From “The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 2, p. 272-274
By H.P. Blavatsky
What was the religion of the Third and Fourth Races? In the common acceptation of the term, neither the Lemurians, nor yet their progeny, the Lemuro-Atlanteans, had any, as they knew no dogma, nor had they to believe on faith. No sooner had the mental eye of man been opened to understanding, than the Third Race felt itself one with the ever-present as the ever to be unknown and invisible ALL, the One Universal Deity. Endowed with divine powers, and feeling in himself his inner God, each felt he was a Man-God in his nature, though an animal in his physical Self. The struggle between the two began from the very day they tasted of the fruit of the Tree of Wisdom; a struggle for life between the spiritual and the psychic, the psychic and the physical. Those who conquered the lower principles by obtaining mastery over the body, joined the “Sons of Light.” Those who fell victims to their lower natures, became the slaves of Matter. From “Sons of Light and Wisdom” they ended by becoming the “Sons of Darkness.” They had fallen in the battle of mortal life with Life immortal, and all those so fallen became the seed of the future generations of Atlanteans.*
At the dawn of his consciousness, the man of the Third Root Race had thus no beliefs that could be called religion. That is to say, he was equally as ignorant of “gay religions, full of pomp and gold” as of any system of faith or outward worship. But if the term is to be defined as the binding together of the masses in one form of reverence paid to those we feel higher than ourselves, of piety – as a feeling expressed by a child toward a loved parent – then even the earliest Lemurians had a religion – and a most beautiful one – from the very beginning of their intellectual life. Had they not their bright gods of the elements around them, and even within themselves?** Was not their childhood passed with, nursed and tendered by those who had given them life and called them forth to intelligent, conscious life? We are assured it was so, and we believe it. For the evolution of Spirit into matter could never have been achieved; nor would it have received its first impulse, had not the bright Spirits sacrificed their own respective super-ethereal essences to animate the man of clay, by endowing each of his inner principles with a portion, or rather, a reflection of that essence. The Dhyanis of the Seven Heavens (the seven planes of Being) are the NOUMENOI of the actual and the future Elements, just as the Angels of the Seven Powers of nature – the grosser effects of which are perceived by us in what Science is pleased to call the “modes of motion” – the imponderable forces and what not — are the still higher noumenoi of still higher Hierarchies.
It was the “Golden Age” in those days of old, the age when the “gods walked the earth, and mixed freely with the mortals.” Since then, the gods departed (i.e., became invisible), and later generations ended by worshipping their kingdoms – the Elements.
It was the Atlanteans, the first progeny of semi-divine man after his separation into sexes – hence the first-begotten and humanly-born mortals – who became the first “Sacrificers” to the god of matter. They stand in the far-away dim past, in ages more than prehistoric, as the prototype on which the great symbol of Cain was built,*** as the first anthropomorphists who worshipped form and matter. That worship degenerated very soon into self-worship, thence led to phallicism, or that which reigns supreme to this day in the symbolisms of every exoteric religion of ritual, dogma, and form. Adam and Eve became matter, or furnished the soil, Cain and Abel – the latter the life-bearing soil, the former “the tiller of that ground or field.”
Thus the first Atlantean races, born on the Lemurian Continent, separated from their earliest tribes into the righteous and the unrighteous; into those who worshipped the one unseen Spirit of Nature, the ray of which man feels within himself – or the Pantheists, and those who offered fanatical worship to the Spirits of the Earth, the dark Cosmic, anthropomorphic Powers, with whom they made alliance. These were the earliest Gibborim, “the mighty men of renown in those days” (Gen. vi.); who become with the Fifth Race the Kabirim: Kabiri with the Egyptians and the Phoenicians, Titans with the Greeks, and Rakshasas and Daityas with the Indian races.
Such was the secret and mysterious origin of all the subsequent and modern religions, especially of the worship of the later Hebrews for their tribal god. At the same time this sexual religion was closely allied to, based upon and blended, so to say, with astronomical phenomena. The Lemurians gravitated toward the North Pole, or the Heaven of their Progenitors (the Hyperborean Continent); the Atlanteans, toward the Southern Pole, the pit, cosmically and terrestrially – whence breathe the hot passions blown into hurricanes by the cosmic Elementals, whose abode it is. The two poles were denominated, by the ancients, Dragons and Serpents – hence good and bad Dragons and Serpents, and also the names given to the “Sons of God” (Sons of Spirit and Matter): the good and bad Magicians. This is the origin of this dual and triple nature in man. The legend of the “Fallen Angels” in its esoteric signification, contains the key to the manifold contradictions of human character; it points to the secret of man’s self-consciousness; it is the angle-iron on which hinges his entire life-cycle; – the history of his evolution and growth.
On a firm grasp of this doctrine depends the correct understanding of esoteric anthropogenesis. It gives a clue to the vexed question of the Origin of Evil; and shows how man himself is the separator of the ONE into various contrasted aspects.
The reader, therefore, will not be surprised if so considerable space is devoted in each case to an attempt to elucidate this difficult and obscure subject. A good deal must necessarily be said on its symbological aspect; because, by so doing, hints are given to the thoughtful student for his own investigations, and more light can thus be suggested than it is possible to convey in the technical phrases of a more formal, philosophical exposition. The “Fallen Angels,” so-called, are Humanity itself. The Demon of Pride, Lust, Rebellion, and Hatred, has never had any being before the appearance of physical conscious man. It is man who has begotten, nurtured, and allowed the fiend to develop in his heart; he, again, who has contaminated the indwelling god in himself, by linking the pure spirit with the impure demon of matter. And, if the Kabalistic saying, “Demon est Deus inversus” finds its metaphysical and theoretical corroboration in dual manifested nature, its practical application is found in Mankind alone.
* The name is used here in the sense of, and as a synonym of “sorcerers.” The Atlantean races were many, and lasted in their evolution for millions of years: all were not bad. They became so toward their end, as we (the fifth) are fast becoming now.
** The “Gods of the Elements” are by no means the Elementals. The latter are at best used by them as vehicles and materials in which to clothe themselves. ….
*** Cain was the sacrificer, as shown at first in chap. iv. of Genesis, of “the fruit of the ground,” of which he was first tiller, while Abel “brought of the firstlings of his flock” to the Lord. Cain is the symbol of the first male, Abel of the first female humanity, Adam and Eve being the types of the third race. (See “The Mystery of Cain and Abel.”) The “murdering” is blood-shedding, but not taking life.
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