Atlantis - the Exact Year
A. P. Sinnett had written to a master (in letter 23A) a number
of questions. Here is question 4:
(4) To what epoch did the existence of the Continent of Atlantis
belong, and did the cataclysmical change which produced its
extinction come into any appointed place in the evolution
of the round, — corresponding to the place occupied
in the whole manvantaric evolution by obscurations?
He got back this answer in letter 23b:
"It [science] now teaches, as you know, that Atlantis,
or the remnants of it lingered down to post-tertiary times,
its final submergence occurring within the palaeozoic ages
of American history! Well, truth and fact ought to feel thankful
even for such small favours in the previous absence of any,
for so many centuries. The deep sea explorations — especially
those of the Challenger, have fully confirmed the reports
of geology and palaeontology. The great event — the
triumph of our “Sons of the Fire Mist,” the inhabitants
of “Shamballah” (when yet an island in the Central
Asian Sea) over the selfish but not entirely wicked magicians
of Poseidonis occurred just 11,446 ago."
As far as I know this is the only instance of an exact year
for the sinking of Atlantis given anywhere. If anyone else
knows of an exact year asserted or presumed from any source
for this event please let me know.
Now we need to translate "11,446 years ago" into
an exact year. The letter from the master was written in October
of 1882. There are some indications from myths that the event
occurred in the spring and other indications that it occurred
in the summer. (Some few myths give this indication of a month
but none give an indication of a year.) So if we assume it
occurred in the 9 to 10 months of the year prior to the writing
of the master's letter, and if we note that the year "0"
never occurred, then this translates into the year 9,565 BC.
In the Secret Doctrine, HPB has more than once indicated
12,000 years ago. Of course these two dates are compatible
with the master's date being more specific.
So, Theosophy has an asserted year for the sinking of Atlantis
and that year is 9,565 BC.
Now it happens that the book Cataclysm has calculated a proposed
year along with a range for its estimate of the date of the
event. It averages together 574 separate carbon fourteen dates
to come to a grand average of 11,577 BP. (BP means "before
present" and is defined as before January 1, 1950. It
is used by scientists to eliminate "Christ" from
the dating terminology - even though a "BC" factor
entered into the definition of the term.) This translates
to 9,628 BC, or only 63 years away from Theosophy's date.
To form their best estimate, the authors of Cataclysm then
decide to round their BP date from 11,577 to 11,500 BP and
offer a range of plus or minus 50 years. This new estimate
of 11,577 BP translates into 9,551 BC. This new date is only
14 years away from Theosophy's date of 9,565 BC. This is astounding!
Let's put it simply. When science has averaged together 574
radiocarbon dates and then picked a slightly yet rounder number
for its estimate of this event, it then comes to only 14 years
from the date asserted by Theosophy in the year 1888!!
Can we say Theosophy has been confirmed?
And yet a little more. Since Cataclysm gives a range of plus
or minus 50 years, Theosophy's date is well within this estimated
range from science.
Okay, I'll say it. Theosophy's dating of the sinking of Atlantis
has been confirmed. This is an extraordinary match that Theosophists
should be aware of. We each need to evaluate the extent to
which this vindicates the knowledge of Theosophy about Atlantis.
When we consider how strongly science has objected to the
reality of Atlantis then it gives all the more significance
to this vindication - and all the more weight to the Secret
There is one more detail that is subject to interpretation.
Sinnett asked the master about the "cataclysmical extinction"
of Atlantis. The master did not reply "Atlantis sunk
in year XX." Instead the master said "the great
event occurred ...". It appears to me the master knew
that much more had occurred than that an island had sunk.
It appears to me that he knew a "great event" had
occurred. It was more than the extinction of an island. And
that would be much more in keeping with this analysis.
"No Religion Higher Than Truth"
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