THEOSOPHY, Vol. 66, No. 10, August, 1978
(Pages 300-305; Size: 17K)
(Number 4 of a 6-part series)
THE RACES OF MAN(1)
IV: THE ATLANTEANS
THE "days of Sinners" meant the days when matter would be in its full sway on Earth, and man would have reached the apex of physical development in stature and animality. That came to pass during the period of the Atlanteans, about the middle point of their Race (the 4th), which was drowned as prophesied by Uriel. There is a period of a few millions of years to cover between the first "mindless" race and the highly intelligent and intellectual later "Lemurians"; there is another between the earliest civilization of the Atlanteans and the historic period.
It is only after the so-called FALL, that the races began to develop rapidly into a purely human shape. Strictly speaking, it is only from the time of the Atlantean, brown and yellow giant Races, that one ought to speak of MAN, since it was the Fourth race only which was the first completely human species, however much larger in size than we are now. It is chiefly that race which became "black with sin" that brought the divine names of the Asuras, the Rakshasas and the Daityas into disrepute, and passed them on to posterity as the names of fiends. The Rakshasas are not demons, but simply the primitive and ferocious giants, the Atlanteans, who were scattered on the face of the globe as the Fifth Race is now. For there were "giants" in the days of old, indeed, and the evolutionary series of the animal world is a warrant that the same thing took place within the human races.
The term "Atlantean" must not mislead the reader to regard these as one race only, or even a nation. It is as though one said "Asiatics." Many, multityped, and various were the Atlanteans, who represented several humanities, and almost a countless number of races and nations, more varied indeed than would be the "Europeans" were this name to be given indiscriminately to the five existing parts of the world.... There were brown, red, yellow, white and black Atlanteans; giants and dwarfs (as some African tribes comparatively are, even now).
Nor can we laugh at the universal belief that we had giant ancestors. The fact that the bones of the mammoth and mastodon, and, in one case, those of a gigantic salamander, have been mistaken for human bones, does not make away with the difficulty that, of all the mammalians, man is the only one whom science will not allow to have dwarfed down, like all other animal frames, from the giant homo diluvii to the creature between 5 and 6 feet that he is now. And if in our own day we occasionally find men and women from 7 ft. to even 9 ft. and 11 ft. high, this only proves -- on the law of atavism, or the reappearance of ancestral features of character -- that there was a time when 9 ft. and 10 ft. was the average height of humanity, even in our latest Indo-European race. Cremation was universal till a comparatively recent period -- some 80, or 100,000 years ago. The real giants, moreover, were nearly all drowned with Atlantis.
It is the Third Race and the gigantic Atlanteans, the memory of whom lingered from one generation and race to another generation and race down to the days of Moses, and which found an objective form in those antediluvian giants, those terrible sorcerers and magicians, of whom the Roman Church has preserved such vivid and at the same time distorted legends.
It was at this period -- during the highest point of civilization and knowledge, as also of human intellectuality, of the fourth, Atlantean Race -- that, owing to the final crisis of physiologico-spiritual adjustment of the races, humanity branched off into its two diametrically opposite paths: the RIGHT- and the LEFT-hand paths of knowledge or of Vidya. "Thus were the germs of the White and Black Magic sown in those days. The seeds lay latent for some time, to sprout only during the early period of the Fifth (our Race)." (Commentary.)
The Bible, from Genesis --to Revelations, is but a series of historical records of the great struggle between white and black Magic, between the Adepts of the right path, the Prophets, and those of the left, the Levites, the clergy of the brutal masses.... The great schism that arose between the sons of the Fourth Race, as soon as the first Temples and Halls of Initiation had been erected under the guidance of "the Sons of God," is allegorized in the Sons of Jacob.
It was the most ancient worship of all, that of the third Race of our Round, the Hermaphrodites, to whom the male-moon became sacred, when after the "Fall" so-called, the sexes had become separated. "Deus Lunus" then became an androgyne, male and female in turn; to serve finally, for purposes of sorcery, as a dual power, to the Fourth Root-race, the Atlanteans. For besides being purely Occult, the rites of lunar worship were based, as just shown, upon a knowledge of physiology ..., psychology, sacred mathematics, geometry and metrology, in their right applications to symbols and figures, which are but glyphs, recording observed natural and scientific facts; in short upon a most minute and profound knowledge of nature.
It was the Atlanteans, the first progeny of semi-divine man after his separation into sexes -- hence the first-begotten and humanly-born mortals -- who became the first "Sacrificers" to the god of matter. That worship degenerated very soon into self-worship, thence led to phallicism, or that which reigns supreme to this day in the symbolisms of every exoteric religion of ritual, dogma, and form. Phallicism began by the worship of the human body -- that "miracle of miracles," ... and ended by that of its respective sexes. The worshippers were giants in stature; but they were giants in knowledge and learning, though it came to them more easily than it does to the men of our modern times. Their Science was innate in them. The Lemuro-Atlantean had no need of discovering and fixing in his memory that which his informing PRINCIPLE knew at the moment of its incarnation. Time alone, and the ever-growing obtuseness of the matter in which the Principles had clothed themselves, could, the one, weaken the memory of their pre-natal knowledge, the other, blunt and even extinguish every spark of the spiritual and divine in them. There never was an original sin, but only an abuse of physical intelligence -- the psychic being guided by the animal, and both putting out the light of the spiritual.
Creative powers in man were the gift of divine wisdom, not the result of sin. The curse was not brought on mankind by the Fourth Race, for the comparatively sinless Third Race, the still more gigantic Antediluvians, had perished in the same way; hence the Deluge was no punishment, but simply a result of a periodical and geological law. The secret teachings show that the "Deluge" overtook the Fourth, giant Race, not on account of their depravity, or because they had become "black with sin," but simply because such is the fate of every continent, which -- like everything else under our Sun -- is born, lives, becomes decrepit, and dies. This was when the Fifth Race was in its infancy. A decree had come indeed; the decree of nature and the Law of Evolution, that the earth should change its race, and that the Fourth Race should be destroyed to make room for a better one. The Manvantara had reached its turning point of three and a half Rounds, and gigantic physical Humanity had reached the acme of gross materiality.
Nor was the curse of KARMA called down upon them for seeking natural union, as all the mindless animal-world does in its proper seasons; but, for abusing the creative power, for desecrating the divine gift, and wasting the life-essence for no purpose except bestial personal gratification ... by turning the holy mystery of procreation into animal gratification. The law of Karma "bruised the heel" of the Atlantean race, by gradually changing physiologically, morally, physically, and mentally, the whole nature of the Fourth Race of mankind, until, from the healthy King of animal creation of the Third Race, man became in the Fifth, our race, the wealthiest heir on the globe to constitutional and hereditary diseases, the most consciously and intelligently bestial of all animals! This is the real CURSE from the physiological standpoint ... viewed from this aspect, the curse is undeniable, for it is evident.
Thus the first Atlantean races, born on the Lemurian Continent, separated from their earliest tribes into the righteous and the unrighteous; into those who worshipped the one unseen Spirit of Nature, the ray of which man feels within himself -- or the Pantheists, and those who offered fanatical worship to the Spirits of the Earth, the dark Cosmic, anthropomorphic Powers, with whom they made alliance.
The civilization of the Atlanteans was greater even than that of the Egyptians. It is their degenerate descendants, the nation of Plato's Atlantis, which built the first pyramids in the country, and that certainly before the advent of the "Eastern Æthiopians," as Herodotus called the Egyptians.
It is from the Fourth Race that the early Aryans got their knowledge of "the bundle of wonderful things," the Sabha and Mayasabha, mentioned in the Mahabhârata, the gift of Mayâsur to the Pándavas. It is from them that they learnt aëronautics, Viwán Vidya (the "knowledge of flying in air-vehicles"), and, therefore, their great arts of meteorography and meteorology. It is from them, again, that the Aryans inherited their most valuable science of the hidden virtues of precious and other stones, of chemistry, or rather alchemy, of mineralogy, geology, physics and astronomy. When included under the arts and sciences of the fourth race, the Atlanteans, the phenomenal manifestation of the four elements, justly attributed by the believers in Cosmic gods to the intelligent interference of the latter, assumed a scientific character. The magic of the ancient priests consisted, in those days, in addressing their gods in their own language ... this "language" is that of incantations or MANTRAS, as they are called in India, sound being the most potent and effectual magic agent, and the first of the keys which opens the door of communication between Mortals and the Immortals.
It is certain that, whether "chimera" or reality, the priests of the whole world had it from one and the same source: the universal tradition about the third great continent which perished some 850,000 years ago. A continent inhabited by two distinct races; distinct physically and especially morally; the early Aryans and the bulk of the Fourth Root Races -- the former pious and meditative (yoga-contemplation), the latter -- a fighting race of sorcerers, who were rapidly degenerating owing to their uncontrolled passions, both deeply versed in primeval wisdom and the secrets of nature; mutually antagonistic in their struggle, during the course and progress of their double evolution.
In the Esoteric Doctrine a third "war" is mentioned as taking place at the close of the 4th Race, between its adepts and those of the 5th Race, i.e., between the Initiates of the "Sacred Island" and the Sorcerers of Atlantis. This war of gods with the powers of the Deep, refers also, in its last and terrestrial application, to the struggle between the Aryan adepts of the nascent Fifth Race and the Sorcerers of Atlantis, the Demons of the Deep, the Islanders surrounded with water who disappeared in the Deluge. Tradition maintains that the "Sons of God," or the great Initiates of the Sacred Island, took advantage of the Deluge, to rid the Earth of all the Sorcerers among the Atlanteans. The whole History of that period is allegorized in the Ramayana, which is the mystic narrative in epic form of the struggle between Rama -- the first king of the divine dynasty of the early Aryans -- and Ravana, the symbolical personation of the Atlantean (Lanka) race. The former were the incarnations of the Solar Gods; the latter, of the lunar Devas. This was the great battle between Good and Evil, between white and black magic, for the supremacy of the divine forces, or of the lower terrestrial, or cosmic powers. The Ramayana -- every line of which has to be read esoterically -- discloses in magnificent symbolism and allegory the tribulations of both man and soul.
From the first appearance of the Aryan race, when the Pliocene portions of the once great Atlantis began gradually sinking and other continents to appear on the surface, down to the final disappearance of Plato's small island of Atlantis, the Aryan races had never ceased to fight with the descendants of the first giant races. This war lasted till nearly the close of the age which preceded the Kali Yug, and was the Mahabhâratean war so famous in Indian History. Such blending of the events and epochs, and the bringing down of hundreds of thousands into thousands of years, does not interfere with the numbers of years that had elapsed, according to the statement made by the Egyptian priests to Solon, since the destruction of the last portion of Atlantis. The 9,000 years were the correct figures given. The latter event has never been kept a secret, and had only faded out of the memory of the Greeks. The Egyptians had their records complete, because isolated; for, being surrounded by sea and desert, they had been left untrammelled by other nations, till about a few millenniums before our era.
Since the beginning of the Atlantean Race many million years have passed, yet we find the last of the Atlanteans, still mixed up with the Aryan element, 11,000 years ago. This shows the enormous overlapping of one race over the race which succeeds it, though in characters and external type the elder loses its characteristics, and assumes the new features of the younger race.
(To be continued)
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:
Time is only an illusion produced by the succession of our states of consciousness as we travel through eternal duration.
--H. P. BLAVATSKY
THE RACES OF MAN
V: THE "MISSING LINK"
(Part 5 of a 6-part series)
"THE RACES OF MAN"
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(1) NOTE.--This is the fourth part of a six-part series on the races of mankind, collated from The Secret Doctrine by H.P.B.
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