It is a matter of recorded history that in the midst of most important human affairs, such as congresses or meetings of the heads of states, or the founding of a city, at the first sign of an earthquake or of an eclipse, or even a heavy electrical storm, everything stopped instantly because, to phrase it in the language of those ancient days, the gods were angered with men. Greek and Roman historians, as well as those of other nations, have recorded several cases where an earthquake or an eclipse put an instant stop to battles on land or engagements at sea, and not infrequently ended the war, because it was thought that the gods being thus displeased, gave warning in such manner.
This sounds quaint to us moderns, whose minds have been so colored by scientific speculation that we utterly fail to realize that all nature is knitted together in an absolute web of destiny. The ancients were wiser for they knew that all these things were significant of the unity of life, and the idea that they 'just happened' would have been dismissed not merely with wonder but with contempt. Which attitude is the more truly scientific, that of the modern who sees no fundamental webbing of event with event, no fundamental unity with nature, and who thinks that things 'just happen,' or that of the ancients and of many even today who look upon nature as one and uniform, every part electrically connected with every other part, so that what one part did affected most intimately and perhaps powerfully every other greater or smaller part of Nature?
What about earthquakes and their cause? Earthquakes, of course, are karmic results. Leaving aside the originating cause, the instrumental and material causes of earthquakes are certain positions of the Earth in connection with the Sun and Moon. Three of the planets in particular are connected with their occurrence: Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury; and to these should be added the powerful influence of the Moon and the Sun.
Earthquakes are electro-magnetic phenomena. The originating cause is not the slipping of the strata, nor the movement of rock upon rock. These movements occur, but they are the effects or results of the breaking of the electro-magnetic tension. To put it in another way, these movements represent the discharge of a current. Earthquakes thus are merely a phenomenon accompanying electro-magnetic adjustments in the Earth.
And as the forces involved are deep-seated and enormous, their results of course are widespread and enormous in effect. In some countries, earthquakes cause gaping chasms to open in the Earth. At the time of the earthquake in San Francisco in 1906 it is reported that a certain section of a highroad was shifted bodily several feet. All these earth-movements, the quaking or shaking of the Earth, the chasms and the cracking of the Earth's crust, the moving of rock over rock, are merely results of the breaking of the electro-magnetic tension.
When a young man, I myself saw the earth moving in waves at a place not ten miles from San Diego. At the time, I was on the ranch of a friend, picking some raisins from a tray in a vineyard, when suddenly I heard this menacing, rolling, thunderous sound. In a second or two, I could see the earth rolling like the waves of an ocean towards me. The strange thing was, when it passed under me, I felt the quiver and the quake, but I did not feel the rolling motion, although I knew that the wave was passing under my feet.
Now it is true that there are many thousands of earthquakes a year; and, as a matter of fact, my own feeling is that earthquakes are occurring all the time in some part of the world. The Earth is in a constant state of tremor. It is only the larger and more violent quakes that we take any cognizance of. Furthermore, the cause of earthquakes is of course inner, for they reflect spiritual energies and movements which express themselves in the astral and physical worlds as tensions and the breaking of tensions.
It has been said that every time when a child is born, there is a quake, but usually it is so small, so slight, that it of course passes entirely unfelt. No great soul can pass out of life — that is into the larger life, which is a birth — without the Earth feeling it sympathetically. There is a rupture of a great spiritual force in this case, and the Earth reacts either with a storm or with an earthquake, and sometimes both. In other words, death is an electro-magnetic phenomenon, and it is accompanied with electro-magnetic phenomena.
There is more truth in some of the popular legends of the barbarous peoples than there is in most of the textbooks of the academies of our most civilized countries; and the reason is that these so-called barbarous peoples are the degenerate representatives today of once wise and mighty ancestors, and they have kept a memory, recollections, in the form of myth and legend of this scientific knowledge of their once mighty forefathers.
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