THEOSOPHY, Vol. 22, No. 4, February, 1934
(Pages 155-158; Size: 12K)
(Number 52 of a 103-part series)




(Part Three)

"VESTIGIAL relics" are not only found in the form of superseded animal organs slowly atrophying in the bodies of various species. There are fossil creeds embedded in living religions; fossil sciences entombed in popular superstitions; fossil races forming mysterious, enigmatic constituents of the contemporary world-order; and, not least, there are fossil continents whose bare bones thrust up through the surface of living lands or living seas.

An Odyssey by an observant scientist(1) included specimens of all these in a single journey. Especially interesting is Dr. McGovern's comment upon a fact not well known: that whereas many consider South America to be one of the newest continents, this is true only in part. It is a fusion of three ancient continents or great islands; the Andean, the Guiana Highlands, and the Brazilian uplands. Of these and their relation to the present continent, Dr. McGovern says:

The great inland sea has gradually silted up, giving rise to the low-lying Amazonian jungles. At the same time changes have taken place in the three ancient continents, which have now been welded into one. The land to the west, the region of the Andes, has gradually risen, while in the two former continents to the east, an exactly opposite process has taken place. The Brazil and Guiana highlands seem to be remnants of mountain country older and formerly far more imposing than the Andes, which has now been reduced to insignificance by the wear and tear of ages. This state of affairs corresponds very closely to that which is found in North America, where the mountains that lie to the east are older and lower than the great Rocky Mountains in the West, though they are supposed to have once been higher.
The parallel seems to follow almost in detail. The Highlands of the Andes are a plateau enclosed between two great major ranges; this enclosure is the site of the marvelous Inca and pre-Inca civilizations -- regarding which Dr. McGovern has much to say. A similar enclosure in North America is found between the Rockies and the string of mountains formed by the Lower California range, including the Mexican Plateau, the Sierras, the Cascades, and the Coast Mountains of Canada. In Asia the parallel is Tibet and environs between the Himalayas and the Kuen-Lun Mountains. The Rocky Mountain Highlands toward the south enclose the old Pueblo civilizations of which more relics are found every day; and the descriptions of ruins in the Asian Highlands given in the Secret Doctrine are familiar to all Theosophists. Likewise does the racial parallel hold for the great basins. The Central Asian basin north of the Kuen-Lun and China, forms a veritable museum of living racial relics; the Great Plains of the United States and Mississippi Valley, and the low Eastern ranges, held the dying Red Indian races; and one of the most interesting points noted by Dr. McGovern, not brought out so far as we know in any previous popular publication, is the fact that the Amazonian Indians from beginning to end represent old and degenerate cultures, not "primitive" Races at all.

In Africa we find the shadow, the skeleton outline, of the same general continental-racial pattern. The typical high plateau is found in the highlands from the Red Sea to Mozambique on the East Coast, the Abyssinian portion of which is the seat of the highest indigenous African civilization, that which produced the Queen of Sheba to whom Solomon in all his glory paid high respect, and which is still a highly developed order and perhaps the last of the absolute despotisms of the world. The great African lowlands and central plateaus are inhabited by mixed races; we little suspect as yet that they are degenerating relics of higher civilizations. Even so, here and there a scientist calls attention to the fact that their manners, customs, and religions are much too complex for "primitive" people!

As one studies these matters, there emerges, dimly but unmistakably, the outlines of an anatomy of continents and of a biology of continental reproduction, closely correlated with racial cycles. The chain of the Himalayas was originally raised in the course of the southern descent of the Hyperborean borders.(2) During the submersions which later cut it off from the North Polar regions, it became in turn the beginning of Lemuria, which stretched on into the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Lemuria then vanished; the Himalayas became once more a fragment, still carrying the "Sacred Island" of the Gobi, as Atlantis rose. At the time of the destruction of Atlantis, the "two races" took refuge on the Himalaya, which was once more rising -- the latest of all the geologically known upheavals. At the time of "the dispersion of races" the new Aryan race moved, part into India, just arising from the waters, part back along their path of emigration from Atlantis, to the new lands of Europe. The Mongolian, still Atlantean stock, or that portion of it which had accompanied the Aryan migration out of the mother continent, descended into China and moved northerly; a portion remaining in Tibet to this day. And to this day the Asian root-mountain, still rising, is the spiritual heart of the entire world, esoterically, and of most of Asia openly.

Madagascar, says the Secret Doctrine, was not only part of Lemuria, but was the site upon which the first Lemurian cities were built. Abyssinia, it says, was once an island. According to the Secret Doctrine, Atlas was not only part of Atlantis, but in fact was its traditional "Mount Meru," and the center of one of the principal eruptions of the great catastrophe. The great battles between the last of the Atlanteans and the New European races, says H. P. Blavatsky, were fought on the Atlas highlands, then a peninsula attached to what is now Gibraltar.

The Scandinavian ridge, says H.P.B., was a prolongation of Northern Atlantis. Dr. McGovern remarks that that ridge and the Guiana Highlands are the same age. This locates the Guiana, the Challenger Ridge, Ireland, probably Scotland, and Scandinavia, as the main mountain chain of Atlantis, as the Andes and Rockies are of the Americas.

The geometric relationship between Indian Lemuria, Abyssinia, and Madagascar, is almost exactly that between Southern Atlantis, Brazil, and Guiana. This can hardly be coincidence. A portion of one continent seems invariably to be "set apart" as the nucleus of the next to rise -- a remarkable parallel with biology! The Atlanteans were developed, according to the Secret Doctrine, from a nucleus of Lemurians centered in mid-Atlantic. The "hinge" or "root" in this case must have been near one of the great island peaks which rear their tips above present Atlantic waters. The European hinge with Atlantis must have been Scandinavia.

The ancestors of the present African races must have been drawn from both Atlantis and Lemuria. Going to the other side of the world, we have the universal traditions of the South and Central American Indians to the effect that their ancestors came from the East while science is still struggling valiantly but unsuccessfully to fit the South Americans into its pet theory of Asiatic immigration by way of Behring Strait. Dr. McGovern tells us a most interesting piece of racial Karma hanging upon this easterly origin. The Tukano Indians, a numerous and still powerful Amazonian people, were formed into a great empire by a comparatively recent, and very ambitious chieftain, who led the bulk of them upon a migration down the Amazon to recapture the lands of their ancestors. They swept everything before them -- until they met the oncoming whites! Since then, the Tukanos have known but the reminiscence of their former glory. Had it not been for that ill-timed ambition, they would still have been powerful in their present original home, to which the whites are only just now penetrating. The Karibs, centering in the Guiana Highlands, are of the same generic stock, but of a different tribe. In these descending cultures one sees a curious parallel with the stream of degenerating emigration which comprised the Canary Island Guanches, the Cro-Magnon men of Europe, and which has left its traces in the agglutinative tongue of the modern Basques. Through the Amazon Basin are scattered signs, ruins, and hieroglyphs as significant as the cave-drawings of the Cro-Magnons, and which have not yet received any real scientific investigation.

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:


Space is the real world, while our world is an artificial one. It is the One Unity throughout its infinitude: in its bottomless depths as on its illusive surface; a surface studded with countless phenomenal Universes, systems and mirage-like worlds. --S.D. I, 615.

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(1) Jungle Paths and Inca Ruins. Dr. William McGovern, D.Phil., F.R.G.S. Assistant Curator of South American Ethnology, Field Museum. Grosset and Dunlap, New York.
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(2) Secret Doctrine, II, 400 et circa.
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