The Secret Doctrine by H. P. Blavatsky — Vol. 2
Vol. 2, Page xv
[[Eh eme didache ouk estin eme, alla tou pemphantos me.]]
“My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.”
— John vii. 16.
Vol. 2, Page xvi
Modern science insists upon the doctrine of evolution; so do human reason and the “Secret Doctrine,” and the idea is corroborated by the ancient legends and myths, and even by the Bible itself when it is read between the lines. We see a flower slowly developing from a bud, and the bud from its seed. But whence the latter, with all its predetermined programme of physical transformation, and its invisible, therefore spiritual forces which gradually develop its form, colour, and odour? The word evolution speaks for itself. The germ of the present human race must have preexisted in the parent of this race, as the seed, in which lies hidden the flower of next summer, was developed in the capsule of its parent flower; the parent may be but slightly different, but it still differs from its future progeny. The antediluvian ancestors of the present elephant and lizard were, perhaps, the mammoth and the plesiosaurus; why should not the progenitors of our human race have been the “giants” of the Vedas, the Voluspa, and the Book of Genesis? While it is positively absurd to believe the “transformation of species” to have taken place according to some of the more materialistic views of the evolutionists, it is but natural to think that each genus, beginning with the molluscs and ending with man, had modified its own primordial and distinctive forms. — “Isis Unveiled,” Vol. I., p. 153.
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ON THE ARCHAIC STANZAS, AND THE FOUR PRE-HISTORIC CONTINENTS.
“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.*
* See Genesis ch. ii., v. 19. Adam is formed in verse 7, and in verse 19 it is said: “Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them.” Thus man was created before the animals; for the animals mentioned in chapter i. are the signs of the Zodiac, while the man, “male and female,” is not man, but the Host of the Sephiroth; Forces, or Angels, “made in his (God’s) image and after his likeness.” The Adam, man, is not made in that likeness, nor is it so asserted in the Bible. Moreover, the Second Adam [[Footnote continued on next page]]
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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
[[Footnote continued from previous page]] is esoterically a septenary which represents seven men, or rather groups of men. For the first Adam — the Kadmon — is the synthesis of the ten Sephiroth. Of these, the upper triad remains in the Archetypal World as the future “Trinity,” while the seven lower Sephiroth create the manifested material world; and this septenate is the second Adam. Genesis, and the mysteries upon which it was fabricated, came from Egypt. The “God” of the 1st chapter of Genesis is the Logos, and the “Lord God” of the 2nd chapter the Creative Elohim — the lower powers.
* Thus saith Pymander — “This is the mystery that to this day was hidden. Nature being mingled with the Heavenly man (Elohim, or Dhyanis), brought forth a wonder . . . . Seven men, all males and females (Hermaphrodite) . . . according to the nature of the seven Governors” — Book II. v. 29) — or the seven Hosts of the Pitris or Elohim, who projected or created him. This is very clear, but yet, see the interpretations of even our modern theologians, men supposed to be intellectual and learned! In the “Theological and philosophical works of Hermes Trismegistus, Christian (?) Neoplatonist,” a work compiled by John David Chambers, of Oriel College, Oxford, the translator wonders “for whom these seven men are intended?” He solves the difficulty by concluding that, as “the original pattern man (Adam Kadmon of ch. i. Genesis) was masculine-feminine, the seven may signify the succeeding patriarchs named in Genesis” (p. 9) . . . A truly theological way of cutting the Gordian knot.
Vol. 2, Page 3 THE LEMNOS-BORN KABIRI.
(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 “Philosophomena,” 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
* As it is now asserted that the Chaldean tablets, which give the allegorical description of Creation, the Fall, and the Flood, even to the legend of the Tower of Babel, were written “before the time of Moses” (See G. Smith’s “Chaldean Account of Genesis,” p. 86), how can the Pentateuch be called a revelation? It is simply another version of the same story.
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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
* Vide § “Adam-Adami,” in Part II. of this volume.
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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.
* See Pliny, 4, c. 12; Strabo, 10; Herodotus, 7, c. 108; Pausanias, 7, c. 4, etc.
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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.”†
* By “original” we mean the “Amshaspend,” called “Zarathustra, the lord and ruler of the Vara made by Yima in that land.” There were several Zarathustra or Zertusts, the Dabistan alone enumerating thirteen; but these were all the reincarnations of the first one. The last Zoroaster was the founder of the Fire temple of Azareksh and the writer of the works on the primeval sacred Magian religion destroyed by Alexander.
† In India called “The Day of Brahma.”
Vol. 2, Page 7 HYPERBOREAS AND LEMURIA.
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
* See Volcker, “Mythological Geography,” pp. 145 to 170.
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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,†
* It is to be remarked, however, that Mr. Wallace does not accept Mr. Sclater’s idea, and even opposes it. Mr. Sclater supposes a land or continent formerly uniting Africa, Madagascar, and India (but not Australia and India); and Mr. A. R. Wallace shows, in his “Geographical Distribution of Animals” and “Island Life,” that the hypothesis of such a land is quite uncalled for on the alleged zoological grounds. But he admits that a much closer proximity of India and Australia did certainly exist, and at a time so very remote that it was “certainly pre-tertiary,” and he adds in a private letter that “no name has been given to this supposed land.” Yet the land did exist, and was of course pre-tertiary, for “Lemuria” (accepting this name for the third Continent) had perished before Atlantis had fully developed; and the latter sunk and its chief portions had disappeared before the end of the Miocene period.
† One more “coincidence” —
“Now it is proved that in geologically recent times, this region of North Africa was in fact a peninsula of Spain, and that its union with Africa (proper) was effected on the North by the rupture of Gibraltar, and on the South by an upheaval to which the Sahara owes its existence. The shores of this former sea of Sahara are still marked by the shells [[Footnote continued on next page]]
Vol. 2, Page 9 PRE-TERTIARY GIANTS.
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 comitatus 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
[[Footnote continued from previous page]] of the same Gastropoda that live on the shores of the Mediterranean.” (Prof. Oscar Schmidt, “Doctrine of Descent and Darwinism,” p. 244.)
* A. Winchell, Professor of Geology, “World-Life,” p. 369.
† Mr. Charles Gould, late Geological surveyor of Tasmania, in “Mythical Monsters,” p. 84.
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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,
* Sir Charles Lyell, who is credited with having “happily invented the terms Eocene, Miocene, and Pliocene,” to mark the three divisions of the Tertiary age, ought really to have settled upon some approximate age for his “Mind-offspring.” Having left the duration of these periods, however, to the speculations of specialists, the greatest confusion and perplexity are the result of that happy thought. It seems like a hopeless task to quote one set of figures from one work, without the risk of finding it contradicted by the same Author in an earlier or a subsequent volume. Sir W. Thomson, one of the most eminent among the modern authorities, has changed, about half-a-dozen times, his opinion upon the age of the Sun and the date of the consolidation of the Earth’s crust. In Thomson and Tait’s “Natural Philosophy,” one finds only ten million years allowed, since the time when the temperature of the Earth permitted vegetable life to appear on it; (App. D et seq. also Trans. Roy. Soc. Edin. xxiii, Pt. 1, 157, 1862, where 847 is cancelled). Mr. Darwin gives Sir W. Thomson’s estimate as “a minimum of 98 and a maximum of 200 millions of years since the consolidation of the crust” (See Ch. Gould). In the same work (Nat. Phil.) 80 millions are given from the time of incipient incrustation to the present state of the world. And in his last lecture, as shown elsewhere, Sir W. Thomson declares (1887) that the Sun is not older than 15 millions of years! Meanwhile, basing his arguments as to the limits to the age of the Sun’s heat, on figures previously established by Sir W. Thomson, Mr. Croll allows 60 millions of years since the beginning of the Cambrian period. This is hopeful for the lovers of exact knowledge. Thus, whatever figures are given by Occult Science, they are sure to be corroborated by those of some one among the modern men of Science who are considered as authorities.
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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°) 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
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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.