In the ” Encyclopædia Britannica ” one finds, as the last word of science, that the antiquity of man is allowed to stretch only over “tens of thousands of years.” It becomes evident that as these figures may be made to fluctuate between 10,000 and 100,000, therefore they mean very little if anything, and only render still denser the darkness surrounding the question. Moreover, what matters it that science places the birth of man in the “pre- or post-glacial drift,” if we are told at the same time that the so-called “ice age” is simply a long succession of ages which “shaded without abrupt change of any kind into what is termed the human or Recent period . . . the overlapping of geological periods having been the rule from the beginning of time.” The latter “rule” only results in the still more puzzling, even if strictly scientific and correct, information, that “even to-day man is contemporary with the ice-age in the Alpine valleys and in the Finmark.”
Thus, had it not been for the lessons taught by the Secret Doctrine, and even by exoteric Hinduism and its traditions, we should be left to this day to float in perplexed uncertainty between the indefinite ages of one school of science, the “tens of thousands” of years of the other, and the 6,000 years of the Bible interpreters. This is one of the several reasons why, with all the respect due to the conclusions of the men of learning of our modern day, we are forced to ignore them in all such questions of pre-historic antiquity.
Modern Geology and Anthropology must, of course, disagree with our views. But Occultism will find as many weapons against these two sciences as it has against astronomical and physical theories, in spite of Mr. Laing’s assurances that “in (chronological) calculations of this sort, concerning older and later formations, there is no theory , and they are based on positive facts , limited only by a certain possible amount of error either way,” occultism will prove, scientific confessions in hand, that geology is very much in error, and very often even more so than Astronomy. In this very passage by Mr. Laing, which gives to Geology pre-eminence for correctness over Astronomy, we find a passage in flagrant contradiction to the admissions of the best Geologists themselves. Says the author:
“In short, the conclusions of Geology, at any rate up to the Silurian period, when the present order of things was fairly inaugurated, are approximate (truly so) facts and not theories, while the astronomical conclusions are theories based on data so uncertain, that while in some cases they give results incredibly short . . . in others they give results almost incredibly long.”
After which, the reader is advised that the safest course “seems to be to assume that Geology really proves the duration of the present order of things to have been somewhere over 100 millions of years,” as “Astronomy gives an enormous though unknown time in the past, and to come in the future, for the birth, growth, maturity, decline, and death of the Solar System, of which our Earth is a small planet now passing through the habitable phase.”(p. 49.)
Judging from past experience, we do not entertain the slightest doubt that, once called upon to answer “the absurd unscientific and preposterous claims of exoteric (and esoteric) Aryan chronology,” the scientist of “the results incredibly short,” i.e., only 15,000,000 years, and the scientist, who “would require 600,000,000 years,” together with those who accept Mr. Huxley’s figures of 1,000,000,000 “since sedimentation began in Europe” (World Life), would all be as dogmatic one as the other. Nor would they fail to remind the Occultist and the Brahmin, that it is the modern men of science alone who represent exact science, whose duty it is to fight inaccuracy and superstition.
The earth is passing through the “habitable phase” only for the present order of things, and as far as our present mankind is concerned with its actual “coats of skin” and phosphorus for bones and brain.
We are ready to concede the 100 millions of years offered by Geology, since we are taught that our present physical mankind — or the Vaivasvata humanity — began only 18 millions of years ago. But Geology has no facts to give us for the duration of geological periods, as we have shown, no more indeed than has Astronomy. The authentic letter from Mr. W. Pengelly, F.R.S., quoted elsewhere, says that: “It is at present, and perhaps always will be, IMPOSSIBLE to reduce, even approximately, geological time into years or even into millenniums.” And having never, hitherto, excavated a fossil man of any other than the present form —what does Geology know of him? It has traced zones or strata and, with these, primordial zoological life, down to the Silurian. When it has, in the same way, traced man down to his primordial protoplasmic form, then we will admit that it may know something of primordial man. If it is not very material “to the bearings of modern scientific discovery on modern thought,” whether “man has existed in state of constant though slow progression for the last 50,000 years of period of 15 millions, or for the last 500,000 years of a period of 150 millions” (Modern Science, etc. p. 49), as Mr. S. Laing tells his readers, it is very much so for the claims of the Occultists. Unless the latter show that it is a possibility, if not a perfect certainty, that man lived 18 millions of years ago, the Secret Doctrine might as well have remained unwritten. An attempt must, therefore, be made in this direction, and it is our modern geologists and men of science generally who will be brought to testify to this fact in the third part of this volume. Meanwhile, and notwithstanding the fact that Hindu Chronology is constantly represented by the Orientalists as a fiction based on no ” actual computation,” but simply a “childish boasting,”it is never-the-less often twisted out of recognition to make it yield to, and fit in with, Western theories. No figures have ever been more meddled with and tortured than the famous 4, 3, 2, followed by cyphers of the Yugas and Maha-Yugas .
As the whole cycle of prehistoric events, such as the evolution and transformation of Races and the extreme antiquity of man, hangs upon the said Chronology, it becomes extremely important to check it by other existing calculations. If the Eastern Chronology is rejected, we shall at least have the consolation of proving that no other — whether the figures of Science or of the Churches — is one whit more reliable. As Professor Max Muller expresses it, it is often as useful to prove what a thing is not as to show what it may be. And once we succeed in pointing out the fallacies of both Christian and scientific computations — by allowing them a fair chance of comparison with our Chronology — neither of the two will have a reasonable ground to stand upon, in pronouncing the esoteric figures less reliable than its own.
We may here refer the reader to our earlier work ” Isis Unveiled,” Vol. I., p. 32, for some remarks concerning the figures which were cited a few pages back.
Today a few more facts may be added to the information there given, which is already known to every Orientalist. The sacredness of the cycle of 4320, with additional cyphers, lies in the fact that the figures which compose it, taken separately or joined in various combinations, are each and all symbolical of the greatest mysteries in Nature. Indeed, whether one takes the 4 separately, or the 3 by itself, or the two together making 7, or again the three added together and yielding 9, all these numbers have their application in the most sacred and occult things, and record the workings of Nature in her eternally periodical phenomena. They are never erring, perpetually recurring numbers, unveiling, to him who studies the secrets of Nature, a truly divine System, an intelligent plan in Cosmogony, which results in natural cosmic divisions of times, seasons, invisible influences, astronomical phenomena, with their action and reaction on terrestrial and even moral nature; on birth, death, and growth, on health and disease. All these natural events are based and depend upon cyclical processes in the Kosmos itself, producing periodic agencies which, acting from without, affect the Earth and all that lives and breathes on it, from one end to the other of any Manvantara. Causes and effects are esoteric, exoteric and endexoteric, so to say.
In Isis Unveiled we wrote that which we now repeat: “We are at the bottom of a cycle and evidently in a transitory state . Plato divides the intellectual progress of the universe during every cycle into fertile and barren periods. In the sublunary regions, the spheres of the various elements remain eternally in perfect harmony with the divine nature, he says, ‘but their parts,’ owing to a too close proximity to earth and their commingling with the earthly (which is matter and therefore the realm of evil) ‘are sometimes according, and sometimes contrary to (divine) nature. ‘When those circulations — which Eliphas Levi calls ‘currents of the astral light’ — in the universal ether which contains in itself every element, take place in harmony with the divine spirit, our earth and everything pertaining to it enjoys a fertile period. The occult powers of plants, animals, and minerals magically sympathize with the ‘superior natures,’ and the divine soul of man is in perfect intelligence with these ‘inferior’ ones. But during the barren periods, the latter lose their magic sympathy, and the spiritual sight of the majority of mankind is so blinded as to lose every notion of the superior powers of its own divine spirit. We are in a barren period: the eighteenth century, during which the malignant fever of scepticism broke out so irrepressibly, has entailed unbelief as an hereditary disease upon the nineteenth. The divine intellect is veiled in man; his animal brain alone philosophizes .” And philosophizing alone, how can it understand the “SOUL DOCTRINE”?
The Secret Doctrine, ii 70–74
H. P. Blavatsky