Mu and Lemuria according to REH (& HPL & CAS) Mar 23, 2017 9:02:17 GMT -5
Post by deuce on Mar 23, 2017 9:02:17 GMT -5
I’ve also been digesting something of vast interest as background or source material—which has belatedly introduced me to a cycle of myth with which I have reason to believe you are particularly familiar—i.e., the Atlantis-Lemuria tales, as developed by modern occultists & the sophical charlatans. Really, some of these hints about the lost “City of the of the Golden Gates” & the shapeless monsters of archaic Lemuria are ineffably pregnant with fantastic suggestion; & I only wish I could get hold of more of the stuff. What I have read is The Story of Atlantis & the Lost Lemuria, by W. Scott-Elliot.
— HPL to CAS, 17 Jun 1926, SL2.58
I imagine that Lovecraft derived his information about Shamballah from E. Hoffmann Price, who in turn probably drew the data from Blavatsky or some other theosophical authority. I have some notes that Price gave me, in which Shamballah is mentioned:
“The word came from Shamballah, the Holy City, to destroy Atlantis 850,000 years ago, and overthrow the Lords of the Dark Face. The divine race of Aarab escaped the catastrophe, and in Al Yemen they reared the mighty Himyar palaces, with prodigious bulks, uncounted domes.”
S. is supposed to exist, invisible, somewhere in the Gobi desert. It was, I seem to remember, built by the lords of the Flame who came down from Venus. In it is kept the Book of Dzyan, older than the world.
— CAS to Donald Wandrei, 27 Oct 1948, SLCAS 354-355
Your forthcoming book sounds most interesting. As to the literary angle, my own impression is that much, if not most, of the modern fiction written about Atlantis, etc., has drawn its inception from Theosophic sources, and am wondering if you have come to the same conclusion.
Incidentally, it should be noted that Zothique as I have conceived it belongs to the future rather than the past, and lies at the other end of the time-cycle from Hyperborea, Mu, etc. The peoples of Zothique, one might say, have rounded the circle and have returned to the conditions of what we of the present rea regard as antiquity. The idea of this last continent was suggested by the “occult” traditions regarding Pushkara, which will allegedly become the home of the 7th root-race, the last race of mankind. However, I doubt if Theosophists would care for my conception, since the Zontiqueans as I have depicted them are a rather sinful and iniquitous lot, showing little sign of the spiritual evolution promised for humanity in its final cycles.
Rosicrucianism seems to have some similar traditions regarding the lost continents. But perhaps you have gone into all this. I don’t know how much claim to “ancient wisdom” any of it has, but have my apprehensions.
— CAS to L. Sprague de Camp, 24 Oct 1950, SLCAS 367 (re: Lost Continents: The Atlantis Theme in History, Science and Literature)
Lovecraft correspondents interested in Theosophy include E. Hoffmann Price, William Lumley, Clark Ashton Smith, and James F. Morton (see Letters to James F. Morton 424).
Thanks, Bobby! Some excellent rare quotes in there. As I've noted over the years, Theosophy was culturally rampant during those first decades of the 20th century. Roerich, whom HPL so admired, had Theosophical leanings, and the US had a Theosophy-friendly vice president under FDR: