Theosophy – The Reality of Lemuria and Atlantis, by H.P. Blavatsky

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THE REALITY OF LEMURIA AND ATLANTIS

 

Having now dealt generally with the broad scientific attitude on the two questions, it will, perhaps, conduce to an agreeable brevity, if we sum up the more striking isolated facts in favour of that fundamental contention of Esoteric Ethnologists — the reality of Atlantis. Lemuria is so widely accepted, that further pursuit of the subject is unnecessary. With regard, however, to the former, it is found that:

(1) The Miocene flora of Europe have their most numerous and striking analogues in the flora of the United States. In the forests of Virginia and Florida are found the magnolias, tulip-trees, evergreen oaks, plane trees, etc., etc., etc., which correspond with European Tertiary flora term for term. How was the migration effected, if we exclude the theory of an Atlantic Continent bridging the ocean between America and Europe? The proposed “explanation” to the effect that the transition was by way of Asia and the Aleutian islands is a mere uncalled-for theory, obviously upset by the fact that a large number of these flora only appear EAST of the Rocky Mountains. This also negatives the idea of a trans-Pacific migration. They are now superseded by European continents and islands to the North.

(2) Skulls exhumed on the banks of the Danube and Rhine bear a striking similarity to those of the Caribs and Old Peruvians (Littre). Monuments have been exhumed in Central America, which bear representations of undoubted negro heads and faces. How are such facts to be accounted for except on the Atlantean hypothesis? What is now N. W. Africa was once connected with Atlantis by a network of islands, few of which now remain.

(3) According to Farrar (“Families of Speech“) the”isolated language” of the Basques has no affinities with the other languages 1 of Europe, but with “the aboriginal languages of the vast opposite continent (America) and those alone.” Professor Broca is also of the same opinion.

Palæolithic European man of the Miocene and Pliocene times was a pure Atlantean, as we have previously stated. The Basques are, of course, of a much later date than this, but their affinities, as here shown, go far to prove the original extraction of their remote ancestors. The “mysterious” affinity between their tongue and that of the Dravidian races of India will be understood by those who have followed our outline of continental formations and shiftings.

(4) Stones have been found in the Canary Islands bearing sculptured symbols similar to those found on the shore of Lake Superior. Berthollet was induced by such evidence to postulate the unity of race of the early men of Canary Islands and America (Cf. Benjamin, the “Atlantic Islands,” p. 130.)

The Guanches of the Canary Islands were lineal descendants of the Atlanteans. This fact will account for the great stature evidenced by their old skeletons, as well as by those of their European congeners, the Cro-Magnon Palæolithic men.

(5) Any experienced mariner has but to navigate the fathomless ocean along the Canary Islands to ask himself the question when or how that group of volcanic and rocky little islands has been formed, surrounded on every side by that vast watery space. Such frequent questions led finally to the expedition of the famous Leopold von Buch, which took place in the first quarter of the present century. Some geologists maintained that the volcanic islands had been raised right from the bottom of the ocean, the depth of which in the immediate vicinity of the island varies from 6,000 to 18,000 feet. Others were inclined to see in these groups, including Madeira, the Azores, and the islands of Cape de Verdes — the remnants of a gigantic but submerged continent which had once united Africa with America. The latter men of science supported their hypothesis by a mass of evidence in its favour, drawn from ancient “myths.” Hoary “superstitions,” such as the fairy-like Atlantis of Plato, the Garden of Hesperides, Atlas supporting the world on his shoulders, all of them mythoi connected with the peak of Teneriffe, did not go far with sceptical Science. The identity of animal and vegetable species — showing either a previous connection between America and the remaining groups of the islands — (the hypothesis of their having been drifted from the New to the Old World by the waves was too absurd to stand long) — found more serious consideration. But it is only quite lately, and after Donnelly’s book had been published several years, that the theory has greater chances than ever of becoming an accepted fact. Fossils found on the Eastern Coast of South America have now been proved to belong to the Jurassic formations, and are nearly identical with the Jurassic fossils of Western Europe and Northern Africa. The geological structure of both coasts is also almost identical;the resemblance between the smaller marine animals dwelling in the more shallow waters of South America, the Western African, and the South European coasts, is also very great. All such facts are bound to bring naturalists to the conclusion that there has been, in distant pre-historic ages, a continent which extended from the coast of Venezuela, across the Atlantic Ocean, to the Canarese Islands and North Africa, and from Newfoundland nearly to the coast of France.

(6) The great resemblance between the Jurassic fossils of South America, North Africa, and Western Europe is a striking enough fact in itself, and admits of no explanation, unless the ocean is bridged with an Atlantis. But why, also, is there so marked a similarity between the fauna (animal life) of the — now — isolated Atlantic islands? Why did the specimens of Brazilian fauna dredged up by Sir C. Wyville Thompson resemble those of Western Europe? Why does a resemblance exist between many of the West African and West Indian animal groups? Again:

“When the animals and plants of the Old and New World are compared, one cannot but be struck with their identity;all, nearly all belong to the same genera, while many, even of the species, are common to both continents . . . indicating that they radiated from a common centre” (Atlantis), (“Westminster Review,” Jan., 1872).

The horse, according to Science, originated in America. At least, a large proportion of the once “missing links” connecting it with inferior forms have been exhumed from American strata. How did the horse penetrate into Europe and Asia, if no land communication bridged the oceanic interspaces? Or if it is asserted that the horse originated in the New World, how did such forms as the hipparion, etc., get into America in the first instance on the migration hypothesis?

Again “Buffon had . . . remarked in the repetition of the African in the American fauna, how, for example, the lama is a juvenescent and feeble copy of the camel, and how the puma of the New represented the lion of the Old World” (Schmidt, “Doctrine of Descent and Darwinism, p. 223).

(7) The following quotation runs with No. (2), but its significance is such and the writer cited so authoritative, that it deserves a place to itself:

“With regard to the primitive dolichocephalæ of America, I entertain a hypothesis still more bold, namely, that they are nearly related to the Guanches of the Canary Islands, and to the Atlantic populations of Africa, the Moors, Tuaricks, Copts, which Latham comprises under the name of Egyptian-Atlantidæ. We find one and the same form of skull in the Canary Islands, in front of the African coast, and in the Carib islands, on the opposite coast which faces Africa. The colour of the skin on both sides of the Atlantic is represented in these populations as being of a reddish-brown.” (Professor Retzius, “Smithsonian Report,” 1859, p. 266.)

If, then, Basques and Cro-Magnon Cave-Men are of the same race as the Canarese Guanches, it follows that the former are also allied to the aborigines of America. This is the conclusion which the independent investigations of Retzius, Virchow, and de Quatrefages necessitate. The Atlantean affinities of these three types become patent.

(8) The sea-soundings undertaken by H.M.S. “Challenger” and the “Dolphin,” have established the fact that a huge elevation some 3,000 miles in length, projecting upwards from the abysmal depths of the Atlantic, extends from a point near the British Islands southwards, curving round near Cape de Verde, and running in a south-easterly direction along the West African Coast. This elevation averages some 9,000 feet in height, and rises above the waves at the Azores, Ascension, and other places. In the ocean depths around the neighbourhood of the former the ribs of a former massive piece of land have been discovered (vide investigations of United States Ship “Dolphin” and others). “The inequalities, the mountains and valleys of its surface could never have been produced in accordance with any known laws for the deposition of sediment, nor by submarine elevation;but, on the contrary, must have been carved by agencies acting above the water-level.” (Scientific American, July 28th, 1877). It is most probable that necks of land formerly existed knitting Atlantis to South America, somewhere above the mouth of the Amazon; to Africa near Cape de Verde, while a similar point of juncture with Spain is not unlikely, as contended for by Donnelly. (Vide his chart, “Atlantis,” p. 47, Eng. Ed., 1884, though he deals with only a fragment of the real continent.) Whether the latter existed or not, is of no consequence, as the fact that (what is now) N. W. Africa was — before the elevation of the Sahara and the rupture of the Gibraltar connection — an extension of Spain. Consequently no difficulty can be raised as to how the migration of the European fauna (etc.) took place.

Enough has now been said from the purely scientific standpoint, and it is needless, in view of the manner in which the subject has now been developed on the lines of esoteric knowledge, to swell the mass of testimony further. In conclusion, the words of one of the most intuitive writers of the day may be cited as admirably illustrative of the opinions of the occultist, who awaits in patience the dawn of the coming day:

“We are but beginning to understand the past; one hundred years ago the world knew nothing of Pompeii or Herculaneum; nothing of the lingual tie that binds together the Indo-European nations; nothing of the significance of the vast volume of inscriptions upon the tombs and temples of Egypt; nothing of the meaning of the arrow-headed inscriptions of Babylon; nothing of the marvellous civilizations revealed in the remains of Yucatan, Mexico, and Peru. We are on the threshold. Scientific investigation is advancing with giant strides. Who shall say that one hundred years from now, the great museums of the world may not be adorned with gems, statues, arms, and implements from Atlantis, while the libraries of the world shall contain translations of its inscriptions, throwing new light upon all the past history of the human race, and all the great problems which now perplex the thinkers of to-day.” 2

And now to conclude.

1 For further facts as to the isolation of the Basques in Europe and their ethnological relations, cf. Joly, “Man before Metals,“p. 316. B. Davis is disposed to concede, from an examination of the skulls of the Guanches of the Canary Islands and modern Basques, that both belong to a race proper to those ancient islands, of which the Canaries are the remains!! This is a step in advance indeed. De Quatrefages and Hamy also both assign the Cro-Magnon men of South France and the Guanches to one type — a proposition which involves a certain corollary which both these writers may not care to father.
2 Donnelly, “Atlantis; the Ante-Diluvian World,” p. 480.

The Secret Doctrine, ii 789–794
H. P. Blavatsky

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