Vexen Crabtree (vexen) wrote,
Vexen Crabtree
vexen

The Theosophist's Seven Root Races

Sometimes, the world of religions can still astound me with its mind-boggling fictions. Check out this description of the Seven Root Races (including the populatio of Atlantis, of course):

Theosophists have always taken Atlantis for granted, and to the myth have added a second one - the myth of Lemuria. This name was originally proposed by a nineteenth-century zoologist for a land mass he thought must have existed in the Indian Ocean, and which would account for the geographical distribution of the lemur. Madame Blavatsky, the high priestess of theosophy, adopted the name and wrote in some detail about the "Third Root Race" that she believed flourished on the island.

According to Blavatsky, five root races have so far appeared on the planet, with two more yet to come. Each root race has seven "sub-races," and each sub-race has seven "branch races." (Seven is a mystical number for theosophists.) The first root race, which lived somewhere around the North Pole, was a race of "fire mist" people - ethereal and invisible. The Second Root Race inhabited northern Asia. They had astral bodies on the borderline of visibility. At first, they propagated by a kind of fission, but eventually this evolved into sexual reproduction after passing through a stage in which both sexes were united in each individual. The Third Root Race lived on Lemuria. They were ape-like giants with corporeal bodies that slowly developed into forms much like modern man. Lemuria was submerged in a great convulsion, but not before a sub-race had migrated to Atlantis to begin the Fourth Root Race.

The Fifth Root Race, the Aryan, sprang from the fifth sub-race of the Atlanteans. At the present time, according to theosophists, the Sixth Root Race is slowly emerging from the sixth sub-race of Aryans. This is happening in Southern California where, in Annie Besant's words, the "climate approaches most nearly to our ideal of Paradise." [...] After the Seventh Root Race (which will develop from the seventh sub-race of the sixth root race) has risen and fallen, the earth cycle will have ended and a new one will start on the planet Mercury.

"Fads & Fallacies in the Name of Science" by Martin Gardner (1957), p168




No more as fantastical as Genesis' account of creation, and no more crazy than general occultism, and as confusingly nonsensical as religious stories in general, it somehow still manages to astound me, just a little bit, that people who come up with these ideas somehow manage to stop laughing at themselves long enough to write books, and that other people humour them by publishing them!
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