H.P. Blavatsky reminded her readers that the Second Stanza begins with the Fourth Round. But a few words need to be said about the First, Second, and Third Rounds that are briefly glossed over in the First Stanza. In The Secret Doctrine 2:42, "The Monad has to pass through its mineral, vegetable and animal forms, before the Light of the Logos is awakened in the animal man. Therefore, till then, the latter cannot be referred to as 'MAN,' but has to be regarded as a Monad imprisoned in ever changing forms." Here, the "Monad" is Pratyagatman or the Spiritual Monad or the Sophia who must descend from the "pure Essence of the Universal Sixth principle" as "the OVER-SOUL" into "every elemental form of the phenomenal world" to acquire "individuality" in its ascent from the "mineral and plant" up to the "holiest archangel (Dhyani-Buddha)" in The Secret Doctrine 1:17. The "Light of the Logos" is the potential primordial force of Adi-Buddha in the Central Sun as a manifested "second Logos" in the "Universe itself" which emanates the figurative "third" Logos of mankind in The Secret Doctrine 2:25. From the very beginning of the seven Earth Rounds, mankind has always been composed of human beings. In the First Round, the human being must evolve through different mineral, plant, and animal forms during the entire span of a single lifetime over a series of successive lives, but in the Second Round he must only evolve through them in utero. But he is still a human being in both Rounds. Mankind's evolution in the First Round reflects a mineral phase of existence; he is the spark in the rock or "Fire." Mankind's evolution in the Second Round reflects a vegetable phase of existence; he is the dew of moisture dropped onto a plant or "Air." Mankind's evolution in the Third Round reflects an animal phase of existence; he is the soft, fluid, ape-like outline of a beast or "Water." Mankind's evolution in the Fourth Round reflects a human phase of existence; he is the dust of life concentrated into solid form or "Earth." In these earlier Rounds, mankind possesses mineral, vegetable, and animal forms, and yet he is still "MAN."
In the Second Stanza in The Secret Doctrine 2:52, H.P. Blavatsky wrote of "an inclination of the axis--of which there were several--to a consequent deluge and chaos of Earth" in which "monsters, half-human, half-animal, were generated." In this passage, the word "several" is used to refer to the First and Second Root-Races. In The Secret Doctrine 2:54, there are "two distinct creations of animals and men, the first being destroyed." The word "deluge" is used to refer to their destruction by the great oceanic waters. As the opening creation, the First Root-Race experiences a vast difference in the type of forms (mineral, plant, animal) into which it re-embodies over tens of millions of years. When the inner astral part exudes itself into the Second Root-Race, Nature consolidates these differences into standard types, but the process is long and imperfect. In the First Root-Race, it may have been normal for a human being to have the translucent body in its sheerest outline of a fish or a lizard, but in the consolidation of the Second Root-Race these characteristics intermingle. A man might have a lizard head and a fish tail. By the end of the Second Root-Race with the Third Root-Race rapidly developing into ape-like forms, the situation only becomes further confused. This is what H.P. Blavatsky means by the "half-human, half-animal" forms in the Second Root-Race. In The Secret Doctrine 2:47, "The Achyuta then became the Chhyuta." The term "Achyuta" means those who cannot "change for the worse." It is a reference to the potentiality of the primordial forces in Adi-Buddha. These primordial forces are "Achyuta." To facilitate a descent, the primordial forces shoot out minor forces to the Dhyani-Buddhas who in turn transfer sub-forces to the Planetary Spirits. The Planetary Spirits are "Chyuta." They are the "Dhyanis who incarnate in the human forms of the Third Root-Race and endow them with intellect (Manas) are called the chyuta, for they fall into generation."
The "water-men terrible and bad" in The Secret Doctrine 2:53 belong to the Second Root-Race as the humanity of "Air" because there is so much moisture in it. They develop from such regions around the North Pole as the Fram Basin, the Wrangel Plain, the Molloy Deep, the Greenland Plain, and the Canada Basin. They can equally live in air or water. When land rises around such places as the Lomonosov Ridge and the Alpha Cordillera because of drought and geographical disturbances, this early humanity migrates southwestwards. Many of these fish-lizard men literally crawl out of the water onto land. There is first "the abyss of waters and darkness, wherein resided most hideous beings--men with wings, four and two-faced men, human beings with two heads, with the legs and horns of a goat (our 'goat men'), hippocentaurs, bulls with the heads of men, and dogs with tails of fishes." They include an assortment of "various animals and men, of fishes, reptiles and other monstrous animals assuming each other's shapes and countenances." And all these categories of evolving entities reside in "Thalatth" (glistening from the translucence of the First Root-Race) as the "Sea, or 'Water.'" Belus, a god corresponding to Jupiter (a Poseidon figure) as the sacred planet ruling over the Second Root-Race, grows into the "male principle" that defeats Thalatth because the rising lands of the Hyperborean region stretch out phallically from within the waters from north to south.
Fortunately, these stories of the early Root-Races have been preserved in the Zuni traditions in the American West among Native American Indians. In 1896, Frank Hamilton Cushing published the Zuni "Anthropogenesis" in Outlines of Zuni Creation Myths." In these myths from pages 379-384, Awonawilona is the All-Father (the Central Sun) in the "black darkness" throughout the "great space of the ages" (Sophia or Aditi). He conceives "within himself" through an outward "thought" whereby "mists of increase" (the nebular primordial force) arise and he makes himself "in person and form of the Sun" (the primordial force operating through the minor forces of the Solar Sun). Then "terrestrial life" is conceived in the "Four-fold womb of the World" (the four Rounds and the four Root-Races) and so begins "all beings of earth, men and the creatures." The "lowermost womb or cave-world" (the First Root-Race) is a "womb of sooty depth" because it is "black as a chimney at night time, foul too, as the internals of the belly." It becomes "overfilled with being." Just as "birds, tadpoles, or serpents" burst their "shells" from within "eggs in warm places," so too do "men and all creatures grow manifoldly and multiply in many kinds." There are "unfinished creatures, crawling like reptiles one over another in filth and black darkness, crowding thickly together and treading each other" until "many among them" seek to escape, "growing wiser and more manlike" (the Second Root-Race). Poshaiyankya leads the escape "appearing in the waters below" and stretches himself out to the "Sun-father in the wastes above." He surges from the "nethermost sea" and, alone, aspires upward "from one womb (cave) to another out into the great breadth of daylight" (the various ridges above the watery plains and basins). There, the "earth lay, like a vast island in the midst of the great waters, wet and unstable." The Sun-Father impregnates the "Foam cap" (the male principle of the 2nd Root-Race as the masculine land-mass dominating the feminine waters) near the Earth-Mother and she gives birth to two children, the "Beloved Twain," or Uanam Ehkona as the "Preceder" and Uanam Yaluna as the "Follower" (the Root and Seed Manus of a Root-Race). They assist the "grasses and crawling vines" (the vegetable forms of the early Second Root-Race) in the depths to grow tall "toward the light." Using these vines, mankind crawls out from the watery depths to the "second cave-floor," hoping not to be "violently ejected in after-time" (the fear of the Poseidon figure in the geological cataclysm at the close of the First Root-Race) by the "throes" of the Earth-Mother. This "second cave-floor" is nearer to the "navel" of the Earth-Mother (since the Second Root-Race migrates southwards).
H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 2019).
Frank Hamilton Cushing, Outlines of Zuni Creation Myths (USA: Kissinger Publishing, 2022).
(Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash)