Rosicrucian Writings Online


Book Review

 [From The American Rosae Crucis August 1916]
 
 
Dr. Rudolf Steiner's little book on THE SUBMERGED CONTINENTS OF ATLANTIS AND LEMURIA gives us many facts concerning their history and civilization obtained from the Akashic Records. Those of us who are aware of Dr. Steiner's wonderful power of spiritual insight find these accounts of great value. He tells of the wonderful memory possessed by the early Atlanteans; of their power of using the Life Force and of obtaining it from grains and other seeds, this force then being utilized in traffic and industry; of their air-ships which rose but a trifle above the earth; of their houses formed of branches of the growing trees; also of the close kinship of this man of bygone ages with Nature.
 
The Lemurian, the Atlantean and the Aryan are three of the Root-Races of humanity; we, ourselves, belonging to the latter race and the Lemurian preceding the Atlantean. The continent of Lemuria lay to the south of Asia and included parts of Asia and Africa. The inhabitants of this land had not developed memory, nor did they possess language as we understand it, but nevertheless, their powers were wonderful. They understood the inner life of plants and animals; "in building anything they did not have to calculate the bearing capacity of a trunk or the weight of a block of stone, they could see how the trunk would bear, how the stone would settle through its weight." They could lift enormous burdens by will power and their main object in life was to develop the will. The Lemurian studied the natural forces and transformed them into the power of will, so that he could accomplish what Nature accomplishes.
 
The globe itself was in a different condition at that time. The earth crust was not fully hardened; the atmosphere was much more dense. Animals were still in the amphibious stage. Forms were different, our ferns being then trees of monstrous size, and many of our small ferns gigantic. Altogether the student of occultism will find much to interest him in this little volume published by the Theosophical Publishing Society of London.
 
We have received a copy of the third edition of Dr. Steiner's book, CHRISTIANITY AS MYSTICAL FACT. This title hardly does justice to a book of real interest to every occultist or initiate. The word "Fact" is important, as Dr. Steiner believes that true mysticism is built upon facts concerning the spiritual life in man and that these may be studied in the same manner that the scientist employs in studying nature. With this idea in mind, more than half of the volume is devoted to an investigation of the Ancient Mysteries.
 
This oldest religion is found hidden in the oldest nations and is spoken of always with reverence by their sages, but, also, with fear for to betray its secrets meant death. "Divine, spiritual forces are latent in the man who lives merely through the senses, but they become a manifest reality in the initiate," so this secret religion developed in man these latent forces. The initiate does not regard as a supreme science that science which investigates the growth and decay of things, but he strives to awaken the God "who lies spellbound within them."
 
Dr. Steiner epitomizes for us Plutarch's understanding of the Mysteries and the Mystic and that of the Greek philosophers before Plato, Heraclitus and Empedocles, including also the Pythagoreans of Southern Italy and their studies in numbers; "for them too * * * the essential point was the awakening of the eternal in the personal." The chapter on Plato as a Mystic is followed by one showing the close relation that the Myths, or symbolical stories, bore to the Mysteries; how they really described to the uninitiated what the Mysteries concealed. The description of the Mystery wisdom of Egypt is of real interest to Rosicrucians and the true meaning of the myth of Osiris is well brought out. We are indebted to the so-called Book of the Dead for this knowledge.
 
The latter part of the volume is devoted to Christianity, showing how the Mysteries were the seed from which Christianity developed. The gospels and the miracles mystically interpreted are clear to every initiate and the "word" of St. John is the "spiritual soul" of Plato. "During the period of the Mysteries union with the spirit was only for those who were initiated. * * * In the coming of Christ, something, i. e., the deeds of Christ, were placed before the whole of humanity so that all might share in the mystical union." The book is published by G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York and London.

I. D. L.
 
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Webmaster's Notes:
 
1. "The Submerged Continents of Atlantis and Lemuria" is online here
(external link). It was an early version, and contained almost exactly the first half, of the book "Cosmic Memory". The latter is online here (external link).
 
2. "Christianity as Mystical Fact" is available online. For download locations, go here (external link).
  

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