locally disadvantageous.

Organisms that reproduce both sexually and asexually tend to switch to sex under stressful conditions. Mathematical models have revealed that it is much easier for sex to evolve if individuals that are adapted to their environment reproduce asexually and less fit individuals reproduce sexually. In this way, well-adapted genotypes are not broken apart by recombination, but poorly adapted genotypes can be recombined to create new combinations in offspring.

Models that account for the fact that population sizes are finite have found that sex and recombination evolve much more readily. With a limited number of individuals in a population, selection erodes easily accessible variation, leaving only hidden variation. Recombination can then reveal this hidden variation, improving the response to selection. By improving the response to selection, genes that increase the frequency of sex become associated with fitter genotypes, which rise in frequency alongside them.

Parsimoniously speaking, sexual reproduction is best seen as an accessory reproductive channel, useful for some species, but not a replacement for asexual reproduction.

For instance, both prokaryotes and eukaryotes continue to reproduce asexually. More complex animals, as the whiptail lizard, the komodo dragon, the water flea, the bee, the marbled crayfish, the boa constrictor, and the bonnethead shark can create offspring without a fertilized egg.

Asexual production of offspring, a type of cloning, occurs when human identical twins derive from a single fertilized egg.

Regardless of the ‘why’ of sexual reproduction, sexual reproduction in multicellular life forms did not produce a great diversity of new life forms until the late Precambrian Era (570 – 530 million years ago), when the most rudimentary neurons appeared in the Comb jellies and jellyfish.

In summary, our review of reproductive evolutionary history supports the proposition that the arrival of gender is partially responsible for the increased diversity and functional complexity seem after the Cambrian Era. However, it is not the major evolutionary modification explaining why you and I are here.

Moreover, the evolutionary record fails to lend strong support to those esoteric schools stressing the importance of ‘sexual energy’ in psychoism and esotericism (sexual tantrism, sex magick of Aleister Crowley and Maria de Naglowska, sexual Taoism, and some Gnostic sects).

Subsequently, the Institute opines that the ‘concept of sexual energy’ is no more than a red-herring, a waste of effort, and psychoistically dangerous. Schools based upon sexuality and sexual energy are to be seriously avoided.

Next, we explore the importance of neurons in the evolutionary scheme of the universe.

Blessings, the Good Doctor

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