THEOSOPHY, Vol. 66, No. 9, July, 1978
(Pages 274-278; Size: 14K)
(Number 3 of a 6-part series)

THE RACES OF MAN(1)

III: THE THIRD RACE

EVERY living creature and thing on earth, including man, evolved from one common primal form. Physical man must have passed through the same stages of the evolutionary process in the various modes of procreation as other animals have: he must have divided himself; then, hermaphrodite, have given birth parthenogenetically (on the immaculate principle) to his young ones; the next stage would be the oviparous --at first "without any fructifying element," then "with the help of the fertilitary spore"; and only after the final and definite evolution of both sexes, would he become a distinct "male and female," when reproduction through sexual union would grow into universal law. So far, all this is scientifically proven. There remains but one thing to be ascertained: the plain and comprehensively described processes of such ante-sexual reproduction. This is done in the occult books.

The Third Race mankind is the most mysterious of all the hitherto developed five Races. It is evident that the units of the Third Race humanity began to separate in their pre-natal shells, or eggs, and to issue out of them as distinct male and female babes, ages after the appearance of its early progenitors. And, as time rolled on its geological periods, the newly born sub-races began to lose their natal capacities. Toward the end of the Fourth sub-race, the babe lost its faculty of walking as soon as liberated from its shell, and by the end of the fifth, mankind was born under the same conditions and by the same identical process as our historical generations. This required, of course, millions of years.

The early Third Race, then, is formed from drops of "sweat," which, after many a transformation, grow into human bodies. But this race again changes its mode of procreation according to the Commentaries. It is said to have emanated a vis formativa, which changed the drops of perspiration into greater drops, which grew, expanded, and became ovoid bodies -- huge eggs. In these the human foetus gestated for several years. The evolution of man, the microcosm, is analogous to that of the Universe, the macrocosm. His evolution stands between that of the latter and that of the animal, for which man, in his turn, is a macrocosm. Evolution, gradually transforming man into a mammal, did in his case only what it did in that of other animals. But this does not prevent man from having always stood at the head of the animal world and other organic species, and from having preceded the former.

It is in the Third Race that the separation of sexes occurred. From being previously a-sexual, Humanity became distinctly hermaphrodite or bi-sexual; and finally the man-bearing eggs began to give birth, gradually and almost imperceptibly in their evolutionary development, first, to Beings in which one sex predominated over the other, and, finally, to distinct men and women. Though we apply the term "truly human," only to the Fourth Atlantean Root-Race, yet the Third Race is almost human in its latest portion, since it is during its fifth sub-race that mankind separated sexually, and that the first man was born according to the now normal process. The Occultists, having most perfect faith in their own exact records, astronomical and mathematical, calculate the age of Humanity, and assert that the latter (as separate sexes) has existed in this Round just 18,618,727 years, as the Brahmanical teachings and even some Hindu calendars declare. We say, yes; but only so far as physical, or approximately physical, man is concerned, who dates from the close of the Third Root-Race. Beyond that period MAN, or his filmy image, may have existed for 300 million years, for all we know; since we are not taught figures which are and will remain secret with the Masters of Occult Science.... For, although the exact figures are withheld, and it is out of the question to refer the incipient evolution of the primeval Divine Races with certainty to either the early Secondary or the Primary ages of geology, one thing is clear: that the figures 18,000,000 of years, which embrace the duration of sexual, physical, man have to be enormously increased if the whole process of spiritual, astral and physical development is taken into account. Only in relatively recent geological periods, has the spiral course of cyclic law swept mankind into the lowest grade of physical evolution -- the plane of gross material causation. In those early ages, astral evolution was alone in progress, and the two planes, the astral and the physical, though developing on parallel lines, had no direct point of contact with one another. It is obvious that a shadow-like ethereal man is related by virtue of his organization -- if such it can be called -- only to that plane from which the substance of his Upadhi is derived.

The separation of the sexes was in the programme of nature and of natural evolution; and the creative faculty in male and female was a gift of Divine wisdom. According to the Occult teaching, three yugas passed away during the time of the Third Root-Race, i.e., the Satya, the Treta, and the Dvapara yuga, answering to the golden age of its early innocence; to the silver -- when it reached its maturity; and to the Bronze age, when, separating into sexes, they became the mighty demi-gods of old. Men are made complete only during their third, toward the fourth cycle (race). It is only at the mid-point of the 3rd Root Race that man was endowed with Manas. Once united, the two and then the three made one; for though the lower animals, from the amoeba to man, received their monads, in which all the higher qualities are potential, all have to remain dormant till each reaches its human form, before which stage manas (mind) has no development in them.

History begins by the descent on Earth of the "Gods" who incarnate in mankind, and this is the FALL. Whether Brahma hurled down on Earth in the allegory by Bhagavant, or Jupiter by Kronos, all are the symbols of the human races. There is an eternal cyclic law of re-births, and the series is headed at every new Manvantaric dawn by those who had enjoyed their rest from re-incarnations in previous Kalpas for incalculable Æons -- by the highest and the earliest Nirvanees. It was the turn of those "Gods" to incarnate in the present Manvantara; hence their presence on Earth, and the ensuing allegories; hence, also, the perversion of the original meaning.

When the same law of evolution led them to reproduce their kind sexually, an act which forced the creative gods, compelled by Karmic law, to incarnate in mindless men; then only was speech developed. But even then it was still no better than a tentative effort. The whole human race was at that time of "one language and of one lip." This did not prevent the last two Sub-Races of the Third Race from building cities, and sowing far and wide the first seeds of civilization under the guidance of their divine instructors, and their own already awakened minds.

It is with the advent of the divine Dynasties, that the first civilizations were started. And while, in some regions of the Earth, a portion of mankind preferred leading a nomadic and patriarchal life, and in others savage man was hardly learning to build a fire and to protect himself against the Elements, his brothers -- more favoured than he by their Karma, and helped by the divine intelligence which informed them -- built cities, and cultivated arts and sciences. Nevertheless, and civilization notwithstanding, while their pastoral brethren enjoyed wondrous powers as their birthright, they, the builders, could now obtain theirs only gradually; even these being generally used for power over physical nature and selfish and unholy purposes. Civilization has ever developed the physical and intellectual at the cost of the psychic and spiritual. The command and the guidance over his own psychic nature, which foolish men now associate with the supernatural, were with early Humanity innate and congenital, and came to man as naturally as walking and thinking. This primeval civilization did not, as one may think, immediately follow their physiological transformation. Between the final evolution and the first city built, many hundred thousands of years had passed. Yet, we find the Lemurians in their sixth sub-race building their first rock-cities out of stone and lava. One of such great cities of primitive structure was built entirely of lava, some thirty miles west from where Easter Island now stretches its narrow piece of sterile ground, and was entirely destroyed by a series of volcanic eruptions. The first large cities, however, appeared on that region of the continent which is now known as the island of Madagascar. There were civilized people and savages in those days as there are now. The man who preceded the Fourth, the Atlantean race, however much he may have looked physically like a "gigantic ape" -- "the counterfeit of man who hath not the life of a man" -- was still a thinking and already a speaking man. The "Lemuro-Atlantean" was a highly civilized race, and if one accepts tradition, which is better history than the speculative fiction which now passes under that name, he was higher than we are with all our sciences and the degraded civilization of the day: at any rate, the Lemuro-Atlantean of the closing Third Race was so.

That Third and holy Race consisted of men who, at their zenith, were described as "towering giants of godly strength and beauty, and the depositaries of all the mysteries of Heaven and Earth." The only thing now to be noted of these is, that the chief gods and heroes of the Fourth and Fifth Races, as of later antiquity, are the deified images of these men of the Third. The days of their physiological purity, and those of their so-called Fall, have equally survived in the hearts and memories of their descendants. Hence, the dual nature shown in those gods, both virtue and sin being exalted to their highest degree, in the biographies composed by posterity.

(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:

POSSESSIONS OF THE SOUL

Once the soul has attained to any possession like love, or persistent will, or faith, or a power of thought, it comes into spiritual contact with others who are struggling for these very powers. The attainment of any of these means that the soul is able to absorb and radiate some of the diviner elements of being. The soul may or may not be aware of the position it is placed in or its new duties, but yet that Living Light, having found a way into the being of any one person, does not rest there, but sends its rays and extends its influence on and on to illumine the darkness of another nature. 


--GEORGE WILLIAM RUSSELL (A.E.)

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THE RACES OF MAN
IV: THE ATLANTEANS
(Part 4 of a 6-part series)

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ONE (1) FOOTNOTE LISTED BELOW:

(1) NOTE.--This is the third part of a six-part series on the races of mankind, collated from The Secret Doctrine by H.P.B.
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