Theosophy: Lemuria and Atlantis

“Ideas and arts were communicated in early times, slowly, by a hand-to-had process, over many extensive distances, and myths and artifacts, tools, and even slaves and captives have been known to travel thousands of miles from the areas of their origin by exchange or barter. Atlantis and Lemuria knew about each other, but contact was probably through diffusion.”

Spence (1933)

Blavatsky’s Missing Continents

Blavatsky was the first to place Lemuria in the Pacific Ocean near California, not in the Indian Ocean. This reflects a shift in orientation in occultist materials from the East to Western sources. Many people involved in the occult movement were located in North America, so the ancient histories seem more accessible when placed in this geographic location. Theosophy may be considered a modern Gnostic movement continuing from the late nineteenth century and the precursor to New Age beliefs. Theosophical philosophy is found in ancient Greece in the writings of Plato, Plotinus, neo-Platonists, and Jakob Boehme (1575-1624), who wrote Mysterium Magnum (1976[1623]). Boehme describes evil as necessary and God as an abyssal nothing (Palmer 1954). Many of his followers were absorbed by the Quakers.

Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine (1928) and Isis Unveiled (1931) describe the ancestors of humans not as simians but as highly evolved and technological beings. Blavatsky provided a theory of evolution for those seeking an alternative to Darwin and Christian beliefs. People find their descent from apes and monkeys distasteful, and for many, humans evolving from the spirit is more palatable. Thus, for Theosophists, Darwin had discovered only part of the human evolution record.

Blavatsky’s Root-Races

According to Blavatsky (1928; 1931), there are seven Root-Races of humans. The First and Second Root-Races were ethereal beings who had no speech, sight, or sex. The Second Root-Race existed on a continent called Hyperborea, located at the North Pole. Here, the Lemurians chose to take a material body, spoke in monosyllables, and engaged in sex. The Fourth Root-Race, from which most humans today are descendants, was located in Atlantis. Black people have degenerated from the original Lemurians; Caucasians are descendants of the Fifth Root-Race and are far removed from Black peoples. Thus, Theosophy provides an explanation for human variation and racism. The races of Lemuria were ethnically diverse but governed by a white race.

The Lemurian and Rmoahal offspring had black skin, stood twelve feet tall, and bred with the Sixth and Seventh sub-races of the Lemurians. Cro-Magnon is the descendants of the Rmoahals. Interestingly, William Scott-Elliot (1990[1896]) believed that the Lemurians went through an egg-laying phase and then bred with beasts, resulting in the great apes. These great apes evolved into Cro-Magnon humans, which are the earliest known type of modern human found in Europe, from 50,000 to 30,000 years ago.

Theosophists placed Lemuria in the Mesozoic era (250 to 65 million years ago) until the end of the Permian (290 to 245 million years ago). At the end of the Mesozoic era, the Atlantean Fourth Root-Race began to appear, and their sub-race, the Rmoahals, bred with the Lemurians. In the Eocene Period (55 to 38 million years ago) the Lemurian continent vanished due to cataclysmic events; the sinking of Lemuria took almost 700,000 years. For the Lemurians that survived, many traveled to Atlantis, creating the Fourth Root-Race. The Fourth Root-Race evolved into what are now the Chinese, Japanese, Polynesians, Indians, Siberians, and North Pole tribes (Spence 1933:95).

According to Theosophists, another sub-race, the Tlavatlis, were red-skinned; their descendants now live in Mexico and Central America. Also occurring at the same time of the destruction of Lemuria was the flight of the Toltecs. The Toltecs were originally eight feet tall and kept the Atlantean glory alive through the establishment of a monarchy. However, their culture disintegrated after 100,000 years because of their gross misuse of psychic powers. Another sub-race, the Turanians, also fought the Toltecs and were cruel and lawless. When Atlantis began to sink, the Turanians migrated to Asia and began the Seventh sub-race, which is now the Mongolians. The Fifth sub-race, the Semites, were driven out of Atlantis by the Sixth sub-race, the Akkadians, who are the present-day Basque people.

The constituent sub-races of the Aryan race are Hindus, Sumerians, Egyptians, Hellenes, Europeans, Nova men, and a race that will appear in the future as the seventh sub-race. The sixth race constitutes a new coming group that will possess a higher consciousness than humans today. However, this was very futuristic when it first appeared and now seems very dated. The future of nanotechnology, cyborgs, and genetic engineering seems like drastically overtaking any theosophical version of a coming race.

Further Reading

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