A RUSSIAN Theosophist in a letter dated November 1883, writes as follows:
The Petersburg and Moscow papers are greatly concerned with the miraculous growth of a child, which has been scientifically recorded by Medical papers. On the outskirts of Siberia, in a small village in the family of a peasant named Savelieff, a daughter was born in October 1881. The child, though very large at its birth, began exhibiting a phenomenal development only at the age of three months when she began teething. At five months she had all her teeth; at seven she began to walk, and at eight walked as well as any of us, pronounced words as might only a child two years old, and measured--nearly a yard in her height! When eighteen months old she spoke fluently, stood one arshene and a half (over four feet) in her stockings, was proportionately large; and with her very dark face, and long hair streaming down her back, talking as only a child 12 years old could talk, she exhibited moreover a bust and bosom as developed as those of a girl of seventeen! She is a marvel to all who know her from her birth. The local board of physicians from the neighbouring town took charge of her for scientific purposes.
We find the fact corroborated in the Moscow Gazette, the paper giving us, moreover, a second instance just come under the notice of science, of another such phenomenal growth.
A Herr Schromeyer of Hamburg, has a son, born in 1869--now a boy of 13, and his tenth child. From his birth he arrested every one's attention by his supernaturally rapid development. Instead of damaging, it seemed but to improve his health, which has been always excellent. A few months after his birth his muscular system increased so much, that when one year old [his] voice began to lose its childish tones and changed. Its deep basso attracted very soon the attention of some physicians. Soon after, his beard grew, and it became so thick as to compel his parents to shave it every two or three days. His infantine features, very dark, were gradually replaced by the face of an adult, and at five he was mistaken by every stranger for a young man of twenty. His limbs are normal, strictly proportionate and very fine. At six he was a full grown and perfectly developed young man. Professor Virchoff, the celebrated physiologist, accompanied by several learned authorities, examined the boy several times, and is reported, when doubt as to the age of the boy had become no longer possible--to have given his certificate to the effect that the young boy was entirely and fully developed.
A similar case took place in a Georgian family of Asiatics, at Tiflis in the year 1865. A boy of four was found to have become a full adult. He was taken to the hospital and lived there under the eye of the Government physicians, who subjected him to the most extraordinary experiments,--of which, most likely, he died at the age of seven. His parents--superstitious and ignorant people--had made several attempts to kill him, under the impression he was the devil incarnate. There remains to this day a photograph of this bearded baby in the writer's family. Two other cases--nearly similar--the consequences of which were that two cousins in a village of Southern France, became respectively father and mother at the age of eight and seven, are on record in the Annals of Medicine. Such cases are rare; yet we know of more than a dozen well authenticated instances of the same from the beginning of this century alone.
We are asked to explain and give thereupon our "occult views." We will try an explanation. We ask no one to believe; we simply give our personal opinion identical with that of other occultists. The latter statement, however, necessitates a small preface.
Every race and people has its old legends and prophecies concerning an unavoidable "End of the world," the pious portions of civilized Christian nations having, moreover, evoluted in advance a whole programme for the destruction of our planet. Thus the Millenarians of America and Europe expect an instantaneous disintegration of our earth, followed by a sudden disappearance of the wicked and the survival of the few elect. After this catastrophe, we are assured, the latter will remain in the service of "Christ, who upon his new advent will personally reign on earth a thousand years"--(on its astral skeleton, of course, since its physical body will have disappeared). The Mohammedans give another tale. The world's destruction will be preceded by the advent of an Imam, whose presence alone will cause the sudden death of the whole unclean brood of Kaffirs; the promised "Heaven" of Mohammed will then shift down its headquarters, and the paradisaical Houris will roam about at the service of every faithful son of the Prophet. Hindus and Buddhists have again a different version; the former believe in the Kalki Avatar and the latter in the advent of Maitreya Buddha. The true Occultist however--whether Asiatic or European (the latter still to be found, rara-avis though he be) has a doctrine to this effect, which he has hitherto kept to himself. It is a theory, based on the correct knowledge of the Past and the never failing analogy in Nature to guide the Initiate in his prevision of future events--were even his psychic gifts to be denied and refused to be taken into account.
Now, what the Occultists say, is this: humanity is on the descending pathway of its cycle. The rear-guard of the 5th race is crossing slowly the apex of its evolution and will soon find itself having passed the turning point. And, as the descent is always more rapid than the ascent, men of the new coming (the 6th) race are beginning to drop in occasionally. Such children regarded in our days by official science as exceptional monstrosities, are simply the pioneers of that race. There is a prophecy in certain Asiatic old books couched in the following terms, the sense of which we may make clearer by adding to it a few words in brackets.
And as the fourth (race) was composed of Red-yellow which faded into Brown-white (bodies), so the fifth will fade out into white-brown (the white races becoming gradually darker). The sixth and seventh Manushi (men?) will be born adults; and will know of no old age, though their years will be many. As the Krita, Treta, Dvapara and Kali (ages) have been each decreasing in excellence (physical as well as moral) so the ascending--Dvapara, Treta, and Krita will be increasing in every excellence. As the life of man lasted 400 (years in the first, or Krita Yuga), 300 (years in Treta), 200 (years in Dvapara) and 100 (in the present Kali age); so in the next (the 6th Race) (the natural age of man) will be (gradually increased) 200, then 300 and 400 (in the two last yugas)
Thus we find1 from the above that the characteristics of the race that will follow ours are--a darker skin, shortened period of infancy and old age, or in other words a growth and development that in the present age (to the profane) appear quite miraculous.
It is not the sacred legends of the East alone that throw out hints on the future physiology of man. The Jewish Bible (See Genesis, Chap. vi, verse 4) implies as much, when speaking of antediluvian races (the 3rd race) it tells us, "There were giants in the earth, in those days," and makes a distinct difference between "the sons of God," and "the daughters of man." Therefore, to us, Occultists, believers in the knowledge of old, such isolated instances of premature development, are but so many more proofs of the end of one cycle and--the beginning of another.
Theosophist, January, 1884