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It may not be amiss for the benefit of those who resolve the tradition of a lost Miocene Atlantis into an “antiquated myth,” to append a few scientific admissions on this point. Science, it is true, is largely indifferent to such questions. But there are Scientists ready to admit that, in any case, a cautious agnosticism as to geological problems concerning the remote past is far more philosophical than a priori denial, or even hasty generalizations on insufficient data.
Meanwhile two very interesting instances, that have been lately met with, may be pointed out as “confirming” certain passages in the letter of a Master, published in “Esoteric Buddhism.” The eminence of the authorities will not be questioned:
Extract from p. 61 of “Esoteric Buddhism.”
“The sinking of the Atlantis (the group of continents and islands) began during the Eocene period . . . . and it culminated in the Miocene, first in the final disappearance of the largest, an event coincident with the elevation of the Alps, and second in the sinking of the last of the fair islands mentioned by Plato.”
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Extract from a Lecture by W. Pengelly, F.R.S., F.G.S.
“Was there, as some have believed, an Atlantis a continent or Archipelago of large islands occupying the area of the North Atlantic? There is, perhaps, nothing unphilosophical in the hypothesis. For since, as geologists state, ‘The Alps have acquired 4,000 and even in some places more than 10,000 feet of their present altitude since the commencement of the Eocene epoch’ (Lyell’s Principles 2nd Ed. p. 256.) a post-Miocene depression might have carried the hypothetical Atlantis into almost abysmal depths.”*
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* Having already given several instances of the vagaries of Science, it is delightful to find such agreement in this particular case. Read in connection with the scientific admission (cited elsewhere) of the geologists’ ignorance of even the approximate duration of periods, the following passage is highly instructive: “We are not yet able to assign an approximate date for the most recent epoch at which our Northern Hemisphere was covered with glaciers. According to Mr. Wallace, this epoch may have occurred seventy thousand years ago, while others would assign to it an antiquity of at least two hundred thousand years, and there are yet others who urge strong arguments on behalf of the opinion that a million of years is barely enough to have produced the changes which have taken place since that event.” (Fiske, “Cosmic [[Footnote continued on next page]]
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“Lemuria cannot any more be confounded with the Atlantis continent than Europe with America. Both sank and were drowned with all their ‘gods’; yet, between the two catastrophes a short period of about some 700,000 years elapsed; Lemuria flourishing and ending her career just about that trifling lapse of time before the early Eocene Age, since its Race was the Third. Behold the relics of that once great race in some of the flat-headed aborigines of your Australia.” (“Esoteric Buddhism,” p. 55.)
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“It would be premature to say, because no evidence has yet been adduced, that men may not have existed in the Eocene Age, especially as it can be shown that a race of men, the lowest we know of, co-exists with that remnant of the Eocene flora which still survives on the continent and islands of Australia.” (Extract from an article in “Popular Science Review,” Vol. V. p. 18, by Professor Seemann, Ph.D., F.L.S., P.A.S.).
Haeckel, who fully accepts the reality of a former Lemuria, also regards the Australians as direct descendants of the Lemurians. “Persistent forms (of both his Lemurian stems,) are in all probability still surviving . . . Papuans and Hottentots . . . Australians . . . one division of the Malays.”
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With regard to a former civilization, of which a portion of these degraded Australians are the last surviving offshoot, the opinion of Gerland is strongly suggestive. Commenting upon the religion and mythology of the tribes, he writes, “The statement that the Australian civilization (?) indicates a higher grade, is nowhere more clearly proved than here, where everything resounds like the expiring voices of a previous and richer age. The idea that the Australians have no religion or mythology is thoroughly false. But this religion is certainly quite deteriorated.” (Cited in Schmidt’s “Doctrine of Descent of Darwinism,” pp. 301-2.) As to his other statement, namely, that the Australians are a “division of the Malays” (Vide his ethnological theories in the “Pedigree of Man”), Haeckel is in error, if he classes the Australians with the rest. The Malays and Papuans are a mixed stock, resulting from the intermarriages of the low Atlantean sub-races with the Seventh sub-race of the Third Root-Race. Like the Hottentots, they are of indirect Lemuro-Atlantean descent. It is a most suggestive fact to those concrete thinkers who demand a physical proof of Karma that the lowest races of men are now rapidly dying out; a phenomenon largely due to an extraordinary sterility setting in among the women, from the time that they were first approached by the Europeans. A process of decimation is taking
[[Footnote continued from previous page]] Philosophy," Vol. II., p. 304). Prof. Lefevre, again, gives us as his estimate 100,000 years. Clearly, then, if modern Science is unable to estimate the date of so comparatively recent an era as the Glacial Epoch, it can hardly impeach the Esoteric Chronology of Race-Periods and Geological Ages.
place all over the globe, among those races, whose “time is up” among just those stocks, be it remarked, which esoteric philosophy regards as the senile representatives of lost archaic nations. It is inaccurate to maintain that the extinction of a lower race is invariably due to cruelties or abuses perpetrated by colonists. Change of diet, drunkenness, etc., etc., have done much; but those who rely on such data as offering an all-sufficient explanation of the crux, cannot meet the phalanx of facts now so closely arrayed. “Nothing,” says even the materialist Lefevre, “can save those that have run their course. . . . It would be necessary to extend their destined cycle. . . . The peoples that have been most spared . . . Hawaiians or Maories, have been no less decimated than the tribes massacred or tainted by European intrusion.” (“Philosophy,” p. 508.)
True; but is not the phenomenon here confirmed of the operation of Cyclic Law difficult to account for on materialist lines? Whence the “destined cycle” and the order here testified to? Why does this (Karmic) sterility attack and root out certain races at their “appointed hour”? The answer that it is due to a “mental disproportion” between the colonizing and aboriginal races is obviously evasive, since it does not explain the sudden “checks to fertility” which so frequently supervene. The dying out of the Hawaiians, for instance, is one of the most mysterious problems of the day. Ethnology will sooner or later have to recognize with Occultists that the true solution has to be sought for in a comprehension of the workings of Karma. As Lefevre remarks, “the time is drawing near when there will remain nothing but three great human types” (before the Sixth Root-Race dawns), the white (Aryan, Fifth Root-Race), the yellow, and the African negro with their crossings (Atlanto-European divisions). Redskins, Eskimos, Papuans, Australians, Polynesians, etc., etc. all are dying out. Those who realize that every Root-Race runs through a gamut of seven sub-races with seven branchlets, etc., will understand the “why.” The tide-wave of incarnating Egos has rolled past them to harvest experience in more developed and less senile stocks; and their extinction is hence a Karmic necessity. Some extraordinary and unexplained statistics as to Race extinction are given in de Quatrefages’ “Human Species,” p. 428 et seq. No solution, except on the occult lines, is able to account for these.
But we have digressed from our direct subject. Let us hear now what Professor Huxley has to say on the subject of former Atlantic and Pacific Continents.
He writes in “Nature,” Nov. 4th, 1880: “There is nothing, so far as I am aware, in the biological or geological evidence at present accessible, to render untenable the hypothesis that an area of the mid-
Atlantic or Pacific sea-bed as big as Europe, should have been uplifted as high as Mont Blanc, and have subsided again, any time since the Palaeozoic epoch, if there were any grounds for entertaining it.”
That is to say, then, that there is nothing which can militate against positive evidence to the fact; nothing, therefore, against the geological postulates of the Esoteric Philosophy. Dr. Seemann assures us in the “Popular Science Review” (Vol. V., p. 18), article “Australia and Europe formerly one Continent,”* that:
“The facts which botanists have accumulated for reconstructing these lost maps of the globe are rather comprehensive; and they have not been backward in demonstrating the former existence of large tracts of solid land in parts now occupied by the great oceans. The many striking points of contact between the present flora of the United States and Eastern Asia, induced them to assume that, during the present order of things, there existed a continental connection between South-Eastern Asia and Western America. The singular correspondence of the present flora of the Southern United States with that of the lignite flora of Europe induces them to believe that, in the Miocene period, Europe and America were connected by a land passage, of which Iceland, Madeira, and the other Atlantic islands are remnants; that, in fact, the story of an Atlantis, which an Egyptian priest told to Solon, is not purely fictitious, but rests on a solid historical basis. . . . Europe of the Eocene period received the plants which spread over mountains and plains, valleys and river-banks (from Asia generally), neither exclusively from the South nor from the East. The west also furnished additions, and if at that period these were rather meagre, they show, at all events, that the bridge was already building, which, at a late period, was to facilitate communication between the two continents in such a remarkable manner. At that time some plants of the Western Continent began to reach Europe by means of the island of Atlantis, then probably just (?) rising above the ocean.”
And in another number of the same review (Vol. I., p. 143) Mr. Duppa Crotch, M.A., F.L.S., in an article entitled “The Norwegian Lemming and its Migrations,” alludes to the same subject.
“Is it probable that land could have existed where now the broad Atlantic rolls? All tradition says so: old Egyptian records speak of Atlantis, as Strabo and others have told us. The Sahara itself is the sand of an ancient sea, and the shells which are found upon its surface
* Undoubtedly a fact and a confirmation of the esoteric conception of the Lemuria which originally not only embraced great areas in the Indian and Pacific oceans, but projected round South Africa into the North Atlantic. Its Atlantic portion subsequently became the geological basis of the future home of the Fourth Race Atlanteans.
prove that, no longer ago than the Miocene period, a sea rolled over what is now desert. The voyage of the ‘Challenger’ has proved the existence of three long ridges* in the Atlantic Ocean,† one extending for more than three thousand miles, and lateral spurs may, by connecting these ridges, account for the marvellous similarity of the fauna of the Atlantic islands.‡ . . . . The submerged continent of Lemuria, in what is now the Indian Ocean, is considered to afford an explanation of many difficulties in the distribution of organic life, and, I think, the existence of a Miocene Atlantis will be found to have a strong elucidative bearing on subjects of greater interest [Truly so!] than the migration of the lemming. At all events, if it can be shown that land existed in former ages where the North Atlantic now rolls, not only is a motive found for these apparently suicidal migrations, but also a strong collateral proof that what we call instincts are but the blind and sometimes even prejudicial inheritance of previously acquired experiences.”
(At certain periods, we learn, multitudes of these animals swim to sea and perish. Coming, as they do, from all parts of Norway, the powerful instinct which survives throughout ages as an inheritance from their progenitors impels them to seek a continent, once existing but now submerged beneath the ocean, and to court a watery grave.)
In an article containing a criticism of Mr. A. R. Wallace’s “Island Life” a work devoted largely to the question of the distribution of animals, etc. Mr. Starkie Gardiner writes (“Subsidence and Elevation,” Geological Magazine, June, 1881):
“By a process of reasoning supported by a large array of facts of different kinds, he arrives at the conclusion that the distribution of life upon the land as we now see it, has been accomplished without the aid of important changes in the relative positions of continents and seas. Yet if we accept his views, we must believe that Asia and Africa, Madagascar and Africa, New Zealand and Australia, Europe and America, have been united at some period not remote geologically, and that seas to the depth of 1,000 fathoms have been bridged over; but we must treat as utterly gratuitous and entirely opposed to
* Cf. the published reports of the “Challenger” expedition; also Donnelly’s “Atlantis,” p. 468 and pp. 46-56, chap. “The Testimony of the Sea.”
† Even the cautious Lefevre speaks of the existence of Tertiary men on “upheaved lands, islands and continents then flourishing, but since submerged beneath the waters,” and elsewhere introduces a “possible Atlantis” to explain ethnological facts. Cf. his “Philosophy,” Eng. Ed., pp. 478 and 504. Mr. Donnelly remarks with rare intuition that “modern civilization is Atlantean . . . . the ‘inventive’ faculty of the present age is taking up the delegated work of Creation where Atlantis left it thousands of years ago” (Atlantis, p. 133). He also refers the origin of culture to the Miocene times. It is, however, to be sought for in the teachings given to the Third Race-men by their Divine Rulers at a vastly earlier period.
‡ An equally “curious” similarity is traced between some of the West Indian and West African fauna.
all the evidences at our command (!!), the supposition that temperate Europe and temperate America, Australia, and South America, have ever been connected except by way of the Arctic or Antarctic circles and that lands now separated by seas of more than 1,000 fathoms depth have ever been united. Mr. Wallace, it must be admitted, has succeeded in explaining the chief features of existing life-distribution, without bridging the Atlantic or Pacific, except towards the Poles, yet I cannot help thinking that some of the facts might perhaps be more easily explained by admitting the former existence of the connection between the coast of Chile and Polynesia* and Great Britain and Florida, shadowed by the submarine banks which stretch between them. Nothing is urged that renders the more direct connection impossible, and no physical reason is advanced why the floor of the ocean should not be upheaved from any depth. The route by which (according to the anti-Atlantean and Lemurian hypotheses of Wallace) the floras of South America and Australia are supposed to have mingled, is beset by almost insurmountable obstacles, and the apparently sudden arrival of a number of sub-tropical American plants in our Eocene flora, necessitates a connection more to the south than the present 1,000 fathom line . . . . forces are unceasingly acting, and there is no reason why an elevating force once set in action in the centre of an ocean should cease to act until a continent is formed. They have acted and lifted out from the sea, in comparatively recent geological times, the loftiest mountains on earth. Mr. Wallace himself admits repeatedly that sea-beds have been elevated 1,000 fathoms and islands have risen up from the depths of 3,000 fathoms; and to suppose that the upheaving forces are limited in power, is, it seems to me, utterly gratuitous and entirely opposed to all the evidences at our command.
The “Father” of English Geology Sir Charles Lyell was an Uniformitarian in his views of continental formation. On page 492 of his “Antiquity of Man” we find him saying:
“Professor Unger (Die versunkene Insel Atlantis) and Heer (Flora Tertiaria Helvetiae) have admitted on botanical grounds the former existence of an Atlantic Continent during some part of the Tertiary Period, as affording the only plausible explanation that can be imagined of the analogy between the Miocene flora of central Europe, and the existing flora of Eastern America. Professor Oliver, on the other hand, after showing how many of the American types found fossil in Europe are common to Japan, inclines to the theory, first advanced by Dr. Asa Gray, that the migration of species, to which the community of types in the Eastern States of North America, and the Miocene flora of Europe is due, took place when there was an overland communication from America to central Asia between the fiftieth and sixtieth parallels of latitude, or south of Behring Straits, following the direction of the Aleutian islands. By this course they may have made their way, at any epoch, Miocene, Pliocene, or Pleistocene, antecedently to the Glacial Epoch, to Amoorland, on the East coast of North Asia.”
The unnecessary difficulties and complications here incurred in order to avoid the hypothesis of an Atlantic Continent, are really too
* The Pacific portion of the giant Lemurian Continent christened by Dr. Carter Blake, the anthropologist, “Pacificus.”
apparent to escape notice. If the botanical evidences stood alone, scepticism would be half legitimate; but in this case all branches of science converge to one point. Science has made blunders, and has exposed itself to greater errors than the admission of our two now invisible continents, would lay it open to. It has denied even the undeniable, from the days of the mathematician Laplace down to our own, and that only a few years ago.* We have Professor Huxley’s authority for saying that there is no a priori improbability whatever against possible evidences supporting the belief. (Vide supra.) But now that the positive evidence is brought forward, will that eminent scientist admit the corollary?
Touching on the problem in another place (“Principles of Geology,” pp. 12-13), Sir Charles Lyell tells us: “Respecting the cosmogony of the Egyptian priests, we gather much information from writers of the Grecian sects, who borrowed almost all their tenets from Egypt, and amongst others that of the former successive destruction and renovation of the world. (Continental, not cosmic, catastrophes.) We learn from Plutarch that this was the theme of one of the hymns of Orpheus, so celebrated in the fabulous ages of Greece. It was brought by him from the banks of the Nile; and we even find in his verses, as in the Indian systems, a definite period assigned for the duration of every successive World. The returns of great catastrophes were determined by the present period of the Magnus Annus, or great year a cycle composed of the revolutions of the sun, moon, and planets, and terminating when these return together to the sign whence they were supposed at some remote epoch to set out. We learn particularly from the Timaeus of Plato that the Egyptians believed the world to be subject to occasional conflagrations and deluges. The sect of the Stoics adopted most fully the system of catastrophes destined at intervals to destroy the world. These, they taught, were of two kinds the cataclysm, or destruction by water, and the Ecpyrosis, or destruction by fire (submarine volcanoes). From the Egyptians they derived the doctrine of the gradual debasement of man from a state of innocence” (nascent simplicity of the first sub-races of each Root-Race). “Towards the
* When Howard read, before the Royal Society of London, a paper on the first serious researches that were made on the aerolites, the Geneva naturalist Pictet, who was present, communicated, on his return to Paris, the facts reported to the French Academy of Sciences. But he was forthwith interrupted by Laplace, the great astronomer, who cried: “Stop! we have had enough of such fables, and know all about them,” thus making Pictet feel very small. Globular-shaped lightnings or thunderbolts have been admitted by Science only since Arago demonstrated their existence, says de Rochat (“Forces non-definies,” p. 4): “Every one remembers Dr. Bouilland’s misadventure at the Academy of Medicine when he had declared Edison’s phonograph ‘a trick of ventriloquism!’ ”
termination of each era the gods could no longer bear with the wickedness of man, and a shock of the elements, or a deluge, overwhelmed them; (vide degeneracy into magical practices and gross animality of the Atlanteans) after which calamity, Astraea again descended on the earth to renew the golden age.” (Dawn of a new Root-Race.)
Astraea, the goddess of justice, is the last of the deities to forsake the earth, when the gods are said to abandon it and be taken up into heaven by Jupiter again. But, no sooner does Zeus carry away from earth Ganymedes (the object of lust, personified) than the father of the gods throws down Astraea back on the earth again, on which she falls upon her head. Astraea is Virgo, the constellation of the Zodiac. Astronomically it has a very plain significance, and one which gives the Key to the occult meaning. But it is inseparable from Leo, the sign that precedes it, and from the Pleiades and their sisters, the Hyades, of which Aldebaran is the brilliant leader. All of these are connected with the periodical renovations of the earth, with regard to its continents even Ganymedes, who in astronomy is Aquarius. It was already shown that while the South Pole is the pit (or the infernal regions figuratively and cosmologically), the North Pole is geographically the first continent; while astronomically and metaphorically the celestial pole, with its pole star in heaven, is Meru, or the seat of Brahma, the throne of Jupiter, etc. For in the age when the gods forsook the earth and were said to ascend into heaven, the ecliptic had become parallel with the meridian, and part of the Zodiac appeared to descend from the north pole to the north horizon. Aldebaran was in conjunction then with the Sun, as it was 40,000 years ago, at the great festival in commemoration of that Magnus Annus, of which Plutarch was speaking. Since that year (40,000 years ago) there has been a retrograde motion of the equator, and about 31,000 years ago Aldebaran was in conjunction with the vernal equinoctial point. The part assigned to Taurus, even in Christian mysticism, is too well known to need repetition. The famous Orphic hymn on the great periodical cataclysm divulges the whole esotericism of the event. Pluto (in the pit) carries off Eurydice, bitten by the (polar) serpent. Then Leo, the lion, is vanquished. Now, when the Lion is in the pit, or below the south pole, then Virgo, as the next sign, follows him, and when her head, down to the waist, is below the South horizon she is inverted. On the other hand, the Hyades are the rain or Deluge constellations; and Aldebaran (he who follows, or succeeds the daughters of Atlas, or the Pleiades) looks down from the eye of Taurus. It is from this point of the ecliptic that the calculations of the new cycle were commenced. The student has to remember also, that when Ganymedes (Aquarius) is raised to
heaven (or above the horizon of the North Pole) Virgo or Astraea, who is Venus-Lucifer, descends head downwards below the horizon of the South Pole, or the pit; which pit, or the pole, is also the Great Dragon, or the Flood. Let the student exercise his intuition by placing these facts together; no more can be said.
“The connection,” comments Lyell, “between the doctrine of successive catastrophes and repeated deteriorations in the moral character of the human race, is more intimate and natural than might at first be imagined. For, in a rude state of society, all great calamities are regarded by the people as judgments of God on the wickedness of man. . . . In like manner in the account given to Solon by the Egyptian priests of the submersion of the island of Atlantis under the waters of the ocean, after repeated shocks of an earthquake, we find that the event happened when Jupiter had seen the moral depravity of the inhabitants.”
True; but was it not owing to the fact that all esoteric truths were given out to the public by the Initiates of the temples under the guise of allegories? “Jupiter,” is merely the personification of that immutable Cyclic Law, which arrests the downward tendency of each Root-Race, after attaining the zenith of its glory.* Unless we hold with Prof. John Fiske’s singularly dogmatic opinion† that every myth “is an explanation by the uncivilized mind, of some natural phenomenon; not an allegory, not an esoteric symbol, for the ingenuity is wasted (! !) which strives to detect in myths the remnants of a refined primeval science but an explanation. Primitive men had no profound science to perpetuate by means of allegory [How does Mr. Fiske know?], nor were they such sorry pedants as to talk in riddles when plain language would serve their purpose.” We venture to say the language of the Initiated few was far more “plain,” and their science-philosophy far more com-
* The Cyclic Law of Race-Evolution is most unwelcome to scientists. It is sufficient to mention the fact of “primeval civilization” to excite the frenzy of Darwinians; it being obvious that the further culture and science is pushed back, the more precarious becomes the basis of the ape-ancestor theory. But as Jacolliot says: “Whatever there may be in these traditions (submerged continents, etc.), and whatever may have been the place where a civilization more ancient than that of Rome, of Greece, of Egypt, and of India, was developed, it is certain that this civilization did exist, and it is highly important for Science to recover its traces, however feeble and fugitive they be.” (Histoire des Vierges; les peuples et les continents disparus, p. 15.) Donnelly has proved the fact from the clearest premises, but the Evolutionists will not listen. A Miocene civilization upsets the “universal stone-age” theory, and that of a continuous ascent of man from animalism! And yet Egypt, at least, runs counter to current hypotheses. There is no stone-age visible there, but a more glorious culture is apparent, the further back we are enabled to carry our retrospect. (Verb. Sap.)
† “Myths and Myth-Makers,” p. 21.
prehensive and satisfying alike to the physical and spiritual wants of man, than even the terminology and system respectively elaborated by Mr. Fiske’s Master Herbert Spencer. What, however, is Sir Charles Lyell’s “explanation” of the “myth”? Certainly, he in no way countenances the idea of its “astronomical” origin, as asserted by some writers.
The two interpreters are entirely at variance with one another. Lyell’s solution is as follows. A disbeliever in cataclysmal changes, from the absence (?) of any reliable historical data on the point, as well as from a strong bias to the Uniformitarian conceptions of geologic changes,* he attempts to trace the Atlantis “tradition” to the following sources:
(1) Barbarous tribes connect catastrophes with an avenging God, who is assumed in this way to punish immoral races.
(2) Hence the commencement of a new race is logically a virtuous one.
(3) The primary source of the geologic basis of the tradition was Asia a continent subject to violent earthquakes. Exaggerated accounts would thus be handed down the ages.
(4) Egypt, being herself free from earthquakes, nevertheless based her not inconsiderable geologic knowledge on these cataclysmal traditions.
An ingenious “explanation,” as all such are. But proving a negative is proverbially a difficult task. Students of esoteric science, who know what the resources of the Egyptian priesthood really were, need no such laboured hypothesis. Moreover, while an imaginative theorist is always able to furnish a reasonable solution of problems which, in one branch of science, seem to necessitate the hypothesis of periodical cataclysmic changes on the surface of our planet, the impartial critic, who is not a
* Violent minor cataclysms and colossal earthquakes are recorded in the annals of most nations if not of all. Elevation and subsidence of continents is always in progress. The whole coast of South America has been raised up 10 to 15 feet and settled down again in an hour. Huxley has shown that the British islands have been four times depressed beneath the ocean and subsequently raised again and peopled. The Alps, Himalayas and Cordilleras were all the result of depositions drifted on to sea-bottoms and upheaved by Titanic forces to their present elevation. The Sahara was the basin of a Miocene sea. Within the last five or six thousand years the shores of Sweden, Denmark and Norway have risen from 200 to 600 feet; in Scotland there are raised beaches with outlying stacks and skerries surmounting the shore now eroded by the hungry wave. The North of Europe is still rising from the sea and South America presents the phenomenon of raised beaches of over 1,000 miles in length, now at a height varying from 100 to 1,300 feet above the sea-level. On the other hand, the coast of Greenland is sinking fast, so much so that the Greenlander will not build by the shore. All these phenomena are certain. Why may not a gradual change have given place to a violent cataclysm in remote epochs? such cataclysms occurring on a minor scale even now (e.g., the case of Sunda island with 80,000 Malays).
specialist, will recognise the immense difficulty of explaining away the cumulative evidences, namely, the archaeological, ethnological, geological, traditional, botanical, and even biological in favour of former continents now submerged. When each science is fighting for its own hand, the cumulative force of the evidence in its collectivity is almost invariably lost sight of.
In the “Theosophist” (August, 1880), we wrote: “We have as evidences the most ancient traditions of various and wide-separated peoples legends in India, in ancient Greece, Madagascar, Sumatra, Java, and all the principal isles of Polynesia, as well as the legends of both Americas. Among savages; and in the traditions of the richest literature in the world the Sanskrit literature of India there is an agreement in saying, that, ages ago, there existed in the Pacific Ocean, a large Continent, which by a geological cataclysm was engulfed by the sea,* (Lemuria). And it is our firm belief . . . that most, if not all, of the islands from the Malayan archipelago to Polynesia, are fragments of that once immense submerged Continent. Both Malacca and Polynesia, which lie at the two extremities of the ocean, and which, since the memory of man never had, and never could have any intercourse with, or even a knowledge of each other, have yet a tradition common to all the islands and islets, that their respective countries extended far, far into the Sea: that there were in the world but two immense continents, one inhabited by yellow, the other by dark men; and that the Ocean, by command of the gods, and to punish them for their incessant quarrelling, swallowed them up. Notwithstanding the geographical proof that New Zealand, the Sandwich and Easter Islands, are at a distance from each other of between 800 and 1,000 leagues, and that, according to every testimony, neither these nor any other intermediate islands, for instance, the Marquesan, Society, Fiji, Tahitian, Samoan, and other islands, could, since they became islands, ignorant as their people were of the compass, have communicated with each other before the arrival of Europeans; yet they one and all maintain that their respective countries extended far toward the West, on the Asian side. Moreover, with very small differences, they all speak dialects evidently of the same language; and understand each other with little difficulty; have the same religious beliefs and superstitions; and pretty much the same customs. And as few of the Polynesian islands were discovered earlier than a century ago, the Pacific Ocean itself being unknown to Europe till the days of Columbus, and as these islanders have never ceased repeating the same old traditions since the Europeans first set
* For the opinions of Jacolliot, after long travels through the Polynesian Islands and his proofs of a former great geological cataclysm in the Pacific Ocean, see his “Histoire des Vierges: Peuples et Continents disparus,” p. 308.
foot on their shores, it seems to us a logical inference that our theory is nearer to the truth than any other. “Chance would have to change its name and meaning, were all this due but to chance alone.”
“A great series of animal-geographical facts,” declares Professor Schmidt, writing in defence of the hypothesis of a former Lemuria, “is explicable only on the theory of the former existence of a Southern Continent of which Australia is a remnant. . . . . ” [the distribution of species] “points to the vanished land of the South where perhaps the home of the progenitors of the Maki of Madagascar may also be looked for.”*
Mr. A. R. Wallace, in his “Malay Archipelago,” arrives at the following conclusion after a review of the mass of evidence at hand: “The inference that we must draw from these facts is undoubtedly that the whole of the islands eastwards beyond Borneo and Sumatra do essentially form part of a former Australian or Pacific Continent . . . This continent must have been broken up before the extreme south-eastern portion of Asia was raised above the waters of the ocean, for a great part of the land of Borneo and Java is known to be geologically of quite recent formation.”
According to Haeckel: “Southern Asia itself was not the earliest cradle of the human race, but Lemuria, a continent that lay to the South of Asia, and sank later on beneath the surface of the Indian Ocean.” (“Pedigree of Man,” Eng. Trans. p. 73.) In one sense Haeckel is right as to Lemuria the “cradle of the Human race.” That continent was the home of the first physical Human Stock the later Third-Race Men. Previous to that epoch the Races were far less consolidated and physiologically quite different. (Haeckel makes Lemuria extend from Sunda Island to Africa and Madagascar and eastwards to Upper India.)
Professor Rutimeyer, the eminent Palaeontologist, asks: “Need the conjecture that the almost exclusively graminivorous and insectivorous marsupials, sloths, armadilloes, ant-eaters and ostriches, once possessed an actual point of union in a Southern Continent of which the present flora of Terra del Fuego and Australia must be the remains need this conjecture raise difficulties at a moment when from their fossil remains, Heer restores to sight the ancient forests of Smith’s Sound and Spitzbergen.” (Cited in Schmidt’s “Doctrine of Descent and Darwinism,” p. 237.)
Having now dealt generally with the broad scientific attitude on the two questions, it will, perhaps, conduce to an agreeable brevity, if we sum up the more striking isolated facts in favour of that fundamental contention of Esoteric Ethnologists the reality of Atlantis. Lemuria
* “Doctrine of Descent and Darwinism,” p. 236. (Cf. also his lengthy arguments on the subject, pp. 231-7.)
is so widely accepted, that further pursuit of the subject is unnecessary. With regard, however, to the former, it is found that:
(1) The Miocene flora of Europe have their most numerous and striking analogues in the flora of the United States. In the forests of Virginia and Florida are found the magnolias, tulip-trees, evergreen oaks, plane trees, etc., etc., etc., which correspond with European Tertiary flora term for term. How was the migration effected, if we exclude the theory of an Atlantic Continent bridging the ocean between America and Europe? The proposed “explanation” to the effect that the transition was by way of Asia and the Aleutian islands is a mere uncalled-for theory, obviously upset by the fact that a large number of these flora only appear east of the Rocky Mountains. This also negatives the idea of a trans-Pacific migration. They are now superseded by European continents and islands to the North.
(2) Skulls exhumed on the banks of the Danube and Rhine bear a striking similarity to those of the Caribs and Old Peruvians (Littre). Monuments have been exhumed in Central America, which bear representations of undoubted negro heads and faces. How are such facts to be accounted for except on the Atlantean hypothesis? What is now N.W. Africa was once connected with Atlantis by a network of islands, few of which now remain.
(3) According to Farrar (“Families of Speech”) the “isolated language” of the Basques has no affinities with the other languages* of Europe, but with “the aboriginal languages of the vast opposite continent (America) and those alone.” Professor Broca is also of the same opinion.
Palaeolithic European man of the Miocene and Pliocene times was a pure Atlantean, as we have previously stated. The Basques are, of course, of a much later date than this, but their affinities, as here shown, go far to prove the original extraction of their remote ancestors. The “mysterious” affinity between their tongue and that of the Dravidian races of India will be understood by those who have followed our outline of continental formations and shiftings.
(4) Stones have been found in the Canary Islands bearing sculptured symbols similar to those found on the shore of Lake Superior. Berthollet was induced
* For further facts as to the isolation of the Basques in Europe and their ethnological relations, cf. Joly, “Man before Metals,” p. 316. B. Davis is disposed to concede, from an examination of the skulls of the Guanches of the Canary Islands and modern Basques, that both belong to a race proper to those ancient islands, of which the Canaries are the remains!! This is a step in advance indeed. De Quatrefages and Hamy also both assign the Cro-Magnon men of South France and the Guanches to one type a proposition which involves a certain corollary which both these writers may not care to father.
by such evidence to postulate the unity of race of the early men of Canary Islands and America (Cf. Benjamin, the “Atlantic Islands,” p. 130.)
The Guanches of the Canary Islands were lineal descendants of the Atlanteans. This fact will account for the great stature evidenced by their old skeletons, as well as by those of their European congeners the Cro-Magnon Palaeolithic men.
(5) Any experienced mariner has but to navigate the fathomless ocean along the Canary Islands to ask himself the question when or how that group of volcanic and rocky little islands has been formed, surrounded on every side by that vast watery space. Such frequent questions led finally to the expedition of the famous Leopold von Buch, which took place in the first quarter of the present century. Some geologists maintained that the volcanic islands had been raised right from the bottom of the ocean, the depth of which in the immediate vicinity of the island varies from 6,000 to 18,000 feet. Others were inclined to see in these groups, including Madeira, the Azores, and the islands of Cape de Verdes the remnants of a gigantic but submerged continent which had once united Africa with America. The latter men of science supported their hypothesis by a mass of evidence in its favour, drawn from ancient “myths.” Hoary “superstitions,” such as the fairy-like Atlantis of Plato, the Garden of Hesperides, Atlas supporting the world on his shoulders, all of them mythoi connected with the peak of Teneriffe, did not go far with sceptical Science. The identity of animal and vegetable species showing either a previous connection between America and the remaining groups of the islands (the hypothesis of their having been drifted from the New to the Old World by the waves was too absurd to stand long) found more serious consideration. But it is only quite lately, and after Donnelly’s book had been published several years, that the theory has greater chances than ever of becoming an accepted fact. Fossils found on the Eastern Coast of South America have now been proved to belong to the Jurassic formations, and are nearly identical with the Jurassic fossils of Western Europe and Northern Africa. The geological structure of both coasts is also almost identical; the resemblance between the smaller marine animals dwelling in the more shallow waters of South America, the Western African, and the South European coasts, is also very great. All such facts are bound to bring naturalists to the conclusion that there has been, in distant pre-historic ages, a continent which extended from the coast of Venezuela, across the Atlantic Ocean, to the Canarese Islands and North Africa, and from Newfoundland nearly to the coast of France.
(6) The great resemblance between the Jurassic fossils of South
America, North Africa, and Western Europe is a striking enough fact in itself, and admits of no explanation, unless the ocean is bridged with an Atlantis. But why, also, is there so marked a similarity between the fauna (animal life) of the now isolated Atlantic islands? Why did the specimens of Brazilian fauna dredged up by Sir C. Wyville Thompson resemble those of Western Europe? Why does a resemblance exist between many of the West African and West Indian animal groups? Again:
“When the animals and plants of the Old and New World are compared, one cannot but be struck with their identity; all, nearly all belong to the same genera, while many, even of the species, are common to both continents . . . indicating that they radiated from a common centre” (Atlantis), (“Westminster Review,” Jan., 1872).
The horse, according to Science, originated in America. At least, a large proportion of the once “missing links” connecting it with inferior forms have been exhumed from American strata. How did the horse penetrate into Europe and Asia, if no land communication bridged the oceanic interspaces? Or if it is asserted that the horse originated in the New World, how did such forms as the hipparion, etc., get into America in the first instance on the migration hypothesis?
Again “Buffon had . . . remarked in the repetition of the African in the American fauna, how, for example, the lama is a juvenescent and feeble copy of the camel, and how the puma of the New represented the lion of the Old World” (Schmidt, “Doctrine of Descent and Darwinism,” p. 223).
(7) The following quotation runs with No. (2), but its significance is such and the writer cited so authoritative, that it deserves a place to itself:
“With regard to the primitive dolichocephalae of America, I entertain a hypothesis still more bold, namely, that they are nearly related to the Guanches of the Canary Islands, and to the Atlantic populations of Africa, the Moors, Tuaricks, Copts, which Latham comprises under the name of Egyptian-Atlantidae. We find one and the same form of skull in the Canary Islands, in front of the African coast, and in the Carib islands, on the opposite coast which faces Africa. The colour of the skin on both sides of the Atlantic is represented in these populations as being of a reddish-brown.” (Professor Retzius, “Smithsonian Report,” 1859, p. 266.)
If, then, Basques and Cro-Magnon Cave-Men are of the same race as the Canarese Guanches, it follows that the former are also allied to the aborigines of America. This is the conclusion which the independent investigations of Retzius, Virchow, and de Quatrefages necessitate. The Atlantean affinities of these three types become patent.
(8) The sea-soundings undertaken by H.M.S. “Challenger” and the “Dolphin,” have established the fact that a huge elevation some 3,000 miles in length, projecting upwards from the abysmal depths of the
Atlantic, extends from a point near the British Islands southwards, curving round near Cape de Verde, and running in a south-easterly direction along the West African Coast. This elevation averages some 9,000 feet in height, and rises above the waves at the Azores, Ascension, and other places. In the ocean depths around the neighbourhood of the former the ribs of a former massive piece of land have been discovered (vide investigations of United States Ship “Dolphin” and others). “The inequalities, the mountains and valleys of its surface could never have been produced in accordance with any known laws for the deposition of sediment, nor by submarine elevation; but, on the contrary, must have been carved by agencies acting above the water-level.” (Scientific American, July 28th, 1877). It is most probable that necks of land formerly existed knitting Atlantis to South America, somewhere above the mouth of the Amazon; to Africa near Cape de Verde, while a similar point of juncture with Spain is not unlikely, as contended for by Donnelly. (Vide his chart, “Atlantis,” p. 47, Eng. Ed., 1884, though he deals with only a fragment of the real continent.) Whether the latter existed or not, is of no consequence, as the fact that (what is now) N.W. Africa was before the elevation of the Sahara and the rupture of the Gibraltar connection an extension of Spain. Consequently no difficulty can be raised as to how the migration of the European fauna (etc.) took place.
Enough has now been said from the purely scientific standpoint, and it is needless, in view of the manner in which the subject has now been developed on the lines of esoteric knowledge, to swell the mass of testimony further. In conclusion, the words of one of the most intuitive writers of the day may be cited as admirably illustrative of the opinions of the occultist, who awaits in patience the dawn of the coming day:
“We are but beginning to understand the past; one hundred years ago the world knew nothing of Pompeii or Herculaneum; nothing of the lingual tie that binds together the Indo-European nations; nothing of the significance of the vast volume of inscriptions upon the tombs and temples of Egypt; nothing of the meaning of the arrow-headed inscriptions of Babylon; nothing of the marvellous civilizations revealed in the remains of Yucatan, Mexico, and Peru. We are on the threshold. Scientific investigation is advancing with giant strides. Who shall say that one hundred years from now, the great museums of the world may not be adorned with gems, statues, arms, and implements from Atlantis, while the libraries of the world shall contain translations of its inscriptions, throwing new light upon all the past history of the human race, and all the great problems which now perplex the thinkers of to-day.”*
* Donnelly, “Atlantis; the Ante-Diluvian World,” p. 480.
And now to conclude.
We have concerned ourself with the ancient records of the nations, with the doctrine of chronological and psychic cycles, of which these records are the tangible proof; and with many other subjects, which may, at first sight, seem out of place in this volume.
But they were necessary in truth. In dealing with the secret annals and traditions of so many nations, whose very origins have never been ascertained on more secure grounds than inferential suppositions, in giving out the beliefs and philosophy of more than prehistoric races, it is not quite as easy to deal with the subject matter as it would be if only the philosophy of one special race, and its evolution, were concerned. The Secret Doctrine is the common property of the countless millions of men born under various climates, in times with which History refuses to deal, and to which esoteric teachings assign dates incompatible with the theories of Geology and Anthropology. The birth and evolution of the Sacred Science of the Past are lost in the very night of Time; and that, even, which is historic i.e., that which is found scattered hither and thither throughout ancient classical literature is, in almost every case, attributed by modern criticism to lack of observation in the ancient writers, or to superstition born out of the ignorance of antiquity. It is, therefore, impossible to treat this subject as one would the ordinary evolution of an art or science in some well-known historical nation. It is only by bringing before the reader an abundance of proofs all tending to show that in every age, under every condition of civilization and knowledge, the educated classes of every nation made themselves the more or less faithful echoes of one identical system and its fundamental traditions that he can be made to see that so many streams of the same water must have had a common source from which they started. What was this source? If coming events are said to cast their shadows before, past events cannot fail to leave their impress behind them. It is, then, by those shadows of the hoary Past and their fantastic silhouettes on the external screen of every religion and philosophy, that we can, by checking them as we go along, and comparing them, trace out finally the body that produced them. There must be truth and fact in that which every people of antiquity accepted and made the foundation of its religions and its faith. Moreover, as Haliburton said, “Hear one side, and you will be in the dark; hear both sides, and all will be clear.” The public has hitherto had access to, and heard but one side or rather the two one-sided views of two diametrically opposed classes of men, whose prima facie propositions or respective premises differ widely, but whose final conclusions are the same Science and Theology. And now our
readers have an opportunity to hear the other the defendants’ justification and learn the nature of our arguments.
Were the public to be left to its old opinions: namely, on one side, that Occultism, Magic, the legends of old, etc., were all the outcome of ignorance and superstition; and on the other, that everything outside the orthodox groove was the work of the devil, what would be the result? In other words, had no theosophical and mystic literature obtained a hearing for the few last years, the present work would have had a poor chance of impartial consideration. It would have been proclaimed and by many will still be so proclaimed a fairy tale woven out of abstruse problems, poised in, and based on the air; built of soap bubbles, bursting at the slightest touch of serious reflection, with no foundation, as it would be alleged, to stand upon. Even “the ancient superstitious and credulous classics” have no word of reference to it in clear and unmistakable terms, and the symbols themselves fail to yield a hint at the existence of such a system. Such would be the verdict of all. But when it becomes undeniably proven that the claim of the modern Asiatic nations to a Secret Science and an esoteric history of the world, is based on fact; that, though hitherto unknown to the masses and a veiled mystery even to the learned, (because they never had the key to a right understanding of the abundant hints thrown out by the ancient classics), it is still no fairy tale, but an actuality then the present work will become but the pioneer of many more such books. The statement that hitherto even the keys discovered by some great scholars have proved too rusty for use, and that they were but the silent witnesses that there do exist mysteries behind the veil which are unreachable without a new key is borne out by too many proofs to be easily dismissed. An instance may be given as an illustration out of the history of Freemasonry.
In his “Franc-maconnerie Occulte,” rightly or wrongly, Ragon, an illustrious and learned Belgian Mason, reproaches the English Masons with having materialized and dishonoured Masonry, once based upon the Ancient Mysteries, by adopting, owing to a mistaken notion of the origin of the craft, the name of Free Masonry and Free Masons. The mistake is due, he says, to those who connect Masonry with the building of Solomon’s Temple, deriving its origin from it. He derides the idea, and says: . . “The Franc Mason (which is not macon libre, or free masonry) knew well when adopting the title, that it was no question of building a wall, but that of being initiated into the ancient Mysteries veiled under the name of Francmaconnerie (Freemasonry); that his work was only to be the continuation or the renovation of the ancient mysteries, and that he was to become a mason after the manner of Apollo or Amphion. And do not we know that the ancient initiated poets, when speaking of the foundation
of a city, meant thereby the establishment of a doctrine? Thus Neptune, the god of reasoning, and Apollo, the god of the hidden things, presented themselves as masons before Laomedon, Priam’s father, to help him to build the city of Troy that is to say, to establish the Trojan religion.” (Maconnerie Orthodoxe, p. 44.)
Such veiled sentences with double meaning abound in ancient classical writers. Therefore, had an attempt been made to show that, e.g., Laomedon was the founder of a branch of archaic mysteries in which the earth-bound material soul (the fourth principle), was personified in Menelaus’ faithless wife (the fair Helen), if Ragon had not come to corroborate what we asserted, we might be told that no classical author speaks of it, and that Homer shows Laomedon building a city, not an esoteric worship or Mysteries! And who are those left now, save a few Initiates, who understand the language and correct meaning of such symbolical terms?
But after having pointed to many a misconceived symbol bearing on our thesis, there still remains more than one difficulty to be overcome. Most important among several such obstacles is that of chronology. But this could hardly be helped.
Wedged in between theological chronology and that of the geologists, backed by all the materialistic Anthropologists who assign dates to man and nature which fit in with their own theories alone what could the writer do except what is being done? Namely, since theology places the Deluge 2448 B.C., and the World’s Creation only 5890 years ago; and since the accurate researches by the methods of exact Science, have led the geologists and physicists to assign to the incrusted age of our Globe between 10 million and 1,000 million of years* (a trifling difference, verily!): and the Anthropologists to vary their divergence of opinion as to the appearance of man between 25,000 and 500,000 of years what can one who studies the Occult doctrine do, but come out and bravely present the esoteric calculations before the world?
But to do this, corroboration by even a few “historical” proofs was necessary, though all know the real value of the so-called “historical evidence.” For, whether man had appeared on earth 18,000 or 18,000,000 years ago, can make no difference to profane History, since it begins hardly a couple of thousand years before our era, and since, even then, it grapples hopelessly with the clash and din of contradictory and mutually-destroying opinions around it. Nevertheless, in view of the respect the average reader has been brought up in for exact science, even that short Past would remain meaningless, unless the esoteric teachings were corroborated and supported on the spot
* Vide Sir W. Thomson and Mr. Huxley.
whenever possible by references to historical names of a so-called historical period. This is the only guide that can be given to the beginner before he is permitted to start among the (to him) unfamiliar windings of that dark labyrinth called the pre-historic ages. This necessity has been complied with. It is only hoped that the desire to do so, which has led the writer to be constantly bringing ancient and modern evidence as a corroboration of the Archaic and quite unhistoric Past, will not bring on her the accusation of having sorely jumbled up without order or method the various and widely-separated periods of history and tradition. But literary form and method had to be sacrificed to the greater clearness of the general exposition.
To accomplish the proposed task, the writer had to resort to the rather unusual means of dividing each volume or Book into three Parts; the first of which only is the consecutive, though very fragmentary, history of the Cosmogony and the Evolution of Man on this globe. But these two volumes had to serve as a Prologue, and prepare the reader’s mind for those which shall now follow. In treating of Cosmogony and then of the Anthropogenesis of mankind, it was necessary to show that no religion, since the very earliest, has ever been entirely based on fiction, as none was the object of special revelation; and that it is dogma alone which has ever been killing primeval truth. Finally, that no human-born doctrine, no creed, however sanctified by custom and antiquity, can compare in sacredness with the religion of Nature. The Key of Wisdom that unlocks the massive gates leading to the arcana of the innermost sanctuaries can be found hidden in her bosom only: and that bosom is in the countries pointed to by the great seer of the past century Emanuel Swedenborg. There lies the heart of nature, that shrine whence issued the early races of primeval Humanity, and which is the cradle of physical man.
Thus far have proceeded the rough outlines of the beliefs and tenets of the archaic, earliest Races contained in their hitherto secret Scriptural records. But our explanations are by no means complete, nor do they pretend to give out the full text, or to have been read by the help of more than three or four keys out of the sevenfold bunch of esoteric interpretation, and even this has only been partially accomplished. The work is too gigantic for any one person to undertake, far more to accomplish. Our main concern was simply to prepare the soil. This, we trust we have done. These two volumes only constitute the work of a pioneer who has forced his way into the well-nigh impenetrable jungle of the virgin forests of the Land of the Occult. A commencement has been made to fell and uproot the deadly upas trees of superstition, prejudice, and conceited ignorance, so that these two
volumes should form for the student a fitting prelude for Volumes III. and IV. Until the rubbish of the ages is cleared away from the minds of the Theosophists to whom these volumes are dedicated, it is impossible that the more practical teaching contained in the Third Volume should be understood. Consequently, it entirely depends upon the reception with which Volumes I. and II. will meet at the hands of Theosophists and Mystics, whether these last two volumes will ever be published, though they are almost completed.
Satyat Nasti paro dharmah.
THERE IS NO RELIGION HIGHER THAN TRUTH.
End of Vol. II.
[[For Index, go to Index of the Secret Doctrine, prepared by John P. Van Mater, on this site.]]
Contents of Volume 2
Contents of Volume 1