isis unveiled: chapter xiv (ancient mysteries)

“Even the erudite and sober Max Muller is somehow unable to get rid of coincidences. To him they come in the shape of the most unexpected discoveries. These Mexicans, for instance, whose obscure origin, according to the laws of probability, has no connection with the Aryans of India, nevertheless, like the Hindus, represent an eclipse of the moon as “the moon being devoured by a dragon.”

And though Professor Muller admits that an historical intercourse between the two people was suspected by Alexander von Humboldt, and he himself considers it possible, still the occurrence of such a fact he adds, “need not be the result of any historical intercourse. As we have stated above, the origin of the aborigines of America is a very vexed question for those interested in tracing out the affiliation and migrations of peoples.” Notwithstanding the labor of Brasseur de Bourbourg, and his elaborate translation of the famous Popol-Vuh, alleged to be written by Ixtilxochitl, after weighing its contents, the antiquarian remains as much in the dark as ever.

We have read the Popol-Vuh in its original translation, and the review of the same by Max Muller, and out of the former find shining a light of such brightness, that it is no wonder that the matter of fact, skeptical scientists should be blinded by it. But so far as an author can be judged by his writings, Professor Max Muller is no unfair skeptic; and, moreover, very little of importance escapes his attention.

How is it then that a man of such immense and rare erudition, accustomed as he is to embrace at one eagle glance the traditions, religious customs, and superstitions of a people, detecting the slightest similarity, and taking in the smallest details, failed to give any importance or perhaps even suspect what the humble author of the present volume, who has neither scientific training nor erudition, to any extent, apprehended at first view?

Fallacious and unwarranted as to many may seem this remark, it appears to us that science loses more than she gains, by neglecting the ancient and even mediaeval esoteric literature, or rather what remains of it. To one who devotes himself to such study many a coincidence is transformed into a natural result of demonstrable antecedent causes. We think we can see how it is that Professor Muller confesses that “now and then…one imagines one sees certain periods and landmarks, but in the next page all is chaos again.”

May it not be barely possible that this chaos is intensified by the fact that most of the scientists, directing the whole of their attention to history, skip that which they treat as “vague, contradictory, miraculous, absurd.” Notwithstanding the feeling that there was “a groundwork of noble conceptions which has been covered and distorted by an aftergrowth of fantastic nonsense”, Professor Muller cannot help comparing this nonsense to the tales of the Arabian Nights.”

H. P. Blavatsky

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