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The converse of EVOLUTION. It is used in theosophy to denote the descent of the MONAD into matter. The Sanskrit words used in connection with the Esoteric Doctrine of Evolution and Involution are pravrtti and nivrtti. The literal meaning of which are “coming forth” and “returning.”

Pravrtti designates the DESCENDING ARC or the descent of spirit into matter, being part of that great “cycle of evolution” which is central to the Ancient Wisdom teaching. When the “lowest” (remotest) point is reached and matter has evolved into its greatest effectiveness, then the reverse process occurs (nivrtti), and the ASCENDING ARC begins, matter involving and spirit evolving. It should be kept in mind that according to theosophical understanding, neither spirit or matter completely “shuts out” the other; it is a question of gradual change of dominance.


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