THEOSOPHY, Vol. 18, No. 6, April, 1930
(Pages 254-259; Size: 29K)
(Number 20 of a 103-part series)
SCIENCE AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE
THE continents of America form the locus wherein the reincarnating energies of Atlantis the Mighty are being gathered together and focused: the cradle of a new development of the human race -- the Sixth Sub-race of the Fifth Root, in Theosophical parlance -- and of many new nations. They form, in short, the arena from which will emerge the issue of a new course of the world's history, physical, mental, and spiritual.
To Theosophists who have learned something of the subtle magnetic ties of Karma which bind men, things, places, and events; and who, watching the tides of world history from the lofty tower erected fifty years ago by H. P. Blavatsky, the Avatar of the new age, and who have seen fast crystallizing the events predicted by her -- it appears that the soil of these continents must have a human history as vast as the events foreshadowed on them; as extensive as the aegis cast over the Old World by the still nascent but already portentous civilization of the New.
In truth many times she hinted of a vast past, an analogue of the entire history of the Old World and but one cycle removed therefrom in the sweep of time. The Fifth Continent -- America -- she said, was coeval with the rising of Europe and Asia Minor.(1) As to its human history, the ancient Cro-Magnon race, the Old Stone Age men, set by the science of yesterday at the dawn of prehistory, closely resemble the American Indian; the descendant of their language, the Basque dialect, is in close affinity with the agglutinative American, and the connection of America with Europe, via the Guanches of the Canary Islands and through Atlantis, is clear enough.(2) Find the real age of the Cro-Magnons and the date of the Atlantean civilization of which they were the degenerate descendants, and the age of civilized man in America will be revealed!
Madame Blavatsky gave innumerable instances of the teeming ethnological and archeological signs of a connection between the early Americas and other lands, which in its nature must have dated far beyond the times when America was, until recently thought to have been, peopled only by the mammoth, the sloth, and their compeers. Such are the community of architecture and symbolism between the Americas, Egypt, Easter Island, Chaldea, India, and Central Asia;(3) the evidence of a connection between the Mexican races and the early Phoenicians, Babylonians, and Egyptians (who must themselves needs date far back of the time allowed them by ethnology).(4) And, says she, the vast mysterious ruins of Copan, Uxmal, Palenque, and Arica, were probably built by the Atlanteans.(5) That means the presence of civilized man in America more than 10,000 years ago -- for at that time the last vestige of Atlantis ceased to exist except in tradition.
The myriad evidences for the untold antiquity of American man(6) have been accumulating apace for the past eighty years; yet in this respect a strange and stubborn cecity has possessed the scientific mind; so much so that an oddly unacademic acerbity anon creeps into the discussion. To espouse the cause of really antique man in America, has in fact until the last two years sufficed to set one down as a fool, a visionary, or worse. No longer ago than in 1924, it was claimed that "there were no prehistoric men or submen in America."
Writing in Science, Sept. 21, 1928, Dr. Ales Hrdlicka stated that the population of America became established not over 5,000 years ago; that it would be splendid to discover evidence of earlier man, but that if such were in existence it would have come to light by this time! America, he said, was populated via Behring Straits, and the people were not barbarians but already had a rich culture. What we consider "native customs," he thought, "might not have been evolved here at all, but in Asia." When one considers the evidence accumulated to date, of the contemporaneity of man with the mammoth in America, and of which Dr. Hrdlicka could hardly have been ignorant, one finds his mental processes interesting but hardly unprejudiced.
It is highly probable that some tribes of America did originate in Asia -- whether by way of Behring Straits or the remains of the Lemurian land-bridge of older times, can hardly be determined just now. But to accept the Behring Straits hypothesis in toto means to postulate that the gigantic civilizations of Mexico and South America -- whose constructions are at least the peer of any architecture of our day -- were evolved over-night by certain tribes upon reaching those lands; tribes who had traversed something like 3,000 lineal miles of American territory in a migration which must have occupied centuries, and that without leaving stick or stone to the northward of their ultimate habitation to signalize their passage! True, there are traces of ancient man the length of the Americas from the Arctic Circle down, but nothing either of the style or magnitude of such constructions as Chichen-Itza.(7) Of this marvelous city George Allan England says:A city of twelve square miles, once swarming with a quarter of a million original Americans; a city of stupendous palaces and temples, just one of which, if built today, would cost thirty-two million dollars! An all-American city that, like sixty others, suddenly died; that lay buried and forgotten half a thousand years, a prey to the Yucatan jungles; a city now being miraculously resurrected, to the amazement of the world -- such is Chichen-Itza, holy city of Kukulcan, the God of the Feathered Serpent, capital of the mysterious Mayas.In other ancient civilizations there are the traces of successive steps of development; none here! Such a civilization is necessarily of thousands of years of unknown antiquity.
A typical example of recent scientific controversy on this subject is to be found in Science for July 6th and Sept. 28, 1928. A camel skull, to which adhered some undecayed organic matter, was found near Fillmore, Utah. A meticulous comparison demonstrated that it was not affiliated with the South American llama, nor was it from one of the camels imported into the deserts during the last century. On the contrary, all signs showed it to belong to the Camelops of Pleistocene times, supposedly extinct half a million years. Dr. Romer contends that this organic material could not have been preserved so long in such a climate (fifteen annual inches rainfall) and that therefore this supposedly Pleistocene species must have survived up to the last few thousand years. This discovery he then uses as a battering ram to attempt to break down the recent evidences of Pleistocene man in America, which hang largely upon association with early camel forms.
Dr. Oliver P. Hay counters in much detail. Upon technical considerations he shows the possibility of preservation of the organic matter in the place found -- under dry dust in a cave -- for indefinite periods. He notes also that specimens of the megalonyx, about whose age there is no dispute, had been found, buried in fine dust, and retaining organic matter, in a climate of fifty inches rainfall. He then continues with something of a resumé of the geological and paleontological relationships, well established, which would all have to be upset in order to allow of Dr. Romer's hypothesis. Let us then examine some of the human evidences which thus escape demolition. The latest series fall logically into chronological order, dovetailing with others previously accumulated.
Workers of the Colorado Museum of Natural History and the American Museum of Natural History(8) found stone arrowheads close to the bones of a bison supposed to be long extinct when men first appeared in America.
Harold J. Cook (whose discoveries have been a bone of contention for some seasons) found human artifacts in an Oklahoma gravel pit, shown by geological evidence to belong to the Pleistocene age, supposedly 500,000 to 750,000 years ago.(9)
Dr. Eliot Blackwelder, of Stanford University, California,(10) found mastodon bones near Menlo Park at the same depth and in the same stratum where a human skull was found several years ago. This, he notes, is the first indication of the contemporaneity of man and mastodon in America.
Dr. Charles N. Gould, of the Oklahoma Geological Survey,(11) reports an arrowhead, found and photographed in loco in undisturbed gravel, precluding artificial burial, and in association with the bones of animals believed to have been extinct for hundreds of thousands of years. "To assume," says he, "that men lived in America even two hundred thousand years ago would be contrary to all present theories of human history."
Inasmuch as it has been stubbornly contended that all these human traces were buried or washed into position, this discovery would in itself be well-nigh enough to settle that question; but Dr. C. P. Singleton, of Harvard, reinforces it with the discovery at Melbourne, Florida, of a stone arrowhead or spear point lying directly under the bones of a mastodon; while Dr. Gidley, of the Smithsonian Institution, finds a large stone tool.(12)
Even yet, there will be stubborn resistance to the new chronology. And why? Dr. Gould's remark puts it in a nutshell. Agreeably to the "animal-ancestor" theories which sprung from Darwinism, man as man is but little more than 500,000 years old altogether; these discoveries would not only show highly developed man existing at that time, but living in a location utterly separating him from the putative lines of his brute ancestors. According to all existing theories, he must have originated either in Europe, Asia, or Africa; and as man, the Pleistocene is itself stretching the age science is willing to credit him with. Accept the new chronology, and there will be no bolt or timber of the present evolutionary theories unloosened!
The dim, vast sweep of the American past which thus arises before the Theosophic eye is as entrancing as it is chaotic and nebulous. We have the man of the recent discoveries, of unknown race. We have the later Asiatic immigrant by way of Behring Straits, Atlantean also in ultimate origin, and, as shown by Dr. Hrdlicka, a close relative of the Tibetan aborigine. We have the mysterious moundbuilder, thought by some to be a colonist from the Mayan or Aztec civilizations further south. We have the Hyperborean races hinted at by H.P.B. and now discovered by science.(13) Lastly, we have those astonishing civilizations of the Incas, the Aztecs, the Toltecs and Mayas. The Incas, according to Prof. Arthur Posnansky, had so developed the science of astronomy that they knew the angle of the ecliptic.(14)
The Mayas are the increasing marvel of archeology, and the end of discovery and admiration is not yet. Strangely enough, the latest development of American architecture is almost a direct copy of the Mayan. In its strange grim way, it is pleasing to the eye and mystically expressive of the American spirit.(15)
The Mayas, says H.P.B., were strictly American,(16) though coeval with Plato's Atlantis of 10,000 years ago. Nevertheless and obviously they must have been of remote Atlantean descent. Is it not possible that they played the odd part in the decadence of Atlanto-American affairs which is now being played by Japan at a similar stage of Asiatic affairs? At any rate, said a Master writing in the '80's, two centuries prior to the arrival of Cortez, there was a great "rush of progress" among the subraces of Mexico and Peru as among us now; a rush ending in annihilation through causes self-engendered, and whose possible repetition we see among us now. No wonder that Mr. England speculates thus:What really happened to this mighty race, so that when the Spaniards came they found it already in full decadence, with only a few miserable campers living in grass huts amid the ruins of stupendous palaces? What brought the Mayas so low that their last capital was but a village of such huts on an island in Lake Peten, Guatemala?Hardly! The mystery was solved long ago, but neither fame nor fortune -- only contumely -- were visited upon the transmitters and resuscitators of the ancient records!
"Babylon is fallen -- is fallen!"
And why? Fully solve this stupendous mystery, and fame with fortune will be yours!
Back of the Red Indian; back of the mammoth-chasers; back of the moundbuilders; far, far back of the Mayas, the Incas, the Aztecs, loom the vast, dim, awe-inspiring figures of those races which peopled these lands when, prior to submersions and levitations then far in the future, they formed parts of Atlantis and even of Lemuria! We refer to the races of giants, of those who will hardly even be received as human when their intact skeletons shall be found -- as will happen one day. We refer to those glimpsed in the despised, derided, semi-mythical traces uncovered by Hubbard -- fulfilment cut short by an untimely landslide and an equally untimely death; to the odd traces left in the unverified geological nucleus of "Cascadia;"(17) to those limned by a thousand and one incredible hints vouchsafed by Nature across the length and breadth of the land, and which, studied as fact and not as fiction, may one day precipitate an avalanche of amaze and inaugurate the "breaking up of the great deep;" the deep of human complacency and self-satisfaction, of pygmy self-gratulation upon our putative but wholly mythical "ascent" from lower forms of half-sentient life!
COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here; and below that is the article mentioned in the above paragraph, and in the 17th footnote found below: "ANTIQUITY OF MAN"--"CASCADIA":
THE LIGHT AND THE RAY
Generally speaking a "ray" comes from a "light"; the ray is not the light itself, but a projection of it, and yet is the light, because without the light there would be no ray. The color of the light is clear and uniform; the ray is changed in color by the substance through which it passes. When the "ray" is "indrawn," it is of the same color as the light and is the light; in fact, was the light all the time, for the appearance of the different colors in it was not from the light, but from that through which it passes. Unity; one in essence. There is nothing but the Self. --Robert Crosbie.
THEOSOPHY, Vol. 13, No. 6, April, 1925
(Number 4 of an 8-part series)
ANTIQUITY OF MAN
"CASCADIA"There is sufficient evidence that the religious customs of the Mexicans, Peruvians, and other American races are nearly identical with those of the ancient Phoenicians, Babylonians, and Egyptians. (H. P. Blavatsky in Isis Unveiled, 1877)Certain centers -- geographical, cultural, biological, or all three -- for some reason become islands amid the roaring seas of universal change.
Identical glyphs, numbers, and esoteric symbols are found in Egypt, Peru, Mexico, Easter Island, India, Chaldea, and Central Asia. (H.P.B. in Secret Doctrine, 1888)
Now we find in the Zohar a very strange assertion,... It tells us that the serpent, which was used by Shamael ..., to seduce Eve, was a kind of flying camel.... Cuvier, who has reconstructed their skeletons, is a witness to "flying camels." ... It is well known that Antiquity has never claimed paleontography and paleontology among its arts and sciences; and it never had its Cuviers. Yet on Babylonian tiles, and especially in old Chinese and Japanese drawings, in the oldest Pagodas and monuments, and in the Imperial library at Peking, many a traveler has seen and recognised perfect representations of Plesiosauri and Pterodactyls in the multiform Chinese dragons ...
I. How could the ancient nations know anything of the extinct monsters of the carboniferous and Mesozoic times, and even represent and describe them orally and pictorially, unless they had either seen those monsters themselves or possessed descriptions of them in their traditions, which descriptions necessitate living and intelligent eye-witnesses?
II. And if such eye-witnesses are once admitted ... how can humanity and the first paleolithic men be no earlier than about the middle of the tertiary period? ... most of the men of science will not allow man to have appeared before the Quaternary period, and thus shut him out completely from the Cenozoic times. ... Evidently either the Mesozoic time has to be made to overlap the Quaternary period, or man must be made the contemporary of the Pterodactyl and the Plesiosaurus. ... Pterodactyls and Plesiosauri ceased to exist with the bulk of the Third Race. (S.D. II, 205-206)
...at least 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." (S.D. II, 219)
...how much more logical to believe -- as the Occultists do -- that ... many humanities, differing from our present mankind ... appeared but to disappear from the face of the earth, as our own will. Those primitive and far-distant humanities, having, as geologists think, left no tangible relics of themselves, are denied. All trace of them is swept away, and therefore they have never existed. Yet their relics -- a very few of them, truly -- are to be found, and they have to be discovered by geological research. (S.D. I, 609)
Through millions of years a little spot on the Nevada-California boundary -- referred to as a part of lost Atlantis in the Secret Doctrine -- has survived its many cataclysms as a sort of permanent continental nucleus, finally to arrive at upsetting modern scientific complacency and destroying laboriously constructed theories. The discovery of "Cascadia," as it has been called, also illuminates as by a lightning flash H.P.B.'s enigmatic reference to "ruins strewn along and beyond the Rocky Mountains."
Text-books still teach that man "descended from ape-like ancestors somewhere in Central Asia." But this theory, held with touching faith, has become a mere credo resultant upon fixed habits of thought rather than upon concrete evidence at hand. Moreover, after the discoveries of the last three or four years, in Mexico and Central America in general, it has degenerated still further into a mere "Credo quia absurdum est."
Allan le Baron's discoveries in "Cascadia" have suddenly cut the Gordian knot by providing a new center of racial origin, which, according to the evidence at hand, antedates by far anything so far discovered in Europe; even to a greater extent than the Cuicuilco civilization. Space lacks for a full description of these discoveries, which will be found in the San Francisco Examiner during the summer of 1924; and more may be heard from them, as the Examiner is pushing the investigation.
Professor Keene, of the University of London, had asserted already that some of the Mexican remains date back 500,000 years; but le Baron's finds go back still further.
In "Cascadia" were found pictographs identical in form with Egyptian, Chaldean, Babylonian, Chinese, and Arabian symbols; some of them very plainly, to the Theosophic eye, among the first cosmic symbols of the Wisdom-Religion from which all minor faiths branched and which in its purity survives today as Theosophy.
Four features of this sign writing indicate its formidable age:1. It is primitive and unpolished in character; the same signs elsewhere, known to be at least 7,000 years old (in our opinion more like 70,000), are effete and decadent in comparison. Therefore these signs are looked upon by the discoverers as the origin of those used elsewhere.For a long time the connection between man and the great reptiles will be a stumbling block, since according to accepted theories, dinosaurs were extinct some 10,000,000 years before the mammalian age; though, as it happens, a discovery was made by the last Hubbard expedition -- of which Prof. Charles W. Gilmore, of the U.S. National Museum, was a member -- which will ultimately upset all present theories on the subject.
2. There is no known tradition of migrations or crossings explaining the connection between these and the Asian signs, other than the echoes of forgotten Atlantis.
3. There are pictures of dinosaurs and extinct forms of animal life, though perhaps not as unmistakable as those found by the Hubbard Expedition in Grand Canyon, or by W. L. Chalmers at Grand Lake in the Colorado Rockies.
4. There is "desert varnish" and evidence of subsequent volcanic action over the inscriptions. The Examiner rhetorically asks that Geology explain what age this indicates. But Geology will not dare to do so -- as yet.
Even the scientific mind yields before sufficient evidence; the old location of the origin of man has had its death-warrant written for some years, and the signature is now affixed. Thus a new theory, and wider outlook, begins to rise, and men of science are coming to think that:1. America and not Asia is the "Garden of Eden";This change of thought is strictly in the direction of the truth as taught by Theosophy. However, from the very manner in which it was arrived at, all its lines are jumbled, and the picture presented is a phantasmagoria rather than a panorama.
2. Mankind is immensely older than has been supposed; the ancient civilizations of Asia were full-blown and in some cases decadent at the dawn of "history." Therefore their origins have to be found elsewhere, and the age of mankind is pushed back, according to some, 2,000,000 or more years.
3. There was an occupied Lemuria or Atlantis, somewhat confused at present.
The true synthesis can come only from Theosophy, which is history, not deduced theories. By that history alone can a satisfactory development of the races be uncovered.
Both scientific theories are partly right; both are very incomplete. Lemuria, filling the Pacific, did exist, and the first civilized cities were built on that portion of its soil now known as Madagascar. Atlantis, whose greatest center was in the Atlantic, was fact, and in it lay the origin of all our institutions, as well as of our troubles, of today. Both of these, and then Central Asia in turn, became centers for the radiation of a new and transformed racial stock over-running the world.
The remains of these migrations and transformations are underfoot everywhere. Seen through a glass darkly by modern science, they present a troublous history without unifying continuity; and the "straight-line" theory of history, favored over the cyclic, presents an almost impassable barrier to understanding.
The realization of ignorance is the beginning of true wisdom. Could science divest its mind of theory and conceit, and, kneeling before the ancient altars of history and philosophy, begin in a reverent and humble spirit to pick up the lost threads anew, more progress would be made in a year than has been made in a century.
But, for this, that pride which leads men to prefer their own mistakes to the wisdom of others must be left behind; the "ape-ancestor" theory, so flattering to modern man, and so benumbing to the sense of responsibility, must be returned to limbo whence it came. For that theory must be substituted the vision of a race mental and spiritual in its original nature, becoming incarnate pari passu with the crystallization of matter from its substratum under the influence of primeval, impersonal cosmic intelligence. It must be understood that the Ashvatta Tree grows with its branches downward, and that the origin of mind is not to be sought in matter; on the contrary, the origin of matter rests with the mental basis of objective cognition -- Mulaprakriti.
SCIENCE AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE
(Part 21 of a 103-part series)
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SEVENTEEN (17) FOOTNOTES LISTED BELOW:
(1) Secret Doctrine, II, 8-9.
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(2) Secret Doctrine, II, 678, 740.
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(3) Secret Doctrine, I, 322 et circa; II, 350.
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(4) Isis Unveiled, I, 551-555.
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(5) Isis Unveiled, I, 545.
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(6) Theosophy, Vol. XII, 91, 192, 233; XIV, 330-1; 380-1.
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(7) See Saturday Evening Post for Aug. 17, 1929; an article which should be studied by every Theosophist.
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(8) Science, Aug. 10, 1928.
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(9) Washington Star, Jan. 15, 1929.
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(10) The Week's Science, Jan. 28, 1929.
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(11) The Week's Science, Feb. 11, 1929.
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(12) Science, June 7, 1929.
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(13) The Washington Evening Star, Oct. 12, 1928.
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(14) New York Times, Dec. 25, 1928.
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(15) See remarks and photos in Saturday Evening Post quoted supra.
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(16) S.D. II, 35.
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(17) Theosophy, April, 1925. "Antiquity of Man."
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