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Helena Blavatsky

Root Races

Helena Blavatsky (AI)

Helena Blavatsky discusses the concept of “root races” in her writings, particularly in “The Secret Doctrine,” which is one of her most influential works. The idea of root races is central to Theosophical teachings and reflects Blavatsky’s synthesis of Eastern religious ideas, occultism, and her mystical insights.

The root races, according to Blavatsky, are stages in human evolution, each race representing a phase in the spiritual and physical development of humanity. She described seven such root races, each evolving from the previous one and residing on different continents lost to history. The races were not just physical but also spiritual and psychic. The concept also involves cyclical time, with each root race representing a different cycle of human development.

Here are some key points about her concept of root races:

First and Second Root Race: The first two root races were ethereal and non-physical. The first race, the Polarians, were spiritual entities, while the second, the Hyperboreans, were more physical but still not fully material.

The third root race: Lemurians

The third root race, Lemurians, were the first to develop physical bodies. Blavatsky claimed they lived on a lost continent called Lemuria, which she posited existed in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

The Lemurian race existed millions of years ago. She often spoke in very broad and sweeping timeframes, extending far beyond the scope of recorded history and into geological epochs. The exact duration she proposed for the Lemurian race is not clearly defined

The Lemurians lived in a period that would be considered prehistoric by modern standards, potentially corresponding to the time of the dinosaurs or earlier.

Blavatsky posited that the Lemurians lived on a now-lost continent she named Lemuria, which she theorized was located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. This continent was said to have eventually sunk, much like the later mythical continent of Atlantis.

The fourth race: the Atlanteans

The fourth race, the Atlanteans, were more advanced and inhabited Atlantis. This race was purported to have psychic powers and advanced technology.

In the case of Race-evolution . . . no hard and fast line can be drawn where a new order ends and another begins. Continuity in natural processes is never broken. Thus the Fourth Race Atlanteans were developed from a nucleus of Northern Lemurian Third Race Men, centred, roughly speaking, toward a point of land in what is now the mid-Atlantic Ocean

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. II

The Atlantean continent was destroyed by sinking into the ocean. This was a very gradual process, following the natural law that produces a change of continents for each new Root-Race. However, the last Atlantean island, Poseidonis, mentioned by Plato, was destroyed as a result of a war between Atlantean black magicians and the Adepts of the time, who were forced to intervene to stop the abuse of psychic powers. Blavatsky explains:

In consequence of this [black magic], war was declared, the story of which would be too long to narrate; its substance may be found in the disfigured allegories of the race of Cain, the giants, and that of Noah and his righteous family. The conflict came to an end by the submersion of the Atlantis; which finds its imitation in the stories of the Babylonian and Mosaic flood.

Isis Unveiled vol. I

The Atlantean War

Before this war began, those who had not fallen into abusing their powers were saved by the Adepts of the time. The Secret Doctrine narrates it as follows:

He sent his air-vehicles (Viwan) to all his brother-chiefs (chiefs of other nations and tribes) with pious men within, saying: ‘Prepare. Arise ye men of the good law, and cross the land while (yet) dry.’
‘The Lords of the storm are approaching. Their chariots are nearing the land. One night and two days only shall the Lords of the Dark Face (the Sorcerers) live on this patient land. She is doomed, and they have to descend with her. The nether Lords of the Fires (the Gnomes and fire Elementals) are preparing their magic Agneyastra (fire-weapons worked by magic). But the Lords of the Dark Eye (‘Evil Eye’) are stronger than they (the Elementals) and they are the slaves of the mighty ones. They are versed in Ashtar (Vidya, the highest magical knowledge). Come and use yours (i.e., your magic powers, in order to counteract those of the Sorcerers). Let every lord of the Dazzling Face (an adept of the White Magic) cause the Viwan of every lord of the Dark Face to come into his hands (or possession), lest any (of the Sorcerers) should by its means escape from the waters, avoid the rod of the Four, (Karmic deities) and save his wicked‘ (followers, or people).

The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion and Philosophy. Vol II

The fifth root race: the Aryan race

The fifth root race is the Aryan race, which she described as currently inhabiting the earth. The term “Aryan” in this context is not related to the racial ideologies later adopted by groups like the Nazis; instead, it refers to a stage in human spiritual and physical evolution.

Future races:

Sixth Root Race: According to Blavatsky, the sixth root race will arise in the future and will represent a significant advancement in human spiritual and psychic development. This race is expected to possess heightened spiritual awareness and psychic abilities. Blavatsky suggested that the sixth root race would emerge from a small number of spiritually advanced individuals from the current race. The location for the emergence of this race was sometimes speculated to be somewhere in South America, but this was not definitively stated.

Seventh Root Race: The seventh and final root race is predicted to be the culmination of human spiritual evolution. Very little detail is given about the characteristics of this race, as it is considered to be far in the future. It is suggested that this race would achieve the highest level of spiritual and psychic development, possibly transcending physical form as we understand it.

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