This is a multi-volumn set of books, 3 in all and is one of the more difficult books I have read and tried to review.
One of the main thrusts of the books is that the human race has gained and lost an enormous amount of knowledge about our history and heritage. Much of this knowledge is scattered about in cryptic forms in a variety of writings that are mostly ignored or discounted. Of these, the most well-known are the references to the lost land of Atlantis (Plato) and the long periods of human records (Herodotus).
From the book’s introduction:
“The aim of this work may be thus stated: to show that Nature is not ‘a fortutitous concurrence of atoms’, and to assign to man his rightful place in the sceme of the universe; to rescue from degradation the archaic truths which are the basis of all religions; and to uncover, to some extent, the fundamental unity from which they all spring; finally, to show that the occult side of nature has never been approached by the Science of modern civilization.”
A summary of the work from the WikiPedia:
The first part of the book explained the origin and evolution of the universe itself, in terms derived from the Hindu concept of cyclical development. The world and everything in it is supposed to alternate between periods of activity (manvanataras) and periods of passivity (pralayas). Each manvantara lasts many millions of years and consists of a number of Yugas, in accordance with Hindu cosmology.
Blavatsky attempted to demonstrate that the discoveries of “materialist” science had been anticipated in the writings of ancient sages, and that materialism would be proven wrong.
The second half of the book describes the origins of humanity through an account of “Root Races” dating back millions of years. The first root race was, according to her, “ethereal”, the second root had more physical bodies and lived in Hyperborea. The third root race, the first to be truly human, existed on the lost continent of Lemuria and the fourth root race developed in Atlantis.
According to Blavatsky, the present fifth root race is approximately one million years old. It overlapped the fourth root race and the very first beginnings of the fifth root race were approximately in the middle of the fourth root race.
All this may seem rather odd, to say the least, to the “modern” secularist folks, but the depth of information and references presented are impressive and extensive. In fact, the list of references that are contained in the book is one of the most valuable parts
The beginning: “An archaic manuscript-a collection of palm leaves made impermeable to water, fire and air by some specific unknown process-is before the writer’s eyes.” What follows are remarks “translated from the Book of Dzyan”.
Some of the notes I made while reading:
Light is inconceivable except as coming from some source which is the cause of it.
The idea of Eternal Non-Being, which is the One Being, will appear a paradox to anyone who does not remember that we limit our ideas of being to our present conscience of existence; making it a specific, instead of a generic term. An unborn infant, could it think in our acceptation of that term, would necessarily limit its conception of being, in a similar manner, to the inter-uterine life which alone it knows, and were it to endeavor to express to its conscienciousness the idea of life after birth (death to it), it would, in the absence of data to go upon, and of faculties to comprehend such data, probably express that life as ‘Non-Being which is Real Being.
The idea of universal life is one of those ancient conceptions which are returning to the human mind in this century, as a consequence of its liberation from anthropomorphic theology.
The simile of an egg also expresses the fact taught by Occultism that the primordial form of everything manifested, from atom to globe, from man to angel, is spheroidal, the sphere having been with all nations the emblem of eternity and infinity–a serpent swallowing its tail. To realize the meaning, however, the sphere must be thought of as seen from its center.
According to the tenents of Eastern Occultism, Darkness is the one true actuality, the basis and root of light, without which the latter could never manifest itself, nor even exist.
The refusal to admit in the whole solar-system of any other reasonable and intelligent beings on the human plane, than ourselves, is the greatest conceit of our age.
The Sun is matter. and the Sun is Spirit. Our ancestors–the “Heathen,”–along with their modern succors, the Parsis–were and are, wise enough in their generation to see in it the symbol of Divinity, and at the same time to sense within, concealed by the physical Symbol, the bright God of Spirituality and terrestrial Light. Such belief is now regarded as a superstition only by rank materialism, which denies Deity, Spirit, SOul and admits no intelligence outside the mind of man.
Speaking of the Zodiac, one of the most enduring mysteries: Let us remember, however, also that which was said and accepted by the contemporaries of Volney, who in his “Ruins of Empires”p 360 remarks that as Aries was in its fifteenth degree 1447 BC, it follows that the first degree od Libra could not have coincided with the vernal equinox more lately than 15,194 years BC, to which you add 1790 years since Christ, it appears that 16,984 years have elapsed since the origin of the Zodiac.
Where there is no struggle, there is no merit.
The fact that mankind was never more selfish and viscious than it is now, civilized nations having succeeded in making the first an ethical characteristic, of the second an art…
The Book of Enoch…”The great inclination of the earth”
References to other works:
The oasis of Tchertchen
The Siphrah Dzeniouta
Book of Dzyan
The Book of Hermes
Cory – “Ancient Fragments”
Tables of Massireddin in 1269
Ecloga Physicae et Ethica of Stobaeus