THEOSOPHY, Vol. 13, No. 9, July, 1925
(Pages 401-404; Size: 13K)
(Number 7 of an 8-part series)
ANTIQUITY OF MAN
A RETURNING CYCLEIt is through these "Sons of God" that infant humanity got its first notions of all the arts and sciences, as well as of spiritual knowledge; and it is they who have laid the first foundation-stone of those ancient civilizations that puzzle so sorely our modern generation of students and scholars. (H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, 1888, I, 208.)THE seeming of modern civilization is that of an onward-rushing, irresistible force growing in power and sweep by geometrical ratio. The popular belief is that a young human race, once and for all emerged from an indeterminate period of semi-animal existence, is fated to solve all problems, master forevermore the forces of nature.
But very happily actual history repeats herself, for she proceeds, like everything else, in cycles; and dead facts and events deliberately drowned in the sea of modern scepticism will ascend once more and reappear on the surface.... (The Secret Doctrine, I, 676.)
...one great man of science, de Quatrefages, sees no good scientific reasons why man should not have been "contemporaneous with the earliest mammalia and go back as far as the Secondary Period." (The Secret Doctrine, II, 219.)
Yet Schliemann proved that Troy had really existed, ... How many more cities and localities called "fabulous" are on the list of future discoveries, ... those alone can tell who read the decrees of Fate ... (The Secret Doctrine, II, 236.)
Future finds will justify the correctness of the present observations of such acute minds as H. A. Taine and Renan. The former shows that the civilizations of such archaic nations as the Egyptians, Aryans of India, Chaldeans, Chinese, and Assyrians are the result of preceding civilizations during "myriads of centuries"; ... (The Secret Doctrine, II, 334.)
They divided the interminable periods of human existence on this planet into cycles, during each of which mankind gradually reached the culminating point of highest civilization and gradually relapsed into abject barbarism....
The ancients knew more concerning certain sciences than our modern savants have yet discovered. (H.P.B. in Isis Unveiled, 1877, Vol. I, 5 and 25.)
Professor James H. Breasted, the Egyptologist, has recently come upon a document which offers new proof of the astonishing knowledge possessed by the ancient peoples of the Nile. In a papyrus of 1600 B.C., it is revealed that Egyptian physicians were perfectly familiar with the cause of paralysis and discussed the treatment of it in terms which are far from amateur to the specialist 3600 years after them.
When one considers the fact that for nearly 3000 years the fact that a paralysis of one side of the body was caused by a brain affection on the other, was totally lost sight of, and that the malady itself was spoken of merely as a lameness, the civilization of these subjects of the Pharaoh is a reproach upon that of today.... With virtually every new fragment of writing turned up, some extraordinary modern practice is revealed as a common feature of Egyptian life, and the ancient writers discuss with what almost seems flippancy scientific achievements which the present day claims as its peculiar glory. Perhaps -- who can tell? -- it may presently be found that the Egyptians of 2000 B.C. resorted to the telegraph and telephone and that the Nile Valley was strung with wireless stations. (Editorial, Washington Post, April 17, 1925.)
Such is the power of Maya, "the Mighty Magic of Prakriti." For greater illusion never existed. We live, move, and have our being upon the powdered dust of vanished races as numerous, of civilizations as powerful, as any of our dreams. A young world, a humanity sprung from the animal a few millenniums ago? Forsooth, civilized relics are embedded in strata contemporary with the dinosaur!
To say so, means to stir up derision among the mighty. But truth and the future are Theosophy's handmaidens; not for us to withhold facts even under the seeming of fairy-tales!
Conceit denies the possible loss of such civilizations; there must be records left; progress must be continuous and imperishable! But consider the consequences should perhaps 100,000 "manasaputra" be removed from the race overnight, leaving but the dull average of the racial mind, which never grows beyond the age of fourteen; let the mighty stream of Atlanto-Egyptian-Roman Egos suddenly cease to incarnate and revanish into the Chiliocosm -- what would remain in a century? A tribe of white savages, stupidly and incuriously gazing upon the crumbling works of their forefathers, loading slingshots with shattered concrete and broken brick!
The works of primeval man have been denied because not apparent; but that is becoming a condition of the past. Startling relics in the midst of civilization are being seen for what they are; "natural" formations are found not so "natural" after all!
In Rockwell County, Texas, such a formation, known since 1854, is now to be unearthed. Some saw in it from the first, a human work, and were pooh-poohed in accustomed manner. The mills of science grind slowly -- and they grind exceeding little!
An old Arizona lake bed produces "what may have been the biggest city in America." And its evidences of civilization set afoot speculation as to Atlantis and polygenesis of races.
From Gaviota to Rincon, California, are over sixty towns of a Mongolian race found in tradition neither of East or West; some of their relics embedded in rocks "stratified for ages." And civilized men have lived for a century atop these ruins unknowingly!
In the Muddy and Virgin River Valleys of Nevada is a settlement eight miles wide by thirty-five long; a lost civilization possessed of glazed floors, artistic pottery, jewelry, and dice! And here the skeletons average over seven feet tall. The excavator, Curator of the Museum of the American Indian, expects work to go on "until the riddle is completely solved!" But no true solution will come in this generation -- save for those who resort to the pages of The Secret Doctrine.
Another such is the ruin of Casa Grande, Arizona; here there were beads found so small that only a hair could be passed through the holes; the reporter naïvely remarks that this is the more remarkable, inasmuch as "these people were in the stone age and had no metal!" Most significant of all to the Theosophist, is their possession of Masonic symbols.
Dr. E. F. Greenman says that the ancient copper miners of Michigan were skilled in surgery; and some of his discoveries move the chronicle to remark that "Michigan may some day rival the Valley of the Nile as a stamping ground for archeologists."
Farther afield, Prof. Frobenius has found three extinct civilizations in Africa, which he dates at about 6000 B.C. (Strange how hard it is to escape the influence of these "B.C." and "A.D." dates!) Among these ruins he found relics of still older cultures.
"Three Thousand B.C." -- again an unverifiable minimal date -- Irak, in Mesopotamia, held a culture which "in many respects revolutionizes the present history of civilization and architecture." Column construction, supposedly of a much later date, was found here; and also evidence of the use of horses, another upset. Decadence had even then set in; for there were plenty of manicure sets, dishes for face paint, jeweled mirrors, etc., as in Old Carthage recently disinterred by Count Prorok.
Another researcher says that Chinese traditions go back for 100,000 years; and mentions as contrast to modern civilization the empire of Malek Shah, which in the 11th Century reached from China to the Mediterranean, and could be safely traversed from end to end by a child carrying a bag of gold.
By means of pilot balloons, it has just been found that all constituents of the air save hydrogen cease at sixty miles; but the ancient Goladhyaya says that "The atmosphere surrounds the earth to the height of sixty miles, and clouds, lightning and the like are all phenomena connected with it!"
In standard works the hieroglyphics on the pebbles of the "cave-man" have been considered mere aimless ornamentation, in spite of their significant form (see Prof. Osborn's Men of the Old Stone Age). But light has dawned upon Prof. William Paulcke, who recognizes their true nature, and bases upon it a theory that men began writing 50,000 to 100,000 years ago. Moreover, says he, there is a relationship between these symbols and those of the Chinese, Babylonians, Egyptians, and Mayas.
New information comes to hand about the discovery of P. Kosloff at Khara Khoto in the Gobi Desert, previously mentioned by us. [Note: In the 3rd article in this series of 8 that you are reading. --Compiler.] It seems that among the thousands of volumes exhumed by him from a vault, there were many in a language unknown to philology -- definitely mentioned by H. P. Blavatsky as having existed in this region; she moreover describes hidden crypts of exactly the nature of that found by Kosloff.
Now it so "happened" that there was a key with those mysterious volumes; and we surmise that it is more than likely that the unknown language is Senzar. In which case, these words will have been written to some purpose:Unless we mistake the signs, the day is approaching when the world will receive the proofs that only ancient religions were in harmony with nature, and ancient science embraced all that can be known. Secrets long kept may be revealed; books long forgotten and arts long time lost may be brought out to light again; papyri and parchments of inestimable importance will turn up in the hands of men who pretend to have unrolled them from mummies, or stumbled upon them in buried crypts; tablets and pillars, whose sculptured revelations will stagger theologians and confound scientists, may yet be excavated and interpreted. (Isis Unveiled, I, 38.)And now that it is generally admitted that the climate of earth has been always inhabitable, for practical purposes, and that it was never gaseous, hot, or molten -- perhaps before long H.P.B.'s teaching that man in approximately his present form is over 18,000,000 years old, will be regarded with more tolerance. And what then?
Perhaps when it is found that mankind is no new evolution, but has survived æon upon æon, lived through the vicissitudes of continental upheavals and glacial epochs: that he has by turn risen to great heights and fallen into savagery -- there may be an attempt to discover the real purpose of being. Then it will be found that the illusions of power and progress, the philosophy of glutted desires, lead only to death and the dust. Be it race or nation, or individual man, "He who attendeth to the inclinations of the senses, in them hath a concern; from this concern is created passion, from passion anger, from anger is produced delusion, from delusion a loss of the memory, from the loss of memory loss of discrimination, and from loss of discrimination loss of all!" -- the spiritual condition of the bulk of mankind in this our present age of Kali Yuga.
ANTIQUITY OF MAN
A WILDERNESS OF ILLUSIONS
(Part 8 of an 8-part series)
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