Some Inquiries Suggested by Mr. Sinnett’s “Esoteric Buddhism”
Theosophist, September, 1883 etc.
(Below is as published in Five Years of Theosophy, 1885)
[For Notes on the authorship of the following, see Blavatsky CW vol. 5, pp. 129-138]
The object of the following paper is to submit certain questions which have occurred to some English readers of “Esoteric Buddhism.” We have had the great advantage of hearing Mr. Sinnett himself explain many points which perplexed us; and it is with his sanction that we now venture to ask that such light as is permissible may be thrown upon some difficulties which, so far as we can discover, remain as yet unsolved. We have refrained from asking questions on subjects on which we understand that the Adepts forbid inquiry, and we respectfully hope that, as we approach the subject with a genuine wish to arrive at all the truth possible to us, our perplexities may be thought worthy of an authorized solution.
We begin, then, with some obvious scientific difficulties.
1. Is the Nebular Theory, as generally held, denied by the Adepts? It seems hard to conceive of the alternate evolution from the sun’s central mass of planets, some of them visible and heavy, others invisible,—and apparently without weight, as they have no influence on the movements of the visible planets.
2. And, further, the time necessary for the manvantara even of one planetary chain, much more of all seven, seems largely to exceed the probable time during which the sun can retain heat, if it is merely a cooling mass, which derives no important accession of heat from without. Is some other view as regards the maintenance of the sun’s heat held by the Adepts?
3. The different races which succeed each other on the earth are said to be separated by catastrophes, among which continental subsidences occupy a prominent place. Is it meant that these subsidences are so sudden and unforeseen as to sweep away great nations in an hour? Or, if not, how is it that no appreciable trace is left of such high civilizations as are described in the past? Is it supposed that our present European civilization, with its offshoots all over the globe, can be destroyed by any inundation or conflagration which leaves life still existing on the earth? Are our existing arts and languages doomed to perish? or was it only the earlier races who were thus profoundly disjoined from one another?
4. The moon is said to be the scene of a life even more immersed in matter than the life on earth. Are there then material organizations living there? If so, how do they dispense with air and water, and how is it that our telescopes discern no trace of their works? We should much like a fuller account of the Adepts’ view of the moon, as so much is already known of her material conditions that further knowledge could be more easily adjusted than in the case (for instance) of planets wholly invisible.
5. Is the expression “a mineral monad” authorized by the Adepts? If so, what relation does the monad bear to the atom, or the molecule, of ordinary scientific hypothesis? And does each mineral monad eventually become a vegetable monad, and then at last a human being?
Turning now to some historical difficulties, we would ask as follows:
6. Is there not some confusion in the letter quoted on p. 62 of “Esoteric Buddhism,” where “the old Greeks and Romans” are said to have been Atlanteans? The Greeks and Romans were surely Aryans, like the Adepts and ourselves: their language being, as one may say, intermediate between Sanscrit and modern European dialects.
7. Buddha’s birth is placed (on p. 141) in the year 643 B.C.. Is this date given by the Adepts as undoubtedly correct? Have they any view as to the new inscriptions of Asoka (as given by General A. Cunningham, “Corpus Inscriptionum Indicanum,” vol. i. pp. 20-23), on the strength of which Buddha’s Nirvana is placed by Barth (“Religions of India,” p. 106), etc., about 476 B.C., and his birth therefore at about 556 B.C.? It would be exceedingly interesting if the Adepts would give a sketch however brief of the history of India in those centuries with authentic dates.
8. Sankaracharya’s date is variously given by Orientalists, but always after Christ. Barth, for instance, places him about 788 A.D. In “Esoteric Buddhism” he is made to succeed Buddha almost immediately (p. 149). Can this discrepancy be explained? Has not Sankaracharya been usually classed as Vishnuite in his teaching? And similarly has not Gaudapada been accounted a Sivite? and placed much later than “Esoteric Buddhism” (p. 147) places him? We would willingly pursue this line of inquiry, but think it best to wait and see to what extent the Adepts may be willing to clear up some of the problems in Indian religious history on which, as it would seem, they must surely possess knowledge which might be communicated to lay students without indiscretion.
We pass on to some points beyond the ordinary range of science or history on which we should be very glad to hear more, if possible.
9. We should like to understand more clearly the nature of the subjective intercourse with beloved souls enjoyed in Devachan. Say, for instance, that I die and leave on earth some young children. Are these children present to my consciousness in Devachan still as children? Do I imagine that they have died when I died? or do I merely imagine them as adult without knowing their life-history? or do I miss them from Devachan until they do actually die, and then hear from them their life-history as it has proceeded between my death and theirs?
10. We do not quite understand the amount of reminiscence attained at various points in the soul’s progress. Do the Adepts, who, we presume, are equivalent to sixth rounders, recollect their previous incarnations? Do all souls which live on into the sixth round attain this power of remembrance? or does the Devachan, at the end of each round bring a recollection of all the Devachans, or of all the incarnations, which have formed a part of that particular round? And does reminiscence carry with it the power of so arranging future incarnations as still to remain in company with some chosen soul or group of souls?
We have many more questions to ask, but we scruple to intrude further. And I will conclude here by repeating the remark with which we are most often met when we speak of the Adepts to English friends. We find that our friends do not often ask for so-called miracles or marvels to prove the genuineness of the Adepts’ powers. But they ask why the Adepts will not give some proof—not necessarily that they are far beyond us, but that their knowledge does at least equal our own in the familiar and definite tracks which Western science has worn for itself. A few pregnant remarks on Chemistry,—the announcement of a new electrical law, capable of experimental verification—some such communication as this (our interlocutors say), would arrest attention, command respect, and give a weight and prestige to the higher teaching which, so long as it remains in a region wholly unverifiable, it can scarcely acquire.
We gratefully recognize the very acceptable choice which the Adepts have made in selecting Mr. Sinnett as the intermediary between us and them. They could hardly have chosen any one more congenial to our Western minds:—whether we consider the clearness of his written style, the urbanity of his verbal expositions, or the earnest sincerity of his convictions. Since they have thus far met our peculiar needs with such considerate judgment, we cannot but hope that they may find themselves able yet further to adapt their modes of teaching to the requirements of Occidental thought.
AN ENGLISH F. T. S.
LONDON, July, 1883.
REPLY TO AN ENGLISH F. T. S.
It was not in contemplation, at the outset of the work begun in Fragments, to deal as fully with the scientific problems of cosmic evolution as now seems expected. A distinct promise was made, as Mr. Sinnett is well aware, to acquaint the readers with the outlines of Esoteric doctrines and—no more. A good deal would be given, much more kept back.
This seeming unwillingness to share with the world some of Nature’s secrets that may have come into the possession of the few, arises from causes quite different from the one generally assigned. It is not SELFISHNESS erecting a Chinese wall between occult science and those who would know more of it, without making any distinction between the simply curious profane, and the earnest, ardent seeker after truth. Wrong and unjust are those who think so; who attribute to indifference for other people’s welfare a policy necessitated, on the contrary, by a far-seeing universal philanthropy; who accuse the custodians of lofty physical and spiritual though long rejected truths, of holding them high above the people’s heads. In truth, the inability to reach them lies entirely with the seekers. Indeed, the chief reason among many others for such a reticence, at any rate, with regard to secrets pertaining to physical sciences—is to be sought elsewhere.1 It rests entirely on the impossibility of imparting that the nature of which is at the present stage of the world’s development, beyond the comprehension of the would-be learners, however intellectual and however scientifically trained may be the latter. This tremendous difficulty is now explained to the few, who, besides having read “Esoteric Buddhism,” have studied and understood the several occult axioms approached in it. It is safe to say that it will not be even vaguely realized by the general reader, but will offer the pretext for sheer abuse. Nay, it has already.
It is simply that the gradual development of man’s seven principles and physical senses has to be coincident and on parallel lines with Rounds and Root-races. Our fifth race has so far developed but its five senses. Now, if the Kama or Will-principle of the “Fourth-rounders” has already reached that stage of its evolution when the automatic acts, the unmotivated instincts and impulses of its childhood and youth, instead of following external stimuli, will have become acts of will framed constantly in conjunction with the mind (Manas), thus making of every man on earth of that race a free agent, a fully responsible being—the Kama of our hardly adult fifth race is only slowly approaching it. As to the sixth sense of this, our race, it has hardly sprouted above the soil of its materiality. It is highly unreasonable, therefore, to expect for the men of the fifth to sense the nature and essence of that which will be fully sensed and perceived but by the sixth—let alone the seventh race—i.e., to enjoy the legitimate outgrowth of the evolution and endowments of the future races with only the help of our present limited senses. The exceptions to this quasi-universal rule have been hitherto found only in some rare cases of constitutional, abnormally precocious individual evolutions; or, in such, where by early training and special methods, reaching the stage of the fifth rounders, some men in addition to the natural gift of the latter have fully developed (by certain occult methods) their sixth, and in still rarer eases their seventh, sense. As an instance of the former class may be cited the Seeress of Prevorst; a creature born out of time, a rare precocious growth, ill adapted to the uncongenial atmosphere that surrounded her, hence a martyr ever ailing and sickly. As an example of the other, the Count St. Germain may be mentioned. Apace with the anthropological and physiological development of man runs his spiritual evolution. To the latter, purely intellectual growth is often more an impediment than a help. An instance: radiant stuff—“the fourth state of matter”—has been hardly discovered, and no one—the eminent discoverer himself not excepted—has yet any idea of its full importance, its possibilities, its connection with physical phenomena, or even its bearing upon the most puzzling scientific problems. How then can any “Adept” attempt to prove the fallacy of much that is predicated in the nebular and solar theories when the only means by which he could successfully prove his position is an appeal to, and the exhibition of, that sixth sense-consciousness which the physicist cannot postulate? Is not this plain?
Thus, the obstacle is not that the “Adepts” would “forbid inquiry,” but rather the personal, present limitations of the senses of the average, and even of the scientific man. To undertake the explanation of that which at the outset would be rejected as a physical impossibility, the outcome of hallucination, is unwise and even harmful, because premature. It is in consequence of such difficulties that the psychic production of physical phenomena—save in exceptional cases—is strictly forbidden.
And now, “Adepts” are asked to meddle with astronomy—a science which, of all the branches of human knowledge has yielded the most accurate information, afforded the most mathematically correct data, and of the achievements in which the men of science feel the most justly proud! It is true that on the whole astronomy has achieved triumphs more brilliant than those of most other sciences. But if it has done much in the direction of satisfying man’s straining and thirsting mind and his noble aspirations for knowledge, physical as to its most important particulars, it has ever laughed at man’s puny efforts to wrest the great secrets of Infinitude by the help of only mechanical apparatus. While the spectroscope has shown the probable similarity of terrestrial and sidereal substance, the chemical actions peculiar to the variously progressed orbs of space have not been detected, nor proven to be identical with those observed on our own planet. In this particular, Esoteric Psychology may be useful. But who of the men of science would consent to confront it with their own handiwork? Who of them would recognise the superiority and greater trustworthiness of the Adept’s knowledge over their own hypotheses, since in their case they can claim the mathematical correctness of their deductive reasonings based on the alleged unerring precision of the modern instruments; while the Adepts can claim but their knowledge of the ultimate nature of the materials they have worked with for ages, resulting in the phenomena produced. However much it may be urged that a deductive argument, besides being an incomplete syllogistic form, may often be in conflict with fact; that their major propositions may not always be correct, although the predicates of their conclusions seem correctly drawn—spectrum analysis will not be acknowledged as inferior to purely spiritual research. Nor, before developing his sixth sense, will the man of science concede the error of his theories as to the solar spectrum, unless he abjure, to some degree at least, his marked weakness for conditional and disjunctive syllogisms ending in eternal dilemmas. At present the “Adepts” do not see any help for it. Were these invisible and unknown profanes to interfere with—not to say openly contradict—the dicta of the Royal Society, contempt and ridicule, followed by charges of crass ignorance of the first elementary principles of modern science would be their only reward; while those who would lend an ear to their “vagaries,” would be characterized immediately as types of the “mild lunatics” of the age. Unless, indeed, the whole of that august body should be initiated into the great Mysteries at once, and without any further ado or the preliminary and usual preparations or training, the F. R. S.’s could be miraculously endowed with the required sixth sense, the Adepts fear the task would be profitless. The latter have given quite enough, little though it may seem, for the purposes of a first trial. The sequence of martyrs to the great universal truths has never been once broken; and the long list of known and unknown sufferers, headed with the name of Galileo, now closes with that of Zöllner. Is the world of science aware of the real cause of Zöllner’s premature death? When the fourth dimension of space becomes a scientific reality like the fourth state of matter, he may have a statue raised to him by grateful posterity. But this will neither recall him to life, nor will it obliterate the days and months of mental agony that harassed the soul of this intuitional, far-seeing, modest genius, made even after his death to receive the donkey’s kick of misrepresentation and to be publicly charged with lunacy.
Hitherto, astronomy could grope between light and darkness only with the help of the uncertain guidance offered it by analogy. It has reduced to fact and mathematical precision the physical motion and the paths of the heavenly bodies, and—no more. So far, it has been unable to discover with any approach to certainty the physical constitution of either sun, stars, or even cometary matter. Of the latter, it seems to know no more than was taught 5,000 years ago by the official astronomers of old Chaldea and Egypt—namely, that it is vaporous, since it transmits the rays of stars and planets without any sensible obstruction. But let the modern chemist be asked to tell one whether this matter is in any way connected with, or akin to, that of any of the gases he is acquainted with; or again, to any of the solid elements of his chemistry. The probable answer received will be very little calculated to solve the world’s perplexity; since, all hypotheses to the contrary notwithstanding, cometary matter does not appear to possess even the common law of adhesion or of chemical affinity. The reason for it is very simple. And the truth ought long ago to have dawned upon the experimentalists, since our little world (though so repeatedly visited by the hairy and bearded travellers, enveloped in the evanescent veil of their tails, and otherwise brought in contact with that matter) has neither been smothered by an addition of nitrogen gas, nor deluged by an excess of hydrogen, nor yet perceptibly affected by a surplus of oxygen. The essence of cometary matter must be—and the “Adepts” say is—totally different from any of the chemical or physical characteristics with which the greatest chemists and physicists of the earth are familiar—all recent hypotheses to the contrary notwithstanding. It is to be feared that before the real nature of the elder progeny of Mula Prakriti is detected, Mr. Crookes will have to discover matter of the fifth or extra radiant state; et seq.
Thus, while the astronomer has achieved marvels in the elucidation of the visible relations of the orbs of space, he has learnt nothing of their inner constitution. His science has led him no farther towards a reading of that inner mystery than has that of the geologist, who can tell us only of the earth’s superficial layers, and that of the physiologist, who has until now been able to deal only with man’s outer shell, or Sthula Sarira. Occultists have asserted, and go on asserting daily, the fallacy of judging the essence by its outward manifestations, the ultimate nature of the life-principle by the circulation of the blood, mind by the gray matter of the brain, and the physical constitution of sun, stars and comets by our terrestrial chemistry and the matter of our own planet. Verily and indeed, no microscopes, spectroscopes, telescopes, photometers, or other physical apparatuses can ever be focussed on either the macro- or micro-cosmical highest principles, nor will the mayavirupa of either yield its mystery to physical inquiry. The methods of spiritual research and psychological observation are the only efficient agencies to employ. We have to proceed by analogy in everything to be sure. Yet the candid men of science must very soon find out that it is not sufficient to examine a few stars—a handful of sand, as it were, from the margin of the shoreless, cosmic ocean—to conclude that these stars are the same as all other stars—our earth included; that, because they have attained a certain very great telescopic power, and gauged an area enclosed in the smallest of spaces when compared with what remains, they have, therefore, concurrently perfected the survey of all that exists within even that limited space. For, in truth, they have done nothing of the kind. They have had only a superficial glance at that which is made visible to them under the present conditions, with the limited power of their vision. And even though it were helped by telescopes of a hundred-fold stronger power than that of Lord Rosse, or the new Lick Observatory, the case would not alter. No physical instrument will ever help astronomy to scan distances of the immensity of which that of Sirius, situated at the trifle of 130,125,000,000,000 miles away from the outer boundary of the spherical area, or even that of (a) Capella, with its extra trifle of 295,355,000,000,0002 miles still farther away, can give them, as they themselves are well aware, the faintest idea. For, though an Adept is unable to cross bodily (i.e., in his astral shape) the limits of the solar system, yet he knows that, far stretching beyond the telescopic power of detection, there are systems upon systems, the smallest of which would, when compared with the system of Sirius, make the latter seem like an atom of dust embedded in the great Shamo desert. The eye of the astronomer, who thinks he also knows of the existence of such systems, has never rested upon them, has never caught of them, even that spectral glimpse, fanciful and hazy as the incoherent vision in a slumbering mind that he has occasionally had of other systems, and yet he verily believes he has gauged INFINITUDE! And yet these immeasurably distant worlds are brought as clear and near to the spiritual eye of the astral astronomer as a neighbouring bed of daisies may be to the eye of the botanist.
Thus, the “Adepts” of the present generation, though unable to help the profane astronomer by explaining the ultimate essence, or even the material constitution, of star and planet, since European science, knowing nothing as yet of the existence of such substances, or more properly of their various states or conditions, has neither proper terms for, nor can form any adequate idea of them by any description, they may, perchance, be able to prove what this matter is not—and this is more than sufficient for all present purposes. The next best thing to learning what is true is to ascertain what is not true.
Having thus anticipated a few general objections, and traced a limit to expectations, since there is no need of drawing any veil of mystery before “An English F. T. S.,” his few questions may be partially answered. The negative character of the replies draws a sufficiently strong line of demarcation between the views of the Adepts and those of Western science to afford some useful hints at least.
QUESTION I.—DO THE ADEPTS DENY THE NEBULAR THEORY?
Answer:—No; they do not deny its general propositions, nor the approximative truths of the scientific hypotheses. They only deny the completeness of the present, as well as the entire error of the many so-called “exploded” old theories, which, during the last century, have followed each other in such rapid succession. For instance: while denying, with Laplace, Herschel and others, that the variable patches of light perceived on the nebulous background of the galaxy ever belonged to remote worlds in the process of formation; and agreeing with modern science that they proceed from no aggregation of formless matter, but belong simply to clusters of “stars” already formed; they yet add that many of such clusters, that pass in the opinion of the astro-physicists for stars and worlds already evoluted, are in fact but collections of the various materials made ready for future worlds. Like bricks already baked, of various qualities, shapes and colour, that are no longer formless clay but have become fit units of a future wall, each of them having a fixed and distinctly assigned space to occupy in some forthcoming building, are these seemingly adult worlds. The astronomer has no means of recognizing their relative adolescence, except perhaps by making a distinction between the star clusters with the usual orbital motion and mutual gravitation, and those termed, we believe, irregular star-clusters of very capricious and changeful appearances. Thrown together as though at random, and seemingly in utter violation of the law of symmetry, they defy observation: such, for instance, are 5 M. Lyrae, 52 M. Cephei, Dumb-Bell, and some others. Before an emphatic contradiction of what precedes is attempted, and ridicule offered perchance, it would not be amiss to ascertain the nature and character of those other so-called “temporary “stars, whose periodicity, though never actually proven, is yet allowed to pass unquestioned. What are these stars which, appearing suddenly in matchless magnificence and splendour, disappear as mysteriously as unexpectedly, without leaving a single trace behind? Whence do they appear? Whither are they engulfed? In the great cosmic deep—we say. The bright “brick” is caught by the hand of the mason—directed by that Universal Architect which destroys but to rebuild. It has found its place in the cosmic structure and will perform its mission to its last Manvantaric hour.
Another point most emphatically denied by the “Adepts” is, that there exist in the whole range of visible heavens any spaces void of starry worlds. There are stars, worlds and systems within as without the systems made visible to man, and even within our own atmosphere, for all the physicist knows. The “Adept” affirms in this connection that orthodox, or so-called official science, uses very often the word “infinitude” without attaching to it any adequate importance; rather as a flower of speech than a term implying an awful, a most mysterious Reality. When an astronomer is found in his Reports “gauging infinitude,” even the most intuitional of his class is but too often apt to forget that he is gauging only the superficies of a small area and its visible depths, and to speak of these as though they were merely the cubic contents of some known quantity. This is the direct result of the present conception of a three-dimensional space. The turn of a four-dimensional world is near, but the puzzle of science will ever continue until their concepts reach the natural dimensions of visible and invisible space—in its septenary completeness. “The Infinite and the Absolute are only the names for two counter-imbecilities of the human (uninitiated) mind;” and to regard them as the transmuted “properties of the nature of things—of two subjective negatives converted into objective affirmatives,” as Sir W. Hamilton puts it, is to know nothing of the infinite operations of human liberated spirit, or of its attributes, the first of which is its ability to pass beyond the region of our terrestrial experience of matter and space. As an absolute vacuum is an impossibility below, so is it a like impossibility above. But our molecules, the infinitesimals of the vacuum “below,” are replaced by the giant-atom of the Infinitude “above.” When demonstrated, the four-dimensional conception of space may lead to the invention of new instruments to explore the extremely dense matter that surrounds us as a ball of pitch might surround—say, a fly, but which, in our extreme ignorance of all its properties save those we find it exercising on our earth, we yet call the clear, the serene, and the transparent atmosphere. This is no psychology, but simply occult physics, which can never confound “substance” with “centres of Force,” to use the terminology of a Western science which is ignorant of Maya. In less than a century, besides telescopes, microscopes, micrographs and telephones, the Royal Society will have to offer a premium for such an etheroscope.
It is also necessary in connection with the question under reply that “An English F. T. S.” should know that the “Adepts” of the Good Law reject gravity as at present explained. They deny that the so-called “impact theory” is the only one that is tenable in the gravitation hypothesis. They say, that if all efforts made by the physicists to connect it with ether, in order to explain electric and magnetic distance-action have hitherto proved complete failures, it is again due to the race ignorance of the ultimate states of matter in Nature, and, foremost of all, of the real nature of the solar stuff. Believing but in the law of mutual magneto-electric attraction and repulsion, they agree with those who have come to the conclusion that “Universal gravitation is a weak force,” utterly incapable of accounting for even one small portion of the phenomena of motion. In the same connection they are forced to suggest that science may be wrong in her indiscriminate postulation of centrifugal force, which is neither a universal nor a consistent law. To cite but one instance this force is powerless to account for the spheroidal oblateness of certain planets. For if the bulge of planetary equators and the shortening of their polar axes is to be attributed to centrifugal force, instead of being simply the result of the powerful influence of solar electro-magnetic attraction, “balanced by concentric rectification of each planet’s own gravitation achieved by rotation on its axis,” to use an astronomer’s phraseology (neither very clear nor correct, yet serving our purpose to show the many flaws in the system), why should there be such difficulty in answering the objection that the differences in the equatorial rotation and density of various planets are directly in opposition to this theory? How long shall we see even great mathematicians bolstering up fallacies to supply an evident hiatus! The “Adepts” have never claimed superior or any knowledge of Western astronomy and other sciences. Yet turning even to the most elementary textbooks used in the schools of India, they find that the centrifugal theory of Western birth is unable to cover all the ground. That, unaided, it can neither account for every spheroid oblate, nor explain away such evident difficulties as are presented by the relative density of some planets. How indeed can any calculation of centrifugal force explain to us, for instance, why Mercury, whose rotation is, we are told, only “about one-third that of the Earth, and its density only about one-fourth greater than the Earth,” should have a polar compression more than ten times greater than the latter? And again, why Jupiter, whose equatorial rotation is said to be “twenty-seven times greater, and its density only about one-fifth that of the Earth,” should have its polar compression seventeen times greater than that of the Earth? Or, why Saturn, with an equatorial velocity fifty-five times greater than Mercury for centrifugal force to contend with, should have its polar compression only three times greater than Mercury’s? To crown the above contradictions, we are asked to believe in the Central Forces as taught by modern science, even when told that the equatorial matter of the sun, with more than four times the centrifugal velocity of the earth’s equatorial surface and only about one-fourth part of the gravitation of the equatorial matter, has not manifested any tendency to bulge out at the solar equator, nor shown the least flattening at the poles of the solar axis. In other and clearer words, the sun, with only one-fourth of our earth’s density for the centrifugal force to work upon, has no polar compression at all! We find this objection made by more than one astronomer, yet never explained away satisfactorily so far as the “Adepts” are aware.
Therefore do they say that the great men of science of the West, knowing nothing or next to nothing either about cometary matter, centrifugal and centripetal forces, the nature of the nebulæ, or the physical constitution of the sun, stars, or even the moon, are imprudent to speak so confidently as they do about the “central mass of the sun” whirling out into space planets, comets, and whatnot. Our humble opinion being wanted, we maintain: that it evolutes out, but the life principle, the soul of these bodies, giving and receiving it back in our little solar system, as the “Universal Life-giver,” the ONE LIFE gives and receives it in the Infinitude and Eternity; that the Solar System is as much the Microcosm of the ONE Macrocosm, as man is the former when compared with his own little solar cosmos.
What are the proofs of science? The solar spots (a misnomer, like much of the rest)? But these do not prove the solidity of the “central mass,” any more than the storm-clouds prove the solid mass of the atmosphere behind them. Is it the non-coextensiveness of the sun’s body with its apparent luminous dimensions, the said “body” appearing “a solid mass, a dark sphere of matter confined within a fiery prison-house, a robe of fiercest flames?” We say that there is indeed a “prisoner” behind, but that having never yet been seen by any physical, mortal eye, what he allows to be seen of him is merely a gigantic reflection, an illusive phantasma of “solar appendages of some sort,” as Mr. Proctor honestly calls it. Before saying anything further, we will consider the next interrogatory.
QUESTION II.—IS THE SUN MERELY A COOLING MASS?
Such is the accepted theory of modern science it is not what the “Adepts” teach. The former says—the sun “derives no important accession of heat from without” the latter answer—“the sun needs it not.” He is quite as self dependent as he is self-luminous; and for the maintenance of his heat requires no help, no foreign accession of vital energy; for he is the heart of his system, a heart that will not cease its throbbing until its hour of rest shall come. Were the sun “a cooling mass,” our great life-giver would have indeed grown dim with age by this time, and found some trouble to keep his watch-fires burning for the future races to accomplish their cycles, and the planetary chains to achieve their rounds. There would remain no hope for evoluting humanity; except perhaps in what passes for science in the astronomical textbooks of Missionary Schools—namely, that “the sun has an orbital journey of a hundred millions of years before him, and the system yet but seven thousand years old!” (Prize Book, “Astronomy for General Readers.”)
The “Adepts,” who are thus forced to demolish before they can reconstruct, deny most emphatically (a) that the sun is in combustion, in any ordinary sense of the word; or (b) that he is incandescent, or even burning, though he is glowing; or (c) that his luminosity has already begun to weaken and his power of combustion may be exhausted within a given and conceivable time; or even (d) that his chemical and physical constitution contains any of the elements of terrestrial chemistry in any of the states that either chemist or physicist is acquainted with. With reference to the latter, they add that, properly speaking, though the body of the sun—a body that was never yet reflected by telescope or spectroscope that man invented—cannot be said to be constituted of those terrestrial elements with the state of which the chemist is familiar, yet that these elements are all present in the sun’s outward robes, and a host more of elements unknown so far to science. There seems little need, indeed, to have waited so long for the lines belonging to these respective elements to correspond with dark lines of the solar spectrum to know that no element present on our earth could ever be possibly found wanting in the sun; although, on the other hand, there are many others in the sun which have either not reached or not as yet been discovered on our globe. Some may be missing in certain stars and heavenly bodies still in the process of formation; or, properly speaking, though present in them, these elements on account of their undeveloped state may not respond as yet to the usual scientific tests. But how can the earth possess that which the sun has never had? The “Adepts” affirm as a fact that the true Sun—an invisible orb of which the known one is the shell, mask, or clothing—has in him the spirit of every clement that exists in the solar system; and his “Chromosphere,” as Mr. Lockyer named it, has the same, only in a far more developed condition, though still in a state unknown on earth; our planet having to await its further growth and development before any of its elements can be reduced to the condition they are in within that chromosphere. Nor can the substance producing the coloured light in the latter be properly called solid, liquid, or even “gaseous,” as now supposed, for it is neither. Thousands of years before Leverrier and Padri Secchi, the old Aryans sung of Surya . . . “hiding behind his Yogi,3 robes his head that no one could see;” the ascetic’s dress being, as all know, dyed expressly into a red-yellow hue, a colouring matter with pinkish patches on it, rudely representing the vital principle in man’s blood—the symbol of the vital principle in the sun, or what is now called chromosphere. The “rose-coloured region!” How little astronomers will ever know of its real nature, even though hundreds of eclipses furnish them with the indisputable evidence of its presence. The sun is so thickly surrounded by a shell of this “red matter,” that it is useless for them to speculate with only the help of their physical instruments, upon the nature of that which they can never see or detect with mortal eye behind that brilliant, radiant zone of matter.
If the “Adepts” are asked: “What then, in your views, is the nature of our sun and what is there beyond that cosmic veil?”—they answer: beyond rotates and beats the heart and head of our system; externally is spread its robe, the nature of which is not matter, whether solid, liquid, or gaseous, such as you are acquainted with, but vital electricity, condensed and made visible.4 And if the statement is objected to on the grounds that were the luminosity of the sun due to any other cause than combustion and flame, no physical law of which Western science has any knowledge could account for the existence of such intensely high temperature of the sun without combustion; that such a temperature, besides burning with its light and flame every visible thing in our universe, would show its luminosity of a homogeneous and uniform intensity throughout, which it does not; that undulations and disturbances in the photosphere, the growing of the “protuberances,” and a fierce raging of elements in combustion have been observed in the sun, with their tongues of fire and spots exhibiting every appearance of cyclonic motion, and “solar storms,” etc. etc.; to this the only answer that can be given is the following: the appearances are all there, yet it is not combustion. Undoubtedly were the “robes,” the dazzling drapery which now envelopes the whole of the sun’s globe, withdrawn, or even “the shining atmosphere which permits us to see the sun” (as Sir William Herschel thought) removed so as to allow one trifling rent, our whole universe would be reduced to ashes. Jupiter Fulminator revealing himself to his beloved would incinerate her instantly. But it can never be. The protecting shell is of a thickness and at a distance from the universal HEART that can hardly be ever calculated by your mathematicians. And how can they hope to see the sun’s inner body once that the existence of that “chromosphere” is ascertained, though its actual density may be still unknown, when one of the greatest, if not the greatest, of their authorities—Sir W. Herschel—says the following: “The sun, also, has its atmosphere, and if some of the fluids which enter into its composition should be of a shining brilliancy, while others are merely transparent, any temporary cause which may remove the lucid fluid will permit us to see the body of the sun through the transparent ones.” The underlined words, written nearly eighty years ago, embody the wrong hypothesis that the body of the sun might be seen under such circumstances, whereas it is only the far-away layers of “the lucid fluid” that would be perceived. And what the great astronomer adds invalidates entirely the first portion of his assumption: “If an observer were placed on the moon, he would see the solid body of our earth only in those places where the transparent fluids of the atmosphere would permit him. In others, the opaque vapours would reflect the light of the sun without permitting his view to penetrate to the surface of our globe.” Thus, if the atmosphere of our earth, which in its relation to the “atmosphere” (?) of the sun is like the tenderest skin of a fruit compared with the thickest husk of a cocoa-nut, would prevent the eye of an observer standing on the moon from penetrating everywhere “to the surface of our globe,” how can an astronomer ever expect his sight to penetrate to the sun’s surface, from our earth and at a distance of from 85 to 95 million miles,5 whereas, the moon, we are told, is only about 238,000 miles! The proportionately larger size of the sun does not bring it any the more within the scope of our physical vision. Truly remarks Sir W. Herschel that the sun “has been called a globe of fire, perhaps metaphorically!” It has been supposed that the dark spots were solid bodies revolving near the sun’s surface. “They have been conjectured to be the smoke of volcanoes the scum floating upon an ocean of fluid matter. . . . They have been taken for clouds . . . . explained to be opaque masses swimming in the fluid matter of the sun. . . .” When all his anthropomorphic conceptions are put aside, Sir John Herschel, whose intuition was still greater than his great learning, alone of all astronomers comes near the truth—far nearer than any of those modern astronomers who, while admiring his gigantic learning, smile at his “imaginative and fanciful theories.” His only mistake, now shared by most astronomers, was that he regarded the “opaque body” occasionally observed through the curtain of the “luminous envelope” as the sun itself. When saying in the course of his speculations upon the Nasmyth willow-leaf theory—“the definite shape of these objects, their exact similarity one to another . . . . all these characters seem quite repugnant to the notion of their being of a vaporous, a cloudy, or a fluid nature”—his spiritual intuition served him better than his remarkable knowledge of physical science. When he adds: “Nothing remains but to consider them as separate and independent sheets, flakes . . . . having some sort of solidity . . . Be they what they may, they are evidently the immediate sources of the solar light and heat”—he utters a grander physical truth than was ever uttered by any living astronomer. And when, furthermore, we find him postulating—“looked at in this point of view, we cannot refuse to regard them as organisms of some peculiar and amazing kind; and though it would be too daring to speak of such organization as partaking of the nature of life, yet we do know that vital action is competent to develop at once heat, and light, and electricity,” Sir John Herschel gives out a theory approximating an occult truth more than any of the profane ever did with regard to solar physics. These “wonderful objects” are not, as a modern astronomer interprets Sir J. Herschel’s words, “solar inhabitants, whose fiery constitution enables them to illuminate, warm and electricize the whole solar system,” but simply the reservoirs of solar vital energy, the vital electricity that feeds the whole system in which it lives, and breathes, and has its being. The sun is, as we say, the storehouse of our little cosmos, self-generating its vital fluid, and ever receiving a much as it gives out. Were the astronomers to be asked—what definite and positive fact exists at the root of their solar theory—what knowledge they have of solar combustion and atmosphere—they might, perchance, feel embarrassed when confronted with all their present theories. For it is sufficient to make a résume of what the solar phycisists do not know, to gain conviction that they are as far as ever from a definite knowledge of the constitution and ultimate nature of the heavenly bodies. We may, perhaps, be permitted to enumerate:
Beginning with, as Mr. Proctor wisely calls it, “the wildest assumption possible,” that there is, in accordance with the law of analogy, some general resemblance between the materials in, and the processes at work upon, the sun, and those materials with which terrestrial chemistry and physics are familiar, what is that sum of results achieved by spectroscopic and other analyses of the surface and the inner constitution of the sun, which warrants any one in establishing the axiom of the sun’s combustion and gradual extinction? They have no means, as they themselves daily confess, of experimenting upon, hence of determining, the sun’s physical condition; for (a) they are ignorant of the atmospheric limits; (b) even though it were proved that matter, such as they know of, is continuously falling upon the sun, being ignorant of its real velocity and the nature of the material it falls upon, they are unable “to discuss of the effect of motions wholly surpassing in velocity . . . . enormously exceeding even the inconceivable velocity of many meteors;” (c) confessedly—they “have no means of learning whence that part of the light comes which gives the continuous spectrum” . . . . hence no means of determining how great a depth of the solar substance is concerned in sending out that light. This light “may come from the surface layers only;” and, “it may be but a shell” . . . . (truly!); and finally, (d) they have yet to learn “how far combustion, properly so-called, can take place within the sun’s mass;” and “whether these processes, which we (they) recognize as combustion, are the only processes of combustion which can actually take place there.” Therefore, Mr. Proctor for one comes to the happy and prudent idea after all “that what had been supposed the most marked characteristic of incandescent solid and liquid bodies, is thus shown to be a possible characteristic of the light of the glowing gas.” Thus, the whole basis of their reasoning having been shaken (by Frankland’s objection), they, the astronomers, may yet arrive at accepting the occult theory, viz., that they have to look to the 6th state of matter, for divulging to them the true nature of their photospheres, chromospheres, appendages, prominences, projections and horns. Indeed, when one finds one of the authorities of the age in physical science—Professor Tyndall—saving that “no earthly substance with which we are acquainted, no substance which the fall of meteors has landed on the earth—would be at all competent to maintain the sun’s combustion;” and again:—“. . . multiplying all our powers by millions of millions, we do not reach the sun’s expenditure. And still, notwithstanding this enormous drain in the lapse of human history, we are unable to detect a diminution of his store . . . ”—after reading this, to see the men of science still maintaining their theory of “a hot globe cooling,” one may be excused for feeling surprised at such inconsistency. Verily is that great physicist right in viewing the sun itself as “a speck in infinite extension—a mere drop in the Universal sea;” and saying that, “to Nature nothing can be added; from Nature nothing can be taken away; the sum of her energy is constant, and the utmost man can do in the pursuit of physical truth, or in the applications of physical knowledge,; to shift the constituents of the never-varying total. The law of conservation rigidly excludes both creation and annihilation . . . the flux of power is eternally the same.” Mr. Tyndall speaks here as though he were an Occultist. Yet, the memento mori—“the sun is cooling . . . it is dying! . . . .” of the Western Trappists of Science resounds as loud as it ever did.
No, we say; no, while there is one man left on the globe, the sun will not be extinguished. Before the hour of the “Solar Parlaya” strikes on the watch-tower of Eternity, all the other worlds of our system will be gliding in their spectral shells along the silent paths of Infinite Space. Before it strikes, Atlas, the mighty Titan, the son of Asia and the nursling of Æther, will have dropped his heavy manvantaric burden and—died; the Pleïades, the bright seven Sisters, will have upon awakening hiding Sterope to grieve with them—to die themselves for their father’s loss. And, Hercules, moving off his left leg, will have to shift his place in heavens and erect his own funeral pile. Then only, surrounded by the fiery element breaking through the thickening gloom of the Pralayan twilight, will Hercules, expiring amidst a general conflagration, bring on likewise the death of our sun: he will have unveiled by moving off the “CENTRAL SUN”—the mysterious, the ever-hidden centre of attraction of our sun and system. Fables? Mere poetical fiction? Yet, when one knows that the most exact sciences, the greatest mathematical and astronomical truths went forth into the world among the hoi polloi from the circle of initiated priests, the Hierophants of the sanctum sanctorum of the old temples, under the guise of religious fables, it may not be amiss to search for universal truths even under the patches of fiction’s harlequinade. This fable about the Pleiades, the seven Sisters, Atlas, and Hercules exists identical in subject, though under other names, in the sacred Hindu hooks, and has likewise the same occult meaning. But then like the Ramayana “borrowed from the Greek Iliad” and the Bhagavat-Gita and Krishna plagiarized from the Gospel—in the opinion of the great Sanskritist, Prof. Weber, the Aryans may have also borrowed the Pleiades and their Hercules from the same source! When the Brahmins can be shown by the Christian Orientalists to be the direct descendants of the Teutonic Crusaders, then only, perchance, will the cycle of proofs be completed, and the historical truths of the West vindicated!
QUESTION III.—ARE THE GREAT NATIONS TO BE SWEPT AWAY IN AN HOUR?
No such absurdity was ever postulated. The cataclysm that annihilated the choicest sub-races of the Fourth race, or the Atlanteans, was slowly preparing its work for ages; as any one can read in “Esoteric Buddhism” (page 54). “Poseidonis,” so called, belongs to historical times, though its fate begins to be realized and suspected only now. What was said is still asserted: every root-race is separated by a catastrophe, a cataclysm—the basis and historical foundation of the fables woven later on into the religious fabric of every people, whether civilized or savage, under the names of “deluges,” “showers of fire,” and such like.
That no “appreciable trace is left of such high civilization” is due to several reasons. One of these may be traced chiefly to the inability, and partially to the unwillingness (or shall we say congenital spiritual blindness of this our age!) of the modern archæologist to distinguish between excavations and ruins 50,000 and 4,000 years old, and to assign to many a grand archaic ruin its proper age and place in prehistoric times. For the latter the archæologist is not responsible—for what criterion, what sign has he to lead him to infer the true date of an excavated building bearing no inscription; and what warrant has the public that the antiquary and specialist has not made an error of some 20,000 years? A fair proof of this we have in the scientific and historic labelling of the Cyclopean architecture. Traditional archæology bearing directly upon the monumental is rejected. Oral literature, popular legends, ballads and rites, are all stifled in one word—superstition; and popular antiquities have become “fables” and “folk-lore.” The ruder style of Cyclopean masonry, the walls of Tyrius, mentioned by Homer, are placed at the farthest end—the dawn of pre-Roman history; the walls of Epirus and Mycenæ—at the nearest. The latter are commonly believed the work of the Pelasgi and probably of about 1,000 years before the Western era. As to the former, they were hedged in and driven forward by the Noachian deluge till very lately—Archbishop Usher’s learned scheme, computing that earth and man “were created 4,004 B.C.,” having been not only popular but actually forced upon the educated classes until Mr. Darwin’s triumphs. Had it not been for the efforts of a few Alexandrian and other mystics, Platonists, and heathen philosophers, Europe would have never laid her hands even on those few Greek and Roman classics she now possesses. And, as among the few that escaped the dire fate not all by any means were trustworthy—hence, perhaps, the secret of their preservation—Western scholars got early into the habit of rejecting all heathen testimony, whenever truth clashed with the dicta of their churches. Then, again, the modern Archæologists, Orientalists and Historians, are all Europeans; and they are all Christians, whether nominally or otherwise. However it may be, most of them seem to dislike to allow any relic of archaism to antedate the supposed antiquity of the Jewish records. This is a ditch into which most have slipped.
The traces of ancient civilizations exist, and they are many. Yet, it is humbly suggested, that so long as there are reverend gentlemen mixed up unchecked in archaeological and Asiatic societies; and Christian bishops to write the supposed histories and religions of non-Christian nations, and to preside over the meetings of Orientalists—so long will Archaism and its remains be made subservient in every branch to ancient Judaism and modern Christianity.
So far, archæology knows nothing of the sites of other and far older civilizations, except the few it has stumbled upon, and to which it has assigned their respective ages, mostly under the guidance of biblical chronology. Whether the West had any right to impose upon Universal History the untrustworthy chronology of a small and unknown Jewish tribe and reject, at the same time, every datum as every other tradition furnished by the classical writers of non-Jewish and non-Christian nations, is questionable. At any rate, had it accepted as willingly data coming from other sources, it might have assured itself by this time, that not only in Italy and other parts of Europe, but even on sites not very far from those it is accustomed to regard as the hotbed of ancient relies—Babylonia and Assyria—there are other sites where it could profitably excavate. The immense “Salt Valley” of Dasht-Beyad by Khorasson covers the most ancient civilizations of the world; while the Shamo desert has had time to change from sea to land, and from fertile land to a dead desert, since the day when the first civilization of the Fifth Race left its now invisible, and perhaps for ever hidden, “traces” under its beds of sand.
Times have changed, are changing. Proofs of the old civilizations and the archaic wisdom are accumulating. Though soldier-bigots and priestly schemers have burnt books and converted old libraries to base uses; though the dry rot and the insect have destroyed inestimably precious records; though within the historic period the Spanish brigands made bonfires of the works of the refined archaic American races, which, if spared, would have solved many a riddle of history; though Omar lit the fires of the Alexandrian baths for months with the literary treasures of the Serapeum; though the Sybilline and other mystical books of Rome and Greece were destroyed in war; though the South Indian invaders of Ceylon “heaped into piles as high as the tops of the cocoanut trees” the ollas of the Buddhists, and set them ablaze to light their victory—thus obliterating from the world’s knowledge early Buddhist annals and treatises of great importance: though this hateful and senseless Vandalism has disgraced the career of most fighting nations—still, despite everything, there are extant abundant proofs of the history of mankind, and bits and scraps come to light from time to time by what science has often called “most curious coincidences.” Europe has no very trustworthy history of her own vicissitudes and mutations, her successive races and their doings. What with their savage wars, the barbaric habits of the historic Goths, Huns, Franks, and other warrior nations, and the interested literary Vandalism of the shaveling priests who for centuries sat upon its intellectual life like a nightmare, an antiquity could not exist for Europe. And, having no Past to record themselves, the European critics, historians and archæologists have not scrupled to deny one to others—whenever the concession excited a sacrifice of biblical prestige.
No “traces of old civilizations” we are told! And what about the Pelasgi—the direct forefathers of the Hellenes, according to Herodotus? What about the Etruscans—the race mysterious and wonderful, if any, for the historian, and whose origin is the most insoluble of problems? That which is known of them only shows that could something more be known, a whole series of prehistoric civilizations might be discovered. A people described as are the Pelasgi—a highly intellectual, receptive, active people, chiefly occupied with agriculture, warlike when necessary, though preferring peace; a people ‘who built canals as no one else, subterranean water-works, dams, walls, and Cyclopean buildings of the most astounding strength; who are even suspected of having been the inventors of the so-called Cadmean or Phœnician writing characters from which all European alphabets are derived—who were they? Could they be shown by any possible means as the descendants of the biblical Peleg (Gen. x. 25) their high civilization would have been thereby demonstrated, though their antiquity would still have to be dwarfed to 2247 “B.C.” And who were the Etruscans? Shall the Easterns like the Westerns be made to believe that between the high civilizations of the pre-Roman (and we say—prehistoric) Tursenoï of the Greeks, with their twelve great cities known to history; their Cyclopean buildings, their plastic and pictorial arts, and the time when they were a nomadic tribe “first descended into Italy from their northern latitudes”—only a few centuries elapsed? Shall it be still urged that the Phœnicians with their Tyre 2750 “B.C.” (a chronology, accepted by Western history), their commerce, fleet, learning, arts, and civilization, were only a few centuries before the building of Tyre but “a small tribe of Semitic fishermen”? Or, that the Trojan war could not have been earlier than 1184 B.C., and thus Magna Græcia must be fixed somewhere between the eighth and the ninth Century “B.C.,” and by no means thousands of years before, as was claimed by Plato and Aristotle, Homer and the Cyclic Poems, derived from, and based upon, other records millenniums older? If the Christian historian, hampered by his chronology, and the freethinker by lack of necessary data, feel bound to stigmatize every non-Christian or non-Western chronology as “obviously fanciful,” “purely mythical,” and “not worthy of a moment’s consideration,” how shall one, wholly dependent upon Western guides get at the truth? And if these incompetent builders of Universal History can persuade their public to accept as authoritative their chronological and ethnological reveries, why should the Eastern student, who has access to quite different—and we make bold to say, more trustworthy—materials, be expected to join in the blind belief of those who defend Western historical infallibility? He believes—on the strength of the documentary evidence, left by Yavanachârya (Pythagoras) 607 “B.C.” in India, and that of his own national “temple records,” that instead of giving hundreds we may safely give thousands of years to the foundation of Cumæa and Magna Græcia, of which it was the pioneer settlement. That the civilization of the latter had already become effete when Pythagoras, the great pupil of Aryan Masters went to Crotone. And, having no biblical bias to overcome, he feels persuaded that, if it took the Celtic and Gaelic tribes Britannicæ Insulæ, with the ready-made civilizations of Rome before their eyes, and acquaintance with that of the Phœnicians whose trade with them began a thousand years before the Christian era; and to crown all with the definite help later of the Normans and Saxons—two thousand years before they could build their mediæval cities, not even remotely comparable with those of the Romans; and it took them two thousand five hundred years to get half as civilized; then, that instead of that hypothetical period, benevolently styled the childhood of the race, being within easy reach of the Apostles and the early Fathers, it must be relegated to an enormously earlier time. Surely if it took the barbarians of Western Europe so many centuries to develop a language and create empires, then the nomadic tribes of the “mythical” periods ought in common fairness—since they never came under the fructifying energy of that Christian influence to which we are asked to ascribe all the scientific enlightenment of this age—about ten thousand years to build their Tyres and their Veii, their Sidons and Carthagenes. As other Troys lie under the surface of the topmost one in the Troad; and other and higher civilizations were exhumed by Mariette Bey under the stratum of sand from which the archæological collections of Lepsius, Abbott, and the British Museum were taken; and six Hindu “Deihis,” superposed and hidden away out of sight, formed the pedestal upon which the Mogul conqueror built the gorgeous capital whose ruins still attest the splendour of his Delhi; so when the fury of critical bigotry has quite subsided, and Western men are prepared to write history in the interest of truth alone, will the proofs be found of the cyclic law of civilization. Modern Florence lifts her beautiful form above the tomb of Etrusean Florentia, which in her turn rose upon the hidden vestiges of anterior towns. And so also Arezzo, Perugia, Lucca, and many other European sites now occupied by modern towns and cities, are based upon the relics of archaic civilizations whose period covers ages incomputable, and whose names Echo has forgotten to even whisper through “the corridors of Time.”
When the Western historian has finally and unanswerably proven who were the Pelasgi, at least, and who the Etruscans, and the as mysterious Iapygians, who seem also to have had an earlier acquaintance with writing—as proved by their inscriptions—than the Phœnicians, then only may he menace the Asiatic into acceptance of his own arbitrary data and dogmas. Then also may he tauntingly ask “how it is that no appreciable trace is left of such high civilizations as are described in the Past?”
“Is it supposed that the present European civilization with its offshoots . . . . can be destroyed by any inundation or conflagration?” More easily than was many another civilization. Europe has neither the titanic and Cyclopean masonry of the ancients, nor even its parchments, to preserve the records of its “existing arts and languages.” Its civilization is too recent, too rapidly growing, to leave any positively indestructible relics of either its architecture, arts or sciences. What is there in the whole Europe that could be regarded as even approximately indestructible, without mentioning the debacle of the geological upheaval that follows generally such cataclysms? Is it its ephemeral Crystal Palaces, its theatres, railways, modern fragile furniture: or its electric telegraphs, phonographs, telephones, and micrographs? While each of the former is at the mercy of fire and cyclone, the last enumerated marvels of modern science can be destroyed by a child breaking them to atoms. When we know of the destruction of the “Seven World’s Wonders,” of Thebes, Tyre, the Labyrinth, and the Egyptian pyramids and temples and giant palaces, as we now see slowly crumbling into the dust of the deserts, being reduced to atoms by the hand of Time—lighter and far more merciful than any cataclysm—the question seems to us rather the outcome of modern pride than of stern reasoning. Is it your daily newspapers and periodicals, rags of a few days; your fragile books bearing the records of all your grand civilization, withal liable to become annihilated after a few meals are made on them by the white ants, that are regarded as invulnerable? And why should European civilization escape the common lot? It is from the lower classes, the units of the great masses who form the majorities in nations, that survivors will escape in greater numbers; and these know nothing of the arts, sciences, or languages except their own, and those very imperfectly. The arts and sciences are like the phœnix of old: they die but to revive. And when the question found on page 58 of “Esoteric Buddhism” concerning “the curious rush of human progress within the last two thousand years,” was first propounded, Mr. Sinnett’s correspondent might have made his answer more complete by saying: “This rush, this progress, and the abnormal rapidity with which one discovery follows the other, ought to be a sign to human intuition that what you look upon in the light of ‘discoveries’ are merely rediscoveries, which, following the law of gradual progress, you make more perfect, yet in enunciating, you are not the first to explain them.” We learn more easily that which we have heard about, or learnt in childhood. If, as averred, the Western nations have separated themselves from the great Aryan stock, it becomes evident that the races that first peopled Europe were inferior to the root-race which had the Vedas and the pre-historic Rishis. That which your far-distant forefathers had heard in the secrecy of the temples was not lost. It reached their posterity, which is now simply improving upon details.
QUESTION IV.—IS THE MOON IMMERSED IN MATTER?
No “Adept,” so far as the writers know, has ever given to “Lay Chela” his “views of the moon,” for publication. With Selenography, modern science is far better acquainted than any humble Asiatic ascetic may ever hope to become. It is to be feared the speculations on pp. 104 and 105 of “Esoteric Buddhism,” besides being hazy, are somewhat premature. Therefore, it may be as well to pass on to—
QUESTION V.—ABOUT THE MINERAL MONAD.
Any English expression that correctly translates the idea given is “authorized by the Adepts.” Why not? The term “monad” applies to the latent life in the mineral as much as it does to the life in the vegetable and the animal. The monogenist may take exception to the term and especially to the idea while the polygenist, unless he be a corporealist, may not. As to the other class of scientists, they would take objection to the idea even of a human monad, and call it “unscientific.” What relation does the monad bear to the atom? None whatever to the atom or molecule as in the scientific conception at present. It can neither be compared with the microscopic organism classed once among polygastric infusoria, and now regarded as vegetable and ranked among algæ; nor is it quite the monas of the Peripatetics. Physically or constitutionally the mineral monad differs, of course, from that of the human monad, which is neither physical, nor can its constitution be rendered by chemical symbols and elements. In short, the mineral monad is one—the higher animal and human monads are countless. Otherwise, how could one account for and explain mathematically the evolutionary and spiral progress of the four kingdoms? The “monad” is the combination of the last two Principles in man, the 6th and the 7th, and, properly speaking, the term “human monad” applies only to the Spiritual Soul, not to its highest spiritual vivifying Principle. But since divorced from the latter the Spiritual Soul could have no existence, no being, it has thus been called. The composition (if such a word, which would shock an Asiatic, seems necessary to help European conception) of Buddhi or the 6th principle is made up of the essence of what you would call matter (or perchance a centre of Spiritual Force) in its 6th and 7th condition or state; the animating ATMAN being part of the ONE LIFE or Parabrahm. Now the Monadic Essence (if such a term be permitted) in the mineral, vegetable and animal, though the same throughout the series of cycles from the lowest elemental up to the Deva kingdom, yet differs in the scale of progression.
It would be very misleading to imagine a monad as a separate entity trailing its slow way in a distinct path through the lower kingdoms, and after an incalculable series of transmigrations flowering into a human being; in short, that the monad of a Humboldt dates back to the monad of an atom of hornblende. Instead of saying a mineral monad, the correcter phraseology in physical science which differentiates every atom, would of course have been to call it the Monad manifesting in that form of Prakriti called the mineral kingdom. Each atom or molecule of ordinary scientific hypotheses is not a particle of something, animated by a psychic something, destined to blossom as a man after æons. But it is a concrete manifestation of the Universal Energy which itself has not yet become individualized: a sequential manifestation of the one Universal Monas. The ocean does not divide into its potential and constituent drops until the sweep of the life-impulse reaches the evolutionary stage of man-birth. The tendency towards segregation into individual monads is gradual, and in the higher animals comes almost to the point. The Peripatetics applied the word Monas to the whole Cosmos, in the pantheistic sense; and the Occultists while accepting this thought for convenience’ sake, distinguish the progressive stages of the evolution of the Concrete from the Abstract by terms of which the “Mineral Monad” is one. The term merely means that the tidal wave of spiritual evolution is passing through that arc of its circuit. The “Monadic Essence” begins to imperceptibly differentiate in the vegetable kingdom. As the monads are uncompounded things, as correctly defined by Leibnitz, it is the spiritual essence which vivifies them in their degrees of differentiation which constitutes properly the monad—not the atomic aggregation which is only the vehicle and the substance through which thrill the lower and higher degrees of intelligence. And though, as shown by those plants that are known as sensitives, there are a few among them that may be regarded as possessing that conscious perception which is called by Leibnitz apperception, while the rest are endowed but with that internal activity which may be called vegetable nerve-sensation (to call it perception would be wrong), yet even the vegetable monad is still the Monad in its second degree of awakening sensation. Leibnitz came several times very near the truth, but defined the monadic evolution incorrectly and often greatly blundered. There are seven kingdoms. The first group comprises three degrees of elementals, or nascent centres of forces—from the first stage of the differentiation of Mulaprakriti to its third degree—i.e., from full unconsciousness to semi-perception; the second or higher group embraces the kingdoms from vegetable to man; the mineral kingdom thus forming the central or turning-point in the degrees of the “Monadic Essence”—considered as an Evoluting Energy. Three stages in the elemental side; the mineral kingdom; three stages in the objective physical side—these are the seven links of the evolutionary chain. A descent of spirit into matter, equivalent to an ascent in physical evolution; a re-ascent from the deepest depths of materiality (the mineral) towards its status quo ante, with a corresponding dissipation of concrete organisms up to Nirvana—the vanishing point of differentiated matter. Perhaps a simple diagram will aid us:
The line A D represents the gradual obscuration of spirit as it passes into concrete matter; the point D indicates the evolutionary position of the mineral kingdom from its incipient (d) to its ultimate concretion (a); c, b, a, on the left-hand side of the figure, are the three stages of elemental evolution; i.e., the three successive stages passed by the spiritual impulse (through the elementals—of which little is permitted to be said) before they are imprisoned in the most concrete form of matter; and a, b, c, on the right-hand side, are the three stages of organic life, vegetable, animal, human. What is total obscuration of spirit is complete perfection of its polar antithesis—matter; and this idea is conveyed in the lines A D and D A. The arrows show the line of travel of the evolutionary impulse in entering its vortex and expanding again into the subjectivity of the ABSOLUTE. The central thickest line, d d, is the Mineral Kingdom.
The monogenists have had their day. Even believers in a personal god, like Professor Agassiz, teach now that, “There is a manifest progress in the succession of beings on the surface of the earth. The progress consists in an increasing similarity of the living fauna, and among the vertebrates especially, in the increasing resemblance to man. Man is the end towards which all the animal creation has tended from the first appearance of the first Palæozoic. fishes” (“Principles of Zoology,” pp. 205-6). The mineral “monad” is not an individuality latent, but an all-pervading Force which has for its Present vehicle matter in its lowest and most concrete terrestrial state; in man the monad is fully developed, potential, and either passive or absolutely active, according to its vehicle, the five lower and more physical human principles. In the Deva kingdom it is fully liberated and in its highest state—but one degree lower than the ONE Universal Life.6
QUESTION VIII.—SRI SANKARACHARYA’S DATE.
[this reply is by T. Subba Row. See “Sri Sankaracharya’s Date and Doctrine“]
QUESTION VI.—“HISTORICAL DIFFICULTY”—WHY?
It is asked whether there may not be “some confusion” in the letter quoted on p. 62 of “Esoteric Buddhism” regarding “old Greeks and Romans said to have been Atlanteans.” The answer is—None whatever. The word “Atlantean” was a generic name. The objection to have it applied to the old Greeks and Romans on the ground that they were Aryans, “their language being intermediate between Sanskrit and modern European dialects,” is worthless. With equal reason might a future 6th Race scholar, who had never heard of the (possible) submergence of a portion of European Turkey, object to Turks from the Bosphorus being referred to as a remnant of the Europeans. “The Turks are surely Semites,” he might say 12,000 years hence, and “their language is intermediate between Arabic and our modern 6th Race dialects.”7
The “historical difficulty” arises from a certain authoritative statement made by Orientalists on philological grounds. Professor Max Müller has brilliantly demonstrated that Sanskrit was the “elder sister”—by no means the mother—of all the modern languages. As to that “mother,” it is conjectured by himself and colleagues to be a “now extinct tongue, spoken probably by the nascent Aryan race.” When asked what was this language, the Western voice answers: “Who can tell?” When, “during what geological periods did this nascent race flourish?” the same impressive voice replies: “In prehistoric ages, the duration of which no one can now determine.” Yet it must have been Sanskrit, however barbarous and unpolished, since “the ancestors of the Greeks, the Italians, Slavonians, Germans and Kelts” were living within “the same precincts” with that nascent race, and the testimony borne by language has enabled the philologist to trace the “language of the gods” in the speech of every Aryan nation. Meanwhile it is affirmed by these same Orientalists that classical Sanskrit has its origin at the very threshold of the Christian era; while Vedic Sanskrit is allowed an antiquity of hardly 3,000 years (if so much) before that time.
Now, Atlantis, on the statement of the “Adepts,” sank over 9,000 years before the Christian era.8 How then can one maintain that the “old Greeks and Romans” were Atlanteans? How can that be, since both nations are Aryans, and the genesis of their languages is Sanskrit? Moreover, the Western scholars know that the Greek and Latin languages were formed within historical periods, the Greeks and Latins themselves having no existence as nations 11,000 B.C. Surely they who advance such a proposition do not realize how very unscientific is their statement!
Such are the criticisms passed, such the “historical difficulty.” The culprits arraigned are fully alive to their perilous situation; nevertheless, they maintain the statement. The only thing which may perhaps here be objected to is, that the names of the two nations are incorrectly used. It may be argued that to refer to the remote ancestors and their descendants equally as “Greeks and Romans,” is an anachronism as marked as would be the calling of the ancient Keltic Gauls, or the Insubres, Frenchmen. As a matter of fact this is true. But, besides the very plausible excuse that the names used were embodied in a private letter, written as usual in great haste, and which was hardly worthy of the honour of being quoted verbatim with all its imperfections, there may perhaps exist still weightier objections to calling the said people by any other name. One misnomer is as good as another; and to refer to old Greeks and Romans in a private letter as the old Hellenes from Hellas or Magna Græcia, and the Latius as from Latium, would have been, besides looking pedantic, just as incorrect as the use of the appellation noted, though it may have sounded, perchance, more “historical.” The truth is that, like the ancestors of nearly all the Indo-Europeans (or shall we say Indo-Germanic Japhetidæ?), the Greek and Roman sub-races mentioned have to be traced much farther back. Their origin must be carried far into the mists of that “prehistoric” period, that mythical age which inspires the modern historian with such a feeling of squeamishness that anything creeping out of its abysmal depths is sure to be instantly dismissed as a deceptive phantom, the mythos of an idle tale, or a later fable unworthy of serious notice. The Atlantean “old Greeks” could not be designated even as the Autochthones—a convenient term used to dispose of the origin of any people whose ancestry cannot be traced, and which, at any rate with the Hellenes, meant certainly more than simply “soil-born,” or primitive aborigines; and yet the so-called fable of Deukalion and Pyrrha is surely no more incredible or marvellous than that of Adam and Eve—a fable that hardly a hundred years ago no one would have dared or even thought to question. And in its esoteric significance the Greek tradition is possibly more truly historical than many a so-called historical event during the period of the Olympiades, though both Hesiod and Homer may have failed to record the former in their epics. Nor could the Romans be referred to as the Umbro-Sabbellians, nor even as the Itali. Peradventure, had the historians learnt something more than they have of the Italian “Autochthones”—the Iapygians—one might have given the “old Romans” the latter name. But then there would be again that other difficulty: history knows that the Latin invaders drove before them, and finally cooped up, this mysterious and miserable race among the clefts of the Calabrian rocks, thus showing the absence of any race affinity between the two. Moreover, Western archeologists keep to their own counsel, and will accept of no other but their own conjectures. And since they have failed to make anything out of the undecipherable inscriptions in an unknown tongue and mysterious characters on the Iapygian monuments, and so for years have pronounced them unguessable, he who would presume to meddle where the doctors muddle would be likely to be reminded of the Arab proverb about proffered advice. Thus, it seems hardly possible to designate “the old Greeks and Romans” by their legitimate, true name, so as to at once satisfy the “historians” and keep on the fair side of truth and fact. However, since in the Replies that precede Science had to be repeatedly shocked by most unscientific propositions, and that before this series is closed many a difficulty, philological and archeological as well as historical, will have to be unavoidably created—it may be just as wise to uncover the occult batteries at once and have it over with.
Well, then, the “Adepts” deny most emphatically to Western science any knowledge whatever of the growth and development of the Indo-Aryan race which, “at the very dawn of history,” they have espied in its “patriarchal simplicity” on the banks of the Oxus. Before our proposition concerning “the old Greeks and Romans” can be repudiated or even controverted, Western Orientalists will have to know more than they do about the antiquity of that race and the Aryan language; and they will have to account for those numberless gaps in history which no hypotheses of theirs seem able to fill up. Notwithstanding their present profound ignorance with regard to the early ancestry of the Indo-European nations, and though no historian has yet ventured to assign even a remotely approximate date to the separation of the Aryan nations and the origins of the Sanskrit language, they hardly show the modesty that might, under these circumstances, be expected from them. Placing as they do that great separation of the races at the first “dawn of traditional history,” with the Vedic age as “the background of the whole Indian world” [of which confessedly they know nothing], they will, nevertheless, calmly assign a modern date to any of the Rik-vedic oldest songs, on its “internal evidence;” and in doing this, they show as little hesitation as Mr. Fergusson when ascribing a post-Christian age to the most ancient rock-cut temple in India, merely on its “external form.” As for their unseemly quarrels, mutual recriminations, and personalities over questions of scholarship, the less said the better.
“The evidence of language is irrefragable,” as the great Oxford Sanskritist says. To which he is answered—“provided it does not clash with historical facts and ethnology.” It may be—no doubt it is, as far as his knowledge goes—“the only evidence worth listening to with regard to ante-historical periods;” but when something of these alleged “prehistorical periods” comes to be known, and when what we think we know of certain supposed prehistoric nations is found diametrically opposed to his “evidence of language,” the “Adepts” may be, perhaps, permitted to keep to their own views and opinions, even though they differ with those of the greatest living philologist. The study of language is but a part—though, we admit, a fundamental part—of true philology. To be complete, the latter has, as correctly argued by Böckt, to be almost synonymous with history. We gladly concede the right to the Western philologist, who has to work in the total absence of any historical data, to rely upon comparative grammar, and take the identification of roots lying at the foundation of words of those languages he is familiar with, or may know of, and put it forward as the result of his study, and the only available evidence. But we would like to see the same right conceded by him to the student of other races; even though these be inferior to the European races, in the opinion of the paramount West: for it is barely possible that, proceeding on other lines, and having reduced his knowledge to a system which precludes hypothesis and simple affirmation, the Eastern student has preserved a perfectly authentic record (for him) of those periods which his opponent regards as ante-historical. The bare fact that, while Western men of science are referred to as “scholars” and scholiasts—native Sanskritists and archæologists are often spoken of as “Calcutta” and “Indian sciolists”—affords no proof of their real inferiority, but rather of the wisdom of the Chinese proverb that “self-conceit is rarely companion to politeness.”
The “Adept” therefore has little, if anything, to do with difficulties presented by Western history. To his knowledge—based on documentary records from which, as said, hypothesis is excluded, and as regards which even psychology is called to play a very secondary part—the history of his and other nations extends immeasurably beyond that hardly discernible point that stands on the far-away horizon of the Western world as a landmark of the commencement of its history. Records made throughout a series of ages, based on astronomical chronology and zodiacal calculations, cannot err. [This new “difficulty”—palæographical, this time—that may be possibly suggested by the mention of the Zodiac in India and Central Asia before the Christian era, is disposed of in a subsequent article.]
Hence, the main question at issue is to decide which—the Orientalist or the “Oriental”—is most likely to err. The “English F. T. S.” has choice of two sources of information, two groups of teachers. One group is composed of Western historians with their suite of learned Ethnologists, Philologists, Anthropologists, Archæologists and Orientalists in general. The other consists of unknown Asiatics belonging to a race which, notwithstanding Mr. Max Müller’s assertion that the same “blood is running in the veins (of the English soldier) and in the veins of the dark Bengalese,” is generally regarded by many a cultured Western as “inferior.” A handful of men can hardly hope to be listened to, specially when their history, religion, language, origin and sciences, having been seized upon by the conqueror, are now disfigured and mutilated beyond recognition, and who have lived to see the Western scholar claim a monopoly beyond appeal or protest of deciding the correct meaning, chronological date, and historical value of the monumental and palæographic relics of his motherland. It has little, if ever, entered the mind of the Western public that their scholars have, until very lately, worked in a narrow pathway obstructed with the ruins of an ecclesiastical, dogmatic Past; that they have been cramped on all sides by limitations of “revealed” events coming from God, “with whom a thousand years are but as one day,” and who have thus felt bound to cram millenniums into centuries and hundreds into units, giving at the utmost an age of 1,000 to what is 10,000 years old. All this to save the threatened authority of their religion and their own respectability and good name in cultured society. And even that, when free themselves from preconceptions, they have had to protect the honour of the Jewish divine chronology assailed by stubborn facts; and thus have become (often unconsciously) the slaves of an artificial history made to fit into the narrow frame of a dogmatic religion. No proper thought has been given to this purely psychological but very significant trifle. Yet we all know how, rather than admit any relation between Sanskrit and the Gothic, Keltic, Greek, Latin and old Persian, facts have been tampered with, old texts purloined from libraries, and philological discoveries vehemently denied. And we have also heard from our retreats, how Dugald Stewart and his colleagues, upon seeing that the discovery would also involve ethnological affinities, and damage the prestige of those sires of the world races—Shem, Ham and Japhet—denied in the face of fact that “Sanskrit had ever been a living, spoken language,” supporting the theory that “it was an invention of the Brahmins, who had constructed their Sanskrit on the model of the Greek and Latin.” And again we know, holding the proof of the same, how the majority of Orientalists are prone to go out of their way to prevent any Indian antiquity (whether MSS. or inscribed monument, whether art or science) from being declared pre-Christian. As the origin and history of the Gentile world is made to move in the narrow circuit of a few centuries “B.C.,” within that fecund epoch when mother earth, recuperated from her arduous labours of the Stone age, begat, it seems without transition, so many highly civilized nations and false pretences, so the enchanted circle of Indian archeology lies between the (to them unknown) year of the Samvat era, and the tenth century of the Western chronology.
Having to dispose of an “historical difficulty” of such a serious character, the defendants charged with it can but repeat what they have already stated; all depends upon the past history and antiquity allowed to the indo-Aryan nation. The first step to take is to ascertain how much History herself’ knows of that almost prehistoric period when the soil of Europe had not been trodden yet by the primitive Aryan tribes. From the latest Encyclopædia down to Professor Max Müller and other Orientalists, we gather what follows; they acknowledge that at some immensely remote period, before the Aryan nations got divided from the parent stock (with the germs of Indo-Germanic languages in them); and before they rushed asunder to scatter over Europe and Asia in search of new homes, there stood a “single barbaric (?) people as physical and political representative of the nascent Aryan race.” This people spoke “a now extinct Aryan language,” from which by a series of modifications (surely requiring more thousands of years than our difficulty-makers are willing to concede) there arose gradually all the subsequent languages now spoken by the Caucasian races.
That is about all Western history knows of its genesis. Like Ravana’s brother, Kumbhakarna,—the Hindu Rip van Winkle—it slept for a long series of ages a dreamless, heavy sleep. And when at last it awoke to consciousness, it was but to find the “nascent Aryan race” grown into scores of nations, peoples and races, most of them effete and crippled with age, many irretrievably extinct, while the true origin of the younger ones it was utterly unable to account for. So much for the “youngest brother.” As for “the eldest brother, the Hindu,” who, Professor Max Müller tells us, “was the last to leave the central home of the Aryan family,” and whose history this eminent philologist has now kindly undertaken to impart to him,—he, the Hindu, claims that while his Indo-European relative was soundly sleeping under the protecting shadow of Noah’s ark, he kept watch and did not miss seeing one event from his high Himalayan fastnesses; and that he has recorded the history thereof, in a language which, though as incomprehensible as the Iapygian inscriptions to the Indo-European immigrant, is quite clear to the writers. For this crime he now stands condemned as a falsifier of the records of his forefathers. A place has been hitherto purposely left open for India “to be filled up when the pure metal of history should have been extracted from the ore of Brahmanic exaggeration and superstition.” Unable, however, to meet this programme, the Orientalist has since persuaded himself that there was nothing in that “ore” but dross. He did more. He applied himself to contrast Brahmanic “superstition” and “exaggeration” with Mosaic revelation and its chronology. The Veda was confronted with Genesis. Its absurd claims to antiquity were forthwith dwarfed to their proper dimensions by the 4,004 years B.C. measure of the world’s age; and the Brahmanic “superstition and fables” about the longevity of the Aryan Rishis, were belittled and exposed by the sober historical evidence furnished in “The genealogy and age of the Patriarchs from Adam to Noah,” whose respective days were 930 and 950 years; without mentioning Methuselah, who died at the premature age of nine hundred and sixty-nine.
In view of such experience, the Hindu has a certain right to decline the offers made to correct his annals by Western history and chronology. On the contrary, he would respectfully advise the Western scholar, before he denies point-blank any statement made by the Asiatics with reference to what is prehistoric ages to Europeans, to show that the latter have themselves anything like trustworthy data as regards their own racial history. And that settled, he may have the leisure and capacity to help his ethnic neighbours to prune their genealogical trees. Our Rajputs, among others, have perfectly trustworthy family records of an unbroken lineal descent through 2,000 years “B.C.” and more, as proved by Colonel Tod; records which are accepted by the British Government in its official dealings with them. It is not enough to have studied stray fragments of Sanskrit literature—even though their number should amount to 10,000 texts, as boasted of—allowed to fall into foreign hands, to speak so confidently of the “Aryan first settlers in India,” and assert that, “left to themselves, in a world of their own, without a past and without a future (!) before them, they had nothing but themselves to ponder upon,” and therefore could know absolutely nothing of other nations. To comprehend correctly and make out the inner meaning of most of them, one has to read these texts with the help of the esoteric light, and after having mastered the language of the Brahmanic Secret Code—branded generally as “theological twaddle.” Nor is it sufficient—if one would judge correctly of what the archaic Aryans did or did not know; whether or not they cultivated the social and political virtues; cared or not for history—to claim proficiency in both Vedic and classical Sanskrit, as well as in Prakrit and Arya Bháshá. To comprehend the esoteric meaning of ancient Brahmanical literature, one has, as just remarked, to be in possession of the key to the Brahmanical Code. To master the conventional terms used in the Puranas, the Aranyakas and Upanishads is a science in itself, and one far more difficult than even the study of the 3,996 aphoristical rules of Pânini, or his algebraical symbols. Very true, most of the Brahmans themselves have now forgotten the correct interpretations of their sacred texts. Yet they know enough of the dual meaning in their scriptures to be justified in feeling amused at the strenuous efforts of the European Orientalist to protect the supremacy of his own national records and the dignity of his science by interpreting the Hindu hieratic text after a peremptory fashion quite unique. Disrespectful though it may seem, we call on the philologist to prove in some more convincing manner than usual, that he is better qualified than even the average Hindu Sanskrit pundit to judge of the antiquity of the “language of the gods;” that he has been really in a position to trace unerringly along the lines of countless generations the course of the “now extinct Aryan tongue” in its many and various transformations in the West, and its primitive evolution into first the Vedic, and then the classical Sanskrit in the East, and that from the moment when the mother-stream began deviating into its new ethnographical beds, lie has followed it up. Finally that, while lie, the Orientalist, can, owing to speculative interpretations of what he thinks he has learnt from fragments of Sanskrit literature, judge of the nature of all that he knows nothing about—i.e., to speculate upon the past history of a great nation he has lost sight of from its “nascent state,” and caught up again but at the period of its last degeneration—the native student never knew, nor can ever know, anything of that history. Until the Orientalist has proved all this, he can be accorded but small justification for assuming that air of authority and supreme contempt which is found in almost every work upon India and its Past. Having no knowledge himself whatever of those incalculable ages that lie between the Aryan Brahman in Central Asia, and the Brahman at the threshold of Buddhism, he has no right to maintain that the initiated Indo-Aryan can never know as much of them as the foreigner. Those periods being an utter blank to him, he is little qualified to declare that the Aryan, having had no political history “of his own . . . “his only sphere was “religion and philosophy . . . . in solitude and contemplation.” A happy thought suggested, no doubt, by the active life, incessant wars, triumphs, and defeats portrayed in the oldest songs of the Rik-Veda. Nor can he with the smallest show of logic affirm that “India had no place in the political history of the world,” or that “there are no synchronisms between the history of the Brahmans and that of other nations before the date of the origin of Buddhism in India;” for he knows no more of the prehistoric history of those “other nations” than of that of the Brahman. All his inferences, conjectures and systematic arrangements of hypotheses begin very little earlier than 200 “B.C.,” if even so much, on anything like really historical grounds. He has to prove all this before he can command our attention. Otherwise, however “irrefragable the evidence of language,” the presence of Sanskrit roots in all the European languages will be insufficient to prove, either that (a) before the Aryan invaders descended toward the seven rivers they had never left their northern regions; or (b) why the “eldest brother, the Hindu,” should have been “the last to leave the central home of the Aryan family.” To the philologist such a supposition may seem “quite natural.” Yet the Brahman is no less justified in his ever-growing suspicion that there may be at the bottom some occult reason for such a programme. That in the interest of his theory the Orientalist was forced to make “the eldest brother” tarry so suspiciously long on the Oxus, or wherever “the youngest” may have placed him in his “nascent state” after the latter “saw his brothers all depart towards the setting sun.” We find reasons to believe that the chief motive for alleging such a procrastination is the necessity to bring the race closer to the Christian era. To show the “brother” inactive and unconcerned. “with nothing but himself to ponder on,” lest his antiquity and “fables of empty idolatry,” and perhaps his traditions of other people’s doings, should interfere with the chronology by which it is determined to try him. The suspicion is strengthened when one finds in the book from which we have been so largely quoting—a work of a purely scientific and philological character—such frequent remarks and even prophecies as: “History seems to teach that the whole human race required a gradual education before, in the fulness of time, it could be admitted to the truths of Christianity.” Or, again “The ancient religions of the world were but the milk of Nature, which was in due time to be succeeded by the bread of life;” and such broad sentiments expressed as that “there is some truth in Buddhism, as there is in every one of the false religions of the world, but . . . .9
The atmosphere of Cambridge and Oxford seems decidedly unpropitious to the recognition of either Indian antiquity, or the merit of the philosophies sprung from its soil!10
LEAFLETS FROM ESOTERIC HISTORY.
The foregoing—a long, yet necessary digression—will show that the Asiatic scholar is justified in generally withholding what he may know. That it is not merely on historical facts that hangs the “historical difficulty” at issue; but rather on its degree of interference with time-honoured, long-established conjectures, often raised to the eminence of an unapproachable historical axiom. That no statement coming from our quarters can ever hope to be given consideration so long as it has to be supported on the ruins of reigning hobbies, whether of an alleged historical or religious character. Yet pleasant it is, after the brainless assaults to which occult sciences have hitherto been subjected—assaults in which abuse has been substituted for argument, and flat denial for calm inquiry—to find that there remain in the West some men who will come into the field like philosophers, and soberly and fairly discuss the claims of our hoary doctrines to the respect due to a truth and the dignity demanded for a science. Those alone whose sole desire is to ascertain the truth, not to maintain foregone conclusions, have a right to expect undisguised facts. Reverting to our subject, so far as allowable, we will now, for the sake of that minority, give them.
The records of the Occultists make no difference between the “Atlantean” ancestors of the old Greeks and Romans. Partially corroborated and in turn contradicted by licensed or recognized history, their records teach that of the ancient Latini of classic legend called Itali; of that people, in short, which, crossing the Apennines (as their Judo-Aryan brothers—let this be known—had crossed before them the Hindoo-Koosh) entered from the north the peninsula—there survived at a period long before the days of Romulus but the name, and a nascent language. Profane history informs us that the Latins of the “mythical era” got so Hellenized amidst the rich colonies of Magna Grecia that there remained nothing in them of their primitive Latin nationality. It is the Latins proper, it says, those pre-Roman Italians who by settling in Latium had from the first kept themselves free from the Greek influence, who were the ancestors of the Romans. Contradicting exoteric history, the Occult records affirm that if, owing to circumstances too long and complicated to be related here, the settlers of Latium preserved their primitive nationality a little longer than their brothers who had first entered the peninsula with them after leaving the East (which was not their original home), they lost it very soon, for other reasons. Free from the Samnites during the first period, they did not remain free from other invaders. While the Western historian puts together the mutilated, incomplete records of various nations and people, and makes them into a clever mosaic according to the best and most probable plan and rejects entirely traditional fables, the Occultist pays not the slightest attention to the vain self-glorification of alleged conquerors or their lithic inscriptions. Nor does he follow the stray bits of so-called historical information, often concocted by interested parties and found scattered hither and thither in the fragments of classical writers, whose original texts themselves have not seldom been tampered with. The Occultist follows the ethnological affinities and their divergences in the various nationalities, races and sub-races, in a more easy way; and he is guided in this as surely as the student who examines a geographical map. As the latter can easily trace by their differently coloured outlines the boundaries of the many countries and their possessions; their geographical superficies and their separations by seas, rivers and mountains; so the Occultist can by following the (to him) well distinguishable and defined auric shades and gradations of colour in the inner-man unerringly pronounce to which of the several distinct human families, as also to what special group, and even small sub-group of the latter, belongs any particular people, tribe, or man. This will appear hazy and incomprehensible to the many who know nothing of ethnic varieties of nerve-aura, and disbelieve in any “inner-man” theory, scientific but to the few. The whole question hangs upon the reality or unreality of the existence of this inner-man whom clairvoyance has discovered, and whose odyle or nerve-emanations Von Reichenbach proves. If one admits such a presence and realizes intuitionally that being closer related to the one invisible Reality, the inner type must be still more pronounced than the outer physical type, then it will be a matter of little, if any, difficulty to conceive our meaning. For, indeed, if even the respective physical idiosyncrasies and special characteristics of any given person make his nationality usually distinguishable by the physical eye of the ordinary observer—let alone the experienced ethnologist: the Englishman being commonly recognizable at a glance from the Frenchman, the German from the Italian, not to speak of the typical differences between human root-families11 in their anthropological division—there seems little difficulty in conceiving that the same, though far more pronounced, difference of type and characteristics should exist between the inner races that inhabit these “fleshly tabernacles.” Besides this easily discernible psychological and astral differences, there are the documentary records in their unbroken series of chronological tables and the history of the gradual branching off of races and sub-races from the three geological primeval Races, the work of the Initiates of all the archaic and ancient temples up to date, collected in our “Book of Numbers,” and other volumes.
Hence, and on this double testimony (which the Westerns are quite welcome to reject if so pleased) it is affirmed that, owing to the great amalgamation of various sub-races, such as the Iapygian, Etruscan, Pelasgic, and later—the strong admixture of the Hellenic and Kelto-Gaulic element in the veins of the primitive Itali of Latium—there remained in the tribes gathered by Romulus on the banks of the Tiber about as much Latinism as there is now in the Romanic people of Wallachia. Of course if the historical foundation of the fable of the twins of the Vestal Silvia is entirely rejected, together with that of the foundation of Alba Longa by the son of Æneas, then it stands to reason that the whole of the statements made must be likewise a modern invention built upon the utterly worthless fables of the “legendary mythical age.” For those who now give these statements, however, there is more of actual truth in such fables than there is in the alleged historical Regal period of the earliest Romans. It is to be deplored that the present statement should clash with the authoritative conclusion of Mommsen and others. Yet, stating but that which to the “Adepts” is fact, it must be understood at once that all (but the fanciful chronological date for the foundation of Rome—April, 753 “B.C.”) that is given in old traditions in relation to the Pœmerium, and the triple alliance of the Ramnians, Luceres and Tities, of the so-called Romuleian legend, is indeed far nearer truth than what external history accepts as facts during the Punic and Macedonian wars up to, through, and down the Roman Empire to its fall. The founders of Rome were decidedly a mongrel people, made up of various scraps and remnants of the many primitive tribes; only a few really Latin families, the descendants of the distinct sub-race that came along with the Umbro-Sabellians from the East remaining. And, while the latter preserved their distinct colour down to the Middle Ages through the Sabine element, left unmixed in its mountainous regions, the blood of the true Roman was Hellenic blood from its beginning. The famous Latin league is no fable, but history. The succession of kings descended from the Trojan Æneas is a fact; and the idea that Romulus is to be regarded as simply the symbolical representative of a people, as Æolus, Dorms, and Ion were once, instead of a living man, is as unwarranted as it is arbitrary. It could only have been entertained by a class of historiographers bent upon condoning their sin in supporting the dogma that Shem, Ham and Japhet were the historical once living ancestors of mankind, by making a burnt-offering of every really historical but non-Jewish tradition, legend, or record which might presume to a place on the same level with these three privileged archaic mariners, instead of humbly grovelling at their feet as “absurd myths” and old wives’ tales and superstitions.
It will thus appear that the objectionable statements on pp. 56 and 62 of “Esoteric Buddhism,” which are alleged to create an “historical difficulty,” were not made by Mr. Sinnett’s correspondent to bolster a western theory, but in loyalty to historical facts. Whether they can or cannot be accepted in those particular localities where criticism seems based upon mere conjecture (though honoured with the name of scientific hypothesis), is something which concerns the present writers as little as any casual traveller’s unfavourable comments upon the time-scarred visage of the Sphinx can affect the designer of that sublime symbol. The sentences, “the Greeks and Romans were small sub-races of our own Caucasian stock” (p. 6), and they were “the remnants of the Atlanteans (the modern belong to the fifth race)” (p. 62), show the real meaning on their face. By the old Greeks, “remnants of the Atlanteans” the eponymous ancestors (as they are called by Europeans) of the Æolians, Dorians and Ionians, are meant. By the connection together of the old Greeks and Romans without distinction, was meant that the primitive Latins were swallowed by Magna Græcia. And by “the modern” belonging “to the fifth race”—both these small branchlets from whose veins had been strained out the last drop of the Atlantean blood—it was implied that the Mongoloid 4th race blood had already been eliminated. Occultists make a distinction between the races intermediate between any two root-races the Westerns do not. The “old Romans” were Hellenes in a new ethnological disguise; and the still older Greeks the real blood ancestors of the future Romans. In direct relation to this, attention is drawn to the following fact—one of the many in close historical bearing upon the “mythical” age to which Atlantis belongs. It is a fable and may be charged to the account of historical difficulties. It is well calculated, however, to throw all the old ethnological and genealogical divisions into confusion.
Asking the reader to bear in mind that Atlantis, like modern Europe, comprised many nations and many dialects (issues from the three primeval root-languages of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Races), we may return to Poseidonis, its last surviving remnant of 12,000 years ago. As the chief element in the languages of the 5th race is the Aryan-Sanskrit of the “Brown-white” geological stock or race, so the predominating element in Atlantis was a language which has now survived but in the dialects of some American Red-Indian tribes, and in the Chinese speech of the inland Chinamen, the mountainous tribes of Kivang-ze—a language which was an admixture of the agglutinate and the monosyllabic, as it would be called by modern philologists. It was, in short, the language of the “Red-yellow” second or middle geological stock [we maintain the term “geological”]. A strong percentage of the Mongoloid or 4th Root-race was, of course, to be found in the Aryans of the 5th. But this did not prevent in the least the presence at the same time of unalloyed, pure Aryan races in it. A number of small islands scattered around Poseidonis had been vacated, in consequence of earthquakes, long before the final catastrophe, which has alone remained in the memory of men—thanks to some written records. Tradition says that one of the small tribes (the Æ.olians) who had become islanders after emigrating from far northern countries, had to leave their home again for fear of a deluge. If, in spite of the Orientalists and the conjecture of M. F. Lenormant—who invented a name for a people whose shadowy outline he dimly perceived in the faraway Past as preceding the Babylonians—we say that this Aryan race that came from Central Asia, the cradle of the 5th race Humanity, belonged to the “Akkadian” tribes, there will be a new historicoethnological difficulty created. Yet it is maintained that these “Akkads” were no more a “Turanian” race than any of the modern British people are the mythical ten tribes of Israel, so conspicuously present in the Bible, and absent from history. With such remarkable pacta conventa between modern exact (?) and ancient Occult sciences, we may proceed with the fable. Belonging virtually, through their original connection with the Aryan, Central Asian stock, to the 5th race, the old Æolians yet were Atlanteans, not only in virtue of their long residence in the now submerged continent, covering some thousands of years, but by the free intermingling of blood, by intermarriage with them. Perhaps in this connection Mr. Huxley’s disposition to account for his Melanochroi (the Greeks being included under this classification or type)—as themselves “the result of crossing between the Xanthochroi and the Australioids,” among whom he places the Southern India lower classes and the Egyptians to some extent—is not far off from fact. Anyhow the Æolians of Atlantis were Aryans on the whole, as much as the Basques—Dr. Pritchard’s Allophylians—are now southern Europeans, although originally belonging to the South Indian Dravidian stock [their progenitors having never been the aborigines of Europe prior to the first Aryan emigration, as supposed]. Frightened by the frequent earthquakes and the visible approach of the cataclysm, this tribe is said to have filled a flotilla of arks, to have sailed from beyond the Pillars of Hercules, and, sailing along the coasts, after several years of travel to have landed on the shores of the Ægeau Sea in the land of Pyrrha (now Thessaly), to which they gave the name of Æolia. Thence they proceeded on business with the gods to Mount Olympus. It may be stated here, at the risk of creating a “geographical difficulty,” that in that mythical age Greece, Crete, Sicily, Sardinia, and many other islands of the Mediterranean, were simply the far-away possessions, or colonies, of Atlantis. Hence, the “fable” proceeds to state that all along the coasts of Spain, France, and Italy the Æolians often halted, and the memory of their “magical feats” still survives among the descendants of the old Massilians, of the tribes of the later Carthago-Nova, and the seaports of Etruria and Syracuse. And here again it would not be a bad idea, perchance, even at this late hour, for the archæologists to trace, with the permission of the anthropological societies, the origin of the various autochthones through their folk-lore and fables, as they may prove both more suggestive and reliable than their “undecipherable” monuments. History catches a misty glimpse of these particular autochthones thousands of years only after they had been settled in old Greece—namely, at the moment when the Epireans cross the Pindus bent on expelling the black magicians from their home to Bœotia. But history never listened to the popular legends which speak of the “accursed sorcerers” who departed, leaving as an inheritance behind them more than one secret of their infernal arts, the fame of which crossing the ages has now passed into history—or, classical Greek and Roman fable, if so preferred. To this day a popular tradition narrates how the ancient forefathers of the Thessalonians, so renowned for their magicians, had come from behind the Pillars, asking for help and refuge from the great Zeus, and imploring the father of the gods to save them from the deluge. But the “Father” expelled them from the Olympus, allowing their tribe to settle only at the foot of the mountain, in the valleys, and by the shores of the Ægean Sea.
Such is the oldest fable of the ancient Thessalonians. And now, what was the language spoken by the Atlantean Æolians? History cannot answer us. Nevertheless, the reader has only to be reminded of some of the accepted and a few of the as yet unknown facts, to cause the light to enter any intuitional brain. It is now proved that man was universally conceived in antiquity as born of the earth. Such is now the profane explanation of the term autochthones. In nearly every vulgarized popular fable, from the Sanskrit Arya “born of the earth,” or Lord of the Soil in one sense; the Erechtheus of the archaic Greeks, worshipped in the earliest days of the Akropolis and shown by Homer as “he whom the earth bore” (Il. ii. 548); down to Adam fashioned of “red earth,” the genetical story has a deep occult meaning, and an indirect connection with the origin of man and of the subsequent races. Thus, the fables of Helen, the son of Pyrrha the red—the oldest name of Thessaly; and of Mannus, the reputed ancestor of the Germans, himself the son of Tuisco, “the red son of the earth,” have not only a direct bearing upon our Atlantis fable, but they explain moreover the division of mankind into geological groups as made by the Occultists. It is only this, their division, that is able to explain to Western teachers the apparently strange, if not absurd, coincidence of the Semitic Adam—a divinely revealed personage—being connected with red earth, in company with the Aryan Pyrrha, Tuisco, etc.—the mythical heroes of “foolish” fables. Nor will that division made by the Eastern Occultists, who call the 5th race people “the Brown-white,” and the 4th race the “Red-yellow,” Root-races—connecting them with geological strata—appear at all fantastic to those who understood verse iii. 34-9 of the Veda and its occult meaning, and another verse in which the Dasyus are called “Yellow.” Hatvi Dasyún prá âryam varanam àvat is said of Indra who, by killing the Dasyus, protected the colour of the Aryans; and again, Indra “unveiled the light for the Aryas and the Dasyus was left on the left hand” (ii. 11, 18). Let the student of Occultism bear in mind that the Greek Noah, Deukalion, the husband of Pyrrha, was the reputed son of Prometheus who robbed Heaven of its fire (i.e., of secret Wisdom “of the right hand,” or occult knowledge); that Prometheus is the brother of Atlas; that he is also the son of Asia and of the Titan Iapetus—the antetype from which the Jews borrowed their Japhet for the exigencies of their own popular legend to mask its kabalistic, Chaldean meaning; and that he is also the antetype of Deukalion. Prometheus is the creator of man out of earth and water,12 who after stealing fire from Olympus—a mountain in Greece—is chained on a mount in the far-off Caucasus. From Olympus to Mount Kazbek there is a considerable distance. The Occultists say that while the 4th race was generated and developed on the Atlantean continent—our Antipodes in a certain sense—the 5th was generated and developed in Asia. [The ancient Greek geographer Strabo, for one, calls by the name of Ariana, the land of the Aryas, the whole country between the Indian Ocean in the south, the Hindu Kush and Parapamisis in the north, the Indus on the east, and the Caspian Gates, Karamania and the mouth of the Persian Gulf, on the west.] The fable of Prometheus relates to the extinction of the civilized portions of the 4th race, whom Zeus, in order to create a new race, would destroy entirely, and Prometheus (who had the sacred fire of knowledge) saved partially “for future seed.” But the origin of the fable antecedes the destruction of Poseidonis by more than seventy thousand years, however incredible it may seem. The seven great continents of the world, spoken of in the Vishnu Purana (B. II., cap. 2) include Atlantis, though, of course, under another name. Ila and Ira are synonymous Sanskrit terms (see Amarakosha), and both mean earth or native soil; and Ilavrita is a portion of Ila, the central point of India (Jambudvipa), the latter being itself the centre of the seven great continents before the submersion of the great continent of Atlantis, of which Poseidonis was but an insignificant remnant. And now, while every Brahmin will understand the meaning, we may help the Europeans with a few more explanations.
If, in that generally tabooed work, “Isis Unveiled,” the “English F. T. S.” turns to page 589, vol. i., he may find therein narrated another old Eastern legend. An island . . . . (where now the Gobi desert lies) was inhabited by the last remnants of the race that preceded ours: a handful of “Adepts”—the “Sons of God,” now referred to as the Brahman Pitris; called by another yet synonymous name in the Chaldean Kabala. “Isis Unveiled” may appear very puzzling and contradictory to those who know nothing of Occult Sciences. To the Occultist it is correct, and while perhaps left purposely sinning (for it was the first cautious attempt to let into the West a faint streak of Eastern esoteric light), it reveals more facts than were ever given before its appearance. Let any one read these pages and he may comprehend. The “six such races” in Manu refer to the sub-races of the fourth race (p. 590). In addition to this the reader must turn to the paper on “The Septenary Principle in Esotericism”, study the list of the “Manus” of our fourth Round, and between this and “Isis” light may, perchance, be focussed. On pages 590-6 of the work mentioned above, he will find that Atlantis is mentioned in the “Secret Books of the East” (as yet virgin of Western spoliating hand) under another name in the sacred hieratic or sacerdotal language. And then it will be shown to him that Atlantis was not merely the name of one island but that of a whole continent, of whose isles and islets many have to this day survived. The remotest ancestors of some of the inhabitants of the now miserable fisherman’s hovel “Aclo” (once Atlan), near the gulf of Uraha, were allied at one time as closely with the old Greeks and Romans as they were with the “true inland China-man,” mentioned on p. 57 of “Esoteric Buddhism.” Until the appearance of a map, published at Basle in 1522, wherein the name of America appears for the first time, the latter was believed to be part of India; and strange to him who does not follow the mysterious working of the human mind and its unconscious approximations to hidden truths—even the aborigines of the new continent, the Red-skinned tribes, the “Mongoloids” of Mr. Huxley, were named Indians. Names now attributed to chance: elastic word that! Strange coincidence, indeed, to him who does not know—science refusing yet to sanction the wild hypothesis—that there was a time when the Indian peninsula was at one end of the line, and South America at the other, connected by a belt of islands and continents. The India of the prehistoric ages was not only within the region at the sources of the Oxus and Jaxartes, but there was even in the days of history, and within its memory, an upper, a lower, and a western India: and still earlier it was doubly connected with the two Americas. The lands of the ancestors of those whom Ammianus Marcellinus calls the “Brahmans of Upper India” stretched from Kashmir far into the (now) deserts of Schamo. A pedestrian from the north might then have reached—hardly wetting his feet—the Alaskan Peninsula, through Manchooria, across the future Gulf of Tartary, the Kurile and Aleutian Islands; while another traveller, furnished with a canoe and starting from the south, could have walked over from Siam, crossed the Polynesian Islands and trudged into any part of the continent of South America. On pp. 592-3 of “Isis,” vol. i., the Thevetatas—the evil, mischievous gods that have survived in the Etruscan Pantheon—are mentioned, along with the “sons of God” or Brahrnan Pitris. The Involute, the hidden or shrouded gods, the Consentes, Complices, and Novensiles, are all disguised relics of the Atlanteans; while the Etruscan arts of soothsaying their Disciplina revealed by Tages comes direct and in undisguised form from the Atlantean king Thevetat, the “invisible” Dragon, whose name survives to this day among the Siamese and Burmese, as also, in the Jataka allegorical stories of the Buddhists as the opposing power under the name of Devadat. And Tages was the son of Thevetat, before he became the grandson of the Etruscan Jupiter-Tinia. Have the Western Orientalists tried to find out the connection between all these Dragons and Serpents; between the “powers of Evil” in the cycles of epic legends, the Persian and the Indian, the Greek and the Jewish; between the contests of Indra and the giant; the Aryan Nagas and the Iranian Aji Dahaka; the Guatemalian Dragon and the Serpent of Genesis—etc. etc. etc.? Professor Max Müller discredits the connection. So be it. But the fourth race of men, “men” whose sight was unlimited and who knew all things at once, the hidden as the unrevealed, is mentioned in the Popol-Vuh, the sacred books of the Guatemalians; and the Babylonian Xisuthrus, the far later Jewish Noah, the Hindu Vaivaswata, and the Greek Deukalion, are all identical with the great Father of the Thlinkithians, of Popol-Vuh who, like the rest of these allegorical (not mythical) Patriarchs, escaped in his turn and in his days, in a large boat at the time of the last great Deluge—the submersion of Atlantis.
To have been an Indo-Aryan, Vaivaswata had not, of necessity, to meet with his Saviour (Vishnu, under the form of a fish) within the precincts of the present India, or even anywhere on the Asian continent; nor is it necessary to concede that he was the seventh great Manu himself (see catalogue of the Manus, in the paper on “The Septenary Principle in Esotericism” cited above), but simply that the Hindu Noah belonged to the clan of Vaivaswata and typifies the fifth race. Now the last of the Atlantean islands perished some 11,000 years ago; and the fifth race headed by the Aryans began its evolution, to the certain knowledge of the “Adepts” nearer one million than 900,000 years ago. But the historian and the anthropologist with their utmost stretch of liberality are unable to give more than from twenty to one hundred thousand years for all our human evolution. Hence we put it to them as a fair question: at what point during their own conjectural lakh of years do they fix the root-germ of the ancestral line of the “old Greeks and Romans?” Who were they? What is known or even “conjectured” about their territorial habitat after the division of the Aryan nations? And where were the ancestors of the Semitic and Turanian races? It is not enough for purposes of refutation of other peoples’ statements to say that the latter lived separate from the former, and then come to a full stop—a fresh hiatus in the ethnological history of mankind. Since Asia is sometimes called the Cradle of Humanity, and it is an ascertained fact that Central Asia was likewise the cradle of the Semitic and Turanian races (for thus it is taught in Genesis), and we find the Turans agreeably to the theory evolved by the Assyriologists preceding the Babylonian Semitists, where, at what spot of the globe, did these Semito-Turanian nations break away from the parent stock, and what has become of the latter? It cannot be the small Jewish tribe of Patriarchs; and unless it can be shown that the garden of Eden was also on the Oxus or the Euphrates, fenced off from the soil inhabited by the children of Cain, philologists who undertake to fill in the gaps in Universal History with their made-up conjectures, may be regarded as ignorant of this detail as those they would enlighten.
Logically, if the ancestors of these various groups had been at that remote period massed together, then the self-same roots of a parent common stock would have been equally traceable in their perfected languages as they are in those of the Judo-Europeans. And so, since whichever way one turns, one is met with the same troubled sea of speculation, margined by the treacherous quicksands of hypothesis, and every horizon bounded by inferential landmarks inscribed with imaginary dates. Again, the “Adepts” ask why should any one be awed into accepting as final criterion that which passes for science of high authority in Europe? For all this is known to the Asiatic scholar—in every ease save the purely mathematical and physical sciences—as little better than a secret league for mutual support, and, perhaps, admiration. He bows with profound respect before the Royal Societies of Physicists, Chemists, and, to a degree, even of Naturalists. He refuses to pay the slightest attention to the merely speculative and conjectural so-called “sciences” of the modern Physiologist, Ethnologist, Philologist, etc., and the mob of self-styling Œdipuses to whom it is not given to unriddle the Sphynx of Nature, and who therefore throttle her.
With an eye to the above, as also with a certain prevision of the future, the defendants in the cases under examination believe that the “historical difficulty” with reference to the non historical statement, necessitated more than a simple reaffirmation of the fact. They knew that with no better claims to a hearing than may be accorded by the confidence of a few, and in view of the decided antagonism of the many, it would never do for them to say “we maintain” while Western professors maintained to the contrary. For a body of, so to say, unlicensed preachers and students of unauthorized and unrecognized sciences to offer to fight an august body of universally recognized oracles, would be an unprecedented piece of impertinence. Hence their respective claims had to be examined on however small a scale to begin with (in this as in all other cases) on other than psychological grounds. The “Adepts” in Occult Arts had better keep silence when confronted with the “A. C. S.’s”—Adepts in Conjectural Sciences—unless they could show, partially at least, how weak is the authority of the latter and on what foundations of shifting sands their scientific dicta are often built They may thus make it a thinkable conjecture that the former may be right after all. Absolute silence, moreover, as at present advised, would have been fatal. Besides risking to be construed into inability to answer, it might have given rise to new complaints among the faithful few, and lead to fresh charges of selfishness against the writers. Therefore have the “Adepts” agreed to smooth in part at least a few of the most glaring difficulties and showing a highway to avoid them in future by studying the non-historical but actual, instead of the historical but mythical, portions of Universal History. And this they have achieved, they believe (at any rate with a few of their querists), by simply showing, or rather reminding them, that since no historical fact can stand as such against the “assumption” of the “Adepts”—historians being confessedly ignorant of pre-Roman and Greek origins beyond the ghostly shadows of the Etruscans and Pelasgians—no real historical difficulty can be possibly involved in their statement. From objectors outside the Society, the writers neither demand nor do they expect mercy. The “Adept” has no favours ask at the hands of conjectural science, nor does he exact from any member of the “London Lodge” blind faith: it being his cardinal maxim that faith should only follow inquiry. The “Adept” is more than content to be allowed to remain silent, keeping what he may know to himself, unless worthy seekers wish to share it. He has so done for ages, and can do so for a little longer. Moreover, he would rather not “arrest attention” or “command respect” at present. Thus he leaves his audience to first verify his statements in every case by the brilliant though rather wavering light of modern science: after which his facts may be either accepted or rejected, at the option of the willing student. In short, the “Adept”—if one indeed—has to remain utterly unconcerned with, and unmoved by, the issue. He imparts that which it is lawful for him to give out, and deals but with facts.
The philological and archæological “difficulties” next demand attention.
[the remaining replies are by T. Subba Row.]
1. Needless to remind AN ENGLISH F. T. S. that what is said here, applies only to secrets the nature of which when revealed will not be turned into a weapon against humanity in general, or its units—men. Secrets of such class could not be given to any one but a regular chela of many years’ standing and during his successive initiations; mankind as a whole has first to come of age, to reach its majority, which will happen but toward the beginning of its sixth race—before such mysteries can be safely revealed to it. The vril is not altogether a fiction, as some chelas and even “lay” chelas know.
2. The figures are given from the mathematical calculations of exoteric Western astronomy. Esoteric astronomy may prove them false some day.
3. There is an interesting story in the Puranas relating to this subject. The Devas, it would appear, asked the great Rishi Vasishta to bring the sun into Satya Loka. The Rishi requested the Sun-god to do so. The Sun-god replied that all the worlds would be destroyed if he were to leave his place. The Rishi then offered to place his red-coloured cloth (Kashay Vastram) in the place of the sun’s disk, and did so. The visible body of the sun is this robe of Vasishta, it would seem.
4. If the “English F. T. S.” would take the trouble of consulting p. 11 of the “Magia Adamica” of Eugenius Philalethes, his learned compatriot, he would find therein the difference between a visible and an invisible planet its clearly hinted at as it was safe to do at a time when the iron claw of orthodoxy had the power as well as disposition to tear the flesh from heretic bones. “The earth is invisible,” says he and which is more, the eye of man never saw the earth, nor can it be seen without art. To make this element visible is the greatest secret its magic. . . . As for this feculent, gross body upon which we walk, it is a compost, and no earth but it hath earth in it . . . in a word, all the elements are visible but one, namely, the earth: and when thou hast attained to so much perfection as to know why God hath placed the earth in abscondito, thou hast an excellent figure whereby to know God himself, and how he is visible, how invisible.” The italics are the author’s, it being the custom of the Alchemists to emphasize those words which had a double meaning in their code. Here “God himself” visible and invisible, relates to their lapis philosophorum—Nature’s seventh principle.
5. Verily, “alsolute accuracy in the solution of this problem (of distances between the heavenly bodies and the earth) is simply out of the question.”
6. The above diagram represents a logical section of the scheme of evolution, and not the evolutionary history of a unit of consciousness.
7. This is not to be construed to mean that 12,000 years hence there will be yet any man of the 6th Race, or that the 5th will be submerged. The figures are given simply for the sake of a better comparison with the present objection in the case of the Greeks and Atlantis.
8. The position recently taken up by Mr. Gerald Massey in Light that the story of Atlantis is not a geological event but an ancient astronomical myth, is rather imprudent. Mr. Massey, notwithstanding his rare intuitional faculties and great learning, is one of those writers in whom the intensity of research bent into one direction has biassed his otherwise clear understanding. Because Hercules is now a constellation it does not follow that there never was a hero of this name. Because the Noachian Universal Deluge is now proved a fiction based upon geological and geographical ignorance, it does not, therefore, appear that there were not many local deluges in prehistoric ages. The ancients connected every terrestrial event with the celestial bodies. They traced the history of their great deified heroes and memorialized it in stellar configurations as often as they personified pure myths, anthropomorphizing objects in Nature. One has to learn the difference between the two modes before attempting to classify them under one nomenclature. An earthquake has just engulfed over 80,000 people (87,903) in Sunda Straits. These were mostly Malays, savages with whom but few had relations, and the dire event will be soon forgotten. Had a portion of Great Britain been thus swept away instead, the whole world would have been in commotion, and yet, a few thousand years hence, even such an event would have passed out of man’s memory; and a future Gerald Massey might be found speculating upon the astronomical character and signification of the Isles of Wight, Jersey, or Man, arguing, perhaps, that this latter island had not contained a real living race of men but “belonged to astronomical mythology,” was a “Man submerged in celestial waters.” If the legend of the lost Atlantis is only “like those of Airyana-Vaêjo and Jambu-dvipa,” it is terrestrial enough, and therefore “the mythological origin of the Deluge legend” is so far an open question. We claim that it is not “indubitably demonstrated,” however clever the theoretical demonstration.
9. Max Müller’s “History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature.”
10. And how one-sided and biassed most of the Western Orientalists are may be seen by reading carefully “The History of Indian Literature,” by Albrecht Weber—a Sanskrit scholiast classed with the highest authorities. The incessant harping upon the one special string of Christianity, and the ill-concealed efforts to pass it off as the key-note of all other religions, is painfully pre-eminent in his work. Christian influences are shown to have affected not only the growth of Buddhism and Krishna worship, but even that of the Siva-cult and its legends; it is openly stated that “it is not at all a far-fetched hypothesis that they have reference to scattered Christian missionaries!” The eminent Orientalist evidently forgets that, notwithstanding his efforts, none of the Vedic, Sutra or Buddhist periods can be possibly crammed into this Christian period—their universal tank of all ancient creeds, and of which some Orientalists would fain make a poor-house for all decayed archaic religions and philosophy. Even Tibet, in his opinion, has not escaped “Western influence.” Let us hope to the contrary. It can be proved that Buddhist missionaries were as numerous in Palestine, Alexandria, Persia, and even Greece, two centuries before the Christian era, as the Padris are now in Asia. That the Gnostic doctrines (as he is obliged to confess) are permeated with Buddhism. Basilides, Valentinian, Bardesanes, and especially Manes were simply heretical Buddhists, “the formula of abjuration of these doctrines in the case of the latter, specifying expressly Buddha (Bodda) by name.”
11. Properly speaking, these ought to be called “Geological Races,” so as to be easily distinguished from their subsequent evolutions—the root-races. The Occult doctrine has nothing to do with the Biblical division of Shem, Ham and Japhet, and admires, without accepting it, the latest Huxleyan physiological division of the human races into their quintuple groups of Australioids, Negroids, Mongoloids, Xanthechroics, and the fifth variety of Melanochroics. Yet it says that the triple division of the blundering Jews is closer to the truth, it knows but of three entirely distinct primeval races whose evolution, formation and development went pari passu and on parallel lines with the evolution, formation, and development of three geological strata; namely, the BLACK, the RED-YELLOW, and the BROWN-WHITE RACES.
12. Behold Moses saying that it requires earth and water to make a living man.