The Theosophopical and Anthroposophical Time scale

The Theosophical and Anthroposophical geological time-scales stand mid-way between the vast vistas of Science and the little claustrophobic box of Young Earth Creationism.  The Theosophists are not as bad as the Anthroposophists, but because Blavatsky was dependent on late 19th century science, and beacuse in the late 19th Century (prior to the discovery of radiometric dating) the Earth was not realised to be as ancient as it is now known to be, their time-scale is quite a bit shorter than thhat of modern science.  The Theosophists of course justify this "esoteric" time scale, because to do otherwise would be to question their Founder's supposed infallibity (an infallibity I feel she herself would never have claimed).


 
 

The following chart, by external linkCharles Ryan, presents a comparison of the Theosophical (H.B.P., left) and Geological time scales.  R-R refers to Root Race, an important concept in Theosophical and Anthroposophical cosmology.

For more on the Theosophical Time-scale abnnd modern geological dating see:
on-line essayRoot-Races and Geological Periods - Bill Savage

on-line essayThe Antiquity of Man and the Geological Ages By Charles J. Ryan

web pageGeochronology: Theosophy and Science - David Pratt. - very well written review and argument for the Theosophical position.
 

The Anthroposophical time-scale is a lot more contracted, owing to Steiner's use of astrological cycles for dating.  Anthroposophists reject the validity of radiometric dating, since they claim that radioactivity onlty came about after the incarnation of Christ!

Steiner did not appear however to have been very consistent with dating.  Although in one passage he points out that the present Earth is not even 26,000 years old, and he states also that the expulsion of the Moon from the Earth durng the middle of the Lemurian era (the third root race period) took place "many thousands of years ago", elsewhere he refers to the Atlantean Era (the one that comes after the Lemurian era and precedes and the present age) as lasting for about a million years (Cosmic Memory).  Such inconsistencies are quite common in Steiner's teachings.

Several of Steiner's followers try to resolve the problem by pointing out that Steiner often referred to a million years to refer to an unimaginably long period of time.  But years as a meaningful unit of time only came about at the middle of teh Age of Artlantis when the Earth's orbit around the sun was stabilised at its present rate.  They give this period as abut 15 or 20 thousand years ago. [Kees Zoeteman, Gaia-Sophia, p.109]

In any case, the Anthroposophical timescale is a lot briefer than the Scientific time scale, or even the Theosopical timescale.

Anthroposophists disagree over the precise correlation of each each geological era with Root Race.  As in Theosophy, the idea of Root Races is central to their whole scheme of human evolution, and the Root Races serve as their equivalent to the standard scientific idea of eras.  In seeking to formulate a universal system of knowledge, they therefore tried to integrate the two time-scales, the geological and the occult.  One option was to begin the Precambrian with the Polarian era, another to begin the Precambrian only after the separation of the Moon from the Earth during the middle of the Lemurian era, arguing that this is when the "present Earth" conditions came about.  This latter option of course gives an exceedingly truncated time scale, only a little better than that of the Young Earth Creationists.
 
 

The following table gives six alternative Theosophical and Anthroposophical models


Science
Theosophy
Anthroposophy
Era Period Blavatsky Adyar Theosophy

ref. Lt.Col. Arthur E. Powell, The Solar System, p.90

Wachsmuth and Poppelbaum
(cited in Kees Zoeteman, Gaia-Sophia)
John Davy, "Epoches of Evolution", 1957
(reprinted in Hope, Evolution, and Change, Hawthorne Press)
Root Race Poppelbaum
(A New Zoology)
Hagemann, Von Wesen des Lebendigen, 1967
(cited in Kees Zoeteman, Gaia-Sophia)
link to palaeos com Cenozoic link to palaeos com Holocene
5th Root Race
(Aryan)
5th R.R.
(Aryan)
Post-Atlantean
Post-Atlantean
Post-Atlantean
Post-Atlantean
link to palaeos com Pleistocene
Atlantean
Atlantean
link to palaeos com Atlantean
Late Atlantean
link to palaeos com Tertiary
4th Root Race
(Atlantean)
4th R.R.
(Atlantean)
Middle Atlantean
link to palaeos com Mesozoic link to palaeos com Cretaceous
link to palaeos com Jurassic
link to palaeos com Triassic
4th R.R.
---------------
3rd Root Race
(Lemurian)
3rd Root Race
(Lemurian)
Late Lemurian
---------
separation of Moon
Late Lemurian
---------
separation of Moon
Late link to palaeos com Lemurian
---------
separation of Moon
Early Atlantean
link to palaeos com Palaeozoic link to palaeos com Permian
link to palaeos com Carboniferous
link to palaeos com Devonian
2nd Root Race
(Hyperborean)
(non-physical)
2nd  (Etheric) Root Race
Early Lemurian
Middle Lemurian
Early link to palaeos com Lemurian
link to palaeos com Silurian
link to palaeos com Ordovician
1st Root Race
(Polarian)
(non-physical)
1st (Astral) Root Race
Early Lemurian
link to palaeos com Hyperborean
Late Lemurian
 

---------

separation of Moon
link to palaeos com Cambrian
link to palaeos com Polarian
Precambrian
Polarian
not specified

parent nodes

Theosophy
Anthroposophy
Root Races
Time Scale

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page created & uploaded 3 January 2000
modified 31 January