In the cyclic rhythm of Nature, life is always springing into new vigor and activity in some places and dropping into dormancy and obscuration in others.
The reason for this is that all life, including that of the earth itself, is closely linked and interdependent, so that anything that affects one kingdom of Nature or class of life, affects all. As the time for a new Race or Sub-Race approaches, great changes take place on the earth with the sinking of old lands, the rising of new lands, changes of climate, and the purification of large areas by desert-conditions in order to rid them of the miasmic influences left by past populations.
All this is taking place at the present time, slowly but continuously. At present the sea level is slowly rising on those lands south of the Canadian line, while the Hudson's Bay district shows a rapid lowering of the sea by as much as three meters a century, with corresponding conditions prevailing in northern and southern Europe. In Mexico and Central America a new mountain-range is rising which is 1500 miles in length. Glaciers throughout the world have been steadily retreating for the past fifty years. The earth itself is separated, Round from Round, by a purifying dormancy or sleep during which the entire face of the globe is reworked, much as a field is plowed and harrowed before fresh seed is sown.
The same is also true of the continents which, after bearing a "crop" of life — human, animal, and plant — are renewed by volcanic outpourings, are flooded by the sea or become deserts. This is not new in principle.
We see this cyclic alternation of activity and rest-and-renewal everywhere in both large and small cycles, as in the alternation of the seasons, and even in the waking and sleeping periods of our daily life.
Perhaps that is why deserts have such a strange fascination for most people, who when they enter these Lands of the Sun feel a lifting of the spirit and a sense of freedom unknown in thickly populated regions.
Of the land-surface of the earth today fully one-sixth is occupied by deserts, and the total area is slowly increasing. Yet the soil of the desert-areas was once fertile and well watered, and amid their sands lie relicts of ancient and often unknown civilizations. To quote from Dr. G. de Purucker's article entitled "Central Asia, Cradleland of our Race," which appears in his posthumous book, Studies in Occult Philosophy, (page 16):
If you take a map, a map of Asia, and on it find Persia, Baluchistan, Afghanistan, Bokhara, and Turkestan, the Sea of Aral, and the Caspian, and to the east the Pamir and the Hindu Kush, and the Tien Shan, the Altyn Tagh, etc. — an enormous tract of country, most of it desert waste — there you will find the seat from which we came as a racial stock. The time was when that land was covered with highly developed civilizations succeeding each other in time. Hundreds of wonderful cities flourished there. The land was green and fertile, it was an aggregate of beautiful countries.
Then, having served as a home for the new Fifth Race (our own), the lands rose, became arid, deserts claimed the region, and the human population migrated to the new lands rising in Europe and elsewhere.
We may look upon the earth as a school of experience, where like a school during vacation-time, only a few janitors, officials and employees remain to keep things in order while the pupils are away. A somewhat similar process of alternating periods of activity, separated by periods of rest and renovation, exists on a lesser scale in cycles of smaller degree.
While deserts are a necessary and natural phase of earth-history, there is an unnatural arid condition caused by man's misuse of natural resources, and therefore out of proper time. This is evident in the "dustbowl" of America. The same is true elsewhere, and few realize the immensity of this disaster of recent years.
Specialists tell us that 100 million acres of farm-land have been completely destroyed for farming at a profit; that 125 million acres are seriously damaged; and that yet another 100 million acres belonging to the best farm-lands are seriously threatened. These figures are taken from a Government pamphlet published in 1936. During the "blow seasons" the land in the Great Plains region even now continues to move.
The atomic bomb, the widespread erosion in North and South America, the waste of forests and wild-life — all these show that man has indeed brought himself to the point where Universal Brotherhood and mutual understanding must prevail, or else future races will some day be searching sand-dunes for relics of our own civilization.