[I.]

Alfred Russel Wallace has dedicated one of the most charming chapters of Island Life, the most delightful and fascinating of all his books, to the plants and living creatures of the Hawaiian islands, the first stopping-place, going westward from California. Both plants and animals, he says, are among the most interesting in the world, perhaps the best example in the world of the flora and fauna of a genuine oceanic island, an island, that is, which appears never to have been united by land to any of the existing continents.

For there are many islands which are not true islands, in this sense; the British isles, for instance, were, not so long ago, an extension of northern France, and it is likely that the earlier races of men went to England, Scotland and Ireland dry-shod, as did the extinct giant elk of Ireland, the cave-bear, the sabre-toothed tiger, the hippopotamus and all the other four-footed inhabitants of the older Britain. Indeed, all the region between Britain and Scandinavia was formerly dry land, through which flowed an immense river which, rising among the glaciers of what is now Switzerland, sent its waters north and west, reaching the open ocean somewhere between what is now northern Scotland and Iceland. In like manner, the Somme and the Seine, the rivers of northern France, flowed through dry land along what is now the English Channel, finding the sea somewhere to the west and south of Ireland. Then the forces of air and water gradually wore these old land areas away, just as they are now wearing away all the coast-line of the southeastern counties of England. And, in this region, one may see, any day, out beyond the tide-mark, the ruined vestiges of churches and buildings only a few centuries old, standing now among the waves. Along the east coast of Norfolk, there is the bed of a vast, ancient forest; and, after a storm, when the waves have churned up the sand, the naturalists go forth and gather, when the tide is out, the bones of the bears and tigers that once inhabited that forest.

So the British isles are not true oceanic islands; they are simply pieces of the continent, very recently broken off. But, at least during vast ages of time, the Hawaiian islands have been absolutely isolated, with enormous spaces of the deepest ocean—in many places, more than 18,000 feet deep, surrounding them on all sides. It follows, therefore, that neither men nor beasts could come thither dry-shod; there are not, and there have never been, in the Hawaiian islands, either elks or bears, tigers or hippopotami, as there were in Britain; indeed, the only four-footed things found through the whole group of islands, which are several hundred miles in area, are two species of lizards; and lizards can travel vast distances, clinging to the floating tree-trunks which, now and then, are swept along for thousands of miles by the perpetually flowing currents which are the true rivers of the ocean. Save for these two lizards, reptiles are wholly absent from the Hawaiian islands; and other four-footed things, including all the mammalia, were entirely absent until some of them were brought thither, in ships or in canoes, by men.

Birds, of course, can get about much better; some birds can and do travel almost incredible distances. The little brown-black petrel which, every summer, comes up through the Narrows into New York harbour, winters and nests in the southern hemisphere, in remote Kerguelen Land, far to the south of India. Every spring—when the Antarctic autumn has come—the little petrels which, because they seem in their odd, butterfly flight, to be walking on the water, have taken their name from Saint Peter, begin their fluttering flight from Kerguelen, round the great promontory of South Africa, and all along the Atlantic, to our own coasts; then, when our summer wanes, they make the long return journey to Kerguelen. Even more wonderful are the arctic terns which, like some creature of mythology, spend almost all their lives in perpetual sunshine; for, during the northern summer, they flock to the Arctic circle, with its six-months’ daylight; when the long northern day wanes, they go south along the whole length of the globe, and spend the six-months’ day of the Antarctic at the southern end of the world; and this, not once, but regularly, year by year. These are sea-birds; but land-birds do as wonderful things. The ruby-throated humming-birds that, in summer, nest as far north as Canada, flit, in the autumn, to South America; black-poll warblers, tiny black-and-white birds, go, each year, from South America to Alaska and back. The dozen scarlet tanagers which came, last April, to Washington Square, as a lovely apparition among the sparrows, had probably wintered in the Argentine or in Brazil; such of them as have survived the many dangers of bird-life, have probably gone back there, dressed now in modest olive-green.

So it would be no great trick for small birds to find their way even to the remote and isolated Hawaiian isles, once they made up their minds to it; but land-birds travel along rather narrow lanes, and rarely leave them; and it would take very special reasons to make them go to a lonely island. One such reason would be, the former connection of that island with a continent, with some special inducement to draw them in that direction: what would correspond to low rents and good marketing,—for birds, like people, have their summer-resorts and winter colonies.

There are, then, in the Hawaiian islands, sea-birds such as are found almost everywhere and go almost everywhere. But, with the land birds, the case is quite different. The islands lie in no migration route, no beaten road of bird travel; so that only the rarest possible accidents brings birds thither; and, once there, they offer the freest play to the forces of variation, since they have plenty of room, little pressure of competition, and absolutely no four-footed foes. Under this latter head, it is probably because the entire evil family of cats are absent, that New Guinea possesses the loveliest group of birds in the whole world: the splendid and incredibly decorated birds of paradise. So that if, in remote periods, a few land birds were “wrecked” on the Hawaiian islands, they have had time to assume a peculiar form; so that now most of them are unlike any birds on the globe. There are a few, like the honey-suckers, which have cousins in Australia; but the most characteristic groups of Australian birds-parrots, kingfishers, pigeons—are wholly absent. But the distinctive group of Hawaiian birds—so unlike ours, that we have no name for them in any tongue but the barbarous one of the ornithologists—seem rather akin to our South American friends, the tanagers.

The plants of Hawaii are in the same case; most of them are peculiar to the islands, found nowhere else in the world. Wallace enumerates, oddly enough, 999 species of plants, of which some 150 are ferns; of these, about 800 are peculiar to the islands. And among these are curiously developed freaks: lobelia-trees, forty or fifty feet high; geraniums, fifteen or twenty feet high; violets that grow to be big, bushy plants.

Alfred Russel Wallace, contemplating these wonderful things, wavers about the thought of a vanished continent, of which the huge Hawaiian volcanoes, nearly 14,000 feet high, are the lingering mountain-peaks; a connection with South America, through this now sunken land, would easily account for many of the wonders, for instance, the curious tanager-like bird groups. But Wallace always shies away from that hypothesis, and for a reason that seems not to be quite cogent or logical. He is appalled by the ocean depths that surround Hawaii—more than three miles deep of watery abysses—and he cannot imagine that land could ever sink so far. But, if, within the same period, the Alps have risen in a block three miles high, while the Himalayas have lifted a huge mass of the world five miles into the air—both are modern mountain-chains, according to the geologists—why should not an exactly equal bump have sunk between Honolulu and the Californian coast? The one would make up exactly for the other. Therefore Wallace’s objection seems to us not quite logical or cogent; and it looks as if, once this obstacle removed, he would have jumped at the idea of the sunken continent, as solving all his riddles.

There is one thing in Hawaii not less interesting than its wonderful birds and plants, not less ancient, perhaps; and that is the name, Hawaii, itself. For this is, indeed, none other than the ancient traditional name of the great sunken continent itself, memories of which are strewn all over the incredible spaces of the Pacific Ocean, larger than the whole land surface of the globe, larger than all the continents put together; for five-sevenths of the world is covered by water, and the Pacific is by far the greatest of the oceans.

H. P. Blavatsky quotes, in The Secret Doctrine, and strongly endorses, the following passage from Louis Jacolliot:

“As to the Polynesian continent which disappeared at the time of the final geological cataclysms, its existence rests on such proofs that to be logical we can doubt no longer. The three summits of this continent, the Sandwich (Hawaiian) islands, New Zealand, Easter Island, are distant from each other from fifteen to eighteen hundred leagues (4,500 to 5,400 miles) and the groups of intermediate islands, Viti, Samoa, Tonga, Foutouna, Ouvea, the Masquesas, Tahiti, Poumoutou, the Gambiers, are themselves distant from these extreme points from seven or eight hundred to one thousand leagues. . . . The aborigines of the Sandwich (Hawaiian) islands, of Viti, of New Zealand, had never known each other, had never heard of each other, before the arrival of the Europeans. And yet each of these peoples maintained that their island had at one time formed part of an immense stretch of land. . . . . And all brought together, were found to speak the same language, to have the same usages, the same customs, the same religious belief. . . .”

This is so interesting and valuable that we shall try to illustrate it in detail from the carefully collected records of the islands, which are the fragments of this lost continent.

Hawaii, therefore, or, more accurately, Hawaiki—the Hawaiian islanders always drop the medial k—is the name of the vanished continent, embalmed in Polynesian tradition. The Maoris of New Zealand still repeat traditions of that lost land, of its peoples, of their works and wars; in other islands, as in the Hervey and Marquesas islands, it has gradually changed from an actual land into the poetical dream of a Spirit-land, or it has become the veritable Hades, the shadowy Underworld of death. The Maoris think of themselves as living in ancient Hawaiki under nearly the same conditions as when the first explorers found them, in their present home. The hero Maui, who pulled New Zealand up from the bed of the ocean, lived in old Hawaiki. Maui is the great Polynesian hero. He is not only known in nearly every group of islands, but the legends concerning his wonderful exploits have been preserved “with almost inconceivable faithfulness,” especially when it is remembered that a vast period of time has elapsed since these stories were first told and shared among the ancestors of the Polynesians; that some dialects have become unintelligible to the speakers of others; and that many of their religions and customs have changed entirely. Maui is in most cases regarded as a demigod, or deified man. Sometimes, and in some places, he rises to full godhead; in others, he is merely human. It has been suggested that Maui really was the leader of the Polynesians in their traditional entry into the Pacific; but other opinions are expressed: that the tales “are older than any occupation of the South Seas, and point to a continental origin”—not necessarily on any of the now existing continents, however. Maui “appears to unite the classical attributes of Hercules and Prometheus.” Maui is, therefore, like the hero Tane, a hero of the Mysteries, whose tremendous undertakings represent the trials of Initiation. Not Maui only, but every Initiate, must descend into the Under-world, and bring thence the sacred fire.

New Zealand and the Hervey group, some 2,200 miles to the northeast of New Zealand, are the great homes of the traditions concerning Maui. He was reported to have been born miraculously; his mother, Taranga, threw him into the sea, wrapped in a tress of her hair. The water-spirits swathed the baby in sea-weed, with soft jelly-fish to protect its tender flesh. A divine ancestor then took the child and nourished him until he grew up, when he came forth from the sea and returned to his mother’s house, finding there his four brothers and his sister Hina, who became a goddess. Maui’s brothers were jealous of him, but his magical powers soon won their admiration. He followed his parents to the Under-world, where his mother prophesied that he would be a great Deliverer, and win immortality for the human race; but, while his father was performing the rites of purification, he made a slip in one of the incantations, and this finally brought Maui to ruin. Maui, soon after this, undertook a series of marvelous feats. The first was, to capture the sun, and make it go slower, as the days were then too short. With the help of his brothers, he caught the sun in a noose, and beat him till he promised to go slower. His next exploit was to haul up the land from the depths of the ocean, in the form of a great fish, which is New Zealand. Then Maui, finding that fire had disappeared from the earth, resolved to seek the Fire-goddess and learn the secret of the art of obtaining fire; he won the secret, but nearly lost his life, as both sea and land were set on fire, and only the interposition of his ancestors, who sent deluges of rain, checked the conflagration. Maui then undertook to break the power of death, and win immortality for men. He found the Great Lady of Night sleeping, and prepared to pass through her body, which would have caused Death to die. He warned the birds that they must keep silent, lest they might awaken Death; and the little birds screwed up their tiny cheeks, to keep from laughing; but the water-wagtail laughed aloud, the Old Lady of Darkness awoke, and crushed the hero to death. Maui is also called the Child of the Sun. These legends of Maui are scattered broadcast over the whole vast expanse of the Pacific, among tribes separated by vast distances, who have no knowledge of each other.

But there are traditions that go back still farther, to the first beginnings of the cosmos. Rangi, Heaven, is the great Father of men, though even he is not the oldest of the gods, since before him came Darkness or Chaos, which was evolved from Negation. Rangi and Papa, Heaven and Earth, were undivided, and their children dwelt in darkness between them. These children, who afterwards became the great gods of men, resolved to rend their parents apart, and, after taking long counsel together, essayed the task. One only, the Lord of Winds and Storms, was grieved at the decision, and refused to join the forcible separation of their parents. The Lord of the Forests at length forced Rangi upwards, and let in the light of day. The Lord of Winds and Storms was furiously angry; his brothers fled from him, and two of them were hid by the Earth-Mother in her bosom; but at last, after many contests, peace gradually fell upon the troubled world. Rangi became content to be the Heavens, only at night casting down his tears in dew, while his loving wife’s warm sighs rise up to him.

There are ten heaven-spaces in Rangi, and ten hell-spaces in Papa, the Earth.

The divisions of heaven are these, counting upwards: the first is the heaven of storms; the second, the heaven of rain and sunshine; the third, the heaven of lakes, whose spray makes rain; the fourth is “the heaven of the Living Water of Tane,” from which comes the soul, when a child is born; the fifth is the abode of those who attend the inferior gods; the sixth is the home of the inferior gods; in the seventh, the soul of man is created, and the spirits of mortals begin to live there; in the eighth, spirits live; in the ninth dwell the Spirit-gods who attend on the higher divinities; the tenth, the highest heaven, is the Great Temple, where dwell the supreme Divinities.

Papa, as the lower world, also consisted of ten spaces or divisions. The first, highest, division was the surface of the earth; those that follow, down to the ninth, are named from various powers of darkness; in the tenth, the soul of man was doomed to utter extinction. These ten spiritual and ten infernal spaces are evidently symbolical of the states or planes of consciousness; they correspond very closely indeed to the teachings concerning the planes of consciousness, in the Sacred Books of India, or in The Secret Doctrine.

Negation, named Kore, is the Primal Power of the Cosmos, the Void, which yet contains the potentialities of all things that are to come. The Void evolves thus: The Void, the First Void, the Second Void, the Great Void, the Far-Extending Void, the Void fast-bound, the Darkness, from which came the Great Expanse of Heaven; Darkness begat Light, who begat Daylight. Another account traces the beginning of things thus: Nothingness, Darkness, Seeking, Following, Conception of Thought, Enlarging, Breathing power, spell or godly power, Thought, Spirit-life, Desire, Abode of deity or superhuman power; Glory, or beauty of form in spirit; Coming into form or love in action; power, breath of life, space. The Word, floating in Space, dwelt between Heaven and Earth, and from this Word, “Ao,” came forth all things. Another tradition tells that Light brought forth Sound, and together they warred on Chaos, in which Darkness and Silence had dwelt from eternity. From the struggle came forth Dawn, and from the union of Light and Dawn came the lesser deities and men.

All of which bears the closest resemblance to the Stanzas of Dzyan, as quoted in The Secret Doctrine, which open the teaching on Cosmogenesis. The author of The Secret Doctrine tells us that “the members of the Polynesian family (Tahitians, Samoans and Tonga islanders) are of a higher stature than the rest of mankind. . . . This is easily explained. The Polynesians belong to the very earliest of surviving sub-races”—and there still re-echo among them the teachings which, perhaps, the Planetary Spirits impressed on the plastic minds of the early Third Race.

If it be asked how these echoes of the ancient Mystery-teaching were handed down, the answer would seem to be that there were, from most ancient times, colleges in which the sons of priest-chiefs were taught “mythology,” history, agriculture and astronomy. The teaching was imparted in a sacred building, in sessions lasting about five months, and the exercises lasted from sunset to midnight, the daytime being devoted to physical exercises. None but the pupils and their teachers were allowed to approach the building, and “both the priest who taught and the initiate youth were tapu,” of which more shortly. The course of study occupied about five years. The college was sometimes used as a Council Chamber, in which the chiefs assembled. In Hawaii there was a college known as Aha-Alii, the Congregation of Chiefs; before entering it, the chief’s titles were announced by a herald; if his claims were not well founded, he was at once rejected. If accepted, he gained certain high privileges: he could never be enslaved, although he might be offered as a sacrifice to the gods. He wore certain insignia, “a feather wreath, an ivory clasp, a cloak of feathers.” The young men of the noble fraternity bound themselves by vows of mutual affection. The Hawaiian priesthood was divided into ten colleges. The Master, or highest of the initiates, was called the Kahuna-Nui, meaning, apparently, “the Spirit of high rank.” There were classes in medicine and architecture, in magic and incantation, in soothsaying and prophecy, but the whole was hemmed in by very stringent oaths. “The principal deity invoked was Uli, probably a paraphrase for the Divine Name.”

We have used the word tapu, adopted into English as taboo. Like the Greek anathema or the French sacré, its primary meaning is “sacred,” devoted to the gods, but it gradually came to mean also “forbidden,” almost “accursed.” It had apparently, however, an older and wider meaning. Its equivalent in the Hawaiian islands (where an initial k takes the place of an initial t), kapu, was “a general name for the system of religion that existed there formerly, and which was grounded upon numerous restrictions or prohibitions, keeping the common people in obedience to the chiefs and priests; but many of the kapu extended to the chiefs themselves.” Since it is universal throughout the islands, all over the great South Sea, the word evidently belongs to the immensely remote period before the dispersion.

This brings us to the most interesting part of this whole body of tradition, if we except the grand cosmic “myths,” some of which, so strangely like the archaic Mystery-teachings, have already been quoted. For practically all the tribes retain the memory of the ancient continent from which they were dispersed, and all give it the same name: Hawaiki. Some of the traditions place Hawaiki to the west of New Zealand, saying that the canoes which sailed from the older land to New Zealand steered towards “the rising sun.” But another legend states that to those dwelling in New Zealand, Hawaiki was “where the red sun comes up.” Throughout the South Sea Islands the general notion is, that Hawaiki is in the west; and souls going to Hawaiki as the Spirit-land always pass to a “spirit’s-leap,” on the westernmost point of the islands. In New Zealand, the spirit’s-leap is at the most northern part of the North Island. Hawaiki was undoubtedly considered to exist in the spiritual sense also, by New Zealanders as by Eastern Polynesians. In one legend we are told that “the boy went quickly below to the Lower-world to observe and look about at the steep cliffs of Hawaiki.” But this blending of the two ideas may really mean that Hawaiki, once a real continent, became an Under-world by sinking beneath the waves, as the sun sinks beneath the waves in the west. In this sense, Hawaiki would of necessity be to the “west” of every island, from Hawaii to New Zealand, from remote Easter Island to the Marshall Islands and the Caroline Islands north of New Guinea. It is noteworthy that, in the present war, the English soldiers fighting in France speak of their comrades fallen on the field of honour as having “gone west.” The expression is venerable; it may be a million years old.

In Hawaii, the word Kahiki includes every group in the Pacific from the Malay archipelago to Easter Island. This Kahiki-ku, in which Hawaii was situated, was on the large continent to the east of Kalana-i-Hau-ola, where mankind was first created. It was also called “the hidden land of Tane,” and the “land of the Divine Water of Tane.” Tane appears closely to resemble Maui, traditions concerning whom we have already recorded; he is said to have been one of the greatest divinities of Polynesia, known and worshipped in almost every island of the Pacific, either as the male principle in Nature, or as the god of Light. He was the son of Rangi and Papa, Heaven and Earth, and it is said that he separated his parents, allowing the daylight to brighten the world. Tane appears to have been a mighty celestial deity, when, as a god of goodness and light, he drove the leaders of the rebellious spirits down from heaven to the nether darkness; it was Tane who spread the stars on the breast of his father; he also spread out the ocean, and prepared the Living Water, In which the moon renews herself every month. Tane is the creator of men; it was through the wickedness of men, in not believing in the creative deity of Tane, that the Deluge was sent upon the world. Many wives are attributed to Tane, to account for the different lines of descent by which men traced their genealogies up to a divine source. In Tahiti, the tenth, or highest, heaven, which was in perfect darkness, was the heaven of Tane. when, after the Deluge, Nuu left his vessel, he offered up sacrifice to the moon, saying, “You are doubtless a transformation of Tane.” Tane was angry at the worship of a material object, but when Nuu expressed his contrition, the rainbow was left as a pledge of forgiveness. One of the seas over which the Polynesians sailed in their Migration was called “the many-coloured ocean of Tane.” Paliuli, or Paradise, is “the hidden land of Tane,” or “the land upon the heart of Tane.” Waiora, the Water of Life, or the Living Water of Tane, is situated in the fourth heaven, from which the soul of a human being is sent to inhabit the form of a child when a baby is born. In it the Moon bathes monthly and renews her life; she goes to it pale and wasted, but comes forth with restored energy to tread her heavenly path. When the fairy wife of Tura escaped from death, she told her husband that the bodies of women who had died were washed in the Waiora, and came again to life. In Tonga, tradition says that the Living Water is a lake which is situated in Pulotu, Paradise; it restores the dead to life, gives immortality to those who bathe in it, makes the dumb to speak and the blind to see. Near it stands the Tree of Life, the “speaking tree.” The Hawaiians declare that the land which was the birthplace of the Polynesian race was called “the Land of the Divine Water of Tane.” Here the first man and woman were made. It was situated in a country or continent sometimes called Mololani. The Spring of Life or Living Water was a running stream of crystal water flowing into a lake. This lake had three outlets, dedicated to three deities, one of whom was Tane. The dead, sprinkled with its water, returned to life. From this paradise were driven forth the first man, Kumu-honua and his wife, Ola-ku-honua, for some evil act connected with the sacred tree; and the man is often alluded to afterwards as “the fallen chief,” “the mourner,” the man “who fell on account of the tree.” It is said that a lying reptile beguiled him, and new names were given to him, such as “Tree-eater,” “Fallen,” “Mourner.”

The striking likeness of these remote Polynesian traditions to the teachings of the opening chapters of the Book of Genesis is in part explained by The Secret Doctrine, which show that, behind the Hebrew scripture, lies a far older Chaldean original. But a part at least of the Chaldean lore came, with “the eye of Osiris,” from ancient Egypt; to Egypt, perhaps, from Atlantis; to Atlantis, from its mother-continent, Lemuria. This would be a wholly intelligible explanation of these striking resemblances: both are versions of the primeval Mystery-teaching.

In the Marquesas, Hawaiki is “below,” a world of death and fire, whither Maui went to get the gift of fire for man from the Fire-goddess. But Hawaiki is also spoken of in the Marquesan legend of the Deluge as the first land appearing after the flood: “great mountain ridges, ridges of Hawaiki.”


II.
A First Lesson in the Lemurian Language

“The First Race,” says H. P. Blavatsky, in The Secret Doctrine, “was, in our sense, speechless, as it was devoid of mind on our plane. The Second Race had a ‘sound-language,’ to wit, chant-like sounds composed of vowels alone. The Third Race developed in the beginning a kind of language which was only a slight improvement on the various sounds in Nature. When the law of evolution led the middle Third Race to reproduce their kind sexually, an act which forced the creative gods, compelled by Karmic law, to incarnate in mindless men, then only was speech developed. But even then it was no better than a tentative effort. The whole human race was at that time of ‘one language and of one lip.’ Speech then developed, according to Occult teaching, in the following order:

“Monosyllabic speech; that of the first approximately fully developed human beings at the close of the Third Root-race, the ‘golden-coloured,’ yellow-complexioned men, after their separation into sexes, and the full awakening of their minds. Before that, they communicated through what would now be called ‘thought-transference.’ This monosyllabic speech was the vowel parent, so to speak, of the monosyllabic languages mixed with hard consonants, still in use among the yellow races.

“These linguistic characteristics developed into the agglutinative languages. The latter were spoken by some Atlantean races, while other parent stocks of the Fourth Race preserved the mother-language. And as languages have their cyclic evolution, their childhood, purity, growth, fall into matter, admixture with other languages, maturity, decay, and finally death, so the primitive speech of the most civilized Atlanteans decayed and almost died out.

“The inflectional speech—the root of the Sanskrit, very erroneously called ‘the elder sister’ of the Greek, instead of its mother—was the first language (now the mystery tongue of the Initiates) of the fifth Race.”

We have already quoted the same author as saying that “the Polynesians belong to the very earliest of surviving sub-races.” we shall now try to show how completely the Polynesian languages bear out the above quotation as to the origin and development of speech.

First a word as to the general growth of languages, the materials of which they are made. Speech, in general, is a flow of breath from the lungs, to which sound and tone are given by the vibration of the vocal chords; the change in position of the lips and the mouth giving the differing sounds which we call vowels. If speech went no further, we should have the primal “vowel-language.” But there are two further elements. The first is a partial closing of the lips, or a partial, but incomplete, approach of the teeth, or of the tongue to various points along the palate, thus causing, for the lips, the sounds of f and v; for the teeth, the sounds of s, of th and dh; for the tongue, the sounds of l and r, (formed by the tip of the tongue, partially, but not completely, stopping the vowel air-stream;) the sounds of kh and gh, when the root of the tongue comes close to the palate. Thus are formed the semivowels or liquids, which stand half-way between the vowels and the full consonants, or, as the Sanskrit grammarians better call them, the “contacts.” In Sanskrit, there are five points in the mouth at which full contacts are formed: (1) the throat or back of the mouth, where the sounds of k and g (hard) are formed; (2) the top of the mouth where, by a contact with the underside of the tip of the tongue, turned backwards, a hard t and d are formed, which are nearly like the very hard t and d of the English language; (3) the true dentals, formed by pressing the tip of the tongue against the teeth, like the soft t and d in Italian and other continental languages. The fact that Englishmen, not noticing the difference, use their own hard t and d when pronouncing continental languages, is one of the things which keep them from “talking like the natives,” who use the soft t and d. (4) a blend between t and sh, with the tongue against the teeth, giving the sound ch, with its corresponding sonant, j; and (5) the lip-contact, forming the labials, p and b. In Sanskrit, there are, for each of these five points of contact, first, the surd sounds, like k, ch, t, p; then the sonants, like g, j, d, b; then the same sounds aspirated, or followed by an immediate out-breathing, giving the sounds k-ha, g-ha, t-ha, d-ha, ch-ha, j-ha, p-ha, b-ha; and, finally, the nasals, formed by setting the organs of the mouth in position for pronouncing each group and then sending forth the breath, not through the mouth, but through the nose; sounds something like this: nga, for the throat; nya, for the ch-sound; the hard and soft na; and, finally, ma, for the lip-contact.

This pretty formidable battery of sounds represents the highest and fullest development, that of the early Fifth Race. We have given it in its completeness, as a basis of comparison for the very simple range of sounds in the extremely early, and, therefore, comparatively undeveloped, Polynesian languages, those of “the earliest surviving sub-races.” And, at the risk of appearing to bore even the most tolerant readers, we venture to arrange these Sanskrit sounds in a little table, to be followed, presently, by a similar table for the Polynesian tongues:

SANSKRIT CONSONANT AND SEMI-CONSONANT RANGE

 

ka

k-ha

ga

g-ha

nga

ha

(kha)

(hard)

ta

t-ha

da

d-ha

na

ra

sha (hard)

(soft)

ta

t-ha

da

d-ha

na

la

sa

 

cha

ch-ha

ja

j-ha

nya

ya

sha (soft)

 

pa

p-ha

ba

b-ha

ma

va

(fa)

Each of the above sounds (except the two in brackets) has a letter to represent it in the Sanskrit alphabet, and, in that alphabet, the sounds are arranged in their physiological order, pretty much as in this table; first, the throat sounds, then the sounds of the roof of the mouth, then the sounds of the ridge of the palate, then the sounds of the teeth, then the sounds of the lips. Thus a Sanskrit dictionary follows the natural order of these sounds, as they are formed by the organs of speech, justifying the idea that this highly scientific arrangement was reached by men who fully understood the mysteries of sound, men who spoke the “mystery tongue of the Initiates,” as said in The Secret Doctrine. In contrast, our own alphabet is absolutely unscientific, a mere jumble of sounds without any order at all; first, an open vowel, then a lip sound, then a dental sibilant, then a dental surd, then another vowel, and so on. It is an adaptation of the Greek alphabet, named from its two first letters, alpha-beta; this is, in its turn, an adaptation of the Semitic Phoenician or Hebrew, where the two first letters are aleph (“an ox”) and beth (“a house”); our capital A being an ancient picture of the head of an ox, now turned upside down, while the second letter, B, is a conventionalized house. In like manner, our G is the head of a camel, the Hebrew gimel; while our L is an ox-goad; they are all blurred pictures, representing the initial sounds of the objects depicted.

We now come back, duly furnished with bases of comparison, to the Polynesian languages, with their very early, very slightly developed, range of sounds.

There are, first, the vowels which, as we shall see, play a very great part in Polynesian, a survival of the earlier all-vowel language. Next, there are the semi-vowels or breathings of the throat and lips, the sounds of ha and wha, va or fa, and the liquids, r and l. Then there are three contacts or full consonants: that of the throat, or ka; that of the teeth, or ta; that of the lips, or pa. Throughout the whole Polynesian regions, of enormous extent, there are (with almost no exceptions) the surd sounds only, never the sonants; that is, we find the sounds ka, ta, pa; but not the sounds ga, da, ba. Finally, there is a nasal for each of the three contacts, namely, nga, na, and ma. To show how undeveloped this sound range is, we shall arrange the Polynesian sounds in the same way as we arranged the very highly developed sounds of Sanskrit:

POLYNESIAN CONSONANT AND SEMI-CONSONANT RANGE

ka

nga

ha

ta

na

la (or) ra

pa

ma

wa (or) wha (or) fa

And that is all; only nine contacts, instead of the thirty-three of Sanskrit.

It seems, then, that the beginning was made with streams of vowel-sound only; that the half-contacts or semi-vowels, breathings and liquids and nasals, were then developed; that the full contacts came last, beginning, perhaps, with the lip-contact, which is the easiest and simplest to make; the contacts of the teeth and throat, the sounds of ta and ka, coming later. Further, that all the surds were developed first, and then only later the sonants; the aspirated surds and sonants, as in Sanskrit, coming last of all.

This gradual development, from pure vowel sounds, through breathings and semi-vowels, to full contacts or consonants, seems to record exactly that fall into matter described in The Secret Doctrine; it seems to have gone on parallel with the complete materialization, externalization and development of the fully formed physical man, remaining as an exact record and register of that development. And it seems probable that, if we could get the exact range of consonants natural to each race or sub-race, we could, using that range of sounds as an index, place the races in their correct order in the historical plan of development; that we could grade all the races by this index alone. So marvelous a thing is language, so mysterious and magical is sound.

We come, at length, to the Polynesian vowels, the oldest element of language and the most potent. It is curious and significant that, in the Polynesian tongues, the vowels still retain their primitive spiritual value; many of them, simply, or united, form the divine names, the names of the Gods. Thus, A means God; Ao is heaven, the state of the blessed; ao, as a verb, means to regard with reverence; as a noun, ao means authority; aoao means supreme, or, to be supreme; aio means peace, quietude; Io is the mystery God, the Supreme Being who, according to the Polynesian belief, is everywhere potent, without form, having no house; they will not even name that God in a house or among men, but first withdraw to the wilderness, “where nature is unpolluted.” Io also means the soul, life, power, mental energy. The vowel O alone means space, capacity, the ability to be contained; and, more familiarly, an enclosure, a garden. U means that which is fixed or firm, not easily to be shaken or moved.

To come next to words of one or more vowels, genuine survivals of the primal vowel language; we shall be surprised at their great variety and expressiveness in Polynesian.

Besides meaning God, the vowel a is also used as an article, as a prefix to proper names, as a preposition meaning to, or belonging to; as an interjection. Aia means to have authority over, as ao means to reign. Ae is used to signify agreement, meaning yes, in answer to an affirmative question, and meaning no in answer to a negative question. The pure vowel word aeaea, accented on the second and fourth vowels, means to rise to the surface like a bubble; aeaea means to pant, to be out of breath, to breathe hard; the fundamental meaning evidently being breath, or, more metaphysically, spirit. Ai means to give life, while aia means an abode, a place where one lives; ai is also an interjection of surprise. Ao, besides meaning personified Light, as a divinity, signifies also daylight, daytime, dawn; as a verb, ao means to gather, to collect; aoa means to bark like a dog, while aoaoa is the indistinct noise made by persons at a distance; these two last belong to the category of Nature sounds, spoken of in The Secret Doctrine. Au means smoke, the current of a stream, and, more materially, a sharp thorn or needle; auau means to pick out, as thorns or fish-bones are picked out; au further means firm, stable, sure, and, as an exclamation, exactly what “sure” means in American. Also, as an imitative sound, au signifies a dog’s bark, or, as a verb, to bark. Aua is the name of a small fish. Aua also means “I know not (and care not)!” Aua has the further meaning of far on, at a distance, while auau has meanings as different as to lift, and a basket of seed potatoes; perhaps the meaning shades thus: to lift, to gather together, to gather in a basket, and so on. Aue is an exclamation of sorrow, like alas! It further means a clamor, a noise of woe.

We have, therefore, of pure vowel words beginning with a, the following: A, ae, ai, ao, au; aeae, aeaea; aia; aoao, aoaoa; aua, auau, aue. This is already a fair illustration of the primal vowel language.

E is used as a sign of the future tense; as a preposition, it means by; it is used as the sign of the vocative case. Ea is an exclamation of surprise; it further means to rise above water, and, by a development of the meaning, to return home, as war captives return; and thence liberty, escape; while eaea means, to escape repeatedly. Starting from the meaning, to rise, eaea comes to mean exalted, honourable. The beautiful word eaoia, each letter being distinctly pronounced, means but. Ei is an interjection, used at the ends of lines in poetry; while eia means a current or tide. Eo is said to mean a flat rock, but seems not to be generally used.

The vowel i is used to form indefinite past tenses, and to connect a verb with its object; it is also used as a sign of the accusative case, or with the meaning of to. Accented, i means to ferment; ii has the meaning of fermented, sour, mouldy; ia means he, she or it; with the additional meanings of that, the aforesaid; ia also means a current or stream, while iaua means hold! stay!

The vowel o, besides meaning space, an enclosure, something contained, comes to mean provision for a journey, a present, and, as a verb, to penetrate, to go deep, to dig a hole; then to husk a cocoanut, to pierce with any sharp instrument. As a possessive pronoun, it means your, belonging to; it is also an exclamation, in answer to a call. Oi means to shake, to shudder, with an intensive oioi, to be greatly agitated; oioi then comes to mean rapid, swiftly, quickly; to move. Oi, accented on the second syllable, means to shout; oioi is also the name of a bird and of a plant. Oa, in Hawaiian, means a board, a rafter; while oaoa means split or cleft, like a tree cut into planks. Ou means you, or your; oue is a kind of flax; while ouou means a few, and further, thin, feeble.

U, as we saw, means something firm or fixed; and then, to reach the land, to touch, as a boat or ship on the rocks, to come face to face, to face danger, to run up against anything, to prevail, to conquer. Ua is the back-bone, uaua is a sinew, a vein, an artery, with the more abstract meanings, courage, firmness, resolution, a brave man. Backbone has just the same secondary meanings with us. Ua means rain, to rain, while ue means to weep. Ua as an adverb means when; it is also used as a particle of expostulation. Ue, besides meaning the fourth day of the moon’s age, signifies to shake, to tremble, while ueue means to stimulate, to incite; uei means to try to set going; ueue means to call people to war. Ui means to ask, to inquire; an invitation; uiui means to ask questions repeatedly.

When in addition to the five vowels, we take the simple breathing ha, or the slightly more concrete, but still open wa and wha, we can multiply our vocabulary many times. Thus, aeha, aewa, ahau, ahe, ahea, aheahea, ahi, ahiahi, aho, ahu, ahuahua, ahua, awa, awawa, awe, aweawe, awha, awhe, awheawhe, awheo, awhi, awhiwhiwhi, awhio, awhiowhio, and so on for the other vowels.

Then come the liquids, l and r; then the nasals; and, finally, the full contacts or consonants.

It will be noted that, in many cases, an intensive is formed by doubling the original word; awhe, for example, means to gather in a heap; awheawhe means to set to work with many persons; awhio means to wind about, while awhiowhio means a whirlwind. This is the simplest form of agglutination, the “gluing together” of words, spoken of, in The Secret Doctrine, as characteristic of the second period of speech. Here is a pretty example of agglutination, from Samoan: lagi means sky; lalolagi means under the sky; lelalolagi means the earth; fa’a lelalolagi means earthly. If one repeats these words in series, lagi-lalolagi-lelalolagi-fa’alelalolagi, one gets an effect that is distinctly Lemurian; and not in fancy only, but in reality; the words have actually survived since Lemurian times.

But there is a further evidence that, in the Polynesian tongues, we have the survival of a far older all-vowel tongue—the miocene survival of an eocene speech, as one writer says. The word kanaka has been used very widely to mean a native of the Hawaiian islands, or indeed of the islands in general; it really means a man, a human being, in the Hawaiian tongue. The word consists of a hard contact, a nasal and another hard contact, each followed by the vowel a. But, at the other end of Polynesia, the word is no longer kanaka but tangata; thus Tangata-maori means a native of New Zealand, literally “an indigenous man,” or, as we say, a Maori. Here again, the word consists of a hard contact, a nasal and a hard contact, each followed by the vowel a; but, while the three vowels remain the same, the contacts and nasals are altered, interchanged. The Hawaiian form of the word has the throat contact k; the dental nasal n, the throat contact k, with the three a’s; the New Zealand word has the dental contact, the throat nasal, the dental contact, with the three a’s. It is evident that the three a’s are the essential part, the root of the word, the old and original basis, while the contacts or consonants were filled in later, and filled in differently, at different parts of Lemuria. In Samoan, the tongue of the group of islands which lie halfway between these extremes, and about two thousand miles from either end, the word is tagata, the nasal being softened to a sonant, a sound which is not found in the original range of Polynesian contacts; in Tahiti, a thousand miles south-east of Samoa, the central nasal is dropped altogether, or has never been added, and the word is ta-ata. In Moriori, it becomes rangata. In Fiji it is tamata. In Vanikoro it is ranaka. Thus we get the series of forms: Ta-ata, tagata, tangata, rangata, ranaka, kanaka; the vowels being the essential thing, while the consonants are put in, and variously put in, to give the word more substance. The same thing may be illustrated by another well known word: in Mangaian, aroa means love, or beloved; in Maori it is aroha; in Samoan it is alofa; in Hawaiian it is aloha; showing the substitution, in the one case, of one liquid for another; in the other, of one breathing for another. In the same way, atarangi, a shadow, in Maori, becomes akalani in Hawaiian; ata-ani in Marquesan. Kaha, a rope, in Maori, becomes aha in Tahiti, ‘afa in Samoa, kaa in Mangaian, kafa in Tongan. So the Samoan word lagi, meaning sky, which we have already quoted, is in Maori rangi; in Mangarevan it is ragi; in Tahitian it is rai; in Hawaiian it is lani; in Motu it is lai. So we get the series, rangi, rani, rai, lai, lani, lagi; showing, as before, that the vowel-combination is the essential element, the real root of the word, the survival from the all-vowel period.

Two things in this baby-talk of mankind may have seemed very familiar, even to those who know nothing of Polynesian: first, this substitution of one consonant for another; second, the doubling of syllables or words, or even their repetition several times running. The truth is, that both these linguistic peculiarities survive among the small early-Third Race people who are continually arriving in our midst, and whom we prosaically call babies, quite overlooking the fact that, in a great many things, they are a genuine apparition of the long gone sub-races. For have they not the exact character of the sexless, mindless sub-races, not fully mastering their material bodies, not yet inhabited by manas? Do they not express themselves in streams of vowel speech, before they come to the semi-vowels and liquids, and, finally, the hard contacts or consonants? And do they not indulge in the trick of reduplication or repetition, saying, with entire content, such words as papapapa, or mamamama, or tatatata, which their progenitors quite unwarrantably take to themselves? And do they not, often to their fourth or fifth year, mix up the consonants just as do the recognized Lemurians, the peoples of the Polynesian islands, generally using ta for ka, just as the Maori says tangata for kanaka?

This is but one of many illustrations of the law of reversion or survival, in accordance with which the individual, in the earlier stages of his career, reverts to the characteristics of past periods and races, nay, even of past Rounds. So there are, all around us, opportunities for studying the most ancient Lemurian speech. We need not go to the South Seas to hear it. All babies talk it; all babies, up to a certain age, talk the same language, and that language is a reversion to the speech of the earliest races, long before complete humanity had been attained.

So, from our survey of the Highlands of Lemuria, we get these results: Over this vast space of islands dotted amid the ocean, a space from twelve to fifteen millions of square miles, or equal to a third or a fourth of the land surface of the globe, the speech is singularly uniform even though the island tribes that talk it have been separated from each other for long ages. And everywhere, with the sameness of speech, there are the same large, fundamental ideas, the same world-concepts, the same divinities, the same ancient traditions of the early world. Without doubt, we are in presence of a once united, though now endlessly subdivided people, a common culture, a common historical or prehistoric past.

And, at the basis of this vastly extended speech, there is an identity of metaphysical or spiritual meaning. The vowels, which are its dominant element, have large, abstract ideas attached to them or, rather, evidently inherent in them. They stand for heaven, the sky, the soul, life, breath, space; the great, formless forces and powers that are the root of all things. And, even after the few, simple consonants or contacts were developed, the words remained essentially vowel-words; the vowel part of them is uniform and unchanging, over the whole vast area, while the hard contacts or consonants are variously filled in, as gutturals in one part of the Lemurian area, as dentals in another, but, according to an evident phonetic system, by no means haphazard.

It is interesting that Dana, who wrote an admirable account of the early days, and of a cruise to the Pacific coast nearly a hundred years ago, records that a group of Kanakas, whom he found at San Diego, had a series of very ancient religious chants, which were composed of vowels only, as though the older speech, before the formation of consonants, had been preserved as a mystery tongue. It is interesting also that, in the older Upanishads, there is a tradition which accords closely with the historical evolution of the Polynesian languages; the vowels, we are told, belong to the gods, to the heavenly world; the breathings and semi-vowels belong to the mid-world; the consonants belong to the material world, the world of death. Here again is the tradition of a fall into matter, for the speech of mankind as well as for man himself.


III.
Two Atlantean Colonies in Mexico

Mme. Blavatsky tells us, in The Secret Doctrine, that Atlantis was the prolongation, and afterwards the survivor of Lemuria. Several regions still existing seem to have belonged first to Lemuria and later to Atlantis. Mexico appears to have been one of these Lemuro-Atlantean regions; Scandinavia seems to have been another. Apparently western Mexico, probably including Southern California, was joined to Lemuria at an immensely remote period, probably a million years ago, when, as has already been related, certain groups of birds akin to the scarlet tanagers, inhabited the Lemuro-Mexican region, which included the peaks of Hawaii. So it comes that the descendants of these birds are still found both in the Hawaiian Islands and in the American continent; one of their peculiarities, in both regions, is the seasonal change of plumage from scarlet to green.

Professor William Niven has for a number of years devoted his leisure to the exploration of the buried cities in the valley of Mexico and, in a profoundly interesting narrative recently contributed to The Mexican Review, some account is given of his discoveries, which are the more interesting to us, because they have led him to accept the Atlantean theory completely, so that he even proposes to give the name Atlantan to one of the superposed civilizations which he has unearthed.

For he has laid bare a series of successive civilizations, each destroyed by a natural cataclysm, and separated from its successor by enormous spaces of time; one city being built upon the buried ruins of another, as Schliemann discovered in his excavations at Troy, and, as we are told, on high authority, in Five Years of Theosophy, there are several buried cities beneath the present town of Florence. Natural advantages of position, with regard to a river, a fertile valley, a rich deposit of minerals, would account for this; the same advantages would attract successive peoples to the same site.

Professor Niven discovered the buried cities of the oldest Mexican civilization he has yet unearthed (the race to which he has given the name Atlantan), at great depths, in some cases as much as sixty feet below the present surface. This civilization, which was probably Lemurian rather than Atlantean, was completely wiped out by a series of volcanic eruptions, its buried cities being covered with a thick deposit of volcanic ash: Lemurian prototypes of Pompeii. And it is of immense interest that, just as the bodies of Pompeian citizens, who were overtaken while fleeing from that famous catastrophe, have been found buried in the volcanic ashes of Mount Vesuvius, so escaping “Atlanteans,” were overwhelmed by the falling ashes of the volcanoes close to Mexico City; their skeletons have been recovered from depths of sixty feet. This is the more interesting, because The Secret Doctrine records that “Lemuria was destroyed by fire; Atlantis by water.”

At present, the formation of new layers of soil is going on very slowly, so slowly that the giant cypress trees at Chapultepec under which Montezuma walked four centuries ago are practically unaltered in position. But we may obtain a working average for the rapidity of earth deposition from other regions. Thus in the Somme valley, dated Roman coins are found at a depth which shows that soil there has formed at the rate of three centimetres a century. Sections of peat in Ireland, subjected to microscopic examination, show fine layers of yearly growth, a thousand being contained in a foot thick of peat. These two bases of measurement give the same result: a foot of thickness in a thousand years. If we apply this standard to the deepest layer of buried cities so far laid bare by Professor Niven, at a depth of sixty feet, we shall get an antiquity of sixty thousand years.

But long periods of development certainly stretch back behind even these ancient cities, since they show a very considerable advancement in the arts of life, and evidences of very considerable culture, religious life and scientific knowledge. For example, there is much artistic skill shown in the design of a censer, decorated with the figure of the god of flowers; and small portrait busts, of which Professor Niven has unearthed large numbers, seem to have taken the place of oil paintings or photographs. There appear to have been two distinct races, one of marked Chinese type, the other with Egyptian features, if we judge by these small portrait busts. The former, who in all likelihood came from the west, from the Pacific side, are probably “Lemuro-Atlanteans;” the latter, “Atlanteans,” related to the ancestors of the ancient Egyptians. We are even told that Chinese characters have been found on some of the objects unearthed, but these do not seem to be among the most ancient. We are further told that Carl Lumholtz, who made a reputation by his book on the cannibals of Queensland, has found in the remote fastnesses of the Sierra Madre mountains in Mexico, a race in whose language numbers of Chinese vocables are still found; this race may possibly be a survival of the ancient Lemuro-Atlantean colony in Mexico. There is nothing impossible, or even improbable, in this; since we have seen that widely spread elements of the far older Lemurian languages are in common use throughout the Polynesian islands even today. The language of the Pharaohs has still a living descendant in the Coptic tongue, which was extensively used in the deciphering of the Demotic and Hieroglyphic inscriptions; and it is said that there are descendants of the ancient Chaldeans among the water-carriers of Tiflis.

Among the interesting relics dug up by Professor Niven, there is one, a small, rudely carved statuette, which has exactly the features and appearance of the huge, grotesque statues on Easter Island, some of which are in the British Museum. The resemblance is so complete that it irresistibly suggests a former connection between this Mexican colony and that part of Lemuria of which Easter Island is a survival.

“The Easter Island relics are the most astounding and eloquent memorials of the primeval giants. They are as grand as they are mysterious; and one has but to examine the heads of the colossal statues, that have remained unbroken on that island, to recognize in them at a glance the features of the type and character attributed to the Fourth Race giants. They seem of one cast though different in features—that of a distinctly sensual type, such as the Atlanteans (the Daityas and “Atalantians”) are represented to have in the esoteric Hindu books . . . the brood of mighty sorcerers.” (The Secret Doctrine, vol. II, p. 224.)

There is abundant evidence of the domination of sorcery in Mexico, not only at the time of the Spanish conquest four centuries ago, but for ages before that: the evidence supplied by the existence of a powerful priesthood practicing human sacrifices, in which it was the custom to cut to the heart of a living victim, thus supplying the powers of evil with a material basis for manifestation, in a way resembling the materializations of spiritualistic seances. It appears that these human sacrifices took place on the flattened summits of the pyramid temples which are characteristic of the older ruins throughout Mexico, and especially in Yucatan and the regions further south, in Central America.

The succession of civilizations has been clearly revealed by the excavations of Professor Niven, as recorded in The Mexican Review. Above the most ancient level of remains is, as has been already said, a thick layer of volcanic ashes, showing that this civilization was destroyed by fire. Then follows a layer of earth, several feet thick. Above this begin the remains of a second civilization, which Professor Niven, finding no sufficient indication of its ethnical character, has negatively named “pre-Aztec.” This civilization was evidently destroyed in its turn by water, since its remains are covered by a thick layer of mixed gravel and sand, obviously laid down by water, in a series of inundations. Above this is a second layer of earth, with a layer of remains above it, which represents a third civilization, which Professor Niven calls “Aztec.”

An extremely interesting section of these superposed civilizations is shown in a hill at San Juan Teotihuacan, some thirty miles to the south-east of Mexico city. A railroad cutting through the hill gives a cross section of successive cities, one above the other, the thick blocks of the paved streets being worn into deep ruts and cavities by the feet of the citizens passing and re-passing through countless centuries. One feature in this layer of cities is described by Professor Niven, but not explained: the houses are found to be filled with masses of broken stone, not with volcanic ash, as at Pompeii, nor with lava, as at Herculaneum.

There are many sites of ancient cities not far from Mexico City and immediately to the south. In the seldom visited valleys of the Sierra Madre mountains, stretching up to the north-west, towards Arizona, Carl Lumholtz found the ruins of huge stone fortresses, built of rough blocks. He also found tribes of “cave-dwellers,” who may be the descendants of some of these old Lemuro-Atlantean colonies. We may be able, later, to recount some of their world-theories, comparing them with those which have been already recorded, from the peaks of Lemuria, scattered through the vast spaces of Polynesia.

There is an important group of Atlantean ruins in the peninsula of Yucatan, in south-eastern Mexico, a general description of which has also appeared in The Mexican Review. It seems that the sites of a hundred and seventy-two cities have already been identified, though so far very inadequately excavated or described. Most of them are buried in the densest tropical jungle, fever-infested and inaccessible. It is possible to pass quite close to these hidden cities without even suspecting their presence. Two are also so large, that it is estimated that they had each half a million inhabitants; and in them are found the pyramid temples, on whose summits human sacrifices were offered, sacrifices of sorcery, to invoke the help of powers of evil. The recorder of these discoveries in Yucatan appears to believe that these huge blocks of hard stone were cut and even elaborately carved by masons and sculptors using only flint axes and knives. But this is difficult to believe; and, as Carl Lumholtz found fine cutting implements of hardened copper—practically bronze—among tribes of Indians in the remote Sierra Madre valleys—copper implements of the shapes made familiar by the discoveries of the Bronze Period in Europe—it is not too much to suppose that the Yucatan builders also made use of graving tools of hardened bronze. And no practical demonstration has been given, that hard rock can, in fact, be hewn and carved with implements of flint.

This very imperfect account of these vitally interesting discoveries shows that, while much has been done already, far more remains to be done; and it would seem that Carl Lumholtz has hit upon a valuable clue, though he does not appear to have followed it up: to begin, namely, by bringing together all the light which might be shed on the past of Mexico by a detailed and faithful study of present conditions, language, art processes and so on, among the Sierra Madre Indians and the natives of Yucatan and Central America. Thus many of the conventional patterns on earthenware bowls, which he illustrates, and all of which appear to have symbolical meanings, closely resemble the symbolical figures in the so-called hieroglyphics found in Yucatan; a clue to the meaning of the latter might well be found through a study of the former, just as very valuable clues to the ancient language of the Pharaohs, recorded in equally mysterious hieroglyphics, were found through a study of the Coptic language, which is still studied in Egyptian monasteries.

Further, there is the abundant and still little studied literature gathered and preserved by the early Spaniards, long before the earliest settlements made by English colonists on the shores of the New World. Thus there is a complete and beautifully printed Aztec-Mexican Dictionary, which was published in Mexico City about the time of Shakespeare’s birth. And there is the wonderful text of the Popul-Vuh, which gives a marvelously vivid account of some of the earliest races, with their almost divine powers and many passages in which have admirable qualities of eloquence and devotional fervour.

But this rich material is almost neglected; there is little study of it and less co-ordination. When this study is fully developed and its results intelligently applied to the monuments excavated in Yucatan and elsewhere, we may confidently expect that many chapters of Atlantean history will be restored to the world, and that most valuable corroborations of The Secret Doctrine will be furnished.


IV.
Lemuro-Atlantean Astronomy

In one of the earlier chapters of this study of Lemurian and Atlantean remains, we saw that, widely dispersed over the whole Polynesian area which includes much of the Lost Lemuria, there are traditions of a graded series of heavens and hells, completely corresponding to the teaching of ancient India concerning the Lokas, or, as we may prefer to call them, the higher and lower planes of spiritual life. And these ancient fragments of what we must call the Lemurian Secret Doctrine are to all intents and purposes identical, in islands separated by wide ocean spaces of thousands of miles; further, they have been preserved unchanged during a period so long that immense and fundamental differences have developed between languages which must once have been a common tongue: differences the nature and meaning of which we tried to make clear in another chapter. The result we arrived at was, that the original Lemurian tongue must have been a language almost wholly made up of vowel sounds; that consonants, or contacts, had been gradually developed, through cycles of progressive materialization; and that, in view of their comparative poverty in consonants or contacts—as compared with a rich consonant range like that of Sanskrit—this whole group of Polynesian or Lemurian languages belong to a very early period in the history of mankind, a period that may well be millions of years ago. And, since it appeared that, while the different groups of Polynesian islanders—descendants of the Lemurians—had seemingly been separated during the long epochs when their languages were developing in different directions, (for, had these languages come in contact with each other, they would have been blended or blurred, instead of showing clean-cut phonetic differences), while at the same time they possessed identical teachings concerning the spiritual planes or worlds, with names for them that, beneath their long and slowly developed phonetic divergences, were identical; it seemed certain that they had all possessed the same teaching concerning the spiritual worlds while they were still undivided, that is, while Lemuria was a continuous continent, not a vast, far thrown galaxy of islands and archipelagos.

If this inference be correct, two things would seem to follow from it: First, that that period of common possession of this great spiritual teaching was almost inconceivably remote, belonging to the time of undivided Lemuria; and, second, that the Lemurians of that day, or some of them, were in possession of faculties of spiritual vision which we are accustomed to associate with the Adepts.

For there is only one way to gain certain and methodical knowledge of the spiritual worlds, ascending spiritual planes, or successive “heavens,” whichever we may choose to call them; and that is, by developing successively the consciousness which corresponds to them; in fact by being born into one ascending plane after another; by taking each of these mansions of the Kingdom of Heaven by violence. And it is just this successive series of spiritual attainments which is called the cycle of adeptship, while the successive efforts of attainment, the successive conquests of the spiritual worlds, are the great Initiations.

The conclusion from our facts would seem to be, then, that some at least of the Lemurians were Initiates; that the great Initiations were a spiritual possession of these Lemurian Initiates, at a period almost inconceivably remote; and that the Polynesian teachings concerning the successive heavens and hells are, in fact, memories and traditions of the great Initiations, memories which still linger with striking uniformity and completeness in islands thousands of miles apart, whose inhabitants were wholly unknown to each other until modern voyagers established a new connection between them.

Since these chapters of our Lemuro-Atlantean studies were published, we had the good fortune to receive, through the thoughtful kindness of Dr. Archibald Keightley, an essay by Mr. Samuel Stuart, which strikingly corroborates these conclusions; all the more because Mr. Stuart is dealing with a wholly different subject, namely, astronomical cycles, and is only indirectly concerned with the Lemuro-Atlanteans. Probably, the best way to cover the subject will be, to quote at some length from Mr. Stuart’s valuable paper, and then to indicate, very briefly, how his conclusions are related with our own. Mr. Stuart begins with an acute analysis of astronomical cycles, as recorded in the works of certain ancient nations which paid particular attention to astronomy, and he then proceeds to examine one great cycle in particular: the cycle of 4,320,000 years, which, in the ancient Indian system, is called the Maha Yuga, or Great Cycle. In India, there were a number of cycles based upon the same figures, and these were divided into dependent cycles; for example, the fourfold group of Yugas: Satya Yuga, Dvapara Yuga, Treta Yuga and Kali Yuga, the last meaning literally “the Age of the Devil,” the first 5,000 years of which were completed a few years ago.

Speaking of this cycle, 432 followed by ciphers, Mr. Stuart says:

“It is remarkable that what remains we possess of the Mexican astronomy, whilst differing in their application, are yet founded upon the very same numbers as the ancient systems of India, Egypt, and Chaldea; and yet these are not such as we have derived from the heavens, and, therefore, cannot be considered as inevitable results of observation. Niebuhr remarks that the Etrurian mode of determining time was extremely accurate, and based on the same principles as the computation observed by the ancient Mexicans. ‘When the Spaniards first arrived in America they found that their time, according to the Julian, was eleven days in advance of the Mexican time, and the Mexican year at that period, it is said, differed only two minutes and nine seconds from the present estimated European year. A day consisted of sixteen hours, a week of five days, a month of twenty days, a year of eighteen months, making 360 days, to which five days or a week was added to complete the year. At the end of every 52 years an intercalation of 12½ days was made.’1 We may here note that a day contained 86,400 seconds, and a week of their reckoning would amount to 432,000 seconds. And if we take their period of 52 years as corresponding to an hour, in 24 of these there will be 1,248 years of 365 days, with a correction of 432,000 minutes to add in order to make the same number of their solar or tropical years; which according to the foregoing 52 year cycle would be of 365d. 5h. 46m. 9.23076s. each. The peculiarity of this number 432,000, and a desire to retain it in their computations, was no doubt the reason why they used a period of 52 years, which involves a correction not composed of whole days as we find it in the old world. To make the correction amount to whole days, they would have used a period of 104 years with a difference of 25 days. But let us take ten periods of 1,248 years, when the correction becomes 4,320,000 minutes or 3,000 days; if we then multiply all by 3, we obtain 37,440 years of 365 days each, with 1,296,000 minutes, or 9,000 days, or 25 years of 360 days, added. It hence appears that the 25 days of the Mexican 104 year cycle, when they are multiplied by the Eastern 360, become 25 years of the greater cycle, in which the number of minutes added are equal to the seconds in ten circles.

“The extraordinary coincidence of the numbers employed by the Mexicans and by the eastern nations cannot have arisen accidentally, for in the Greek mythology there is a curious story of the year of 360 days, its division by 18, and the deriviation of the odd five days,2 which seems very like a version of the Mexican rules. Moreover the number 432 and cyphers is the most ancient we possess, and appears to have been known to the eastern nations from an immemorial antiquity; it is the basis of the list of the Chaldean kings given by Berosus (third century B.C.) and of all the cycles used in India; and as we shall further see, is the most wonderful monument of ancient astronomical achievement we possess. Such strange agreements in the astronomical numbers used in the East and west, when there would appear to have been no connection between the old and the new worlds prior to Columbus, is a very strong argument in favor of the theory that there was once a time when they were in communication with each other; or if not that, then the Hindus, Egyptians and Mexicans must have had a common origin for their knowledge. And it is here that the theosophical hypothesis as to the former existence of a great continent where now rolls the Atlantic Ocean, and which joined together the peoples of the East and the west and made their knowledge have a common resemblance, will supply the link which is necessary to account for the latter.”

After a minute and very careful criticism of the astronomical calculations of the motions of the planets, and the amounts by which these calculations may depart from absolute accuracy, Mr. Stuart comes to the immediate study of the cycle of 4,320,000 years, the Maha Yuga, or Great Cycle. He believes it to be a cycle of this nature: At some immensely remote period in the past, there was a conjunction of all the planets (namely, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, with, perhaps, other planets as yet unknown to modern astronomy) with the sun; all these bodies being gathered together at the same point in the heavens; or, let us say, close to the same fixed star in the Zodiac. From that point, they then set forth on their circling paths, in orbital periods of immensely varying length, from the few weeks in which Mercury traverses his small orbit round the sun, to the centuries in which remote Neptune makes the same circuit. After the lapse of how many years, how many centuries, thousands, or even millions of years, will the planets all return to the same point in the sky—the same fixed star in the Zodiac, coming once more into general conjunction with each other and with the sun? The period, according to Mr. Stuart’s reasoning, is precisely the Maha Yuga of 4,320,000 years. That part of Mr. Stuart’s essay which justifies this exceedingly interesting conclusion is as follows:

“We have then to be guided by the following conditions of our enquiry:

“(a) We are not justified in assuming that the number 4,320,000 has been quoted otherwise than exactly, unless it shall be found impossible to accomodate the mean motions of the planets to it without alterations which amount to more than five or six seconds in a century; which are the limits of accuracy assumed for our present astronomical elements.

“(b) Since all the planets must return to the same place amongst the stars, it follows that the period must be an exact number of sidereal solar years without any remainder.

“(c) Because the processional motion of the equinoxes to be used with the Maha Yuga has been definitely adopted, therefore the difference between the sidereal and Julian years in the great cycle is also known, and cannot be altered without changing all the conditions.

“(d) Whatever may be the number of Julian years which we have to add to the 4,320,000 sidereal years according to the given precession, the same should be the amount necessary to bring the planets into their nearest approach to a general congress according to such tabular results as we may find it best to adopt.

“(e) As the period known as the Maha Yuga appears to have been derived by means with which we are not acquainted, it may include planets which were unknown to us until the last century and a quarter, such as Uranus and Neptune, and may also have dealt with others yet to be discovered. We must therefore expect that Uranus and Neptune are to be included, and that we have here another reason for the extreme length of the period; since the more planets it includes, the longer it must be.

“(f) We must also decide, if possible, to what age of the world the great period more particularly belonged; because according to what has been said in the foregoing, the mean motions of the planets may have been different in a remote epoch in the past, from what we find them today. As we have seen, the period in one of its varieties was quoted by Berosus about the third century B.C.; but according to Madame Blavatsky the Maha Yuga and other great periods have come down to us from Atlantean times.3 This could not have been less than four or five million years ago.4

“These things premised, and taking the mean motion of the sun corresponding to the tropical years as we have found it from a comparison of Delambre and Leverrier in the foregoing, with precession for 25,920 years, we find that 4,320,000 sidereal years are equal to 4,320,074 Julian years and 252 days; which is a difference of 27.280 days, or 74.6900 years, due to the excess of one kind of years over the other. The number of tropical years would be 4,320,166.7500; since the sidereal period includes 166.75 periods of the equinox.

“We then find upon trial by our best modern tables, that whereas, the period of 4,320,000 if considered to consist of Julian or tropical years would not be a planetary period, yet when it is dealt with as sidereal years and the above difference of 74.6900 added, the motions of all the planets, including Uranus and Neptune, are so nearly equal as to bring them into positions which only differ from the point of conjunctions by an extreme difference which is about one-fifth of the ecliptic. After making all due allowance for the variations discussed in the preceding notes, it therefore appears that the claim as to the Maha Yuga being a cycle of planetary conjunctions is substantially true. And this not only for planets which we know were discovered by the ancients, but also including Uranus and Neptune, supposed to be quite unknown to them.

“But the quantities by which the planetary positions differ from the mean places they ought to occupy, show that the negative quantities are a little in excess of the positive; indicating that their mean motions were somewhat slower than at the present time. If the foregoing reasoning has been correct, this means that the sun was, in the Atlantean period, rather nearer to the body about which it evolves than at present; and consequently the planetary periods were longer and their orbits dilated. And in order to compare the result with modern data, we may (seeing they differ but little) take an average of the precession in 100 Julian years according to Leverrier and Newcomb; and after reducing the planetary tropical motions per century, given by these and Dr. Hill, to sidereal places according to the precession for 25,920 years, we find the differences of the Maha Yuga data are in 100 years:

Neptune

(per

Newcomb)

minus

5.481″

Uranus

plus

2.520

Saturn

Leverier

plus

5.589

Jupiter

Dr. Hill

plus

3.019

Mars

Newcomb

plus

4.519

Venus

minus

1.787

Sun

minus

5.334

Mercury

plus

4.559

“This is after adding the small quantity 2.641″ to the Maha Yuga results, which appears to be the amount by which the planetary centennial means motions were slower some four and a half million years ago than they are at present. We then find that, allowing all the planets to be exactly upon the place of any given fixed star or immovable point in the heavens at any given epoch, modern tables show that after a lapse of 4,320,000 sidereal years, or 4,320,074 Julian years and 252 days, the planets would differ from such a point by:

Neptune

(Newcomb)

plus

65.8

(Heliocentric longitudes only).

Uranus

minus

30.2

Saturn

(Leverrier)

minus

67.7

Jupiter

(Dr. Hill)

minus

36.2

Mars

(Newcomb)

minus

54.2

Sun

plus

94.0

Venus

plus

21.5

Mercury

minus

54.7

“As none of the outstanding quantities differ from the average place required by so much as a fifth part of the ecliptic, and the outstanding errors of the tables, or unknown secular equations, may be responsible for nearly the whole of these differences, it becomes practically certain that the Maha Yuga is at least as correct as any of our means of computing, and therefore that it is a veritable cycle of the planetary motions—nay, that it is so much superior to anything which we could produce, that only within the last ten years could we completely verify it, and demonstrate that its exact length ha s been truly given.

“Allowing for the difference of the centennia precession by the Maha Yuga, and an average of that used by Leverrier and Newcomb (24.152″), we then have the following centennial mean sidereal motions:

Neptune

218o

28′

16.450″

and

Newcomb

(plus

24.152″

gives

it as

218o

28′

24.572″

Uranus

68

30

33.311

68

30

33.432

Saturn

142

7

13.821

Leverrier

142

7

10.873

Jupiter

154

54

48.480

Dr. Hill

154

54

48.102

Mars

60

18

38.650

Newcomb

60

18

36.772

Sun

359

22

39.377

359

22

47.352

Venus

197

49

18.043

197

49

22.472

Mercury

72

40

57.000

72

40

55.082

“To the Maha Yuga results we have to add 2.641″, as per foregoing, when the outstanding differences will be found as above given.

“The average procession per century by a mean of Leverrier and Newcomb is 1o 23′ 44.065″. If we calculate by the Maha Yuga results we shall find that the following would be the heliocentric longitudes on the completion of the cycle:

Neptune

1o

37′

These according to sidereal places.

Uranus

1

47

Saturn

359

38

Jupiter

359

15

Mars

359

26

Sun

0

0

Venus

2

3

Mercury

359

56

“The preceding positions and data are all exceedingly striking and they agree very much more closely than could, under all the circumstances, be expected; while the assignable limits of error show that the last results may be quite accurate. And even if it could be satisfactorily shown that the future corrections to the planetary motions would be in the opposite directions to the above outstanding differences, this would not help objectors to the theory that the Maha Yuga is correct, out of the difficulty very far; for the synodic periods derivable from it would still be far more accurate than any we possessed prior to the year 1820—and there would also remain the greater probability in favor of the conjunction rather than against it. These things being so, the enquiry naturally arises—where and when, setting aside the reference to the Atlanteans and any other theosophic or occult explanation, did the ancients become acquainted with the exact length of this cycle? We have seen that it would have been impossible for western scientists of the present day to have obtained its measure from their own data, unless put in possession of its approximate length from some external source. It thence appears that the Maha Yuga period is strictly original, and could not have been got up within the historical period or from western data; and this being so, and it being found to agree so nearly with the best, latest, and most refined efforts of the combined intellectual strength of Europe, it follows that the archaic scientists were in possession of our astronomical periods ages before we, with all our boasted superiority to the ancients in such matters, had arrived at them by slow degrees and intense labor. Moreover this triumph of the ancients is more than complete; for though it may be claimed that whatever the archaic astronomers may have accomplished in reference to the bodies visible to the unassisted eye, they knew nothing of others, yet by the preceding it appears that our own astronomers can no longer point to their discoveries of Uranus and Neptune (which were marvels of telescopic power and intellectual penetration) as a point of vantage to which the scientists of a hoary antiquity could not attain. And indeed, quite independently of the conclusions on this head derivable from the Maha Yuga, which might be vitiated if any great alteration is in future made in the mean motions of these two planets (but which we may predict will consist of thirty seconds per century or multiples thereof), it is said that one, if not both, of the most distant planets were known to the ancient writers.5 This escaped notice until modern times, when by reference to any hand-book on Astronomy we may see that Uranus was discovered by aid of the first great reflecting telescope used in England, on the 13th of March in the year 1781; though its existence had been previously suspected, owing to unexplained perturbations in the movements of Saturn.6 And similarly, the planet Neptune was discovered by us through the unaccounted-for movements of Uranus, on September 18th, 1846, when it was seen by Dr. Galle with a powerful telescope, in the very point in the sky where the calculations of Adams and Leverrier had indicated that it would be found.7 The difficulties which the discoverers had to face were enormous,8 but it is said that “both not only solved the problem, but did so with a completeness that filled the world with astonishment and admiration, in which none more ardently shared than those who, from their attainments, were best qualified to appreciate the difficulties of the question.”9 And every writer upon the subject for the last sixty years has sung paeans of victory over this celebrated performance as the crowning intellectual triumph of the present day;10 but by the contents of the present paper it appears that the whole had been forestalled many ages ago by those despised ancients, whom modern Europeans have been in the habit of looking down upon as the very impersonations of superstitious ignorance.11 . . .”

Mr. Stuart is, of course, far too careful a student to say that he has proved his case conclusively, to the point of absolute certainty. But let us, for the sake of clearness, accept the supposition that the case is proved conclusively; that the facts and deductions are entirely correct. What results will follow?

First, that all the planets, including Uranus and Neptune, and, perhaps, other planets still unknown to modern astronomy, do, in fact, come into conjunction with each other and with the sun (that is, gather together at the same point in the Zodiac, or close to the same fixed star) at regularly recurring periods separated by the enormous space of 4,320,000 years.

Second, that this fact was the basis of the cycle called the Maha Yuga, or Great Cycle, which lies at the foundation of the whole Indian philosophy of world-cycles, and which is suggested by the occurrence of the same figures in other ancient astronomical systems, notably the Chaldean and aboriginal Mexican.

Third, that the fact of such a general conjunction was known to the astronomers of an immensely remote period, presumably Atlantean or Lemuro-Atlantean (since the Aryan, the Fifth Race, did not begin to come into being until a much later period).

Fourth, that these Atlantean or Lemuro-Atlantean astronomers knew of the existence and orbital periods of both Uranus and Neptune, which modern astronomers have only quite recently discovered, by the aid of immensely powerful telescopes combined with highly developed mathematical science.

Which would involve the final conclusion that the Atlanteans or Lemuro-Atlantean astronomers either had equally powerful telescopes and an equal knowledge of mathematics; or that they obtained their knowledge in other ways—by the possession of the occult powers which would make them high Initiates. For we have been told that, to the awakened vision of such Initiates, the most distant nebulae, separated, perhaps, from the sun by spaces which light takes millions of years to traverse, appear as close, as visible, as “daisies in the next field.”


V.
A Venerable Lemuro-Atlantean

“Thus,” says H. P. Blavatsky, in The Secret Doctrine, Volume I, Edition of 1888, page 185, “Occultism rejects the idea that Nature developed man from the ape, or even from an ancestor common to both, but traces, on the contrary, some of the most anthropoid species to the Third Race man of the early Atlantean period. . . . no ‘missing links’ between man and the apes have ever yet been found. . . . Nor will they ever be met with. . . .”

This piece of information, published by H. P. Blavatsky, on the authority of Occult knowledge, well nigh thirty years ago, has just made its way through the dense clouds of scientific prejudice, and has appeared so startling that it has been sent by cablegram around the world, taking a prominent place on the front page of the leading newspapers in America, in spite of the enormous pressure of war news and even of the active fighting and casualties of American troops. It was sent by special cable from London to the New York Times, on February 28, with these sensational headings: “Says Man Was Ancestor of Apes: British Scientist Calls for Reconsideration of Post-Darwinian Theory.”

Students of The Secret Doctrine, who may remember reading the passage quoted above when it first appeared, some thirty years ago, will read, with deep satisfaction, and with a certain feeling of amusement, the opening paragraph of the cablegram, which is almost identical with The Secret Doctrine passage:

“That man is not descended from anthropoid apes, that these would be in fact more accurately described as having been descended from man, that man as man is far more ancient than the whole anthropoid branch, and that compared with him the chimpanzee and orangutan are newcomers on this planet, were assertions made by Professor Wood Jones, Professor of Anatomy in the University of London, in a lecture yesterday on the origin of man.

“The professor claimed these assertions were proved not only by recent anatomical research, but that they were deducible from the whole trend of geological and anthropological discovery.

“One of the most interesting references in the lecture was to recent reports by Dr. Stewart Arthur Smith of Sydney on the Talgai skull discovered in 1889 in Darling Downs, New South Wales, but never seriously investigated until 1914.

“’This undoubtedly human skull, very highly mineralized,’ he said, ‘was found in a stratum with extinct pouched mammals, and probably is as ancient as the famous Piltsdown skull, whose human nature was so hotly disputed just before the war. In deposits of the same age as those in which the Talgai skull was unearthed were found bones of dingo dogs, and also bones of extinct pouched mammals gnawed by these dogs.

“’Until the arrival of Captain Cook in Australia (1770) no non-pouched animals were ever introduced upon the Australian continent. It is geologically certain that Australia has always been surrounded by the sea since the evolution of pouched mammals. Had it not been so, it is almost certain that many non-pouched mammals in the neighboring continents would have migrated thither.

“’How then can the presence of the Talgai man and his dingo dogs alone among these be accounted for? The conclusion deducible is that he must have arrived there in boats with his family and his domestic dogs, and the astounding fact emerges that at a period in the world’s history when only a year or two ago the most advanced anatomists were satisfied that man was scarcely distinguishable from his brute ancestors, a man already so highly developed as to have domesticated animals and to be a boat builder and navigator was actually in Australia, and, to an astonishing degree, the reasoning master of his own fate.’

“In view not only of this,” the cablegram concludes, “but of even more convincing evidence gathered from man’s own anatomical structure, Professor Wood Jones made a moving appeal for the reconsideration of the whole post-Darwinian conception of man’s comparatively recent emergence from the brute kingdom. The missing link of Huxley, he asserted, if ever found, would not be a more ape-like man, but a more human ape.”

This is, of course, only a telegraphic summary; but, pending the receipt of a fuller account of this lecture,—without which it is impossible to form any opinion as to whether the lecturer’s undoubtedly sound conclusions were based upon equally sound premises—it may be interesting to add a few details concerning the venerable Lemuro-Atlantean, who seems to have helped this intuitional anatomist to take so long a step towards the acceptance of the Occult teaching.

The highly mineralized, and therefore extremely old, Talgai skull, which furnishes Professor wood Jones with so strong an argument, was found in the bed of the Talgai Creek, near Clifton, on the Darling Downs, by a ranchman, who picked it up and took it home, without any great understanding of its significance. It appears to have been washed out of the black soil of the Darling Downs. A few miles from the spot where the skull was picked up, bones of many types of extinct mammals of Pleistocene age have been discovered, and, as the Talgai skull is in at least as advanced a stage of fossilization or mineralization, as the bones of the Diprotodon, Nototherium and others, in adjacent regions, it may be provisionally assumed (says a preliminary report to the British Association, dated 1914) that this human skull is also of Pleistocene age. The distortion caused by steady pressure due to the weight of an original thick overburden of clay is in harmony with the evidence as to the high antiquity of the skull. While there is a strong probability of the fossil skull being of Pleistocene, perhaps early Pleistocene, Age, its exact age obviously cannot be determined until further evidence can be adduced which may directly connect it with the mammalian bone-bearing clays of the Darling Downs; certainly it is far older than any aboriginal skulls that have ever been obtained in Australasia, and it proves that in Australia man attained to geological antiquity.

In 1914, the year referred to in our cablegram, the British Association for the Advancement of Science met in Australia, Dr. Arthur Stewart Smith of Sydney being one of those taking part in its meetings. The highly mineralized skull from Talgai Creek was produced, very carefully examined and reported upon by a Section on Anthropology; and from its report, tantalizingly brief, the preceding paragraph is taken. Clifton appears to be, not in New South Wales, as described in our cablegram, but in Queensland, some thirty miles north of the N. S. W. border, and eighty miles inland from Brisbane on the coast, with which it is connected by rail.

One word more as to the age in years of our Lemuro-Atlantean from the Darling Downs. In Prehistoric Man, by W. L. H. Duckworth (1912) the Preface contains this suggestive paragraph:

“I regret to be unable to affix definite dates in years to the several divisions of time now recognized. To illustrate the difficulty of forming conclusions on this subject, it should be noted that in 1904 Professor Rutot assigned a duration of 139,000 years to the Pleistocene period, while in 1909 Dr. Sturge claimed 700,000 years for a portion only of the same period. Evidently the present tendency is to increase enormously the drafts on geological time, and to measure in millions the years that have elapsed since the first traces of human existence were deposited.”


1. Wilson’s Lost Solar System of the Ancients Discovered, II., 160, 314, 335.

2. Sir Wm. Drummond’s Oedipus Judaeicus, 103.

3. The Secret Doctrine, ii, 51-2; cf. Isis Unveiled, i, 239, as to late discoveries.

4. See the author’s article, “The Great Year of the Ancients,” in the Theosophist, Jan., 1901, 222, and Feb., 297.

5. The Secret Doctrine, i, 126, 128; ii, 512, 513. Cf. Isis Unveiled, i, 267, etc.

6. Orbs of Heaven, 127, by Prof. Mitchell.

7. Mitchell’s Astronomy, 217.

8. Ibid, 215, 216.

9. Popular Astronomy, 179, ed. 1856, by Dionysius Lardner, D.C.L. For the high attainments and qualifications of Mons. Leverrier and Mr. Adams, see Orbs of Heaven, 138, et seq.

10. Mitchell’s Astronomy, 211 (Routledge’s ed.)

11. Cf. Isis Unveiled, i, 239.