The doctrine of Human Evolution is interwoven with the teachings on the Planetary Evolution of Monads, the Structure of the Planetary Chain, the doctrine of Hierarchies of Beings, the Constitution of Man, etc. Ultimately, these must be studied together as a single multi-faceted teaching. Here we’ve gathered quotes to outline the teachings on Human Evolution, from the point at which the Monadic Evolution reaches our Earth in this Round.


A rough outline of theosophical teachings on the Evolution of Humanity may be given thus:

  • Human evolution on earth begins with seven simultaneous yet distinct starting points, rather than a single origin; each of these is a distinct group within the human family, so to speak. The theosophical teachings deny that humanity sprang from an Adam and Eve or by simple physical evolution from hominid ancestors.
  • Human evolution on earth passes through seven major conditions, called in theosophy “Root-Races.” Each of these is associated with the development of particular senses, faculties and powers. The lifespan of the Root-Races varies, with each lasting millions of years.
  • This process of evolution is accomplished by an alternation of differentiation and amalgamation through the Root-Race periods. Thus there are periods where various groups become separated to evolve independently, followed by periods of mixture of the various strands. “For Nature never does her work in a hasty or undue fashion, but, by the sure method of mixture, precipitation, and separation, brings about the greatest perfection.”
  • In the process of development over time each Root-Race is associated with a “continent,” i.e. with a state or condition of the earth’s surface and a general locality on which each Race develops. The passage from one Root-Race to the next is marked by a change in the conditions of the surface of the Earth in regards to its ethereality vs. materiality, and each transition experiences cataclysms and shifting of continental masses. There are, therefore, direct correlations between Root-Race transitions and geological, climate and other changes.
  • There is a descending and an ascending arc in this process: with humanity beginning in a more ethereal condition in the 1st Root-Race and descending into further materiality or physicality to the 4th Root-Race, where the bottom of the descent is reached; then ascending from the 4th to the 7th Root-Race, from materiality to further ethereality or spirituality.
  • There are two major parts of this evolutionary process: the development of the form of humanity, i.e. the bodily encasement, and the development of the mind of humanity. These are attributed to two sets of celestial or divine “progenitors”: the “lunar,” so-called, who develop the form; and the “solar,” so-called, who develop the mind. (This is related to the doctrines on Planetary Evolution and Hierarchies of Beings.)
  • The first to occur is the development of the form by the “lunar” progenitors, beginning with giant ethereal bodies and gradually condensing into material or physical bodies. The ethereal form begins as sexless, then dual-sexed, and as the development descends into physicality the form divides into separate sexes of male and female. This separation into sexes occurs during what is named the “Lemurian” Race, i.e. the 3rd Root-Race. With the split into sexes humanity begins to produce generations via sexual intercourse and gradually takes on a more animalistic nature.
  • Second comes the development of mind by the “solar” progenitors, which begins shortly after the separation into dual sexes with what is referred to as the “lighting up” of manas or mind (see the teachings on “Human Principles”). From the point at which mind becomes active and self-consciousness arises, humanity begins to play a more conscious role in its own evolution, i.e. our development begins to depend upon our own self-induced and self-devised efforts. Thus, during its development on Earth humanity progresses gradually from a state of non-self-consciousness, or “instinctual” consciousness, to full self-consciousness.
  • The bottom of the descending arc, i.e. the 4th Root-Race, given the name “Atlantean,” is associated with the development of high intellectuality and animalistic desire. During this time it is said that humanity reached a very high degree of civilization, which fell gradually into degradation. It’s later period is portrayed as a dark and destructive time in human pre-history. Theosophical teachings regard the mythology of the sinking of Atlantis to be based on geological truths, and suggest that the megalithic architecture and related relics found around the world are remnants of such lost high civilizations.
  • Our current stage of development is what Theosophical teachings refer to as the 5th Root-Race. We are said to be on the ascending arc, i.e. we are gradually improving since our Atlantean low-point. We are further developing mind, and more importantly, beginning to develop our higher, moral nature. We are, however, still far from meeting our potential, and are said to be generally further behind than we could’ve been at this point in our development. The primary focus of current spiritual teachings are illustrative of the potentials in our higher nature, and are thus focused on Ethics, Universal Brotherhood, and the cultivation of qualities such as Compassion.
  • We have in front of us two further Root-Races, involving great possibility for progress and the unfolding of our nobler capacities. Humanity will pass through the remainder of this 5th Root-Race, into the 6th and then the 7th before the evolutionary process reaches its conclusion on this globe. In the 6th and 7th Root-Races humanity will develop or unfold more of our potentialities, including additional senses and powers.


On “The Evolution of Man in 4 Rounds” from The Secret Doctrine by H. P. Blavatsky

“Man in the First Round and First Race on Globe D, our Earth, was an ethereal being (a Lunar Dhyani, as man), non-intelligent but super-spiritual; and correspondingly, on the law of analogy, in the First Race of the Fourth Round. In each of the subsequent races and sub-races . . . he grows more and more into an encased or incarnate being, but still preponderatingly ethereal. . . . He is sexless, and, like the animal and vegetable, he develops monstrous bodies correspondential with his coarser surroundings.

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

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

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


On “Rounds and Races” and preparatory stages of development on Earth from the Ocean of Theosophy by W. Q. Judge

The ultimate origin or beginning of man is not to be discovered, although we may know when and from where the men of this globe came. Man never was not. If not on this globe, then on some others, he ever was, and will ever be in existence somewhere in the Cosmos. Ever perfecting and reaching up to the image of the Heavenly Man, he is always becoming. But as the human mind cannot go back to any beginning, we shall start with this globe. Upon this earth and upon the whole chain of globes of which it is a part seven races of men appeared simultaneously, coming over to it from other globes of an older chain. And in respect to this earth—the fourth of this chain—these seven races came simultaneously from another globe of this chain. This appearance of seven races together happens in the first and in part of the second round of the globes. In the second round the seven masses of beings are amalgamated, and their destiny after that is to slowly differentiate during the succeeding rounds until at the seventh round the seven first great races will be once more distinct, as perfect types of the human race as this period of evolution will allow. At the present time the seven races are mixed together, and representatives of all are in the many so-called races of men as classified by our present science. The object of this amalgamation and subsequent differentiation is to give to every race the benefit of the progress and power of the whole derived from prior progress in other planets and systems. For Nature never does her work in a hasty or undue fashion, but, by the sure method of mixture, precipitation, and separation, brings about the greatest perfection. And this method was one known to the Alchemists, though not fully understood in all its bearings even by them.

. . .

Each one of the globes is used by evolutionary law for the development of seven races, and of senses, faculties and powers appropriate to that state of matter: the experience of the whole seven globes being needed to make a perfect development. Hence we have the Rounds and Races. The Round is a circling of the seven centers of planetary consciousness; the Race the racial development on one of those seven. There are seven races for each globe, but the total of forty-nine races only makes up seven great races, the special septennate of races on each globe or planetary center composing in reality one race of seven constituents or special peculiarities of function and power.

And as no complete race could be evolved in a moment on any globe, the slow, orderly processes of nature, which allow no jumps, must proceed by appropriate means. Hence sub-races have to be evolved one after the other before the perfect root race is formed, and then the root race sends off its offshoots while it is declining and preparing for the advent of the next great race.

. . .

Taking up evolution on the Earth, it is stated that the stream of Monads begins first to work up the mass of matter in what are called elemental conditions when all is gaseous or fiery. For the ancient and true theory is that no evolution is possible without the Monad as vivifying agent. In this first stage there is no animal or vegetable. Next comes the mineral when the whole mass hardens, the Monads being all imprisoned within. Then the first Monads emerge into vegetable forms which they construct themselves, and no animals yet appear. Next the first class of Monads emerges from the vegetable and produces the animal, then the human astral and shadowy model, and we have minerals, vegetables, animals and future men, for the second and later classes are still evolving in the lower kingdoms. When the middle of the Fourth Round is reached no more Monads emerge into the human stage and will not until a new planetary mass, reincarnated from ours, is made. This is the whole process roughly given, but with many details left out . . .


On “Rounds and Races” from Esoteric Buddhism by A. P. Sinnett

Man—returning to the kingdom we are most interested in—is evolved in a series of rounds (progressions round the series of worlds), and seven of these rounds have to be accomplished before the destinies of our system are worked out. The round which is at present going on is the fourth. There are considerations of the utmost possible interest connected with precise knowledge on these points, because each round is, as it were, specially allotted to the predominance of one of the seven principles in man, and in the regular order of their upward gradation.

An individual unit, arriving on a planet for the first time in the course of a round, has to work through seven races on that planet before he passes on to the next, and each of those races occupies the earth for a long time. . . . Now, we at present living on this earth—the great bulk of humanity, that is to say, for there are exceptional cases to be considered later—are now going through the fifth race of our present fourth round. And yet the evolution of that fifth race began about a million of years ago. . . .

Each race of the seven which go to make up a round—i.e. which are evolved on the earth in succession during its occupation by the great wave of humanity passing round the planetary chain—is itself subject to subdivision. Were this not the case, the active existences of each human unit would be indeed few and far between. Within the limits of each race there are seven sub-divisional races, and again within the limits of each subdivision there are seven branch races. Through all these races, roughly speaking, each individual human unit must pass during his stay on earth, each time he arrives there, on a round of progress through the planetary system. . . .


On “Human Evolution on our Earth” from The Secret Doctrine by H. P. Blavatsky

As regards the evolution of mankind, the Secret Doctrine postulates three new propositions, which stand in direct antagonism to modern science as well as to current religious dogmas: it teaches (a) the simultaneous evolution of seven human groups on seven different portions of our globe; (b) the birth of the astral, before the physical body: the former being a model for the latter; and (c) that man, in this Round, preceded every mammalian—the anthropoids included—in the animal kingdom.

. . .

The Secret Doctrine claims for man, (1) a polygenetic origin. (2) A variety of modes of procreation before humanity fell into the ordinary method of generation. (3) That the evolution of animals—of the mammalians at any rate—follows that of man instead of preceding it. And this is diametrically opposed to the now generally accepted theories of evolution and the descent of man from an animal ancestor.

. . .

[On Root-Races, Sub-Races, Family-Races, etc.]

Let the reader remember well that which is said of the divisions of Root Races and the evolution of Humanity in this work, and stated clearly and concisely in Mr. Sinnett’s “Esoteric Buddhism.”

1. There are seven Rounds in every manvantara; this one is the Fourth, and we are in the Fifth Root-Race, at present.

2. Each Root-Race has seven sub-races.

3. Each sub-race has, in its turn, seven ramifications, which may be called Branch or “Family” races.

4. The little tribes, shoots, and offshoots of the last-named are countless and depend on Karmic action. Examine the “genealogical tree” hereto appended, and you will understand. The illustration is purely diagrammatic, and is only intended to assist the reader in obtaining a slight grasp of the subject, amidst the confusion which exists between the terms which have been used at different times for the divisions of Humanity.

It is also here attempted to express in figures—but only within approximate limits, for the sake of comparison—the duration of time through which it is possible to definitely distinguish one division from another. It would only lead to hopeless confusion if any attempt were made to give accurate dates to a few; for the Races, Sub-Races, etc., etc., down to their smallest ramifications, overlap and are entangled with each other until it is nearly impossible to separate them.

The human Race has been compared to a tree, and this serves admirably as an illustration.

The main stem of a tree may be compared to the root-race (a).

Its larger limbs to the various sub-races; seven in number (b1b2). On each of these limbs are seven branches, or family-races (c).

After this the cactus-plant is a better illustration, for its fleshy “leaves” are covered with sharp spines, each of which may be compared to a nation or tribe of human beings.

. . .

[On the Descending and Ascending Arcs]

No less light is thrown thereby on the future physical, spiritual, and intellectual state of mankind, in periods corresponding on parallel lines with other past periods, and always on the lines of ascending and descending cyclic evolution and development. Thus, a few centuries before the Kali yuga—the black age which began nearly 5,000 years ago—it was said (paraphrased into comprehensible sentences):

We (the Fifth Root-Race) in our first half (of duration) onward (on the now ascending arc of the cycle) are on the mid point of (or between) the First and the Second Races—falling downward (i.e., the races were then on the descending arc of the cycle). . . . . Calculate for thyself, Lanoo, and see.” (Commentary xx.).

Calculating as advised, we find that during that transitional period—namely, in the second half of the First Spiritual ethero-astral race—nascent mankind was devoid of the intellectual brain element. As it was on its descending line, and as we are parallel to it, on the ascending, we are, therefore devoid of the Spiritual element, which is now replaced by the intellectual. For, remember well, as we are in the manasa period of our cycle of races, or in the Fifth, we have, therefore, crossed the meridian point of the perfect adjustment of Spirit and Matter—or that equilibrium between brain intellect and Spiritual perception. One important point has, however, to be borne in mind.

EVOLUTION OF ROOT RACES IN THE FOURTH ROUND.
meridian of races.

We are only in the Fourth Round, and it is in the Fifth that the full development of Manas, as a direct ray from the Universal mahat—a ray unimpeded by matter—will be finally reached. Nevertheless, as every sub-race and nation have their cycles and stages of developmental evolution repeated on a smaller scale, it must be the more so in the case of a Root-Race. Our race then has, as a Root-race, crossed the equatorial line and is cycling onward on the Spiritual side; but some of our sub-races still find themselves on the shadowy descending arc of their respective national cycles; while others again—the oldest—having crossed their crucial point, which alone decides whether a race, a nation, or a tribe will live or perish, are at the apex of spiritual development as sub-races.

. . .

It is only the knowledge of the constant re-births of one and the same individuality throughout the life-cycle; the assurance that the same Monads—among whom are many Dhyan-Chohans, or the “Gods” themselves—have to pass through the “Circle of Necessity,” rewarded or punished by such rebirth for the suffering endured or crimes committed in the former life; that those very Monads, which entered the empty, senseless shells, or astral figures of the First Race emanated by the Pitris, are the same who are now amongst us—nay, ourselves, perchance; it is only this doctrine, we say, that can explain to us the mysterious problem of Good and Evil, and reconcile man to the terrible and apparent injustice of life.

. . .

[On Root-Races and Continents]

Before we turn to the Anthropogenesis of the prehistoric Races, it may be useful to agree upon the names to be given to the Continents on which the four great Races, which preceded our Adamic Race, were born, lived, and died. Their archaic and esoteric names were many, and varied with the language of the nationality which mentioned them in its annals and scriptures. . . .

Therefore, in view of the possible, and even very probable confusion, that may arise, it is considered more convenient to adopt, for each of the four Continents constantly referred to, a name more familiar to the cultured reader. It is proposed, then, to call the first continent, or rather the first terra firma on which the first Race was evolved by the divine progenitors:

I. “The Imperishable Sacred Land.”

The reasons for this name are explained as follows: This “Sacred Land”—of which more later on—is stated never to have shared the fate of the other continents; because it is the only one whose destiny it is to last from the beginning to the end of the Manvantara throughout each Round. It is the cradle of the first man and the dwelling of the last divine mortal, chosen as a Sishta for the future seed of humanity. Of this mysterious and sacred land very little can be said, except, perhaps, according to a poetical expression in one of the Commentaries, that the “pole-star has its watchful eye upon it, from the dawn to the close of the twilight of ‘a day’ of the great breath.”

II. The “Hyperborean” will be the name chosen for the Second Continent, the land which stretched out its promontories southward and westward from the North Pole to receive the Second Race, and comprised the whole of what is now known as Northern Asia. Such was the name given by the oldest Greeks to the far-off and mysterious region, whither their tradition made Apollo the “Hyperborean” travel every year. . . . The land of the Hyperboreans, the country that extended beyond Boreas, the frozen-hearted god of snows and hurricanes, who loved to slumber heavily on the chain of Mount Riphaeus, was neither an ideal country, as surmised by the mythologists, nor yet a land in the neighbourhood of Scythia and the Danube. It was a real Continent, a bonâ-fide land which knew no winter in those early days, nor have its sorry remains more than one night and day during the year, even now. The nocturnal shadows never fall upon it, said the Greeks; for it is the land of the Gods, the favourite abode of Apollo, the god of light, and its inhabitants are his beloved priests and servants. This may be regarded as poetised fiction now; but it was poetised truth then.

III. The third Continent, we propose to call “Lemuria.” The name is an invention, or an idea, of Mr. P. L. Sclater, who asserted, between 1850 and 1860, on zoological grounds the actual existence, in prehistoric times, of a Continent which he showed to have extended from Madagascar to Ceylon and Sumatra. It included some portions of what is now Africa; but otherwise this gigantic Continent, which stretched from the Indian ocean to Australia, has now wholly disappeared beneath the waters of the Pacific, leaving here and there only some of its highland tops which are now islands. . . .

IV. “Atlantis” is the Fourth Continent. It would be the first historical land, were the traditions of the ancients to receive more attention than they have hitherto. The famous island of Plato of that name was but a fragment of this great Continent.

V. The Fifth Continent was America; but, as it is situated at the Antipodes, it is Europe and Asia Minor, almost coeval with it, which are generally referred to by the Indo-Aryan Occultists as the fifth. If their teaching followed the appearance of the Continents in their geological and geographical order, then this classification would have to be altered. But as the sequence of the Continents is made to follow the order of evolution of the Races, from the first to the fifth, our Aryan Root-race, Europe must be called the fifth great Continent. The Secret Doctrine takes no account of islands and peninsulas, nor does it follow the modern geographical distribution of land and sea. . . .

. . .

It is of course impossible to attempt, within the compass of even several volumes, a consecutive and detailed account of the evolution and progress of the first three races—except so far as to give a general view of it . . . Race the first had no history of its own. Of race the second the same may be said. We shall have, therefore, to pay careful attention only to the Lemurians and the Atlanteans before the history of our own race (the Fifth) can be attempted.

. . .

As these [the 1st and 2nd Root-Races] must remain beyond the comprehension of minds trained in Western thought, it is found useless to speak in detail of the First and Second, and even of the Third Race in its earliest stage. One has to begin with the latter, when it reached its full human period, lest the uninitiated reader should find himself hopelessly bewildered.

. . .

[On the “Lunar” and “Solar” Progenitors and the Development of Body and Mind]

There are seven classes of Pitris, . . . three incorporeal and four corporeal; and two kinds, the Agnishwatta [solar] and the Barhishad [lunar]. . . .

The Progenitors of Man, called in India “Fathers,” Pitara or Pitris, are the creators of our bodies and lower principles. They are ourselves, as the first personalities, and we are they. Primeval man would be “the bone of their bone and the flesh of their flesh,” if they had body and flesh. As stated, they were “lunar Beings.”

The Endowers of man with his conscious, immortal ego, are the “Solar Angels”—whether so regarded metaphorically or literally. . . .

The Pitris being divided into seven classes, we have here the mystic number again. Nearly all the Purânas agree that three of these are arupa, formless, while four are corporeal; the former being intellectual and spiritual, the latter material and devoid of intellect. Esoterically, it is the Asuras who form the first three classes of Pitris—“born in the body of night”—whereas the other four were produced from the body of twilight. . . . It is the Hosts of the four material classes who create men simultaneously on the seven zones.

Now, with regard to the seven classes of Pitris, each of which is again divided into seven . . . That class of the “Fire Dhyanis,” which we identify on undeniable grounds with the Agnishwattas, is called in our school the “Heart” of the Dhyan-Chohanic Body; and it is said to have incarnated in the third race of men and made them perfect. . . .

For, as already stated, these Beings fall into four corporeal (or grosser) and three incorporeal (or subtler) “principles,” or call them by any other name you please. . . .

The subtle bodies remain without understanding (Manas) until the advent of the Suras (Gods) now called Asuras (not Gods),” says the Commentary. “Not-gods,” for the Brahmins, perhaps, but the highest Breaths, for the Occultist; since those progenitors (Pitar), the formless and the intellectual, refuse to build man, but endow him with mind; the four corporeal classes creating only his body.

. . .

Esoteric philosophy, however, teaches that one third of the Dhyanis—i.e., the three classes of the Arupa Pitris, endowed with intelligence, “which is a formless breath, composed of intellectual not elementary substances”—was simply doomed by the law of Karma and evolution to be reborn (or incarnated) on Earth. Some of these were Nirmanakayas from other Manvantaras. Hence we see them, in all the Purânas, reappearing on this globe, in the third Manvantara, as Kings, Rishis and heroes (read Third Root-Race). . . .

The supposed “rebels,” [i.e. “those who refused to create” in the mythology] then, were simply those who, compelled by Karmic law to drink the cup of gall to its last bitter drop, had to incarnate anew, and thus make responsible thinking entities of the astral statues projected by their inferior brethren. Some are said to have refused, because they had not in them the requisite materials—i.e., an astral body—since they were arupa. . . .

As to their [humanity’s] fashioners or “Ancestors”—those Angels who, in the exoteric legends, obeyed the law—they must be identical with the Barhishad Pitris, or the Pitar-Devata, i.e., those possessed of the physical creative fire. They could only create, or rather clothe, the human Monads with their own astral Selves, but they could not make man in their image and likeness. “Man must not be like one of us,” say the creative gods, entrusted with the fabrication of the lower animal but higher; (see Gen. and Plato’s Timæus). Their creating the semblance of men out of their own divine Essence means, esoterically, that it is they who became the first Race, and thus shared its destiny and further evolution. They would not, simply because they could not, give to man that sacred spark which burns and expands into the flower of human reason and self-consciousness, for they had it not to give. This was left to that class of Devas who became symbolised in Greece under the name of Prometheus, to those who had nought to do with the physical body, yet everything with the purely spiritual man.

Each class of Creators endows man with what it has to give: the one builds his external form; the other gives him its essence, which later on becomes the Human Higher Self owing to the personal exertion of the individual; but they could not make men as they were themselves—perfect, because sinless; sinless, because having only the first, pale shadowy outlines of attributes, and these all perfect—from the human standpoint—white, pure and cold as the virgin snow. Where there is no struggle, there is no merit. Humanity, “of the Earth earthy,” was not destined to be created by the angels of the first divine Breath: therefore they are said to have refused to do so, and man had to be formed by more material creators, who, in their turn, could give only what they had in their own natures, and no more. Subservient to eternal law, the pure gods could only project out of themselves shadowy men, a little less ethereal and spiritual, less divine and perfect than themselves—shadows still. The first humanity, therefore, was a pale copy of its progenitors . . .

. . .

The Sons of mahat are the quickeners of the human Plant. They are the Waters falling upon the arid soil of latent life, and the Spark that vivifies the human animal. They are the Lords of Spiritual Life eternal.” . . . . “In the beginning (in the Second Race) some (of the Lords) only breathed of their essence into Manushya (men); and some took in man their abode.”

This shows that not all men became incarnations of the “divine Rebels,” but only a few among them. The remainder had their fifth principle simply quickened by the spark thrown into it, which accounts for the great difference between the intellectual capacities of men and races. Had not the “sons of Mahat,” speaking allegorically, skipped the intermediate worlds, in their impulse toward intellectual freedom, the animal man would never have been able to reach upward from this earth, and attain through self-exertion his ultimate goal. The cyclic pilgrimage would have to be performed through all the planes of existence half unconsciously, if not entirely so, as in the case of the animals. It is owing to this rebellion of intellectual life against the morbid inactivity of pure spirit, that we are what we are—self-conscious, thinking men, with the capabilities and attributes of Gods in us, for good as much as for evil. Hence the rebels are our saviours. Let the philosopher ponder well over this, and more than one mystery will become clear to him. It is only by the attractive force of the contrasts that the two opposites—Spirit and Matter—can be cemented on Earth, and, smelted in the fire of self-conscious experience and suffering, find themselves wedded in Eternity.

. . .

For the first three and a half Root-Races, up to the middle or turning point, it is the astral shadows of the “progenitors,” the lunar Pitris, which are the formative powers in the Races, and which build and gradually force the evolution of the physical form towards perfection—this, at the cost of a proportionate loss of spirituality. Then, from the turning point, it is the Higher Ego, or incarnating principle, the nous or Mind, which reigns over the animal Ego, and rules it whenever it is not carried down by the latter. In short, Spirituality is on its ascending arc, and the animal or physical impedes it from steadily progressing on the path of its evolution only when the selfishness of the personality has so strongly infected the real inner man with its lethal virus, that the upward attraction has lost all its power on the thinking reasonable man. In sober truth, vice and wickedness are an abnormal, unnatural manifestation, at this period of our human evolution—at least they ought to be so.

. . .

The first race of men were, then, simply the images, the astral doubles, of their Fathers, who were the pioneers, or the most progressed Entities from a preceding though lower sphere, the shell of which is now our Moon. . . .

Evolutionary law compelled the lunar “Fathers” to pass, in their monadic condition, through all the forms of life and being on this globe; but at the end of the Third Round, they were already human in their divine nature, and were thus called upon to become the creators of the forms destined to fashion the tabernacles of the less progressed Monads, whose turn it was to incarnate.

. . .

The Third Race; the first half of which is mortal, i.e., unconscious in its personality, and having nothing within itself to survive; . . . the latter half of which becomes immortal in its individuality, by reason of its fifth principle being called to life by the informing gods, and thus connecting the Monad with this Earth.

. . .

Up to the Fourth Round, and even to the later part of the Third Race in this Round, Man—if the ever-changing forms that clothed the Monads during the first three Rounds and the first two and a half races of the present one can be given that misleading name—is, so far, only an animal intellectually. It is only in the actual midway Round that he develops in himself entirely the fourth principle [kama] as a fit vehicle for the fifth [manas]. But Manas will be relatively fully developed only in the following Round, when it will have an opportunity of becoming entirely divine until the end of the Rounds.

. . .

We now come to an important point with regard to the double evolution of the human race. The Sons of Wisdom, or the spiritual Dhyanis, had become “intellectual” through their contact with matter, because they had already reached, during previous cycles of incarnation, that degree of intellect which enabled them to become independent and self-conscious entities, on this plane of matter. They were reborn only by reason of Karmic effects. They entered those who were “ready,” and became the Arhats, or sages, alluded to above. This needs explanation. It does not mean that Monads entered forms in which other Monads already were. They were “Essences,” “Intelligences,” and conscious spirits; entities seeking to become still more conscious by uniting with more developed matter. Their essence was too pure to be distinct from the universal essence; but their “Egos,” or Manas (since they are called Manasaputra, born of “Mahat,” or Brahmâ) had to pass through earthly human experiences to become all-wise, and be able to start on the returning ascending cycle. The Monads are not discrete principles, limited or conditioned, but rays from that one universal absolute Principle. The entrance into a dark room through the same aperture of one ray of sunlight following another will not constitute two rays, but one ray intensified. It is not in the course of natural law that man should become a perfect septenary being, before the seventh race in the seventh Round. Yet he has all these principles latent in him from his birth. Nor is it part of the evolutionary law that the Fifth principle (Manas), should receive its complete development before the Fifth Round. All such prematurely developed intellects (on the spiritual plane) in our Race are abnormal; they are those whom we call the “Fifth-Rounders.” Even in the coming seventh Race, at the close of this Fourth Round, while our four lower principles will be fully developed, that of Manas will be only proportionately so. This limitation, however, refers solely to the spiritual development. The intellectual, on the physical plane, was reached during the Fourth Root-Race. Thus, those who were “half ready,” who received “but a spark,” constitute the average humanity which has to acquire its intellectuality during the present Manvantaric evolution, after which they will be ready in the next for the full reception of the “Sons of Wisdom.” While those which “were not ready” at all, the latest Monads, which had hardly evolved from their last transitional and lower animal forms at the close of the Third Round, remained the “narrow-brained” of the Stanza. This explains the otherwise unaccountable degrees of intellectuality among the various races of men—the savage Bushman and the European—even now. Those tribes of savages, whose reasoning powers are very little above the level of the animals, are not the unjustly disinherited, or the unfavoured, as some may think—nothing of the kind. They are simply those latest arrivals among the human Monads, which were not ready: which have to evolve during the present Round, as on the three remaining globes (hence on four different planes of being) so as to arrive at the level of the average class when they reach the Fifth Round.

. . .

The Secret Doctrine teaches that the Fire-Devas, the Rudras, and the Kumâras, the “Virgin-Angels,” (to whom Michael and Gabriel, the Archangels, both belong), the divine “Rebels”—called by the all-materializing and positive Jews, the Nahash or “Deprived”—preferred the curse of incarnation and the long cycles of terrestrial existence and rebirths, to seeing the misery (even if unconscious) of the beings (evolved as shadows out of their Brethren) through the semi-passive energy of their too spiritual Creators. If “man’s uses of life should be such as neither to animalize nor to spiritualize, but to humanize Self,” before he can do so, he must be born human not angelic. Hence, tradition shows the celestial Yogis offering themselves as voluntary victims in order to redeem Humanity—created god-like and perfect at first—and to endow him with human affections and aspirations. To do this they had to give up their natural status and, descending on our globe, take up their abode on it for the whole cycle of the Mahayuga, thus exchanging their impersonal individualities for individual personalities—the bliss of sidereal existence for the curse of terrestrial life. This voluntary sacrifice of the Fiery Angels, whose nature was Knowledge and Love, was construed by the exoteric theologies into a statement that shows “the rebel angels hurled down from heaven into the darkness of Hell”—our Earth.

. . .

The FLAMES, whose functions are confused in the exoteric books, and who are called indifferently Prajâpati, Pitris, Manus, Asuras, Rishis, Kumâras, etc. etc., are said to incarnate personally in the Third Root-Race and thus find themselves “reborn over and over again.” In the Esoteric doctrine they are generally named the Asuras, or the Asu-ra Devata or Pitar-devata (gods) for, as said, they were first Gods—and the highest—before they became “no-gods,” and had from Spirits of Heaven fallen into Spirits of the Earth—exoterically, note well, in orthodox dogma. . . .

The sons of “Dark Wisdom,” though identical with the Archangels which Theology has chosen to call the “Fallen,” are as divine and as pure and more so than all the Michaels and Gabriels so glorified in the churches. . . . . Men evolving pari passu with the globe, and the latter having “incrustated” more than a hundred million of years before—the first human sub-race had already begun to materialize or solidify, so to say. But, as the Stanza has it: “the inner man (the conscious Entity) was not.” This “Conscious Entity” Occultism says, comes from, nay, in many cases is, the very entire essence and esse of the high Intelligences condemned, by the undeviating law of Karmic evolution, to reincarnate in this manvantara.

. . .

[On Generation, Reproduction and the Separation of the Sexes]

Man was not “created” the complete being he is now, however imperfect he still remains. There was a spiritual, a psychic, an intellectual, and an animal evolution, from the highest to the lowest, as well as a physical development—from the simple and homogeneous, up to the more complex and heterogeneous; though not quite on the lines traced for us by the modern evolutionists. This double evolution in two contrary directions, required various ages, of divers natures and degrees of spirituality and intellectuality, to fabricate the being now known as man. Furthermore, the one absolute, ever acting and never erring law, which proceeds on the same lines from one eternity (or Manvantara) to the other—ever furnishing an ascending scale for the manifested, or that which we call the great Illusion (Maha-Maya), but plunging Spirit deeper and deeper into materiality on the one hand, and then redeeming it through flesh and liberating it . . .

. . .

Worlds and men were in turn formed and destroyed, under the law of evolution and from pre-existing material, until both the planets and their men, in our case our Earth and its animal and human races, became what they are now in the present cycle: opposite polar forces, an equilibrized compound of Spirit and Matter, of the positive and the negative, of the male and the female. Before man could become male and female physically, his prototype, the creating Elohim, had to arrange his Form on this sexual plane astrally. . . . Therefore the First Root-race of men, sexless and mindless, . . . instead of dying, disappeared in the second race, as certain lower lives and plants do in their progeny. It was a wholesale transformation. The First became the Second Root-race, without either begetting it, procreating it, or dying.

. . .

Of the succession of Races, however, they [the Commentaries and Stanzas] say:

First come the SELF-EXISTENT on this Earth. They are the ‘Spiritual Lives’ projected by the absolute WILL and LAW, at the dawn of every rebirth of the worlds. These LIVES are the divine ‘Sishta,’ (the seed-Manus, or the Prajâpati and the Pitris).”

From these proceed—

1. The First Race, the “Self-born,” which are the (astral) shadows of their Progenitors. The body was devoid of all understanding (mind, intelligence, and will). The inner being (the higher self or Monad), though within the earthly frame, was unconnected with it. The link, the Manas, was not there as yet.

2. From the First (race) emanated the second, called the “Sweat-born” and the “Boneless.” This is the Second Root-Race, endowed by the preservers (Râkshasas) and the incarnating gods (Asuras and the Kumâras) with the first primitive and weak spark (the germ of intelligence) . . And from these in turn proceeds:

3. The Third Root-Race, the “Two-fold” (Androgynes). The first Races hereof are shells, till the last is “inhabited” (i.e., informed) by the Dhyanis.

The Second Race, as stated above, being also sexless, evolved out of itself, at its beginning, the Third Androgyne Race by an analogous, but already more complicated process. As described in the Commentary, the very earliest of that race were:

The ‘Sons of Passive Yoga.’ They issued from the second Manushyas (human race), and became oviparous. The emanations that came out of their bodies during the seasons of procreation were ovulary; the small spheroidal nuclei developing into a large soft, egg-like vehicle, gradually hardened, when, after a period of gestation, it broke and the young human animal issued from it unaided, as the fowls do in our race.”

. . .

The order of the evolution of the human Races stands thus in the Fifth Book of the Commentaries . . .:

The First men were Chhayas (1); the second, the “Sweat-born” (2); the Third, “Egg-born,” and the holy Fathers born by the power of Kriyasakti (3); the Fourth were the children of the Padmapani (Chenresi) (4).

Of course such primeval modes of procreation—by the evolution of one’s image, through drops of perspiration, after that by Yoga, and then by what people will regard as magic (Kriyasakti)—are doomed beforehand to be regarded as fairy-tales. Nevertheless, beginning with the first and ending with the last, there is really nothing miraculous in them, nor anything which could not be shown natural.

. . .

The tree has seven branches: three on the man’s side, four on that of the female. These branches are typical of the seven Root-Races, in the third of which, at its very close, occurred the separation of the sexes and the so-called fall into generation. The three earliest Races were sexless, then hermaphrodite; the other four, male and female, as distinct from each other.

. . .

Man’s organism was adapted in every race to its surroundings. The first Root-Race was as ethereal as ours is material.

. . .

The First Root-Race, the “Shadows” of the Progenitors, could not be injured, or destroyed by death. Being so ethereal and so little human in constitution, they could not be affected by any element—flood or fire. But their “Sons,” the Second Root-Race, could be and were so destroyed. As the “progenitors” merged wholly in their own astral bodies, which were their progeny; so that progeny was absorbed in its descendants, the “Sweat-born.” These were the second Humanity—composed of the most heterogeneous gigantic semi-human monsters—the first attempts of material nature at building human bodies. . . .

. . .

What will be most contested by scientific authorities is this a-sexual Race, the Second, the fathers of the “Sweat-born” so-called, and perhaps still more the Third Race, the “Egg-born” androgynes. These two modes of procreation are the most difficult to comprehend, especially for the Western mind. It is evident that no explanation can be attempted for those who are not students of Occult metaphysics. European language has no words to express things which Nature repeats no more at this stage of evolution, things which therefore can have no meaning for the materialist. But there are analogies. It is not denied that in the beginning of physical evolution there must have been processes in Nature, spontaneous generation, for instance, now extinct, which are repeated in other forms. . . . How could these Chhayas reproduce themselves . . . viz., procreate the Second Race, since they were ethereal, a-sexual, and even devoid, as yet, of the vehicle of desire, or Kama Rupa, which evolved only in the Third Race? They evolved the Second Race unconsciously, as do some plants. Or, perhaps, as the Amœba, only on a more ethereal, impressive, and larger scale. If, indeed, the cell-theory applies equally to Botany and Zoology, and extends to Morphology, as well as to the Physiology of organisms, and if the microscopic cells are looked upon by physical science as independent living beings—just as Occultism regards the “fiery lives”—there is no difficulty in the conception of the primitive process of procreation.

Consider the first stages of the development of a germ-cell. Its nucleus grows, changes, and forms a double cone or spindle, thus,  within the cell. This spindle approaches the surface of the cell, and one half of it is extruded in the form of what are called the “polar cells.” These polar cells now die, and the embryo develops from the growth and segmentation of the remaining part of the nucleus which is nourished by the substance of the cell. Then why could not beings have lived thus, and been created in this way—at the very beginning of human and mammalian evolution?

This may, perhaps, serve as an analogy to give some idea of the process by which the Second Race was formed from the First.

The astral form clothing the Monad was surrounded, as it still is, by its egg-shaped sphere of aura, which here corresponds to the substance of the germ-cell or ovum. The astral form itself is the nucleus, now, as then, instinct with the principle of life.

When the season of reproduction arrives, the sub-astral “extrudes” a miniature of itself from the egg of surrounding aura. This germ grows and feeds on the aura till it becomes fully developed, when it gradually separates from its parent, carrying with it its own sphere of aura; just as we see living cells reproducing their like by growth and subsequent division into two.

The analogy with the “polar cells” would seem to hold good, since their death would now correspond to the change introduced by the separation of the sexes, when gestation in utero, i.e., within the cell, became the rule.

The early Second (Root) Race were the Fathers of the ‘Sweat-born’; the later Second (Root) Race were ‘Sweat-born’ themselves.”

This passage from the Commentary refers to the work of evolution from the beginning of a Race to its close. . . . The process of reproduction had seven stages also in each Race, each covering æons of time. . . .

Primeval human hermaphrodites are a fact in Nature well known to the ancients, and form one of Darwin’s greatest perplexities. Yet there is certainly no impossibility, but, on the contrary, a great probability that hermaphroditism existed in the evolution of the early races; while on the grounds of analogy, and on that of the existence of one universal law in physical evolution, acting indifferently in the construction of plant, animal, and man, it must be so. The mistaken theories of mono-genesis, and the descent of man from the mammals instead of the reverse, are fatal to the completeness of evolution as taught in modern schools on Darwinian lines, and they will have to be abandoned in view of the insuperable difficulties which they encounter. Occult tradition—if the terms Science and Knowledge are denied in this particular to antiquity—can alone reconcile the inconsistencies and fill the gap.

. . .

The old (primitive) Race merged in the second race, and became one with it. This is the mysterious process of transformation and evolution of mankind. The material of the first forms—shadowy, ethereal, and negative—was drawn or absorbed into, and thus became the complement of the forms of the Second Race. The Commentary explains this by saying that, as the First Race was simply composed of the astral shadows of the creative progenitors, having of course neither astral nor physical bodies of their own—this Race never died. Its “men” melted gradually away, becoming absorbed in the bodies of their own “sweat-born” progeny, more solid than their own. The old form vanished and was absorbed by, disappeared in, the new form, more human and physical. There was no death in those days of a period more blissful than the Golden Age; but the first, or parent material was used for the formation of the new being, to form the body and even the inner or lower principles or bodies of the progeny.

. . .

The First Race having created the Second by “budding,” as just explained, the Second Race gives birth to the Third—which itself is separated into three distinct divisions, consisting of men differently procreated. The first two of these are produced by an oviparous method, presumably unknown to modern Natural History. While the early sub-races of the Third Humanity procreated their species by a kind of exudation of moisture or vital fluid, the drops of which coalescing formed an oviform ball—or shall we say egg?—which served as an extraneous vehicle for the generation therein of a fœtus and child, the mode of procreation by the later races changed, in its results at all events. The little ones of the earlier races were entirely sexless—shapeless even for all one knows; but those of the later races were born androgynous. It is in the Third Race that the separation of sexes occurred. From being previously a-sexual, Humanity became distinctly hermaphrodite or bi-sexual; and finally the man-bearing eggs began to give birth, gradually and almost imperceptibly in their evolutionary development, first, to Beings in which one sex predominated over the other, and, finally, to distinct men and women.

. . .

To return, however, once more to the history of the Third Race, the “Sweat-Born,” the “Egg-bearing,” and the “Androgyne.” Almost sexless, in its early beginnings, it became bisexual or androgynous; very gradually of course. The passage from the former to the latter transformation required numberless generations, during which the simple cell that issued from the earliest parent (the two in one), first developed into a bisexual being; and then the cell, becoming a regular egg, gave forth a unisexual creature. The Third-Race-mankind is the most mysterious of all the hitherto developed five Races. The mystery of the “How” of the generation of the distinct sexes must, of course, be very obscure here, as it is the business of an embryologist and a specialist, the present work giving only faint outlines of the process. But it is evident that the units of the Third Race humanity began to separate in their pre-natal shells, or eggs, and to issue out of them as distinct male and female babes, ages after the appearance of its early progenitors. And, as time rolled on its geological periods, the newly born sub-races began to lose their natal capacities. Toward the end of the fourth sub-race, the babe lost its faculty of walking as soon as liberated from its shell, and by the end of the fifth, mankind was born under the same conditions and by the same identical process as our historical generations. This required, of course, millions of years.

. . .

[On Humans and Animals]

The Occult doctrine maintains that, in this Round, the mammalians were a later work of evolution than man.

. . .

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. . . .

Our teachings show that, while it is quite correct to say that nature had built, at one time, around the human astral form an ape-like external shape, yet it is as correct that this shape was no more that of the “missing link,” than were the coverings of that astral form, during the course of its natural evolution through all the kingdoms of nature. Nor was it, as shown in the proper place, on this Fourth Round planet that such evolution took place, but only during the First, Second, and Third Rounds, when man was, in turn, “a stone, a plant, and an animal” until he became what he was in the First Root-Race of present humanity. The real line of evolution differs from the Darwinian, and the two systems are irreconcilable, except when the latter is divorced from the dogma of “Natural Selection” and the like.

. . .

The animals—the creeping beasts and those in the waters that preceded man in this Fourth Round, as well as those contemporary with the Third Race, and again the mammalia that are posterior to the Third and Fourth Races—all are either directly or indirectly the mutual and correlative product (physically) of man. It is correct to say that the man of this Manvantara, i.e., during the three preceding Rounds, has passed through all the kingdoms of nature. That he was “a stone, a plant, an animal.” But (a) these stones, plants, and animals were the prototypes, the filmy presentments of those of the Fourth Round; and (b) even those at the beginning of the Fourth Round were the astral shadows of the present, as the Occultists express it. And finally the forms and genera of neither man, animal, nor plant were what they became later. Thus the astral prototypes of the lower beings of the animal kingdom of the Fourth Round, which preceded (the chhayas of) Men, were the consolidated, though still very ethereal sheaths of the still more ethereal forms or models produced at the close of the Third Round on Globe D. “Produced from the residue of the substance matter; from dead bodies of men and (other extinct) animals of the wheel before,” or the previous Third Round—as Stanza 24 tells us. Hence, while the nondescript “animals” that preceded the astral man at the beginning of this life-cycle on our Earth were still, so to speak, the progeny of the man of the Third Round, the mammalians of this Round owe their existence, in a great measure, to man again. Moreover, the “ancestor” of the present anthropoid animal, the ape, is the direct production of the yet mindless Man, who desecrated his human dignity by putting himself physically on the level of an animal.

. . .

Having been in all the so-called “Seven creations,” allegorizing the seven evolutionary changes, or the sub-races, we may call them, of the First Root-race of Mankind—man was on earth in this Round from the beginning. Having passed through all the kingdoms of nature in the previous three Rounds, his physical frame—one adapted to the thermal conditions of those early periods—was ready to receive the divine Pilgrim at the first dawn of human life, i.e., 18,000,000 years ago. It is only at the mid-point of the 3rd Root Race that man was endowed with Manas. Once united, the two and then the three made one; for though the lower animals, from the amœba to man, received their monads, in which all the higher qualities are potential, all have to remain dormant till each reaches its human form, before which stage manas (mind) has no development in them. In the animals every principle is paralysed, and in a fœtus-like state, save the second (vital) and the third (the astral), and the rudiments of the fourth (Kama, which is desire, instinct) whose intensity and development varies and changes with the species. To the materialist wedded to the Darwinian theory, this will read like a fairy-tale, a mystification; to the believer in the inner, spiritual man, the statement will have nothing unnatural in it.

. . .

The ape we know is not the product of natural evolution but an accident, a cross-breed between an animal being, or form, and man. As has been shown in the present volume (anthropogenesis), it is the speechless animal that first started sexual connection, having been the first to separate into males and females. Nor was it intended by Nature that man should follow the bestial example—as shown by the comparatively painless procreation of their species by the animals, and the terrible suffering and danger of the same in the woman. The Ape is, indeed, as remarked in Isis Unveiled (Vol. II. 278) “a transformation of species most directly connected with that of the human family—a hybrid branch engrafted on their own stock before the final perfection of the latter”—or man. The apes are millions of years later than the speaking human being, and are the latest contemporaries of our Fifth Race. Thus, it is most important to remember that the Egos of the apes are entities compelled by their Karma to incarnate in the animal forms, which resulted from the bestiality of the latest Third and the earliest Fourth Race men. They are entities who had already reached the “human stage” before this Round. Consequently, they form an exception to the general rule. The numberless traditions about Satyrs are no fables, but represent an extinct race of animal men. The animal “Eves” were their foremothers, and the human “Adams” their forefathers; hence the Kabalistic allegory of Lilith or Lilatu, Adam’s first wife, whom the Talmud describes as a charming woman, with long wavy hair, i.e.—a female hairy animal of a character now unknown, still a female animal, who in the Kabalistic and Talmudic allegories is called the female reflection of Samael, Samael-Lilith, or man-animal united, a being called Hayo Bischat, the Beast or Evil Beast (Zohar). It is from this unnatural union that the present apes descended.

The latter are truly “speechless men,” and will become speaking animals (or men of a lower order) in the Fifth Round, while the adepts of a certain school hope that some of the Egos of the apes of a higher intelligence will reappear at the close of the Sixth Root-race. What their form will be is of secondary consideration. The form means nothing. Species and genera of the flora, fauna, and the highest animal, its crown—man, change and vary according to the environments and climatic variations, not only with every Round, but every Root-Race likewise, as well as after every geological cataclysm that puts an end to, or produces a turning point in the latter. In the Sixth Root-Race the fossils of the Orang, the Gorilla and the Chimpanzee will be those of extinct quadrumanous mammals; and new forms—though fewer and ever wider apart as ages pass on and the close of the Manvantara approaches—will develop from the “cast off” types of the human races as they revert once again to astral, out of the mire of physical, life. There were none before man, and they will be extinct before the Seventh Race develops. Karma will lead on the monads of the unprogressed men of our race and lodge them in the newly evolved human frames of the thus physiologically regenerated baboon. This will take place, of course, millions of years hence. But the picture of this cyclic precession of all that lives and breathes now on earth, of each species in its turn, is a true one, and needs no “special creation” or miraculous formation of man, beast, and plant ex nihilo.

This is how Occult Science explains the absence of any link between ape and man, and shows the former evolving from the latter.

. . .

It may be complained by some that too little is said of the physical, human side of the extinct races, in this history of their growth and evolution. Much more might be said assuredly, if simple prudence did not make us hesitate at the threshold of every new revelation. . . .

But even such statements as these—e.g., that of all the mammalians, man was the earliest; that it is man who is the indirect ancestor of the Ape; and that he was a kind of a Cyclops in days of old—will all be contested. Yet, scientists will never be able to prove—except to their own satisfaction—that it was not so. Nor can they admit that the first two races of men were too ethereal and phantom-like in their constitution, organism, and shape, even to be called physical men. For, if they do, it will be found that this is one of the reasons why their relics can never be expected to be exhumed among other fossils.

. . .

[On the Races and Elements, Senses, Faculties, etc.]

The first Race had three rudimentary elements in it; and no fire as yet; because, with the Ancients, the evolution of man, and the growth and development of his spiritual and physical senses, were subordinate to the evolution of the elements on the Cosmic plane of this Earth. . . .

The following order on parallel lines may be found in the evolution of the Elements and the Senses; or in Cosmic terrestrial “man” or “Spirit,” and mortal physical man:

1.

Ether . . .

Hearing . . .

Sound.

2.

Air . . .

Touch . . .

Sound and Touch.

3.

Fire, or Light . . .

Sight . . .

Sound, Touch and Colour.

4.

Water . . .

Taste . . .

Sound, Touch, Colour and Taste.

5.

Earth . . .

Smell . . .

Sound, Touch, Colour, Taste and Smell.

As seen, each Element adds to its own characteristics, those of its predecessor; as each Root-Race adds the characterizing sense of the preceding Race. The same is true in the septenary creation of man, who evolves gradually in seven stages, and on the same principles, as will be shown further on.

. . .

The humanities developed coördinately, and on parallel lines with the four Elements, every new Race being physiologically adapted to meet the additional element. Our Fifth Race is rapidly approaching the Fifth Element—call it interstellar ether, if you will—which has more to do, however, with psychology than with physics. We men have learned to live in every climate, whether frigid or tropical, but the first two Races had nought to do with climate, nor were they subservient to any temperature or change therein. And thus, we are taught, men lived down to the close of the Third Root-Race, when eternal spring reigned over the whole globe . . .

. . .

In the beginning, every class and family of living species was hermaphrodite and objectively one-eyed. In the animal, whose form was as ethereal (astrally) as that of man, before the bodies of both began to evolve their coats of skin, viz., to evolve from within without the thick coating of physical substance or matter with its internal physiological mechanism—the third eye was primarily, as in man, the only seeing organ. The two physical front eyes developed later on in both brute and man, whose organ of physical sight was, at the commencement of the Third Race, in the same position as that of some of the blind vertebrata, in our day, i.e., beneath an opaque skin. Only the stages of the odd, or primeval eye, in man and brute, are now inverted, as the former has already passed that animal non-rational stage in the Third Round, and is ahead of mere brute creation by a whole plane of consciousness. Therefore, while the “Cyclopean” eye was, and still is, in man the organ of spiritual sight, in the animal it was that of objective vision. And this eye, having performed its function, was replaced, in the course of physical evolution from the simple to the complex, by two eyes, and thus was stored and laid aside by nature for further use in Æons to come.

. . .

[On Races and Color/Complexion]

Strictly speaking, esoteric philosophy teaches a modified polygenesis. For, while it assigns to humanity a oneness of origin, in so far that its forefathers or “Creators” were all divine beings—though of different classes or degrees of perfection in their hierarchy—men were nevertheless born on seven different centres of the continent of that period. Though all of one common origin, yet for reasons given their potentialities and mental capabilities, outward or physical forms, and future characteristics, were very different. As to their complexions [colors] . . . [there are] four great divisions of the human races, as regards complexion and type—and three chief variations of these.

Esotericism now classes these seven variations, with their four great divisions, into only three distinct primeval races—as it does not take into consideration the First Race, which had neither type nor colour, and hardly an objective, though colossal form. The evolution of these races, their formation and development, went pari passu and on parallel lines with the evolution, formation, and development of three geological strata, from which the human complexion was as much derived as it was determined by the climates of those zones. It names three great divisions, namely, the red-yellow, the black, and the brown-white. The Aryan races, for instance, now varying from dark brown, almost black, red-brown-yellow, down to the whitest creamy colour, are yet all of one and the same stock—the Fifth Root-Race—and spring from one single progenitor, called in Hindu exotericism by the generic name of Vaivasvata Manu: the latter, remember, being that generic personage, the Sage, who is said to have lived over 18,000,000 years ago, and also 850,000 years ago—at the time of the sinking of the last remnants of the great continent of Atlantis, and who is said to live even now in his mankind.

The light yellow is the colour of the first solid human race, which appeared after the middle of the Third Root Race (after its fall into generation—as just explained), bringing on the final changes. For, it is only at that period that the last transformation took place, which brought forth man as he is now, only on a magnified scale. This Race gave birth to the Fourth Race; “Siva” gradually transforming that portion of Humanity which became “black with sin” into red-yellow (the red Indians and the Mongolians being the descendants of these) and finally into Brown-white races—which now, together with the yellow Races, form the great bulk of Humanity. . . .

. . .

They “of the yellow hue” are the forefathers of those whom Ethnology now classes as the Turanians, the Mongols, Chinese and other ancient nations; and the land they fled to [during the Atlantean deluge] was no other than Central Asia. There entire new races were born; there they lived and died until the separation of the nations. . . . Nearly two-thirds of one million years have elapsed since that period. The yellow-faced giants of the post-Atlantean day, had ample time, throughout this forced confinement to one part of the world, and with the same racial blood and without any fresh infusion or admixture in it, to branch off during a period of nearly 700,000 years into the most heterogeneous and diversified types. The same is shown in Africa; nowhere does a more extraordinary variability of types exist, from black to almost white, from gigantic men to dwarfish races; and this only because of their forced isolation. The Africans have never left their continent for several hundred thousands of years. If tomorrow the continent of Europe were to disappear and other lands to re-emerge instead; and if the African tribes were to separate and scatter on the face of the earth, it is they who, in about a hundred thousand years hence, would form the bulk of the civilized nations. And it is the descendants of those of our highly cultured nations, who might have survived on some one island, without any means of crossing the new seas, that would fall back into a state of relative savagery. Thus the reason given for dividing humanity into superior and inferior races falls to the ground and becomes a fallacy.

. . .

[On the Development of Language]

The Commentaries explain that the first Race—the ethereal or astral Sons of Yoga, also called “Self-born”—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, on the cry of gigantic insects and of the first animals, which, however, were hardly nascent in the day of the “Sweat-born” (the early Third Race). In its second half, when the “Sweat-born” gave birth to the “Egg-born,” (the middle Third Race); and when these, instead of “hatching out” (may the reader pardon the rather ridiculous expression when applied to human beings in our age) as androgynous beings, began to evolve into separate males and females; and when the same law of evolution led them 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 still no better than a tentative effort. The whole human race was at that time of “one language and of one lip.” This did not prevent the last two Sub-Races of the Third Race from building cities, and sowing far and wide the first seeds of civilization under the guidance of their divine instructors, and their own already awakened minds. Let the reader also bear in mind that, as each of the seven races is divided into four ages—the Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Iron Age—so is every smallest division of such races. Speech then developed, according to occult teaching, in the following order:

I. 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,” though, with the exception of the Race called the “Sons of Will and Yoga”—the first in whom the “Sons of Wisdom” had incarnated—thought was but very little developed in nascent physical man, and never soared above a low terrestrial level. Their physical bodies belonging to the Earth, their Monads remained on a higher plane altogether. Language could not be well developed before the full acquisition and development of their reasoning faculties. This monosyllabic speech was the vowel parent, so to speak, of the monosyllabic languages mixed with hard consonants, still in use amongst the yellow races which are known to the anthropologist.

II. 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 Atlantean races—that language, which is referred to as “Râkshasi Bhasa,” in old Sanskrit works—decayed and almost died out. While the “cream” of the Fourth Race gravitated more and more toward the apex of physical and intellectual evolution, thus leaving as an heirloom to the nascent Fifth (the Aryan) Race the inflectional, highly developed languages, the agglutinative decayed and remained as a fragmentary fossil idiom, scattered now, and nearly limited to the aboriginal tribes of America.

III. 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). At any rate, the “Semitic” languages are the bastard descendants of the first phonetic corruptions of the eldest children of the early Sanskrit.

. . .

[On the Development of Religion]

It is the Third Race and the gigantic Atlanteans, the memory of whom lingered from one generation and race to another generation and race down to the days of Moses, and which found an objective form in those antediluvian giants, those terrible sorcerers and magicians, of whom the Roman Church has preserved such vivid and at the same time distorted legends. One who has read and studied the Commentaries on the archaic doctrine, will easily recognise in some Atlanteans, the prototypes of the Nimrods, the Builders of the Tower of Babel, the Hamites, and all these tutti quanti of “accursed memory,” as theological literature expresses it: of those, in short, who have furnished posterity with the orthodox types of Satan. And this leads us naturally to inquire into the religious ethics of these early races, mythical as these may be.

What was the religion of the Third and Fourth Races? In the common acceptation of the term, neither the Lemurians, nor yet their progeny, the Lemuro-Atlanteans, had any, as they knew no dogma, nor had they to believe on faith. No sooner had the mental eye of man been opened to understanding, than the Third Race felt itself one with the ever-present as the ever to be unknown and invisible all, the One Universal Deity. Endowed with divine powers, and feeling in himself his inner God, each felt he was a Man-God in his nature, though an animal in his physical Self. The struggle between the two began from the very day they tasted of the fruit of the Tree of Wisdom; a struggle for life between the spiritual and the psychic, the psychic and the physical. Those who conquered the lower principles by obtaining mastery over the body, joined the “Sons of Light.” Those who fell victims to their lower natures, became the slaves of Matter. From “Sons of Light and Wisdom” they ended by becoming the “Sons of Darkness.” They had fallen in the battle of mortal life with Life immortal, and all those so fallen became the seed of the future generations of Atlanteans.

At the dawn of his consciousness, the man of the Third Root Race had thus no beliefs that could be called religion. That is to say, he was equally as ignorant of “gay religions, full of pomp and gold” as of any system of faith or outward worship. But if the term is to be defined as the binding together of the masses in one form of reverence paid to those we feel higher than ourselves, of piety—as a feeling expressed by a child toward a loved parent—then even the earliest Lemurians had a religion—and a most beautiful one—from the very beginning of their intellectual life. . . .

It was the “Golden Age” in those days of old, the age when the “gods walked the earth, and mixed freely with the mortals.” Since then, the gods departed (i.e., became invisible), and later generations ended by worshipping their kingdoms—the Elements.

It was the Atlanteans, the first progeny of semi-divine man after his separation into sexes—hence the first-begotten and humanly-born mortals—who became the first “Sacrificers” to the god of matter. They stand in the far-away dim past, in ages more than prehistoric, as the prototype on which the great symbol of Cain was built, as the first anthropomorphists who worshipped form and matter. That worship degenerated very soon into self-worship, thence led to phallicism, or that which reigns supreme to this day in the symbolisms of every exoteric religion of ritual, dogma, and form. . . .

Thus the first Atlantean races, born on the Lemurian Continent, separated from their earliest tribes into the righteous and the unrighteous; into those who worshipped the one unseen Spirit of Nature, the ray of which man feels within himself—or the Pantheists, and those who offered fanatical worship to the Spirits of the Earth, the dark Cosmic, anthropomorphic Powers, with whom they made alliance. . . .

Such was the secret and mysterious origin of all the subsequent and modern religions, especially of the worship of the later Hebrews for their tribal god. At the same time this sexual religion was closely allied to, based upon and blended, so to say, with astronomical phenomena. The Lemurians gravitated toward the North Pole, or the Heaven of their Progenitors (the Hyperborean Continent); the Atlanteans, toward the Southern Pole, the pit, cosmically and terrestrially—whence breathe the hot passions blown into hurricanes by the cosmic Elementals, whose abode it is. The two poles were denominated, by the ancients, Dragons and Serpents—hence good and bad Dragons and Serpents, and also the names given to the “Sons of God” (Sons of Spirit and Matter): the good and bad Magicians. This is the origin of this dual and triple nature in man. The legend of the “Fallen Angels” in its esoteric signification, contains the key to the manifold contradictions of human character; it points to the secret of man’s self-consciousness; it is the angle-iron on which hinges his entire life-cycle;—the history of his evolution and growth.

On a firm grasp of this doctrine depends the correct understanding of esoteric anthropogenesis. It gives a clue to the vexed question of the Origin of Evil; and shows how man himself is the separator of the One into various contrasted aspects. . . .

The “Fallen Angels,” so-called, are Humanity itself. The Demon of Pride, Lust, Rebellion, and Hatred, has never had any being before the appearance of physical conscious man. It is man who has begotten, nurtured, and allowed the fiend to develop in his heart; he, again, who has contaminated the indwelling god in himself, by linking the pure spirit with the impure demon of matter.

. . .

With the Fourth Race we reach the purely human period. Those who were hitherto semi-divine Beings, self-imprisoned in bodies which were human only in appearance, became physiologically changed and took unto themselves wives who were entirely human and fair to look at, but in whom lower, more material, though sidereal, beings had incarnated. These beings in female forms (Lilith is the prototype of these in the Jewish traditions) are called in the esoteric accounts “Khado” (Dâkini, in Sanskrit). Allegorical legends call the chief of these Liliths, Sangye Khado, (Buddha Dâkini, in Sanskrit); all are credited with the art of “walking in the air,” and the greatest kindness to mortals; but no mind—only animal instinct.

This is the beginning of a worship which, ages later, was doomed to degenerate into phallicism and sexual worship. It began by the worship of the human body—that “miracle of miracles,” as an English author calls it—and ended by that of its respective sexes. The worshippers were giants in stature; but they were giants in knowledge and learning, though it came to them more easily than it does to the men of our modern times. Their Science was innate in them. The Lemuro-Atlantean had no need of discovering and fixing in his memory that which his informing Principle knew at the moment of its incarnation. Time alone, and the ever-growing obtuseness of the matter in which the Principles had clothed themselves, could, the one, weaken the memory of their pre-natal knowledge, the other, blunt and even extinguish every spark of the spiritual and divine in them. Therefore had they, from the first, fallen victims to their animal natures and bred “monsters”—i.e., men of distinct varieties from themselves.

. . .

The chief gods and heroes of the Fourth and Fifth Races, as of later antiquity, are the deified images of these men of the Third. The days of their physiological purity, and those of their so-called Fall, have equally survived in the hearts and memories of their descendants. Hence, the dual nature shown in those gods, both virtue and sin being exalted to their highest degree, in the biographies composed by posterity.

. . .

[On the later Lemurians and Early Atlanteans]

As the History of the first two human races—the last of the Lemurians and the first of the future Atlanteans—proceeds, we have at this point to blend the two, and speak of them for a time collectively. . . .

Under the guidance of their divine Rulers, [the later Lemurians] built large cities, cultivated arts and sciences, and knew astronomy, architecture and mathematics to perfection. This primeval civilization did not, as one may think, immediately follow their physiological transformation. Between the final evolution and the first city built, many hundred thousands of years had passed. Yet, we find the Lemurians in their sixth sub-race building their first rock-cities out of stone and lava. One of such great cities of primitive structure was built entirely of lava, some thirty miles west from where Easter Island now stretches its narrow piece of sterile ground, and was entirely destroyed by a series of volcanic eruptions. The oldest remains of Cyclopean buildings were all the handiwork of the Lemurians of the last sub-races; and an occultist shows, therefore, no wonder on learning that the stone relics found on the small piece of land called Easter Island by Captain Cook, are “very much like the walls of the Temple of Pachacamac or the Ruins of Tia-Huanuco in Peru”; and that they are in the Cyclopean style. The first large cities, however, appeared on that region of the continent which is now known as the island of Madagascar. . . .

. . .

“Behold,” writes a master, “the relics of that once great nation (Lemuria of the Third Race) in some of the flat-headed aborigines of your Australia” (“Esoteric Buddhism,” p. 65). But they belong to the last remnants of the Seventh Sub-race of the Third. . . .

It is to this period that we have to look for the first appearance of the Ancestors of those, who are termed by us the most ancient peoples of the world—now called respectively the Aryan Hindus, the Egyptians, and the oldest Persians, on the one hand, and the Chaldees and Phœnicians on the other. These were governed by the divine dynasties, i.e., kings and rulers who had of mortal man only his physical appearance as it was then, but who were Beings from spheres higher and more celestial than our own sphere will be, long Manvantaras hence

. . .

They (the Atlanteans) built great images, nine yatis high (27 feet)the size of their bodies . . .

It is well worth noticing that most of the gigantic statues discovered on Easter Island, a portion of an undeniably submerged continent—as also those found on the outskirts of Gobi, a region which had been submerged for untold ages—are all between 20 and 30 feet high. The statues found by Cook on Easter Island measured almost all twenty-seven feet in height, and eight feet across the shoulders. . . .

We are told that it is after the destruction of “Lemuria” by subterranean fires that men went on steadily decreasing in stature—a process already commenced after their physical Fall—and that finally, some millions of years after, they reached between six and seven feet, and are now dwindling down (as the older Asiatic races) to nearer five than six feet. As Pickering shows, there is in the Malay race (a sub-race of the Fourth Root Race) a singular diversity of stature; the members of the Polynesian family (Tahitians, Samoans, and Tonga islanders) are of a higher stature than the rest of mankind; but the Indian tribes and the inhabitants of the Indo-Chinese countries are decidedly below the general average. This is easily explained. The Polynesians belong to the very earliest of the surviving sub-races, the others to the very last and transitory stock.

. . .

Gradually, mankind went down in stature, for, even before the real advent of the Fourth or Atlantean race, the majority of mankind had fallen into iniquity and sin, save the hierarchy of the “Elect,” the followers and disciples of the “Sons of Will and Yoga”—called later the “Sons of the Fire Mist.”

Then came the Atlanteans; the giants whose physical beauty and strength reached their climax, in accordance with evolutionary law, toward the middle period of their fourth sub-race.

[On the Atlanteans]

The archaic commentaries explain, as the reader must remember, that, of the Host of Dhyanis, whose turn it was to incarnate as the Egos of the immortal, but, on this plane, senseless monads—that some “obeyed” (the law of evolution) immediately when the men of the Third Race became physiologically and physically ready, i.e., when they had separated into sexes. These were those early conscious Beings who, now adding conscious knowledge and will to their inherent Divine purity, created by Kriyasakti the semi-Divine man, who became the seed on earth for future adepts. Those, on the other hand, who, jealous of their intellectual freedom (unfettered as it then was by the bonds of matter), said: “We can choose . . . we have wisdom,” and incarnated far later—these had their first Karmic punishment prepared for them. They got bodies (physiologically) inferior to their astral models, because their chhayas had belonged to progenitors of an inferior degree in the seven classes. As to those “Sons of Wisdom” who had “deferred” their incarnation till the Fourth Race, which was already tainted (physiologically) with sin and impurity, they produced a terrible cause, the Karmic result of which weighs on them to this day. It was produced in themselves, and they became the carriers of that seed of iniquity for æons to come, because the bodies they had to inform had become defiled through their own procrastination.

. . .

The “Lemurians” and the Atlanteans, “those children of Heaven and Earth,” were indeed marked with a character of sorcery; for the Esoteric doctrine charges them precisely with that, which, if believed, would put an end to the difficulties of science with regard to the origin of man, or rather, his anatomical similarities to the Anthropoid Ape. It accuses them of having committed the (to us) abominable crime of breeding with so-called “animals,” and thus producing a truly pithecoid species, now extinct. Of course, as in the question of spontaneous generation—in which Esoteric Science believes, and which it teaches—the possibility of such a cross-breed between man and an animal of any kind will be denied. But apart from the consideration that in those early days, as already remarked, neither the human Atlantean giants, nor yet the “animals,” were the physiologically perfect men and mammalians that are now known to us, the modern notions upon this subject—those of the physiologists included—are too uncertain and fluctuating to permit them an absolute denial a priori of such a fact.

A careful perusal of the Commentaries would make one think that the Being that the new “incarnate” bred with, was called an “animal,” not because he was no human being, but rather because he was so dissimilar physically and mentally to the more perfect races, which had developed physiologically at an earlier period. Remember Stanza VII. and what is said in its first verse (24th): that when the “Sons of Wisdom” came to incarnate the first time, some of them incarnated fully, others projected into the forms only a spark, while some of the shadows were left over from being filled and perfected, till the Fourth Race. Those races, then, which “remained destitute of knowledge,” or those again which were left “mindless,” remained as they were, even after the natural separation of the sexes. It is these who committed the first cross-breeding, so to speak, and bred monsters; and it is from the descendants of these that the Atlanteans chose their wives.

. . .

An indication that, during its evolution and before the final adjustment of the human organism—which became perfect and symmetrical only in the Fifth Race—the early Fourth Race may have been three-eyed, without having necessarily a third eye in the middle of the brow, like the legendary Cyclops, is also furnished by Science.

To the Occultists who believe that spiritual and psychic involution proceeds on parallel lines with physical evolution; that the inner senses—innate in the first human races—atrophied during racial growth and the material development of the outer senses; to the student of Esoteric symbology, finally, this statement is no conjecture or possibility, but simply a phase of the law of growth, a proven fact, in short. They understand the meaning of this passage in the Commentaries which says:

There were four-armed human creatures in those early days of the male-females (hermaphrodites); with one head, yet three eyes. They could see before them and behind themA Kalpa later (after the separation of the sexes) men having fallen into matter, their spiritual vision became dim; and coördinately the third eye commenced to lose its power. . . . When the Fourth (Race) arrived at its middle age, the inner vision had to be awakened, and acquired by artificial stimuli, the process of which was known to the old sages. . . . The third eye, likewise, getting gradually petrifiedsoon disappeared. The double-faced became the one-faced, and the eye was drawn deep into the head and is now buried under the hair. During the activity of the inner man (during trances and spiritual visions) the eye swells and expands. The Arhat sees and feels it, and regulates his action accordingly. . . .

The “deva-eye” exists no more for the majority of mankind. The third eye is dead, and acts no longer; but it has left behind a witness to its existence. This witness is now the pineal gland.

. . .

The “eye of Siva” did not become entirely atrophied before the close of the Fourth Race. When spirituality and all the divine powers and attributes of the deva-man of the Third had been made the hand-maidens of the newly-awakened physiological and psychic passions of the physical man, instead of the reverse, the eye lost its powers. But such was the law of Evolution, and it was, in strict accuracy, no fall. The sin was not in using those newly-developed powers, but in misusing them; in making of the tabernacle, designed to contain a god, the fane of every spiritual iniquity. And if we say “sin” it is merely that everyone should understand our meaning; as the term Karma would be the right one to use in this case; while the reader who would feel perplexed at the use of the term “spiritual” instead of “physical” iniquity, is reminded of the fact that there can be no physical iniquity. The body is simply the irresponsible organ, the tool of the psychic, if not of the “Spiritual man.” While in the case of the Atlanteans, it was precisely the Spiritual being which sinned, the Spirit element being still the “Master” principle in man, in those days. Thus it is in those days that the heaviest Karma of the Fifth Race was generated by our Monads.

. . .

The possession of a physical third eye, we are told, was enjoyed by the men of the Third Root-Race down to nearly the middle period of Third Sub-race of the Fourth Root-Race, when the consolidation and perfection of the human frame made it disappear from the outward anatomy of man. Psychically and spiritually, however, its mental and visual perceptions lasted till nearly the end of the Fourth Race, when its functions, owing to the materiality and depraved condition of mankind, died out altogether before the submersion of the bulk of the Atlantean continent.

. . .

The secret teachings show that the “Deluge” overtook the Fourth, giant Race, not on account of their depravity, or because they had become “black with sin,” but simply because such is the fate of every continent, which—like everything else under our Sun—is born, lives, becomes decrepit, and dies. This was when the Fifth Race was in its infancy.

Thus the giants perished—the magicians and the sorcerers, adds the fancy of popular tradition, but “all holy saved,” and alone the “unholy were destroyed.” This was due, however, as much to the prevision of the “holy” ones, who had not lost the use of their “third eye,” as to Karma and natural law. Speaking of the subsequent race (our Fifth Humanity), the commentary says:

Alone the handful of those Elect, whose divine instructors had gone to inhabit that Sacred Island—‘from whence the last Saviour will come’—now kept mankind from becoming one-half the exterminator of the other [as mankind does now—H.P.B.]. It (mankind) became divided. Two-thirds of it were ruled by Dynasties of lower, material Spirits of the earth, who took possession of the easily accessible bodies; one-third remained faithful, and joined with the nascent Fifth Race—the divine Incarnates. When the Poles moved (for the fourth time) this did not affect those who were protected, and who had separated from the Fourth Race. Like the Lemurians—alone the ungodly Atlanteans perished, and ‘were seen no more.’ . . . .”

. . .

The curse was not brought on mankind by the Fourth Race, for the comparatively sinless Third Race, the still more gigantic Antediluvians, had perished in the same way; hence the Deluge was no punishment, but simply a result of a periodical and geological law. Nor was the curse of Karma called down upon them for seeking natural union, as all the mindless animal-world does in its proper seasons; but, for abusing the creative power, for desecrating the divine gift, and wasting the life-essence for no purpose except bestial personal gratification. . . .

In the beginning, conception was as easy for woman as it was for all animal creation. Nature had never intended that woman should bring forth her young ones “in sorrow.” Since that period, however, during the evolution of the Fourth Race, there came enmity between its seed, and the “Serpent’s” seed, the seed or product of Karma and divine wisdom. For the seed of woman or lust, bruised the head of the seed of the fruit of wisdom and knowledge, by turning the holy mystery of procreation into animal gratification; hence the law of Karma “bruised the heel” of the Atlantean race, by gradually changing physiologically, morally, physically, and mentally, the whole nature of the Fourth Race of mankind, until, from the healthy King of animal creation of the Third Race, man became in the Fifth, our race, a helpless, scrofulous being, and has now become the wealthiest heir on the globe to constitutional and hereditary diseases, the most consciously and intelligently bestial of all animals!

This is the real curse from the physiological standpoint . . . Viewed from this aspect, the curse is undeniable, for it is evident. The intellectual evolution, in its progress hand-in-hand with the physical, has certainly been a curse instead of a blessing . . .

The [Promethean] fire received has turned into the greatest curse: the animal element, and consciousness of its possession, has changed periodical instinct into chronic animalism and sensuality. It is this which hangs over humanity like a heavy funereal pall. Thus arises the responsibility of free-will; the Titanic passions which represent humanity in its darkest aspect; “the restless insatiability of the lower passions and desires, when, with self-asserting insolence, they bid defiance to the restraints of law.”

. . .

In the MS. under consideration many and frequent are the references to the great knowledge and civilization of the Atlantean nations, showing the polity of several of them and the nature of their arts and sciences. If the Third Root-Race, the Lemuro-Atlanteans, are already spoken of as having been drowned “with their high civilizations and gods” (“Esoteric Buddhism,” p. 65), how much more may the same be said of the Atlanteans!

It is from the Fourth Race that the early Aryans got their knowledge of “the bundle of wonderful things,” the Sabha and Mayasabha, mentioned in the Mahabhârata, the gift of Mayâsur to the Pandavas. It is from them that they learnt aëronautics, Viwân Vidya (the “knowledge of flying in air-vehicles”), and, therefore, their great arts of meteorography and meteorology. It is from them, again, that the Aryans inherited their most valuable science of the hidden virtues of precious and other stones, of chemistry, or rather alchemy, of mineralogy, geology, physics and astronomy.

. . .

The civilization of the Atlanteans was greater even than that of the Egyptians. It is their degenerate descendants, the nation of Plato’s Atlantis, which built the first Pyramids in the country, and that certainly before the advent of the “Eastern Æthiopians,” as Herodotus calls the Egyptians. This may be well inferred from the statement made by Ammianus Marcellinus, who says of the Pyramids that “there are also subterranean passages and winding retreats, which, it is said, men skilful in the ancient mysteries, by means of which they divined the coming of a flood, constructed in different places lest the memory of all their sacred ceremonies should be lost.”

These men who “divined the coming of floods” were not Egyptians, who never had any, except the periodical rising of the Nile. Who were they? The last remnants of the Atlanteans, we maintain.

. . .

[On the 5th Root-Race (“Aryans”)]

The Adepts or “Wise” men of the three Races (the Third, Fourth and the Fifth) dwelt in subterranean habitats, generally under some kind of pyramidal structure, if not actually under a pyramid. For such “pyramids” existed in the four corners of the world and were never the monopoly of the land of the Pharaohs, though until found scattered all over the two Americas, under and over ground, beneath and amidst virgin forests, as in plain and vale, they were supposed to be the exclusive property of Egypt. If the true geometrically correct pyramids are no longer found in European regions, many of the supposed early neolithic caves, of the colossal triangular, pyramidal and conical menhirs in the Morbihan, and Brittany generally; many of the Danish tumuli and even of the “giant tombs” of Sardinia with their inseparable companions, the nuraghi, are so many more or less clumsy copies of the pyramids. Most of these are the works of the first settlers on the newly-born continent and isles of Europe, the . . . races that remained after the submersion of the last Atlantean continents and islands (850,000 years ago), with the exception of Plato’s Atlantean island, and before the arrival of the great Aryan races; while others were built by the earliest immigrants from the East.

. . .

History does not begin with it [the Fifth Root-Race], but living and ever-recurring tradition does. History—or what is called history—does not go further back than the fantastic origins of our fifth sub-race, a “few thousands” of years.

. . .

As stated in “Esoteric Buddhism,” the Egyptians, as well as the Greeks and “Romans” some thousand years ago, were “remnants of the Atlanto-Aryans,” i.e., the former, of the older, or the Ruta Atlanteans; the last-named, the descendants of the last race of that island, whose sudden disappearance was narrated to Solon by the Egyptian Initiates. The human Dynasty of the older Egyptians, beginning with Menes, had all the knowledge of the Atlanteans, though there was no more Atlantean blood in their veins. Nevertheless, they had preserved all their Archaic records.

. . .

[On Continents, Cataclysms and the Age of Humanity]

Seven geological changes . . . accompany and correspond to the evolution of the Seven Root-Races of Humanity.

. . .

Our globe is subject to seven periodical entire changes which go pari passu with the races. For the Secret Doctrine teaches that, during this Round, there must be seven terrestrial pralayas, three occasioned by the change in the inclination of the earth’s axis. It is a law which acts at its appointed time, and not at all blindly, as science may think, but in strict accordance and harmony with Karmic law. In Occultism this inexorable law is referred to as “the great adjuster.” . . .

Thus, since Vaivasvata Manu’s Humanity appeared on this Earth, there have already been four such axial disturbances; when the old continents—save the first one—were sucked in by the oceans, other lands appeared, and huge mountain chains arose where there had been none before. The face of the Globe was completely changed each time; the survival of the fittest nations and races was secured through timely help; and the unfit ones—the failures—were disposed of by being swept off the earth. Such sorting and shifting does not happen between sunset and sunrise, as one may think, but requires several thousands of years before the new house is set in order.

The Sub-races are subject to the same cleansing process, as also the side-branchlets (the family-Races). Let one, well-acquainted with astronomy and mathematics, throw a retrospective glance into the twilight and shadows of the Past. Let him observe, take notes of what he knows of the history of peoples and nations, and collate their respective rises and falls with what is known of astronomical cycles—especially with the Sidereal year, equal to 25,868 of our solar years. If the observer is gifted with the faintest intuition, then will he find how the weal and woe of nations is intimately connected with the beginning and close of this sidereal cycle.

. . .

The actual duration of the first two and a-half Races is withheld from all but the higher Initiates. The History of the Races begins at the separation of the Sexes, when the preceding egg-bearing androgynous race perished rapidly, and the subsequent sub-races of the Third Root-Race appeared as an entirely new race physiologically.

. . .

The ever-blooming lands of the Second Continent (Greenland, among others) were transformed, in order, from Edens with their eternal spring, into hyperborean Hades. This transformation was due to the displacement of the great waters of the globe, to oceans changing their beds; and the bulk of the Second Race perished in this first great throe of the evolution and consolidation of the globe during the human period. Of such great cataclysms there have already been four. And we may expect a fifth for ourselves in due course of time.

. . .

“The mind-born, the boneless, gave being to the will-born with bones” . . . this took place in the middle of the Third Race 18,000,000 years ago . . .

The Secret Doctrine maintains that, notwithstanding the general cataclysms and disturbances of our globe . . . physical Humanity has existed upon it for the last 18,000,000 years. This period was preceded by 300,000,000 years of the mineral and vegetable development. To this, all those who refuse to accept the theory of a “boneless,” purely ethereal, man, will object. Science, which knows only of physical organisms, will feel indignant; and materialistic theology still more so. The first will object on logical and reasonable grounds, based on the preconception that all animate organisms have always existed on the same plane of materiality in all the ages; the last on a tissue of most absurd fictions.

. . .

The figures 18,000,000 of years, which embrace the duration of sexual, physical, man, have to be enormously increased if the whole process of spiritual, astral and physical development is taken into account.

. . .

When reading of “the last transformation,” let the reader consider at this juncture, if that took place 18,000,000 years ago, how many millions more it must have required to reach that final stage? And if man, in his gradual consolidation, developed pari passu with the earth, how many millions of years must have elapsed during the First, Second, and the first half of the Third Race? For the Earth was in a comparatively ethereal condition before it reached its last consolidated state; the archaic teachings, moreover, telling us that, during the middle period of the Lemuro-Atlantean Race, three and a half Races after the Genesis of man, the Earth, man, and everything on the Globe was of a still grosser and more material nature, while such things as corals and some shells were still in a semi-gelatinous, astral state. The cycles that intervened since then, have already carried us onward, on the opposite ascending arc, some steps toward our dematerialization, as the spiritualists would say. The Earth, ourselves, and all things have softened since then—aye, even our brains. But it has been objected by some theosophists that an ethereal Earth even some 15, or 20,000,000 years ago, does not square with Geology, which teaches us that winds blew, rains fell, waves broke on the shore, sands shifted and accumulated, etc., etc., that, in short, all natural causes now in operation were then in force, “in the very earliest ages of geological time, aye, that of the oldest palæozoic rocks.” To this the following answers are given. Firstly, what is the date assigned by geology to those “oldest palæozoic rocks”? And secondly, why could not the winds blow, rain fall, and waves (of carbonic acid apparently, as science seems to imply) break on the shore, on an Earth semi-astral, i.e., viscid? The word “astral” does not necessarily mean as thin as smoke, in occult phraseology, but rather “starry,” shining or pellucid, in various and numerous degrees, from a quite filmy to a viscid state, as just observed. But it is further objected: How could an astral Earth have affected the other planets in this system? Would not the whole process get out of gear now if the attraction of one planet was suddenly removed? The objection is evidently invalid, since our system is composed of older and younger planets, some dead (like the moon), others in process of formation, for all astronomy knows to the contrary. Nor has the latter ever affirmed, so far as we know, that all the bodies of our system have sprung into existence and developed simultaneously. The Cis-Himalayan secret teachings differ from those of India in this respect. Hindu Occultism teaches that the Vaivasvata Manu Humanity is eighteen million and odd years old. We say, yes; but only so far as physical, or approximately physical, man is concerned, who dates from the close of the Third Root-Race. Beyond that period man, or his filmy image, may have existed for 300 million years, for all we know; since we are not taught figures which are and will remain secret with the Masters of Occult Science, as justly stated in “Esoteric Buddhism.” Moreover, whereas the Hindu Purânas speak of one Vaivasvata Manu, we affirm that there were several, the name being a generic one.

. . .

The periodical sinking and re-appearance of the mighty continents, now called Atlantis and Lemuria by the modern writers, is no fiction . . .

. . .

“Lemuria,” as we have called the continent of the Third Race, was then a gigantic land. It covered the whole area of space from the foot of the Himalayas, which separated it from the inland sea rolling its waves over what is now Tibet, Mongolia, and the great desert of Schamo (Gobi); from Chittagong, westward to Hardwar, and eastward to Assam. From thence, it stretched South across what is known to us as Southern India, Ceylon, and Sumatra; then embracing on its way, as we go South, Madagascar on its right hand and Australia and Tasmania on its left, it ran down to within a few degrees of the Antarctic Circle; when, from Australia, an inland region on the Mother Continent in those ages, it extended far into the Pacific Ocean, not only beyond Rapa-nui (Teapy, or Easter Island). . . . The Occult teaching which shows the (now) polar regions as the earliest of the seven cradles of Humanity, and as the tomb of the bulk of the mankind of that region during the Third Race, when the gigantic continent of Lemuria began separating into smaller continents.

. . .

Science speaks of an ancient continent which stretched from Spitzbergen down to the Straits of Dover. The Secret Doctrine teaches that, in the earliest geological periods, these regions formed a horse-shoe-like continent, whose one end, the Eastern, far more northward than North Cornwall, included Greenland, and the other contained Behring Straits as an inland piece of ground, and descended southward in its natural trend down to the British Isles, which in those days must have been right under the lower curve of the semi-circle. This continent was raised simultaneously with the submersion of the equatorial portions of Lemuria. Ages later, some of the Lemurian remains re-appeared again on the face of the Oceans. Therefore, though it can be said without departing from truth that Atlantis is included in the Seven great insular continents, since the Fourth Race Atlanteans got some of the Lemurian relics, and, settling on the islands, included them among their lands and continents, yet a difference should be made and an explanation given, once that a fuller and more accurate account is attempted, as in the present work. Easter Island was also taken possession of in this manner by some Atlanteans; who, having escaped from the cataclysm which befell their own land, settled on that remnant of Lemuria only to perish thereon, when destroyed in one day by its volcanic fires and lava. . . .

In the epoch we are treating of, the Continent of “Lemuria,” had already broken asunder in many places, and formed new separate continents. There was, nevertheless, neither Africa nor the Americas, still less Europe in those days, all these slumbering yet on the Ocean floors. Nor was there much of present Asia; for the cis-Himalayan regions were covered with seas, and beyond this stretched the “lotus leaves” of Sveta-dwipa, the countries now called Greenland, Eastern and Western Siberia, etc., etc. The immense Continent, which had once reigned supreme over the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans, now consisted of huge islands which were gradually disappearing one after the other, until the final convulsion engulfed the last remains of it. Easter Isle, for instance, belongs to the earliest civilisation of the Third Race. Submerged with the rest, a volcanic and sudden uplifting of the Ocean floor, raised the small relic of the Archaic ages untouched, with its volcano and statues, during the Champlain epoch of northern polar submersion, as a standing witness to the existence of Lemuria.

. . .

The sinking and transformation of Lemuria beginning nearly at the Arctic Circle (Norway), the Third Race ended its career in Lanka, or rather on that which became Lanka with the Atlanteans. The small remnant now known as Ceylon is the Northern highland of ancient Lanka, while the enormous island of that name was, in the Lemurian period, the gigantic continent described a few pages back. As a Master says (See “Esoteric Buddhism,” p. 65): “Why should not your geologists bear in mind that under the continents explored and fathomed by them . . . . there may be hidden, deep in the fathomless, or rather unfathomed ocean beds, other and far older continents whose strata have never been geologically explored; and that they may some day upset entirely their present theories? Why not admit that our present continents have, like Lemuria and Atlantis, been several times already submerged, and had the time to re-appear again and bear their new groups of mankind and civilisations; and that at the first great geological upheaval at the next cataclysm, in the series of periodical cataclysms that occur from the beginning to the end of every Round, our already autopsized continents will go down and the Lemurias and Atlantises come up again?”

Not the same identical continents, of course.

But here an explanation is needed. No confusion need arise as regards the postulation of a Northern “Lemuria.” The prolongation of that great continent into the North Atlantic Ocean is in no way subversive of the opinions so widely held as to the site of the lost Atlantis, and one corroborates the other. It must be noted that the Lemuria, which served as the cradle of the Third Root-Race, not only embraced a vast area in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, but extended in the shape of a horseshoe past Madagascar, round “South Africa” (then a mere fragment in process of formation), through the Atlantic up to Norway. The great English fresh-water deposit called the Wealden—which every geologist regards as the mouth of a former great river—is the bed of the main stream which drained Northern Lemuria in the Secondary Age. . . .

The Atlantic portion of Lemuria was the geological basis of what is generally known as Atlantis. The latter, indeed, must be regarded rather as a development of the Atlantic prolongation of Lemuria, than as an entirely new mass of land upheaved to meet the special requirements of the Fourth Root-Race. Just as in the case of Race-evolution, so in that of the shifting and re-shifting of continental masses, no hard and fast line can be drawn where a new order ends and another begins. Continuity in natural processes is never broken. Thus the Fourth Race Atlanteans were developed from a nucleus of Northern Lemurian Third Race Men, centred, roughly speaking, toward a point of land in what is now the mid-Atlantic Ocean. Their continent was formed by the coalescence of many islands and peninsulas which were upheaved in the ordinary course of time and became ultimately the true home of the great Race known as the Atlanteans.

. . .

Nor have we many details about the submersion of the continent inhabited by the Second Root Race. But the history of the Third, “Lemuria,” is given, as is that of Atlantis, the others being only alluded to. Lemuria is said to have perished about 700,000 years before the commencement of what is now called the Tertiary age (the Eocene), and it is during this Deluge also—an actual geological deluge this time—that Vaivasvata Manu is again shown as saving mankind (allegorically it is mankind, or a portion of it, the Fourth Race, which is saved); so also he saves the Fifth Race during the destruction of the last Atlanteans, the remnants that perished 850,000 years ago, after which there was no great submersion until the day of Plato’s Atlantis, or Poseidonis, known to the Egyptians only because it happened in such relatively recent times.

. . .

We have said elsewhere that the great Flood had several meanings . . . The First Cosmic Flood refers to primordial creation, or the formation of Heaven and the Earths; in which case Chaos and the great Deep stand for the “Flood,” and the Moon for the “Mother,” from whom proceed all the life-germs. But the terrestrial Deluge and its story has also its dual application. In one case it has reference to that mystery when mankind was saved from utter destruction, by the mortal woman being made the receptacle of the human seed at the end of the Third Race, and in the other to the real and historical Atlantean submersion.

. . .

The universal tradition [tells] about the third great continent which perished some 850,000 years ago, a continent inhabited by two distinct races; distinct physically and especially morally; both deeply versed in primeval wisdom and the secrets of nature; mutually antagonistic in their struggle, during the course and progress of their double evolution.

. . .

The “Deluge” is undeniably an universal tradition. “Glacial periods” were numerous, and so were the “Deluges,” for various reasons. Stockwell and Croll enumerate some half dozen Glacial Periods and subsequent Deluges—the earliest of all being dated by them 850,000, and the last about 100,000, years ago. But which was our Deluge? Assuredly the former, the one which to this date remains recorded in the traditions of all the peoples, from the remotest antiquity; the one that finally swept away the last peninsulas of Atlantis, beginning with Ruta and Daitya and ending with the (comparatively) small island mentioned by Plato. This is shown by the agreement of certain details in all the legends. It was the last of its gigantic character. The little deluge, the traces of which Baron Bunsen found in Central Asia, and which he places at about 10,000 years b.c., had nothing to do with either the semi-universal Deluge, or Noah’s flood—the latter being a purely mythical rendering of old traditions—nor even with the submersion of the last Atlantean island; at least, only a moral connection. Our Fifth Race (the non-initiated portions), hearing of many deluges, confused them, and now know of but one. This one altered the whole aspect of the globe in its interchange and shifting of land and sea.

. . .

The semi-universal deluge known to geology (first glacial period) must have occurred just at the time allotted to it by the Secret Doctrine: namely, 200,000 years (in round numbers) after the commencement of our fifth race, or about the time assigned by Messrs. Croll and Stockwell for the first glacial period: i.e., about 850,000 years ago. Thus, as the latter disturbance is attributed by geologists and astronomers to “an extreme eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit,” and . . . the Secret Doctrine attributes it to the same source, but with the addition of another factor, the shifting of the Earth’s axis . . .

. . .

The Secret Doctrine declar[es] that most of the later islander Atlanteans perished in the interval between 850,000 and 700,000 years ago, and that the Aryans were 200,000 years old when the first great “island” or continent was submerged . . . Thus . . . [the Initiates count] 900,000 years, during which space of time—i.e, from the first appearance of the Aryan race, when the Pliocene portions of the once great Atlantis began gradually sinking and other continents to appear on the surface, down to the final disappearance of Plato’s small island of Atlantis, the Aryan races had never ceased to fight with the descendants of the first giant races. This war lasted till nearly the close of the age which preceded the Kali Yug, and was the Mahabhâratean war so famous in Indian History.

. . .

That not only the last island of Atlantis, spoken of by Plato, but a large continent, first divided, and then broken later on into seven peninsulas and islands (called dwipas), preceded Europe, is sure. It covered the whole of the North and South Atlantic regions, as well as portions of the North and South Pacific, and had islands even in the Indian Ocean (relics of Lemuria).

. . .

Now our Fifth Root-Race has already been in existence—as a race sui generis and quite free from its parent stem—about 1,000,000 years; therefore it must be inferred that each of the four preceding Sub-Races has lived approximately 210,000 years; thus each Family-Race has an average existence of about 30,000 years. Thus the European “Family Race” has still a good many thousand years to run, although the nations or the innumerable spines upon it, vary with each succeeding “season” of three or four thousand years. It is somewhat curious to mark the comparative approximation of duration between the lives of a “Family-Race” and a “Sidereal year.”

. . .

The last three family races of the fourth Sub-race of the Fifth Root-race, each of which must have lived approximately from 25 to 30,000 years. The first of these (the “Aryan-Asiatics”) witnessed the doom of the last of the populations of the “giant Atlanteans” who perished some 850,000 years ago (the Ruta and Daitya Island-Continents) toward the close of the Miocene Age. The fourth sub-race witnessed the destruction of the last remnant of the Atlanteans—the Aryo-Atlanteans in the last island of Atlantis, namely, some 11,000 years ago.

. . .

The duration of the periods that separate, in space and time, the Fourth from the Fifth Race—in the historical or even the legendary beginnings of the latter—is too tremendous for us to offer, even to a Theosophist, any more detailed accounts of them. During the course of the post-diluvian ages—marked at certain periodical epochs by the most terrible cataclysms—too many races and nations were born, and have disappeared almost without leaving a trace, for any one to offer any description of the slightest value concerning them. Whether the Masters of Wisdom have a consecutive and full history of our race from its incipient stage down to the present times; whether they possess the uninterrupted record of man since he became the complete physical being, and became thereby the king of the animals and master on this earth—is not for the writer to say. Most probably they have, and such is our own personal conviction. But if so, this knowledge is only for the highest Initiates, who do not take their students into their confidence. The writer can, therefore, give but what she has herself been taught, and no more.

. . .

Since the beginning of the Atlantean Race many million years have passed, yet we find the last of the Atlanteans, still mixed up with the Aryan element, 11,000 years ago. This shows the enormous overlapping of one race over the race which succeeds it, though in character and external type the elder loses its characteristics, and assumes the new features of the younger race. This is proved in all the formations of mixed human races. Now, Occult philosophy teaches that even now, under our very eyes, the new Race and Races are preparing to be formed, and that it is in America that the transformation will take place, and has already silently commenced.

Pure Anglo-Saxons hardly three hundred years ago, the Americans of the United States have already become a nation apart, and, owing to a strong admixture of various nationalities and inter-marriage, almost a race sui generis, not only mentally, but also physically. . . .

Thus the Americans have become in only three centuries a “primary race,” pro tem., before becoming a race apart, and strongly separated from all other now existing races. They are, in short, the germs of the Sixth sub-race, and in some few hundred years more, will become most decidedly the pioneers of that race which must succeed to the present European or fifth sub-race, in all its new characteristics. After this, in about 25,000 years, they will launch into preparations for the seventh sub-race; until, in consequence of cataclysms—the first series of those which must one day destroy Europe, and still later the whole Aryan race (and thus affect both Americas), as also most of the lands directly connected with the confines of our continent and isles—the Sixth Root-Race will have appeared on the stage of our Round. When shall this be? Who knows save the great Masters of Wisdom, perchance, and they are as silent upon the subject as the snow-capped peaks that tower above them. All we know is, that it will silently come into existence; so silently, indeed, that for long millenniums shall its pioneers—the peculiar children who will grow into peculiar men and women—be regarded as anomalous lusus naturæ, abnormal oddities physically and mentally. Then, as they increase, and their numbers become with every age greater, one day they will awake to find themselves in a majority. It is the present men who will then begin to be regarded as exceptional mongrels, until these die out in their turn in civilised lands; surviving only in small groups on islands—the mountain peaks of to-day—where they will vegetate, degenerate, and finally die out, perhaps millions of years hence, as the Aztecs have, as the Nyam-Nyam and the dwarfish Moola Koorumba of the Nilghiri Hills are dying. All these are the remnants of once mighty races, the recollection of whose existence has entirely died out of the remembrance of the modern generations, just as we shall vanish from the memory of the Sixth Race Humanity. The Fifth will overlap the Sixth Race for many hundreds of millenniums, changing with it slower than its new successor, still changing in stature, general physique, and mentality, just as the Fourth overlapped our Aryan race, and the Third had overlapped the Atlanteans.

This process of preparation for the Sixth great Race must last throughout the whole sixth and seventh sub-races (vide supra, the diagram of the Genealogical Tree of the Fifth Race). But the last remnants of the Fifth Continent will not disappear until some time after the birth of the new Race; when another and new dwelling, the sixth continent, will have appeared above the new waters on the face of the globe, so as to receive the new stranger. To it also will emigrate and settle all those who shall be fortunate enough to escape the general disaster. When this shall be—as just said—it is not for the writer to know. Only, as nature no more proceeds by sudden jumps and starts, than man changes suddenly from a child into a mature man, the final cataclysm will be preceded by many smaller submersions and destructions both by wave and volcanic fires. The exultant pulse will beat high in the heart of the race now in the American zone, but there will be no more Americans when the Sixth Race commences; no more, in fact, than Europeans; for they will have now become a new race, and many new nations. Yet the Fifth will not die, but survive for a while: overlapping the new Race for many hundred thousands of years to come, it will become transformed with it—slower than its new successor—still getting entirely altered in mentality, general physique, and stature. Mankind will not grow again into giant bodies as in the case of the Lemurians and the Atlanteans; because while the evolution of the Fourth race led the latter down to the very bottom of materiality in its physical development, the present Race is on its ascending arc; and the Sixth will be rapidly growing out of its bonds of matter, and even of flesh.

Thus it is the mankind of the New world—one by far the senior of our Old one, a fact men had also forgotten—of Pâtâla (the Antipodes, or the Nether World, as America is called in India), whose mission and Karma it is, to sow the seeds for a forthcoming, grander, and far more glorious Race than any of those we know of at present. The Cycles of Matter will be succeeded by Cycles of Spirituality and a fully developed mind. On the law of parallel history and races, the majority of the future mankind will be composed of glorious Adepts. Humanity is the child of cyclic Destiny, and not one of its Units can escape its unconscious mission, or get rid of the burden of its co-operative work with nature. Thus will mankind, race after race, perform its appointed cycle-pilgrimage. Climates will, and have already begun, to change, each tropical year after the other dropping one sub-race, but only to beget another higher race on the ascending cycle; while a series of other less favoured groups—the failures of nature—will, like some individual men, vanish from the human family without even leaving a trace behind.

Such is the course of Nature under the sway of Karmic Law: of the ever present and the ever-becoming Nature. For, in the words of a Sage, known only to a few Occultists:“The Present is the Child of the Past; the Future, the begotten of the Present. And yet, O present moment! Knowest thou not that thou hast no parent, nor canst thou have a child; that thou art ever begetting but thyself? Before thou hast even begun to say ‘I am the progeny of the departed moment, the child of the past,’ thou hast become that past itself. Before thou utterest the last syllable, behold! thou art no more the Present but verily that Future. Thus, are the Past, the Present, and the Future, the ever-living trinity in onethe Mahamaya of the Absolute IS.”

. . .


For more details on the theosophical approach to human evolution, see: The Secret Doctrine, Volume 2: Anthropogenesis.


Selected Writings on Evolution