“The Planetary Cycles of Humanity, or the Astronomical Progress of Civilization”
Theosophist, April, 1884
Article Selections by Léon Leconte | Editor’s Note by H.P.B.
A Suisse journal “Lumière et Liberté” contains an article, from which we make the following extracts:—
Civilisation seems to expand itself from East to West, which is the opposite movement of that of the globe around its axis. Sometimes it seems to recede a little, but it appears to do so only to push more rigorously forward. As history shows, it has at all times very little deviated to the North or South. It has evidently followed the course of the sun, and amongst all nations the sun is the symbol of intelligence, science and progress.
This progress of civilization has undoubtedly begun in the East, in Asia, where, according to science, the cradle of humanity stood, from there it went to Armenia, Babylonia; then to Egypt, whence it proceeded to Greece, later to Italy and France, and as it marched onward, it left behind it only a few traces of its presence. Before coming to Europe it might, no doubt, have spread itself over the
great continent of Africa; there was no want of room; but in obedience to some unknown law it turned westward, and then traversing the great Atlantic Ocean it spread again in America, where it now follows the same impulse.
May it not be that this law is also in operation on other planets, beside the earth, and that we may, perhaps, be correct in saying: “The progress of civilization on the surface of a planet is inversely proportionate to the rotation of the planet.”
What will happen when the march of civilization has arrived at the point from whence it started? Will a race superior than the present one appear, and starting once more on its march, continue until the world comes to an end? Are there perhaps other cycles beside this (Adamic) one? These are questions which we cannot answer at present; but it may not be impossible, by taking into account the time which it has required, for civilization to arrive at its present
point, to calculate the duration it will take to accomplish its round; and to be consequently enabled to foretell how many centuries our present humanity may yet have to live; provided that its existence is limited to the present round.
Editor’s Note. [H.P.B.]—It would be interesting to know whether M. Léon Leconte has read Esoteric Buddhism, whose doctrines seem the prototype of the above, and, at the same time, an answer. The question “How many centuries” more has our humanity to live—is a curious one to a student of Occult Sciecne, and how many more millions of years would, perhaps, be a more appropriate one—even in accordance with modern science and the calculations of geologists. But habit seems a stubborn thing.