reprinted from “Theosophical Siftings” Volume - 2 -

FAIR the Karma of those living in the present. Thirsting for knowledge, they may be satisfied. Bright rays of light kindled by the hand of the "master" have recently been thrown on the dark enigmas of Life. The fragments of Occult lore here presented have been culled from that store-house of "Ancient Wisdom", the "Secret Doctrine", and should perusal induce any reader desirous of greater knowledge to study at the fountainhead, the object of the writer of these leaves will be fully attained. Let us see, then, what lessons for the conduct of life a slight sketch of esoteric history, and a few of the leading doctrines of Occultism, can furnish those who desire for a guide the pole star of Truth. [Page 12]

For the benefit of those readers who have little or no acquaintance with Theosophical teachings, we must first state —That on this planet, during this portion of the great evolutionary cycle, through which all things must pass on their journey from the One to the One, four great root races of human kind have come and gone with their numerous branches and sub-branches. It will be advisable, however, to pass over the first two root races, as they were not composed of physical men, but of astral shadows. We of this age are undoubtedly too material, in more senses than one, to take much interest in such beings. Let us commence, then, with the Third Root Race. Each great race lives on a continent, with whose destiny its own fate is closely entwined. The abode of the one just named has been called Lemuria, although, be it remembered, neither this nor the name given to the succeeding continent are the correct archaic terms. Lemuria extended from the foot of the Himalayas, southwards, to within a few degrees of the Antarctic Circle, embracing Australia and Tasmania (then inland regions) east and west as far as where the two Americas now lie, including, also, parts of Scandanavia. Thus this huge continent once reigned supreme on the sites of the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans, afterwards breaking up into several huge islands. It came into existence in the Secondary period, and was destroyed about 700,000 years before the beginning of the Tertiary, by means of volcanic fire. The early sub-races inhabiting Lemuria had no solid physical forms, neither were they differentiated into sexes. These changes, however, took place long before the end of their life cycle. From causes which we need not here dwell upon, the Lemurian race gradually degenerated in stature from 120 feet to a height of 60 feet, at time of separation into sexes, finally being about 25 feet at time of destruction. During the Lemurian period, the incidents, called the "sins of the mindless man", took place. For this Root Race was divided into three distinct classes, corresponding to separate points reached by each, in the cycle of mental evolution. The lowest, called the "mindless", by connection with huge she animals, bred a race of dumb, red-hair covered monsters, going on all fours. The causes of these degrading events are fully described in the "Secret Doctrine". A portion, however, of the Lemurians attained a high degree of civilization, developing a considerable amount of intellectuality during their life cycle. They built huge cities. Of rare earths and metals they built. They cut their own images, in their size and likeness, and worshipped them. [ Book of Dzyan ] Nearly 8,000,000 years ago, they sank to their doom, and the great race of Atlanteans then occupied the scene. For as one [Page 13] great continent is destroyed another rises from the ocean floors, and forms eventually the home of the succeeding race. The land of Atlantis was of vast extent also, covering the present site of the Atlantic Ocean, including besides portions of Europe and East Africa. Its geological history may be briefly presented as follows. Coming into existence 700,000 years before the Tertiary period, the main continent perished over 4,000,000 years afterwards, in the great deluge of the Mid-Miocene age. But the islands of Ruta and Daitya, belonging to Atlantis, were destroyed 850,000 years ago; whilst Plato's Atlantis, or Poseidoni's isle, sank 12,000 years only from now. The Fourth Root-Race, called Atlanteans, was composed, says the " Secret Doctrine” of several distinct humanities, and an almost countless number of races and nations. There were brown, yellow, white, and black giants and dwarfs amongst them.

The Atlantean age is of absorbing interest to anthropologists on account of the ape origin question being solved by the "Secret Doctrine” during its treatment of that period. We learn that apes are the offspring of Lemuro-Atlantean bestiality, consorting as they did with females of semi-human kind, producing thus the ancestors of modern anthropoid apes. The relations, therefore, according to Occultism, existing between the human species and apes are the reverse of those imagined by a great modern school of evolutionists. The Atlantean races, however, included extremes. If some were bestial in their habits, others attained a high degree of civilization, cultivating all the arts and sciences now known to us of the Fifth Race, and others remaining unknown in this age. Rediscovery of the latter will be the work of the future. For instance, amongst other extraordinary achievements, the Atlanteans accomplished the arts of aeronautic navigation, and of so polarizing iron that they could not be killed or wounded by weapons made of this metal. In religious matters they were themselves polarized in two opposing sections — one, with a lofty spiritual faith; the other, idolators, and offering homage to the Spirits of the Earth. The war which ensued between the " White Adepts” and the "wicked sorcerers" culminated in the destruction of the latter.

This, and much more, does Esoteric History tell us of the Great Root Races passed and gone; neither is it silent about the future. We are now in the Fifth Root Race, its fifth sub-race is accomplishing its cycle, and in due time the Sixth will appear and inhabit the new continent, destined for its reception.

The lessons Aryans may now learn from the Occult chronicles, are neither few nor unimportant. We see each great root race of the past, with [Page 14] all its branches and sub-branches, passing through periods including in their scope all the vicissitudes of life. So must it be in the future, conforming to the Esoteric Doctrine which says, "The Ego must taste of all experience during its cycle, in order to fit itself for existence hereafter on a higher plane". Occultism, moreover, affirms that the great race destroying cataclysms we have noted are precipitated by the descent into animality and crime of human kind. Hence it is evident that man has it in his power, by befouling his moral atmosphere, to seriously and adversely affect the physical plane of existence. As an Occultist has well said, " the evil imaginations of men corrupt the imagination of nature." Each one, then, has a choice. To listen to the animal desires powerful to lead astray. For

Kama it is!
Passion it is! born of the Darknesses,
Which pusheth him, mighty of appetite,
Sinful and strong is this — man's enemy.

— “Bhagavad-Gîtâ."

Remaining thus enchained by gross matter, dragged down to lower planes, until with vast suffering, the lesson of life is learnt. Or hearkening well to the voice of the Higher Self, spurning with disdain all material clogs, toil strenuously aloft the path to Man's great heritage.

In every age, the great "Leaders of the World" have striven to guide our steps aright. They call and beckon us now. Shall we heed? Let the cycles pass on. The future alone can show.

The great keystone doctrine of Occultism, viz., Karma and Reincarnation, only lightly touched on in connection with esoteric human history, may now be considered in another aspect. It is the pride and boast of thinkers and workers of the modern evolutionary school of philosophy, that they have succeeded in demonstrating the inviolable supremacy of Law in every department of Nature, It requires, however, very little courage to assert, as we now do, that all efforts to elaborate a perfect system of Moral Law, acting entirely on this plane, have failed. All systems of philosophy are here at fault. Useless is it to say, ” Inquiry will result in the conviction that the moral sense is not ultimate, but derivative, and that it has been built up out of slowly organized experiences of pleasures and pains". [ Cosmic Philosophy," vol.2, page 321] According to this view the human races of the past have suffered and endured that we of the present might know good from evil. They were sacrificed, in short, that we might be blessed. [Page 15] The idea is so revolting to ordinary conceptions of justice, that it stands condemned at first sight. This system, however, is the best that moralists can construct on a material footing apart from the Occult doctrine. It is but reasonable to conclude, therefore, that unless the latter is admitted as a base, one wing, and that the most important one of the magnificent structure erected by the genius of modern thinkers, must remain uncompleted, an eyesore, to mar the whole.

If, however, the Law of Karma and Reincarnation is accepted, a complete and scientific system of morals stands revealed. The vast edifice is complete. The task finished. Bearing these considerations in view, it would not be surprising to see in the immediate future recognition of these facts on the part of the fine intellects which compose the evolutionary school of philosophy.

Members of the many Christian sects doubtless object to the Occult doctrine, on grounds connected with their own theological conceptions of the matter. To such we can merely reply now, that as Geo. Coombe long ago remarked in his " Constitution of Man," that if Divine Providence cannot be shown to be just in this world, there is no reason for expecting justice from it in any other. It is just because the Law of Karma and Reincarnation does show inflexible justice meted out to all on this plane, that Occultists can so confidently put it forward as a complete solution to the darkest Enigmas of Life. The reign of the Perfect Law, moreover, allows full and free play for the free will of Man. Thus it acts in contradistinction to the views of Life held by some eminent materialists, who are of opinion that all animals, including the human species, are merely automata. But in accordance with the ideas of every Christian sect, except one. Every Occultist, of course, recognizes the difficulty any new doctrine, however reasonable in itself, must encounter for a long time in making headway. The esoteric system, however, has on its side a spirit of devotion, immense sacrifices, greater than aught else in our day can show.

These heroic efforts cannot, will not, fail. They are backed up by mighty influences working on higher planes than this. For the Theosophical Society is not an ordinary body of persons bound together for commonplace objects. Far from it. A great French scholar has declared Theosophy the third great movement of the world. Let all, then, joined in this great enterprise, constantly remember the end to be attained. And if, perchance, some, appalled by the gigantic obstacles in our path, feel at times disposed to falter by the way, such should then remember those "Great Souls " who never hesitate or leave their watch. [Page 16] And, gaining this fresh strength of heart, turn anew to help “the few strong hands who uphold the heavy Karma of the world". Many besides there are, in this age, storm-tossed upon the sea of doubt, weary of the strife of warring creeds, who yet hesitate for reasons easy to be understood to join the Cause. To such, let Krishna's words appeal —

He that, being self contained, hath vanquished doubt,
Disparting self from service, soul from works
Enlightened and emancipate, my Prince
Works fetter him no more. Cut them atwain
With sword of wisdom, Son of Bharata!
This doubt that binds thy heart-beats! cleave the bond
Born of thy ignorance! Be bold and wise!
Give thyself to the field with me! Arise!


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