Just to be sure, Yogananda says that human beings are a special creation of god, and not linked with apes. So essentially human beings are a one time creation of God (they magically and radomly appeared). This means that one must place oneself in direct conflict mainstream biological evidence concerning human origins to be a disciple of Yogananda. In other words, humans can't have evolved at all, but must have been a one time creation. Am I missing something concerning PY's view on human origin?
Paramhansa Yogananda did indeed say that human beings are a special creation. I don’t know about the “magically and randomly appeared” part of your question, but special, yes. Check out this article.
It’s true that this does not tally with mainstream anthropological thought. But then again, mainstream thought seems to change on a regular basis, doesn’t it? The most recent change I’m aware of turned up just this year (or was it last year?), when the acknowledged “family tree” got pushed back much earlier than had been accepted for quite some time. It was shocking for many anthropologists. But why shocking? It’s the way of material science to have a prevailing theory, which eventually gets replaced by another, and then another, and on and on it goes, never reaching absolute knowledge. That’s how it is when dealing with mere outward facts, as science does, rather than with inner, divine understanding, as the great masters do.
That’s not to say that human beings haven’t evolved in the time they’ve been around (which, Yogananda said, has been for over 50 million years – another huge departure from conventional thought). In fact, the teachings on the yugas specifically say that humans do evolve, not just on the level of consciousness, but physically, too. (See the upcoming book on the yugas from Crystal Clarity, as well as this article and others from recent issues of Clarity Magazine.)
Anyway, don’t worry about placing yourself “in direct conflict mainstream biological evidence concerning human origins.” Why would you care? You don’t have to believe anything like this in order to know God. As I said, the mainstream is in constant flux. And even if it weren’t, this entire issue does not concern your own spiritual growth in the least. Why would it matter to you whether humans evolved from some primate or were acts of special creation? Knowing the answer, or even believing one answer or another, certainly won’t help your growth, and it might hinder it if you decide to make the issue a stumbling block.
The important thing is that each one of us evolve from lower understanding to ever-higher understanding, until we merge back into God. And by then, I’ll bet this whole question won’t be very high on your list of things you need – or even want – to know.
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