Again we looked over Atlantis, and saw many things else. The Zailm time possessed a peculiar interest. I saw that dim, distant past, a past old in the earth and ancient when Earth was yet a babe in the cradle of time. Atl, chiefest of the prehistoric races, numbering at home in Poseid, and abroad in the colonies, almost three hundred millions of souls; Atl, known through the olden earth as Atlan, Queen of the Seas," and her people as "Children of Incal," i. e., "Of the Sun," and as the "Sons of God." How are the mighty fallen! For now I behold her ancient site as part of the bed of the restless sea, covered with ocean ooze and slime, and to be known as the haunt of man only through the clear vision of the perfected eyes which scan astral records. Again the scene was presented so that we saw it as the eyes of my poor, weak, and pitifully mortal personality of Zailm had seen it. There was stately Caiphul, the Royal; and there, far away, and not so stately, Marzeus, its towers and turrets and chimneystacks and lofty buildings marking where had stood the greatest of Atlan manufacturing centers, where the machine shops and the mills had been which supplied Poseid with vailx, and naims, and all sorts of machines and instruments; with the products of the looms, the cereals and endless articles of use, and of art. Over a million artisans there by day, but by night scarce fifty thousand, all gone by car or vailx to their homes anywhere from fifty to a hundred miles away, a few minutes' ride. And all this to perish because of man's iniquity, a few short hundreds of years later. Here and there I caught glimpses of canals, distributing either natural rivers or streams, or the product of aqua-aerial generators, such as Zailm had a small model of in his last days in Umaur.
We saw the world as Zailm. saw it: Suern, with its millions of people; Necropan, with its ninety-odd millions; Europe, then a barbarian land, only about one-sixth its present area; and Asia, not so large in extent then as now, but containing over a half million of souls. But the sparkling, brilliant civilization which was more than peer of even proud to-day, that was glorious Atl! Eleven hundred millions of people, civilized or but semi-civilized, and as many more scattered over the continent and islands of the seas who were utter barbarians--such was the world of Zailm, generally viewed. The numbers of the human race, and especially their increase during several generations, has appalled the pessimists. But the greatest of pessimists, Malthus, need have felt no alarm had he but known. Because:
"The world goes up and the world goes down,
And the sunshine follows he rain."
There are a varying number of people always in the world; now more, now less; for as a soul comes to Earth (having been in devachan) a soul passes from Earth into devachan. But now two come while one goes, or two go while one comes, relatively. Wherefore the world is apparently encroaching upon the sources of supply, or again the supply of all things exceeds demand. But only a fixed number of Human Rays went forth from the Father, and only so many have Life, or ever will have. But these come and go as the tides ebb and flow, now on Earth, now in Heaven. Malthusians need not fear.
Zailm had been my personality.
Thirty centuries later, approximately, we saw again this land. But how changed. Now had Caiphul lost something. Not the tangible matter visible to earthly men-no, this was not gone. But the men we saw were not the high, lofty, noble-souled men known to Zailm and to Anzimee. And when manhood suffers decadence, degradation, all nature with which he has to do also sensibly alters for the worse. Marzeus, the city of manufacturing arts, was no more; it had gone down before corruption. Art had not suffered so much as had science. But the science which drew upon the mysterious forces of Nature
the "navaz"--this had so far disappeared that airships were forgotten, or at most were semi-mythical history. So were many other instruments which Zailm. had known--the naima, those wonderful, wireless, combined telephonic and photographic image transmitters. And the vocaligrapha, the caloriveyant instruments and the water-generators-all were lost in the night of time. But the men of the twentieth century shall find them all again. Twenty-eight decades of centuries hath Day now here continued, and soon it shall be proclaimed,
"The evening and the morning are the seventh day." Ye who hear all my message are the men and the women of this new day, and shall inherit all things from our Father forever. And the full eventide of that day which cometh shall behold you caught up "into the heavens" to escape the end of all things, when the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burned up. 1
But I should deal with the past, not with the future. The seeds of corruption sown in the hearts of men by the Evil One, master over Mainin, germinated and throve, and then began, some centuries after the time of Gwauxln and Zailm, a long, steadily downward course which weakened the self-respect, manhood and womanhood of Poseid, a loss revealed in countless ways, culminating in national depravity and ruin.
It was upon one of these phases of ruin that we next gazed. We saw a woman upon whose face rested a light almost divine in the power of its transfiguring beauty. Her slight figure seemed not so much of Earth as of Heaven. The loose robe of gray which she wore fluttered in the breeze, the long tresses of brown hair, unrestrained, swept back from the glorious face, on which sat pity and despair, yet mingled with a wonderful radiance of appealing, entreating, agonized hope that some might hear and turn away from the course they were following. Her appeal assumed that most perilous form, for the champion, which an appeal can assume, that of sharp denunciation. She denounced the hideous system of blood-sacrifice in religion as being in diametrical opposition to right, to God, to
man, and m responsible for the corruption of the people. At this, the priests among the crowd uttered hoarse cries of rage. In a voice, the astral record of which rings yet, and forever, for those who have ears to hear such psychic tones, she cried, from her high place on the pedestal of the monument, twenty feet from the ground and the upturned faces below:
"Oh, ye! Think ye that Incal will accept the blood of innocent animals for your crimes? Whose sayeth this doth lie! Incal, God, will never take blood of anything, nor symbol of any sort which placeth an innocent in a guilty one's stead! And the Incalithlon, and the Holy Seat, and the Maxin Light axe dishonored whenever a priest layeth an animal on the Teo Stone, and striketh a knife to its heart, tears it out and tosses it as sacrifice into the Unfed Light. Yea, the Unfed Light doth truly destroy it instantly. But think ye because of this that merciful Incal is pleased. O ye brood of vipers, ye priests that are charlatans and sorcerers?'
An angry Incali stooped as she uttered this, and picked up a jagged bit of stoneware. In front of him was a litter borne by sad-visaged slaves. On this, reclining amidst soft silken cushions, was a woman of languorous beauty, the very impersonation of shameless abandon. In the warm, tropical atmosphere she lay, innocent of any covering, except that the heavy waves of the hair of her beautiful, if wicked, head partially concealed her nakedness. The shameless sight did not attract notice because of its shamelessness; the only attention bestowed by the dense and wrathful crowd around her was that of sensual admiration from one or another. Such sights were all too common in these last days of Atl. Seeing the priest pick up the sherd, this woman said:
"What wouldst thou with it?"
`Naught," answered the priest.
"Naught, forsooth! I know thou wouldst throw it at yon blasphemer, if thou hadst courage!"
"Courage, I lack not," was the sullen reply.
A voice in the surging crowd now called out that the blasphemer of religion ought to be sacrificed on the Teo, Stone, and her heart given to the Maxin.
"Listen to that! The people and the Incali would be with thee," said the wanton. "Throw the piece, and see if perchance thou mightest not reach the game."
The ecclesiastic raised his hand back, and poised the missile, while the crowd nearest him gazed with eager eyes. Then the cruel bit of pottery hurtled through the air towards the fair speaker overhead. Her temple was presented, and the missile she might have avoided had she noted its coming, struck full on the dainty mark. With a cry of pain she threw up her hands, reeled, and then fell outwards, downwards, the twenty feet to the hard pavement below. The crowd, which had hushed an instant, now uttered fierce growls, and those nearest ran to the victim of the coward priest. Several of the sacerdotal caste picked the poor body up, and carrying it by the feet, arms and hair, quite as if the assault had been preconcerted, instead of being the work of one miserable fiend, started off to the Incalithlon, whose vast pyramid loomed not far away.
"See!" said Phyris, "the first human sacrifice in Caiphul! Me, even me, they slew, for trying to stem the tide of depravity and ecclesiastical criminality. I repeated to them the prophecy of the Maxin, and they heeded not, but slew me. For that woman was my personality when I reincarnated, three thousand years after thou, as Zailm, did leave me, as Anzimee."
With a strange ecstacy of crime, the priests, scarce an instant pausing, placed the still unconscious victim on the Teo. Then the chief priest, still called the Incalix, stepped from the Holy Seat, as it once had truly been. By the side of the victim he stopped and profaned not God, but Man, by a prayer to God; for no man can injure God except through injuring Man. Then he threw open the gray robe and bared the white breast. Swiftly he raised aloft the keen edged knife, then smote. A shudder shook the reviving victim, who was about recovering consciousness. The murderer then tore out the quivering heart and cast it into the Unfed Light, where it disappeared and made no sign. Then the flesh was divided piecemeal amongst the murderous crowd, together with the bloodstained garments. But the most of the blood had run into a depression
in the Teo, made for sacrificial blood. To this the priests added liquor, and in maddened frenzy quaffed the mixture from golden goblets. The scene was sickening, and I felt my very being revolt! And that poor murdered woman, a virgin--who had given her life to rescue her nation from sin--that was she, who had long centuries before been Anzimee, and now was Phyris, part of myself, and I part of her being, for our Spirit was one reunited. I could forgive the crime I looked back upon, for the criminals knew not what they did. And they have suffered for it, and yet shall suffer, for it is their karma. When Death, the conqueror of all mortals, garnered his harvest in Atl, these souls, which had sown sin and grown tares. were reaped by the Great Reaper, and the tares were sown with the good wheat when next those souls reincarnated. And they have had to glean and uproot as they could, and so must continue to tear up the evil weeds till every one be uprooted. Then will they have atoned unto God. There is time enough, lives enough, but O friends, none to waste!
After this human sacrifice the thirst for blood which the people manifested became unappeasable. They demanded the life of the priest who struck down the woman, for they were not yet accustomed to the rights the Incali had so newly arrogated, those of human sacrifice. They claimed that he had really murdered the woman, that they were unprepared to go so far, that therefore he who threw the missile must die. The tumult became so violent, and insurrection seemed so imminent, that the wretched priest was dragged out and offered by his fellows as the woman had been. But now came the denouement. When the high priest turned to cast the heart of the last victim into the Maxin, he staggered as if struck, his hand fell by his side, the heart dropped on the pavement, and the stricken man fell forward unconscious! The tall taper of the Unfed Light was gone; the Maxin book was gone! In its place stood a human form, that of a Son of the Solitude. In his left hand was a sword, in his right a pen.
"Behold, the day of destruction is at hand which was foretold ages age! Atlan shall won be no more beheld by the sun
in his whole course for the sea shall swallow you all! Attend ye!"
Then the dread apparition vanished. But the Unfed Light came not again. The people fled, shrieking, leaving the priest who had fainted lying on the floor. It was as well, for when venturesome ones came into the Incalithlon many days later he still lay as he fell, for he was dead. In his greater knowledge, for wicked as he was he yet was chief, he knew, sorcerer that he was, that there really was a power of right which was destined to bring the corruption of Poseid low and uproot the hideous mockery of sin enslaving the nation. And in his knowledge his soul had gone forth from his body in desperate fear, to return no more.
But the stupid sensualism of the masses, finding that after a few years nothing terrible occurred, gradually lapsed till worse than before, for human sacrifices became common, lust, gluttony and drunkenness ran riot, and the moral night's deep darkness closed in yet more blackly.
One man and his family who lived apart partook not of the general wickedness. True, he and his mate, like the ordinary people about him, were not married, save as the higher animals monogamize. Nor were his sons and their wives any better. But blood sacrifice he nor they would do. And when the monarch proclaimed that all must worship according to the new standard, and sacrifice babes and women, these men, giants in stature, and far superior, any one of them, to a dozen of the corrupt slaves of the Rai, refused to obey the mandate. Fruits and treasure they offered, but not blood. In his seclusion the father, Nepth, had a revelation. It came from the Sons of the Solitude, who were nowise altered from the ancient high standard, but Nepth thought it direct from God. The revelation was but a repetition of the prophecy of doom, but the knowledge of that prophecy having been centuries neglected, bore to Nepth all the force of a new revelation. So he came to know of the coming destruction of Atl, he and his sons. And they considered how to escape. Vailx were unknown. Nepth and his sons were unskilled builders. But they received instructions
from the befriending Sons of the Solitude, who came to them in astral shape. And so these better men of Atlantis began to build a great vessel. It was clumsy, but secure, and had room to receive several of all kinds of useful animals found in Atl, and to simple ignorant Nepth these constituted every animal on earth, for he knew nothing of other lands across seas, scarce knew of the provinces in Incalia or Umaur, for in these last days communication was not closely kept up. His neighbors and friends jeered and reviled him as a blasphemer, and he and his sons as men crazed. But the years lapsed, and the great ark of refuge grew, until one day it was complete. Then Nepth and his sons provided it with ample stores, and they took the animals from the pens wherein they had placed them as they captured them in years past. Indeed, most of these animals had been born in captivity and were tame, so long had Nepth carried on all works together, not knowing just when the dread prophecy was to be fulfilled. The final preparations were none too soon completed. Only a few days elapsed ere the earth shook and trembled in a frightful manner. Rivers left their beds, or sank through vast crevices in the earth; mountains shook till they were left as hills, and
"Bowed their tall heads to the plain."
A crevice opened close by the vessel of refuge, and the river which, half a mile wide, had flowed past to the ocean, fifty miles away, now poured with a mighty roar into the opening. For three days this awful turmoil continued. A man came, beseeching for admittance. But Nepth said: "Nay, thou wouldst never believe in other days. I told thee then this land should sink under the seas, and thou didst revile me. Now go thy way and tell all thou dost meet that 'Nepth spake truly.'"
Three days of horror, and three nights. Death stalked through the land, for the mountains fell on the plains and floods swept unrestrained. But the worst was to come. On the morning of the fourth day it seemed as if the rains of heaven would drown all, yet the thundering and turmoil was not lessened.
The gates of heaven and of the great deep were yet to be broken, and the continent, yea, much also of the world to be drowned. The people not yet destroyed were myriad, and were gathered in the high places. Suddenly it seemed as if the foundations of the world were withdrawn, for by one frightful, universal motion the lands left unflooded began to sink. With never a pause to the hideous, sickening sensation, all things sank, down, down, down--one, two, a dozen feet! Then a period of rest. The rains, which came in sheets, instead of drops; the wild blasts of furious wind; the sinking motion-all ceased while men might count a score. One score, two, three, yet no resumption. The wretched people, hidden in such poor shelter as they could find and dared avail themselves of, began to breathe easier--perhaps the fearful ruin was at last stayed! But, no! A slight tremble, scarcely noticeable after the mad three days, and then with one swift leap down to death the great continent of Atlantis sank as a stone sinks in water! Not a paltry dozen feet, nor even a hundred, but almost a mile it sunk at one horrible bound!
Nepth? In the middle of the third day his vessel of refuge had floated to the ocean on an outgoing rush of the floods, and there the winds had carried him until, when Atl sped down to death, he and his storm-beaten ark were a couple of hundred miles away. A very few other people had been similarly forced seawards, and these, after weary weeks, at last came around the southern promontory of Africa, and drifted northeasterly, to land on the west coast of Umaur. Here, too, the destruction had left but a few miserable survivors. But the few hundreds thus left founded the race which, repopulating that land, was found by Pizarro after many centuries upon centuries had elapsed. And a few thus became many. They would not permit blood sacrifice, but yet, like Nepth, offered fruits to Incal, and retained the name, slightly modified, so as to be Inca, a name bestowed upon their rulers. A few survivors landed further north, and repopulated the land conquered by Cortez, the Spaniard, a few short centuries ago. But these heeded not the lesson, for no sooner were they landed on the desolated
shores than they slew a woman as a thanksgiving for their escape. But Nepth? For many days his vessel drifted over the silent seas, with only the ceaseless roar of rain upon the roof to break the stillness. At last the vessel grounded. He knew not where he was, for he was an ignorant man. But the aspect of things was changed wholly. When at last he descended, and let loose his living freight, though he knew it not, he was in Asia. This land had not suffered as other lands, but yet floods had covered all the western part of Asia. The eastern portions, and what there was of Europe and America, had not remained inundated after the quick subsidence of the enormous tidal-wave, which, thirteen hundred feet in height, swept outward from Atlantis' site upon the recoil of the engulfing ocean. Thus closed the scene for us; the great deluge was over.
Then Phyris and I turned to other phases of the mysterious, past. These, though not less interesting, may not enter these pages. Rai Gwauxln was come to be Mendocus, while Rai Ernon of Suern was with us now, Mol Lang. Sohma was that, Son of the Solitude whom I took on my vailx when I was Zailm, away from Suern. So we saw the interweaving of the life lines. Then we saw the course of the lost soul, Mainin, from remote ages when Atlantis was not known in the earth, a sin-laden man then, until we found him, serving Satan, an outcast from human ranks, blasted thence by that Son of God, "first fruit of them that (had reincarnated) slept."
Looking, we saw that early Rai of Poseid, him of the Maxin Stone and the Unfed Light, the Lawgiver. We knew him for the Christ, illumining man then, and later as Buddha, and again overshining that greater than Buddha, the Nazarene. "Before Abraham was, I am." Whosoever the Christ-Spirit entereth into and abideth in, becometh a Son of God, and equal with Gautama; but into no one will it enter who doth not travel the Path. That mighty One blasted Mainin. Yet we saw that because Mainin had crossed our life then, I was thereby made the instrument of mercy to him by Christ, and that occasion was yet to come.
Back of the time of Zailm we gazed upon a scene on the great continent of Lemuria, or Lemorus. We saw a great house built of stone, standing on a grassy sward, a plain, over which roamed herds of cattle, and queer little horses, having three toes to each foot and high shoulders. Far to the east was a blue mountain range, beyond that a great ocean. But between the manse and mountains flashed a silvery lake. Within the house were many people, servitors all to two people, a woman and her son. Gloom overspread all faces, the gloom of blood. To a chief among subordinates the son gave orders. This slave, grim, ferocious, a very incarnation of cruelty, attracted my notice. His brown skin was swarthy, his hands talon-like. Only a breech-cloth apparelled him. Receiving his orders, he disappeared, but soon came again, pushing two manacled people, plainly of a different race from any there. One was a youth, lithe, erect, rather haughty of mien, his hair brown, his features symmetrical; that individuality of twenty-three thousand years ago is now Sohma. The other captive was a fair girl, sister to the youth, it seemed. Her beauty was delicate, but voluptuous. The fierce, cruel eyes, gleaming like live coals from under the shaggy brows of the master of the house, lighted with admiration as he saw the girl. His heavy-set figure, his coarse jaw, thick neck, and round, shaven head, all fitted him to be master of the brutish crowd around him. This man extended his hand as if to touch the captive maiden. She shrank away, and drew her figure erect in a queenly scorn.
"Ha! Unyielding as ever!" quoth the master. "We shall see."
He nodded to the chief slave, who threw the captive boy on a sort of altar beside him. He bound him. But the victim said firmly: "Sister, yield not; die first." Her eyes shone with an awful light of horror.
"Stop his voice," exclaimed the master; and the slave, nothing loath, cut out the poor boy's tongue!
"Beast!" hissed the girl to the master.
"Ha!" he replied, "I will prove that true," and he struck the bared breast of the tongueless lad with his own dagger,
FIRST SACRIFICE OF SELF FOR LOVE OF ANOTHER
and tearing out the heart, threw it at the sister's feet. A goblet of the blood was caught and the master's mother, a priestess, who stood by the block, took it and gazed into it. Then she said:
"The gods say that the girl also must die."
"Say they so? By all the powers I will not obey," shouted the master. "Not though my troops of war fail, and the King fails!"
"My son," said the priestess, "thou mayest not avoid this sacrifice and live, say the gods."
"No? Then the gods be served. Give me that knife." He felt its keen edge, and then asked, without taking his eyes from the weapon, "Say the gods yet so?"
"Even yet," said the priestess.
"Bind the maid," and his orders were obeyed, though the girl had fainted. The executioner laid his ear to her breast; a faint smile relaxed his features, and he said in his soul, "She is dead." He laid his hand on her breast, stood erect and said:
"Accept, ye gods, this sacrifice."
An instant the knife glittered overhead, the next he had buried it in his own heart. So had the heart that knew no mercy yielded to love; the stern warrior was dead. The gods must have blood, he thought, but he gave his own. What personality was he, was the girl, dead from horror? Myself! and Phyris!
400:1 II. Peter iii: 10.