The schools and colleges of Atlantis in the great Toltec days, as well as in subsequent eras of culture, were all endowed by the State. Though every child was required to pass through the primary schools, the subsequent training differed very widely. The primary schools formed a sort of winnowing ground. Those who showed real aptitude for study were, along with the children of the dominant classes who naturally had greater abilities, drafted into the higher schools at about the age of twelve. Reading and writing, which were regarded as mere preliminaries, had already been taught them in the primary schools.
But reading and writing were not considered necessary for the great masses of the inhabitants who had to spend their lives in tilling the land, or in handicrafts, the practice of which was required by the community. The great majority of the children therefore were at once passed on to the technical schools best suited to their various abilities. Chief among these were the agricultural schools. Some branches of mechanics also formed part of the training, while in outlying districts and by the sea-side hunting and fishing were naturally included. And so the children all received the education or training which was most appropriate for them.
The children of superior abilities, who as we have seen had been taught to read and write, had a much more elaborate education. The properties of plants and their healing qualities formed an important branch of study. There were no recognized physicians in those days—every educated man knew more or less of medicine as well as of magnetic healing. Chemistry, mathematics and astronomy were also taught. The training in such studies finds its analogy among ourselves, but the object towards which the teachers' efforts were mainly directed, was the development of the pupil's psychic faculties and his instruction in the more hidden forces of nature. The occult properties of plants, metals, and precious stones, as well as the alchemical processes of transmutation, were included in this category. But as time went on it became more and more the personal power, which Bulwer Lytton calls vril, and the operation of which he has fairly accurately described in his Coming Race, that the colleges for the higher training of the youth of Atlantis were specially occupied in developing. The marked change which took place when the decadence of the race set in was, that instead of merit and aptitude being regarded as warrants for advancement to the higher grades of instruction, the dominant classes becoming more and more exclusive allowed none but their own children to graduate in the higher knowledge which gave so much power.
In such an empire as the Toltec, agriculture naturally received much attention. Not only were the labourers taught their duties in technical schools, but colleges were established in which the knowledge necessary for carrying out experiments in the crossing both of animals and plants, were taught to fitting students.
As readers of Theosophic literature may know, wheat was not evolved on this planet at all. It was the gift of the Manu who brought it from another globe outside our chain of worlds. But oats and some of our other cereals are the results of crosses between wheat and the indigenous grasses of the earth. Now the experiments which gave these results were carried out in the agricultural schools of Atlantis. Of course such experiments were guided by high knowledge. But the most notable achievement to be recorded of the Atlantean agriculturists was the evolution of the plantain or banana. In the original wild state it was like an elongated melon with scarcely any pulp, but full of seeds as a melon is. It was of course only by centuries (if not thousands of years) of continuous selection and elimination that the present seedless plant was evolved.
Among the domesticated animals of the Toltec days were creatures that looked like very small tapirs. They naturally fed upon roots or herbage, but like the pigs of to-day, which they resembled in more than one particular, they were not over cleanly, and ate whatever came in their way. Large cat-like animals and the wolf-like ancestors of the dog might also be met about human habitations. The Toltec carts appear to have been drawn by creatures somewhat resembling small camels. The Peruvian llamas of to-day are probably their descendants. The ancestors of the Irish elk, too, roamed in herds about the hill sides in much the same way as our Highland cattle do now—too wild to allow of easy approach, but still under the control of man.
Constant experiments were made in breeding and cross-breeding different kinds of animals, and, curious though it may seem to us, artificial heat was largely used to force their development, so that the results of crossing and interbreeding might be more quickly apparent. The use, too, of different coloured lights in the chambers where such experiments were carried on were adopted in order to obtain varying results.
This control and moulding at will by man of the animal forms brings us to a rather startling and very mysterious subject. Reference has been made above to the work done by the Manus. Now it is in the mind of the Manu that originates all improvements in type and the potentialities latent in every form of being. In order to work out in detail the improvements in the animal forms, the help and co-operation of man were required. The amphibian and reptile forms which then abounded had about run their course, and were ready to assume the more advanced type of bird or mammal. These forms constituted the inchoate material placed at man's disposal, and the clay was ready to assume whatever shape the potter's hands might mould it into. It was specially with animals in the intermediate stage that so many of the experiments above referred to were tried, and doubtless the domesticated animals like the horse, which are now of such service to man, are the result of these experiments in which the men of those days acted in co-operation with the Manu and his ministers. But the co-operation was too soon withdrawn. Selfishness obtained the upper hand, and war and discord brought the Golden Age of the Toltecs to a close. When instead of working loyally for a common end, under the guidance of their Initiate kings, men began to prey upon each other, the beasts which might gradually have assumed, under the care of man, more and more useful and domesticated forms, being left to the guidance of their own instincts naturally followed the example of their monarch, and began to prey upon each other. Some indeed had actually already been trained and used by men in their hunting expeditions, and thus the semi-domesticated cat-like animals above referred to naturally became the ancestors of the leopards and jaguars.
One illustration of what some may be tempted to call a fantastic theory, though it may not elucidate the problem, will at least point the moral contained in this supplement to our knowledge regarding the mysterious manner in which our evolution has proceeded. The lion it would appear might have had a gentler nature and a less fierce aspect had the men of those days completed the task that was given them to perform. Whether or not he is fated eventually "to lie down with the lamb and eat straw like the ox," the destiny in store for him as pictured in the mind of the Manu has not yet been realized, for the picture was that of a powerful but domesticated animal—a strong level-backed creature, with large intelligent eyes, intended to act as man's most powerful servant for purposes of traction.
The "City of the Golden Gates" and its surroundings must be described before we come to consider the marvellous system by which its inhabitants were supplied with water. It lay, as we have seen, on the east coast of the continent close to the sea, and about 15 deg. north of the equator. A beautifully-wooded park-like country surrounded the city. Scattered over a large area of this were the villa residences of the wealthier classes. To the west lay a range of mountains, from which the water supply of the city was drawn. The city itself was built on the slopes of a hill, which rose from the plain about 500 feet. On the summit of this hill lay the emperor's palace and gardens, in the centre of which welled up from the earth a never-ending stream of water, supplying first the palace and the fountains in the gardens, thence flowing in the four directions and falling in cascades into a canal or moat which encompassed the palace grounds, and thus separated them from the city which lay below on every side. From this canal four channels led the water through four quarters of the city to cascades which in their turn supplied another encircling canal at a lower level. There were three such canals forming concentric circles, the outermost and lowest of which was still above the level of the plain. A fourth canal at this lowest level, but on a rectangular plan, received the constantly flowing waters, and in its turn discharged them into the sea. The city extended over part of the plain, up to the edge of this great outermost moat, which surrounded and defended it with a line of waterways extending about twelve miles by ten miles square.
It will thus be seen that the city was divided into three great belts, each hemmed in by its canals. The characteristic feature of the upper belt that lay just below the palace grounds, was a circular race-course and large public gardens. Most of the houses of the court officials also lay on this belt, and here also was an institution of which we have no parallel in modern times. The term "Strangers' Home" amongst us suggests a mean appearance and sordid surroundings, but this was a palace where all strangers who might come to the city were entertained as long as they might choose to stay—being treated all the time as guests of the Government. The detached houses of the inhabitants and the various temples scattered throughout the city occupied the other two belts. In the days of the Toltec greatness there seems to have been no real poverty—even the retinue of slaves attached to most houses being well fed and clothed—but there were a number of comparatively poor houses in the lowest belt to the north, as well as outside the outermost canal towards the sea. The inhabitants of this part were mostly connected with the shipping, and their houses though detached were built closer together than in other districts.
It will be seen from the above that the inhabitants had thus a never-failing supply of pure clear water constantly coursing through the city, while the upper belts and the emperor's palace were protected by lines of moats, each one at a higher level as the centre was approached.
Now it does not require much mechanical knowledge in order to realize how stupendous must have been the works needed to provide this supply, for in the days of its greatness the "City of the Golden Gates" embraced within its four circles of moats over two million inhabitants. No such system of water supply has ever been attempted in Greek, Roman or modern times—indeed it is very doubtful whether our ablest engineers, even at the expenditure of untold wealth, could produce such a result.
A description of some of its leading features will be of interest. It was from a lake which lay among the mountains to the west of the city, at an elevation of about 2,600 feet, that the supply was drawn. The main aqueduct which was of oval section, measuring fifty feet by thirty feet, led underground to an enormous heart-shaped reservoir. This lay deep below the palace, in fact at the very base of the hill on which the palace and the city stood. From this reservoir a perpendicular shaft of about 500 feet up through the solid rock gave passage to the water which welled up in the palace grounds, and thence was distributed throughout the city. Various pipes from the central reservoir also led to different parts of the city to supply drinking water and the public fountains. Systems of sluices of course also existed to control or cut off the supply of the different districts.
From the above it will be apparent to any one possessed of some little knowledge of mechanics that the pressure in the subterranean aqueduct and the central reservoir from which the water naturally rose to the basin in the palace gardens, must have been enormous, and the resisting power of the material used in their construction consequently prodigious.
If the system of water supply in the "City of the Golden Gates" was wonderful, the Atlantean methods of locomotion must be recognised as still more marvellous, for the air-ship or flying-machine which Keely in America, and Maxim in this country are now attempting to produce, was then a realized fact. It was not at any time a common means of transport. The slaves, the servants, and the masses who laboured with their hands, had to trudge along the country tracks, or travel in rude carts with solid wheels drawn by uncouth animals. The air-boats may be considered as the private carriages of those days, or rather the private yachts, if we regard the relative number of those who possessed them, for they must have been at all times difficult and costly to produce. They were not as a rule built to accommodate many persons. Numbers were constructed for only two, some allowed for six or eight passengers. In the later days when war and strife had brought the Golden Age to an end, battle ships that could navigate the air had to a great extent replaced the battle ships at sea—having naturally proved far more powerful engines of destruction. These were constructed to carry as many as fifty, and in some cases even up to a hundred fighting men.
The material of which the air boats were constructed was either wood or metal. The earlier ones were built of wood—the boards used being exceedingly thin, but the injection of some substance which did not add materially to the weight while it gave leather-like toughness, provided the necessary combination of lightness and strength. When metal was used it was generally an alloy—two white-coloured metals and one red one entering into its composition. The resultant was white-coloured, like aluminium, and even lighter in weight. Over the rough framework of the air-boat was extended a large sheet of this metal which was then beaten into shape and electrically welded where necessary. But whether built of metal or wood their outside surface was apparently seamless and perfectly smooth, and they shone in the dark as if coated with luminous paint.
In shape they were boat-like, but they were invariably decked over, for when at full speed it could not have been convenient, even if safe, for any on board to remain on the upper deck. Their propelling and steering gear could be brought into use at either end.
But the all-interesting question is that relating to the power by which they were propelled. In the earlier times it seems to have been personal vril that supplied the motive power—whether used in conjunction with any mechanical contrivance matters not much—but in the later days this was replaced by a force which, though generated in what is to us an unknown manner, operated nevertheless through definite mechanical arrangements. This force, though not yet discovered by science, more nearly approached that which Keely in America is learning to handle than the electric power used by Maxim. It was in fact of an etheric nature, but though we are no nearer to the solution of the problem, its method of operation can be described. The mechanical arrangements no doubt differed somewhat in different vessels. The following description is taken from an air-boat in which on one occasion three ambassadors from the king who ruled over the northern part of Poseidonis made the journey to the court of the southern kingdom. A strong heavy metal chest which lay in the centre of the boat was the generator. Thence the force flowed through two large flexible tubes to either end of the vessel, as well as through eight subsidiary tubes fixed fore and aft to the bulwarks. These had double openings pointing vertically both up and down. When the journey was about to begin the valves of the eight bulwark tubes which pointed downwards were opened—all the other valves being closed. The current rushing through these impinged on the earth with such force as to drive the boat upwards, while the air itself continued to supply the necessary fulcrum. When a sufficient elevation was reached the flexible tube at that end of the vessel which pointed away from the desired destination, was brought into action, while by the partial closing of the valves the current rushing through the eight vertical tubes was reduced to the small amount required to maintain the elevation reached. The great volume of the current, being now directed through the large tube pointing downwards from the stern at an angle of about forty-five degrees, while helping to maintain the elevation, provided also the great motive power to propel the vessel through the air. The steering was accomplished by the discharge of the current through this tube, for the slightest change in its direction at once caused an alteration in the vessel's course. But constant supervision was not required. When a long journey had to be taken the tube could be fixed so as to need no handling till the destination was almost reached. The maximum speed attained was about one hundred miles an hour, the course of flight never being a straight line, but always in the form of long waves, now approaching and now receding from the earth. The elevation at which the vessels travelled was only a few hundred feet—indeed, when high mountains lay in the line of their track it was necessary to change their course and go round them—the more rarefied air no longer supplying the necessary fulcrum. Hills of about one thousand feet were the highest they could cross. The means by which the vessel was brought to a stop on reaching its destination—and this could be done equally well in mid-air—was to give escape to some of the current force through the tube at that end of the boat which pointed towards its destination, and the current impinging on the land or air in front, acted as a drag, while the propelling force behind was gradually reduced by the closing of the valve. The reason has still to be given for the existence of the eight tubes pointing upwards from the bulwarks. This had more specially to do with the aerial warfare. Having so powerful a force at their disposal, the warships naturally directed the current against each other. Now this was apt to destroy the equilibrium of the ship so struck and to turn it upside down—a situation sure to be taken advantage of by the enemy's vessel to make an attack with her ram. There was also the further danger of being precipitated to the ground, unless the shutting and opening of the necessary valves were quickly attended to. In whatever position the vessel might be, the tubes pointing towards the earth were naturally those through which the current should be rushing, while the tubes pointing upwards should be closed. The means by which a vessel turned upside down might be righted and placed again on a level keel, was accomplished by using the four tubes pointing downwards at one side of the vessel only, while the four at the other side were kept closed.
The Atlanteans had also sea-going vessels which were propelled by some power analogous to that above mentioned, but the current force which was eventually found to be most effective in this case had a denser appearance than that used in the air-boats.
Manners and Customs.—There was doubtless as much variety in the manners and customs of the Atlanteans at different epochs of their history, as there has been among the various nations which compose our Aryan race. With the fluctuating fashion of the centuries we are not concerned. The following remarks will attempt to deal merely with the leading characteristics which differentiate their habits from our own, and these will be chosen as much as possible from the great Toltec era.
With regard to marriage and the relations of the sexes the experiments made by the Turanians have already been referred to. Polygamous customs were prevalent at different times among all the sub-races, but in the Toltec days while two wives were allowed by the law, great numbers of men had only one wife. Nor were the women—as in countries now-a-days where polygamy prevails—regarded as inferiors, or in the least oppressed. Their position was quite equal to that of the men, while the aptitude many of them displayed in acquiring the vril-power made them fully the equals if not the superiors of the other sex. This equality indeed was recognised from infancy, and there was no separation of the sexes in schools or colleges. Boys and girls were taught together. It was the rule, too, and not the exception, for complete harmony to prevail in the dual households, and the mothers taught their children to look equally to their father's wives for love and protection. Nor were women debarred from taking part in the government. Sometimes they were members of the councils, and occasionally even were chosen by the Adept emperor to represent him in the various provinces as the local sovereigns.
The writing material of the Atlanteans consisted of thin sheets of metal, on the white porcelain-like surface of which the words were written. They also had the means of reproducing the written text by placing on the inscribed sheet another thin metal plate which had previously been dipped in some liquid. The text thus graven on the second plate could be reproduced at will on other sheets, a great number of which fastened together constituted a book.
A custom which differs considerably from our own must be instanced next, in their choice of food. It is an unpleasant subject, but can scarcely be passed over. The flesh of the animals they usually discarded, while the parts which among us are avoided as food, were by them devoured. The blood also they drank—often hot from the animal—and various cooked dishes were also made of it.
It must not, however, be thought that they were without the lighter, and to us, more palatable, kinds of food. The seas and rivers provided them with fish, the flesh of which they ate, though often in such an advanced stage of decomposition as would be to us revolting. The different grains were largely cultivated, of which were made bread and cakes. They also had milk, fruit and vegetables.
A small minority of the inhabitants, it is true, never adopted the revolting customs above referred to. This was the case with the Adept kings and emperors and the initiated priesthood throughout the whole empire. They were entirely vegetarian in their habits, but though many of the emperor's counsellors and the officials about the court affected to prefer the purer diet, they often indulged in secret their grosser tastes.
Nor were strong drinks unknown in those days. Fermented liquor of a very potent sort was at one time much in vogue. But it was so apt to make these who drank it dangerously excited that a law was passed absolutely forbidding its consumption.
The weapons of warfare and the chase differed considerably at different epochs. Swords and spears, bows and arrows sufficed as a rule for the Rmoahals and the Tlavatli. The beasts which they hunted at that very early period were mammoths with long woolly hair, elephants and hippopotami. Marsupials also abounded as well as survivals of intermediate types—some being half reptile and half mammal, others half reptile and half bird.
The use of explosives was adopted at an early period, and carried to great perfection in later times. Some appear to have been made to explode on concussion, others after a certain interval of time, but in either case the destruction to life seems to have resulted from the release of some poisonous vapour, not from the impact of bullets. So powerful indeed must have become these explosives in later Atlantean times, that we hear of whole companies of men being destroyed in battle by the noxious gas generated by the explosion of one of these bombs above their heads, thrown there by some sort of lever.
The monetary system must now be considered. During the first three sub-races at all events, such a thing as a State coinage was unknown. Small pieces of metal or leather stamped with some given value were, it is true, used as tokens. Having a perforation in the centre they were strung together, and were usually carried at the girdle. But each man was as it were his own coiner, and the leather or metal token fabricated by him, and exchanged with another for value received, was but a personal acknowledgment of indebtedness, such as a promissory note is among us. No man was entitled to fabricate more of these tokens than he was able to redeem by the transfer of goods in his possession. The tokens did not circulate as coinage does, while the holder of the token had the means to estimate with perfect accuracy the resources of his debtor by the clairvoyant faculty which all then possessed to a greater or less degree, and which in any case of doubt was instantly directed to ascertain the actual state of the facts.
It must be stated, however, that in the later days of Poseidonis, a system approximating to our own currency was adopted, and the triple mountain visible from the great southern capital was the favourite representation on the State coinage.
But the system of land tenure is the most important subject under this heading. Among the Rmoahal and Tlavatli, who lived chiefly by hunting and fishing, the question naturally did not arise, though some system of village cultivation was recognized in the Tlavatli days.
It was with the increase of population and civilization in the early Toltec times that land first became worth fighting for. It is not proposed to trace the system or want of system prevalent in the troublous times anterior to the advent of the Golden Age. But the records of that epoch present to the consideration, not only of political economists, but of all who regard the welfare of the race, a subject of the utmost interest and importance.
The population it must be remembered had been steadily increasing, and under the government of the Adept emperors it had reached the very large figure already quoted; nevertheless poverty and want were things undreamt of in those days, and this social well-being was no doubt partly due to the system of land tenure.
Not only was all the land and its produce regarded as belonging to the emperor, but all the flocks and herds upon it were his as well. The country was divided into different provinces or districts, each province having at its head one of the subsidiary kings or viceroys appointed by the emperor. Each of these viceroys was held responsible for the government and well-being of all the inhabitants under his rule. The tillage of the land, the harvesting of the crops, and the pasturage of the herds lay within his sphere of superintendence, as well as the conducting of such agricultural experiments as have been already referred to.
Each viceroy had round him a council of agricultural advisers and coadjutors, who had amongst their other duties to be well versed in astronomy, for it was not a barren science in those days. The occult influences on plant and animal life were then studied and taken advantage of. The power, too, of producing rain at will was not uncommon then, while the effects of a glacial epoch were on more than one occasion partly neutralized in the northern parts of the continent by occult science. The right day for beginning every agricultural operation was of course duly calculated, and the work carried into effect by the officials whose duty it was to supervise every detail.
The produce raised in each district or kingdom was as a rule consumed in it, but an exchange of agricultural commodities was sometimes arranged between the rulers.
After a small share had been put aside for the emperor and the central government at the "City of the Golden Gates," the produce of the whole district or kingdom was divided among the inhabitants—the local viceroy and his retinue of officials naturally receiving the larger portions, but the meanest agricultural labourer getting enough to secure him competence and comfort. Any increase in the productive capacity of the land, or in the mineral wealth which it yielded, was divided proportionately amongst all concerned—all, therefore, were interested in making the result of their combined labour as lucrative as possible.
This system worked admirably for a very long period. But as time went on negligence and self-seeking crept in. Those whose duty it was to superintend, threw more and more responsibility on their inferiors in office, and in time it became rare for the rulers to interfere or to interest themselves in any of the operations. This was the beginning of the evil days. The members of the dominant class who had previously given all their time to the state duties began to think about making their own lives more pleasant. The elaboration of luxury was setting in.
There was one cause in particular which produced great discontent amongst the lower classes. The system under which the youth of the nation was drafted into the technical schools has already been referred to. Now it was always one of the superior class whose psychic faculties had been duly cultivated, to whom the duty was assigned of selecting the children so that each one should receive the training, and ultimately be devoted to the occupation, for which he was naturally most fitted. But when those possessed of the clairvoyant vision, by which alone such choice could be made, delegated their duties to inferiors who were wanting in such psychic attributes, the results ensuing were that the children were often thrust into wrong grooves, and those whose capacity and taste lay in one direction often found themselves tied for life to an occupation which they disliked, and in which, therefore, they were rarely successful.
The systems of land tenure which ensued in different parts of the empire on the breaking up of the great Toltec dynasty were many and various. But it is not necessary to follow them. In the later days of Poseidonis they had, as a rule, given place to the system of individual ownership which we know so well.
Reference has already been made, under the head of "Emigrations," to the system of land tenure which prevailed during that glorious period of Peruvian history when the Incas held sway about 14,000 years ago. A short summary of this may be of interest as demonstrating the source from which its ground-work was doubtless derived, as well as instancing the variations which had been adopted in this somewhat more complicated system.
All title to land was derived in the first instance from the Inca, but half of it was assigned to the cultivators, who of course constituted the great bulk of the population. The other half was divided between the Inca and the priesthood who celebrated the worship of the sun.
Out of the proceeds of his specially allotted lands the Inca had to keep up the army, the roads throughout the whole empire, and all the machinery of government. This was conducted by a special governing class all more or less closely related to the Inca himself, and representing a civilization and a culture much in advance of the great masses of the population.
The remaining fourth—"the lands of the sun"—provided not only for the priests who conducted the public worship throughout the empire, but for the entire education of the people in schools and colleges, for all sick and infirm persons, and finally, for every inhabitant (exclusive, of course, of the governing class for whom there was no cessation of work) on reaching the age of forty-five, that being the age arranged for the hard work of life to cease, and for leisure and enjoyment to begin.
Religion.—The only subject that now remains to be dealt with is the evolution of religious ideas. Between the spiritual aspiration of a rude but simple race and the degraded ritual of an intellectually cultured but spiritually dead people, lies a gulf which only the term religion, used in its widest acceptation, can span. Nevertheless it is this consecutive process of generation and degeneration which has to be traced in the history of the Atlantean people.
It will be remembered that the government under which the Rmoahals came into existence, was described as the most perfect conceivable, for it was the Manu himself who acted as their king. The memory of this divine ruler was naturally preserved in the annals of the race, and in due time he came to be regarded as a god, among a people who were naturally psychic, and had consequently glimpses of those states of consciousness which transcend our ordinary waking condition. Retaining these higher attributes, it was only natural that this primitive people should adopt a religion, which, though in no way representative of any exalted philosophy, was of a type far from ignoble. In later days this phase of religious belief passed into a kind of ancestor-worship.
The Tlavatli while inheriting the traditional reverence and worship for the Manu, were taught by Adept instructors of the existence of a Supreme Being whose symbol was recognized as the sun. They thus developed a sort of sun worship, for the practice of which they repaired to the hill tops. There they built great circles of upright monoliths. These were intended to be symbolical of the sun's yearly course, but they were also used for astronomical purposes—being placed so that, to one standing at the high altar, the sun would rise at the winter solstice behind one of these monoliths, at the vernal equinox behind another, and so on throughout the year. Astronomical observations of a still more complex character connected with the more distant constellations were also helped by these stone circles.
We have already seen under the head of emigrations how a later sub-race—the Akkadians—in the erection of Stonehenge, reverted to this primitive building of monoliths.
Endowed though the Tlavatli were with somewhat greater capacity for intellectual development than the previous sub-race, their cult was still of a very primitive type.
With the wider diffusion of knowledge in the days of the Toltecs, and more especially with the establishment later on of an initiated priesthood and an Adept emperor, increased opportunities were offered to the people for the attainment of a truer conception of the divine. The few who were ready to take full advantage of the teaching offered, after having been tried and tested, were doubtless admitted into the ranks of the priesthood which then constituted an immense occult fraternity. With these, however, who had so outstripped the mass of humanity, as to be ready to begin the progress of the occult path, we are not here concerned, the religions practised by the inhabitants of Atlantis generally being the subject of our investigation.
The power to rise to philosophic heights of thought was of course wanting to the masses of those days, as it is similarly wanting to the great majority of the inhabitants of the world to-day. The nearest approach which the most gifted teacher could make in attempting to convey any idea of the nameless and all-pervading essence of the Kosmos was necessarily imparted in the form of symbols, and the sun naturally enough was the first symbol adopted. As in our own days too the more cultivated and spiritually minded would see through the symbol, and might sometimes rise on the wings of devotion to the Father of our spirits, that
"Motive and centre of our soul's desire, Object and refuge of our journey's end"
while the grosser multitude would see nothing but the symbol, and would worship it, as the carved Madonna or the wooden image of the crucified one is to-day worshipped throughout Catholic Europe.
Sun and fire worship then became the cult for the celebration of which magnificent temples were reared throughout the length and breadth of the continent of Atlantis, but more especially in the great "City of the Golden Gates"—the temple service being performed by retinues of priests endowed by the State for that purpose.
In those early days no image of the Deity was permitted. The sun-disk was considered the only appropriate emblem of the godhead, and as such was used in every temple, a golden disk being generally placed so as to catch the first rays of the rising sun at the vernal equinox or at the summer solstice.
An interesting example of the almost unalloyed survival of this worship of the sun-disk may be instanced in the Shinto ceremonies of Japan. All other representation of Deity is in this faith regarded as impious, and even the circular mirror of polished metal is hidden from the vulgar gaze save on ceremonial occasions. Unlike the gorgeous temple decorations of Atlantis however, the Shinto temples are characterized by an entire absence of decoration—the exquisite finish of the plain wood-work being unrelieved by any carving, paint or varnish.
But the sun-disk did not always remain the only permissible emblem of Deity. The image of a man—an archetypal man—was in after days placed in the temples and adored as the highest representation of the divine. In some ways this might be considered a reversion to the Rmoahal worship of the Manu. Even then the religion was comparatively pure, and the occult fraternity of the "Good Law" of course did their utmost to keep alive in the hearts of the people the spiritual life.
The evil days, however, were drawing near when no altruistic idea should remain to redeem the race from the abyss of selfishness in which it was destined to be overwhelmed. The decay of the ethical idea was the necessary prelude to the perversion of the spiritual. The hand of every man fought for himself alone, and his knowledge was used for purely selfish ends, till it became an established belief that there was nothing in the universe greater or higher than themselves. Each man was his own "Law, and Lord and God," and the very worship of the temples ceased to be the worship of any ideal, but became the mere adoration of man as he was known and seen to be. As is written in the Book of Dzyan, "Then the Fourth became tall with pride. We are the kings it was said; we are the Gods.... They built huge cities. Of rare earths and metals they built, and out of the fires vomited, out of the white stone of the mountains and of the black stone, they cut their own images in their size and likeness, and worshipped them." Shrines were placed in temples in which the statue of each man, wrought in gold or silver, or carved in stone or wood, was adored by himself. The richer men kept whole trains of priests in their employ for the cult and care of their shrines, and offerings were made to these statues as to gods. The apotheosis of self could go no further.
It must be remembered that every true religious idea that has ever entered into the mind of man, has been consciously suggested to him by the divine Instructors or the Initiates of the Occult Lodges, who throughout all the ages have been the guardians of the divine mysteries, and of the facts of the supersensual states of consciousness.
Mankind generally has but slowly become capable of assimilating a few of these divine ideas, while the monstrous growths and hideous distortions to which every religion on earth stands as witness, must be traced to man's own lower nature. It would seem indeed that he has not always even been fit to be entrusted with knowledge as to the mere symbols under which were veiled the light of Deity, for in the days of the Turanian supremacy some of this knowledge was wrongfully divulged.
We have seen how the life and light giving attributes of the sun were in early times used as the symbol to bring before the minds of the people all that they were capable of conceiving of the great First Cause. But other symbols of far deeper and more real significance were known and guarded within the ranks of the priesthood. One of these was the conception of a Trinity in Unity. The Trinities of most sacred significance were never divulged to the people, but the Trinity personifying the cosmic powers of the universe as Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer, became publicly known in some irregular manner in the Turanian days. This idea was still further materialized and degraded by the Semites into a strictly anthropomorphic Trinity consisting of father, mother and child.
A further and rather terrible development of the Turanian times must still be referred to. With the practice of sorcery many of the inhabitants had, of course, become aware of the existence of powerful elementals—creatures who had been called into being, or at least animated by their own powerful wills, which being directed towards maleficent ends, naturally produced the elementals of power and malignity. So degraded had then become man's feelings of reverence and worship, that they actually began to adore these semi-conscious creations of their own malignant thought. The ritual with which these beings were worshipped was blood-stained from the very start, and of course every sacrifice offered at their shrine gave vitality and persistence to these vampire-like creations—so much so, that even to the present day in various parts of the world, the elementals formed by the powerful will of these old Atlantean sorcerers still continue to exact their tribute from unoffending village communities.
Though inaugurated and widely practised by the brutal Turanians, this blood-stained ritual seems never to have spread to any extent among the other sub-races, though human sacrifices appear to have been not uncommon among some branches of the Semites.
In the great Toltec empire of Mexico the sun-worship of their forefathers was still the national religion, while the bloodless offerings to their beneficent Deity, Quetzalcoatl, consisted merely of flowers and fruit. It was only with the coming of the savage Aztecs that the harmless Mexican ritual was supplemented with the blood of human sacrifices, which drenched the altars of their war-god, Huitzilopochtli, and the tearing out of the hearts of the victims on the summit of the Teocali may be regarded as a direct survival of the elemental-worship of their Turanian ancestors in Atlantis.
It will be seen then that as in our own days, the religious life of the people embraced the most varied forms of belief and worship. From the small minority who aspired to initiation, and had touch with the higher spiritual life—who knew that good will towards all men, control of thought, and purity of life and action were the necessary preliminaries to the attainment of the highest states of consciousness and the widest realms of vision—innumerable phases led down through the more or less blind worship of cosmic powers, or of anthropomorphic gods, to the degraded but most widely extended ritual in which each man adored his own image, and to the blood-stained rites of the elemental worship.
It must be remembered throughout that we are dealing with the Atlantean race only, so that any reference would be out of place that bore on the still more degraded fetish-worship that even then existed—as it still does—amongst the debased representatives of the Lemurian peoples.
All through the centuries then the various rituals composed to celebrate these various forms of worship were carried on, till the final submergence of Poseidonis, by which time the countless hosts of Atlantean emigrants had already established on foreign lands the various cults of the mother-continent.
To trace the rise and follow the progress in detail of the archaic religions, which in historic times have blossomed into such diverse and antagonistic forms, would be an undertaking of great difficulty, but the illumination it would throw on matters of transcendent importance may some day induce the attempt.
In conclusion, it would be vain to attempt to summarize what is already too much of a summary. Rather let us hope that the foregoing may lend itself as the text from which may be developed histories of the many offshoots of the various sub-races—histories which may analytically examine political and social developments which have been here touched on in the most fragmentary manner.
One word, however, may still be said about that evolution of the race—that progress which all creation, with mankind at its head, is ever destined to achieve century by century, millennium by millennium, manvantara by manvantara, and kalpa by kalpa.
The descent of spirit into matter—these two poles of the one eternal substance—is the process which occupies the first half of every cycle. Now the period we have been contemplating in the foregoing pages—the period during which the Atlantean race was running its course—was the very middle or turning point of this present manvantara.
The process of evolution which in our present Fifth Race has now set in—the return, that is, of matter into spirit—had in those days revealed itself in but a few isolated individual cases—forerunners of the resurrection of the spirit.
But the problem, which all who have given the subject any amount of consideration must have felt to be still awaiting a solution, is the surprising contrast in the attributes of the Atlantean race. Side by side with their brutal passions, their degraded animal propensities, were their psychic faculties, their godlike intuition.
Now the solution of this apparently insoluble enigma lies in the fact that the building of the bridge had only then been begun—the bridge of Manas, or mind, destined to unite in the perfected individual the upward surging forces of the animal and the downward cycling spirit of the God. The animal kingdom of to-day exhibits a field of nature where the building of that bridge has not yet been begun, and even among mankind in the days of Atlantis the connection was so slight that the spiritual attributes had but little controlling power over the lower animal nature. The touch of mind they had was sufficient to add zest to the gratification of the senses, but was not enough to vitalize the still dormant spiritual faculties, which in the perfected individual will have to become the absolute monarch. Our metaphor of the bridge may carry us a little further if we consider it as now in process of construction, but as destined to remain incomplete for mankind in general for untold millenniums—in fact, until Humanity has completed another circle of the seven planets and the great Fifth Round is half way through its course.
Though it was during the latter half of the Third Root Race and the beginning of the Fourth that the Manasaputra descended to endow with mind the bulk of Humanity who were still without the spark, yet so feebly burned the light all through the Atlantean days that few could be said to have attained to the powers of abstract thought. On the other hand the functioning of the mind on concrete things came well within their grasp, and as we have seen it was in the practical concerns of their every-day life, especially when their psychic faculties were directed towards the same objects, that they achieved such remarkable and stupendous results.
It must also be remembered that Kama, the fourth principle, naturally obtained its culminating development in the Fourth Race. This would account for the depths of animal grossness to which they sank, whilst the approach of the cycle to its nadir inevitably accentuated this downward movement, so that there is little to be surprised at in the gradual loss by the race of the psychic faculties, and in its descent to selfishness and materialism.
Rather should all this be regarded as part of the great cyclic process in obedience to the eternal law.
We have all gone through those evil days, and the experiences we then accumulated go to make up the characters we now possess.
But a brighter sun now shines on the Aryan race than that which lit the path of their Atlantean forefathers. Less dominated by the passions of the senses, more open to the influence of mind, the men of our race have obtained, and are obtaining, a firmer grasp of knowledge, a wider range of intellect. This upward arc of the great Manvantaric cycle will naturally lead increasing numbers towards the entrance of the Occult Path, and will lend more and more attraction to the transcendent opportunities it offers for the continued strengthening and purification of the character—strengthening and purification no longer directed by mere spasmodic effort, and continually interrupted by misleading attractions, but guided and guarded at every step by the Masters of Wisdom, so that the upward climb when once begun should no longer be halting and uncertain, but lead direct to the glorious goal.
The psychic faculties too, and the godlike intuition, lost for a time but still the rightful heritage of the race, only await the individual effort of re-attainment, to give to the character still deeper insight and more transcendent powers. So shall the ranks of the Adept instructors—the Masters of Wisdom—be ever strengthened and recruited, and even amongst us to-day there must certainly be some, indistinguishable save by the deathless enthusiasm with which they are animated, who will, before the next Root Race is established on this planet, stand themselves as Masters of Wisdom to help the race in its upward progress.
[Footnote 1: Students of geology and palaeontology will know that these sciences regard the "Cro-Magnon man" as prior to the "Furfooz," and seeing that the two races ran alongside each other for vast periods of time, it may quite well be that the individual "Cro-Magnon" skeleton, though representative of the second race, was deposited in the quaternary strata thousands of years before the individual Furfooz man lived on the earth.]
THE LOST LEMURIA
The object of this paper is not so much to bring forward new and startling information about the lost continent of Lemuria and its inhabitants, as to establish by the evidence obtainable from geology and from the study of the relative distribution of living and extinct animals and plants, as well as from the observed processes of physical evolution in the lower kingdoms, the facts stated in the "Secret Doctrine" and in other works with reference to these now submerged lands.
The Lost Lemuria.
It is generally recognised by science that what is now dry land, on the surface of our globe, was once the ocean floor, and that what is now the ocean floor was once dry land. Geologists have in some cases been able to specify the exact portions of the earth's surface where these subsidences and upheavals have taken place, and although the lost continent of Atlantis has so far received scant recognition from the world of science, the general concensus of opinion has for long pointed to the existence, at some prehistoric time, of a vast southern continent to which the name of Lemuria has been assigned.
[Sidenote: Evidence supplied by Geology and by the relative distribution of living and extinct Animals and Plants.]
"The history of the earth's development shows us that the distribution of land and water on its surface is ever and continually changing. In consequence of geological changes of the earth's crust, elevations and depressions of the ground take place everywhere, sometimes more strongly marked in one place, sometimes in another. Even if they happen so slowly that in the course of centuries the seashore rises or sinks only a few inches, or even only a few lines, still they nevertheless effect great results in the course of long periods of time. And long—immeasurably long—periods of time have not been wanting in the earth's history. During the course of many millions of years, ever since organic life existed on the earth, land and water have perpetually struggled for supremacy. Continents and islands have sunk into the sea, and new ones have arisen out of its bosom. Lakes and seas have been slowly raised and dried up, and new water basins have arisen by the sinking of the ground. Peninsulas have become islands by the narrow neck of land which connected them with the mainland sinking into the water. The islands of an archipelago have become the peaks of a continuous chain of mountains by the whole floor of their sea being considerably raised.
"Thus the Mediterranean at one time was an inland sea, when in the place of the Straits of Gibraltar, an isthmus connected Africa with Spain. England even during the more recent history of the earth, when man already existed, has repeatedly been connected with the European continent and been repeatedly separated from it. Nay, even Europe and North America have been directly connected. The South Sea at one time formed a large Pacific Continent, and the numerous little islands which now lie scattered in it were simply the highest peaks of the mountains covering that continent. The Indian Ocean formed a continent which extended from the Sunda Islands along the southern coast of Asia to the east coast of Africa. This large continent of former times Sclater, an Englishman, has called Lemuria, from the monkey-like animals which inhabited it, and it is at the same time of great importance from being the probable cradle of the human race, which in all likelihood here first developed out of anthropoid apes. The important proof which Alfred Wallace has furnished, by the help of chorological facts, that the present Malayan Archipelago consists in reality of two completely different divisions, is particularly interesting. The western division, the Indo-Malayan Archipelago, comprising the large islands of Borneo, Java and Sumatra, was formerly connected by Malacca with the Asiatic continent, and probably also with the Lemurian continent just mentioned. The eastern division on the other hand, the Austro-Malayan Archipelago, comprising Celebes, the Moluccas, New Guinea, Solomon's Islands, etc., was formerly directly connected with Australia. Both divisions were formerly two continents separated by a strait, but they have now for the most part sunk below the level of the sea. Wallace, solely on the ground of his accurate chorological observations, has been able in the most accurate manner to determine the position of this former strait, the south end of which passes between Balij and Lombok.
"Thus, ever since liquid water existed on the earth, the boundaries of water and land have eternally changed, and we may assert that the outlines of continents and islands have never remained for an hour, nay, even for a minute, exactly the same. For the waves eternally and perpetually break on the edge of the coast, and whatever the land in these places loses in extent, it gains in other places by the accumulation of mud, which condenses into solid stone and again rises above the level of the sea as new land. Nothing can be more erroneous than the idea of a firm and unchangeable outline of our continents, such as is impressed upon us in early youth by defective lessons on geography, which are devoid of a geological basis."
The name Lemuria, as above stated, was originally adopted by Mr. Sclater in recognition of the fact that it was probably on this continent that animals of the Lemuroid type were developed.
"This," writes A. R. Wallace, "is undoubtedly a legitimate and highly probable supposition, and it is an example of the way in which a study of the geographical distribution of animals may enable us to reconstruct the geography of a bygone age....
"It [this continent] represents what was probably a primary zoological region in some past geological epoch; but what that epoch was and what were the limits of the region in question, we are quite unable to say. If we are to suppose that it comprised the whole area now inhabited by Lemuroid animals, we must make it extend from West Africa to Burmah, South China and Celebes, an area which it possibly did once occupy."
"We have already had occasion," he elsewhere writes, "to refer to an ancient connection between this sub-region (the Ethiopian) and Madagascar, in order to explain the distribution of the Lemurine type, and some other curious affinities between the two countries. This view is supported by the geology of India, which shows us Ceylon and South India consisting mainly of granite and old-metamorphic rocks, while the greater part of the peninsula is of tertiary formation, with a few isolated patches of secondary rocks. It is evident, therefore, that during much of the tertiary period, Ceylon and South India were bounded on the north by a considerable extent of sea, and probably formed part of an extensive Southern Continent or great island. The very numerous and remarkable cases of affinity with Malaya, require, however, some closer approximation with these islands, which probably occurred at a later period. When, still later, the great plains and tablelands of Hindostan were formed, and a permanent land communication effected with the rich and highly developed Himalo-Chinese fauna, a rapid immigration of new types took place, and many of the less specialised forms of mammalia and birds became extinct. Among reptiles and insects the competition was less severe, or the older forms were too well adapted to local conditions to be expelled; so that it is among these groups alone that we find any considerable number of what are probably the remains of the ancient fauna of a now submerged Southern Continent."
After stating that during the whole of the tertiary and perhaps during much of the secondary periods, the great land masses of the earth were probably situated in the Northern Hemisphere, Wallace proceeds, "In the Southern Hemisphere there appear to have been three considerable and very ancient land masses, varying in extent from time to time, but always keeping distinct from each other, and represented more or less completely by Australia, South Africa and South America of our time. Into these flowed successive waves of life as they each in turn became temporarily united with some part of the Northern land."
Although, apparently in vindication of some conclusions of his which had been criticised by Dr. Hartlaub, Wallace subsequently denied the necessity of postulating the existence of such a continent, his general recognition of the facts of subsidences and upheavals of great portions of the earth's surface, as well as the inferences which he draws from the acknowledged relations of living and extinct faunas as above stated, remain of course unaltered.
The following extracts from Mr. H. F. Blandford's most interesting paper read before a meeting of the Geological Society deals with the subject in still greater detail:—
"The affinities between the fossils of both animals and plants of the Beaufort group of Africa and those of the Indian Panchets and Kathmis are such as to suggest the former existence of a land connexion between the two areas. But the resemblance of the African and Indian fossil faunas does not cease with Permian and Triassic times. The plant beds of the Uitenhage group have furnished eleven forms of plants, two of which Mr. Tate has identified with Indian Rajmahal plants. The Indian Jurassic fossils have yet to be described (with a few exceptions), but it has been stated that Dr. Stoliezka was much struck with the affinities of certain of the Cutch fossils to African forms; and Dr. Stoliezka and Mr. Griesbach have shown that of the Cretaceous fossils of the Umtafuni river in Natal, the majority (22 out of 35 described forms) are identical with species from Southern India. Now the plant-bearing series of India and the Karoo and part of the Uitenhage formation of Africa are in all probability of fresh-water origin, both indicating the existence of a large land area around, from the waste of which these deposits are derived. Was this land continuous between the two regions? And is there anything in the present physical geography of the Indian Ocean which would suggest its probable position? Further, what was the connexion between this land and Australia which we must equally assume to have existed in Permian times? And, lastly, are there any peculiarities in the existing fauna and flora of India, Africa and the intervening islands which would lend support to the idea of a former connexion more direct than that which now exists between Africa and South India and the Malay peninsula? The speculation here put forward is no new one. It has long been a subject of thought in the minds of some Indian and European naturalists, among the former of whom I may mention my brother [Mr. Blandford] and Dr. Stoliezka, their speculations being grounded on the relationship and partial identity of the faunas and floras of past times, not less than on that existing community of forms which has led Mr. Andrew Murray, Mr. Searles, V. Wood, jun., and Professor Huxley to infer the existence of a Miocene continent occupying a part of the Indian Ocean. Indeed, all that I can pretend to aim at in this paper is to endeavour to give some additional definition and extension to the conception of its geological aspect.
"With regard to the geographical evidence, a glance at the map will show that from the neighbourhood of the West Coast of India to that of the Seychelles, Madagascar, and the Mauritius, extends a line of coral atolls and banks, including Adas bank, the Laccadives, Maldives, the Chagos group and the Saya de Mulha, all indicating the existence of a submerged mountain range or ranges. The Seychelles, too, are mentioned by Mr. Darwin as rising from an extensive and tolerably level bank having a depth of between 30 and 40 fathoms; so that, although now partly encircled by fringing reefs, they may be regarded as a virtual extension of the same submerged axis. Further west the Cosmoledo and Comoro Islands consist of atolls and islands surrounded by barrier reefs; and these bring us pretty close to the present shores of Africa and Madagascar. It seems at least probable that in this chain of atolls, banks, and barrier reefs we have indicated the position of an ancient mountain chain, which possibly formed the back-bone of a tract of later Palaeozoic, Mesozoic, and early Tertiary land, being related to it much as the Alpine and Himalayan system is to the Europaeo-Asiatic continent, and the Rocky Mountains and Andes to the two Americas. As it is desirable to designate this Mesozoic land by a name, I would propose that of Indo-Oceana. [The name given to it by Mr. Sclater, viz., Lemuria, is, however, the one which has been most generally adopted.] Professor Huxley has suggested on palaeontological grounds that a land connexion existed in this region (or rather between Abyssinia and India) during the Miocene epoch. From what has been said above it will be seen that I infer its existence from a far earlier date. With regard to its depression, the only present evidence relates to its northern extremity, and shows that it was in this region, later than the great trap-flows of the Dakhan. These enormous sheets of volcanic rock are remarkably horizontal to the east of the Ghats and the Sakyadri range, but to the west of this they begin to dip seawards, so that the island of Bombay is composed of the higher parts of the formation. This indicates only that the depression to the westward has taken place in Tertiary times; and to that extent Professor Huxley's inference, that it was after the Miocene period, is quite consistent with the geological evidence."
After proceeding at some length to instance the close relationship of many of the fauna in the lands under consideration (Lion, Hyaena, Jackal, Leopard, Antelope, Gazelle, Sand-grouse, Indian Bustard, many Land Molusca, and notably the Lemur and the Scaly Anteater) the writer proceeds as follows:—
"Palaeontology, physical geography and geology, equally with the ascertained distribution of living animals and plants, offer thus their concurrent testimony to the former close connexion of Africa and India, including the tropical islands of the Indian Ocean. This Indo-Oceanic land appears to have existed from at least early Permian times, probably (as Professor Huxley has pointed out) up to the close of the Miocene epoch; and South Africa and Peninsular India are the existing remnants of that ancient land. It may not have been absolutely continuous during the whole of this long period. Indeed, the Cretaceous rocks of Southern India and Southern Africa, and the marine Jurassic beds of the same regions, prove that some portions of it were, for longer or shorter periods, invaded by the sea; but any break of continuity was probably not prolonged; for Mr. Wallace's investigations in the Eastern Archipelago have shown how narrow a sea may offer an insuperable barrier to the migration of land animals. In Palaeozoic times this land must have been connected with Australia, and in Tertiary times with Malayana, since the Malayan forms with African alliances are in several cases distinct from those of India. We know as yet too little of the geology of the eastern peninsula to say from what epoch dates its connexion with Indo-Oceanic land. Mr. Theobald has ascertained the existence of Triassic, Cretaceous, and Nummulitic rocks in the Arabian coast range; and Carboniferous limestone is known to occur from Moulmein southward, while the range east of the Irrawadi is formed of younger Tertiary rocks. From this it would appear that a considerable part of the Malay peninsula must have been occupied by the sea during the greater part of the Mesozoic and Eocene periods. Plant-bearing rocks of Raniganj age have been identified as forming the outer spurs of the Sikkim Himalaya; the ancient land must therefore have extended some distance to the north of the present Gangetic delta. Coal both of Cretaceous and Tertiary age occurs in the Khasi hills, and also in Upper Assam, but in both cases associated with marine beds; so that it would appear that in this region the boundaries of land and sea oscillated somewhat during Cretaceous and Eocene times. To the north-west of India the existence of great formations of Cretaceous and Nummulitic age, stretching far through Baluchistan and Persia, and entering into the structure of the north-west Himalaya, prove that in the later Mesozoic and Eocene ages India had no direct communication with western Asia; while the Jurassic rocks of Cutch, the Salt range, and the northern Himalaya, show that in the preceding period the sea covered a large part of the present Indus basin; and the Triassic, Carboniferous, and still more recent marine formations of the Himalaya, indicate that from very early times till the upheaval of that great chain, much of its present site was for ages covered by the sea.
"To sum up the views advanced in this paper.
"1st. The plant-bearing series of India ranges from early Permian to the latest Jurassic times, indicating (except in a few cases and locally) the uninterrupted continuity of land and fresh water conditions. These may have prevailed from much earlier times.
"2nd. In the early Permian, as in the Postpliocene age, a cold climate prevailed down to low latitudes, and I am inclined to believe in both hemispheres simultaneously. With the decrease of cold the flora and reptilian fauna of Permian times were diffused to Africa, India, and possibly Australia; or the flora may have existed in Australia somewhat earlier, and have been diffused thence.
"3rd. India, South Africa and Australia were connected by an Indo-Oceanic Continent in the Permian epoch; and the two former countries remained connected (with at the utmost only short interruptions) up to the end of the Miocene period. During the latter part of the time this land was also connected with Malayana.
"4th. In common with some previous writers, I consider that the position of this land was defined by the range of coral reefs and banks that now exist between the Arabian sea and East Africa.
"5th. Up to the end of the Nummulitic epoch no direct connexion (except possibly for short periods) existed between India and Western Asia."
In the discussion which followed the reading of the paper, Professor Ramsay "agreed with the author in the belief in the junction of Africa with India and Australia in geological times."
Mr. Woodward "was pleased to find that the author had added further evidence, derived from the fossil flora of the mesozoic series of India, in corroboration of the views of Huxley, Sclater and others as to the former existence of an old submerged continent ('Lemuria') which Darwin's researches on coral reefs had long since foreshadowed."
"Of the five now existing continents," writes Ernst Haeckel, in his great work "The History of Creation," "neither Australia, nor America, nor Europe can have been this primaeval home [of man], or the so-called 'Paradise,' the 'cradle of the human race.' Most circumstances indicate Southern Asia as the locality in question. Besides Southern Asia, the only other of the now existing continents which might be viewed in this light is Africa. But there are a number of circumstances (especially chorological facts) which suggest that the primeval home of man was a continent now sunk below the surface of the Indian Ocean, which extended along the south of Asia, as it is at present (and probably in direct connection with it), towards the east, as far as Further India and the Sunda Islands; towards the west, as far as Madagascar and the south-eastern shores of Africa. We have already mentioned that many facts in animal and vegetable geography render the former existence of such a South Indian continent very probable. Sclater has given this continent the name of Lemuria, from the semi-apes which were characteristic of it. By assuming this Lemuria to have been man's primaeval home, we greatly facilitate the explanation of the geographical distribution of the human species by migration."
In a subsequent work, "The Pedigree of Man," Haeckel asserts the existence of Lemuria at some early epoch of the earth's history as an acknowledged fact.
The following quotation from Dr. Hartlaub's writings may bring to a close this portion of the evidence in favour of the existence of the lost Lemuria:—
"Five and thirty years ago, Isidore Geoffrey St. Hilaire remarked that, if one had to classify the Island of Madagascar exclusively on zoological considerations, and without reference to its geographical situation, it could be shown to be neither Asiatic nor African, but quite different from either, and almost a fourth continent. And this fourth continent could be further proved to be, as regards its fauna, much more different from Africa, which lies so near to it, than from India which is so far away. With these words the correctness and pregnancy of which later investigations tend to bring into their full light, the French naturalist first stated the interesting problem for the solution of which an hypothesis based on scientific knowledge has recently been propounded, for this fourth continent of Isidore Geoffrey is Sclater's 'Lemuria'—that sunken land which, containing parts of Africa, must have extended far eastwards over Southern India and Ceylon, and the highest points of which we recognise in the volcanic peaks of Bourbon and Mauritius, and in the central range of Madagascar itself—the last resorts of the almost extinct Lemurine race which formerly peopled it."
[Sidenote: Evidence obtained from Archaic Records.]
The further evidence we have with regard to Lemuria and its inhabitants has been obtained from the same source and in the same manner as that which resulted in the writing of the Story of Atlantis. In this case also the author has been privileged to obtain copies of two maps, one representing Lemuria (and the adjoining lands) during the period of that continent's greatest expansion, the other exhibiting its outlines after its dismemberment by great catastrophes, but long before its final destruction.
It was never professed that the maps of Atlantis were correct to a single degree of latitude, or longitude, but, with the far greater difficulty of obtaining the information in the present case, it must be stated that still less must these maps of Lemuria be taken as absolutely accurate. In the former case there was a globe, a good bas-relief in terra-cotta, and a well-preserved map on parchment, or skin of some sort, to copy from. In the present case there was only a broken terra-cotta model and a very badly preserved and crumpled map, so that the difficulty of carrying back the remembrance of all the details, and consequently of reproducing exact copies, has been far greater.
We were told that it was by mighty Adepts in the days of Atlantis that the Atlantean maps were produced, but we are not aware whether the Lemurian maps were fashioned by some of the divine instructors in the days when Lemuria still existed, or in still later days of the Atlantean epoch.
But while guarding against over-confidence in the absolute accuracy of the maps in question, the transcriber of the archaic originals believes that they may in all important particulars, be taken as approximately correct.
[Sidenote: Probable Duration of the Continent of Lemuria.]
A period—speaking roughly—of between four and five million years probably represents the life of the continent of Atlantis, for it is about that time since the Rmoahals, the first sub-race of the Fourth Root Race who inhabited Atlantis, arose on a portion of the Lemurian Continent which at that time still existed. Remembering that in the evolutionary process the figure four invariably represents not only the nadir of the cycle, but the period of shortest duration, whether in the case of a Manvantara or of a race, it may be assumed that the number of millions of years assignable as the life-limit of the continent of Lemuria must be very much greater than that representing the life of Atlantis, the continent of the Fourth Root Race. But in the case of Lemuria no dates can be stated with even approximate accuracy. Geological epochs, so far as they are known to modern science, will be a better medium for contemporary reference, and they alone will be dealt with.
[Sidenote: The Maps.]
But not even geological epochs, it will be observed, are assigned to the maps. If, however, an inference may be drawn from all the evidence before us, it would seem probable that the older of the two Lemurian maps represented the earth's configuration from the Permian, through the Triassic and into the Jurassic epoch, while the second map probably represents the earth's configuration through the Cretaceous and into the Eocene period.
From the older of the two maps it may be seen that the equatorial continent of Lemuria at the time of its greatest expansion nearly girdled the globe, extending as it then did from the site of the present Cape Verd Islands a few miles from the coast of Sierra Leone, in a south-easterly direction through Africa, Australia, the Society Islands and all the intervening seas, to a point but a few miles distant from a great island continent (about the size of the present South America) which spread over the remainder of the Pacific Ocean, and included Cape Horn and parts of Patagonia.
A remarkable feature in the second map of Lemuria is the great length, and at parts the extreme narrowness, of the straits which separated the two great blocks of land into which the continent had by this time been split, and it will be observed that the straits at present existing between the islands of Bali and Lomboc coincide with a portion of the straits which then divided these two continents. It will also be seen that these straits continued in a northerly direction by the west, not by the east coast of Borneo, as conjectured by Ernst Haeckel.
With reference to the distribution of fauna and flora, and the existence of so many types common to India and Africa alike, pointed out by Mr. Blandford, it will be observed that between parts of India and great tracts of Africa there was direct land communication during the first map period, and that similar communication was partially maintained in the second map period also; while a comparison of the maps of Atlantis with those of Lemuria will demonstrate that continuous land communication existed, now at one epoch, and now at another, between so many different parts of the earth's surface, at present separated by sea, that the existing distribution of fauna and flora in the two Americas, in Europe and in Eastern lands, which has been such a puzzle to naturalists, may with perfect ease be accounted for.
The island indicated in the earlier Lemurian map as existing to the north-west of the extreme promontory of that continent, and due west of the present coast of Spain, was probably a centre from which proceeded, during long ages, the distribution of fauna and flora above referred to. For—and this is a most interesting fact—it will be seen that this island must have been the nucleus, from first to last, of the subsequent great continent of Atlantis. It existed, as we see, in these earliest Lemurian times. It was joined in the second map period to land which had previously formed part of the great Lemurian continent; and indeed, so many accretions of territory had it by this time received that it might more appropriately be called a continent than an island. It was the great mountainous region of Atlantis at its prime, when Atlantis embraced great tracts of land which have now become North and South America. It remained the mountainous region of Atlantis in its decadence, and of Ruta in the Ruta and Daitya epoch, and it practically constituted the island of Poseidonis—the last remnant of the continent of Atlantis—the final submergence of which took place in the year 9564 B.C.
A comparison of the two maps here given, along with the four maps of Atlantis, will also show that Australia and New Zealand, Madagascar, parts of Somaliland, the south of Africa, and the extreme southern portion of Patagonia are lands which have probably existed through all the intervening catastrophes since the early days of the Lemurian period. The same may be said of the southern parts of India and Ceylon, with the exception in the case of Ceylon, of a temporary submergence in the Ruta and Daitya epoch.
It is true there are also remains still existing of the even earlier Hyperborean continent, and they of course are the oldest known lands on the face of the earth. These are Greenland, Iceland, Spitzbergen, the most northerly parts of Norway and Sweden, and the extreme north cape of Siberia.
Japan is shown by the maps to have been above water, whether as an island, or as part of a continent, since the date of the second Lemurian map. Spain, too, has doubtless existed since that time. Spain is, therefore, with the exception of the most northerly parts of Norway and Sweden, probably the oldest land in Europe.
The indeterminate character of the statements just made is rendered necessary by our knowledge that there did occur subsidences and upheavals of different portions of the earth's surface during the ages which lay between the periods represented by the maps.
For example, soon after the date of the second Lemurian map we are informed that the whole Malay Peninsula was submerged and remained so for a long time, but a subsequent upheaval of that region must have taken place before the date of the first Atlantean map, for, what is now the Malay Peninsula is there exhibited as part of a great continent. Similarly there have been repeated minor subsidences and upheavals nearer home in more recent times, and Haeckel is perfectly correct in saying that England—he might with greater accuracy have said the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, which were then joined together—"has repeatedly been connected with the European continent, and been repeatedly separated from it."
In order to bring the subject more dearly before the mind, a tabular statement is here annexed which supplies a condensed history of the animal and plant life on our globe, bracketed—according to Haeckel—with the contemporary rock strata. Two other columns give the contemporary races of man, and such of the great cataclysms as are known to occult students.
[Sidenote: Reptiles and Pine Forests.]
From this statement it will be seen that Lemurian man lived in the age of Reptiles and Pine Forests. The amphibious monsters and the gigantic tree-ferns of the Permian age still flourished in the warm damp climates. Plesiosauri and Icthyosauri swarmed in the tepid marshes of the Mesolithic epoch, but, with the drying up of many of the inland seas, the Dinosauria—the monstrous land reptiles—gradually became the dominant type, while the Pterodactyls—the Saurians which developed bat-like wings—not only crawled on the earth, but flew through the air. The smallest of these latter were about the size of a sparrow; the largest, however, with a breadth of wing of more than sixteen feet, exceeding the largest of our living birds of to-day; while most of the Dinosauria—the Dragons—were terrible beasts of prey, colossal reptiles which attained a length of from forty to fifty feet. Subsequent excavations have laid bare skeletons of an even larger size. Professor Ray Lankester, at a meeting of the Royal Institution on 7th January, 1904, is reported to have referred to a brontosaurus skeleton of sixty-five feet long, which had been discovered in the Oolite deposit in the southern part of the United States of America.
Depth of Rock Strata. Strata. Races of Men. Cataclysms. Animals. Plants. Feet. -+ + + -+ + Laurentian } First Root Race } Archilithic which being Astra Skull-less Forest of gigantic Cambrian } or 70,000 could leave Animals. Tangle and other } Primordial no fossil remains. Thallus Plants. Silurian } Devonian } }Palaeolithic Second Root Race Coal } or 42,000 which was Etheric. Fish. Fern Forests. } Primary. Permian } Triassic } Lemuria is said to have } Mesolithic Third Root Race perished before the Pine and Palm Jurassic } or 15,000 or Lemurian. beginning of the Eocene Reptiles. Forests. } Secondary age. Cretaceous } The main Continent of Eocene } Atlantis was destroyed } Cenolithic Fourth Root Race in the Miocene period Miocene } or 5,000 or Atlantean. about 800,000 years Mammals. Forests of } Tertiary. ago. Second great Deciduous Trees. Pliocene } catastrophe? about 200,000 years ago. Diluvial or} Third great catastrophe Pleistocene} Quarternary Fifth Root Race about 80,000 years ago. More Cultivated } or 500 or Aryan. Final submergence of differentiated Forests. Alluvial }Anthopolithic Poseidonis 9564 B.C. Mammals.
As it is written in the stanzas of the archaic Book of Dzyan, "Animals with bones, dragons of the deep, and flying sarpas were added to the creeping things. They that creep on the ground got wings. They of the long necks in the water became the progenitors of the fowls of the air." Modern science records her endorsement. "The class of birds as already remarked is so closely allied to Reptiles in internal structure and by embryonal development that they undoubtedly originated out of a branch of this class.... The derivation of birds from reptiles first took place in the Mesolithic epoch, and this moreover probably during the Trias."
In the vegetable kingdom this epoch also saw the pine and the palm-tree gradually displace the giant tree ferns. In the later days of the Mesolithic epoch, mammals for the first time came into existence, but the fossil remains of the mammoth and mastodon, which were their earliest representatives, are chiefly found in the subsequent strata of the Eocene and Miocene times.
[Sidenote: The Human Kingdom.]
Before making any reference to what must, even at this early date, be called the human kingdom, it must be stated that none of those who, at the present day, can lay claim to even a moderate amount of mental or spiritual culture can have lived in these ages. It was only with the advent of the last three sub-races of this Third Root Race that the least progressed of the first group of the Lunar Pitris began to return to incarnation, while the most advanced among them did not take birth till the early sub-races of the Atlantean period.
Indeed, Lemurian man, during at least the first half of the race, must be regarded rather as an animal destined to reach humanity than as human according to our understanding of the term; for though the second and third groups of Pitris, who constituted the inhabitants of Lemuria during its first four sub-races, had achieved sufficient self-consciousness in the Lunar Manvantara to differentiate them from the animal kingdom, they had not yet received the Divine Spark which should endow them with mind and individuality—in other words, make them truly human.
[Sidenote: Size and Consistency of Man's Body.]
The evolution of this Lemurian race, therefore, constitutes one of the most obscure, as well as one of the most interesting, chapters of man's development, for during this period not only did he reach true humanity, but his body underwent the greatest physical changes, while the processes of reproduction were twice altered.
In explanation of the surprising statements which will have to be made in regard to the size and consistency of man's body at this early period it must be remembered that while the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms pursued the normal course, on this the fourth globe, during the Fourth Round of this Manvantara, it was ordained that humanity should run over in rapid succession the various stages through which its evolution had passed during the previous rounds of the present Manvantara. Thus the bodies of the First Root Race in which these almost mindless beings were destined to gain experience, would have appeared to us as gigantic phantoms—if indeed we could have seen them at all, for their bodies were formed of astral matter. The astral forms of the First Root Race were then gradually enveloped in a more physical casing. But though the Second Root Race may be called physical—their bodies being composed of ether—they would have been equally invisible to eyesight as it at present exists.
It was, we are told, in order that the Manu, and the Beings who aided him, might take means for improving the physical type of humanity that this epitome of the process of evolution was ordained. The highest development which the type had so far reached was the huge ape-like creature which had existed on the three physical planets, Mars, the Earth and Mercury in the Third Round. On the arrival of the human life-wave on the Earth in this the Fourth Round, a certain number, naturally, of these ape-like creatures were found in occupation—the residuum left on the planet during its period of obscuration. These, of course, joined the in-coming human stream as soon as the race became fully physical. Their bodies may not then have been absolutely discarded; they may have been utilized for purposes of reincarnation for the most backward entities, but it was an improvement on this type which was required, and this was most easily achieved by the Manu, through working out on the astral plane in the first instance, the architype originally formed in the mind of the Logos.
From the Etheric Second Race, then, was evolved the Third—the Lemurian. Their bodies had become material, being composed of the gases, liquids and solids which constitute the three lowest sub-divisions of the physical plane, but the gases and liquids still predominated, for as yet their vertebrate structure had not solidified into bones such as ours, and they could not, therefore, stand erect. Their bones in fact were pliable as the bones of young infants now are. It was not until the middle of the Lemurian period that man developed a solid bony structure.
To explain the possibility of the process by which the etheric form evolved into a more physical form, and the soft-boned physical form ultimately developed into a structure such as man possesses to-day, it is only necessary to refer to the permanent physical atom. Containing as it does the essence of all the forms through which man has passed on the physical plane, it contained consequently the potentiality of a hard-boned physical structure such as had been attained during the course of the Third Round, as well as the potentiality of an etheric form and all the phases which lie between, for it must be remembered that the physical plane consists of four grades of ether as well as the gases, liquids and solids which so many are apt to regard as alone constituting the physical. Thus, every stage of the development was a natural process, for it was a process which had been accomplished in ages long past, and all that was needed was for the Manu and the Beings who aided him, to gather round the permanent atom the appropriate kind of matter.
[Sidenote: Organs of Vision.]
The organs of vision of these creatures before they developed bones were of a rudimentary nature, at least such was the condition of the two eyes in front with which they sought for their food upon the ground. But there was a third eye at the back of the head, the atrophied remnant of which is now known as the pineal gland. This, as we know, is now a centre solely of astral vision, but at the epoch of which we are speaking it was the chief centre not only of astral but of physical sight. Referring to reptiles which had become extinct, Professor Ray Lankester, in a recent lecture at the Royal Institution, is reported to have drawn special attention "to the size of the parietal foramen in the skull which showed that in the ichthyosaurs the parietal or pineal eye on the top of the head must have been very large." In this respect he went on to say mankind were inferior to these big sea lizards, "for we had lost the third eye which might be studied in the common lizard, or better in the great blue lizard of the South of France."
Somewhat before the middle of the Lemurian period, probably during the evolution of the third sub-race, the gigantic gelatinous body began slowly to solidify and the soft-boned limbs developed into a bony structure. These primitive creatures were now able to stand upright, and the two eyes in the face gradually became the chief organs of physical sight, though the third eye still remained to some extent an organ of physical sight also, and this it did till the very end of the Lemurian epoch. It, of course, remained an actual organ, as it still is a potential focus, of psychic vision. This psychic vision continued to be an attribute of the race not only throughout the whole Lemurian period, but well into the days of Atlantis.
A curious fact to note is that when the race first attained the power of standing and moving in an upright position, they could walk backwards with almost as great ease as forwards. This may be accounted for not only by the capacity for vision possessed by the third eye, but doubtless also by the curious projection at the heels which will presently be referred to.
[Sidenote: Description of Lemurian Man.]
The following is a description of a man who belonged to one of the later sub-races—probably the fifth. "His stature was gigantic, somewhere between twelve and fifteen feet. His skin was very dark, being of a yellowish brown colour. He had a long lower jaw, a strangely flattened face, eyes small but piercing and set curiously far apart, so that he could see sideways as well as in front, while the eye at the back of the head—on which part of the head no hair, of course, grew—enabled him to see in that direction also. He had no forehead, but there seemed to be a roll of flesh where it should have been. The head sloped backwards and upwards in a rather curious way. The arms and legs (especially the former) were longer in proportion than ours, and could not be perfectly straightened either at elbows or knees; the hands and feet were enormous, and the heels projected backwards in an ungainly way. The figure was draped in a loose robe of skin, something like rhinoceros hide, but more scaly, probably the skin of some animal of which we now know only through its fossil remains. Round his head, on which the hair was quite short, was twisted another piece of skin to which were attached tassels of bright red, blue and other colours. In his left hand he held a sharpened staff, which was doubtless used for defence or attack. It was about the height of his own body, viz., twelve to fifteen feet. In his right hand was twisted the end of a long rope made of some sort of creeping plant, by which he led a huge and hideous reptile, somewhat resembling the Plesiosaurus. The Lemurians actually domesticated these creatures, and trained them to employ their strength in hunting other animals. The appearance of the man gave an unpleasant sensation, but he was not entirely uncivilised, being an average common-place specimen of his day."