Man: Whence, How and Whither

Atlantean Peruvian Civilization

12,000 BCE

Toltec, in Ancient Peru

Ancient Peruvian Civilization

In the thirteenth millennium B.C., the civilization of Peru closely resembled that of the Toltec Empire at its peak. This example of Atlantean civilization had an autocratic government, a system shaped by the influence of great Adepts who acted as rulers and guides to early humanity, imparting wisdom and order from above.

Governance and Society

The government was autocratic, led by a king who held absolute power and responsibility. The king’s duty was to ensure the well-being of all subjects, and he was aided by a large governing class. The empire was divided into provinces, counties, and smaller districts, each managed by officials accountable for the welfare of their regions. This hierarchical system ensured that any issues were quickly addressed, fostering a society where responsibility and honor were paramount.

Laws were few but effectively enforced, with a focus on public duty and enlightened public opinion. Neglecting one’s responsibilities was seen as a grave offense, and punishments were typically exile rather than imprisonment. The state maintained a thorough system of registration and record-keeping, and the land was meticulously surveyed for optimal agricultural use.

Land and Economy

The land was divided into private and public sectors, with laborers responsible for cultivating both. Private land provided for individual needs, while public land supported the community. The produce from public lands was split between the king and the priests of the Sun. The king used his share to maintain government machinery, execute public works, store provisions for emergencies, and sustain the army.

The priests of the Sun used their share to support the temples, provide free education, care for the sick, and maintain the elderly. Education was comprehensive, with children learning practical skills alongside basic literacy and numeracy. The curriculum was designed to prepare them for adult responsibilities, emphasizing practical knowledge and self-sufficiency.

Technological and Scientific Advancements

Peruvians excelled in scientific agriculture, using detailed soil analysis and innovative farming techniques. They experimented with various manures and chemical combinations to enhance crop yields. Their machinery, though simpler than modern equipment, was effective and durable, often powered by hydraulic pressure.

Their knowledge of botany and chemistry was highly practical, focusing on the properties and uses of plants and chemicals. Astronomy held a special place in their knowledge, with an understanding of planetary movements, eclipses, and the shape of the earth. However, their approach was traditional rather than observational.

Religious and Cultural Life

The Peruvian religion was centered around the worship of the Sun, viewed as the source of all life and power. Their rituals and beliefs emphasized joy and gratitude, with death seen as a transition to a closer communion with the Sun Spirit. Their public services were simple, involving praise rather than prayer, and they held splendid processions and festivals.

Education, overseen by the priests, was free and comprehensive, with a strong emphasis on practical skills. Children were taught together regardless of gender, and the curriculum included everything from basic literacy to survival skills and practical crafts.

Governance and Customs of Ancient Peru

The governance system of ancient Peru during the thirteenth millennium B.C. was highly organized and autocratic, centered around a monarch who held absolute power and responsibility. Below are the detailed rules and customs of their governance:

Structure of Government

The Monarch:

    • The king held absolute power and responsibility for the well-being of the entire empire.
    • He was trained from an early age to understand that any avoidable evil, such as unemployment or illness, was a stain on his administration.

    Governing Class:

      • A large governing class assisted the king, subdividing the nation into provinces, counties, and smaller districts.
      • Each official was directly responsible to their superior, creating a hierarchy of accountability.

      Hierarchical Subdivisions:

        • Provinces: Managed by Viceroys.
        • Counties: Overseen by Lord-Lieutenants.
        • Cities/Smaller Districts: Governed by local officials.
        • Centurions: The lowest members of the governing class, each responsible for 100 families. They often appointed assistants from every tenth household for more immediate updates.

        Principles of Governance

        Absolute Responsibility:

          • The king and his officials were responsible for every aspect of their subjects’ welfare.
          • Any failure in duty by an official could result in immediate investigation and potential punishment.

          Enlightened Public Opinion:

            • A strong sense of public duty and honor permeated the governing class, ensuring officials performed their duties diligently.
            • Neglect of duty was a serious offense, seen as a betrayal of the trust placed in them by society.

            Accessibility and Inspection:

              • Higher authorities, including the king, made regular inspections and visits to ensure everything was running smoothly.
              • These inspections fostered a sense of accessibility and accountability, allowing citizens to directly appeal to higher officials if needed.

              Laws and Customs

              Few but Effective Laws:

                • The laws were minimal but strictly enforced, focusing on public duty and societal welfare.
                • There were no prisons; instead, severe offenses, such as neglect of duty, resulted in exile.

                System of Exile:

                  • Those who failed to fulfill their duties were exiled to live among barbarous tribes outside the empire.
                  • This punishment was rare due to the strong public opinion and sense of duty ingrained in citizens.

                  Land and Taxation:

                    • Land was divided into private and public sections, with laborers responsible for cultivating both.
                    • The produce from public land was split between the king and the priests of the Sun.
                    • The king’s share funded government operations, public works, and the military.
                    • The priests used their share for temple upkeep, education, and care for the sick and elderly.

                    Education and Social Welfare:

                      • Education was free and comprehensive, covering practical skills and general knowledge.
                      • The priests of the Sun provided for all sick individuals, who became ‘guests of the Sun’ and received free care.
                      • Citizens over 45, except officials and priests, could retire and live comfortably, supported by the priesthood.

                      Public Duty and Honor:

                        • Officials were expected to embody the highest standards of duty and honor, with a system akin to the concept of a gentleman’s honor.
                        • This internal sense of duty was a stronger motivator than any external law, ensuring efficient governance.

                        Governance in Practice

                        Public Works and Infrastructure:

                          • The king used his revenue to construct and maintain roads, aqueducts, and other public works.
                          • Granaries were built and kept full to provide for the nation in times of famine or emergency.

                          Military and Defense:

                            • The army was well-trained and utilized for various purposes beyond warfare, such as public service and construction projects.
                            • The military’s presence deterred attacks from less civilized tribes surrounding the empire.

                            Economic Regulation:

                              • The government regulated agriculture, encouraging scientific farming methods and ensuring optimal land use.
                              • New inventions and discoveries were supported and adopted by the state, promoting technological advancement.

                              By intertwining a sense of duty, comprehensive education, and an efficient hierarchical structure, the governance of ancient Peru ensured a stable, prosperous, and content society. The system’s success relied on the balance of power, responsibility, and enlightened public opinion, creating a harmonious and well-ordered civilization.

                              The Source

                              Man Whence How And Whither
                              by Annie Besant; Leadbeater, C. W

                              THE civilisation of Peru in the thirteenth millennium B. C. so closely resembled that of the Toltec Empire in its zenith, that, having closely studied that period, we utilise it here as an example of Atlantean civilisation. Egypt and India in their Atlantean periods, offered other examples, but, on the whole, the chief features of the Toltec Empire are best reproduced in the Peru which is here described. The Government was autocratic — no other Government in those days was possible.

                              To show why this was so, we must look back in thought to a period far earlier — to the original segregation of the great fourth Root Race. It will be obvious that when the Manu and His lieutenants — great Adepts from a far higher evolution — incarnated among the youthful Race which They were labouring to develop, They were to those people absolutely as Gods in knowledge and power, so far were They in advance of them in every conceivable respect. Under such circumstances there could be no form of Government possible but an autocracy, for the

                              Ruler was the only person who really knew anything, and so he had to take the control of everything. These Great Ones became therefore the natural rulers and guides of child-humanity, and ready obedience was ever paid to Them, for it was recognised that wisdom gave authority, and that the greatest help that could be given to the ignorant was that they should be guided and trained. Hence all the order of the new society came, as all true order must ever come, from above and not from below; as the new Race spread the principle persisted, and on this basis the mighty monarchies of remote antiquity were founded, in most cases beginning under great KingInitiates, whose power and wisdom guided Their infant States through all their initial difficulties.

                              Thus it happened that, even when the original Divine Rulers had yielded Their positions into the hands of Their pupils, the true principle of Government was still understood, and hence, when a new Kingdom was founded, the endeavour was always to imitate as closely as might be, under the new circumstances, the splendid institutions which the Divine Wisdom had already given to the world. It was only as selfishness arose among both peoples and rulers that gradually the old order changed, and gave place to experiments that were not wise, to Governments which were inspired by greed and ambition, instead of by the fulfilment of duty.

                              At the period with which we have to deal — 12,000 B. C. — the earlier Cities of the Golden Gates had been sunk beneath the waves for many thousands of years, and though the chief of the Kings of the Island of Poseidonis still arrogated to himself the beautiful title which had belonged to them, he made no pretence to imitate the methods of Government which had ensured them a stability so far beyond the common lot of human arrangements. Some centuries before, however, a well-conceived attempt to revive — though of course on a much smaller scale — the life of that ancient system had been made by the Monarchs of the country afterwards called Peru, and at the time of which we are speaking this revival was in full working order, and perhaps at the zenith of its glory, though it maintained its efficiency for many centuries after. It is, then, with this Peruvian revival that we are now concerned.

                              It is a little difficult to give an idea of the physical appearance of the race inhabiting the country, for no race at present existing on earth sufficiently resembles it to suggest a comparison, without misleading our readers in one direction or another. Such representatives of the great third sub-race of the Atlantean Eoot Race as are still to be seen on earth are degraded and debased, as compared with the Eace in its glory.

                              Our Peruvian had the high cheek-bones and the general shape of face which we associate with the highest type of the Red Indian, and yet he had modifications in its contour which made him almost more Aryan than Atlantean; his expression differed fundamentally from that of most modern Red Men, for it was usually frank, joyous, and mild, and in the higher classes keen intellect and great benevolence frequently showed themselves.

                              In colour he was reddish-bronze, lighter on the whole among the upper classes, and darker among the lower, though the intermingling between the classes was such that it is scarcely possible to make even this distinction.

                              The disposition of the people was on the whole happy, contented, and peaceful. The laws were few, suitable, and well administered, and so the people were naturally law-abiding; the climate was for the most part delightful, and enabled them to do without undue toil all the work connected with the tilling of the land, giving them a bountiful harvest in return for moderate exertion — a climate calculated to make the people contented and disposed to make the best of life. Obviously such a state of mind among their poople gave the rulers of the country an enormous advantage to begin with.

                              As has already been remarked, the Monarchy was absolute, yet it differed so entirely from anything now existing that the mere statement conveys no idea of the facts. The key-note of the entire system was responsibility. The King had absolute power, certainly, but he had also the absolute responsibility for everything; he had been trained from his earliest years to understand that if, anywhere in his vast Empire, an avoidable evil of any kind existed — if a man willing to work could not get the kind of work that suited him, if even a child was ill and cjould not get proper attention — this was a slur upon his administration, a blot upon his reign, a stain upon his personal honour.

                              He had a large governing class to assist him in his labours, and he subdivided the whole huge nation in the most elaborate and systematic manner under its care. First of all the Empire was divided into provinces, over each of which was a kind of Viceroy ; under them again were what we might call LordLieutenants of counties ; and under them again Governors of cities or of smaller districts. Every one of

                              these was directly responsible to the man next above him in rank for the well-being of every person in his division. This subdivision of responsibility went on until we come to a kind of Centurion — an official who had a hundred families in his care, for whom he was absolutely responsible. This was the lowest member of the governing class ; but he, on his part, usually aided himself in his work by appointing some one out of every tenth household as a kind of voluntary assistant, to bring him the more instant news of anything that was needed or anything that went wrong.1

                              If any one of this elaborate network of officials neglected any part of his work, a word to his next superior would bring down instant investigation, for that superior’s own honour was involved in the perfect contentment and well-being of everyone within his jurisdiction. And this sleepless vigilance in the performance of public duty was enforced not so much by law (though law no doubt there was), as by the universal feeling among the governing class — a feeling akin to the honour of a gentleman, a force far stronger than the command of any mere outer law can ever be, because it is in truth the working of a higher law from within — the dictation of the awakening ego to his personality on some subject which he knows.

                              It will be seen that we are thus introduced to a system which was in every respect founded on the very antithesis of all the ideas which have arrogated

                              to themselves the name of modern progress. The factor which made such a Government, so based, a possible and a workable one, was the existence among all classes of the community of an enlightened public opinion — an opinion so strong and definite, so deeply ingrained, as to make it practically impossible for any man to fail in his duty to the State. Any one who had so failed would have been regarded as an uncivilised being, unworthy of the high privilege of citizenship in this great Empire of ‘The Children of the Sun,’ as these early Peruvians called themselves; he would have been looked upon with something of the same horror and pity as was an excommunicated person in mediaeval Europe.

                              From this state of affairs — so remote from anything now existing as to be barely conceivable to us — arose another fact almost as difficult to realise. There were practically no laws in old Peru, and consequently no prisons; indeed, our system of punishments and penalties would have appeared absolutely unreasonable to the nation of which we are thinking. The life of a citizen of the Empire was in their eyes the only life worth living; but it was thoroughly well understood that every man held his place in the community only on condition that he fulfilled his duty towards it. If a man in any way fell short of this (an almost unheard-of occurrence, because of the force of opinion which is above described), an explanation would be expected by the officer in charge of his district; and if, on examination, he proved blameworthy, he would be reprimanded by that officer. Anything like continued neglect of duty ranked among the heinous offences, such as murder of

                              theft; and for all these there was only one punishment— that of exile.

                              The theory upon which this arrangement was based was an exceedingly simple one. The Peruvian held that the civilised man differed from the savage principally in that he understood and intelligently fulfilled his duties towards the State of which he formed a unit; if a man did not fulfil those duties he at once became a danger to the State, he showed himself unworthy to participate in its benefits, and he was consequently expelled from it, and left to live among the barbarous tribes on the fringes of the Empire. Indeed, it is perhaps characteristic of the attitude of the Peruvians in this matter that the very word by which these tribes were designated in their language means, when literally translated, ‘the lawless ones’.

                              It WCTS, however, only rarely that it became necessary to resort to this extreme measure of exile; in most cases the officials were revered and beloved, and a hint from one of them was more than sufficient to bring back any unruly spirit to the path of order. Nor were even the few who were exiled irrevocably cast forth from their native country; after a certain period they were allowed to return upon probation to their place among civilised men, and once more to enjoy the advantages of citizenship, as soon as they had shown themselves worthy of them.

                              Among their manifold functions the officials (or ‘ fathers,’ as they were called) included those of judges, although, as there was practically no law, in our sense of the word, to administer, they perhaps corresponded more closely to our idea of ar-

                              bitrators. All disputes which arose between man and man were referred to them, and in this case, as in all others, any one who felt dissatisfied with a decision could always appeal to the official next above, so that it was within the bounds of possibility that a knotty point might be carried to the very footstool of the King himself.

                              Every effort was made by the higher authorities to render themselves readily accessible to all, and part of the plan arranged for this purpose consipted in an elaborate system of visitations.

                              Once in seven years the King himself made a tour of his Empire for this purpose; and in the same way the Governor of a province had to travel over it yearly ; and his subordinates in their turn had constantly to see with their own eyes that all was going well with those under their charge, and to give every opportunity for any one who wished to consult them or appeal to them. These various royal and official progresses were made with considerable state, and were always occasions of the greatest rejoicing among the people.

                              The scheme of Government had at least this much in common with that of our own day, that a complete and careful system of registration was adopted, births, marriages and deaths being catalogued with scrupulous accuracy, and statistics compiled from them in quite the modern style.

                              Each Centurion had a detailed record of the names of all who were under his charge, and kept for each of them a curious little tablet upon which the principal events of his life were entered as they occurred. To his superior in turn he reported not names, but numbers— so many sick, so many well, so many births,

                              so many deaths, etc., — and these small reports gradually converged and were added together as they passed higher and higher up the official hierarchy, until an abstract of them all periodically reached the Monarch himself, who had thus a kind of perpetual census of his Empire always ready to his hand.

                              Another point of similarity between this ancient system and our own is to be found in the exceeding care with which the land was surveyed, parcelled out, and above all analysed — the chief object of all this investigation being to discover the exact constitution of the earth in every part of the country, in order that the most appropriate crop might be planted in it, and the most made out of it generally. Indeed, it may be said that almost more importance was attached to the study of what WG should now call scientific agriculture than to any other line of work.

                              This brings us directly to the consideration cf perhaps the most remarkable of all the institutions of this ancient race — its land system. So excellently suited to the country was this unique arrangement, that the far inferior race which, thousands of years later, conquered and enslaved the degenerate descendants of our Peruvians, endeavoured to carry it on as well as they could, and the admiration of the Spanish invaders was excited by such relics of it as were still in working order at the time of their arrival. Whether such a scheme could be as successfully carried out in less fertile and more thicklypopulated countries may be doubtful, but at any rate it was working capitally at the time and place where we thus find it in action. This system we must now endeavour to explain, dealing first, for clearness’ sake, with the broad outline of it only, and leaving many points of vital importance to be treated under other headings.

                              Every town or village, then, had assigned to it for cultivation a certain amount of such arable land as lay around it — an amount strictly proportioned to the number of its inhabitants. Among those inhabitants were in every case a large number of workers who were appointed to till that land — what we may call a labouring class, in fact; not that all the others did not labour also, but that these were set apart for this particular kind of work.

                              How this labouring class was recruited must be explained later; let it be sufficient for the moment to say that all its members were men in the prime of life and strength, between twenty and five-and-forty years of age — that no old men or children, no sickly or weakly persons, were to be seen among its ranks.

                              The land assigned for cultivation to any given village was first of all divided into two halves, which we will call the private land and the public land. Both these halves had to be cultivated by the labourers, the private land for their own individual benefit and support, and the public land for the good of the community. That is to say, the cultivation of the public land may be regarded as taking the place of the payment of rates and taxes in our modern State.

                              Naturally the idea will at once occur that a tax which is equivalent to half a man’s income, or which takes up half the time and energy that he expends (which in this case is the same thing) is an enormously heavy and most iniquitous one. Let the reader wait until he learns what was done with the produce of that tax, and what part it played in the national life, before he condemns it as an oppressive imposition.

                              Let him realise also that the practical result of the rule was by no means severe; the cultivation of both public and private lands meant far less hard work than falls to the lot of the agriculturalist in England; for while at least twice a year it involved some weeks of steady work from morning till night, there were long* intervals when all that was required could easily be done in two hours’ work each day.

                              The private land, with which we will deal first, was divided among the inhabitants with the most scrupulous fairness. Each year, after the harvest had been gathered in, a certain definite amount of land was apportioned to every adult, whether man or woman, though all the cultivation was done by the men.

                              Thus a married man without children would have twice as much as a single man; a widower with, say, two adult unmarried daughters would have three times as much as a single man; but when one of those daughters married, her portion would go with her — that is, it would be taken from her father and given to her husband. For every child born to the couple, a small additional assignment would be made to them, the amount increasing as the children grew older — the intention of course being that each family should always have what was necessary for its support.

                              A man could do absolutely what he chose with his land, except leave it uncultivated.

                              Some crop or other he must make it produce, but as long as he made his living out of it, the rest was his own affair.

                              At the same time the best advice of the experts was always at his service for the asking, so that he could not plead ignorance if his selection proved unsuitable. A man not belonging to our technical ‘labouring class’ — that is, a man who was making his living in some other way — could either cultivate his plot in his leisure time, or employ a member of that class to do it for him in addition to his own work : but in this latter case the produce of the land belonged not to the original assignee, but to the man who had done the work.

                              The fact that in this way one labouring man could, and frequently quite voluntarily did, perform two men’s work, is another proof that the fixed amount of labour was in reality an extremely light task.

                              It is pleasant to be able to record that a great deal of good feeling and helpfulness was always shown with regard to this agricultural work. The man who had a large family of children, and therefore an unusually large piece of ground, could always count upon much kindly assistance from his neighbours as soon as they had completed their own lighter labours; and any one who had reason for taking a holiday never lacked a friend to supply his place during his absence. The question of sickness is not touched upon, for reasons which will presently appear.

                              As to disposing of the produce, there was never any difficulty about that. Most men chose to grow grain, vegetables or fruits which they themselves could use for food; their surplus they readily sold or bartered for clothes and other goods ; and at the worst, the Government was always prepared to buy any amount of grain that could be offered, at a fixed rate, a trifle below the market price, in order to store it in the enormous granaries which were invariably kept full in case of famine or emergency.

                              But now let us consider what was done with the produce of that other half of the cultivated ground which we have called the public land. This public land was itself divided into two equal parts (each of which therefore represented a quarter of the whole arable land of the country), one of which was called the land of the King, the other the land of the Sun.

                              And the law was that the land of the Sun must first be tilled, before any man turned a sod of his own private land ; when that was done, each man was expected to cultivate his own piece of land, and only after all the rest of the work was safely over was he required to do his share towards tilling the land of the King — so that if unexpected bad weather delayed the harvest the loss would fall first upon the King, and except in an exceedingly inclement season could scarcely affect the people’s private share ; while that of the Sun would be safeguarded in almost any possible contingency short of absolute failure of the crops.

                              In regard to the question of irrigation (always an important one in a country, a great part of which is so sterile), the same order was always observed. Until the lands of the Sun were fully watered, no drop of the precious fluid was directed elsewhere; until every man’s private field had all that it needed, there was no water for the lands of the King.

                              The reason of this arrangement will be obvious later on, when we understand how the produce of these various sections was employed.

                              Thus it will be seen that a quarter of the entire wealth of the country went directly into the hands of the King; for in the case of money derived from manufactures or mining industries the division was stil) tlio same — first one-fourth to the Sun, then onehalt7 to the worker, and then the remaining fourth to the King. What then did the King do with this enormous revenue?

                              First, he kept up the entire machinery of Government to which reference has already been made. The salaries pf the whole official class, — from the stately Viceroys of great provinces down to the comparatively humble Centurions — were paid by him, and not only their salaries but all the expenses of their various progresses and visitations.

                              Secondly, out of that revenue he executed all the mighty public works of his Empire, the mere ruins of some of which are still wonders to us now, fourteen thousand years later. The marvellous roads which joined city to city and town to town throughout the Empire, hollowed out through mountains of granite, carried by stupendous bridges over the most impracticable ravines, the splendid series of aqueducts — which, by feats of engineering skill in no way inferior to that of our own day, were enabled to spread the life-giving fluid over the remotest corners of an often sterile country — all these were constructed and maintained out of the income derived from the lands of the King.

                              Thirdly, he built and kept always filled a series of huge granaries, established at frequent intervals all over the Empire. For sometimes it would happen that the rainy season failed altogether, and then famine would threaten the unfortunate agriculturalist; so the rule was that there should always be in store two years’ provision for the entire nation— a store of food such as perhaps no other race in the world has ever attempted to keep. Yet, colos-

                              sal as was the undertaking, it was faithfully carried out in spite of all difficulties ; though perhaps even the mighty power of the Peruvian Monarch could not have achieved it, but for the method of concentrating food which was one of the discoveries of his chemists — a method which will be mentioned later.

                              Fourthly, out of this share he kept up his army — for an army he had, and a highly trained one, though he contrived to utilise it for many other purposes besides mere fighting, of which indeed there was not often much to be done, since the less civilised tribes which surrounded his Empire had learnt to know and respect his power.

                              It will be better not to pause now to describe the special work of the army, but rather to fill in the remainder of our rough outline of the polity of this ancient State by indicating the place held in it by the great Guild of the Priests of the Sun, so far as the civil side of the work of that priesthood is concerned.

                              How did this body employ their vast revenues, equal in amount to those of the King when his were at their highest point, and far more certain than his not to be diminished in time of distress or scarcity?

                              The King indeed performed wonders with his share of the country’s wealth, but his achievements pale when compared with those of the priests. First, they kept up the splendid temples of the Sun all over the land — kept them up on such a scale that many a small village shrine had golden ornaments and decorations that would now represent many thousands of pounds, while the great cathedrals of the larger cities blazed with a magnificence which hap never since been approached anywhere upon earth.

                              Secondly, they gave free education to the entire youth of the Empire, male and female — not merely an elementary education, but a technical training that carried them steadily through years of close application up to the age of twenty, and sometimes considerably beyond. Of this education details will be given later.

                              Thirdly (and this will probably seem to our readers the most extraordinary of their functions), they took absolute charge of all sick people.

                              It is not meant that they were merely the physicians of the period (though that they were also), but that the moment a man, woiLan or child fell ill in any way, he at once came under the charge of the priests, or, as they more gracefully put it, became the ‘guest of the Sun’.

                              The sick person was immediately and entirely absolved from all his duties to the State, and, until his recovery, not only the necessary morlioiTipp, but also his food, were supplied to him free of all charge from the nearest temple of the Sun, while in any serious case he was usually taken to that temple as to a hospital, in order to receive more careful nursing. If the sick man were the breadwinner of the family, his wife and children also became ‘ guests of the Sun’ until he recovered.

                              In the present day any arrangement even remotely resembling this would certainly lead to fraud and malingering; but that is because modern nations lack as yet that enlightened and universally-diffused public opinion which made these things possible in ancient Peru.

                              Fourthly — and perhaps this statement will be considered even more astonishing than the last — the entire population over the age of forty-five (except the official class) were also ‘ guests of the Sun/ It was considered that a man who had worked for twenty-five years from the age of twenty — when he was first expected to begin to take his share of the burdens of the State — had earned rest and comfort for the remainder of his life, whatever that might be.

                              Consequently every person, when he or she attained the age of forty-five, might, if he wished, attach himself to one of the temples and live a kind of monastic life of study, or, if he preferred still to reside with his relatives as before, he might do so, and might employ his leisure as he would.

                              But in any case he was absolved from all work for the State, and his maintenance was provided by the priesthood of the Sun. Of course he was in no way prohibited from continuing to work in any way that he wished, and as a matter of fact most men preferred to occupy themselves in some way, even though it were but with a hobby. Indeed, many most valuable discoveries and inventions were made by those who, being free from all need for constant labour, were at liberty to follow out their ideas, and experimentalise at leisure in a way that no busy man could do.

                              Members of the official class, however, did not retire from active work at the age of forty-five, except in case of illness, nor did the priests themselves. In those two classes it was felt that the added wisdom and experience of age were too valuable not to be utilised ; so in most cases priests and officials died in harness.

                              It will now be obvious why the work of the priests was considered the most important, and why, whatever else failed, the contributions to the treasury of the Sun must not fall short, for on them deponded not only the religion of the people, but the education of the young and the care of the sick and the aged.

                              What was achieved by this strange system of long ago, then, was this : for every man and woman a thorough education was assured, with every opportunity for the development of any special talent he or she might possess; then followed twenty-five years of work — steady indeed, but never either unsuitable in character or overwhelming in amount — and after that, a life of assured comfort and leisure, in which the man was absolutely free from any sort of care or anxiety. Some, of course, were poorer than others, but what we now call poverty was unknown, and destitution was impossible, while, in addition to this, crime was practically non-existent. Small wonder that exile from that State was considered the direst earthly punishment, and that the barbaric tribes on its borders became absorbed into it as soon as they could be brought to understand its system!

                              It will be of interest to us to examine the religious ideas of these men of the olden time. If we had to classify their faith among those with which we are now acquainted, we should be obliged to call it a kind of Sun-worship, though of course they never thought for a moment of worshipping the physical sun. They regarded it, however, as something much more than a mere symbol; if we endeavour to express their feeling in Theosophical terminology, we shall perhaps come nearest to it by saying that they looked upon the sun as the physical body of the LOGOS, though that attributes to them a precision of idea which they would probably have considered irreverent. They would have told an enquirer that they worshipped the Spirit of the Sun, from whom everything came, and to whom everything must re* turn — by no means an unsatisfactory presentment of a mighty truth.

                              It does not seem that they had any clear conception of the doctrine of reincarnation. They were quite certain that man was immortal, and they held that his eventual destiny was to go to the Spirit of the Sun perhaps to become one with Him, though this was not clearly defined in their teachings. They knew that before this final consummation many other long periods of existence must intervene, but we cannot find that they realised with certainty that any part of that future life would be spent upon this earth again.

                              The most prominent characteristic of the religion was its joyousness. Grief or sorrow of any kind was held to be absolutely wicked and ungrateful, since it was taught that the Deity wished to see His children happy, and would Himself be grieved if He saw them grieving. Death was regarded not as an occasion for mourning, but rather for a kind of solemn and reverent joy, because the Great Spirit had accounted another of His children worthy to approach nearer to Himself. Suicide, on the other hand, was, in pursuance of the same idea, regarded with the utmost horror, as an act of the grossest presumption ; the man who committed suicide thrust himself uninvited into higher realms, for which he was not yet judged fit by the only authority who

                              possessed the requisite knowledge to decide the question. But indeed at the time of which we are writing suicide was practically unknown, for the people as a whole were a most contented race.

                              Their public services were of the simplest character. Praise was offered daily to the Spirit of the Sun, but never prayer; because they were taught that the Deity knew better than they what was required for their welfare — a doctrine which one would like to see more fully comprehended at the present day. Fruit and flowers were offered in their temples, not from any idea that the Sun-God desired such service, but simply as a token that they owed all to Him; for one of the most prominent theories of their faith was that all light and life and power came from the Sun — a theory which is fully borne out by the discoveries of modern science. On their great festivals splendid processions were organised, and special exhortations and instructions were delivered to the people by the priests ; but even in these sermons simplicity was a chief characteristic, the teachings being given largely by means of picture and parable.

                              It happened once that, in the course of our researches into the life of a particular person, we followed him to one of these assemblies, and heard with him the sermon delivered on that occasion by an old white-haired priest. The few simple words which were then uttered will perhaps give a better idea of the inner spirit of this old-world religion than any description that we can offer. The preacher, robed in a sort of golden cope, which was the symbol of his office, stood at the top of the temple steps and looked round upon his audience. Then

                              he began to talk to them in a gentle yet resonant voice, speaking quite familiarly, more like a father telling a story to his children than like one delivering a set oration.

                              He spoke to them of their Lord the Sun, calling upon them to remember how everything that they needed for their physical well-being was brought into existence by Him; how without His glorious light and heat the world would be cold and dead, and all life would be impossible ; how to His action was due the growth of the fruits and grains which formed the staple of their food, and even the fresh water, which was the most precious and necessary of all. Then he explained to them how the wise men of old had taught that behind this action which all could see, there was always another and still grander action which was invisible, but could yet be felt by those whose lives were in harmony with their Lord’s; how what the Sun in one aspect did for the life of their bodies, that same office He also performed, in another and even more wonderful aspect, for the life of their souls. He pointed out that both these actions were absolutely continuous — that though sometimes the Sun was hidden from the sight of His child the earth, yet the cause of such temporary obscuration was to be found in the earth and not in the Sun, for one had only to climb far enough up the mountains in order to rise above the overshadowing clouds, and discover that their Lord was shining on in glory all the time, entirely unaffected by the veil which seemed so dense when seen from below.

                              From this the transition was easy to the spiritual depression or doubt which might sometimes seem to

                              shut out the higher influences from the soul; and the preacher was most emphatic in his fervent assurance that, despite all appearances to the contrary, the analogy held good here also; that the clouds were always of men’s own making, and that they had only to raise themselves high enough in order to realise that He was unchanged, and that spiritual strength and holiness were pouring down all the while, as steadily as ever. Depression and doubt consequently, were to be cast aside as the offspring of ignorance and unreason and to be reprobated as showing ingratitude to the Giver of all good.

                              The second part of the homily was equally practical. The full benefit of the Sun’s action, continued the priest, could be experienced only by those who were themselves in perfect health. Now the sign of perfect health on all levels was that men should resemble their Lord the Sun. The man who was in the enjoyment of full physical health was himself a kind of minor sun, pouring out strength and life upon all around, so that by his very presence the weak became stronger, the sick and the suffering were helped. In exactly the same way, he insisted, the man who was in perfect moral health was also a spiritual sun, radiating love and purity and holiness on all who were happy enough to come into contact with him. This, he sard, was the duty of man — to show his gratitude for the good gifts of his Lord, first by preparing himself to receive them in all their fulness, and secondly by passing them undiminished to his fellow-men. And both these objects together could be attained in one way, and in one way only — by that constant imitation of the benevolence of the Spirit of the Sun, which alone drew His children ever nearer and nearer to Him.

                              Such was this sermon of fourteen thousand years ago, and, simple though it be, we cannot but admit that its teaching is eminently Theosophical, and that it shows a much greater knowledge of the facts of life than many more eloquent addresses which are delivered at the present day. Here and there we notice minor points of especial significance ; the accurate knowledge, for example, of the radiation of superfluous vitality from a healthy man seems to point to the possession of clairvoyant faculty among the ancestors from whom the tradition was derived.

                              It will be remembered that, besides what we may call their purely religious work, the priests of the Sun had entire charge of the education of the country. All education was absolutely free, and its preliminary stages were exactly the same for all classes and for both sexes. The children attended preparatory classes from an early age, and in all these the boys and girls were taught together. Something corresponding to what we now think of as elementary education was given in these, though the subjects embraced differed considerably. Beading, writing, and a certain kind of arithmetic, indeed, were taught, and every child had to attain facility in these subjects, but the system included a great deal more that is somewhat difficult to classify — a sort of rough and ready knowledge of all the general rules and common interests of life, so that no child of either sex arriving at the age of ten or eleven could be ignorant of the way in which the ordinary necessaries of life wore obtained, or of how any common work was done. The utmost kind-

                              ness and affection prevailed in the relations between teachers and children, and there was nothing in the least corresponding to the insane system of impositions and punishments which occupies so prominent and so baneful a position in modern school life.

                              School hours were long, but the occupations were so varied, and included so much that we should not think of as school work, that the children were never unduly fatigued. Every child, for example, was taught how to prepare and cook certain simple kinds of food, how to distinguish poisonous fruits from wholesome ones, how to find food and shelter if lost in the forest, how to use the simpler tools required in carpentering, in building, or in agriculture, how to make his way from place to place by the positions of the sun and stars, how to manage a canoe, as well as to. swim, to climb, and to leap with amazing dexterity. They were also instructed in the method of dealing with wounds and accidents, and the use of certain herbal remedies was explained to them. All this varied and remarkable curriculum was no mere matter of theory for them ; they were constantly required to put the whole of it into practice ; so that before they were allowed to pass out of this preparatory school they had become exceedingly handy little people, capable of acting for themselves to some extent in almost any emergency that might arise.

                              They were also carefully instructed in the constitution of their country, and the reasons for its various customs and regulations were explained to them. On the other hand, they were entirely ignorant of many things which European children learn; they were unacquainted with any language except

                              their own, and though great stress was laid upon speaking that with purity and accuracy, facility in this was attained by constant practice rather than by the observance of grammatical rules. They knew nothing of algebra, geometry or history, and nothing of geography beyond that of their own country. On leaving this first school they could have built you a comfortable house, but could not have made a sketch of it for you; they knew nothing whatever of chemistry, but were thoroughly well instructed in the general principles of practical hygiene.

                              A certain definite standard in all these varied qualifications for good citizenship had to be attained before the children could pass out of this preliminary school. Most of them easily gained this level by the time they were twelve years old; a few of the less intelligent needed several years longer. On the chief teachers of these preparatory schools rested the serious responsibility of determining the pupil’s future career; or, rather perhaps, of advising him as to it, for no child was ever forced to devote himself to work which he disliked. Some definite career, however, he had to select, and when this was decided, he was drafted into a kind of technical school, which was specially intended to prepare him for the line of life that he had chosen. Here he spent the remaining nine or ten years of his pupilage, chiefly in practical work of the kind to which he was to devote his energies. This characteristic was prominent all through the scheme of instruction; there was comparatively little theoretical teaching; but, after being shown a thing a few times, the boys or girls were always set to do the thing themselves, and to

                              do it over and over again until facility was acquired.

                              There was a great deal of elasticity about all these arrangements ; a child, for example, who after due trial found himself unsuited for the special work he had undertaken, was allowed, in consultation with his teachers, to choose another vocation and transfer himself to the school appropriate to it. Such transfers, however, seem to have been rare ; for in most cases before the child left his first school he had shown a decided aptitude for one or another of the lines of life which lay open before him.

                              Every child, whatever might be his birth, had the opportunity of being trained to join the governing class of the country if he wished it, and if his teachers approved. The training for this honour was, however, so exceedingly severe, and the qualifications required so high, that the number of applicants was never unduly large. The instructors, indeed, were always watching for children of unusual ability, in order that they might endeavour to fit them for this honourable but arduous position, if they were willing to undertake it.

                              There were various vocations among which a boy could make his choice, besides the governing class and the priesthood. There were many kinds of manufactures— some with large openings for the development of artistic faculty in various ways ; there were the different lines of working in metals, of making and improving machinery, of architecture of all sorts. But perhaps the principal pursuit of the country was that of scientific agriculture.

                              Upon this the welfare of the nation largely depended, and to this therefore a great deal of attention had always been given. By a long series of

                              patiently conducted experiments, extending over many generations, the capabilities of the various kinds of soil which were to be found in the country had been thoroughly ascertained, so that at the time with which we are dealing there already existed a large body of tradition on this subject. Detailed accounts of all the experiments were kept in what we should now call the archives of the Agricultural Department, but the general results were epitomised for popular use in a series of short maxims, so arranged as to be readily memorised by the students.

                              Those who adopted farming as a profession were not, however, by any means expected to depend exclusively upon the opinions of their forefathers. On the contrary every encouragement was given to new experiment, and anyone who succeeded in inventing a new and useful manure, or a labour-saving machine, was highly honoured and rewarded by the Government. All over the country were scattered a large number of Government Farms, where young men were carefully trained; and here again, as in the earlier schools, the training was less theoretical than practical, each student learning thoroughly how to do for himself every detail of the work which he would afterwards have to superintend.

                              It was at these training-farms that all new experiments were tried, at the cost of the Government. The inventor had none of the trouble in securing a patron with capital to test his discovery, which is so often a fatal bar to his success in the present day ; he simply submitted his idea to the Chief of his district, who was assisted when necessary by a council of experts, and unless these were able to point out

                              some obvious flaw in his reasoning, his scheme was tried, or his machine constructed, under his own supervision, without any outlay or trouble at all on his part. If experience showed that there was anything in his invention, it was at once adopted by the Government and employed wherever it was likely to be of use.

                              The farmers had elaborate theories as to the adaptation of various kinds of manure to the different soils. They not only used the material which we now import for that purpose from that very country, but also tried all sorts of chemical combinations, some of which were remarkably successful. They had an ingenious though cumbersome system of the utilisation of sewage, which was, however, quite as effective as anything of that kind which we have at the present day.

                              They had achieved considerable advances also in the construction and use of machinery, though most of it was simpler and rougher than ours, and they had nothing like the extreme accuracy in the fitting together of minute parts, which is so prominent a characteristic of modern work. On the other hand, though their machinery was often large and cumbrous, it was effective, and apparently not at all liable to get out of order. One example that we noted was a curious machine for sowing seed, the principal part of which looked as though it had been modelled from the ovipositor of some insect. It was something of the shape of a very wide low cart, and as it was dragged across a field it automatically drilled ten lines of holes at a regular distance apart, dropped a seed into each, watered it, and raked the ground even again.

                              They had evidently some knowledge of hydraulics also, for many of their machines were worked by hydraulic pressure — especially those employed in their elaborate system of irrigation, which was unusually perfect and effective. A great deal of the land was hilly and could not be cultivated to any advantage in its natural state; but these ancient inhabitants carefully laid it out in terraces, much as is done now in the hill country of Ceylon. Anyone who has travelled by rail from Eambukkana to Peradeniya can scarcely have failed to notice many examples of this sort of work. In old Peru every corner of ground near the great centres of population was utilised with the most scrupulous care.

                              There was a good deal of scientific knowledge among them, but all their science was of a severely practical kind. They had no sort of idea of such an abstract study of science as exists among ourselves. They made a careful study of botany, for example, but not in the least from our point of view. They knew and cared nothing about the classification of plants as endogenous and exogenous, nothing about the number of stamens in a flower, or the arrangement of leaves on a stem; what they wanted to know about a plant was what properties it possessed, what use could be made of it in medicine, as a food-stuff, or to furnish a dye. This they did know, and thoroughly.

                              In the same way in their chemistry: they had no knowledge as to the number and arrangement of atoms in a carbon compound; indeed, they had no thought of atoms and molecules at all, so far as we could see. What interested them were such chemicals as could be utilised: those which could

                              be combined into valuable manures or plant-foods, those which could be employed in their various manufactures, which would yield them a beautiful dye or a useful acid. All scientific studies were made with some special practical point in view; they were always trying to find out something, but always with a definite object connected with human life, never for the sake of knowledge in the abstract.

                              Perhaps their nearest approach to abstract science was their study of astronomy ; but this was regarded rather as religious than as merely secular knowl edge. It differed from the rest in that it was purely traditional, and that no efforts were made to add to their stock of information in this direction. The stock was not a great one, though accurate enough as far as it went. They understood that the planets differed from the rest of the stars, and spoke of them as the sisters of the earth — for they recognised that the earth was one of them — or sometimes ‘the elder children of the Sun. ‘ They knew that the earth was globular in shape, that day and night were due to its rotation on its axis, and the seasons to its annual revolution round the sun. They were aware also that the fixed stars were outside the solar system, and they regarded comets as messengers from these other great Beings to their Lord, the Sun; but it is doubtful whether they had anything like an adequate conception of the real size of any of the bodies involved.

                              They were able to predict eclipses both of the sun and moon with perfect accuracy, but this was not done by observation, but by use of a traditional formula; they understood their nature, and do not seem to have attached much importance to them. There is abundant evidence to show that those from whom they inherited their traditions must have been either capable of direct scientific observation, or else in possession of clairvoyant powers which rendered such observation needless ; but neither of these advantages appertained to the Peruvians at the date of our examination of them. The only attempt that they weret seen to make at anything like personal observation was that the exact moment of noon was found by carefully measuring the shadow of a lofty column in the grounds of the temple, a set of little pegs being moved along stone grooves to mark it accurately. The same primitive apparatus was employed to find the date of the summer and winter solstices, since in connection with these periods there were special religious services.

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