In dealing with the secret annals and traditions of so many nations, whose very origins have never been ascertained on more secure grounds than inferential suppositions, in giving out the beliefs and philosophy of more than prehistoric races, it is not quite as easy to deal with the subject matter as it would be if only the philosophy of one special race, and its evolution, were concerned. The Secret Doctrine is the common property of the countless millions of men born under various climates, in times with which history refuses to deal, and to which esoteric teachings assign dates incompatible with the theories of Geology and Anthropology. The birth and evolution of the Sacred Science of the Past are lost in the very night of Time, and that even which is historic — i.e., that which is found scattered hither and thither throughout ancient classical literature — is, in almost every case, attributed by modern criticism to lack of observation in the ancient writers, or to superstition born out of the ignorance of antiquity. It is, therefore, impossible to treat this subject as one would the ordinary evolution of an art or science in some well-known historical nation. It is only by bringing before the reader an abundance of proofs, all tending to show that in every age, under every condition of civilization and knowledge, the educated classes of every nation made themselves the more or less faithful echoes of one identical system and its fundamental traditions — that he can be made to see that so many streams of the same water must have had a common source from which they started. What was this source? If coming events are said to cast their shadows before, past events cannot fail to leave their impress behind them. It is, then, by those shadows of the hoary Past and their fantastic silhouettes on the external screen of every religion and philosophy, that we can, by checking them as we go along, and comparing them, trace out finally the body that produced them. There must be truth and fact in that which every people of antiquity accepted and made the foundation of its religions and its faith.
HELENA PETROVNA BLAVATSKY
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