Current Theme:  Meta-Geology

Polarity and Transformation      SD i 204-206

Prehistoric Continents          SD ii 6-12

Geological Changes       SD ii  46-47

The Ocean, Moon and Earth   SD ii 64-66

Cataclysms and Evolution    SD ii 138-160

The Lost Continent     SD ii 220-224

Geological Strata     SD ii 249-251

The Deluge              SD ii 310-315

Axial Disturbance      SD ii 323-335

Legendary Lands      SD  ii 393-402

Geological Chronology     SD  ii 708-730

The Succession of Worlds     SD  ii 756-760

Submerged Continents      SD  ii  778-784

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Polarity and Transformation      SD i 204-206

7. MAKE THY CALCULATIONS, O LANOO, IF THOU WOULDST LEARN THE CORRECT AGE OF THY SMALL WHEEL (chain). ITS FOURTH SPOKE IS OUR MOTHER (Earth) (a). REACH THE FOURTH "FRUIT" OF THE FOURTH PATH OF KNOWLEDGE THAT LEADS TO NIRVANA, AND THOU SHALT COMPREHEND, FOR THOU SHALT SEE (b).

(a) The "small wheel" is our chain of spheres, and the fourth spoke is our Earth, the fourth in the chain. It is one of those on which the "hot (positive) breath of the Sun" has a direct effect.*

To calculate its age, however, as the pupil is asked to do in the Stanza, is rather difficult, since we are not given the figures of the Great Kalpa, and are not allowed to publish those of our small Yugas, except as to the approximate duration of these. "The older wheels rotated for one Eternity and one half of an Eternity," it says. We know that by "Eternity" the seventh part of 311,040,000,000,000 years, or an age of Brahmâ is meant. But what of that? We also know that, to begin with, if we take for our basis the above figures, we have first of all to eliminate from the 100 years of Brahmâ (or 311,040,000,000,000 years) two years taken up by the Sandhyas (twilights), which leaves 98, as we have to bring it to the mystical combination 14 x 7. But we have no knowledge at what time precisely the evolution and formation of our little earth began.

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Prehistoric Continents          SD ii 6-12

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 Vaêgo (see Bund. 79, 12) wherein was born the original Zoroaster,* is called in the Purânic literature "Sveta-Dwîpa," "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 Brahmâ."

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More from:  Geological Changes       SD ii  46-47

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. Eggu;" ga;r nukto" te kai h~mato" eisi keleuQoi, 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.

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Still more:  Geological Changes       SD ii  46-47

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.

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Last additions from        Geological Changes       SD ii  46-47

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,

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These various continents identified here are the story of ourselves and not of some foreign pilgrims.  It is our own march through time.

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Geological Changes       SD ii  46-47

Man's organism was adapted in every race to its surroundings. The first Root-Race was as ethereal as ours is material. The progeny of the seven Creators, who evolved the seven primordial Adams,* surely required no purified gases to breathe and live upon (see Part III. of this Volume). Therefore, however strongly the impossibility of this teaching may be urged by the devotees of modern science, the Occultist maintains that the case was as stated æons of years before even the evolution of the Lemurian, the first physical man, which itself took place 18,000,000 years ago.†

Preliminary evolution is described in one of the BOOKS OF DZYAN and the Commentaries thereon in this wise: —

Archaic Scripture teaches that at the commencement of every local Kalpa, or Round, the earth is reborn; "as the human Jiva (monad), when passing into a new womb, gets re-covered with a new body, so does the Jiva of the Earth; it gets a more perfect and solid covering with each Round after re-emerging once more from the matrix of space into objectivity" (Comment). This process is attended, of course, by the throes of the new birth or geological convulsions.

Thus the only reference to it is contained in one verse of the volume of the Book of Dzyan before us, where it says:

—————

4. AND AFTER GREAT THROES SHE (the Earth) CAST OFF HER OLD THREE AND PUT ON HER NEW SEVEN SKINS, AND STOOD IN HER FIRST ONE (a).

(a) This refers to the growth of the Earth, whereas in the Stanza treating of the First Round it is said (given in the Commentary):

"After the changeless (avikâra) immutable nature (Essence, sadaikarûpa) had awakened and changed (differentiated) into (a state of) causality (avayakta), and from cause (Karana) had become its own discrete effect (vyakta), from invisible it became visible. The smallest of the small (the most atomic of atoms, or aniyâmsam aniyasam) became one and the many (ekanekárûpa); and producing the Universe produced also the Fourth Loka (our Earth) in the garland of the seven lotuses. The Achyuta then became the Chyuta.*

The Earth is said to cast off her old three skins, because this refers to the three preceding Rounds she has already passed through; the present being the fourth Round out of the seven. At the beginning of every new ROUND, after a period of "obscuration," the earth (as do also the other six "earths") casts off, or is supposed to cast off, her old skins as the Serpent does: therefore she is called in the Aitareya-Brâhmana the Sarpa Rajni, "the Queen of the Serpents," and "the mother of all that moves." The "Seven Skins," in the first of which she now stands, refer to the seven geological changes which accompany and correspond to the evolution of the Seven Root-Races of Humanity.

* As shown elsewhere, it is only the "Heavenly Man," Adam Kadmon, of the first chapter of Genesis, who is made "in the image and likeness of God." Adam, of chapter ii., is not said to be made in that image nor in the divine likeness, before he ate of the forbidden fruit. The former Adam is the Sephirothal Host; the second Adam is the Mindless first human Root-race; the third Adam is the race that separated, whose eyes are opened.

* Achyuta is an almost untranslatable term. It means that which is not subject to fall or change for the worse: the Unfalling; and it is the reverse of chyuta, "the Fallen." The Dhyanis who incarnate in the human forms of the Third Root-Race and endow them with intellect (Manas) are called the chyuta, for they fall into generation.

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Geological Strata     SD ii 249-251

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,

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The Deluge              SD ii 310-315

"As somebody — Colonel Vans Kennedy, if we do not mistake — remarked, "the first principle in Hindu religious philosophy is Unity in diversity." If all those Manus and Rishis are called by one generic name, this is due to the fact that they are one and all the manifested Energies of one and the same LOGOS, the celestial, as well as the terrestrial messengers and permutations of that Principle which is ever in a state of activity; conscious during the period of Cosmic evolution, unconscious (from our point of view) during Cosmic rest, as the Logos sleepeth in the bosom of THAT which "sleepeth not," nor is it ever awake — for it is SAT or Be-ness, not a Being. It is from IT that issues the great unseen Logos, who evolves all the other logoi, the primeval MANU who gives being to the other Manus, who emanate the universe and all in it collectively, and who represent in their aggregate the manifested Logos.* Hence we learn in the "Commentaries" that while no Dhyan Chohan, not even the highest, can realise completely "the condition of the preceding Cosmic evolution," "the Manus retain a knowledge of their experiences of all the Cosmic evolutions throughout Eternity." This is very plain: the first Manu is called Swayambhûva,"the Self-manifested," the Son of the unmanifested FATHER. The Manus are the creators of the creators of our First Race — the Spirit of mankind — which does not prevent the seven Manus from having been the first "pre-Adamic" men on Earth."

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Unity in diversity is also the first principle of the visual arts.

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The Deluge              SD ii 310-315

Thus it is shown that there is no real discrepancy in speaking of the Vaivasvata Manvantara (Manu-antara, lit. "between two Manus") 18,000,000 odd years ago, when physical, or the truly human man first appeared in his Fourth Round on this earth; and of the other Vaivasvatas, e.g., the Manu of the Great Cosmic or sidereal Flood (a mystery), or again the Manu Vaivasvata of the submerged Atlantis, when the racial Vaivasvata saved the elect of Humanity, the Fifth Race, from utter destruction. As the several (and quite different) events are purposely blended in the Vishnu and other Purânas in one narrative, there may yet be a great deal of perplexity left in the profane reader's mind. Therefore, as constant elucidation is needed, we must be forgiven unavoidable repetitions. The blinds which conceal the real mysteries of Esoteric philosophy are great and puzzling, and even now the last word cannot be given. The veil, however, may be a little more removed and some explanations, hitherto denied, may now be offered to the earnest student.

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Geological Chronology     SD  ii 708-730

It seems, however, possible to calculate the approximate duration of the geological periods from the combined data of Science and Occultism now before us. Geology is, of course, able to determine almost with certainty one thing — the thickness of the several deposits. Now, it also stands to reason that the time required for the deposition of any stratum on a sea-bottom must bear a strict proportion to the thickness of the mass thus formed. Doubtless the rate of erosion of land and the sorting out of matter on to ocean beds has varied from age to age, and cataclysmic changes of various kinds break the "uniformity" of ordinary geological processes. Provided, however, we have some definite numerical basis on which to work, our task is rendered less difficult than it might at first sight appear to be. Making due allowance for variations in the rate of deposit, Professor Lefevre gives us the relative figures which sum up geological time. He does not attempt to calculate the lapse of years since the first bed of the Laurentian rocks was deposited, but postulating that time as = X, he presents us with the relative proportions in which the various periods stand to it. Let us premise our estimate by stating that, roughly speaking, the Primordial rocks are 70,000 ft., the Primary 42,000 ft., the Secondary 15,000 ft., the Tertiary 5,000 ft., and the Quaternary some 500 ft. in thickness: —

"Dividing into an hundred parts the time, whatever its actual length, that has passed since the dawn of life on this earth (lower Laurentian strata), we shall be led to attribute to the primordial age more than half of the whole duration, say 53.5; to the Primary 32.2; to the Secondary 11.5; to the Tertiary 2.3; to the Quaternary 0.5 or one-half per cent." ("Philosophy," p. 481.)