The Secret Doctrine

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The Secret Doctrine

By Helena P. Blavatsky

Preliminary Notes

"Facies totius Universi, quamvis infinitis modis variet,
Manet tamen semper eadem." -- SPINOZA.
THE Stanzas, with the Commentaries thereon, in this Book, the second, are drawn from the same Archaic Records as the Stanzas on Cosmogony in Book I. As far as possible a verbatim translation is given; but some of the Stanzas were too obscure to be understood without explanation. Hence, as was done in Book I., while they are first given in full as they stand, when taken verse by verse with their Commentaries an attempt is made to make them clearer, by words added in brackets, in anticipation of the fuller explanation of the Commentary.

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 is not alone in speaking of primeval MEN born simultaneously on the seven divisions of our Globe. In the Divine "Pymander" of Hermes we find the same Seven primeval men* evolving from Nature and "Heavenly Man," in the collective sense of the word, namely, from the Creative Spirits; and in the fragments (collected by George Smith) of Chaldean tablets on which is inscribed the Babylonian Legend of Creation, in the first column of the Cutha tablet, seven human beings with the faces of ravens (black, swarthy complexions), whom "the (Seven) great gods created," are mentioned. Or, as explained in lines 16 and 18 -- "In the midst of the Earth they grew up and became great . . . . Seven kings, brothers of the same family." These are the Seven Kings of Edom to whom reference is made in the Kabala; the first race, which was imperfect, i.e., was born before the "balance" (sexes) existed, and which was therefore destroyed. (Zohar, Siphrah Dzeniouta, Idrah Suta, 2928, La Kabbale, p. 205.) "Seven Kings, brethren, appeared and begat children, 6,000 in number were their peoples" (Hibbert Lectures, p. 372). The god Nergas (death) destroyed them. "How did he destroy them?" "By bringing into equilibrium (or balance) those who did not yet exist" (Siphrah Dzeniouta). They were "destroyed," as a race, by being merged in their own progeny (by exudation); that is to say, the sexless race reincarnated in the bisexual (potentially); the latter in the Androgynes; these again in the sexual, the later third Race; (for further explanation, vide infra). Were the tablets less mutilated, they would be found to contain word for word the same account as given in the archaic records and in Hermes, at least as regards the fundamental facts, if not as regards minute details; for Hermes is a good deal disfigured by mistranslations.

It is quite certain that the seeming supernaturalism of these teachings, although allegorical, is so diametrically opposed to the dead-letter statements of the Bible* as well as to the latest hypotheses of science, that it will evoke passionate denial. The Occultists, however, know that the traditions of Esoteric Philosophy must be the right ones, simply because they are the most logical, and reconcile every difficulty. Besides, we have the Egyptian "Books of Thoth," and "Book of the Dead," and the Hindu Puranas with the seven Manus, as well as the Chaldeo-Assyrian accounts, whose tiles mention seven primitive men, or Adams, the real meaning of which name may be ascertained through the Kabala. Those who know anything of the Samothracian mysteries will also remember that the generic name of the Kabiri was the "Holy Fires," which created on seven localities of the island of Electria (or Samothrace) the "Kabir born of the Holy Lemnos" (the island sacred to Vulcan).

According to Pindar (See "Philosophumena," Miller's edition, p. 98), this Kabir, whose name was Adamas, was, in the traditions of Lemnos, the type of the primitive man born from the bosom of the Earth. He was the Archetype of the first males in the order of generation, and was one of the seven autochthonous ancestors or progenitors of mankind (ibid, p. 108). If, while coupling with this the fact that Samothrace was colonised by the Phoenicians, and before them by the mysterious Pelasgians who came from the East, one remembers also the identity of the mystery gods of the Phoenicians, Chaldeans, and Israelites, it will be easy to discover whence came also the confused account of the Noachian deluge. It has become undeniable of late that the Jews, who obtained their primitive ideas about creation from Moses, who had them from the Egyptians, compiled their Genesis and first Cosmogonic traditions -- when these were rewritten by Ezra and others -- from the Chaldeo-Akkadian account. It is, therefore, sufficient to examine the Babylonian and Assyrian cuneiform and other inscriptions to find also therein, scattered here and there, not only the original meaning of the name Adam, Admi, or Adami,* but also the creation of seven Adams or roots of men, born of Mother Earth, physically, and of the divine fire of the progenitors, spiritually or astrally. The Assyriologists, ignorant of the esoteric teachings, could hardly be expected to pay any greater attention to the mysterious and ever-recurring number seven on the Babylonian cylinders, than they paid to it on finding the same in Genesis and the Bible. Yet the number of the ancestral spirits and their seven groups of human progeny are there, notwithstanding the dilapidated condition of the fragments, as plainly as they are to be found in "Pymander" and in the "Book of the Concealed Mystery" of the Kabala. In the latter Adam Kadmon is the Sephirothal TREE, as also the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil." And that "Tree," says verse 32, "hath around it seven columns," or palaces, of the seven creative Angels operating in the spheres of the seven planets on our Globe. As Adam Kadmon is a collective name, so also is the name of the man Adam. Says George Smith in his "Chaldean Account of Genesis:" --

"The word Adam used in these legends for the first human being is evidently not a proper name, but is only used as a term for mankind. Adam appears as a proper name in Genesis, but certainly in some passages is only used in the same sense as the Assyrian word" (p. 86).

Moreover, neither the Chaldean nor the Biblical deluge (the stories of Xisuthrus and Noah) is based on the universal or even on the Atlantean deluges, recorded in the Indian allegory of Vaivaswata Manu. They are the exoteric allegories based on the esoteric mysteries of Samothrace. If the older Chaldees knew the esoteric truth concealed in the Puranic legends, the other nations were aware only of the Samothracian mystery, and allegorised it. They adapted it to their astronomical and anthropological, or rather phallic, notions. Samothrace is known historically to have been famous in antiquity for a deluge, which submerged the country and reached the top of the highest mountains; an event which happened before the age of the Argonauts. It was overflowed very

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------
* Vide § "Adam-Adami," in Part II. of this volume.

suddenly by the waters of the Euxine, regarded up to that time as a lake.* But the Israelites had, moreover, another legend upon which to base their allegory: the "deluge," that transformed the present Gobi Desert into a sea for the last time, some 10 or 12,000 years ago, and which drove many Noahs and their families on to the surrounding mountains. As the Babylonian accounts are now only restored from hundreds of thousands of broken fragments (the mound of Kouyunjik alone having yielded to Layard's excavations over twenty thousand fragments of inscriptions), the proofs here cited are comparatively scanty; yet such as they are, they corroborate almost every one of our teachings, certainly three, at least. These are: --

(1.) That the race which was the first to fall into generation was a dark Race (Zalmat Gaguadi), which they call the Adami or dark Race, and that Sarku, or the light Race, remained pure for a long while subsequently.

(2.) That the Babylonians recognised two principal Races at the time of the Fall, the Race of the Gods (the Ethereal doubles of the Pitris), having preceded these two. This is Sir H. Rawlinson's opinion. These "Races" are our second and third Root-races.

(3) That these seven Gods, each of whom created a man, or group of men, were "the gods imprisoned or incarnated." These gods were: the god Zi; the god Ziku (noble life, Director of purity); the god Mirku (noble crown) "Saviour from death of the gods" (later on) imprisoned, and the creator of "the dark Race which his hand has made;" the god Libzu "wise among the gods"; the god Nissi . . . . and the god Suhhab; and Hea or Sa, their synthesis, the god of wisdom and of the Deep, identified with Oannes-Dagon, at the time of the fall, and called (collectively) the Demiurge, or Creator. (See Chaldean Account Genesis, p. 82.)

There are two "Creations" so called, in the Babylonian fragments, and Genesis having adhered to this, one finds its first two chapters distinguished as the Elohite and the Jehovite creations. Their proper order, however, is not preserved in these or in any other exoteric accounts. Now these "Creations," according to the occult teachings, refer respectively to the formation of the primordial seven men by the progenitors (the Pitris, or Elohim): and to that of the human groups after the fall.

All this will be examined in the light of science and comparisons drawn from the scriptures of all the ancient nations, the Bible included, as we proceed. Meanwhile, 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. That which in the Vendidad, for instance, is referred to as Airyanem Vaego (see Bund. 79, 12) wherein was born the original Zoroaster,* is called in the Puranic literature "Sveta-Dwipa," "Mount Meru," the abode of Vishnu, etc., etc.; and in the Secret Doctrine is simply named the land of the "Gods" under their chiefs the "Spirits of this Planet."

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. Astronomically, Apollo is of course the Sun, who, abandoning his Hellenic sanctuaries, loved to visit annually his far-away country, where the Sun was said never to set for one half of the year. [[Eggus gar nuktos te kai ematos eisi keleuthoi]], says a verse in the Odyssey (x. 86).

But historically, or better, perhaps, ethnologically and geologically, the meaning is different. 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 bona-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. Mr. A. R. Wallace, the naturalist, "extends the Australia of tertiary periods to New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, and perhaps to Fiji;" and from its Marsupial types he infers "a connection with the Northern Continent during the

Secondary period," writes Mr. C. Gould in "Mythical Monsters," p. 47. The subject is treated at length elsewhere.*

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. (See "Esoteric Buddhism.")

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. Since the day of its earliest teachings and the destruction of the great Atlantis, the face of the earth has changed more than once. There was a time when the delta of Egypt and Northern Africa belonged to Europe, before the formation of the Straits of Gibraltar, and a further upheaval of the continent, changed entirely the face of the map of Europe. The last serious change occurred some 12,000 years ago,** and was followed by the submersion of Plato's little Atlantic island, which he calls Atlantis after its parent continent. Geography was part of the mysteries, in days of old. Says the Zohar (iii., fol. 10a): "These secrets (of land and sea) were divulged to the men of the secret science, but not to the geographers."

The claim that physical man was originally a colossal pre-tertiary giant, and that he existed 18,000,000 years ago, must of course appear preposterous to admirers of, and believers in, modern learning. The whole posse comitatis of biologists will turn away from the conception of this third race Titan of the Secondary age, a being fit to fight as successfully with the then gigantic monsters of the air, sea, and land, as his forefathers -- the ethereal prototype of the Atlantean -- had little need to fear that which could not hurt him. The modern anthropologist is quite welcome to laugh at our Titans, as he laughs at the Biblical Adam, and as the theologian laughs at his pithecoid ancestor. The Occultists and their severe critics may feel that they have pretty well mutually squared their accounts by this time. Occult sciences claim less and give more, at all events, than either Darwinian Anthropology or Biblical Theology.

Nor ought the Esoteric Chronology to frighten any one; for, with regard to figures, the greatest authorities of the day are as fickle and as uncertain as the Mediterranean wave. As regards the duration of the geological periods alone, the learned men of the Royal Society are all hopelessly at sea, and jump from one million to five hundred millions of years with the utmost ease, as will be seen more than once during this comparison.

Take one instance for our present purpose -- the calculations of Mr. Croll. Whether, according to this authority, 2,500,000 years represent the time since the beginning of the tertiary age, or the Eocene period, as an American geologist makes him say;* or whether again Mr. Croll "allows fifteen millions since the beginning of the Eocene period," as quoted by an English geologist,** both sets of figures cover the claims made by the Secret Doctrine.* For assigning as the latter does from four to five million years between the incipient and the final evolution of the Fourth Root-Race, on the Lemuro-Atlantean Continents; one million years for the Fifth, or Aryan Race, to the present date; and about 850,000 since the submersion of the last large peninsula of the great Atlantis -- all this may have easily taken place within the 15,000,000 years conceded by Mr. Croll to the Tertiary Age. But, chronologically speaking, the duration of the period is of secondary importance, as we have, after all, certain American scientists to fall back upon. These gentlemen, unmoved by the fact that their assertions are called not only dubious but absurd, yet maintain that man existed so far back as in the Secondary Age. They have found human footprints on rocks of that formation; and furthermore, M. de Quatrefages finds no valid scientific reason why man should not have existed during the Secondary Age.

The "Ages" and periods in geology are, in sober truth, purely conventional terms, as they are still hardly delineated, and, moreover, no two geologists or naturalists agree as to the figures. Thus, there is a wide margin for choice offered to the Occultist by the learned fraternity. Shall we take for one of our supports Mr. T. Mellard Reade? This gentleman, in a paper on "Limestone as an Index of Geological Time," read by him in 1878 before the Royal Society, claims that the minimum time required for the formation of the sedimentary strata and the elimination of the calcareous matter is in round numbers 600 million years (See "Proceedings of Royal Society," London, Vol. XXVIII., p. 281); or shall we ask support for our chronology from Mr. Darwin's works, wherein he demands for the organic transformations according to his theory from 300 to 500 million years? Sir C. Lyell and Prof. Houghton were satisfied with placing the beginning of the Cambrian Age at 200 and 240 millions of years back respectively. Geologists and zoologists claim the maximum time, though Mr. Huxley, at one time, placed the beginning of the incrustation of the earth 1,000 million years ago, and would not surrender a millennium of it.

But the main point for us lies not in the agreement or disagreement of the Naturalists as to the duration of geological periods, but rather in their perfect accord on one point, for a wonder, and this a very important one. They all agree that during "The Miocene Age" -- whether one or ten million years ago -- Greenland and even Spitzbergen, the remnants of our Second or Hyperborean Continent, "had almost a tropical climate." Now the pre-Homeric Greeks had preserved a vivid tradition of this "Land of the Eternal Sun," whither their Apollo journeyed yearly. "During the Miocene Age, Greenland (in N. Lat. 70 degrees) developed an abundance of trees, such as the Yew, the Redwood, the Sequoia, allied to the Californian species, Beeches, Planes, Willows, Oaks, Poplars and Walnuts, as well as a Magnolia and a Zamia," says Science; in short Greenland had Southern plants unknown to Northern regions.

And now this natural question rises. If the Greeks knew, in the days of Homer, of a Hyperborean land, i.e., a blessed land beyond the reach of Boreas, the god of winter and of the hurricane, an ideal region which the later Greeks and their classics have vainly tried to locate by searching for it beyond Scythia, a country where nights were short and days long, and beyond that land a country where the sun never set and the palm grew freely -- if they knew of all this, who then told them of it? In their day, and for ages previously, Greenland must certainly have been already covered with perpetual snows, with never-thawing ice, just as it is now. Everything tends to show that the land of the short nights and the long days was Norway or Scandinavia, beyond which was the blessed land of eternal light and summer; and to know of this, their tradition must have descended to the Greeks from some people more ancient than themselves, who were acquainted with those climatic details of which the Greeks themselves could know nothing. Even in our day, science suspects beyond the Polar seas, at the very circle of the Arctic Pole, the existence of a sea which never freezes and a continent which is ever green. The archaic teachings, and likewise the Puranas -- for one who understands the allegories of the latter -- contain the same statements. Suffice, then, to us the strong probability that a people, now unknown to history, lived during the Miocene period of modern science, at a time when Greenland was an almost tropical land.


NOTE. The reader is requested to bear in mind that the first and the following sections are not strictly consecutive in order of time. In the first Section the Stanzas which form the skeleton of the exposition are given, and certain important points commented upon and explained. In the subsequent sections various additional details are gathered, and a fuller explanation of the subject is attempted.




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