by Two Students

The Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton,Ill, U.S.A; London, England; Chennai,India



Publisher’s Note

Part I -

Part II

Part III
Part IV


Part V

Part VI
THIRD RACE (continued)

Part VII

Mistaken notions on the "Secret Doctrine"



Ever since the appearance of The Secret Doctrine by H. P. Blavatsky in 1888, serious theosophical students both within and without the organized Theosophical Movement have grappled with the profound concepts set forth in that stupendous work. Surely no other book has had so profound an influence on people of the most diverse backgrounds - educationally, professionally, and socially - people of all cultures and nationalities as have the two volumes written by the greatest occultist of our age. Yet, few works are more difficult to read and still more challenging to understand, calling not only on the mental capacities of the reader but demanding the awakening of an intuitive perception as well.

The years that have passed since the publication of this major exposition of the esoteric philosophy have seen the production of numerous commentaries and study guides to elucidate the teachings. In addition, of course, there has been a growing literature on occultism in general and the theosophical philosophy in particular. Consequently, for the present-day students it is difficult to imagine what conditions were like at the time The Secret Doctrine first appeared. Although Isis Unveiled had been published some eleven years earlier, the only text presenting in some formal and consecutive order the teachings of Theosophy was Esoteric Buddhism by A.P. Sinnett. A few pamphlets, one or two journals foremost among which was The Theosophist established by H.P.B herself in 1879, some articles in newspapers and liberal magazines, were available.

It was inevitable, then, that immediately upon the release of The Secret Doctrine in book form, thoughtful students would attempt to find some order or system in volumes that according to any of the usual editorial standards seem strangely lacking in system and would share their insights with others. The present small volume represents what must have been the first of the published efforts along those lines. It had, and has, the unique privilege of having H.P.B’s own approval and it was originally published in the journal she started in London, after taking up residence there. That journal, Lucifer, provided her with an opportunity, during her final years, of commenting on and publishing an outstanding variety of occult articles, both from her own pen and that of others. Writing on “Mistaken Notes on the ‘Secret Doctrine,’ “ for example, H.P.B stated that “Ever since the publication of the Secret Doctrine, Students of Theosophy . . . have complained that the teachings contained in the work do not satisfy them.” Little wonder, we may say, when so much is still left to the intuition of the reader, when in some instances she admits that fuller explanations cannot be given, and when we are told that “blinds” are occasionally used to shield the genuine secrets of occultism from the uninitiated. Praising the efforts of the “Two Students” who, in the work here reprinted, attempted a synthesis of the teachings, H.P.B commented: “No more than anyone else have they understood that work [the Secret Doctrine] immediately after reading it. But they went to work in dead earnest. They indexed it for themselves, classifying the contents in two portions - the exoteric and the esoteric; and having achieved this preliminary labour, they now present the former portion to the readers at large, while storing the latter for their own practical instructions and benefit. Why should not every earnest theosophist do the same?

The appearance of Theosophical Gleanings in this edition, therefore, serves to bring to modern students an excellent (and quite unparalleled by any later commentaries) survey of “the fundamental principles of Cosmic Evolution,” followed by an outline of the teachings concerning “the Monad in his long pilgrimage from his landing on the First Globe in our Chain for the First Round, till we lose him in the dazzling radiance of his final triumph.” The work also serves, as H.P.B said it should, as an example to other students who may be “in dead earnest” to learn the principles of the occult philosophy. It gives a useful pattern, which any reader can follow, in the effort to synthesize and understand the teachings which have been given to us.

Probably no aspect of those teachings has been more misunderstood than that dealing with the Rounds and Races. Statements which were obviously intended to be figurative have been taken literally; words which had no opprobrium attached to them a century ago can now be grossly misunderstood and their connotations twisted to support that most vicious of all separative influences in the modern world, racism. One must learn to look behind the words to the ideas that they were meant to convey. Above all, one must clearly understand that when these teachings were presented to the world in the last century, English words simply did not exist to provide accurate and complete translations for concepts well-known in the Mystery Language in which the genuine esoteric philosophy had been couched for ages. Those who were the Sacred Guardians of those teachings, the Mâhatmâs whom H.P.B acknowledged as her Teachers, emphasized in the famous Letters to A. P. Sinnett that many of their terms were untranslatable, and it is evident that words were chosen because they seemed, at the time, to convey the deeper truths. In this connection, too, the reader is referred to a letter which H.P.B herself wrote to A. P. Sinnett, in October 1884, at the time she was engaged in writing The Secret Doctrine: speaking of these erudite subjects, she said: “ . . . let me tell you once more about the planets, rings, and rounds . . . .I said there were no such garlands of sausages . . . as they thought of planets; that this representation was not even graphical but rather allegorical . . .the seven root races and the evolution of man in his eternal septenary geration [sic] was misunderstood, not only by you but could not be understood clearly by any one uninitiated . . .” [The Letters of H.P. BLAVATSKY to A.P Sinnett, Facsimile Edition, Theosophical University Press; Pasadena, CA., 1973, page 92. For further comments on the same subject, see also Letter CXVIII in the same volume, particularly pages 244 following.] (Undoubtedly H.P.B meant “gyrations” when she writes “gerations.”)

To equate the lofty concept of the Races with our present ethnic groups, therefore, is to miss the heart of the matter with which we have been presented, for the scope of the evolutionary pattern revealed through The Secret Doctrine is on a vastly larger scale than the development (however parallel such development may be, and however much it must inevitably follow the law of correspondences) of national or ethnic entities This work should help us look at principles, and from those work out for ourselves the individual patterns in the growth and expansion of consciousness.

The reappearance of this work, first published in 1890 in the pages of Lucifer, should be welcomed by every earnest student. Unfortunately, it has been too long unknown and then recognized by only the few who had access to the bound volumes of a magazine whose publication ceased long ago. We must emphasize again that the work won the approval of H.P.B herself, that it appeared in her lifetime, and that it was meant not so much to explain everything she had not clarified in her magnum opus but to encourage succeeding generations of students to explore the domain of Truth for themselves by finding in The Secret Doctrine, as these two students did, a compass and map for the journey.

Joy Mills
The Theosophical Society

Publisher’s Note

All references herein, in which only the volume and/or page number are given, refer to the original edition of The Secret Doctrine.

The editors have found that by using the front pages of the Index (volume 6) to the six-volume set of The Secret Doctrine that we have experienced no difficulty in locating the specific material cited in the Gleanings. This front section of the Index volume is titled PAGING IN THE FIVE EDITIONS and is a guide to the equivalent pagination in each of the previous editions.

The only changes made in the preparation of this book were the addition of a few illustrations which were referred to in the Gleanings and which we felt would be helpful to the reader if included with this text. There were also a few corrections made in spelling and punctuation.

The small numbers that appear between the brackets [ ] refer to the original page numbers in the several issues of Lucifer in which these articles appeared. This has been done to aid the reader should he want to locate them in the original editions. Herewith are the inclusive pages for each of the Gleanings as they appeared.



o r
Notes On The “Secret Doctrine” Lucifer, volume. VI, No 31. London, March 15, 1890

We are literally what our signature says: Two Students, nothing more pretentious. If we are also what has [ 51 ] been called “communicative learners”, it is because we feel that what have been difficulties to us are probably difficulties to others, and that fellow-students can sometimes lend each other a helping hand over a rough piece of road. In reading the “Secret Doctrine” the student is apt to be confused, even dazed, by the range of erudition, the wealth of illustrations, the abundance of digressions, the number of literary allusions. Devas and Daimons, Dhyâni Buddhas and Kumarâs, Yugas and cycles, satyrs and fakirs, alchemists and adepts, Manus and Monads, whirl around him in dazzling phantasmagoria, and he rises from hours of effort, his only distinct acquirement a headache. We have found the most fruitful system of study is to fix on some one thing, to follow it through all its windings with dogged persistency, steadily hunting it down through the two volumes, disregarding all alluring byways and seductive glades, until there lies before us that one thing in its completeness, with every touch given to it from beginning to end, clear, definite, comprehensible. It may be remembered that there was one Proteus who could give the most interesting information, if only you could keep your grip on him through all his transformations, until he re-assumed his proper shape and became conversable. So in following the Protean shapes in the “Secret Doctrine”, if you can only “hang on” to the end your reward is sure.

Our first notes will be on the Seven Rounds, our object to trace the Monad in his long pilgrimage from his landing on the First Globe in our Chain for the First Round, till we lose him in the dazzling radiance of his final triumph. A brief introduction, giving the broad outlines of the fundamental principles of Cosmic Evolution, may fitly precede this detailed study, for a grasp of these principles is essential to the full understanding of their working in our Manvantara.

The Cycle of Activity

[51/52 ] Everywhere in Nature we see rhythmic alternation, waking and sleeping, day and night, activity and rest, life and death. “As above, so below”; in the Macrocosm as in the Microcosm. So, to the eye of the Esotericist, Existence has its day of waking activity, its night of sleeping rest, the Universal Life flows out into the universe of form, ebbs back into formless No-Thing, “Days and Nights of Brahmâ” in the allegorical phrase of the Hindu, the outbreathing and the inbreathing of the illimitable One who is All. “It is the ONE LIFE, eternal, invisible, yet omnipresent, without beginning or end, yet periodical in its regular manifestations, between which periods reigns the dark mystery of Non-Being; unconscious, yet absolute Consciousness, unrealizable, yet the one self-existent reality; truly, ‘a chaos to the sense, a Kosmos to the reason.’ Its one absolute attribute, which is ITSELF-eternal, ceaseless motion-is called in esoteric parlance, the ‘Great Breath’, which is the perpetual motion of the universe, in the sense of limitless, ever-present SPACE” (volume 1, page 2). That IT must be, we know; else nothing had been nor could be: but before its mystery human thought is helpless, futile-“silence is more reverent than speech.”

A period of activity is a Manvantara; a period of rest, a Pralaya; and these succeed each other in endless succession. The “dawn of differentiation” (volume 1, page 1) is the dawn of the Manvantaric day; thenceforward a ceaseless evolution, till the cycle is complete and rest comes with pralayic night. And here at once arises the student’s first stumbling block. In the Secret Teaching all things are regarded as of sevenfold aspect, and the same word is often used for each of the subsidiary seven as for the complete thing they make up. The word Manvantara, or Manu-Antara, means literally “between two Manus” and, as we shall see later, there are Root Manus for Rounds and subsidiary Manus for globes. Hence we have the Minor Manvantara for the life of a single globe, the Major Manvantara for a Round of the seven globes, the Mahâ-(great) Manvantara for the life of the Kosmos, all which, with other periods, will become plain enough as we proceed: it suffices for the moment to grasp clearly the idea that Manvantara stands for a period of activity, and it is better, at the outset, not to connect with it any definite number of years.

It is the same with the words Manu, Dhyâni Buddha, Dhyâni Chohan, and others that meet us at every turn in the “Secret Doctrine”. They are generic (not individual) names; thus Manu, the thinker, “is but the personified idea of the ‘Thought Divine’ “ (volume 1, page 63), and the word is used for those who stand at the beginning of a new cycle or evolution, whether it be great or small. The student is apt to be bewildered when he has met “Manu” as the head of the seven races, and then comes across “Manu” again in a comparatively subordinate position as the head of a single race; or when, having realized that a “Manvantara” is between two Manus, he learns suddenly that there were fourteen Manus in the Manvantara he is studying. But the seven pairs mark the smaller Manvantaras within the larger. The word Dhyâni is synonymous with Deva, a lofty spiritual entity, while Buddha is the Wise One: “Lords of Wisdom” gives something of the idea of Dhyâni Buddha, and of such entities [there] [52/53] are many classes or grades. So with Dhyâni Chohan, the Lord Deva. While ourselves using the esoteric names in preference, we shall try, at the start, to give the equivalents, as some of the puzzlements of the student arise from his not realizing the variety of names, sometimes Greek, sometimes Hindu, sometimes Tibetan, used indifferently to express the same thought. Esoteric philosophy is not identical with exoteric Buddhism or exoteric Brâhminism, and our readers will often meet with statements that conflict with, say, the statements of Mr Rhys Davids. That learned Orientalist deals with the public teachings of one religion, we with the Secret Doctrine that lies at the root of all; and this must be borne in mind when differences-especially differences in numbers-are noted.

As regards the truth or falsity of the outlines of cosmical evolution in the “Secret Doctrine”, for the average man at the present time no proof is possible, any more than you could prove to him straight off the abstruse mathematical theories that require the existence of fourth dimensional space. “It is thus that things have evolved,” says the Teacher, “and you can find it out for yourself if you will, as you can, raise yourself to our vantage-point of vision. As you are, you cannot get it firsthand: the simpler parts of our teachings you can test and prove; but this, for the present, is beyond you. Take it as a theory, a hypothesis, or, if you choose, leave it alone, and confine yourself to the terrestrial part of our doctrines.” With this preface, we proceed to-

The Dawn of the Mahâ-Manvantara

“The ONE LIFE, eternal, invisible” is to manifest in Space and Time. It is the ABSOLUTE, spoken of as Sat by the Hindus, as PARABRAHM by the Vedântins, as ÂDI-BUDDHA by the Buddhists, as AIN-SOPH by the Kabbalists, as Absolute Being and non-Being by Hegel and his school. This is that “Omni-present, Eternal, Boundless and Immutable PRINCIPLE on which all speculation is impossible, since it transcends the power of human conception and could only be dwarfed by any human expression of similitude. It is beyond the range and reach of thought-in the words of Mandukya, ‘unthinkable and unspeakable’. . . .That Essence which is out of all relation to conditioned existence, and of which conscious existence is a conditioned symbol” (volume 1, pages 14 and 15). The Causeless Cause, the Rootless Root, Occultism has called IT, striving to image the unimaginable. It “is symbolized in the Secret Doctrine under two aspects. On the one hand, absolute abstract Space, representing bare subjectivity, the one thing which no human mind can either exclude from any conception or conceive of by itself. On the other, absolute abstract Motion representing Unconditioned Consciousness.

[53/54] “Even our Western Thinkers have shown that Consciousness is inconceivable to us apart from change, and motion best symbolizes change, its essential characteristic. The latter aspect of the One Reality is also symbolized by the term ‘The Great Breath’, a symbol sufficiently graphic to need no further elucidation” (volume 1, page 14). This is the first fundamental axiom of the Secret Doctrine, which is thus essentially Pantheist in its philosophy.

Having posited the Absolute Life, out of relation, to us unthinkable, we turn to the consideration of the Universal Life as periodical, at the beginning of the Manvantaric period. The Hindus, figuring Parabrahm as a blank circle, have placed a point in the midst of such a circle to symbolize Mûlaprakriti, the Root of Substance, called by Subba Row “a sort of veil thrown over” the “unconditioned and absolute Reality.” By the Vedântins the term is applied to an aspect of Parabrahm: “from its (the Logos’) objective standpoint, Parabrahm appears to it as Mûlaprakriti” (volume 1, page 10, note).

[54]At this re-awakening of the periodical life, the first differentiation is the First, or Unmanifested, Logos-to use the accepted Greek term - Dorjechang in Tibetan. This primary emanation is the Supreme Buddha of the Buddhists, the First Cause, the Unconscious of Hartman - “a bright ray from the “darkness” of the One unknown.

“As the Lord of all mysteries he cannot manifest,” and from the First emanates the Second Logos, the manifested Dorjesempa, poetically called the “diamond heart” of the First, sent into the world of manifestation. This is Purusha-Prakriti, Spirit-Matter, the Life, the Spirit of the Universe. (Compare volume 1, page 16 and page 571) This is the Âtman of the Vedântins, the Heavenly Man of the Hermetic philosopher, the creative God of all religions - the Demiourgos, the Osiris of the Egyptians, the Ahura-Mazda of the Zoroastrians, the four-faced Brâhma of the Hindus (p 110). It is the substance whereof all things are to be made, and the life that animates them. Hence, “the Occultists . . . trace every atom in the universe, whether an aggregate or single, to One Unity, or Universal Life”, they “do not recognize that anything in Nature can be inorganic”; they “know of no such thing as dead matter . . . . The ‘wave-motion of living particles’ becomes comprehensible on the theory of a Spiritual ONE LIFE, of a universal Vital principle independent of our matter, and manifesting as atomic energy only on our plane of consciousness” (volume 2, page 672). “The vital fires are in all things, and not an atom is devoid of them” (volume 2, page 267). This Spirit-Matter manifests itself in Kosmos in seven different states: the first and second or sub-physical elemental kingdoms, the third or terrestrial, the fourth or astral, the fifth or that of mind, the sixth or that of spirit, each has its own protyle, whereof are constituted all its phenomena. The seventh state, the highest, is that of the Logos itself (see volume 2, page 737). To the Occultist what is called “spirit” and what is called “matter”, the normally intangible and tangible, are but two poles of the one universal Spirit-Matter, the Life-Substance, the two-faced Unity. [54/55] The characteristics of matter in each stage - or on each “plane” - can only become known to us as we develop the senses that can apprehend them, when they would become as easy of investigation as in the third-stage-matter to us at the present time.

The Kosmic cycle will be - figuring Kosmos as a sphere - from the pole of Spirit round to the pole of Matter, on the descending arc, and from the pole of Matter back to that of Spirit on the ascending. As the Life-Substance is one, the process will be the crystallizing and densifying of the ethereal into grossest materiality, and the sublimation and rarefying of that materiality into the ethereal. And so for our immediate Manvantara the progress is figured as though seven globes arranged on four planes: in the three first the “descent into matter”, in the fourth the greatest density and the turning-point, in the three last the re-ascent (see Diagram I). It is Involution and Evolution, the complementary principles of the universe, “an eternal spiral progress into matter with a proportionate obscuration of spirit - though the two are one - followed by an inverse ascent into spirit and the defeat of matter” (volume 2, page 732).

If this central conception be clearly grasped by the student, and applied, amid the differences of detail, to every cycle, large or small, the difficulties in the way will be much lightened. It is the key to the general understanding of the evolution of the Kosmos, of the planetary chain, of the globes, of the races, of the individual. One of the correspondences, the evolution of a globe, has never been put more clearly than by a Master:

“There are seven kingdoms. The first group comprises three degrees of elementals, or nascent centres of forces - from the first stage of differentiation of Mûlaprakriti 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 on 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 this simple diagram which follows will aid us.

The line AD represents the gradual obscuration of spirit as it passes into concrete matter; the point D indicated the evolutionary position of the mineral kingdom from its incipient D to its ultimate concretion A; C, B, A, 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 of AD and DA. [ 55/56 ] 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 DD, is the Mineral Kingdom” (Five Years of Theosophy, pp 276-278).

In this description the student will mark the identity of the master-idea and the variation of application to a smaller evolutionary cycle; unity amid diversity is the keynote of the Esoteric teachings, and if the student can keep his ear attuned to the keynote, he will readily follow the intricacies of the harmony.

So far, then, we have dimly apprehended the Absolute as the One and All, the First Logos as a primal emanation, emanating in turn in the Second Logos, where from is evolved the substance and life of the Kosmos, in Esoteric parlance the Third Logos. But for the completion of this “beginning of things”, is needed the differentiation of something more than substance and life. Ideation must precede formation. And so, from the Logos “emanate the seven . . .Dhyâni Buddhas, called the Anupâdaka, ‘the parentless’. These Buddhas, are the primeval monads from the world of incorporeal being, the Arûpa (rupa, form; a, without world” (volume 1, page 571). These seven are, collectively, Mahat or Intelligence, the Universal World Soul, Cosmic Ideation, called also Mahâ-Buddhi. Collectively Cosmic Ideation or Mahat, they are manifested as seven intelligences, “the primordial seven, the first seven breaths of the Dragon of Wisdom” (Stanza v). They “produce in their turn” the “fiery whirlwind”. Fohat, the “messenger of their will”; “he is the steed and the thought is the rider”; he is “the potential creative power”, “the personified electrical vital power”. [56/57]On the terrestrial plane he is electricity in the widest sense, the principle manifesting in all electric and magnetic phenomena. “By the action of the manifested Wisdom, or Mahat, represented by these innumerable centres of Spiritual Energy in the Kosmos, the reflection of the Universal Mind - which is Cosmic Ideation and the intellectual force accompanying such Ideation - becomes objectively the Fohat of Buddhist esoteric philosopher. Fohat, running along the seven principles of Akâsa, acts upon manifested substance or the One Element . . . and by differentiating it into various centres of Energy, sets in motion the law of Cosmic Evolution, which, in obedience to the Ideation of the Universal Mind, brings into existence all the various states of being in the manifested Solar System” (volume 1, page 110).

From each of the Dhyâni Buddhas, in the descending line, are thrown out, emanate, seven Bodhisattvas, and thus in unfolding sevenfold evolution are produced centres, so to speak, of formative activity in Kosmos. From such a centre is evolved a “planetary chain”, or ring of seven globes, to be the theatre of the evolution in living things as we know them, the life-impulse having its source in that centre, and from it the evolutionary law its direction. From dawn to dusk of the Planetary Manvantara, presides over all its changing phenomena this mighty and directive Energy, embodied in all forms yet essentially One.

[ 57 ] At this point we pass from the Arûpa world, the formless, the superphysical, into the world of forms, the reflection in Space and Time of the One Reality. We will now concentrate our attention on a single planetary chain - naturally on that to which our own earth belongs - a sufficiently complicated evolution to follow, without confusing our thought by bringing in the surrounding chains, to say nothing of the surrounding solar systems.

Two Students of the E.S.


Lucifer volume VI, No 32 , London, April 15, 1890

[134] We have seen in rough outline the earliest stages of Kosmogenesis, admirably summed up for us in the following brief statement:

Manvantaric impulse commences with the reawakening of Kosmos Ideation (the ‘Universal Mind’) concurrently with and parallel to the primary emergence of Kosmic Substance - the latter being the manvantaric vehicle of the former - from its undifferentiated pralayic state. Then Absolute Wisdom mirrors itself in its Ideation; which by a transcendental process, superior to and incomprehensible by human consciousness, results in Kosmic Energy (Fohat). Thrilling through the bosom of inert Substance, Fohat impels it to activity, and guides its primary differentiations on all the seven planes of Kosmic Consciousness. There are thus seven Protyles (as they are now called), while Aryan antiquity called them the seven Prakriti, or Natures, serving, severally, as the relatively homogeneous basis, which in the course of the increasing heterogeneity (in the evolution of the Universe) differentiate into the marvellous complexity presented by phenomena on the planes of perception. (volume 1, page 328)

This primary sevenfold differentiation as the “light of eternity” rolls outward into objectivity, is repeated at each stage of the further evolution. “By sevens” the building of the Universe proceeds. “It is that light which condenses in the forms of the ‘Lords of Being’ - the first and the highest of which are collectively Jîvatma, or Pratyagâtma. From these downwards - formed from the ever-consolidating waves of that light, which becomes on the objective plane gross matter - proceed the numerous hierarchies of the Creative Forces, some formless, others having their own distinctive forms, others, again, the lowest (Elementals), having no form of their own, but assuming every form according to the surrounding conditions. Thus there is but one Absolute Upâdhi (basis) in the spiritual sense, on and in which are built for Manvantaric purposes the countless basic centres on which proceed the universal, cyclic and individual evolutions during the active period.” (volume 2, pages 33 and 34).

[134/135] These “countless basic centres” are, of course, subordinate to the “seven Laya centres” (Stanza vi) connected with the Primordial Seven, the Dhyâni Buddhas. Just as in the physical universe recognized by science, our planets circle round “the sun”, and many such solar systems as our own circle round a central “sun”, and many such aggregated systems perchance again circle round some point central to them all; so Occult Kosmogenesis posits the primordial Seven Centres, the “imperishable Laya Centres” produced by Fohat - “The Great Breath digs through space seven holes into Laya to cause them to circumgyrate during Manvantara” (volume 1, page 147) - and round these are other Laya (or Neutral) Centres, and round these yet others, and others again. The conception of a point central to all, and of secondary points central to divisional masses, and of tertiary points central to subdivisional masses, and so on in descending order, so that to reverse the idea each final subdivision has its own centre, and all such centres have their common centre, and all these common centres their common centre and so on, is one that we know to be true of the visible universe, however dizzy the attempt to realize it may make us. Anyone can figure the idea out with a pair of compasses by drawing a number of small circles, each with its centre on the circumference of a larger circle, and all the centres of such larger circles on the circumference of a yet larger, extending his Kosmos until he is tired and dizzy; and if he makes them in groups of sevens and goes on long enough, he will obtain a fairly clear idea of the relation of the basic centre of a planetary chain to one of the primordial Seven Laya Centres.

The planetary chain, evolved from such a subordinate centre is a cycle of seven globes and may be figured as situated on the arc of a circle (see Diagram 3), our earth, or any planet visible to us, being at the lowest point of the arc. These globes are, for convenience of reference, called by the names of the letters A, B, C, D, E, F. G. The evolution impulse travels from Globe A to Globe G, dwelling on each globe and then undergoing suspension, or pralaya; and such a circling, with its seven periods of activity and seven periods of rest is termed a Round. Seven such Rounds complete the planetary Cycle, and are followed by the Planetary Pralaya.


The observant student will notice that in the diagram the globes are arranged in pairs, with the exception of Globe D; so that Globes A and G occupy the same plane, as do Globes B and F, and Globes C and E. There is the descending arc, globes A, B, C; the midway or turning point, Globe D; the ascending arc, Globes E, F, G. The traveller must descend to win experience and self-consciousness, but his cycle is not complete until he re-ascends to the old position, bearing with him his spoils. But this figuring of the seven globes arranges them but on four, instead of on seven planes, the “four lower planes of Kosmic consciousness”. The diagram on page 200, volume 1, will solve the puzzle, for there the student will observe that the “three higher planes of the septenary Kosmos” belong to “the Divine and Formless World of Spirit”, the Arupa World, spoken of in our late article, which is wholly above all such things as planetary chains. [Shown here in Diagram 4]

[135/136] Fohat, “the active force in Universal Life”, in one aspect Solar Energy, in another Electricity, whether Kosmic, solar, or human (see volume 1, pages 111 and 112), is the “constructive power” or force, which evolves the planetary chain. The “Wheels” “are the centres of force around which primordial Kosmic matter expands, and passing through all the six stages of consolidation, becomes spheroidal and ends by being transformed into globes or spheres: (volume 1, page 116). The student will recognize “this law of vortical movement in primordial” and will understand whence the Greek philosophers, initiates for the most part, drew their scientific teachings, teachings which Sir William Thomson echoes in his theories today. The details of this evolution are guided, according to the Secret Doctrine, by the beings who dwell on the higher planes, those earlier condensations of the Light spoken of above. The “Builders” - as they are significantly termed - are divided into three classes, our planetary chain being the work of those belonging to the second class, while Humanity itself owes its fashioning to the third (volume 1, pages 127 and 128).

The next point to be grasped is the central idea of the Manvantaric and planetary cycles. Light seems to be thrown on this by two passages especially, although the same thought is glanced at over and over again:

The Doctrine teaches that, in order to become a divine, fully conscious, God - aye, even the highest - the spiritual primeval INTELLIGENCES must pass through the human stage. And when we say human, this does not apply merely to our terrestrial humanity, but to the mortals that inhabit any world. . . .Each Entity must have won for itself the right of becoming divine, through self-experience. Hegel, the great German thinker, must have known or sensed intuitionally this truth when saying, as he did, that the Unconscious evolved the Universe only ‘in the hope of attaining clear self-consciousness’, of becoming, in other words, MAN; for this is also the secret meaning of the usual Puranic phrase about Brahma being constantly ‘moved by the desire to create’. This explains also the hidden Kabalistic meaning of the saying:

‘The Breath becomes a stone; the stone, a plant; the plant, an animal; the animal, a man; the man, a spirit; and the spirit, a God.’ The mind-born Sons, the Rishis, the Builders, etc., were all men - of whatever forms and shapes - in other worlds and the preceding Manvantaras. . . . Every atom in the Universe has the potentiality of self-consciousness in it. (volume 1, pages 106 and 107)

And again:

A Dhyân Chohan has to become one; he cannot be born, or appear suddenly on the plane of life, as a full-blown angel. The Celestial Hierarch of the present Manvantara will find itself transferred in the next cycle of life into higher superior worlds, and will make room for a new hierarchy, composed of the elect ones of our mankind. (volume 1, page 221).

We have then presented to us the grandiose conception of a Universe evolving upwards, as a whole in all [ 136/137 ] its parts. Each cycle, minute or vast, is an evolution complete in itself, but forming part of a larger evolution. So each cell in our body has its own circle of activity, its birth, growth, maturity, death; but each cell forms part of a tissue that also is born, grows, matures, dies; and each tissue forms part of an organ that is, grows, matures, dies; and each organ helps to form a body that passes through similar stages; and so onwards, with races, worlds, systems, Kosmos. The consciousness of the cell, for which the leading German scientists now contend, is not the consciousness of the Kosmos; but shall the cell therefore deny consciousness to the brain, or man to the cell?

Let us, then, commence our study of the evolution of the planetary chain and its inhabitants with the idéo mére that the spirit is to become self-conscious through that evolution, the evolution being guided by intelligences who have already passed through the human experience in a previous Manvantara. The sketch, given in volume 1, pages 213 to 221, of the seven chief “celestial hierarchies” is a picture of the inhabitants of higher planes in their relationship to terrestrial humanity, which will be more clearly understood at a later stage in our study. The highest, the “formless fiery breaths”, the “divine fire”, are collectively Âtma, the universal spirit. The second, “Fire and Ether”, are Âtmi-Buddhi, Buddhi, the divine soul, being the vehicle of Âtma. The third symbolizes the intellect, Manas, that with Âtma-Buddhi gives Âtma-Buddhi-Manas, the Triad. The fourth “are substantial Entities. This is the highest group among the Rupas (atomic forms). It is the nursery of the human, conscious, spiritual souls.” They are the “inner soul of the physical cell”, “the spiritual potency in the physical cell that guides the development of the embryo, and which is the cause of the hereditary transmission of faculties, and all the inherent qualities in man.” The fifth group “is supposed to contain in itself the dual attributes of both the spiritual and physical aspects of the universe.” The sixth and seventh groups are “conscious ethereal entities”, including Nature-Spirits or Elementals of all kinds, sentient but not always intelligent beings. From the sixth of these groups man has to draw all but his highest principles and his physical body. The question is often asked whether Theosophists regard these “hierarchies” as composed of entities, or as being merely allegorical.

To this the answer is given as plainly: “After due allowance for the imagery of personified powers, we must admit the existence of these Entities, if we would not reject the existence of spiritual humanity within physical mankind. For the hosts of these Sons of Light and ‘Mind-Born Sons’ of the first manifested Ray of the UNKNOWN ALL, are the very root of spiritual man.” Unless we want to believe the unphilosophical dogma of a specially created soul for every human birth - a fresh supply of these pouring in daily since “Adam” - we have to admit the occult teachings. (volume 1, page 106)

The idea, then, is at the commencement of our planetary chain, that there are concerned with it Builders [ 137 ] and Planetary Spirits (volume 1, page 128) who have existed as men in previous Manvantara, and who were the elect of that past Humanity; and a host of other entities, who have progressed to a certain point and whose further evolution is to be carried on upon our planetary chain. Man, as we know him, has to be evolved with whatever else may lie before him during the present planetary cycle, and in that evolution these entities are to take part. [ 138 ] Now septenary man consists of Âtmi-Buddhi, Manas, and the lower quaternary, and the evolution we have to follow is the wedding of the Monad to the intellectual and vital entities, the making of the complete Man. For Man “is the product of Nature’s gradual perfecting work, like any other living unit on this earth. But this is only with regard to the human tabernacle. That which lives and thinks in man and survives that frame, the masterpiece of evolution - is the ‘Eternal Pilgrim’, the Protean differentiation in space and time of the One Absolute ‘Unknowable.’ “(volume 2, page 728)

Here let us pause for a moment on this term, Monad. The Monad is Âtma-Buddhi. Fohat, we read “traces spiral lines to unite the sixth to the seventh” (Stanza v). “The sixth principle in man (Buddhi, the Divine Soul), though a mere breath, in our conceptions, is still something material when compared with divine ‘Spirit’ (Âtma) of which it is the carrier or vehicle. Fohat, in his capacity of Divine Love (Eros), the elective Power of affinity and sympathy, is shown allegorically as trying to bring the pure Spirit, the Ray inseparable from the ONE Absolute, into union with the Soul, the two constituting in man the MONAD, and in Nature the first link between the ever unconditioned and the manifested.” (volume 1, page 119) Now it is essential not to lose sight of the fact that Âtma-Buddhi is ONE throughout the Universe. It is the life, the soul of the Kosmos, and ours only in that we are parts of the All. A ray, indeed, falls into each, but it is the one “light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” and every atom in this world and in all others. In a sense, it becomes individualized, as a drop from the ocean, by its union with the individual, but in its essence it remains part of the whole. “The monads are not discrete principles, limited or conditioned, but rays from that one universal absolute Principle.” (volume 2, page 167)

It is this Monad which circles round the planetary chain and whose journey from Globe A to Globe G makes a Round (volume 1, pages 167 and 168). Seven times is that journey trodden during the planetary Manvantara. “The Monad, born of the nature and of the very Essence of the ‘seven’ (its highest principle becoming immediately enshrined in the seventh Kosmic Element), has to perform its septenary gyration throughout the Cycle of Being and Forms, from the highest to the lowest; and then again from man to God.” (volume 1, page 135) There is “a limited number of Monads evolving and growing more and more perfect through their assimilation of many successive personalities, in every new Manvantara . . . . Although the hosts of more or less progressed Monads are almost incalculable, they are still finite, as is everything else in this Universe of differentiation and finiteness.” (volume 1, page 171) [ 138/139 ] It is this Monad which impels to development and progress: “That which propels onward and forces evolution, i.e., compels the growth and development of Man towards perfection, is (a) the MONAD, or that which acts in it unconsciously through a force inherent in itself; and (b) the lower astral body on the personal self. The former, whether imprisoned in a vegetable or an animal body, is endowed with, is indeed itself, that force. Owing to its identity with the ALL-FORCE, which, as said, is inherent in the Monad, it is all potent on the Arûpa, or formless plane.” (volume 1, pages 109 and 110)

The Monads, in the course of their long pilgrimage, pass through many planetary chains; but as we are here concerned with that chain only of which our earth is part, it must suffice to say briefly as to the Monads which are to incarnate during our planetary Manvantara, that the Secret Doctrine teaches that they arrive on our chain from the chain in which the moon is Globe D. (It must be kept in mind that bodies normally visible to us must needs consist of matter able to impress itself upon our retina, i.e., matter belonging to our plane.) “Now, it must be remembered that the Monads cycling round any septenary chain are divided into seven classes or hierarchies according to their respective stages of evolution, consciousness, and merit” (volume 1, page 171); and these classes reach Globe A for their new planetary pilgrimage in orderly succession. When the most advanced class of Monads has finished its seventh Round on Globe G of the lunar chain, their activity is suspended for a period of pralayic rest; during their last Round, when the hindermost class has worked through a globe, that globe begins its planetary pralaya, and its life-energies pass “to a new Laya centre, which commences the formation of” the corresponding globe on the earth chain (volume 1, page 172). The seven classes of Lunar Monads (Lunar Pitris, in the Hindu phrase) will, then, reach our Globe A, one after the other; “having ended their life-cycle on the lunar chain, which is inferior to the terrestrial chain,” (volume 1, page 172) they come to be incarnated on the latter. On Globe A, as on the succeeding globes, the cycle of evolution is sevenfold: three elemental kingdoms, followed by the mineral, the vegetable, the animal, the human. Let us figure in our minds the arrival of Class I at the threshold of the lowest of the three elemental kingdoms; working its way through it, it reaches the second elemental kingdom, and as it begins to evolve through the second, Class II enters the lowest elemental. As Class I starts through the highest elemental, Class II begins the mid-elemental, and Class III enters the lowest. And so it continues the evolution step by step, until Class I has reached the first stage of the germinal condition of potential humanity on Globe A, and Class VII has entered the lowest elemental kingdom on the same globe. Thus Globe A finally manifests the seven kingdoms, each occupied by a class of Lunar Monads or Lunar Pitris:

Lunar Monads, Class I have reached the Potential Human Stage
Lunar Monads, Class II have reached the Potential Animal Stage
Lunar Monads, Class III have reached the Potential Vegetable Stage
Lunar Monads, Class IV have reached the Potential Mineral Stage
Lunar Monads, Class V have reached the Potential Higher Elemental
Lunar Monads, Class VI have reached the Potential Middle Elemental
Lunar Monads, Class VII have reached the Potential Lower Elemental

But the student must remember, [ 139/140 ] in using these familiar names of human, animal, etc., that all on Globe A is of the most ethereal substance, the mere filmy shadows of organisms; slowly, Round after Round, the seventh group of the celestial hierarchy - the Nature forces or spirits of each globe - build into the filmy shadows the grosser matter, condensing, solidifying, stage by stage (see volume 2, page 110 with reference to Globe D, and by analogy, for each globe: “the spirits of the Earth clothed the shadows and expanded them . . . it is they who give, or build, the physical tabernacle of man.”) It must also be remembered that the “Man” of Globe A is irrational, senseless ; the Monad cannot impress his substance, filmy as it may be: a long journey lies before the pilgrim, ere he can become conscious on the material plane; be the matter ever so ethereal, it is not of the Arupa [The student should remember that a is a privative, and signifies without; a rupa, without form, and so with other similar words.] world.


Lucifer volume VI, No 33. London May 15, 1890

[210] We have seen the ‘Pilgrim’ start on his long Manvantaric journey, with its forty-nine ‘stations’, at each of which he performs manifold gyrations; for each stage of matter through which he has to pass - elemental, mineral, vegetable, animal - has its sub-stages, and sub-substations, and so on through many sub-divisions, through each of which our Pilgrim must patiently work his way. At the end of the first Round we shall find our seven classes describable under the same headings as were used at the end of the first Globe in Part II, only each class will have then completed a stage, instead of a substage. The intelligent student will have noted that this course of evolution implies that Class I travels with sevenfold rapidity as compared with Class VII; and this is so. Class I has been through the seven stages during the period in which Class VII has only accomplished its passage through the first; Class VII taking as long to pass through a sub-stage as Class I takes to pass through a stage.

When the evolution on Globe A has exhausted its first impulse, and the state described in Part II (originally in Lucifer, page 139) has been reached, Globe A passes into Pralaya, and all life manifestation sleeps.

Pausing here for a moment, let us take a bird’s eye view of the country over which our Pilgrim has to pass, for an occasional glimpse of the whole makes more intelligible the details of the part. The Monad “shot down by the law of Evolution into the lowest form of matter” (volume 1, page 246), climbs upward during three-and-a-half Rounds, i.e., till it reaches the midway globe, Globe D, for the fourth time. During all this time “matter” is solidifying into what we know as matter, but “all this, up to the Third Round, is formless, as matter, and senseless, as consciousness” (volume 1, page 247). Not till the midway point is touched has matter reached material perfection, and physical man reached completion. Meanwhile, on higher planes, a correlative evolution is proceeding, preparing the Inner Self as this the Outer. The “conscious, rational, individual soul (Manas) ‘ the principle or the intelligence of the Elohim’ “(volume 1, page 247) must become fitted for the dwelling a-preparing for it. And so “the Occult Doctrine teaches that while the Monad is cycling on downward into matter, these very Elohim - or Pitris, the lower Dhyân Chohans - are evolving pari passu with it on a higher and more spiritual plane, descending also relatively into matter on their own plane of consciousness, when, after having reached a certain point [that is, the midway point, on Globe D, in the fourth Round], they will meet the incarnating senseless Monad, encased in the lower matter, and blending the two potencies, Spirit and Matter, the union will produce that terrestrial symbol of the ‘Heavenly Man’ in space - PERFECT MAN” (volume 1, page 247).[ 210/211 ] These “lower Dhyân Chohans”, who are the future intellectual principle in man, are variously spoken of as Manasa Dhyânis, Solar Devas, Agnishwatta Pitris (volume 1, page 181), the Hierarchy of Flames, the Sons of the Fire, the Kumaras, the “fashioners of the Inner Man” (volume 1, pages 86 and 87). It is some of these who are “destined to incarnate as the Egos of the forthcoming crop of mankind. The human Ego is neither Âtman nor Buddhi, but the higher Manas: the intellectual fruition and the efflorescence of the intellectual self-conscious Egotism - in the higher spiritual sense. The ancient works refer to it as Karana Sarira on the plane of Sûtrâtma, which is the golden thread on which, like beads, the various personalities of this higher Ego are strung” (volume 2, page 79). Thus in Perfect Man we have a “union” of “three streams” (volume 1, page 181), the Monadic, the Intellectual, the Physical: it is the evolution of the Physical, brooded over by the Monadic, that we study in the first three-and a-half Rounds; the Physical, building up by the Nature forces (see Part II), the Monadic, the Lunar Monads or Pitris.

The most developed of the Monads, our Class I, are they “whose function it is to pass in the First Round through the whole triple cycle of the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms in their most ethereal, filmy, and rudimentary forms, in order to clothe themselves in, and assimilate, the nature of the newly-formed chain. They are those who first reach the human form (if there can be any form in the realm of the almost subjective) on Globe A in the First Round. It is they, therefore, who lead and represent the human element during the Second and Third Rounds, and finally evolve their shadows at the beginning of the Fourth Round for the second class, or those who come behind them.” (volume 1, page 174) “The Monads of Class II reach the incipient human stage only in the Second Round,” (volume 1, page 173) and the Monads of Class III only in the Third Round, “. In the middle of the Fourth Round “the door” into the human kingdom closes,” (volume 1, page 173) and those Monads which, at this point, are “still occupying animal forms” “will not become men at all during this Manvantara” (volume 1, page 182) - with an exception for which we need not here pause. There remains only to note in this general survey of the Pilgrim’s Path, that the matter of which the globes and their inhabitants were composed during the first Three Rounds may fitly be termed “astral”, the word astral implying “starry, shining, or pellucid, in various and numerous degrees, from a quite filmy to a viscid state.” (volume 2, page 251) [ 211/212 ] In each Round matter becomes more substantial than it was in the preceding Round. So also does each globe pass from filmy to viscid during its period of activity in each Round, and with each Round, the viscid becomes more and more solid, until, in the Fourth Round, each globe touches its acme of solidity, and Globe D, our earth, being the midmost, reaches the densest solidity at the middle point of its active period in Round IV - the midway point of Manvantaric evolution. “Every Round (on the descending scale) is but a repetition in a more concrete form of the Round which preceded it, as every globe - down to our fourth sphere (the actual earth) - is a grosser and more material copy of the more shadowy sphere which precedes it in their successive order, on the three higher planes.” (volume 1, page 232) “Every Round, as well as every subsequent globe, from A to G, having been, and still having to be, the arena of the same evolution, only repeated each time on a more solid material basis.” (volume 2, page 256)

Such is the general outline of the evolution: let us now return to our detail.

We have seen Pralaya follow the period of manifestation on Globe A. When the dawn again begins to break. Globe B becomes the sphere of evolution, and on this globe, in regular succession, Class I to VII renew their pilgrimage. Class I passes swiftly through the six preliminary stages till it reaches the potential human, and wins in this a further step of progress. The other classes evolve, each more slowly than the one above it, in regular order. When the “life-impulse” is once more exhausted and the dusk of pralaya is descending on Globe B, we may describe the condition as : -

Class I have reached the Potential Human, Stage 2
Class II have reached the Potential Animal, Stage 2
Class III have reached the Potential Vegetable, Stage 2
Class IV have reached the Potential Mineral, Stage 2
Class V have reached the Potential Higher Elemental, Stage 2
Class VI have reached the Potential Middle Elemental, Stage 2
Class VII have reached the Potential Lower Elemental, Stage 2

Once more after Pralaya comes Manvantaric dawn, and Globe C becomes the station of the Pilgrim. Here Class I passes swiftly from elemental up to potential human, and adds the third stage to those already acquired. And so on, through Globes D, E, F, G, until when Pralaya comes to Globe G, Class I has reached what we may call Germ-Humanity, [ 212/213] with a Rupa, however filmy and unsubstantial, the development of this First “Principle” or “Sheath” of Septenary man being the outcome of the First Round. And now, for Class I the experience of the sub human groups is complete. In no subsequent Round do these Monads traverse the sub-human kingdoms: they have finished with the elemental, the mineral, the vegetable, the animal kingdom, and henceforth their pilgrimage is only in the human.

It is very difficult to represent the progress made during the First Round, without falling into gross inaccuracy, and yet one would fain convey some definite idea, not too erroneous, of the evolutional stages. [ 212/213 ] It is clear, from all we know of nature, that there are no sharp dividing classes between her kingdoms, and that one passes into another by insensible gradations. Bearing this in mind, in order to correct the sharp contrasts that seem to be implied in the use of numerals, if we take an evolving life as passing say from mineral to vegetable, we may figure it to ourselves as the increasing of the vegetable element and the decreasing of the mineral; and if we divide it into seven parts, the pure mineral would be mineral 7, and the pure vegetable would be vegetable 7, while transitional stages might be figured as:

mineral 6  mineral 5
----------      ------------
veget 1     veget 2

and so on, the evoluting vegetable replacing the retrograding mineral. Taking this nomenclature, clumsy as it is, as at least suggesting if not expressing a truth, we may then draw up the following table, as descriptive of the state of each globe in turn before Pralaya during Round 1, and of the Monadic and Physical progress. The horizontal lines give the evolution: read vertically, the condition of the globe is suggested.

Globe A
Globe B
Globe C
Globe D
Globe E
Globe F
Glob G
Man 1
Man 2
Man 3
Man 4
Man 5
Man 6
Man 7
Animal 6
Man 1
Animal 5
Animal 4
Man 3
Animal 3
Man 4
Animal 2
Man 5
Animal 1
Man 6
Animal 1
Veget. 5
Animal 2
Veget. 4
Animal 3
Animal 4
Animal 5
Veget. 1
Animal 6
Mineral 6
Mineral 5
Mineral 4
Veget. 3
Mineral 3
Mineral 2
Veget. 5
Mineral 1
Veget. 6
Higher ElementaL
H.E. 6
Mineral 1
H.E. 5
Mineral 2
Mineral 3
Mineral 4
H.E. 2
Mineral 5
Mineral 6
Middle Elemental
M.E. 6
H.E. 1
H.E. 2
M.E. 4
H.E. 3
H.E. 4
H.E. 6
Lower Elemental
L.E. 5
M.E. 3

A similar treatment of Rounds 2 and 3 will show the position of each Class throughout and at the end of the sevenfold period of activity; and we may regard the classes at the point they have reached on Globe G as the seed which is to spring up on Globe A of the succeeding Round. Thus Class II, commencing the potential Human Stage at the beginning of Round II, completes it at the close; and so, in their relative measures, with each Class. If the student works out these successive stages he will find that on Globe D in the fourth Round, Class V is “inzoonized” (made animal), Class VI is “inherbized” (made vegetable), Class VII is “inmetalized” (mineralized). The stages of the evolution of Man in the Rounds that are of the past are marked for us by a Teacher:

[ 213/214 ] Man in the First Round and First Race on Globe D, our Earth, was an ethereal being (a lunar Dhyani as man), non-intelligent but superspiritual ; and correspondingly, on the law of analogy, in the First Race of the Fourth Round. In each of the subsequent races and sub-races . . . he grows more and more into an encased or incarnate being, but still preponderantly ethereal . . . .

II Round. He (Man) is still gigantic and ethereal but growing firmer and more condensed in body, a more physical man. Yet still less intelligent than spiritual, for mind is a slower and more difficult evolution than is the physical frame.

III Round. He has now a perfectly concrete or compacted body, at first the form of a giant-ape, and now more intelligent, or rather cunning, than spiritual. For, on the downward arc, he has now reached a point where his primordial spirituality is eclipsed and overshadowed by nascent mentality. In the last half of the Third Round his gigantic stature decreases, and his body improves in texture, and he becomes a more rational being, though still more an ape than a Deva . . . . (all this is almost exactly repeated in the third Root-Race of the Fourth Round.)

IV Round. Intellect has an enormous development in this Round. The (hitherto) dumb races acquire our (present) human speech on this globe, on which from the Fourth Race, language is perfected and knowledge increases. At this halfway point of the Fourth Round (as of the Fourth Root, or Atlantean, Race) humanity passes the axial point of the minor Manvantara cycle . . . the world teeming with the results of intellectual activity and spiritual decrease.” (volume 1, pages 188 and 189)

The product of each Round, as a Round, is the prefect evolution of one of the principles of Septenary Man, so that when the Manvantara is over Septenary Man will stand perfect and complete. We are in the Fourth Round, the Round during which the lowest point is touched, and to which appropriately belongs the evolution of the Kâmic principle. The next Round, the Fifth, will see the development of Manas; the Sixth, the manifestation of Buddhi; the Seventh, that of Atma.

Let the student also note that as with the Rounds so with the Races on a single globe, each Race develops specially one principle, so that at the close of the smaller cycle of the globe in a single Round, the globe humanity shall touch its relative completion in the Seventh Race, its smaller cycle thus repeating the cycle of wider sweep of the Round. The Fourth Race, the Atlantean, developed the Kâmic principle with its accompanying grossness of matter, the separation of the sexes having taken place in the Third Race; we are of the Fifth Race, and are developing the Manasic principle, as witness the widespread intellectuality, the immense strides of mentality. The Sixth Race will unveil the lamp of Buddhi, and from the Seventh the flame of Âtma will shine brightly forth.

[ 214/215 ] The cycle is repeated on a yet smaller scale in the individual man, the microcosm: his physical body is built up, sex is perfected, his passions develop and hold sway, and then his intellect attains supremacy. In intra-uterine life, yet once again, we trace growth along the same lines: at the commencement of the third month it becomes possible to distinguish sex (Gray); the convolutions of the brain, which are connected with intellect, begin to appear about the beginning of the fifth month (Longet, quoted by Dalton); development is sufficiently complete for independent external life by the seventh. And then? Well does the “Secret Doctrine” say: “On strict analogy, the cycle of Seven Rounds in their work of the gradual formation of man throughout every kingdom of nature, are repeated on a microscopic scale in the first seven months of gestation of a future human being. Let the student think over and work out this analogy. [ 215 ] As the seven-month-old unborn baby, though quite ready, yet needs two months more in which to acquire strength and consolidate; so man, having perfected his evolution during seven Rounds, remains two periods more in the womb of Mother-Nature before he is born, or rather reborn a Dhyâni, still more perfect than he was before he launched forth as a Monad on the newly-built chain of worlds.” (volume 2, page 257)

We shall best progress now by concentrating our attention on one of the smaller cycles of evolution, that of our own earth, Globe D, during its period of activity in the Fourth Round. By studying the development of the first five of the Seven Races, light will also be thrown backward on the Kosmic evolution we have been considering, and we shall find the Macrocosm become more intelligible as we grow more familiar with the Microcosm.


Lucifer volume VI, No 34, London June 15, 1890

We now fix our attention on the lowest of the four planes on which is our planetary chain, on the terrestrial; and we commence the study of the evolution of Globe D, our Earth, during its period of activity in the Fourth Round. Let us glance at the broad outlines ere we fill in the details.

When for the fourth time Globe D begins its period of activity, it has reached very considerable solidity as compared with its state during the previous Rounds, and it continues to densify until it reaches the midpoint period of its life, the lowest point of its cycle. [ 305/306 ] Be it noted also that this lowest point also of the fourth globe on the Fourth Round is the lowest point also of the whole planetary chain, its deepest sinking into matter. That point once passed, life begins its upward climb, never again to sink so low during the Manvantaric cycle. “Our Earth . . . has to live . . . through seven Rounds. During the first three, it forms and consolidates; during the fourth it settles and hardens; during the last three it gradually returns to its first ethereal form.” (volume 1, page 159)

Seven Races of Men are to be evolved for the indwelling of the “Eternal Pilgrim”; these, in their physical frames - like their globe - densifying during the evolution of three-and-a-half Races, touching their densest point midway in the Fourth Race, and climbing up towards spirit during the latter three-and-a-half. “They commence with the ethereal and end with the spiritual on the double line of physical and moral evolution - from the beginning of the terrestrial round to its close.” (volume 1, page 160) Man we are told, “in his gradual consolidation, developed pari passu with the earth . . . . For the earth was in a comparatively ethereal condition before it reached its last consolidated state; the archaic teachings, moreover, telling us that, during the middle period of the Lemuro-Atlantean Race, three-and-a-half Races after the genesis of man, the earth, man, and everything in the globe was of a still grosser and more material nature . . . . The cycles that intervened since then, have already carried us onward, on the opposite ascending arc, some steps towards our [ 306 ] dematerialisation, as the Spiritualists would say.” (volume 2, page 250) During this sinking from the ethereal to the grossly material, the Races evolve the lower Quaternary; Manas evolves fully only in the Fifth Race; Buddhi will appear fully only in the Sixth, and Âtma will be revealed fully only in the Seventh. (The word “fully” is used only in a relative sense, relative to the Fourth Round. The perfect manifestation of Âtma belongs to the Seventh Race in the Seventh Round.)

These Seven Races are spoken of as Root Races; “Each Root Race has seven sub-races. Each sub-race has, in its turn, seven ramifications, which may be called branch, or family, races. The little tribes, shoots, and offshoots of the last-names are countless.” (volume 2, page 434, or see diagram that is reproduced here as Diagram 5) A family race of our Fifth Race has an average life of about 30,000 years, giving approximately 210,000 to each of our sub-races and 1,470,000 to our Race. But this is only a rough computation of the time during which it may be said to be in possession of the earth; for Races, sub-races, and family races overlap each other’s existences, some of the Third and Fourth Races yet surviving, although our Fifth Race has swayed the destinies of Humanity for some 1,000,000 years. (volume 2, page 435)

It may perhaps be wise here to remind the student of a pitfall into which he may unwarily stumble. Occasionally he will come across the statement that, “the human race” has existed on earth for 18,000,000 years. But he will blunder if he takes this as giving the date of the appearance of the First Race. It is the date of the midpoint of the Third Race, when Manas first entered some of the human shells and made them Men. (volume 2, pages 254 and 255) [ 306/ 307 ] Before this “the Inner Man was not,” as the Stanza has it, and without this Man is not truly man. Beyond that 18,000,000 years “man, or his filmy image, may have existed for 300 million years, for all we know,” (volume 2, page 251) evolving through the First and the Second Races and the first half of the Third.

The physical conformation of the earth varies as the Races successively evolve. As there are Seven Races in the evolution of Humanity, so are there Seven Continents in the physical evolution of the globe. The first of these seven, “the first terra firma on which the first Race was evolved,” is “the Imperishable Sacred Land”, called imperishable because it “is stated never to have shared the fate of the other continents; because it is the only one whose destiny it is to last from the beginning to the end of the Manvantara throughout each Round.” (volume 2, page 6) The whole earth was then “one vast watery desert” save for this land at the North Pole, “which crowns the North Pole like a skull-cap” and “is the only one which prevails during the whole Manvantara of our Round. All the central continents will emerge from the sea bottom many times in turn, but this land will never change.” (volume 2, page 400 - note) “If, then, the teaching is understood correctly, the first continent which came into existence capped over the whole North Pole like one unbroken crust, and remains so to this day, beyond that inland sea which seemed like an unreachable mirage to the few Arctic travellers who perceived it” (p 401).[ 307 ] [The student will find himself rewarded if he endeavours to trace the connection between this land, and Mount Meru, and the “Solitary Watcher”.] The Second Continent is the Hyperborean, stretching southward and westward from the North Pole, comprising the north of Asia and Europe. (volume 2, page 7) It embraced Greenland, Spitzbergen, Sweden, Norway, and the adjoining lands (p 775). :During the Second Race more land emerged from under the waters as a continuation of the ‘head’ from the neck. Beginning on both hemispheres, on the line above the most Northern part of Spitzbergen, on Mercator’s Projection, on our side, it may have included, on the American side the localities that are now occupied by Baffin Bay and the neighbouring islands and promontories. There it hardly reached, southward, the 70th degree of latitude; here it formed the horseshoe continent of which the commentary speaks; of the two ends of which one included Greenland with a prolongation which crossed the 50th degree a little southwest; and the other Kamchatka; the two ends being united by what is now the Northern fringe of the coasts of Eastern and Western Siberia. This broke asunder and disappeared.” (volume 2, pages 401 and 402) This portion of the earth had then no winter, and enjoyed an almost tropical climate. It was the ‘Land of the Eternal Sun”, and portions left of it still yield to the geologist fossilized remnants of its former flora, fossils which bear witness to the time when Greenland bore the Magnolia and Walnut tree, and was the dwelling of the Second Race.[ 308 ] (volume 2, pages 11 and 12) The Third Continent is Lemuria, in which was the “Sacred Himavat”, the Himalayan range, which then rose above the sea. It stretched across the Indian Ocean to Australia and northward included the remaining parts of the Second Continent, Sweden and Norway, Eastern and Western Siberia and Kamchatka; “it included the whole area of space from the foot of the Himalayas, which separated it from the inland sea rolling its waves over what is now Thibet, Mongolia, and the great desert of Schamo (Gobi); from Chittagong, westward to Hardwar, and eastward to Assam. From thence it stretched south across what is known to us as Southern India, Ceylon and Sumatra; then, embracing on its way as we go south, Madagascar on its right hand and Australia and Tasmania on its left, it ran down to within a few degrees of the Antarctic Circle; when from Australia, an inland region on the Mother Continent in those ages, it extended far into the Pacific Ocean, not only beyond Rapa-nui (Teapy, or Easter Island) which now lies in latitude 26 S. and longitude 100 W.” On the Atlantic side, Lemuria “extended in the shape of a horseshoe past Madagascar, round ‘South Africa’ (then a mere fragment in process of formation) through the Atlantic up to Norway. The great English freshwater deposit called the Wealden - which every geologist remarks as the mouth of a former great river - is the bed of the main stream which drained Northern Lemuria in the Secondary Age.” The Eastern portion of this “gigantic continent . . . has now wholly disappeared beneath the waters of the Pacific, leaving here and there only some of its highland tops which are now islands.” (volume 2, pages 7, 323-324, 333, 401-402 ) Here dwelt the Lemurian Race, and on some of the fragments which yet remain dwell their deteriorated descendants today. The Fourth Continent is Atlantis, of which Plato’s island was a remnant. (volume 2, page 7) It was “a large continent, first divided, and then broken later on into seven peninsulas and islands . . . . It covered the whole of the North and South Atlantic regions, as well as portions of the North and South Pacific and had islands even in the India Ocean (relics of Lemuria)” (p 405). “The Atlantic portion of Lemuria was the geological basis of what is generally known as Atlantis. The latter, indeed, must be regarded rather as a development of the Atlantic prolongation of Lemuria, than as an entirely new mass of land upheaved to meet the special requirements of the Fourth Root Race” (p 333). The “continent was formed by the coalescence of many islands and peninsulas which were upheaved in the ordinary course of time, and became ultimately the true home of the great Race known as the Atlantean” (p 334). The Fifth Continent was America in point of time, but Europe and Asia Minor have received the name, since they were almost coequal with America, and it is on them that the Fifth Race has arisen (p 8). A mass of facts gathered from scientific textbooks in support of the existence of the Third and Fourth Continents, will be found in the “Secret Doctrine”.

[ 308/309 ] On each of these Continents its Race is evolved in seven different groups, each group at its own centre, the seven groups forming the collective “Man”. (see volume 2, pages 177 and 249) The relics of the Third Round, “projected into objectivity when terrestrial activity recommences”, yield the “rough material” for the lower kingdoms (p 731): while the Dhyân Chohanic impulse is the “inherent and necessary law of development”, lying “behind all minor agencies” - such as natural and sexual selection, correlation of growth, etc - which impels to progress (p 738). The Laurentian, Cambrian, and Silurian systems of geology contain the relics of the Third Round in their fossilized animals (p 712); this will not seem surprising to the reader who remembers that “during the interim from one Round to another the globe and everything on it remain in stau quo.” (note on p 713)

When the earth awakes from its pralayic sleep to tread its fourth cycle, the mineral kingdom is thus formed, and the vegetable is partly evolved ere Man appears: “Arrived on our earth at the commencement of the Fourth in the present series of life cycles and races, Man is the first form that appears thereon, being preceded only by the mineral and vegetable kingdoms - even the latter having to develop and continue its further evolution through man.” (volume 1, page 159) This Round is the especial Round of Humanity, so to speak. “Its Humanity develops only in the Fourth - our present round. Up to this Fourth Life-Cycle, it is referred to as ‘humanity’ only for lack of a more appropriate term. Like the grub which becomes chrysalis and butterfly, Man, or rather that which becomes Man, passes through all the forms and kingdoms during the First Round and through all the human shapes during the two following Rounds.” (volume 1, page 159)

And here let the student note how his path may be smoothed by remembering the correspondences between the planetary and the terrestrial life-cycles; for the first three-and-a-half Races, as for the first three-and-a-half Rounds, man is “man” only by courtesy and by destiny. The Fourth Race, like the Fourth Round, shows man as “man”. He also is forming and consolidating during the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Races, he and it gradually return to the he ethereal form. Thus by knowing what we are told as to the Rounds, we could well-nigh work out for ourselves the stages in the Races, these little Wheels revolving like the large.

In studying the evolution of Man on Globe D, it must ever the kept in mind that it is the one of the central truths of occult teaching that man’s life is not confined to this world. As was well put in an article in the Theosophist of October, 1882: “[ 309/310 ] The evolution of man is not a process carried out on this planet alone. It is a result to which many worlds in different conditions of material and spiritual development have contributed.” If this thought be realized, with all that it implies, the original failure of Earth to evolve him, and the gradual building up of Man, as we know him, by the progressing entities who, as Man, are to progress further, will become intelligible. The “Lunar Pitris” who project their chhayas for the mold of his physical form, are but one set of these entities, and build themselves thus into man; the “Lords of the Flame” who bring the gift of Manas are but the Principles which become the reincarnating Ego of Man; they seek, as man, their further progress. Earth alone cannot build man; the Pitris alone cannot complete him; the Sons of Mind alone cannot clothe him. All these must unite to evolve him, because man is one of the stages of the Universal Evolution of Life; all must be growing towards, passing through, or growing from the stage we know as “human”; and as the chemical elements might be poetically figured as combining first to form the simple mineral, then additional ones entering in to form the vegetable, then others again entering to produce the animal, so the varied life-forms of our universe enter one after another into the making of Man, until he stands, the perfect septenary, to progress upwards ever, in higher and higher stages of evolving life.

Ere The Coming of Man

[ 310 ] Strange were the throes of Mother Earth through millions of years, ere yet she was ready to be the home of the human race. “From her own bosom” she evolved strange monsters, formed of the relics of the previous Rounds, monsters which writhed and fought in those dim formless ages, when earth was well-nigh as Chaos, and nature had but a prentice hand. Her efforts were a failure when she strove to produce man. No fit dwelling could she make for the Eternal Pilgrim, for him who needed more the physical coat of skin. An inclination of the earth’s axis caused a deluge, and all the monstrous forms were swept away from an earth now ready for

The First Race

In the first beginnings of [human] life, the only dry land was on the Right End of the sphere where it is motionless [the North Pole]. The whole earth was one vast watery desert, and the waters were tepid . . . There man was born on the seven zones of the immortal, the indestructible of the Manvantara.” (volume 2, page 400) So says one of “the Commentaries” of the coming of Man. Here appeared the primordial human group, “born” under the Sun, (volume 2, page 29) dwellings for the Monads awaiting incarnation. These dwellings, however, were but the astral forms, the chhâyâs, or shadows of the Lunar Pitris, projected by the latter to serve as the mold, so to speak, of physical man. It was “a luminous incorporeal form, over which, like the molten brass round the clay model of the sculptor, the physical frame of his body was built by, through, and from the lower forms and types of animal terrestrial life.” (volume 2, page 112) These first men “were then simply the images, the astral doubles, of their Fathers, who were the pioneers, or the most progressed entities from a preceding though lower sphere, the shell of which is now our moon. (volume 2, page 115) [ 310/311 ] They were the seven primordial men, evolved by the seven Pitris, mindless, mere shells; for the “Solar Angels”, the Lords of the Flame, elsewhere called the Agnishwatta, the Kumaras, “would not yet create”, i.e., the time has not yet come for Manas to incarnate in the human form. In the Hindu nomenclature the Lunar Pitris who project their shadows are the Barhishad, full of creative fire; the Agnishwatta, who are without this creative fire but who hold in reserve the gift of Manas, the Spiritual Flame, are those who at first refuse to join in “the making of man”. “Yet it is they alone who could complete man, i.e., make of him a self-conscious, almost a divine being - a God on earth. The Barhishad, though possessed of creative fire, were devoid of the higher Mâhâtmic element. Being on a level with the lower principles - those which precede gross objective matter - they could only give birth to the outer man, or rather to the model of the physical, the astral man. Thus, though we see them intrusted with the task by Brahmâ (the collective Mahât or universal Divine Mind), the ‘mystery of creation’ is repeated on Earth, only in an inverted sense, as in a mirror. It is those who are unable to create the spiritual immortal man, who project the senseless model (the Astral) of the physical Being.” (volume 2, page 79)

[ 311 ] Thus we see formed this first quasi-human race, an ethereal sexless form, into which the “earth-spirits” before spoken of are to build the atoms of the more substantial body of the future. It is the commencement of the physical evolution of the present Round on our globe, the Monad brooding over the senseless shell, the form that was “look a roof with no walls, nor pillars to rest upon,” (Commentary, quoted volume 2, page 57) and on which it could have “no hold”. This was all “the Father”, the Lunar Pitris, could do towards the making of man: they could fashion the “body of illusion”, they could project the form, they could mold the shape; but not theirs to give the indwelling Mind that should inform the helpless shell, that Spark that hangs from the Flame, without which man’s bodily frame is dark as the brute’s, without which the Eternal Pilgrim could not enter the dwelling made for his reception.

-Two Students of the E.S.


Questions and Answers

We have received the following questions, and append them with replies.

Q. On page 211 (see Part III, 3rd paragraph) of Lucifer you say: “It is some of these Manasa Dhyânis) who are destined to incarnate as the Egos of the forthcoming crop of humanity.” What would be the nature of this incarnation? Do you mean as an entirely separate and new race, having no connection with the race of Egos at present incarnated and evolving; or blending into oneness with them, as the Higher Ego may be conjoined with the lower? Or, in other words, are these our higher Egos, already destined to incarnate in our future personalities?

- X .Y.Z

A. The incarnation is the passing of Manas into the Quaternary evolved for its reception; you will understand this when it is reached in the account of the Fourth Round, and then the remaining part of this question will not need answering.

Q. After passing through the middle Globe D, is not the process carried out upon the ascending scale up to G, that of etherealising, or spiritualising matter; so that each globe and its inhabitants return into the “filmy, viscid, or pellucid” condition of matter?

A. Certainly, the process is carried on up to G, as has been stated in the definition of a Round; the inhabitants climb the ascending arc, but each globe passes into sleep until its period of activity recurs in the succeeding Round, and when its seventh period is over it dies. See the account given of the moon in Part II, Diagram 3 of this booklet, or Secret Doctrine, volume 1, page 172.

Q. Does man retain, in the rounds succeeding the present, a recollection of the human personalities he has passed through during this round (the 4th); or are they forever obliterated during the Pralaya? - for it is evident that the higher he ascends in evolution, the more completely does the human identity become obliterated.

A. We cannot venture on categorical statements as to the succeeding Rounds, but we may remind L.Y.Z. that at a certain stage of development the individual, even now, can recall his past. Identity does not become obliterated, but rather accentuated, with progress; “separateness” is lessened, but individuality persists.

Q. During the Pralayas, are the Egos passing through our chain of globes, supposed to be in Devachan - or what sort of condition would theirs be?

A. Devachan is the subjective state of the Ego between its incarnations, and has nothing to do with Pralaya, a word applied to the rest-period of globes, systems, or universes. We are not able to say what is the condition of the Egos, though there are those who know.

Q. Does the aggregate consciousness of the cells in the human body constitute the consciousness we know as men, and is “The Unknowable” but the sum total of all the consciousness in it?[ 312 ]

A. “Consciousness” is far more than the aggregate consciousness of the cells of the physical frame, though each cell is conscious on its own plane. In man consciousness rises to self-consciousness, and we have Manas, which, as you must see, if you read these articles, is something far other than the outcome of the body. If we could answer the second part of your question fully “the Unknowable” would be “the Known”. See answer to N.D.K which follows.

Q. Is the term “Parabrahm” or the “Absolute” applied to the state of the “One Life” during a Mahâ-Pralaya only when all things are merged into homogeneous unity; or is the same term also applicable to any essence or principle during a Mahâ-Manvantara when the one life or ultimate reality is differentiated and presents various aspect? The word “absolute” is very often used in the “Secret Doctrine”, but nothing like a clear explanation of the term is given. It would be much better to know what idea or ideas are meant to be conveyed by this word. (1)

It is said that “Parabrahm is without any relation to manifested being.” It is only during a Mahâ-Pralaya that all “relation” would cease, but during a Manvantara, all the various differentiations from the grossest to the highest must be related or connected one with the other, otherwise there would be no Universe. (2) However much for the sake of metaphysical discussion it be argued that “Parabrahm is out of all relation to conditioned existence,” such an argument could only be held correct if the term “Parabrahm” were restricted to the state of the unknowable essence of all things during Pralaya only. If it were asserted that the same Parabrahmic essence of the Pralaya state exists somewhere even during the Manvantaras, then Parabrahm would at once come into “relation” directly with its nearest emanations and indirectly with all the remoter ones. (3)

[ 312/313 ] A Mahâ-Manvantara, and a Mahâ-Pralaya are two forms or aspects of the “Be-ness or One Reality”. These two are the necessary conditions of the Life of the “Reality” for the one could not be without the other. A Manvantara and a Pralaya are indissolubly linked and the “reality” which is at the root of both, cannot but be in “relation” with both and the differentiations thereof. (4)

“Parabrahm” has been defined to be “an eternal and periodical law, which causes an active and creative force (the logos) to emanate from the ever concealed and incomprehensible One Principle at the beginning of every Mahâ-Manvantara” (Key.., page 62). Here the “Eternal Law” and the “One Principle” appear as if they were different, but in reality they must be one, the “law” being a form of the existence of the “Principle”, and the Parabrahm may be explained as the One Principle, whose law of existence or nature is such that it is continually subject to periods of activity and rest, and that in the beginning of its periods of activity it emits first of all a creative force (the Logos) which develops the Universe. The contention urged here is, that in whatever light the One Primal Reality may be viewed, the force of logic points to the conclusion that this “Reality” is in “relation” with the various manifestations of the Universe. By merely naming it as the “Absolute” we cannot break up the relation between it and its emanations , or reflections , if you please. Either the Absolute ceases to be the Absolute during a Manvantara; or if it is asserted to exist as the Absolute, it is in direct and indirect “relation” with its manifestations. The Universe is said to come into existence by “the Eternal Reality” casting a periodical reflection of itself on the Infinite Spatial depths” (Key.. page 84)

Is the Reality anything different from the “Spatial depths” or Space? if not, and if space or the Eternal Substance which fills it, is the only reality, what is it that casts the reflection? From what quarter does the reflection come, and upon what does it fall? (5)

It is important to know whether during a Mahâ-Manvantara there is anywhere in Infinity anything like the Mahâ Pralyic state of the Reality, or whether there is all along some sort or other of differentiation or manifestation going on in every point of space. (6)

[ 313 ] At the dawn of a Manvantara, the first differentiation is said to be the “Unmanifested or Impersonal Logos.” This in its turn emanates the second Logos. The first or unmanifested is said not to be able to manifest as it is the “lord of the mysteries,” but we understand nothing by this vague expression. What is the function of the Unmanifested Logos, and wherein does it differ from the second Logos? (7) The Hindus call both the unmanifested and the manifested Logos - “Ishwar” only.

The second Logos is said to be spirit-matter or Purusha Prakriti. At page 15, volume 1, it is explained that cosmic ideation (spirit) and cosmic substance (matter) are two aspects of Parabrahm, (8) and Fohat links these two. Fohat is said to be the dynamic energy of cosmic ideation - the animating principle electrifying every atom of life. Now whence comes this Fohat? Is it spirit, or is it matter, or is it both? (9)

At page 16, a summary is given to make the statements of the previous page “clearer”. It is as follows:

(1) The Absolute or Parabrahm.
(2) The unmanifested Logos.
(3) The second Logos, or Spirit-matter, Life.
(4) Cosmic Ideation, Mahat or intelligence, the Universal World Soul, the Cosmic Noumenon of matter.

The fourth and last enumeration is most confusing. If Cosmic Ideation at page 15 (Secret Doctrine) stands for spirit, why is it mentioned here as different from the 2nd Logos, and what has become of cosmic substance, and Fohat in this “clearer” summary? and what is meant by calling the 2nd Logos spirit-matter and apart from Cosmic Ideation? (10) The great difficulty of every student of the Eastern doctrine is, that the root ideas remain as confused as ever in spite of the constant reading and collating of the different passages; and unless something like a clear exposition is given by the talented author of the “Secret Doctrine” in as plain language as possible, without reference to any system of philosophy or religion, the majority of the readers must despair of understanding the secret doctrine at all
- N.D.K

A. It would need knowledge far greater than any human or Dhyân Chohanic knowledge, let alone our poor little store, to answer categorically all the difficulties of N.D.K. If an ant tried to explain to a brother ant the mental process of Newton, he would probably make rather a poor job of it; but an ant is millions of millions of times nearer to a man than is man to the One Reality. We can only throw out two or three hints, and suggest to our correspondent that while we may dimly sense the Absolute we cannot apprehend, much less comprehend, it, and that, while we are forced to acknowledge it by the reason, any attempt to explain it involves us in hopeless self-contradictions. This is acknowledged in every philosophy, and is a hopeless difficulty, common to all, and lying in the very nature of things. As well said by Dean Mansel: “The Absolute cannot be conceived as conscious, neither can it be conceived as unconscious; it cannot be conceived as complex, neither can it be conceived as simple; it cannot be conceived by difference, neither can it be conceived by absence of difference; it cannot be identified with the universe, neither can it be distinguished from it.” What is this but to say that “the Absolute” cannot be an object of thought at all, and that to attempt to reason about it is to become absurd?

(1) Every student of philosophy knows that no “clear explanation of the term” can be given. When we say “Unknowable” we confess our inability to explain.

(2) “One with the other” yes, but not with the Absolute. Absolute implies without relation; all that has relation is relative.

(3) [ 314 ] Parabrahm, the Absolute and the Infinite, cannot exist somewhere; the use of these localized phrases is entirely out of place. Nor can it have “nearest” or furthest.

(4) See (2). The One Life is un-conditioned. The terms Manvantara and Mahâ-Pralaya must be thought of in relation to the manifested universe, not as conditioning the unconditionable. You would do well to note how cautiously guarded are all the phrases used of “Be-ness” in the “Secret Doctrine”.

(5) You are using a poetical phrase - which adumbrates a truth impossible to express definitely, since our language is too clumsy - as though you were dealing with a looking-glass from a furniture-shop. In metaphysics you are in the realm of mind, not in that of extension, and you must try to accommodate yourself to its conditions; you might as well ask whether thought is square or round, as ask “from what quarter does the reflection come?”

(6) We are told of periodically succeeding out-breathing and in-breathing; not of simultaneous out-breathing and in-breathing. How could these coexist?

(7) The differ in the one being unmanifested, the other manifested. And see (2) and (3) on p 16, Secret Doctrine.

(8) Not cosmic but pre-cosmic as aspects: Parabrahm and Mûlaprakriti are the Vedântin terms.
(9) On “whence comes Fohat” see Part 1 Gleanings, 3rd paragraph from end 'Fohat is both “spirit” and “matter”, though not of our plane.

(10) The summary seems to us to be very clear; of course, since it only carries us to Mahat it does not include Fohat, any more than a genealogical tree when it stops at a man includes his grandson. You apparently forget that “Spirit” and “Matter” are two aspects of substance in manifestation, and that, united in the 2nd Logos, they differentiate further in the succeeding stage. Surely patient thinking will enable you to understand the “Secret Doctrine”. [ 314 ] The most abstruse of subjects cannot be made as simple as a primer, and each student must do his own thinking. Personally, when a tangle seemed hopeless, we have found that the resolute patient thinking has unraveled it. But we can only suggest to others the method of unraveling for themselves: we cannot straighten the tangle for them.


Lucifer volume VI, No 35, London, July 15 1890

[ 407 ] We have seen the inferior Pitris who possess an astral body within an ethereal form, projecting that astral - their chhaya - to form the mold for physical man, the “delicate model for the Nature Spirits of Matter to work upon.” (volume 1, page 225) We have seen the Monad descending and brooding over the senseless shell - the “Double Dragon” as it is sometimes called - as Âtma-Buddhi (see the Commentaries, as quoted in volume 2, page 57). We may regard this First Race the “Sons of Yoga”, as possessing but the Linga Šarîra, the astral body, of man: “The Breath (human Monad) needed a form: the Fathers gave it.” (Sloka 17) The grosser body was molded by the Earth forces through the first Three Races, growing denser and more compact as the ages revolved. Prana, the life-principle, the “electric fire”, came to it from the Sun: “the spirit of the Earth called to his help the Solar Fire . . . the Breath needed the Spirit of Life: the Solar Lhas breathed it into its form.” (Slokas 16-17) The Commentary has the same thought: “They were the Shadows of the shadows of the Lords. They expanded. The Spirits of the Earth clothed them; the Solar Lhas warmed them.” (volume 2, page 109) This gift of physical life, of electric fire, by the Sun must not be confused with the higher gift of the “Solar Angels”, who bring Manas to the making of man. We are here wholly on the physical plane, and are concerned only with the building up of the Quaternary. When the “Solar Lhas” had “warmed them”, “the Breaths had life, but had no understanding,” and so they continued till the Third Race. Nor was even speech found among the First Race, mindless as it was on our plane. (volume 2, page 198) “The Monads which informed these empty shells remained as unconscious as when separated from their previous incomplete forms and vehicles,” (volume 2, page 80) and to an unconscious Monad and a mindless shell no speech was possible. (The reader is asked to remember here that the Monads are not “separate” entities, but rays from the One Universal Monad, which are conceived of us as “separate” only because of our “avidya” or ignorance.

The Second Race

[ 407/408 ] The Second Race, born under Brihaspatic (Jupiter) on the Hyperborean Continent, reproduced itself so far as the early portion of it was concerned - like so many other forms of early physical life - by budding, or gemmation, followed by expansion. Those who have seen the process, say in the Hydra, will understand how naturally from a form so much less solid than the Hydra, will understand how naturally from a form so much less solid than the Hydra, such gemmation would occur. It is universal in the early jellylike forms of living things, and in more highly developed and more complex forms it is still preserved in the earliest stages of their existence. The egg from which the human fetus is to be developed has its mulberry stage, and everywhere we find fission among the primitive stages of living things. The idea of this universal form of reproduction as being that by which the Second Race appeared seems ludicrous only because people think of it as applying to the complex organism we know as “man”. But the beings of the Second Race preceded “man” by many a million years: they were on the path of evolution towards man, but those boneless viscid indeterminate forms had nothing of what we call human about them, although they were the seed out of which thousands of millenniums later man was to evolve gradually “from its ethereal, or what would now be called protoplasmic model,” and this primeval humanity, we are told, such reproduction, and in fact such beings, without organs, could only thus reproduce their kind. The physical form had to evolve gradually “from its ethereal, or what would now be called protoplasmic model,” and this primeval humanity, we are told, “had at first an ethereal - or, if so preferred, a huge filamentoid, jellylike, form, evolved by Gods or natural ‘forces’, which grew, condensed throughout millions of ages, and became gigantic in its physical impulse and tendency, until it settled into the huge physical form of the Fourth Race Man.” (volume 2, pages 150 and151) Perhaps those who have ignorantly laughed at the “Secret Doctrine” will explain what method of reproduction, save fission or gemmation, was available for these jellylike structure-less creatures. Mindless still they were, but the first faint dawn of a yet far-off consciousness appeared in them, for we read of their endowment “with the first primitive and weak spark (the germ of intelligence)”, (volume 2, page 165) and of their making “chant-like sounds, composed of vowels alone” (p 198).

As the Second Race was evolving, the First Race was disappearing before conditions unsuited for its continued existence: “when the Race became old, the old waters mixed with the fresher waters . . . the outer of the First became the inner of the Second.” (Sloka 21) The “men” of the First Race melted away, were absorbed into the firmer, though still viscid, forms of the Second Race, becoming the lower principles of the evolving bodies. (volume 2, page 121) The later Second Race, progeny of those produced by the First Race, are spoken of as “Sweat born” in the Commentary, (volume 2, page 117) a poetical phrase for a form of reproduction which marks a step forward in evolution, but which may best be described in those with whom it was the characteristic type, the First Division of the Third Root Race.

The Third Race

[ 409] The Third Race, which was to become really human, was evolved on the vast continents of the globe, and was significantly born under Lohitanga, the fiery-bodied Venus, or Sukra. (volume 2, page 29) As the physical shape condensed and hardened, it was no longer capable of gemmation: hence in the later Second and in the early Third Race reproduction consisted of the extrusion of a viscid cell, which by the process familiar to us as cell division without separation, grew into an oviform ball, developing - as does the spore of the plant - outside the body of the parent, into the mature form. As the Third Race evolved, the spore-like cell, or “drop”, acquired the characteristic properties of the animal egg, such as we still find among oviparous animals, and the developing Humanity, from being sexless or asexual, became gradually bisexual or hermaphrodite, evolving organs, hardening in tissue and producing bones, passing in fact through what the modern scientist would call the reptilian and avian stages. The change to oviparous reproduction and to the growth of the endo-skeleton, marked during the two earlier divisions of the Third Race, leads on to the complete separation of the sexes in the third division, there being developed first “beings in which the one sex predominated over the other, and finally distinct men and women. “ (volume 2, page 132) In fact the Races passed during millions of years, along the path of development now swiftly trodden by man in the early months of intra-uterine life: the cell gemmation, the cell multiplication, the asexual fetal form, the growth of bones, the stage of hermaphroditism, the separation of the sexes. All these are familiar to every student of physiology: very strange, very wonderful, veiled in mystery as to causes although obvious as to effects; but no more strange, no more wonderful, no more mysterious, in the evolving Races than in the evolving individual. Nor is it irrational to speak of the Races as “human”. True, “men, during the First and Second Races, were not physical beings, but merely rudiments of the future men.” (volume 2, page 108) [ 409 ] But are not the germ cell, the sexless embryo, the hermaphrodite fetus, rightly described as human in that their goal is perfect Man? Why then shall not the early stages of Humanity in the womb of Nature be recognized for what they are, and why should they not be named by their end, by the triumph towards which they are working, the building up of Man?

With this separation of the sexes comes the critical point of evolution: man has become “opposite polar forces, an equilibrized compound of Spirit and Matter, of the positive and the negative, of the male and the female.” (volume 2, page 84) [ 409/410 ] He has now reached his human form, though it be yet “gigantic and ape-like’: he has evolved “the vehicle of desire, or Kâma Rupa,” (volume 2, page 116) taking on, in his progress, animal passions and physical organs, thus entering the field of struggle in which he is to “become as Gods, knowing good and evil,” thus acquiring the knowledge without which perfection cannot be. Out of the sinlessness of unconsciousness, through the soil and the mire of evil, onward into perfect righteousness, such was the path marked out for the feet of man. In this Third Race began the battle, some 18,000,000 years ago. For now the Quaternary is complete: the physical body has taken its shape molded on the Linga Sarira; Prana vivifies it, Kâma fires it, Kâma the gift of Suchi, the Sun, the “Drainer of Waters”. (Sloka 17) the last thing that the lower Powers could bestow on evolving man. Over this now perfected fleshly tabernacle still brooded the “Divine Pilgrim”, awaiting the last touch which should unite the Quaternary with the Duad, the incoming of the Ego, that with one hand should cling to Âtma-Buddhi, the Higher Self, with the other touch the Lower Self, and so knit the sundered together. This is the work of the “Fire Dhyânis, the “Solar Pitris”, the Agnishwatta. The Esotercist speaks of these as the Heart of the Dhyân-Chohanic Body (volume 2, page 91), and they are the three classes of the Arûpa Pitris, intellectual and spiritual, while the remaining four classes were corporeal, material and devoid of intellect (pp 91, 93). These are the “one third of the Dhyânis” who were “doomed by the law of Karma and evolution to be reborn (or incarnated) on earth” (p 93). Some, if not all of them, are alluded to as “failures” among the Dhyân Chohans; but “as these “failures” are too far progressed and spiritualised to be thrown back forcibly from Dhyân Chohanship into the vortex of a new primordial evolution through the lower kingdoms,” they “do not pass through the three kingdoms as do the lower Pitris; nor do they incarnate in man until the Third Root Race.” (volume 2, page 188) Elsewhere they are spoken as of “the Fifth Hierarchy - the mysterious beings that preside over the constellation Capricornus, Makara, or Crocodile,” whose task it is “to inform the empty and ethereal animal form and make of it the Rational Man.” (volume 1, page 233) Yet again, they are “the celestial ‘Ancestors’ (Entities from preceding worlds, called in India the Sishta)” who “step in on this our plane, as the Pitris had stepped in before them, for the formation of the physical or animal-man, and incarnate in the latter.” (volume 1, page 248)

The gradual entrance on the scene of these Mânasic entities is described in the 24th Sloka:

The Sons of Wisdom, the Sons of Night, ready for rebirth, came down; they saw the vile forms of the First Third; “we can choose,” said the Lords, “we have wisdom.” Some entered the chhâyâ. Some projected the Spark. Some deferred till the Fourth. From their own Rûpa they filled the Kâma. Those who entered became Arhats. Those who received but a spark remained destitute of knowledge; the spark burned low. The Third remained mindless. Their Jîvas were not ready. These were set apart among the Seven. They became narrow-headed. The Third were ready. “In these shall we dwell.” said the Lords of the Flame.
- volume 2, pages 18 and 19)

[ 410/411 ] Here the student must note the phrases, “some entered,” “some projected the spark.” We are in the early part of the Third Race. Ere yet the sexes were separated, the incarnating “Sons of Wisdom” who “entered” produced by Kriyâšakti the “Sons of the Fire-Mist” or the “Sons of Will and Yoga”. Of these the first is the “Initiator”. The “Great Sacrifice”, of whom here we cannot speak; and in these incarnated the highest Dhyânis “to form the nursery for future human adepts.” (consult volume 1, page 207) Kriyâšakti is “the mysterious power of thought which enables it to produce external, perceptible, phenomenal results by its own inherent energy. The ancients held that any idea will manifest itself externally, if one’s attention (and will) is deeply concentrated upon it; similarly an intense volition will be followed by the desired result.” (volume 2, page 173) The men thus formed are apart from the course of human evolution; set apart ere yet the struggle had begun. They take no share save as guides, helpers, teachers, in the onward march; in past Manvantaras they had fought their fight; and they incarnate anew to help others, not to progress themselves.

On the other hand, the men of the Third Race who only received the projected spark, as they were scarcely ready, are the average humanity, (volume 2, page 167) now fighting its way upward; while the third section, who were “not ready”, the most backward of the Third Race, “became narrow-headed” and are now the lowest human races, the Australian, the Bushmen, the least evolved South Sea Islanders. of these the Australians are the only pure and direct descendant, the rest being mixed. (volume 2, page 199, note)

With evolving ages came the separation of the sexes, and still many of the “Lords of the Flame” held back from incarnation and many of the men are still left mindless. They dwelt among the rapidly increasing lower animals, and in their senselessness they prostituted their newly-evolved sexual powers, mating with the brutes around them, and breeding monsters, “a dumb race to keep the shame untold.” (Sloka 32) Then they who had held back from incarnation saw evil: “The Amanasa [without Manas] have defiled our future abodes. This is Karma. Let us dwell in the others. Let us teach them better lest worse should happen.” “Then all men became endowed with Manas. They saw the sin of the Mindless.” (Slokas 34-35)

This incarnation of the “Lords of the Flame” marks the true beginning of Man, who is now the complete septenary - although the higher Triad is still latent, the full unfolding of Manas belonging to the Fifth Race, of Buddhi to the Sixth, and of Âtma to the Seventh - and who has become an intellectual self-conscious being. In the early sub-races of the Third, man’s language “was only a slight improvement on the various sounds in Nature, on the cry of gigantic insects and of the first animals,” but in the latest Third articulate speech was developed, monosyllabic only, but still articulate, something more than mere emotional cries. (volume 2, page 198) [ 411/412 ] This was the speech of “the ‘golden-coloured’ yellow-complexioned men, after their separation into sexes and the full awakening of their minds.” The yellow colour here spoken of is “the colour of the first solid human race, which appeared after the middle of the Third Root Race - after its fall into generation;” (volume 2, page 250) but the present yellow races (except the Australians) are descended from the early branches of the Fourth Root Race, and are mixed Lemuro-Atlantean descent. (volume 2, page 199 note)

With the appearance of intellectual life came “material progress”. Ruled and taught by the “Sons of Will and Yoga”, the Lemurians built cities and founded the earliest civilization whelmed under a flood, the memory of which gave rise to the worldwide traditions of a universal deluge.

Two Students of the E.S.

Questions and Answers

Q, The lower Quaternary is evolved in the first four races, Manas in the fifth race. Now, what is the position of Buddhi towards the present humanity? During the sixth race I can understand that it will incarnate in some way in Manas, as mânasa-putra now does in the lower quaternary.

But what of the mânasa-putras who are now undergoing incarnation in us, ourselves in fact; are we as mânasa-putras at present unfitted to receive Buddhi, and only now preparing for its reception, as the lower quaternary did for mânasa-putra?

If this be the case we are “Buddhiless”, as the early races were “mindless”.

Is this what it is to become “Dwija” - twice-born, when a Buddhi takes possession and illuminates Manas?

A. The lower Quaternary is evolved during the first three Races, the physical body not being regarded as a “principle” in the real sense of the term. [ 412 ] The Monad - Âtma-Buddhi - as has been so fully explained, broods over this evolving Quaternary, but cannot come into contact with it until Manas enters and draws them into connection. This month’s article will, perhaps, make this clearer to you. Buddhi is latent in present humanity, but you cannot speak of it as “incarnating” in Manas: Manas is not fleshly. Further, Manas aspires towards Buddhi, Buddhi does not stoop to Manas. Buddhi will become active during the Sixth Race, but you do not seem to understand that the Monad is Âtma-Buddhi.

If you refer to page 167, volume 2, Secret Doctrine, you will see that it distinctly states that “those who were half ready,” who received but a spark, constitute average humanity. Therefore it is incorrect to say that we are the Mânasaputras. We are the Pitris and received a spark from the Mânasaputras. Those in whom the Mânasaputras, as such, incarnate, do not belong to our average humanity. Dwija means an initiated one - or a being whose Higher Ego is active; the initiated Brahmins of old were called Dwijas.


The Third Race (continued)

Lucifer volume VI No 36, London, August 15 1890

We have taken a bird’s eye view of the life-cycle of the Third Race: we must now study its evolution in fuller detail.

The Third Race divides itself naturally into three main groups, under which are classified the seven sub-races and their innumerable divisions. The first of these groups takes its rise in those spoken of last month (preceding Part V) as those into whom the “Lords of the Flame” “entered”, ere yet the differentiation into sexes had come about. These, with the progeny produced by Kriâyšakti - the “Sons of the Fire-Mist”, or the “Sons of Will and Yoga” - make up the first and highest group. It is the men of this group who are alluded to in the traditions of every nation as “demigods”, “heroes”, and “rishis”, etc. To this group belong “the seven Rishis” of the Hindu allegory. (volume 2, page 78) the sons of Vasishata-Daksha. It included Nirmânakâyas from other Manvantaras, whom we see “in the Puranas, reappearing on this globe, in the third Manvantara, as Kings, Rishis, and heroes.” (volume 2, page 94) [ 499/500 ] These are “that third and holy race” consisting of those men who are spoken of as at the zenith of the race, who were “towering giants of godly strength and beauty, and the depositories of all the mysteries of heaven and earth” . . . “The chief gods and heroes of the Fourth and Fifth Races, as of later antiquity, are the deified images of these men of the Third.” (volume 2, pages 171 and 172) This group is said to have inhabited “an island, which for its unparalleled beauty had no rival in the world . . .. This word, which is no word, has traveled once around the globe, and still lingers as a far-off dying echo in the hearts of some privileged men. The hierophants of all the Sacerdotal Colleges were aware of the existence of this island; but ‘the word’ was known only to the Java Aleim (Mahâ Chohan in another tongue), or chief lord of every college, and was passed to his successor only at the moment of death . . . . There was no communication with the fair island by seas, but subterranean passages known only to the chiefs, communicated with it in all directions.” (volume 2, page 220)

Over against this loftiest group of the Third Race comes the lowest group, that of the “mindless”, sometimes spoken of as the “eighth race”, because it went so far astray from the field of humanity, “the animal man”. (volume 1, page 650) [ 500 ] We spoke of these on page 411 of last month’s Lucifer, (See Part V, fourth paragraph from the end) and we need only note in this connection that the semi-human group was reinforced by later crossings of Lemurians and Atlanteans with these semi-human tribes, and that Esoteric Ethnology ascribes this origin for Tasmanians Australians, Andaman Islanders, a hair-covered mountain tribe in China, the wild men of Borneo, the Veddahs of Ceylon, the Bushmen, Negritos, and some others. (see volume 2, pages 195 and 196, and footnotes)

It is to this group, in some of its lowest ramifications, that the Secret Doctrine ascribes the origin of the anthropoids. “It is in the suddenly arrested evolution of certain sub-races, and their forced and violent diversion into the purely animal line by artificial cross-breeding, truly analogous to the hybridization which we have now learned to utilize in the vegetable and animal kingdoms, that we have to look for the original of the anthropoids. In these red-haired and hair-covered monsters, the fruit of the unnatural connection between men and animals, the ‘Lords of Wisdom’ did not incarnate, as we see. Thus by a long series of transformations due to unnatural cross-breeding (unnatural ‘sexual selection’) originated in due course of time the lowest specimens of humanity; while further bestiality and the fruit of their first animal efforts of reproduction begat a species which developed into mammalian apes ages later. The Commentary explains that the apes are the only species, among the animals, which has gradually and with every generation and variety tended more and more to return to the original type of its male forefather - the dark gigantic Lemurian and Atlantean. “ (volume 2, pages 200 and 201, and footnote) As this question of relationship between man and the ape is one on which Esoteric and Exoteric Science seem to come sharply into conflict, it may be well to delay on it for a moment. And first we must point out that no scientist speaks of man as “descended from the ape.” That is a popular misconception. Darwin and his followers allege that “man” and the apes are descended from a common ancestor that man “is the co-descendant with other mammals of a common progenitor” (“Descent of Man,” p 607, ed 1875). Against this general statement Esoteric Science has nothing to say, but - different as he was from the “man” of the present - Esoteric Science speaks of that common progenitor as “man”, having in view the chief product evolved from him (see Part V, The Third Race). Speaking of man in the Third Round, “almost exactly repeated in the third Root-Race of the Fourth Round,” a Mâhatmâ describes him as in “the form of a giant-ape, and now more intelligent, or rather cunning, than spiritual.” In the last half “his gigantic stature decreases and his body improves in texture, and he becomes a more rational being, though still more an ape than a Deva.” (volume 1, pages 188 and 189) [ 500/501 ] This “giant-ape” is the “common progenitor”. Further, the Mâhatmâ says: “The human fetus follows now in its transformations all the forms that the physical frame of man had assumed throughout the three Kalpas (Rounds), during the tentative efforts at plastic formation around the Monad by senseless, because imperfect matter, in her blind wanderings. In the present age the physical embryo is a plant, a reptile, an animal, before it becomes man.” (volume 1, page 184) On the details of the evolution there is clashing enough between the Eastern and the Western teachings; but as all the details are confessedly matter of hypothesis in the West, as the leading evolutionists are at issue about them, and as new theories are being constantly put forward, the West cannot claim to dogmatize here over the East. All that Western Science lays down as essential, in order to explain undeniable facts, is the unity of origins of all mammals: all else is admittedly doubtful. The Eastern Science lays down the same postulate, and also traces, as it alleges with full knowledge, the details of the further evolution. And those who note how in point after point Western Science is approaching doctrines long taught by the Esoteric, will be content to possess their souls in patience amid the clash of warring tongues, waiting until fuller knowledge has brought about greater harmony. The fundamental difference between the Esoteric and the Exoteric Science is not on the physical but on the mental evolution of man. They may join hands on the giant-ape form, and the cunning of the common progenitor; but to the Esotericist the mind is an informing principle; to the Scientist it is but a product of the brain. “Man is certainly no special creation, and he is the product of Nature’s gradual perfective work, like any other living unit on this earth. But this is only with regard to the human tabernacle. That which lives and thinks in man and survives that frame, the masterpiece of evolution, is the ‘Eternal Pilgrim’, the Protean differentiation in space and time of the One Absolute ‘Unknowable,’ “ (volume 2, page 728)

[ 501/502 ] The remaining group, consisting of “the last sub-races of the Third Root-Race” (volume 2, page 765), is midway between the highest and the lowest, and, as the stock of our humanity, is of special interest to us. There were the ‘ancestors of the Atlanteans’ . . . . ape-like, intellectually senseless giants” (volume 1, page 191), whose very senselessness made possible such an offshoot as the third group, and who were rescued from general degradation by their endowment with Manas. These were the first sexual, physical men, the date of whose appearance on our globe is put by the Esoteric Chronology 18.000,000 years ago. They are the root of our physical Humanity, of which the Fourth Race, the Atlantean, may be regarded as the trunk. Physical changes in the globe accompanied the changes in man, and the period of warfare began. Differentiation into sex meant struggle in lieu of harmony, and all physical nature sympathized in the altered conditions. The eternal spring became constant change and seasons succeeded. Cold forced men to build shelters and devise clothing. Then man appealed to the superior Fathers. The Nirmânakâyas of the Nagas, the wise Serpents and the Dragons of Light came, and the precursors of the Enlightened. Divine kings descended and taught men sciences and arts, for men could live no longer in the first land, which had become a white frozen corpse. (volume 2, page 201)

It was under the guidance of this Highest Group of the Third Race that the later Third, or Lemurians, developed their civilization. They, “under the guidance of their divine Rulers, built large cities, cultivated arts and sciences, and knew astronomy, architecture, and mathematics to perfection. This primeval civilization did not, as one may think, immediately follow their physiological transformation. Between the final evolution and the first city built many hundred thousands of years had passed. Yet, we find the Lemurians in their sixth sub-race building their first rock-cities out of stone and lava. One of such great cities of primitive structure was built entirely of lava, some thirty miles west from where Easter Island now stretches its narrow piece of sterile ground, and was entirely destroyed by a series of volcanic eruptions. The oldest remains of Cyclopean buildings were all the handiwork of the Lemurians of the last sub-races; and an occultist shows therefore no wonder on learning that the stone relics found on the small piece of land called Easter Island by Captain Cook, are ‘very much like the walls of the Temple of Pachacamac or the Ruins of Tiajuanuco in Peru’, and that they are in the Cyclopean style.” (volume 2, page 317) [ 502/503 ] Thus civilization slowly grew up among the Lemurians; some, we are told, led a “nomadic and patriarchial life,” some built cities and progressed in the arts and sciences; Easter Island belonged to the earliest civilization of the Third Race, and the strange statues there felt the touch of Lemurian hands. It is interesting to note that, approaching the subject from an entirely distinct point of view. Haeckel places primitive man in Lemuria: “Probably Southern Asia itself was not the earliest cradle of the human race; but Lemuria, a continent that lay to the south of Asia, and sank later on, beneath the surface of the Indian Ocean.” (The Pedigree of Man, p 73, Eng Translation 1883)

It is to the Lemurians that must be referred the many traditions of the “one-eyed Cyclops”; the “one-eye” is the Wisdom Eye, the Third Eye, the Eye of Siva, which was in full activity at that period of human history, the two front eyes being fully developed only at the beginning of the Fourth Race. (see volume 2, page 769) The mythological three Cyclops, sons of Heaven and Earth, are the last three sub-races of the Third Race.

As the centuries rolled slowly on, the Lemurians gradually drifted apart into two well-defined and marked classes, the Sons of Darkness and the Sons of Light, between whom bitter antagonism was developed. As the decay of the race proceeded the division became more and more marked, and simultaneously with the decay of the Third appeared the rising of the Fourth Race. Emerging from the ocean westwards and northwards were the beginnings of a new continent, the Atlantis of the coming Race, and as the Northern Lemurians spread westwards the sub-race of the Fourth, the Lemuro-Atlanteans, were gradually evolved and spread from the Atlantic portion of Lemuria over the new land; losing, as time went on the characteristics of the parent stock, and developing the pure Atlantean type. “The Atlantic portion of Lemuria was the geological basis of what is generally known as Atlantis. The latter, indeed, must be regarded rather as a development of the Atlantic prolongation of Lemuria, than as an entirely new mass of land upheaved to meet the special requirements of the Fourth Root-Race. Just as in the case of Race-evolution, so in that of the shifting and re-shifting of continental masses, no hard and fast line can be drawn where a new order ends and another begins. Continuity in natural processes is never broken. Thus the Fourth Race Atlanteans were developed from a nucleus of Northern Lemurian Third Race men, centered, roughly speaking, toward a point of land in what is now the mid-Atlantic Ocean. Their continent was formed by the coalescence of many islands and peninsulas which were upheaved in the ordinary course of time and became ultimately the true home of the great Race known as the Atlantean,” (volume 2, pages 333 and 334) [ 503 ]

Some of these Lemuro-Atlanteans, we are told, intermarried with the mindless race, and so entered on a path of rapid physical and psychical degeneration. Meanwhile vast seismic changes were in progress: the continent of Lemuria had broken up into smaller continents, and its immense extent “which once had reigned supreme over the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans now consisted of huge islands which were gradually disappearing one after the other, until the final convulsion engulfed the last remains of it.” (volume 2, page 327) Volcanic action was the chief feature in this destruction, volcanic fires breaking up the continent and causing vast chasms, into which rushed the sea, submerging the scathed and ruined land. There can be no doubt that the traditions of a universal deluge found in the islands of Polynesia - the mountain tops of the highest Lemurian ranges - have their origins in these gigantic cataclysms, which separated these islands from the rest of the habitable world. [The more widely spread traditions found elsewhere - as in Mexico, India, Asia Minor, etc - are traceable to the floods which destroyed Atlantis]. “The sinking and transformation of Lemuria beginning nearly at the Arctic Circle (Norway), the Third Race ended its career in Lanka, or rather on that which became Lanka with the Atlanteans. The small remnant now known as Ceylon is the Northern highland of ancient Lanka. “(volume 2, page 332) Of this race there remained only the “animal men”, a few scattered remnants that had escaped here and there, the Lemuro-Atlantean stock, and the Highest Group, that the earth-convulsions could not touch. The human stock, or seed, in the Hindu allegory, is saved by Vaivasvata Manu; “Lemuria is said to have perished about 700,000 years before the commencement of what is now called the Tertiary Age (Eocene), and it is during this deluge also - an actual geological deluge this time - that Vaivasvata Manu is again shown as saving mankind (allegorically it is mankind, or a portion of it, the Fourth Race, which is saved): so also he saves the Fifth Race during the destruction of the last Atlanteans.” (volume 2, page 313)

This Vaivasvata Man “figures as a generic character, under various circumstances and events.” (volume 2, page 145) for he is “the primitive Root-Manu of our fourth human wave (the reader must always remember that Manu is not a man, but collective humanity),” further, the name is applied as a racial term to the Root-Manu of the Fourth Root-Race, thus denoting one of the Minor Manus. (volume 2, page 309) His varied appearances on the scene in the Exoteric traditions and allegories need not therefore disturb the student.

Questions and Answers

Q. Are our Monads an emanation of the Holy Spirit? By that I mean the totality of Gods, who form the Absolute, the One?

A. We should avoid the term “Holy Spirit”, because it conveys the idea of a Personal God. The Monads are sparks from the one Fire, the Universal Life. (see Part II).

Q, The entities that collectively form Âtma, Buddhi, Mahat, are they these Monads? Are our Higher Selves spiritual hierarchies, of whom we are only the reflection, the emanation?

A. The Monad is Âtma-Buddhi (see Part II), Mahat is Kosmic Ideation (see Part I), as you must surely see if you have read these “Gleanings” with any attention (note specially Parts IV and V). Certainly our Higher Selves are a Spiritual Hierarchy, but you cannot call the lower quaternary an emanation from them. The building up of this has been very carefully described step by step.


Lucifer volume VII, No 37. London September 15, 1890

It is hard to realize in thought the vast periods comprised in the rise, maturity, and decay of each of the Root-Races of our globe; hard to realize the slowness with which each Race quitted the stage it had occupied so long. [ 69 ] Even today, as we have seen, there linger on the earth a few far-off direct descendants of the Third Root-Race; even today there are among us some few of the Atlantean stock that have not been fused into the Fifth Race. The “destruction of Atlantis” - as it is termed - due to “successive disturbances in the axial rotation” of the earth, lasted 200,000; the final remnant, Plato’s famous island, disappearing within modern times.

We have seen the Lemuro-Atlantean Race differentiating on the Atlantic prolongation of Lemuria, and slowly, very slowly, merged the vast continent, the Fourth, “bridging the ocean between America and Europe.” (Volume 1, page 790) [ 69/70 ] A mass of scientific evidence proving the existence of this Continent is given in the “Secret Doctrine”, (Volume 2, pages 790, et seq) so many lines of evidence converge that it is easy to see that science will soon be quite indignant with the ignorance of any who deny that this continent once stretched where now the waves of the Atlantic roll. To us, who are Theosophists, the special interest of Atlantean man lies in the fact that he stands as the apotheosis of matter, the most material of human incarnations: that it was in those days that “the heaviest Karma of our Fifth Race was generated”, that the third eye ceased to function as physical and psychic passions overpowered the spiritual; that Humanity, reaching its full physical development in these, at the middle point of the Atlantean period “the door was shut”, and no fresh Monads, thenceforward, incarnated on our globe (see Volume 2, pages 302 and303). The Atlanteans, “the first progeny of semi-divine man after his separation into sexes” (Volume 2, page 272), were in all external characteristics men as we know them now, save that they were gigantic in comparison with their Fifth Race descendants, passing along the same road as has been traveled by all plants and animals, the huge primeval organisms being now represented by comparatively diminutive types. Born of the less spiritual of the Third Race, the Fourth stated on its career under unfavourable conditions. “Endowed with divine powers, and feeling in himself his Inner God, each [man of the Third Race] felt he was a Man-God in his nature, though an animal in his physical self. The struggle between the two began from the very day they tasted of the fruit of the Tree of Wisdom; a struggle for life between the spiritual and the psychic, the psychic and the physical. Those who conquered the lower principles by obtaining mastery over the body, joined the ‘Sons of Light’. Those who fell victims to their lower natures became the slaves of Matter. From ‘Sons of Light and Wisdom’ they ended by becoming the ‘Sons of Darkness’. They had fallen in the battle of mortal life with Life immortal, and all those so fallen became the seed of the future generations of Atlanteans.” (volume 2, page 272) But these Atlanteans themselves degenerated as the centuries rolled on. From their earliest tribes, we are told, they separated “into the righteous and the unrighteous; into those who worshipped the one unseen Spirit of Nature, the ray of which man feels within himself - or the Pantheists; and those who offered fanatical worship to the Spirits of the Earth, the dark, Kosmic, anthropomorphic Powers, with whom they made alliance. These were the earliest Gibborim, ‘the mighty men of renown in those days;’ (Gen vi) who become with the Fifth Race the Kabirim, Kabiri with the Egyptians and the Phoenicians, Titans with the Greeks, and Rakshasas and Daityas with the Indian races.” (volume 2, pages 273 and 274) Hence the title acquired by the later Atlanteans, belonging to this “unrighteous race”, of “the wicked”; in the Commentaries Atlantis is spoken of as “the abode of the wicked” (volume 2, page 401), and the Atlanteans “of the shadow” become the typical Black Magicians, the sorcerers, who were finally destroyed with the land they cursed.

The Atlantean is the type of intellect without spirituality, of terrestrial wisdom, of the triumph of Kâma-Manas. [ 70/71 ] He is the analogue of the Humanity of the Fourth Round, as described by a master: “Intellect has an enormous development in this Round. The (hitherto) dumb races acquire our (present) human speech on this globe on which, from the Fourth Race language is perfected and knowledge increases. At this halfway point of the Fourth Round (as of the Fourth Root, or Atlantean race) humanity passes the axial point of the minor Manvantaric cycle . . . the world teeming with the results of intellectual activity and spiritual decrease.” (volume 1, page 189) The language of the Atlanteans became agglutinative, and then, in the most highly developed, passed on to its next stage: “While the ‘cream of the Fourth Race gravitated more and more toward the apex of physical and intellectual evolution, thus leaving as an heirloom to the nascent Fifth (Aryan) Race the inflectional, highly developed languages, the agglutinative decayed and remained as a fragmentary fossil idiom, scattered now, and nearly limited to the aboriginal tribes of America. (volume 2, page 199) In colour, the yellow of the Third Race darkened into “red-yellow (the red Indians and the Mongolians being the descendants of these), and finally into brown-white Races - which now, together with the yellow Races, form the great bulk of Humanity.” (volume 2, page 250)

We catch our clearest glimpse of the vast intellectual advances made by the Atlanteans in the astronomical knowledge handed down by them to their Aryan descendants. Asuramaya, the Atlantean, “as great a magician as he was an Astrologer and an Astronomer” (volume 2, page 50) stands, to the Occultist, at the very fountainhead of astronomical knowledge. To him are ascribed various astronomical works, based on the records of the mysterious Narada, Narada whose name appears in close connection with the Fourth Race, as with each other, but as to whom little information is given. He is spoken of in the Puranas, but the blinds are so complete that the reader is more likely to be led astray than to acquire trustworthy knowledge; thus, to take but a single instance: Narada visits Patala, the infernal regions; but Patala really means the Antipodes - Central America - as we find by collating the passage: “Some of the descendants of the primitive Nagas, the Serpents of wisdom, peopled America, when its continent arose during the palmy days of the great Atlantis (American being the Patala, or Antipodes of Jambu-Dwipa, not of Bharata-Varsha).” (Volume 2, page 182) [ 71/72 ] And again H.P.B points out that “Arjuna, Krishna’s companion and chela, is said to have descended into Patala, the ‘Antipodes’, and therein married Ulupi, a Naga (or Nagini rather) the daughter of the king of the Nagas” - adding in a footnote: “Ulupi has an entirely Atlantean ring about it. Like Atlantis, it is neither a Greek nor a Sanskrit name, but reminds one of Mexican names.” (Volume 2, page 214) This would seem to suggest that it is in Central America that we may hope to find some traces of Atlantean civilization; and if it be from the Atlanteans that the Mexicans and Peruvians descended, the problem that has puzzled many a student of their strange unique civilizations would be solved. It seems likely that as Atlantis was first populated as a prolongation of Lemuria, so the Fifth Continent would be first populated as a prolongation of Atlantis; and then, separated from the Eastern hemisphere by the destruction of Atlantis, would be left to develop along the lines traced by the Atlantean progenitors, revealing, when rediscovered by the East, the remains of its archaic civilization.

To return to Asuramaya, the pupil (?) of Narada, and his astronomical records. The origin of the Zodiac is hidden in these dark regions: the Zodiac, with its original ten signs, becoming twelve by the separation of Virgo-Scorpio into two - symbolizing the separation of the sexes - and the addition of the sign later known as Libra. (see Volume 2, page 502, footnote) On this we read in “Isis Unveiled”: “The true Sabean astrological doctrine secretly taught that within this double sign was hidden the explanation of the gradual transformation of the world, from its spiritual and subjective into the ‘two-sexed’ sublunary state. . . . To make it clearer, the sign Virgo-Scorpio . . . became simply Virgo, and the duplication, or Scorpio, was placed between Libra, the seventh sign (which is Enoch, or the angel Metatron, or Mediator between spirit and matter, or God and man). It now became Scorpio (or Cain), which sign or patriarch led mankind to destruction, according to exoteric theology; but according to the true doctrine of the Wisdom-religion, it indicated the degradation of the whole universe in its course of evolution downward from the subjective to the objective. The sign of Libra is credited as a later invention by the Greeks, but it is not generally stated that those among them who were initiated had only made a change of names conveying the same idea as the secret name to those ‘who knew’, leaving the masses as unwise as ever. Yet it was a beautiful idea of theirs, this Libra, or the balance, expressing as much as could possibly be done without unveiling the whole and ultimate truth. They intended it to imply that when the course of evolution had taken the worlds to the lowest point of grossness, where the earths and their products were coarsest, and their inhabitants most brutish, the turning point, the still lingering divine spark of spirit within, began to convey the upward impulse. The scales typified that eternal equilibrium which is the necessity of a universe of harmony, darkness and light, spirit and matter.” (Isis Unveiled, Volume pages 456 and 457) Such were the thoughts which brooded in the minds of the designers of the Zodiac, and it was under such influences that Asuramaya the Atlantean, attained his knowledge of astronomy. “It is Asuramaya who is said to have based all his astronomical works upon these records [those of Narada], to have determined the duration of all the past geological and cosmical periods, and the length of all the cycles to come, till the end of this life-cycle, or the end of the seventh Race.” (Volume 2, page 49) [ 72/73 ] On his works are founded the calculations of the Brahmin Initiates, the astronomy of Hindustan and thence of Egypt. Here is the explanation of that startling knowledge of astronomy among “the ancients” which has caused so much bewilderment among students. “There were giants in those days,” in more senses than one.

We have already noticed that the heaviest Karma of the Fifth Race was generated among the Atlanteans: until the close of the Third Race there had been no death. The “men of the Third began to die out. Till then there had been no regular death, but only a transformation, for men had no personality as yet. They had Monads - breaths of the One Breath, and as impersonal as the source from which they proceeded. They had bodies, or rather shadows of bodies, which were sinless, hence Karmaless. Therefore, as there was no Kâmalika - least of all Nirvana or even Devachan - for the ‘souls’ of men who had no personal Egos, there could be no intermediate periods between the incarnations. Like the Phoenix, primordial man resurrected out of his old into a new body. Each time and with each new generation, he became more solid, more physically perfect, agreeably with the evolutionary law, which is the Law of Nature. Death came with the complete organism, and with it - moral decay.” (volume 2, page 610) With this complete physical organism and its occupation by its divine tenant came also moral responsibility, and therefore the generation of Karma.[ 73 ] For “in the case of the Atlanteans, it was precisely the spiritual being that sinned.” (volume 2, page 302) Not content with using their intellect for the gaining of new experience, serviceable to their race, they followed “willingly the left Path”, and went onwards to their destruction. Some - the one third who “remained faithful” - moved from the lands fated to be submerged, and became the progenitors of the Fifth Root Race, some lingering on with the characteristics of their own Race until 11,000 years ago. “The wise races had perceived ‘the black storm dragons, called down by the dragons of wisdom’ - and ‘had fled, led on by the shining Protectors of the most Excellent Land’ - the great ancient adepts, presumably; those the Hindus refer to as their Manus and Rishis. (volume 2, page 425) Taking root again in Central Asia they produced the Turanians, the Mongols, the Chinese, and others. From these relics of the Fourth Race, their progenitors, the budding Aryan nations learned the elements of their civilization, “the hidden virtues of precious and other stones, of chemistry or rather alchemy, of mineralogy, geology, physics and astronomy.” (volume 2, page 426) [ 73/74 ] The unwise perished with the submerged continent Atlantis; the last of the great Atlanteans - on the Ruta and Daitya Island Continents - were overwhelmed some 850,000 years ago, towards the close of the Miocene age: the Aryo-Atlanteans disappeared with the last island of Atlantis - Plato’s Atlantis - some 11,000 years ago, only. (volume 2, page 435) From the Ruta Atlanteans descended the Egyptians, with their marvellous civilization, their scientific knowledge, their mechanical skill. And thus, while the floods that whelmed Atlantis have left behind them the traditions that tell, both in Western and Eastern lands, of a supposed “universal deluge”, the knowledge that made Atlantis great passed on to its children of the Fifth Race, that Race of which we are part, and before which still stretch many a thousand years.


Lucifer volume VI, No 34 London June 15, 1890


Ever since the publication of the Secret Doctrine students of Theosophy (outside the inner ring of Occult Sciences) have complained that the teachings contained in the work do not satisfy them. [ 333 ] One, mentioning the lengthy and rabid abuse of it by an old, through really insignificant, if brutal enemy, takes me to task for leaving the door open to such criticism by taking too little into account modern science and modern thought (!): another complains that my explanations are not complete; thus, he says: -

For the last ten years, I have been a close reader of theosophical literature. I have read and re-read the Secret Doctrine and collated passages, and nothing is more disheartening than to find some of the best explanations on Occult points, just as they begin to grow a little lucid, marred by a reference to some exoteric philosophy or religion, which breaks up the train of reasoning and leaves the explanation unfinished . . . . We can understand parts, but we cannot get a succinct idea, particularly of the teachings as to Parabrahm (the Absolute) the 1st and 2nd Logos, Spirit, Matter, Fohat, etc., etc.

This is the direct and natural result of the very mistaken notion that the work I have called the “Secret Doctrine” had ever been intended by me to dovetail with modern Science, or to explain “occult points”. I was, and still am, more concerned with facts than with scientific hypotheses. My chief and only object was to bring into prominence that the basic and fundamental principles of every exoteric religion and philosophy, old or new, were from first to last but the echoes of the primeval “Wisdom Religion”. I sought to show that the TREE OF KNOWLEDGE, like Truth itself, was One; and that, however differing in form and colour, the foliage of the twigs, the trunk and its main branches were still those of the same old Tree, in the shadow of which had developed and grown the (now) esoteric religious philosophy of the races that preceded our present mankind on earth.

The object, I believe I have carried out as far as it could be carried, in the first two volumes of the Secret Doctrine. It was not the occult philosophy of the esoteric teachings that I undertook to explain to the world at large, for then the qualification of “Secret” would have become like the secret of “Polichinelle”, shouted in the manner of a stage a parte; but simply to give that which could be given out, and to parallel it with the beliefs and dogmas of the past and present nations, thus showing the original source of the latter and how disfigured they had become. [ 333/334 ] If my work is, at this day of materialistic assumptions and universal iconoclasm, too premature for the masses of the profane - so much the worse for those masses. But it was not too premature for earnest students of theosophy - except those, perhaps, who had hoped that a treatise on such intricate correspondences as exist between the religions and philosophies of the almost forgotten Past, and those of the modern day, could be as simple as a shilling “shocker” from a railway stall. Even one system of philosophy at a time, whether that of Kant or of Herbert Spencer, of Spinoza or of Hartmann, requires more than a study of several years. Does it not, therefore, stand to reason that a work which compares several dozens of philosophies and over a half-a-dozen of world-religions, a work which has to unveil the roots with the greatest precautions, as it can only hint at the secret blossoms here and there - cannot be comprehended at a first reading, nor even after several, unless the reader elaborates for himself a system for it? That this can be done and is done is shown by the “Two Students of the E.S.” They are now synthesizing the “Secret Doctrine”, and they do it in the most lucid and comprehensive way, in this magazine. No more than anyone else have they understood that work immediately after reading it. But they went to work in dead earnest. They indexed it for themselves, classifying the contents in two portions - the exoteric and the esoteric; and having achieved this preliminary labour, they now present the former to the readers at large, while storing the latter for their own practical instruction and benefit. Why should not every earnest theosophist do the same?

[ 334 ] There are several ways of acquiring knowledge: (a) by accepting blindly the dicta of the church of modern science; (b) by rejecting both and starting to find the truth for oneself. The first method is easy and leads to social respectability and the praise of men; the other is difficult and requires more than ordinary devotion to truth, a disregard for direct personal benefits and an unwavering perseverance. Thus it was in the days of old and so it is now, except perhaps that such devotion to truth has been more rare in our own day that it was of yore. Indeed, the modern Eastern student’s unwillingness to think for himself is now as great as Western exactions and criticism of other people’s thoughts.

He demands and expects that his “Path” shall be engineered with all the selfish craft of modern comfort, macadamized, laid out with swift railways and telegraphs, and even telescopes, through which he may, while sitting at his ease, survey the works of other people; and while criticizing them, look out for the easiest, in order to play at the Occultist and Amateur Student of Theosophy. [ 334/335 ] The real “Path” to esoteric knowledge is very different. Its entrance is overgrown with the brambles of neglect, the travesties of truth during long ages block the way, and is obscured by the proud contempt of self-sufficiency and with every verity distorted out of all focus. To push over the threshold alone, demands an incessant, often unrequited labour of years, and once on the other side of the entrance, the weary pilgrim has to toil on foot, for the narrow way leads to forbidding mountain heights, unmeasured and unknown, save to those who have reached the cloud-capped summit before. Thus must he mount, step by step, having to conquer every inch of ground before him by his own exertions; moving onward, guided by strange landmarks the nature of which he can ascertain only by deciphering the weather-beaten, half-defaced inscriptions as he treads along, for woe to him, if, instead of studying them, he sits by cooly pronouncing them “indecipherable”. The “Doctrine of the Eye” is maya; that of the “Heart” alone, can make of him an elect.

It is to be wondered that so few reach the goal, that so many are called but so few are chosen? Is not the reason for this explained in the three lines on page 38 of the Voice of the Silence? (being the Quest Miniature edition) These say that while “The first repeat in pride “Behold, I know, the last, they who in humbleness have garnered, low confess, ‘thus have I heard; “; and hence, become the only “chosen”.



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