THEOSOPHY, Vol. 18, No. 9, July, 1930
(Pages 396-400; Size: 16K)
(Number 23 of a 103-part series)



ACCORDING to Theosophy, the past, present and future of mankind is as intimately bound up with the convolutions and convulsions of the globe -- that vast living entity whose brain-cells are the human beings therein -- as any human tissues are involved for life and death with the organism of which they are part. Geological changes react upon man; man acts upon the globe, unconsciously to himself, unto the creation of cataclysms of a gigantism but dimly dreamed of in modern science. According to the Secret Doctrine, the progress of the race is marked off in vast periods, during each of which certain special characteristics are developed, certain lines of Karma engendered; and each period is cut off from its predecessors and successors by convulsions which send the ocean bottoms skyward, and plunge mountain ranges into the depths, to the salutary end that each new race may have a clean, if barbaric, beginning on fresh soil, unencumbered by the débris of the ages.

The primary difficulty in the scientific acceptance of such doctrines is that the rule of intelligent law over human affairs and the geological changes therewith interlocked, is necessarily involved; and however much lip-service the pious scientist renders to putative religion -- for that is now the current intellectual fashion -- he balks most energetically at "superstition" when brought face to face with its practical workings -- especially when the humble and "unlearned" Theosophist presents himself as the unprepossessing mouthpiece of the gods!

Leaving all that aside, however, is there warrant in geological fact for these giant submersions and elevations; for the fact taught in Theosophy, that there once existed a huge continent in the midst of what is now the Atlantic, and that this continent shall once more in part bare its face to the sunlight? There is. Prof. Vening Meinesz(1) states that a great mountain system is slowly forming under water and that its peaks are now known as the East Indies.

Now, according to the Secret Doctrine, the first Great Submersion -- for the fragments of Atlantis survived down to about 10,000 years ago -- took place in mid-Miocene times, when, incidentally, science does not in general yet recognize the presence of man on the earth. According, then, to Dr. Charles Schuchert, of Yale University, the "fourth diastrophic time began late in the Miocene," being of greatest force during the Pliocene (the date of submersion of Ruta and Daitya), it brought about the great elevation of the American-Antillean mountains and the over-deepening of the Carribean Sea. The crustal movements, he says, were many extensive "block-faultings" with local foldings. This region does not appear to have been the principal center of Atlantean submersions, but somewhat to the Southwest thereof. It is most significant that these portions, which appear to have been completely submerged only somewhat after the principal body of Atlantis, lie between the civilized center of Atlantis and the great ruins of South America, which the Secret Doctrine says were "probably of Atlantean Origin." Evidences, in fact, abound to prove a gradual migration from the Atlantean center to the Americas, its route and speed governed by the submersions which took place over hundreds of thousands of years.

There is plentiful evidence in other regions, to show the instability of continents. The fossils of sea animals of Cretaceous times have been found in Crooked River Canyon, near Bend, Oregon.(2) This establishes the fact that the ocean once swept this country. And the Secret Doctrine teaches that the lands of the Americas, like those of the Himalayas, rose as Atlantis sank. In the Pacific, and harking back to the still older "Lemuria," we have Falcon Island, a mile long and 300 feet high, which has made an appearance in many places since 1885. It has once more appeared, 45 miles north of Nukuolofa.(3) More important for present purposes is the fact that a great drainage project, involving the damming of a great part of the North Sea, has revealed the existence of a submarine cliff running from the River Humber on the English coast to the northern tip of Denmark, and which originated when the European lands were higher than now. Europe, according to Theosophical teachings, occupies the place in human and geological history which Atlantis did a few thousand years before the catastrophe, and is already slowly sinking; the British Isles, according to a Master's letter of last century, will be first to go.

Meantime, on the California coast, foundation borings made by State Highway Engineers for a large bridge revealed one elevation and two submersions of the coast between Los Angeles and San Diego, amounting to at least one hundred feet, and of rather recent geological origin. They also confirm the indication of the "San Onofre Breccia"(4) that a great lost Pacific continent once existed and deposited material along the present coast.

So much for the latest units in the endless stream of geological evidence; and in fact Atlantis as a prehistoric continent is quite respectfully spoken of in science. But as a humanly populated and even highly civilized land? Of course to begin with, the "animal ancestry" myth has to be gotten out of the way, since the chronology will not permit of both theories! But that is coming. In passing, however, the humble insect species "trechinae" shows the probable former connection between Africa and South America and Asia and North America, both of which are taught by the Secret Doctrine.(5)

As a result of recent discoveries, Dr. Oliver P. Hay, of the Carnegie Institution, maintains that human beings existed in America during the Pleistocene -- which if fully accepted will explode the "ape-man" theory. Dr. Hrdlicka believes that the Cro-Magnon "cave-men" of the Old Stone Age in Europe contributed to the American Indian stock -- which is exactly what is indicated by the Secret Doctrine -- with the addenda that the connection was through the Canary Island Guanches, an idea with which science has been decidedly flirting of late. As to these Stone Age men, G. Baldwin Brown, in his Art of the Cave Dweller,(6) gives their talents high praise. They had an extraordinary knowledge of nature, the three-dimensional secret later lost during the European Renaissance, and many affinities to modern impressionism. This art is much dealt with by the Secret Doctrine, Madame Blavatsky stating that it was an atavistic flare of Atlantean genius, appearing in its degenerating descendants. As to the "modern impressionism" -- why not, when the present races are so largely a reunion of Atlantean Egos? Prof. Marcel Baudoin(7) found symbols and a carved head, resembling the art of the Mayas of Central America, on a submerged rock off the French coast. It dates presumably back to 9,000 years ago -- just about the time, according to the Secret Doctrine, when the last Atlantean fragments were struggling for foothold on European soil. French villagers nearby show the unmistakable Mayan nose. Prof. Baudoin concedes the entire point.

Alfredo de Sanjos claims that Egyptian, Phoenician, and Carthaginian civilization existed in Brazil and other parts of South America 4,000 years ago.(8) Said Madame Blavatsky in 1877:

We feel every day as certain that some of the peoples of Central America will be traced back to the Phoenicians and the Mosaic Israelites, as we do that the latter will be proved to have persistently stuck to the same idolatry -- if idolatry there is -- of the sun and serpent-worship, as the Mexicans. (Isis Unveiled, I, 555).
Excavations in the Guadalquivir River tying in with recent German finds near Tunis, are thought to indicate an eastern end of Atlantis.(9) These, according to the Secret Doctrine, should be referred to the European fragments of Atlantis above mentioned.

A curious "lead" is given by Dr. Ernest A. Hootan, of Harvard University, who has written a book covering a thousand years of American Southwestern history.(10) It appears that when Pecos was founded about 800 A.D., its inhabitants included several distinct types of humanity. Skull types resembled negroids, Australian bushmen, Europeans, and Mongols; even one Egyptian type was found! In course of time the Mongol strain dominated the rest. Now Madame Blavatsky states the existence of all these diverse types on Atlantean lands, and such a mixing would follow quite logically from a migration before a cataclysm. What part of the Atlantean submersion would this be? Why not some portion of the Antillean catastrophe falling due in comparatively recent times? Or was Pecos really founded in an immensely greater antiquity than scientifically thought? There is a close connection between the American Indian and many Asiatic types -- of Atlantean or semi-Atlantean descent, as the Secret Doctrine states. Dr. Thomas Gann, a British archeologist, finds a close resemblance between the Maya ruins of Honduras and the old Cambodian civilization -- in fact the veriest laymen can determine that near identity from the photographs. The resemblance, says Dr. Gann, "is beyond coincidence." Dr. Frederick L. Hoffman, of Wellesley, Mass.,(11) remarks that a blue mark often seen upon babies of Mongolian stock is found also upon the American Navajos and some South American Indians. So we have then a linkage between the old European Semites, the Central American Mayas, the American Red Indian, and assorted Asiatic Mongolians! Without giving us much satisfaction as to the migrations and transplantations which led to this result, Madame Blavatsky, long in advance of science, indicated that these relationships do exist, make what we will of them.

Let us advance a little further, into those doctrines as to the physical nature of the Atlanteans which perhaps for some time to come will arouse but scorn and contumely from orthodoxy; the teaching that the earlier Atlanteans were giants, and that their characteristics survived in lessening degree down to recent times. Get the "ape-ancestor" delusion out of the way, and make man contemporaneous with the giant animals and there is nothing illogical in the idea; the forces of nature which produced gigantism in one species would produce it in another. But that is for the future. Meantime, the Cro-Magnons and the Gaunches, as also the inland Chinese, were and are of very large stature. But of the later giants who took refuge on the Americas, we have traces and to spare. Evidence has been found near Tapextia in Oaxaca, Mexico, of a giant race destroyed by volcanic eruptions.(12) H. Flagler Cowdon and Chas. C. Cowdon, exploring Death Valley in California (ethnology has just turned its eyes in that direction) found very old fossil human remains, one of a female giant two heads taller than the "mound skeletons."(13) Dr. J. Kroeck, of the college of the Pacific, upholds the theory of a giant race which formerly inhabited the San Joaquin Valley of California. Frank Fesrrara and Earl Cusilidge discovered in Calaveras County a cave filled with 200 huge skeletons. The jaw bones were twice the size of normal men's and the rib formations were as massive as those of steers. Shellfish remains indicated that the people lived there when this section was the shore line.(14)

When, oh when, will orthodox science seriously take up these matters, either to confirm or refute! There is a great reluctance -- is its causation fear?

And why do we dig up with patient spade these fusty relics of lost continents and lost men? Just because their history is our history; the self-generated forces which created their vicissitudes are the currents hourly engendered by ourselves; without knowledge of the past we can no more save our civilization, than a doctor can prescribe intelligently without a case-history!

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(1) Science Supplement, Oct. 12, 1928.
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(2) Washington Post, Feb. 14, 1929.
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(3) Washington Post, Jan. 30, 1928.
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(4) "Science and The Secret Doctrine," THEOSOPHY, Dec. 1926.
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(5) Science, Sept. 14, 1928.
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(6) Manchester Guardian Weekly, Jan. 11, 1929.
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(7) Hearst papers, Aug. 4, 1929.
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(8) Associated Press, Jan. 9, 1929.
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(9) Press of April, 1928.
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(10) Washington Evening Star, Nov. 1, 1928.
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(11) Los Angeles Times, Sept. 23, 1928.
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(12) New York Herald-Tribune, Jan. 29, 1928.
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(13) Los Angeles Examiner, Oct. 21, 1928.
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(14) Washington Daily News, June 3, 1929.
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