The Story of Atlantis

For readers unacquainted with the progress that has been made in
recent years by earnest students of occultism attached to the
Theosophical Society, the significance of the statement embodied in the
following pages would be misapprehended without some preliminary
explanation. Historical research has depended for western civilization
hitherto, on written records of one kind or another. When literary
memoranda have fallen short, stone monuments have sometimes been
available, and fossil remains have given us a few unequivocal, though
inarticulate assurances concerning the antiquity of the human race; but
modern culture has lost sight of or has overlooked possibilities
connected with the investigation of past events, which are independent
of fallible evidence transmitted to us by ancient writers. The world at
large is thus at present so imperfectly alive to the resources of human
faculty, that by most people as yet, the very existence, even as a
potentiality, of psychic powers, which some of us all the while are
consciously exercising every day, is scornfully denied and derided. The
situation is sadly ludicrous from the point of view of those who
appreciate the prospects of evolution, because mankind is thus wilfully
holding at arm’s length, the knowledge that is essential to its own
ulterior progress. The maximum cultivation of which the human intellect
is susceptible while it denies itself all the resources of its higher
spiritual consciousness, can never be more than a preparatory process
as compared with that which may set in when the faculties are
sufficiently enlarged to enter into conscious relationship with the
super-physical planes or aspects of Nature.

For anyone who will have the patience to study the published results
of psychic investigation during the last fifty years, the reality of
clairvoyance as an occasional phenomenon of human intelligence must
establish itself on an immovable foundation. For those who, without
being occultists–students that is to say of Nature’s loftier aspects,
in a position to obtain better teaching than that which any written
books can give–for those who merely avail themselves of recorded
evidence, a declaration on the part of others of a disbelief in the
possibility of clairvoyance, is on a level with the proverbial
African’s disbelief in ice. But the experiences of clairvoyance that
have accumulated on the hands of those who have studied it in
connection with mesmerism, do no more than prove the existence in human
nature of a capacity for cognizing physical phenomena distant either in
space or time, in some way which has nothing to do with the physical
senses. Those who have studied the mysteries of clairvoyance in
connection with theosophic teaching have been enabled to realize that
the ultimate resources of that faculty range as far beyond its humbler
manifestations, dealt with by unassisted enquirers, as the resources of
the higher mathematics exceed those of the abacus. Clairvoyance,
indeed, is of many kinds, all of which fall easily into their places
when we appreciate the manner in which human consciousness functions on
different planes of Nature. The faculty of reading the pages of a
closed book, or of discerning objects blindfold, or at a distance from
the observer, is quite a different faculty from that employed on the
cognition of past events. That last is the kind of which it is
necessary to say something here, in order that the true character of
the present treatise on Atlantis may be understood, but I allude to the
others merely that the explanation I have to give may not be mistaken
for a complete theory of clairvoyance in all its varieties.

We may best be helped to a comprehension of clairvoyance as related
to past events, by considering in the first instance the phenomena of
memory. The theory of memory which relates it to an imaginary
rearrangement of physical molecules of brain matter, going on at every
instant of our lives, is one that presents itself as plausible to no
one who can ascend one degree above the thinking level of the
uncompromising atheistical materialist. To every one who accepts, even
as a reasonable hypothesis, the idea that a man is something more than
a carcase in a state of animation, it must be a reasonable hypothesis
that memory has to do with that principle in man which is
super-physical. His memory in short, is a function of some other than
the physical plane. The pictures of memory are imprinted, it is clear,
on some nonphysical medium, and are accessible to the embodied thinker
in ordinary cases by virtue of some effort he makes in as much
unconsciousness as to its precise character, as he is unconscious of
the brain impulse which actuates the muscles of his heart. The events
with which he has had to do in the past are photographed by Nature on
some imperishable page of super-physical matter, and by making an
appropriate interior effort, he is capable of bringing them again, when
he requires them, within the area of some interior sense which reflects
its perception on the physical brain. We are not all of us able to make
this effort equally well, so that memory is sometimes dim, but even in
the experience of mesmeric research, the occasional super-excitation of
memory under mesmerism is a familiar fact. The circumstances plainly
show that the record of Nature is accessible if we know how to recover
it, or even if our own capacity to make an effort for its recovery is
somehow improved without our having an improved knowledge of the method
employed. And from this thought we may arrive by an easy transition at
the idea, that in truth the records of Nature are not separate
collections of individual property, but constitute the all-embracing
memory of Nature herself, on which different people are in a position
to make drafts according to their several capacities.

I do not say that the one thought necessarily ensues as a logical
consequence of the other. Occultists know that what I have stated is
the fact, but my present purpose is to show the reader who is not an
Occultist, how the accomplished Occultist arrives at his results,
without hoping to epitomize all the stages of his mental progress in
this brief explanation. Theosophical literature at large must be
consulted by those who would seek a fuller elucidation of the
magnificent prospects and practical demonstrations of its teaching in
many directions, which, in the course of the Theosophical development,
have been laid before the world for the benefit of all who are
competent to profit by them.

The memory of Nature is in reality a stupendous unity, just as in
another way all mankind is found to constitute a spiritual unity if we
ascend to a sufficiently elevated plane of Nature in search of the
wonderful convergence where unity is reached without the loss of
individuality. For ordinary humanity, however, at the early stage of
its evolution represented at present by the majority, the interior
spiritual capacities ranging beyond those which the brain is an
instrument for expressing, are as yet too imperfectly developed to
enable them to get into touch with any other records in the vast
archives of Nature’s memory, except those with which they have
individually been in contact at their creation. The blindfold interior
effort they are competent to make, will not as a rule, call up any
others. But in a flickering fashion we have experience in ordinary life
of efforts that are a little more effectual. "Thought Transference" is
a humble example. In that case "impressions on the mind" of one
person–Nature’s memory pictures, with which he is in normal
relationship, are caught up by someone else who is just able, however
unconscious of the method he uses, to range Nature’s memory under
favourable conditions, a little beyond the area with which he himself
is in normal relationship. Such a person has begun, however slightly,
to exercise the faculty of astral clairvoyance. That term may be
conveniently used to denote the kind of clairvoyance I am now
endeavoring to elucidate, the kind which, in some of its more
magnificent developments, has been employed to carry out the
investigations on the basis of which the present account of Atlantis
has been compiled.

There is no limit really to the resources of astral clairvoyance in
investigations concerning the past history of the earth, whether we are
concerned with the events that have befallen the human race in
prehistoric epochs, or with the growth of the planet itself through
geological periods which antedated the advent of man, or with more
recent events, current narrations of which have been distorted by
careless or perverse historians. The memory of Nature is infallibly
accurate and inexhaustibly minute. A time will come as certainly as the
precession of the equinoxes, when the literary method of historical
research will be laid aside as out of date, in the case of all original
work. People among us who are capable of exercising astral clairvoyance
in full perfection–but have not yet been called away to higher
functions in connection with the promotion of human progress, of which
ordinary humanity at present knows even less than an Indian ryot knows
of cabinet councils–are still very few. Those who know what the few
can do, and through what processes of training and self-discipline they
have passed in pursuit of interior ideals, of which when attained
astral clairvoyance is but an individual circumstance, are many, but
still a small minority as compared with the modern cultivated world.
But as time goes on, and within a measurable future, some of us have
reason to feel sure that the numbers of those who are competent to
exercise astral clairvoyance will increase sufficiently to extend the
circle of those who are aware of their capacities, till it comes to
embrace all the intelligence and culture of civilized mankind only a
few generations hence. Meanwhile the present volume is the first that
has been put forward as the pioneer essay of the new method of
historical research. It is amusing to all who are concerned with it, to
think how inevitably it will be mistaken–for some little while as yet,
by materialistic readers, unable to accept the frank explanation here
given of the principle on which it has been prepared–for a work of

For the benefit of others who may be more intuitive it may be well
to say a word or two that may guard them from supposing that because
historical research by means of astral clairvoyance is not impeded by
having to deal with periods removed from our own by hundreds of
thousands of years, it is on that account a process which involves no
trouble. Every fact stated In the present volume has been picked up bit
by bit with watchful and attentive care, in the course of an
investigation on which more than one qualified person has been engaged,
in the intervals of other activity, for some years past. And to promote
the success of their work they have been allowed access to some maps
and other records physically preserved from the remote periods
concerned–though in safer keeping than in that of the turbulent races
occupied in Europe with the development of civilization in brief
intervals of leisure from warfare, and hard pressed by the fanaticism
that so long treated science as sacrilegious during the middle ages of

Laborious as the task has been however, it will be recognized as
amply repaying the trouble taken, by everyone who is able to perceive
how absolutely necessary to a proper comprehension of the world as we
find it, is a proper comprehension of its preceding Atlantean phase.
Without this knowledge all speculations concerning ethnology are futile
and misleading. The course of race development is chaos and confusion
without the key furnished by the character of Atlantean civilization
and the configuration of the earth at Atlantean periods. Geologists
know that land and ocean surfaces must have repeatedly changed places
during the period at which they also know-from the situation of human
remains in the various strata-that the lands were inhabited. And yet
for want of accurate knowledge as to the dates at which the changes
took place, they discard the whole theory from their practical
thinking, and, except for certain hypotheses started by naturalists
dealing with the southern hemisphere, have generally endeavoured to
harmonize race migrations with the configuration of the earth in
existence at the present time.

In this way nonsense is made of the whole retrospect; and the
ethnological scheme remains so vague and shadowy that it fails to
displace crude conceptions of mankind’s beginning, which still dominate
religious thinking and keep back the spiritual progress of the age. The
decadence and ultimate disappearance of Atlantean civilization is in
turn as instructive as its rise and glory; but I have now accomplished
the main purpose with which I sought leave to introduce the work now
before the world, with a brief prefatory explanation, and if its
contents fail to convey a sense of its importance to any readers I am
now addressing, that result could hardly be accomplished by further
recommendations of mine. Views of Scott Eliot

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