Isis Unveiled: chapter I (an axiom of hermetic philosophy)

“They divided the interminable periods of human existence on this planet into cycles, during each of which mankind gradually reached the culminating point of highest civilization and gradually relapsed into abject barbarism.

 
To what eminence that race in its progress had several times arrived may be feebly surmised by the wonderful monuments of old, still visible, and the descriptions given by Herodotus of other marvels of which no traces now remain.

 
Even in his days the gigantic structures of many pyramids and world-famous temples were but masses of ruins. Scattered by the unrelenting hand of time, they are described by the Father of History as “these venerable witnesses of the long bygone glory of departed ancestors.”

 
He “shrinks from speaking of divine things”, and gives to posterity but an imperfect description from hearsay of some marvelous subterranean chambers of the Labyrinth, where lay – and now lie – concealed, the sacred remains of the King-Initiates.

 
We can judge, moreover, of the lofty civilization reached in some periods of antiquity by the historical descriptions of the ages of the Ptolemies, yet in that epoch the arts and sciences were considered to be degenerating, and the secret of a number of the former had been already lost.

 
In the recent excavations of Mariette-Bey, at the foot of the Pyramids, statues of wood and other relics have been exhumed, which show that long before the period of the first dynasties the Egyptians had attained to a refinement and perfection which is calculated to excite the wonder of even the most ardent admirers of Grecian art.

 
Bayard Taylor describes these statues in one of his lectures, and tells us that the beauty of the beauty of the heads, ornamented with eyes of precious stones and copper eyelids, is unsurpassed.

 
Far below the stratum of sand in which lay the remains gathered into the collections of Lepsius, Abbott, and the British Museum, were found buried the tangible proofs of the hermetic doctrines of cycles which has already been explained.”

 
H. P. Blavatsky

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