THEOSOPHY, Vol. 19, No. 5, March, 1931
(Pages 211-215; Size: 17K)
(Number 28 of a 103-part series)

SCIENCE AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE

XXVII

As a MASTER says: "Why should not your geologists bear in mind that under the continents explored and fathomed by them ... there may be hidden, deep in the fathomless or rather unfathomed ocean beds, other and far older continents whose strata have never been geologically explored; and that they may some day upset entirely their present theories? Why not admit that our present continents have, like Lemuria and Atlantis, been several times already submerged, and had the time to re-appear again and bear their new groups of mankind and civilizations; and that at the first great geological upheaval at the next cataclysm, in the series of periodical cataclysms that occur from the beginning to the end of every Round, our already autopsized continents will go down and the Lemurias and Atlantises come up again?"

Not the same identical continents, of course. (Secret Doctrine, 1888, II, 332-3).

THE grim rollers of the lonely Atlantic well guarded their secret from a "faithless and perverse generation" whose brains were impregnably armored in the inertia of self-conceit. Universal tradition; the pyramided evidence heaped by Ignatius Donnelly and others; and finally the presentation of the lost lands as a homogeneous portion of coherent and all-inclusive world-history by Madame Blavatsky -- all this did not prevent Atlantis from being scientifically dubbed "mythical" up to within the last three or four years.

But the forerunners of a new race and a new time -- Egos Karmically entitled to more flexible brains -- are infiltrating the intellectual world; and "Atlantis" is no longer pronounced in sneering accents. A little while since, a History teacher in a great Western University informed his class that to his mind it was a fixed fact that the Old Stone Age men -- the Cro-Magnons -- were scions of Atlantis. To the Theosophist the significance of this admission can hardly be exaggerated.

A race (the Cro-Magnon) which MM. de Quatrefages and Hamy regard as a branch of the same stock whence the Canary Island Guanches sprung -- offshoots of the Atlanteans, in short. (S.D. II, 678).
The famous Gen. Chas. G. Dawes, together with Sheldon Whitehouse, Minister to Guatemala, believes that the Mayan temples may hold "chiseled in their blocks," the "history of an Atlantis" "where prospered a highly civilized people." The Mayas, they think were Atlantean.(1) In which a part of the truth is seen; for the original Mayas, though American and not Atlantean, were coeval with Plato's Island so named -- the last remnant of the old continent -- and undoubtedly possessed a culture descended from that land.

Again and again the significant word "Atlantis" springs to the lip of the modern speculator. A newspaper report upon Col. Lindberg's explorations of Yucatan, remarks that "such a civilization is attributed to Atlantis" but that there is "no key to the mystery."(2) It is stated that Prof. Upson Clark, of Yale, has a clue in the form of a report sent to Rome, written thirty years after the Conquest by a Mayan who had learned the Spanish language. For some mysterious reason -- or perhaps not so mysterious -- the existence of this report has remained unknown across the centuries. We look hopefully for its publication.

1930 being the year of another Lemming migration, to the sorrow of the Norwegian farmer, again is found on the public lip the name of Atlantis as the goal of ancestral memory which lures these animals into the cold Atlantic depths.(3)

A letter in the New York Times dated Dec. 10, 1929, remarks that the South American Cordilleras are shown by geological evidence to be of recent origin, rising from the ocean bed through some cataclysm of nature. Lake Titicaca was a pocket of sea water carried to 15,000 feet elevation. A cataclysm sufficient to elevate the continent thus, the writer holds, necessitates the equivalent submergence of adjacent areas; hence he opines, the present existence of South America under such conditions indicates the past existence of Atlantis. He is eminently right.

Count Byron De Prorok, bringing from Africa, as he claims, evidence showing man to be "at least 25,000,000 years old" says that he saw "traces of Atlantis" on the bed of the Mediterranean. The newspaper item commenting on this(4) comments also upon the theory outlined by the Times writer.

A geological analysis of the problems involved in the proposed construction of a Gibraltar tunnel(5) betrays some very interesting facts in conjunction with Secret Doctrine teachings. The Gibraltar mountain arc was formed in the Miocene -- when, according to Theosophy, the great destruction of Atlantis took place. At the same period, as we have elsewhere noted, there was a great activity in the Caribbean on the other side of the Atlantic. Subsequently, according to the article, various fractures through this arc were made by release of pressure, notably the Strait, "during the age of man" and recently. Subsequently the surrounding country sank 700 feet, according to evidence found at this height on the Rock of Gibraltar. This submersion followed a glacial period; which may have been the one Madame Blavatsky mentions as having swept away the last of Atlantis, Ruta, Daitya, and finally Plato's Island.(6) As to this submersion the Secret Doctrine mentions that Egypt and the deserts were once covered by the sea.(7)

Also note the following:

... There was a time when the delta of Egypt and Northern Africa belonged to Europe, before the formation of the Straits of Gibraltar, and a further upheaval of the continent, changed entirely the face of the map of Europe. The last serious change occurred some 12,000 years ago, and was followed by the submersion of Plato's little Atlantic island, which he calls Atlantis after its parent continent. (S.D. II, 8-9).
Recently the sea-bottom has shown a tendency toward a flexibility correlative with the new plasticity of the scientific mind. An unprecedented earthquake took place on Nov. 18th, 1929, about 180 miles off the Newfoundland coast.(8) This shock caused submarine slides which broke a number of cables. Prior to this many tiltings and depth changes had been noted.(9) The area west of Nicaragua and Costa Rica had been so affected that the bed of the Pacific raised from 37 to 41/2 fathoms, according to soundings made by the Cruiser Cleveland. But as we have previously shown, much greater changes have recently taken place.

The supposed change in the sea-level of the Eastern United States has long been a subject of dispute; but the latest opinion is that the land is sinking at the rate of a foot in 214 years. Taken in conjunction with the wasting away of England and the recognized tilting and subsidence of Europe in general, this is significant in relation to future events in the Atlantic and on its shores.

At the present juncture there is little scientific opposition to Atlantis; the Wegener theory of continental drift, however, is irreconcilably opposed by the Theosophical doctrine. This theory holds that all continents were once parts of a single land mass whose fragments drifted apart to form the present oceans. There seems to be no other basis for this theory than that the indentations of a continent coincide in general with the promontories of its neighbor; which could equally well be explained by the existence of great earth waves. But the theory is being taken care of by the discoveries of geology themselves. The Geodetic Report of the Survey of India, 1927, says that there is no rapid movement of that country in any direction, and that it will take a century to determine whether or not there is movement. Dr. Henry S. Washington, of the Carnegie Institute of Science (April 4, 1930), claims that the existence of four islets in the middle of the Atlantic, of a maximum diameter of 1/8 mile, disprove the Wegener theory. They are tips of a submarine mountain range 9,000 miles long, extending nearly the length of the Atlantic, and in places 20,000 feet high. This range, says Dr. Washington, can only be accounted for by enormous squeezing forces incompatible with the crustal tension of continents pulling apart.

So much for changing opinion and geological evidence substantiative thereof. But some little human evidence has also recently come to light. Elsie McCormick(10) remarks upon the accumulation of evidence that there was a connection between the Mayas and the Orient. There has never been any raw jade discovered in America, but Mayan cities abound with jade ornaments. There is no evidence of elephants having lived in Central America, but they appear in ceramics and on ornaments. Le Plongeon claimed to have found Masonic symbols and also references to initiations resembling those of the Egyptian Isis.

The Piute Indians have legends regarding a strange, wise, red-haired and cruel race which once dominated the desert until their excesses brought vengeance upon them -- a history typical of Atlantean offshoots everywhere. Archeological discoveries in a cave of the Humboldt Mountains support this legend.(11)

Ferdinand Ossendowski has written a book called "Slaves of the Sun," dealing with "Red Negroes" in the mountains of West Africa. Both these peoples show the characteristics of the Cro-Magnons and the Canary Island Guanches, who were all originally Atlanteans.

Pottery illustrations show evidence of a disease in ancient South American called "gondou," which is known today in West Africa and in Melanesia of the Pacific.(12)

In the scientific mind of today there exist two Atlantises; the ancient geological land-mass of the early Tertiary, when no man is supposed to have been; and the quasi-modern human habitat which wanders ad lib from the locus of Plato's Island to Spain, the Mediterranean, and various parts of Africa. The one belongs to botany, geology, and paleontology; the other to quite recent human history. That the two are one -- that man and his institutions are of paleontological antiquity -- has hardly yet dawned; it is the missing link which Theosophy alone can supply. One avenue to the understanding of this fact may be furnished by the evidence yearly coming to hand that man is a survivor of the days when, under natural law, all animal forms were megalotherian.

The claim that physical man was originally a colossal pre-tertiary giant, and that he existed 18,000,000 years ago, must of course appear preposterous to admirers of, and believers in, modern learning. The whole posse comitatus of biologists will turn away from the conception of this third race Titan of the Secondary age, a being fit to fight as successfully with the then gigantic monsters of the air, sea, and land, as his forefathers -- the ethereal prototype of the Atlantean -- had little need to fear that which could not hurt him. (S.D. II, 9).

Nevertheless, even the "Giants" have not been left without their witnesses ... to begin with geology; it has already confessed that the older the excavated skeletons, the larger, taller and more powerful their structure. (S.D. II, 278).

According to a Grenoble dispatch of Dec. 28, 1929,(13) fourteen huge human skeletons, protected by slate coffins, were unearthed there. The report of a skeleton over 8 feet tall, found in Mexico, State of Guerrero, comes in company with folk tales claiming that that land was once populated by giants who enjoyed great wealth and possessed large cities.(14) Two mounds near Morganville, West Virginia, yield skeletons seven to nine feet tall.(15)

The Atlanteans, with their gigantic bodies, represented the natural nadir of spirit and zenith of matter in the cyclic world-evolution.

That we -- Atlantis reincarnate -- are still worshippers of matter and its corruptions, where by our evolutionary place we should be freeing ourselves from its bounds, is the significator of a racial perversion and the harbinger, unless we alter our ways, of a fate more terrible than the dread one which overtook the lost land -- for our responsibility is greater.


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SCIENCE AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE
XXVIII (Part I of III)
(Part 29 of a 103-part series)

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FIFTEEN (15) FOOTNOTES LISTED BELOW:

(1) A.P. Mar. 1, 1930.
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(2) Los Angeles Times, Mar. 2, 1930.
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(3) New York Times, Dec. 1, 1929.
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(4) Universal Service Correspondent, Dec. 28, 1929.
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(5) Manchester Guardian Weekly, Nov. 29, 1929.
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(6) S.D. II, 141.
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(7) S.D. II, 368.
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(8) Science, Nov. 29, 1929.
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(9) Manchester Guardian Weekly, Sept. 13, 1929.
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(10) The World, Oct. 16, 1929.
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(11) N.Y. Sun, June 2, 1929.
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(12) Scientific Monthly, September, 1929.
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(13) Miami Herald, Dec. 29, 1929.
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(14) L.A. Times, Mar. 11, 1930.
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(15) Do. June 16, 1930.
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