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The Secret Doctrine

By Helena P. Blavatsky

Book II-Part I- Archaic Teachings In The Puranas And Genesis

The writer cannot give too much proof that the system of Cosmogony and Anthropogony as described actually existed, that its records are preserved, and that it is found mirrored even in the modern versions of ancient Scriptures.

The Puranas on the one hand, and the Jewish Scriptures on the other, are based on the same scheme of evolution, which, read esoterically and expressed in modern language, would be found to be quite as scientific as much of what now passes current as the final word of recent discovery. The only difference between the two schemes is, that the Puranas, giving as much, and perhaps more attention to the causes than to the effects, allude to the pre-Cosmic and pre-Genetic periods rather than to those of so-called Creation, whereas the Bible, saying only a few words of the former period, plunges forthwith into material genesis, and, while nearly skipping the pre-Adamic races, proceeds with its allegories concerning the Fifth Race.

Now, whatever the onslaught made on the Order of creation in Genesis, and its dead letter account certainly lends itself admirably to criticism,* he who reads the Hindu Puranas -- its allegorical exaggerations notwithstanding -- will find them quite in accordance with physical Science.

Even what appears to be the, on the face of it, perfectly nonsensical allegory of Brahma assuming the form of a Boar to rescue the Earth from under the waters, finds in the Secret Commentaries a perfectly scientific explanation, relating as it does to the many risings and sinkings, and the constant alternation of water and land from the earliest to the latest geological periods of our globe; for Science teaches us now that nine-tenths of the stratified formations of the earth's crust have been gradually constructed beneath water, at the bottom of the seas. The ancient Aryans are credited with having known nothing whatever of natural history, geology, and so on. The Jewish race is, on the other hand, proclaimed even by its severest critic, an uncompromising opponent of the Bible, (See "Modern Science and Modern Thought," p. 337), to have the merit of having conceived the idea of monotheism "earlier, and retained it more firmly, than any of the less philosophical and more immoral religions (! !) of the ancient world." Only, while we find in Biblical esotericism physiological sexual mysteries symbolised, and very little more (something for which very little real philosophy is requisite), in the Puranas one may find the most scientific and philosophical "dawn of creation," which, if impartially analyzed and rendered into plain language from its fairy tale-like allegories, would show that modern zoology, geology, astronomy, and nearly all the branches of modern knowledge, have been anticipated in the ancient Science, and were known to the philosophers in their general features, if not in such detail as at present!

Puranic astronomy, with all its deliberate concealment and confusion for the purpose of leading the profane off the real track, was shown even by Bentley to be a real science; and those who are versed in the mysteries of Hindu astronomical treatises, will prove that the modern theories of the progressive condensation of nebulae, nebulous stars and suns, with the most minute details about the cyclic progress of asterisms -- far more correct than Europeans have even now -- for chronological and other purposes, were known in India to perfection.

If we turn to geology and zoology we find the same. What are all the myths and endless genealogies of the seven Prajapati, and their sons, the seven Rishis or Manus, and of their wives, sons and progeny, but a vast detailed account of the progressive development and evolution of animal creation, one species after the other? Were the highly philosophical and metaphysical Aryans -- the authors of the most perfect philosophical systems of transcendental psychology, of Codes of Ethics, and such a grammar as Panini's, of the Sankhya and Vedanta systems, and a moral code (Buddhism), proclaimed by Max Muller the most perfect on earth -- such fools, or children, as to lose their time in writing fairy-tales; such tales as the Puranas now seem to be in the eyes of those who have not the remotest idea of their secret meaning? What is the fable, the genealogy and origin of Kasyapa, with his twelve wives, by whom he had a numerous and diversified progeny of nagas (serpents), reptiles, birds, and all kinds of living things, and who was thus the father of all kinds of animals, but a veiled record of the order of evolution in this round? So far, we do not see that any Orientalist ever had the remotest conception of the truths concealed under the allegories and personifications. "The Satapatha Brahmana," says one, "gives a not very intelligible account of Kasyapa's origin. . . . He was the son of Marichi, the Son of Brahma, the father of Vivasvat, the father of Manu, the progenitor of mankind. . . . Having assumed the form of a tortoise, Prajapati created offspring. That which he created he made akarot, hence the word kurma (tortoise). Kasyapa means tortoise; hence men say: 'All creatures are descendants of Kasyapa,' etc., etc. (Hindu Class. Dict.)

He was all this; he was also the father of Garuda, the bird, the "King of the feathered tribe," who descends from, and is of one stock with the reptiles, the nagas; and who becomes their mortal enemy subsequently as he is also a cycle, a period of time, when in the course of evolution the birds which developed from reptiles in their "struggle for life," -- "survival of the fittest," etc., etc., turned in preference on those they issued from, to devour them, -- perhaps prompted by natural law, in order to make room for other and more perfect species. (Vide Part II., "Symbolism.")

In that admirable epitome of "Modern Science and Modern Thought," a lesson in natural history is offered to Mr. Gladstone, showing the utter variance with it of the Bible. The author remarks that Geology, commencing with --

" . . . the earliest known fossil, the Eozoon Canadense of the Laurentian, continued in a chain, every link of which is firmly welded, through the Silurian, with its abundance of molluscous, crustacean, and vermiform life and first indication of fishes; the Devonian, with its predominance of fish and first appearance of reptiles; the Mesozoic with its batrachians (or frog family); the Secondary formations, in which reptiles of the sea, land and air preponderated, and the first humble forms of vertebrate land animals began to appear; and finally, the Tertiary, in which mammalian life has become abundant, and type succeeding to type and species to species, are gradually differentiated and specialized, through the Eocene, Miocene, and Pliocene periods, until we arrive at the Glacial and Pre-historic periods, and at positive proof of the existence of man."
The same order, plus the description of animals unknown to modern science, is found in the commentaries on the Puranas in general, and in the Book of Dzyan -- especially. The only difference, a grave one, no doubt, -- as implying a spiritual and divine nature of man independent of his physical body in this illusionary world, in which the false personality and its cerebral basis alone is known to orthodox psychology -- is as follows. 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 amoeba 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 foetus-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.

Now the writer is certain to meet what will be termed insuperable objections. We shall be told that the line of embryology, the gradual development of every individual life, and the progress of what is known to take place in the order of progressive stages of specialization -- that all this is opposed to the idea of man preceding mammals. Man begins as the humblest and most primitive vermiform creature, "from the primitive speck of protoplasm and the nucleated cell in which all life originates," and "is developed through stages undistinguishable from those of fish, reptile and mammal, until the cell finally attains the highly specialized development of the quadrumanous, and last of all, of the human type." (Laing, 335.)

This is perfectly scientific, and we have nothing against that; for all this relates to the shell of man -- his body, which in its growth is subject, of course, like every other (once called) morphological unit, to such metamorphoses. It is not those who teach the transformation of the mineral atom through crystallization -- which is the same function, and bears the same relation to its inorganic (so-called) upadhi (or basis) as the formation of cells to their organic nuclei, through plant, insect and animal into man -- it is not they who will reject this theory, as it will finally lead to the recognition of a Universal Deity in nature, ever-present and as ever invisible, and unknowable, and of intra-Cosmic gods, who all were men.**

But we would ask, what does science and its exact and now axiomatic discoveries prove against our Occult theory? Those who believe in the law of Evolution and gradual progressive development from a cell (which from a vital has become a morphological cell, until it awoke as protoplasm pure and simple) -- these can surely never limit their belief to one line of evolution. The types of life are innumerable; and the progress of evolution, moreover, does not go at the same rate in every kind of species. The constitution of primordial matter in the Silurian age -- we mean "primordial" matter of science -- is the same in every essential particular, save its degree of present grossness, as the primordial living matter of to-day. Nor do we find that which ought to be found, if the now orthodox theory of Evolution were quite correct, namely, a constant, ever-flowing progress in every species of being. Instead of that, what does one see? While the intermediate groups of animal being all tend toward a higher type, and while specializations, now of one type and now of another, develop through the geological ages, change forms, assume new shapes, appear and disappear with a kaleidoscopic rapidity in the description of paleontologists from one period to another, the two solitary exceptions to the general rule are those at the two opposite poles of life and type, namely -- MAN and the lower genera of being!

"Certain well-marked forms of living beings have existed through enormous epochs, surviving not only the changes of physical conditions, but persisting comparatively unaltered, while other forms of life have appeared and disappeared. Such forms may be termed 'persistent types' of life; and examples of them are abundant enough in both the animal and the vegetable worlds" (Huxley, "Proceed. of Roy. Inst.," vol. iii., p. 151).

Nevertheless, we are not given any good reason why Darwin links together reptiles, birds, amphibians, fishes, mollusca, etc., etc., as off-shoots of a moneric ancestry. Nor are we told whether reptiles, for instance, are direct descendants of the amphibian, the latter of fishes, and fishes of lower forms -- which they certainly are. For the Monads have passed through all these forms of being up to man, on every planet, in the Three preceding Rounds; every Round, as well as every subsequent Globe, from A to G, having been, and still having to be the arena of the same evolution, only repeated each time on a more solid material basis. Therefore the question: -- "What relation is there between the Third Round astral prototypes and ordinary physical development in the course of the origination of pre-mammalian organic species?" -- is easily answered. One is the shadowy prototype of the other, the preliminary, hardly defined, and evanescent sketch on the canvas, of objects, which are destined to receive the final and vivid form under the brush of the painter. The fish evolved into an amphibian -- a frog -- in the shadows of ponds, and man passed through all his metamorphoses on this Globe in the Third Round as he did in this, his Fourth Cycle. The Third Round types contributed to the formation of the types in this one. On strict analogy, the cycle of Seven Rounds in their work of the gradual formation of man through every kingdom of Nature, are repeated on a microscopical scale in the first seven months of gestation of a future human being. Let the student think over and work out this analogy. As the seven months' old unborn baby, though quite ready, yet needs two months more in which to acquire strength and consolidate; so man, having perfected his evolution during seven Rounds, remains two periods more in the womb of mother-Nature before he is born, or rather reborn a Dhyani, still more perfect than he was before he launched forth as a Monad on the newly built chain of worlds. Let the student ponder over this mystery, and then he will easily convince himself that, as there are also physical links between many classes, so there are precise domains wherein the astral merges into physical evolution. Of this Science breathes not one word. Man has evolved with and from the monkey, it says. But now see the contradiction.

Huxley proceeds to point out plants, ferns, club mosses, some of them generically identical with those now living, which are met with in the carboniferous epoch, for: -- "The cone of the oolitic Araucaria is hardly distinguishable from that of existing species. . . . . Subkingdoms of animals yield the same instances. The globigerina of the Atlantic soundings is identical with the cretaceous species of the same genus . . . the tabulate corals of the Silurian epoch are wonderfully like the millepores of our own seas. . . . The arachnida, the highest group of which, the scorpions, is represented in the coal by a genus differing only from its living congeners only in . . . the eyes," etc., etc.; all of which may be closed with Dr. Carpenter's authoritative statement about the Foraminifera. "There is no evidence," he says, "of any fundamental modification or advance in the Foraminiferous type from the palaeozoic period to the present time. . . . The Forminiferous Fauna of our own series probably present a greater range of variety than existed at any previous period; but there is no indication of any tendency to elevation towards a higher type." ("Introduction to the study of the Forminifera," p. xi.)

Now, if there is no indication of change in the Forminifera, a protozoon of the lowest type of life, mouthless and eyeless, except its greater variety now than before, man, who is on the uppermost rung of the ladder of being, indicates still less change, as we have seen; the skeleton of his Palaeolithic ancestor being even found superior in some respects to his present frame. Where is, then, the claimed uniformity of law, the absolute rule for one species shading off into another, and, by insensible gradations, into higher types? We see Sir William Thomson admitting as much as 400,000,000 of years in the earth's history, since the surface of the globe became sufficiently cool to permit of the presence of living things;" and during that enormous lapse of time in the Oolitic period alone, the so-called "age of reptiles," we find a most extraordinary variety and abundance of Saurian forms, the Amphibian type reaching its highest developments. We learn of Ichthyosauri and Plesiosauri in the lakes and rivers, and of winged crocodiles or lizards flying in the air. After which, in the Tertiary period "we find the Mammalian type exhibiting remarkable divergences from previously existing forms . . . . Mastodons, Megatheriums, and other unwieldy denizens of the ancient forests and plains; and subsequently," are notified of -- "the gradual modification of one of the ramifications of the Quadrumanous order, into those beings from whom primeval man himself may claim to have been evolved." ("The Beginnings of Life.")

He may; but no one, except materialists, can see why he should; as there is not the slightest necessity for it, nor is such an evolution warranted by facts, for those most interested in the proofs thereof confess their utter failure to find one single fact to support their theory. There is no need for the numberless types of life to represent the members of one progressive series. They are "the products of various and different evolutional divergences, taking place now in one direction and now in another." Therefore it is far more justifiable to say that the monkey evolved into the Quadrumanous order, than that primeval man, who has remained stationary in his human specialization ever since his fossil is found in the oldest strata, and of whom no variety is found save in colour and facial type -- has developed from a common ancestor together with the ape.

That man originates like other animals in a cell and develops "through stages undistinguishable from those of fish, reptile, and mammal until the cell attains the highly specialized development of the quadrumanous and at last the human type," is an Occult axiom thousands of years old. The Kabalistic axiom: "A stone becomes a plant; a plant a beast; a beast a man; a man a God," holds good throughout the ages. Haeckel, in his Shopfungsgeschichte, shows a double drawing representing two embryos -- that of a dog six weeks old, and that of a man, eight weeks. The two, except the slight difference in the head, larger and wider about the brain in the man, are undistinguishable. "In fact, we may say that every human being passes through the stage of fish and reptile before arriving at that of mammal and finally of man. If we take him up at the more advanced stage where the embryo has already passed the reptilian form . . . for a considerable time, the line of development remains the same as that of other mammalia. The rudimentary limbs are exactly similar, the five fingers and toes develop in the same way, and the resemblance after the first four weeks' growth between the embryo of a man and a dog is such that it is scarcely possible to distinguish them. Even at the age of eight weeks the embryo man is an animal with a tail hardly to be distinguished from an embryo puppy" ("Modern Science," etc., p. 171).

Why, then, not make man and dog evolve from a common ancestor, or from a reptile -- a Naga, instead of coupling man with the quadrumana? This would be just as logical as the other, and more so. The shape and the stages of the human embryo have not changed since historical times, and these metamorphoses were known to AEsculapius and Hippocrates as well as to Mr. Huxley. Therefore, since the Kabalists had remarked it since prehistoric times, it is no new discovery. In "Isis," Vol. I., 389, it is noticed and half explained.

As the embryo of man has no more of the ape in it than of any other mammal, but contains in itself the totality of the kingdoms of nature, and since it seems to be "a persistent type" of life, far more so than even the Foraminifera, it seems as illogical to make him evolve from the ape as it would be to trace his origin to the frog or the dog. Both Occult and Eastern philosophies believe in evolution, which Manu and Kapila* give with far more clearness than any scientist does at present. No need to repeat that which was fully debated in Isis Unveiled, as the reader may find all these arguments and the description of the basis on which all the Eastern doctrines of Evolution rested, in our earlier books.** But no Occultist can accept the unreasonable proposition that all the now existing forms, "from the structureless Amoeba to man," are the direct lineal descendants of organisms which lived millions and millions of years before the birth of man, in the pre-Silurian epochs, in the sea or landmud. The Occultists believe in an inherent law of progressive development.* Mr. Darwin never did, and says so himself.

On page 145 of the "Origin of Species" we find him stating that, since there can be no advantage "to the infusorian animalcule or an intestinal worm . . . to become highly organized," therefore, "natural selection," not including necessarily progressive development -- leaves the animalcule and the worm (the "persistent types") quiet.

There does not appear much uniform law in such behaviour of Nature; and it looks more like the discriminative action of some Super-Natural selection; perhaps, that aspect of Karma, which Eastern Occultists would call the "Law of Retardation," may have something to do with it.

But there is every reason to doubt whether Mr. Darwin himself ever gave such an importance to his law -- as is given to it now by his atheistic followers. The knowledge of the various living forms in the geological periods that have gone by is very meagre. The reasons given for this by Dr. Bastian are very suggestive: (1) On account of the imperfect manner in which the several forms may be represented in the strata pertaining to the period; (2) on account of the extremely limited nature of the explorations which have been made in these imperfectly representative strata; and (3) because so many parts of the record are absolutely inaccessible to us -- nearly all beneath the Silurian system having been blotted out by time, whilst those two-thirds of the earth's surface in which the remaining strata are to be found are now covered over by seas. Hence Mr. Darwin says himself: --

"For my part, following out Lyell's metaphor, I look at the geological record as a history of the world imperfectly kept, and written in a changing dialect; of this history we possess the last volume alone, relating only to two or three countries. Of this volume, only here and there a short chapter has been preserved, and of each page only here and there a few lines."

It is not on such meagre data, certainly, that the last word of Science can be said. Nor is it on any ground of human pride or unreasonable belief in man's representing even here on earth -- (in our period, perhaps) -- the highest type of life, that Occultism denies that all the preceding forms of human life belonged to types lower than our own, for it is not so. But simply because the "missing link," such as to prove the existing theory undeniably, will never be found by palaeontologists. Believing as we do that man has evolved from, and passed through, (during the preceding Rounds) the lowest forms of every life, vegetable and animal, on earth, there is nothing very degrading in the idea of having the orangoutang as an ancestor of our physical form. Quite the reverse; as it would forward the Occult doctrine with regard to the final evolution of everything in terrestrial nature into man, most irresistibly. One may even enquire how it is that biologists and anthropologists, having once firmly accepted the theory of the descent of man from the ape -- how it is that they have hitherto left untouched the future evolution of the existing apes into man? This is only a logical sequence of the first theory, unless Science would make of man a privileged being, and his evolution a non-precedent in nature, quite a special and unique case. And that is what all this leads physical Science to. The reason, however, why the Occultists reject the Darwinian, and especially the Haeckelian, hypothesis is because it is the ape which is, in sober truth, a special and unique instance, not man. The pithecoid is an accidental creation, a forced growth, the result of an unnatural process.

The occult doctrine, is, we think, more logical. It teaches a cyclic, never varying law in nature, the latter having no personal, "special design," but acting on a uniform plan that prevails through the whole manvantaric period and deals with the land worm as it deals with man. Neither the one nor the other have sought to come into being, hence both are under the same evolutionary law, and both have to progress according to Karmic law. Both have started from the same neutral centre of Life and both have to re-merge into it at the consummation of the cycle.

It is not denied that in the preceding Round man was a gigantic apelike creature; and when we say "man" we ought perhaps to say, the rough mould that was developing for the use of man in this Round only -- the middle, or the transition point of which we have hardly reached. Nor was man what he is now during the first two and a half Root-races. That point he reached, as said before, only 18,000,000 years ago, during the secondary period, as we claim.

Till then he was, according to tradition and Occult teaching, "a god on earth who had fallen into matter," or generation. This may or may not be accepted, since the Secret Doctrine does not impose itself as an infallible dogma; and since, whether its prehistoric records are accepted or rejected, it has nothing to do with the question of the actual man and his inner nature, the Fall mentioned above having left no original sin on Humanity. But all this has been sufficiently dealt with.

Furthermore, we are taught that the transformations through which man passed on the descending arc -- which is centrifugal for spirit and centripetal for matter -- and those he prepares to go through, henceforward, on his ascending path, which will reverse the direction of the two forces -- viz., matter will become centrifugal and spirit centripetal -- that all such transformations are next in store for the anthropoid ape also, all those, at any rate, who have reached the remove next to man in this Round -- and these will all be men in the Fifth Round, as present men inhabited ape-like forms in the Third, the preceding Round.

Behold, then, in the modern denizens of the great forests of Sumatra the degraded and dwarfed examples -- "blurred copies," as Mr. Huxley has it -- of ourselves, as we (the majority of mankind) were in the earliest sub-races of the Fourth Root-race during the period of what is called the "Fall into generation." 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. (But see Part III., Addenda.)

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.





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