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The Externalization of the Hierarchy - Section II - The General World Picture
We must remember that the spirituality of that time was of a very different quality from that which now goes under that name. It was in the nature of an aspiration towards a sensed hereafter, for a satisfying beauty and for emotional completion. There was no thought - as we know thought - in this attitude but only a reaching out after a sensed unattainable and for that which was desirable. This was fostered in the people by the Hierarchy through the gift of various inventions and by the use of the instinctual masses of men in building great and beautiful cities and stupendous structures, the remnants of which persist until [122] today. This was done under the expert guidance of the initiates and adepts who employed their knowledge of the nature of matter and energy to produce much that today man is gropingly endeavoring to discover and make possible. All that the modern processes of civilization have made possible, and much more than that which today comes under the name of scientific discovery were known in old Atlantis, but they were not developed by men themselves but given to them as a free gift, much as people today give to a child beautiful and wonderful things which the child uses and enjoys but which he does not understand in any way. Great and beautiful cities, full of temples and great buildings (of which the Chaldean and Babylonian remains are the degenerate remnants, and the modern skyscraper the child) were everywhere to be found. Most of our modern scientific knowledge was possessed by these priest-kings and constituted in the eyes of the masses a form of wonderful magic. Sanitation, hygiene, means of transportation and air machines were developed and of a very high order; these were not the result however of man's achievement but gifts from the Hierarchy, developed or constructed under a wise guidance. There was command of air and water because the guides of the race knew how to control and master the forces of nature and of the elements, but none of it was the result of human understanding, knowledge or effort. The minds of men were undeveloped and not adequate to such a task, any more than is the mind of a little child.

The cleavage between the two groups (the one expressing the forces of materialism and the other the energy of light) grew gradually wider until towards the close of the Atlantean Age it was so wide, and the lines of demarcation between the two schools of life and thought were so clear, that a crisis was precipitated in the then civilized world of which the present conflict is a definite effect. Let us also hope that it constitutes a climax which will never again occur. Then took place the great war between the Lords of Form and the Lords of Being, or between the Forces of Matter and the Great White Lodge. A careful study of [123] volume two of The Secret Doctrine will prove enlightening to students, if they will study with particular care pages 275-466. To our understanding, this account may seem vague and obscure, but the issues at the time were clear. The Forces of Light triumphed because the Hierarchy was forced to intervene potently, and, with the aid of certain great Lives extraneous to our planetary life, They brought the Atlantean civilization to an abrupt end after a long period of chaos and disaster. This took place through the medium of a culminating catastrophe which wiped hundreds of thousands of human beings off the face of the earth. This historical event has been preserved for us in the universal legend of the great flood.

Those who survived are symbolically spoken of in the Bible as those who were saved in Noah's ark, and in the ancient writings it is expressed in the following terms:

"Like as a dragon snake uncoils slowly its body,
so the sons of men, led on by the Sons of Wisdom,
opened their folds and spreading out like a running
stream of sweet waters...Many of the faint-hearted
among them perished on their way.
But most were saved."

A close study of the tale as given in The Secret Doctrine will reveal the state of immature development (from the angle of our modern standards) and of the basically emotional and physical focus of the humanity of the period; it will show also man's magical ability to subdue and control the subhuman kingdoms and the elemental forces of the planet. These are two angles which have been but little studied.

Emphasis has, however, been rightly placed upon divine interference and intervention; this succeeded in salvaging an ethically sound minority (the word "spiritual" would not yet apply, except relatively) and in destroying those who were wrongly focused or oriented and, therefore, dedicated to the life of material aspiration and perception. [124]

This nucleus which was saved, formed the basis of our present root race, the Aryan. The whole theme of the Old Testament is built around the development and growth of this nucleus. Symbolically speaking, the inhabitants of the ark and their descendants and the Jewish race stand for the salvaged remnant of humanity - salvaged in spite of themselves and in face of stupendous difficulties by the Great White Lodge.

Two points warrant attention here. The first and least important from the standpoint of the soul is the disappearance off the earth of practically all signs of the wonderful Atlantean civilization except for those few archeological treasures which intrigue and interest modern research workers, plus those dim memories of ancient scientific achievement which lead the modern student to investigation and invention, and which incite him to discovery and the production of what we call the triumphs of modern science.

The second point is that for the good of humanity, the Hierarchy withdrew into the background, leaving man to find his own way out of the mirage and illusion of materialism in right ways and eventually to bring to an end the ancient cleavages. War must be brought to its final consummation and expression with a view to its final discarding as a means of arriving at desired ends.

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