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Volume 2:316-350

H.P. Blavatsky revisited the destruction of the Third and Fourth Root-Races in the Eleventh Stanza and briefly introduced the initial destruction of the Fifth Root-Race in its "Sub-races" and "side-branchlets (the family Races)" in The Secret Doctrine 2:330. To understand this, it is necessary to step-down her cycles by one category: the "Sub-races" refer to the Family Races and the "side-branchlets" refer to the National Races. We know this because the "Sidereal year" equal to "25,868 of our solar years" is discussed in relation to the initial destruction. Remarking on the casual observer, she observed, "He knows nothing, through exact Science, of what took place nearly 10,000 years ago; yet he may find consolation in the knowledge or--if he so prefers--speculation on the fate of every one of the modern nations he knows of--about 16,000 years hence." So, let us try to understand what happened "10,000 years ago" and what will happen "16,000 years hence."

Looking at the Fifth Root-Race, G. de Purucker explained in the November 1932 Theosophical Forum on page 83 that humanity is "nearing" its middle point; we have "almost reached" the middle point of the "great Fourth or Primary Sub-Race of the Fifth Root-Race." Since the initial middle point is the 4th Family Race, this indicates that we are currently in the 3rd and 4th Family Races. These two Family Races overlap so closely because not only do the 4th Family Race seeds drop in the 4th National Race of the 3rd Family Race, but they also become sui generis. As for the Indo-European 3rd Family Race, it seems we have already reached the 4th European National Race in its 5th Germanic Tribal Race, per Studies on pages 38-39. This means we have passed the middle point of the 4th European National Race in its 4th Tribal Race. We are currently in its 5th Tribal Race that produces the 6th Tribal Race and the grander 5th National Race concentrated in the Americas. In Collected Writings 2:312, H.P. Blavatsky wrote on this upward arc in the 5th Tribal Race when she described the Europeans as "just emerging from the very bottom of a new cycle and progressing upwards" whereas the "Asiatics--Hindus especially--are the lingering remnants of the nations which filled the world in the previous and now departed cycles." These "departed cycles" correspond to the 3rd Sub-Race, 4th Family Race. In The Secret Doctrine 2:106, there are "several branches of the Aryan Race, the Asiatic and the European." When G. de Purucker spoke of the 4th European National Race and the 5th Tribal Race, he is presumably not referring to the 4th Family Race because we have not passed the middle point of the 4th Sub-Race. But the 4th Family Race is already in its preliminary stages because the seeds of the 5th Sub-Race have been sown, per Dialogues 2:134. In the May 1937 The Theosophical Forum on page 368, Joseph Fussell confirmed G. de Purucker's position, "We are not yet at the mid-point of the Fifth sub-race, but only our sub-race which, as clearly shown elsewhere by H.P.B. in The Secret Doctrine, is the mid-point of a family race." In The Secret Doctrine 1:610, H.P. Blavatsky had written, "We are in the midpoint of our sub-race of the Fifth Root Race--the acme of materiality in each." Humanity has reached the 4th Family Race of the 4th Sub-Race.

The 4th Family Race is just barely beginning to flower from the middle point of the 4th European National Race of the Indo-European 3rd Family Race. In Studies on page 36, Purucker explained that the 4th National Race became sui generis from the previous 3rd National Race about 9,000 years ago. This is what happened about "10,000 years ago"--the stirrings of the great cataclysm to come with the seeds of the 4th Family Race of the 4th Sub-Race of the Fifth Root-Race. In Isis Unveiled 2:366, this progression from the 3rd National Race to the 4th National Race is shown by drawing attention to Baron Bunsen's 21,000-year cycle from Egypt's Place in Universal History. H.P. Blavatsky had previously asserted in Isis Unveiled 1:31 that the "beds of the ocean are displaced" at the "end of every decimillennium and about one neros [ed. approximately 10,500 years]" when there is a "semi-universal deluge." Using Bunsen's model, the high point of the cycle begins in 19,760 BC and the low point of the cycle occurs in 9,260 BC. This low point very broadly corresponds to the small Kali-Yuga of the 3rd National Race that gives birth to the 4th National Race.

As to the future, the next major cataclysm, as opposed to the minor cataclysm at Thera on the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea about 1600 BC that brought the 3rd National Race to a close, will sink large portions of Europe under the waters in about 16,000 years. Although G. de Purucker's language is veiled in Fountain-Source on page 164 in order to conceal the length of specific subordinate cycles, the next major cataclysm will take place at the close of the 4th National Race but counting from when it becomes sui generis with the begining of a sidereal cycle. While the first series of cataclysms will destroy much of Europe, the future National and Tribal Races, already being escorted out to safety, will continue to survive and prosper in the Americas. But as the 4th Sub-Race drops fully into its 4th Family Race, there will be a second series of cataclysms that will "still later" destroy "the whole Aryan race (and thus affect both Americas)," per The Secret Doctrine 2:444-445. Only this second series of cataclysms is the real Fifth Root-Race catastrophe because only it will destroy the "Fifth Continent" or "America." Eventually, the Great Plains and the Midwest will be shredded and ripped asunder by volcanic activity; the components for such volcanic activity already exist in their geological formations. Humanity will flee to the Rocky Mountains as the Pacific West is flooded and the the Central United States caves into the ocean floor. But this second series of cataclysms affecting the Americas will not happen in 16,000 years because this upcoming disaster is only a "small kali yuga" in Fountain-Source on page 164. Opinion differs as to how closely this first series and second series of cataclysms overlap. G. de Purucker's enigmatic statement in Fundamentals on page 280 that it will be "between sixteen thousand and twenty thousand years yet before the Racial Cataclysm will ensue which will cut our Fifth Root-Race in two" leaves room for interpretation. The word "ensue" simply means, "to follow in sequential order." It does not imply that the two series of cataclysms will happen concurrently. Besides, the Fifth Root-Race Kali-Yuga (some 5000 years old) has only begun; the measurement of closing cycles takes place at their ends, not their beginnings. What is clear is that the Sixth Root-Race will be "said to be definitely born" in some "three hundred thousand years" while the Fifth Root-Race will be ending its Kali-Yuga, per Studies on page 640. H.P. Blavatsky elaborated in The Secret Doctrine 2:445, "The Fifth will overlap the Sixth Race for many hundreds of millenniums, changing with it slower than its new successor, still changing in stature, general physique, and mentality, just as the Fourth overlapped our Aryan race, and the Third overlapped the Atlanteans."


H.P. Blavatsky, Collected Writings, Vol. 2 (Wheaton: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1967).

H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1998).

H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 2019).

J.H. Fussell, "Our Present Sub-Race," The Theosophical Forum, Vol. 10, No. 5 (May 1937).

G. de Purucker, The Dialogues of G. de Purucker (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1948).

G. de Purucker, Fountain-Source of Occultism (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1974).

G. de Purucker, Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1979).

G. de Purucker, Studies in Occult Philosophy (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1973).

G. de Purucker, "Question 120," The Theosophical Forum, Vol. 4, No. 3 (November 15, 1932).

(Photo by David Monje on Unsplash)

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