THEOSOPHY, Vol. 15, No. 2, December, 1926
(Pages 57-61; Size: 29K)
(Number 2 of a 103-part series)

SCIENCE AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE

II

THE cycles of glaciation have never been adequately explained, and the perplexities and puzzles encountered in their attempted understanding still form one of the principal scientific stumbling blocks. Obviously, on the theory of a steadily cooling earth, present warmth where frozen wastes formerly existed could only be explained upon the theory of astronomical changes of a very obscure nature; and the huge coal beds in the Arctic regions, showing the former presence there of tropical climates, join in the evidence for cycles of very intense climatic alterations.

Mr. H. Helm Clayton, of Blue Hill Observatory, Mass., says that the climate in all localities is in a state of ebb and flow, and that the extremes of summer and winter are being softened in the United States. He speculates as to whether this is the beginning of an inter-glacial period, or the high point of a warm period from which there will be a retreat. He repudiates the old idea that climate is a fixed quantity. (Literary Digest, Jan. 9, 1926.)

A writer in the San Francisco Examiner, March 21, 1926, discusses the steady retreat of the polar ice cap, as revealed in rocks, fossils, and bones, and mentions the present scientific idea that the cold will return at some date in the distant future. There is no longer any doubt that the climate of the Arctic is growing warmer at present. Capt. Hermansen has made temperature observations proving the fact. The glaciers are diminishing in length and thickness, and mountain ridges are emerging.

What does all this mean? It is accurate but unsatisfying to say that it is an example of that periodicity -- the Second Fundamental of the Secret Doctrine -- which governs all action whatsoever. Science does not yet recognize the tremendous changes of the polar axes which occur periodically. Capt. T. J. J. See, for instance, claims that he has proven the known polar motions to be due to tides in the Pacific, and that astronomical observations in many localities confirm the idea. This very slight oscillation, however, has nothing to do with such great changes as would be necessary to explain glacial periods. Sufficient changes in the radiation of the sun have not been observed, in the first place, and could not be explained -- scientifically -- in the second place.

...it is absolutely false, and but an additional demonstration of the great conceit of our age, to assert (as men of science do) that all the great geological changes and terrible convulsions have been produced by ordinary and known physical forces. (S.D. I, 640.)

The ever-blooming lands of the Second Continent (Greenland, among others) were transformed, in order, from Edens with their eternal spring, into hyperborean Hades. This transformation was due to the displacement of the great waters of the globe, to oceans changing their beds; and the bulk of the Second Race perished in this first great throe of the evolution and consolidation of the globe during the human period. Of such great cataclysms there have already been four. And we may expect a fifth for ourselves in due course of time. [Footnote.] The first occurred when what is now the North Pole was separated from the later Continents. (S.D. II, 138.)

Thus, as the latter disturbance is attributed by geologists and astronomers to "an extreme eccentricity of the Earth's orbit," and as the Secret Doctrine attributes it to the same source, but with the addition of another factor, the shifting of the Earth's axis -- a proof of which may be found in the Book of Enoch, if the veiled language of the Purânas is not understood -- all this should tend to show that the ancients knew something of the "modern discoveries" of Science. Enoch, when speaking of "the great inclination of the Earth," which "is in travail," is quite significant and clear. (S.D. II, 144-5.)

The Ocean of Theosophy, pages 120-124, refers to certain forces operative in producing climatic changes and convulsions, which may well be active in this present polar change.

Dr. Henry Norris Russell, of Princeton University, claims to have evidence for periodic changes in the diameter of the earth. (Scientific American, July,  1926.) There is indeed much still to be discovered by physical science regarding the universal changes which go hand in hand with psychic racial changes, destructions, etc.

This "Sacred Land" ... is stated never to have shared the fate of the other continents; because it is the only one whose destiny it is to last from the beginning to the end of the Manvantara throughout each Round. It is the cradle of the first man and the dwelling of the last divine mortal, chosen as a Sishta for the future seed of humanity. Of this mysterious and sacred land very little can be said, except, perhaps, according to a poetical expression in one of the Commentaries, that the "pole-star has its watchful eye upon it, from the dawn to the close of the twilight of 'a day' of the GREAT BREATH." (S.D. II, 6.)
This land, identified with Mount Meru in the ancient sacred writings, extended by degrees southward to form a new continent which took in all of Northern Asia. Ages later came the third great continent, Lemuria, whose locale was mainly in the Pacific, to be followed by the lost Atlantis. Resistance to the idea of a Pacific or Atlantic continent -- especially inhabited ones -- was powerful in the time of H. P. Blavatsky, but is now rapidly weakening.

Sculptures of elephants have been found in Central America which lead some scientists to believe that the culture of the Mayas and Peruvians came from India and Cambodia, with something of Chinese influence. (Scientific American, Jan., 1926.) Scientists who do not like to believe that theory think that the sculptures represent macaws instead of elephants, though one must say that it would seem to take considerable imagination to transform an elephant's trunk into a parrot's beak. Prof. G. Elliott Smith, a foremost authority in archeology, also thinks so; has in fact written a book on "Elephants and Archeologists." It is improbable that even he is prepared to admit that the connection was overland via a lost continent, but archeological dates are due for a violent and radical revision within the next few score years.

Dr. Francis Xavier Schaffer, of Vienna, denies that there could have been a continent in the Pacific, upon geologic grounds accepted by him. It is an amusing irony of circumstance that in the selfsame publication (Science, Nov. 27, 1925.) G. Dallas Hanna, of the California Academy of Science, and Dr. Alfred O. Woodford prove that there was a Pacific continent.

In Southern California, there is a large mass of sediment called the San Onofre Breccia, which came from the west and was evidently moved by a river of continental size. The gentlemen named accept in toto the former presence of a continent west of North America. One surmises that as the Breccia must have been laid down in water, this continent was above water when the Western coast of North America had not risen. Without a former land connection of this kind, it would be difficult to understand how that peculiar being, the paddle-fish, continues to survive simultaneously in Mississippi and China, not being found elsewhere except in the form of fossils in Wyoming. (Scientific Monthly, Jan., 1923.) Following present fashion it is easy to ascribe a connection between American and Asiatic human culture to migration via Behring Strait. The paddle-fish can hardly be disposed of in the same way.

Turning to Atlantis, a necklace of cave bear teeth found in a limestone cave of South-western France, is of such nature as to cause speculation as to whether the art did not originate in Atlantis. (Popular Mechanics, April, 1926.)

In the Los Angeles Times, for Jan. 3, 1926, Peter Gray Wolf (whether an "authority" or not, we do not know) gives quite a mass of evidence for Atlantis from geological, anthropological, historical and traditional grounds, with some interesting maps. What is more, he gives credit to H. P. Blavatsky as a pioneer in the field of evidence for Atlantis.

While a number of scientists, in spite of an immeasurable mass of evidence, continue to believe that continents retain somewhat constant positions, there are others who do not agree. The San Francisco Examiner, Jan. 7, 1926, says that French geologists believe that Western Europe is facing a huge catastrophe in the next few years; they think that all of England and large parts of French, German, and Belgian coast regions may disappear under water. We have doubts as to the immediacy of such a catastrophe; nevertheless, the Secret Doctrine teaches that among the next lands to go will be Great Britain and large parts of France. The question then is whether the Secret Doctrine is becoming respectable enough to be the inspiration for orthodox geologists, or whether H. P. Blavatsky had knowledge in advance of present geologic evidence. We are willing to rest upon either supposition.

Meantime it is known that populated areas have disappeared beneath the sea. Many centuries ago an earthquake altered the coast line of the Caspian Sea. Tradition says that the City of Karadasheger disappeared then. Capt. Alexis Atayeff of the Soviet Mercantile Fleet, says that he has been able to distinguish submerged cities and buildings of ancient Asiatic architecture, which are believed to be remains of that city. (San Francisco Bulletin, Oct. 28, 1925.) It is also well-known that certain Greek temples have been practically submerged by a subsidence of the Mediterranean coast line, and survey records show that New York is settling at the rate of two feet per century.

"...Divine Kings descended and taught men sciences and arts, for man could live no longer in the first land (Adi-Varsha, the Eden of the first Races), which had turned into a white frozen corpse."

The above is suggestive. We will see what can be inferred from this brief statement. Some may incline to think that there is more in it than is apparent at first sight. (S.D. II, 201.)

...the Occult teaching ... shows the (now) polar regions as the earliest of the seven cradles of Humanity, and as the tomb of the bulk of the mankind of that region during the Third Race, when the gigantic continent of Lemuria began separating into smaller continents. (S.D. II, 324.)

The first continent, or island, if so preferred, "the cap of the North Pole," has never perished; nor will it to the end of the Seven Races. (S.D. II, 372.)

In that case why did Peary find hundreds of fathoms of water at the pole; why did Commander Byrd circumnavigate the pole by airship and find no evidence of land? This ground we think has been sufficiently covered in the article, "Where is the North Pole?" (THEOSOPHY, April, 1926.) The results of the Amundsen expedition are not so easy to dispose of, since Amundsen flew direct across the pole and practically through the center of the unexplored polar seas. However, the organizers of other expeditions have been undeterred by his failure. (Washington Post, May 19, 1926.) It is noted that at least four-fifths of the unexplored area has been untouched, and it does happen, though few people have noted the fact, that land was seen at the pole. Ellsworth noted some rocky islands in that region during his flight. (Literary Digest, June 5, 1926.) The Norge, however, was flying through fog a considerable part of the time. There are various contradictory facts connected with this flight. One report says "there was no fog;" another states that the determination of the position of the ship was made possible by "an occasional lifting of the fog;" Amundsen and Nobile had a serious quarrel whose cause has not become public at the present writing; a feat of concealment, considering all the circumstances, nothing less than superhuman. On one occasion, Commander Nobile having given an interview to the papers, Amundsen became exceedingly eager to learn what had been said, stating that there might be something which he might want to contradict. It is not at all impossible that if land had been discovered of sufficient area to furnish depots and air bases, concealment of its existence pro. tem. would be to the interest of the Norwegian government -- and Commander Nobile being an Italian, a peculiar situation might arise. This is not intended as innuendo against the rectitude of any member of the expedition. Time only will show what really lies in the North -- and then again, will it? Certain regions of the earth are preserved from desecration by influences of which physical science recks little. Some polar expeditions have encountered an extraordinary series of misfortunes. (Popular Science Monthly, June, 1926.)


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: "Where is the North Pole?":

NATURE GEOMETRIZES

The term "God" -- unless referring to the Unknown Deity or Absoluteness, which can hardly be supposed acting in any way -- has always meant in ancient philosophies the collectivity of the working and intelligent Forces in nature. The word "Forest" is singular, yet it is the term to express the idea of thousands or even millions of trees of different kinds. Materialists have the option of saying "Nature," or still better -- "Law geometrizes" if they so prefer. But in the days of Plato, the average reader would hardly have understood the metaphysical distinction and real meaning. The truth, however, of Nature ever "geometrizing" is easily ascertained. Here is an instance: Heat is the modification of the motions or particles of matter. Now, it is a physical and mechanical law that particles or bodies in motion on themselves, assume a spheroidal form -- this, from a globular planet down to a drop of rain. Observe the snowflakes, which along with crystals exhibit to you all the geometrical forms existing in nature. As soon as motion ceases, the spheroidal shape alters; or, as Tyndall tells us, it becomes a flat drop, then the drop forms an equilateral triangle, a hexagon and so on. In observing the breaking up of ice-particles in a large mass, through which he passed heat rays, he observed that the first shape the particles assumed, was triangular or pyramidal, then cubical and finally hexagonal, &c. Thus, even modern physical science, corroborates Plato and justifies his proposition. --H.P.B.


THEOSOPHY, Vol. 14, No. 6, April, 1926
(Pages 251-254)

WHERE IS THE NORTH POLE?

THE "LOST LAND"

"The Imperishable Sacred Land."

... This "Sacred Land" ... is stated never to have shared the fate of the other continents; because it is the only one whose destiny it is to last from the beginning to the end of the Manvantara throughout each Round. It is the cradle of the first man and the dwelling of the last divine mortal, chosen as a Sishta for the future seed of humanity. Of this mysterious and sacred land very little can be said, except, perhaps, according to a poetical expression in one of the Commentaries, that the "pole-star has its watchful eye upon it, from the dawn to the close of the twilight of 'a day' of the GREAT BREATH." (Secret Doctrine, 1888, II, 6.)

"...Divine Kings descended and taught men sciences and arts, for man could live no longer in the first land (Adi-Varsha, the Eden of the first Races), which had turned into a white frozen corpse."

The above is suggestive. ... Some may incline to think that there is more in it than is apparent at first sight. (S.D. II, 201.)

...the Occult teaching ... shows the (now) polar regions as the earliest of the seven cradles of Humanity, and as the tomb of the bulk of the mankind of that region during the Third Race, when the gigantic continent of Lemuria began separating into smaller continents. (S.D. II, 324.)

The first continent, or island, if so preferred, "the cap of the North Pole," has never perished; nor will it to the end of the Seven Races. (S.D. II, 372.)

WAS Peary then mistaken in reporting 12,000 feet of water at the North Pole? Peary's discovery of the Pole and his reports thereof were almost unanimously accepted by the scientific world. To date we have encountered but one article (by Wm. E. Shea, in The Independent, Aug. 22, 1925) which raises any question over it. At first sight Shea's article is a rather serious indictment; but comparison with Commander Peary's book shows that it is -- perhaps unconsciously -- misrepresented by the article. Shea's objections are explained in advance by Peary himself, whose account is circumstantial and without false notes, or any trace of hollowness. His observations were carefully carried out and correct in method. Moreover, there is nothing in the record or character of Peary to substantiate a suspicion that he would, even to himself, stultify the results of a score of years of hardship by putting forth a false claim.

There are but two points which give any coloring to the suspicion of fraud on Peary's part. This voyage was to be his last. If the object of his life's work was to be gained, it must be now or never. Also with him was no companion capable of checking his observations. Therefore, both the opportunity and the temptation were present. But the consistent record of his life justifies the opinion that Peary's character was not susceptible to this form of temptation.

Did H. P. Blavatsky then mean something else by the "North Pole" than the present geographic pole? There is every evidence that she did. It is indicated that the unknown land was the polar continent at the time of the first race of the Fourth Round. Since, under Theosophical doctrines, the poles of the earth are continually perambulating, it is incompatible with logic that the polar land of that day should be at the present pole. On page 401, volume II, of the Secret Doctrine, there is a fairly plain indication that the second continent separated from the first at a point above Spitzbergen, or, in other words, very close to the present geographical pole, which would thus be near the boundary of the "Lost Land" of that first continent, and that land between the pole and Behring Straits -- exactly the sole remaining unexplored area of the Arctic regions. On page 398 of the same volume, is more information indicating the same conclusion.

How much evidence, then, is there of the existence of such a land in such a location? More than sufficient. In an appendix to Peary's book, R. A. Harris, of the Coast and Geodetic Survey, gives a summary of the evidence for some unknown obstruction in the Arctic Ocean, having an area of about half a million square miles.

It is said that wild geese fly from that location in the spring, indicating the existence of warm springs or open water. In 1850, Capt. McClure, on the northern coast of Alaska, saw indications of land. In the 70's, Capt. John Kienan, of the Bark "Stamboul," actually saw the land. In 1906, Peary himself saw a distant country to the northwest of Axel Heiberg Land, and Crocker Land is often considered to be a portion of the actual coast thereof. The explorer, MacMillan, is firmly convinced of its existence. As for tradition, it is very complete and convincing. Some Eskimo tribes report that members have visited the region, but that Torngak, the evil spirit, reserves it for his own, barring all intruders with the glittering ramparts of the "Paleocrystic Sea."

There is much more in this polar question than meets the eye. Regard these quotations from The Secret Doctrine:

"It flows around and animates her (mother earth's) body. Its one end issues from her head; it becomes foul at her feet (the Southern Pole). It gets purified (on its return) to her heart -- which beats under the foot of the sacred Shambalah, which then (in the beginnings) was not yet born. For it is in the belt of man's dwelling (the earth) that lies concealed the life and health of all that lives and breathes. During the first and second (races) the belt was covered with the great waters. (But) the great mother travailed under the waves and a new land was joined to the first one which our wise men call the head-gear (the cap). She travailed harder for the third (race) and her waist and navel appeared above the water. It was the belt, the sacred Himavat, which stretches around the world. She broke toward the setting sun from her neck downward (to the south west), into many lands and islands, but the eternal land (the cap) broke not asunder. Dry lands covered the face of the silent waters to the four sides of the world. all these perished (in their turn). Then appeared the abode of the wicked (the Atlantis). The eternal land was now hid, for the waters became solid (frozen) under the breath of her nostrils and the evil winds from the Dragon's mouth."

The two poles are called the right and left ends of our globe -- the right being the North Pole -- or the head and feet of the earth. Every beneficent (astral and cosmic) action comes from the North; every lethal influence from the South Pole. They are much connected with and influence "right" and "left" hand magic.

It is averred in Occultism that the land or island, which crowns the North Pole like a skull-cap, is the only one which prevails during the whole Manvantara of our "Round." All the central continents and lands will emerge from the sea bottom many times in turn, but this land will never change.

This "water" is the blood or fluid of life which animates the earth, compared here to a living body.

Occult teaching corroborates the popular tradition which asserts the existence of a fountain of life in the bowels of the earth and in the North Pole. It is the blood of the earth, the electro-magnetic current, which circulates through all the arteries; and which is said to be found stored in the "navel" of the earth.

Occultism points to the Himalayan chain as that "belt," and maintains that whether under the water or above, it encircles the globe.

This shows that Northern Asia is as old as the Second Race. One may even say that Asia is contemporary with man, since from the very beginnings of human life its root-continent, so to speak, already existed; that part of the world now known as Asia being only cut off from it in a later age, and divided by the glacial waters....

During the Second Race more land emerged from under the waters as a continuation of the "head" from the neck. Beginning on both hemispheres, on the line above the most northern part of Spitzbergen on Mercator's Projection, on our side, it may have included, on the American side, the localities that are now occupied by Baffin's Bay and the neighbouring islands and promontories. There it hardly reached, southward, the 70th degree of latitude; here -- it formed the horse-shoe continent of which the commentary speaks; of the two ends of which, one included Greenland with a prolongation which crossed the 50th degree a little south west, and the other Kamschatka, the two ends being united by what is now the northern fringe of the coasts of Eastern and Western Siberia.

Upon the North Polar map of the globe, a projection of the axis joining the north and south magnetic poles is seen to extend from Boothia Felix on the north coast of Canada to a point north of Siberia, passing several hundred miles from the pole, through the unknown area. The area of greatest magnetic intensity extending between the magnetic poles runs from Boothia Felix (the north magnetic pole) very close to the geographical north pole, and flows southward therefrom through eastern and central Asia. On page 404, volume II, of the Secret Doctrine, we find:
Now Meru, we are told, which is Swar-loka, the abode of Brahmâ, of Vishnu, and the Olympus of Indian exoteric religions, is described geographically as "passing through the middle of the earth-globe, and protruding on either side" (Sûrya Siddhanta, v. 5, Whitney's trans.). On its upper station are the gods, on the nether (or South Pole) is the abode of demons (hells).
Is there a primordial axis of force, magnetic, physio-psychological, and spiritual, whose center lies beneath the Gobi desert in the neighborhood of the earth's center, but whose two ends swing with the Yugas? If the northern end of this axis once lay in the land of Meru and has moved to its present position, then its motion is toward the heart of the United States, while the south magnetic pole is moving upward through the Pacific. There may be a hidden relation between the movements of this axis and continental movements in all their phases. France and the British Isles, says the Secret Doctrine, are to be the first to disappear at the next shifting of races; and they are nearly on the opposite side of the globe from the regions through which the poles are moving, under this hypothesis.

Another significant fact is that the magnetic needle is attracted between the unknown area and the Magnetic Pole, rather than directly to the latter.

What might be developed from a study of the meanings of the name Meru and the teachings concerning it in Theosophical works, may be nearly limitless; but such learning is for the intuitive and earnest student, rather than for the casual reader.

Meantime, shall we expect to see the lost land rediscovered next year, agreeably to the projects of various explorers? Perhaps so; perhaps not. If so, will it be found wholly "a white frozen corpse," or partly green and fertile in agreement with the legends? Only time will tell. Possibly that land is not fated to be reached by men of our generation. Perhaps -- who knows -- it is not for pollution by the present world.


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SCIENCE AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE
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