ACCORDING to the ”Secret Doctrine," about 4990 years ago
the cycle we are now in began, called, in Occultism, the Black Age (Kali Yuga). For us of the Aryan fifth sub-race
of the Fifth Root Race, this cycle will endure thousands of years more. We are taught by the “Masters" that
periods of light must be succeeded by periods of darkness; the former having passed away for this race, the
latter now reigns. This cycle, as its name implies, is one of feeble spirituality, dominated on the contrary
by gross materialism. In discussing, therefore, the effects of the strenuous efforts now being made to scatter
broadcast the tenets of the old Wisdom Religion on the present age, these characteristics must be constantly
borne in mind. The full reasons which induced the “Adepts" to
select the commencement of the last quarter of this century as a proper time under Karmic law to openly advance
probably known to them alone. A very high authority in Occult matters has, however, mentioned two considerations
which influenced the “Leaders of the World " in this matter. The Occult forces operating through some
thousands of séance-rooms had led to the wide diffusion of very erroneous beliefs respecting human post-mortem states:
scientific materialism was rapidly destroying all spirituality in the cultured classes of today. In 1875, therefore,
the devoted servants of the great brotherhood founded by their order the Theosophical Society, and the publication
of a portion of the esoteric wisdom commenced in “Isis Unveiled," and has lately
culminated in the “Secret Doctrine". Putting forward as it does the synthesis of religion, philosophy,
and science, claiming to be the base upon which all the esoteric creeds of today rest, and offering a solution
of some of the darkest problems of life, the Old Wisdom Religion has received a varied reception from the people
of this age. It is not surprising that it should excite a vast amount of enmity in some quarters, for, as an
Occultist has lately said, “every truth is born into the world amidst yells of hatred". Other minds
of wide and liberal tendencies have welcomed it with ardour, and worked hard and well to spread its tenets far
The great mass of sectarians, on the contrary, have viewed it with dislike or indifference, according to the strength of their attachment to the various religious ideas of this age. It is not, however, exceeding truth to assert, that of the numerous assailants of Theosophy, not one has properly understood its principles, whilst of the writings of some, it can be positively affirmed that they remain a lasting memorial of the depths of degradation to which the unchecked sway of prejudices and ignorance can drag the human mind.
The fundamental differences between the teachings and beliefs of so-called [Page 19] Spiritualists and Theosophists are easily stated. The latter deny the agency of “spirits " in the production of the well-known phenomena of séance-rooms, contending, on the contrary, that these can be exhibited in open daylight, and by the exercise of natural powers, now latent in most men and developed only in a few at present. The Occultists have proved their case by exhibiting these abnormal powers, many times, and in many places, attested by a mass of evidence that nothing can shake. If the Occult explanation of “spiritualistic” phenomena is not accepted the latter will for ever remain inexplicable, a subject of jest for scoffers, and the despair of many believers, for the latter know that these incidents occur, but at the same time see the absurdity of attributing the utter nonsense often given forth by raps, etc., to the spirits of the dead.
The quarrel of Occultism with materialistic science begins at the very base. Everything is composed of indivisible atoms in constant motion, and Ether fills all interstellar space, says the latter. Matter, Force, and Ether, therefore, compose the Universe from the Materialist point of view, although science admits that it really knows nothing of the constitution of either. Occultists deny the essential truth of the atomic hypothesis; analyse, they say, the smallest conceivable atom, and you have a mathematical point only, with none of the attributes of matter, using the word in an ordinary sense. Potential space, then, in Occultism, is entirely composed of Lives, combined and differentiated in the One Life. The latter vibrates alike in the suns of space and the smallest grain of sand. There is nothing dead in the Universe, all that is, lives. Materialistic science will never be able to explain the now well-known phenomena of mesmerism, clairvoyance, etc., as it does not recognise any faculties in man, beyond the five senses and their exercise on the physical plane. On the other hand, Occultism asserts that there are several states of consciousness, each with its appropriate senses, in the human organism. Thus, it explains clairvoyance as the sixth, and coming sense, being now developed in a few persons only, but in the distant future to be common to all. The views of eminent scientists respecting the origin and history of the Universe and Man, are purely speculative and subject to constant changes. Alone and, unapproachable in its majestic sweep of conception is the stupendous system of physical, mental, and spiritual Evolution, embracing the Cosmos, given to this age in the " Secret Doctrine". Blind and molelike does physical science grope its way on this plane, constantly mistaking effects for causes, lost amidst the illusions of the senses. In spite, however, of the general materialism of scientific men, some of the most intuitional amongst them seem to be on the verge of reconciling their advanced views with the teachings of Occultism. A mass of evidence proving this assertion is given in the “Secret Doctrine". As time goes on, it will become more and more apparent that it is Theosophy alone that can bridge the present chasm between Religion and Science, showing them both to be but parts of the One Truth. Truth must be always One. The spectacle, [Page 20] therefore, presented by this age of divorce betwixt Religion and Science, of bitter and ceaseless controversies between the leaders of the two schools cannot be permanent. It is only the Old Wisdom Religion that can establish
harmony and consolidate all branches of human knowledge; and in so far as it prevails in the future will darkness vanish and peace and light reign. It is only, perhaps, in the cycle to come that the great debt now due to the custodians of esoteric knowledge will be properly recognised. Until then a few only will welcome it, the majority continue to reject.
Before the "Adepts” drew from their vast stores of archaic lore and published considerable portions of human history, what did the foremost scholars of this age really know of the remote past ? Very little of the early days of the Aryan race; beyond, nothing. Now, thanks to those who know we have the main outlines of human history for the past 18,000,000 years. At last, we really know something of the submerged continents and lost giant races of old. The civilized builders of the walls of Tyrius; of the Cyclopian ruins scattered throughout Asia, Europe, and America; the architects of the huge statues of Bamian, and Easter Island. The rash attempts formerly made by so-called scholars to compress the history of the world into some 6,000 years have now almost ceased; and the general public will soon be able to hear, without any severe shock to their religious ideas, that the great continent of Atlantis sank beneath the waves over 4,000,000 years agol and Lemuria suffered the same fate millenniums before. The advance of the cycle of knowledge is slow, but sure.
In nothing does the conceit of some Occidental minds show itself more prominently than in the denial of the very existence of “the Masters of Wisdom" by those who for the sake of their own credit as men of capacity and intelligence, might well pause before coming to such a decision. For in so doing they deliberately reject a mass of reliable evidence which would suffice, apart from prejudice, to prove the matter to the satisfaction of any reasonable inquirer. Want of space now prevents the collection and marshalling of all these easily available proofs. It may be affirmed, however, that no believer in the doctrine of the constant evolution and progression of the human race can consistently deny the probability of the present existence of these Elder Brethren; those, in fact, who are the outcome of ages of struggles and couquests over the Lower Self in human nature, and whom the not remote future will see looked up to by ordinary men, as ideals of all that is good and true.
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