THEOSOPHY, Vol. 88, Issue 6, September/October 2000
(Pages 300-302; Size: 6K)


Collated from H. P. Blavatsky's article, A Land of Mystery.

WHETHER one surveys the imposing ruins of Memphis or Palmyra; stands at the foot of the great pyramid of Ghizé; wanders along the shores of the Nile; or ponders amid the desolate fastnesses of the long-lost and mysterious Petra; however clouded and misty the origin of these prehistoric relics may appear, one nevertheless finds at least certain fragments of firm ground upon which to build conjecture. Thick as may be the curtain behind which the history of these antiquities is hidden, still there are rents here and there through which one may catch glimpses of light. We are acquainted with the descendants of the builders. And, however superficially, we also know the story of the nations whose vestiges are scattered around us.

Not so with the antiquities of the New World of the two Americas. There, all along the coast of Peru, all over the Isthmus and North America, in the canyons of the Cordilleras, in the impassible gorges of the Andes, and, especially beyond the valley of Mexico, lie, ruined and desolate, hundreds of once mighty cities, lost to the memory of men, and having themselves lost even a name. Buried in dense forests, entombed in inaccessible valleys, sometimes sixty feet under-ground, from the day of their discovery until now they have ever remained a riddle to science, baffling all inquiry, and they have been muter than the Egyptian Sphinx herself. We know nothing of America prior to the Conquest -- positively nothing. We are as ignorant of the races that built these cyclopean structures, as of the strange worship that inspired the antediluvian sculptors who carved upon hundreds of miles of walls, of monuments, monoliths and altars, these weird hieroglyphics, these groups of animals and men, pictures of an unknown life and lost arts -- scenes so fantastic and wild, at times, that they involuntarily suggest the idea of a feverish dream, whose phantasmagoria at the wave of some mighty magician's hand suddenly crystallized into granite, to bewilder the coming generations for ever and ever.

As regards prehistoric buildings, both Peru and Mexico are rivals of Egypt. Equalling the latter in the immensity of her cyclopean structures, Peru surpasses her in their number; while Cholula exceeds the grand pyramid of Cheops in breadth, if not in height. Works of public utility, such as walls, fortifications, terraces, water-courses, aqueducts, bridges, temples, burial-grounds, whole cities, and exquisitely paved roads, hundreds of miles in length, stretch in an unbroken line, almost covering the land as with a net. On the coast, they are built of sun-dried bricks; in the mountains, of porphyritic lime, granite and silicated sandstones. Of the long generations of peoples who built them, history knows nothing, and even tradition is silent. As a matter of course, most of these lithic remains are covered with a dense vegetation. Whole forests have grown out of the broken hearts of the cities, and, with a few exceptions, everything is in ruin. But one may judge of what once was by that which yet remains.

Note: In case you want to read it, before going on to the next article in this grouping, here's the link to HPB's article entitled "A Land of Mystery", that the Editors drew this collation from. (Because HPB wrote and presented the article in four parts, the article is also presented in four parts on this same web site that you're on, in the articles numbered 31-34 of the 59-part "Ancient Landmarks" series. The above link is only to the first of the four parts because you'll find a link to the next part at the bottom of each article -- as well as a link to the index page that contains the listing of all 59 articles in the series that it's in.)--Compiler

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