A round in the esoteric cosmology of Theosophy, Anthroposophy and Rosicrucianism is
a cosmic cycle or sequence by which an evolving reincarnating being passes
through the various stages of existence as the Earth, the Solar System or
the Cosmos comes
into and passes out of manifestation.
The Theosophical concept of rounds
Theosophy, the whole process is very simple. A round is a process in a planetary
chain, according to which a life cycle orlife-wave of souls or monads begins
its evolutionary journey on the first and most subtle or spiritual of the
series of seven globes; then finishing its evolution there, proceeds to the
next, and so on, to the densest or most manifest globe (usually called globe
D), which in our case is the gross, physical Earth.
From there it proceeds on the ascending
arc, through increasingly more ethereal globes. Each of these
globes are in coadunition with the physical earth, though they are not in
consubstantiation with it. Each of these stages is called around, and
during this time the reincarnating life wave has passed through seven Root Races.
the life wave has gone through all seven globes of the planetary chain, it has
completed one planetary round or globe manvantara.
This is followed by the dissolution of the planetary chain in a nirvana (which
is not the same as what Buddhismcalls nirvana because it is not permanent)
Finally, a new round begins, in which consciousness is now more developed than
in the preceding round.
such planetary rounds (or forty-nine globe rounds) represents one kalpa or manvantara or day
of brahma. This is followed by a higher "nirvana" or pralaya,
which is the pralaya of that planetary chain. This lasts until a new planetary
chain forms with its various life waves.
such planetary chains and their pralayas constitute a solar manvantara, after
which the solar system is dissolved in a cosmic pralaya, before the cycle
elaborate cosmology, first formulated by Blavatsky,
was also taught by de Purucker, Leadbeater,
and Alice Bailey.
The Anthroposophical concept of rounds
Rudolf Steiner retained the basic
concept of root races and sevenfold cycles within cycles, but his description
is considerably simpler, concentrating only on the seven cycles of the
System. Each of these cycles constitutes a coming into
being and passing out of being of the solar system, and each is divided into
seven rounds, upon which man passes
through seven root races. Each of Steiner's seven rounds is related to a
metamorphosis of the Earth:
§ Ancient Saturn
the Ancient Saturn round, the life wave of human beings underwent the mineral
stage, endowed only with a physical vehicle.
§ Ancient Sun
the Ancient Sun round, human beings underwent the plant stage, being endowed
with a physical and an etheric vehicle.
§ Ancient Moon
the Ancient Moon round, human beings underwent the animal stage, endowed with a
physical, an etheric, and an astral vehicle. Meanwhile, the present Angels were
undergoing the human stage, while the present Archangels were undergoing the
Angel stage, and so on.
the Earth round, human beings undergo the man stage.
the Jupiter round, human beings will undergo the soul man stage.
the Venus round, human beings will undergo the higher soul man stage.
the Vulcan round, human beings will undergo the spiritual man stage.
Steiner, the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms represent "cast
off" elements of the human entity from previous rounds. These teachings
have been incorporated into the Anthroposophical Society that Steiner
The Rosicrucian concept of rounds
to Max Heindel's Rosicrucian writings about the
scheme of evolution, in the beginning of aDay of Manifestation a
certain collective Great Being, God, limits Himself to a
certain portion of space, in which He elects to create a Solar System for the evolution of
In God there are contained hosts of glorious Hierarchies and lesser beings of
every grade of intelligence and stage of consciousness, from omniscience to an unconsciousness deeper than that of
the deepest trance
condition. During the current period of manifestation these
various grades of beings are working to acquire more experience than they possessed
at the beginning of this period of existence. Those who, in previous
manifestations, have attained to the highest degree of development work on
those who have not yet evolved any consciousness.
period of time devoted to the attainment of self-consciousness and to the
building of the vehicles through which the spirit in man manifests, is called
The succeeding period of existence, during which the individual human being
develops self-consciousness into divine omniscience, is called "Evolution".
Every evolving being has within him a "force" within which makes
evolution not to be a mere unfoldment of latent germinal possibilities but a
process where each individual differ from that of every other. This force,
provides the element of originality and
gives scope to the creative ability which the evolving being is to cultivate
that he may become a God.
states that in the Solar system,
God's Habitation, there are seven Worlds differentiated
within Himself, one after another. These Worlds have each a different
"measure" and rate ofvibration and are not separated
by space or distance, as is the earth from the other
planets. They are states of matter, of
varying density and vibration (as are
the solids, liquids and gases of
the physical Earth). These Worlds are not
instantaneously created at the beginning of a day of Manifestation, nor do they
last until the end. The evolutionary scheme is carried through five of these
Worlds in seven great Periods of manifestation, during which the evolving
virgin spirit becomes first human and,
then, aGod. The highest Worlds are created
first, and as involution is
to slowly carry the life into denser and denser matter for the building of
forms, the finer Worlds gradually condense and new Worlds are
differentiated within God to furnish the
necessary links between Himself and the Worlds which have consolidated. In due
time the point of greatest density, the nadir of
materiality, is reached. From that point the life begins to ascend into higher
Worlds, as evolution proceeds. That leaves
the denser Worlds depopulated, one by one. When the purpose has been served for
which a particular World was created, God ends
its existence, which has become superfluous, by ceasing within Himself the
particular activity which brought into being and sustained that World.