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No Religion Higher Than Truth

Destruction by Fire Or Water

Reed Carson
September, 2004

In Plato’s dialogue “Timaeus” we might just pass by a simple little statement. In that dialogue Plato has Critias say:

“There have been, and will be again, many destructions of mankind arising out of many causes; the greatest have been brought about by the agencies of fire and water, and other lesser ones by innumerable other causes.”

Is this merely a note about the kinds of destruction available to Nature or is there some philosophy in it? Plato was an initiate according to Blavatsky so we may suspect there is deeper knowledge in that statement.

Students of Theosophy will know that Theosophy asserts that the major destructions ALTERNATE between fire and water. I think she asserts that idea several places in her work The Secret Doctrine. Unfortunately search engines and the best index do not make it easy for me to retrieve those references.

Here are two such references and they specifically echo the words of Critias with a little more flavor added (they just don’t specifically assert the “alternation”):

“Each of these has to become the witness of one of the periodical and ever-recurring cataclysms (by fire and water) that close the cycle of every Root-race.” (SDii309)

“Toward the very close of the race, as their mixed progeny furnishes the first pioneers of a new and a higher race, there comes the last and supreme struggle during which the “Sons of Darkness” are usually exterminated by some great cataclysm of nature — by either fire or water.” (BCW p 262)

Here is one more quote from Blavatsky that, though obscure, asserts the ALTERNATION involved in the means of destruction

“At the close of every Root-Race there comes a cataclysm, in turn by fire or water.” (BCW VOL 14, p81)

This tradition is apparently not just in Plato – it is around the world.

“The Mexicans had, and still have, the tradition of the four-fold destruction of the world by fire and water, just as the Egyptians had, and the Hindus have, to this day.” (SDii311)

Now this deserves a more careful look. We do not normally think of a sequence of cataclysms where they specifically alternate in their mode. We think disasters are disasters. They are independent of each other. How the next one happens is independent of how the previous one happened. But not so according to occultism as presented by Blavatsky. Here is an asserted mysterious kind of symbolism in Nature.

Destruction by water we can understand – there is a huge flood or much more likely a major sinking of a land mass – slowly or quickly.

But what would destruction by fire mean? A large-scale forest fire hardly seems to be at the level of the apparent philosophy. Is this all some symbolism that is not intended to describe the actual workings of real nature? Could we ever go about finding any scientific proof of such things and what would that proof be like?

These questions were all resting quietly in the background of my mind – in a section marked “do not disturb”.

Then recently I happened upon a citation in a scientific book.

Some Theosophical background first. In Theosophical terms, Blavatsky is saying that the continent (not island) of Atlantis was destroyed by water. It sank. The preceding continent was Lemuria, largely in the Pacific. It was destroyed by fire.

Now the quote from science. It was not a forest fire.

“This submergence was apparently yet another facet of the global catastrophe under discussion and, as in so many other areas, here also it was accompanied by stupendous volcanic activity. Records of this were gathered by the Swedish survey ship Albatross in 1947, when for several hundred miles southeast of Sri Lanka, it sailed over a vast and continuous plateau of hardened lava. This filled almost all the earlier valleys on the sea-bed and gave the ocean floor there a singularly level surface. One recent authority regarded this lava as being very probably the undersea counterpart of the Deccan trap of India, where basaltic lava several thousand feet thick continuously covers an area of not less that 250,000 square miles. According to HF Blanford, the eruption of this material may have been synchronous with the sinking of Wallace’s Southern Continent. … (Cataclysm! p 34)

Wallace’s Southern Continent is effectively a reference to Lemuria.

Now we can understand. The fire of volcanism was involved, and the evidence is the lava.

This provides an avenue for yet more instructive research.

-Reed Carson, Co-founder of Theosophy Foundation, Inc., and this website: blavatsky.net.

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