Peter Staudenmaier: How are the two concepts of race related?
- Dear Mr. Staudenmaier,it seems like none of the others on this list are Blavatsky experts. I have had books by Blavatsky, Sinett, Leadbeater and Besant in my library for decades and have read them all years ago, but I do not profess to be an expert in Blavatsky and Theosophical thinking. I will gladly defer to you, as you have probably read Blavatsky more recently.You were able to answer my last question (namely where Blavatsky speaks of the black, brown, red and yellow race. That was very helpful. Before I continue my argument regarding Steiner (where I do consider myself an expert), I want to be sure that it is well founded regarding the relationship to Theosophy and Blavatsky's thinking. This is why am I would politely like to ask you to be so kind and to respond to my last question: were the "yellow and red, brown and black" races ever "main races" for Blavatsky? I could, of course, equally well ask: were the "yellow and red, brown and black" races ever "root races" for Blavatsky?As you seem to have a thorough overview over Blavatsky's thoughts on races, I am sure you will be able to help me here.One further point: Even though this is an English speaking list, since we are both of German origin I would like to ask you politely to also employ the German custom of using last names when conversing with me, which I have done consistently. Using first names with people you have never met would generally be considered rude in the German tradition. Thank you for respecting this in future!Best regards, Detlef HardorpP.S.: This is not a crucial question, but I am still wondering why Blavatsky puts "yellow and red, brown and black" in quotation marks!___________________________________________________________Here is the post I am referring to again for easy reference (#3400):Hello everybody,I find the most recent mail by Peter Staudenmaier quite helpful. He has read Blavatsky more recently than I had and was able to answer my question: "Where does Blavatsky say anything about the black, the yellow, the red, the white or the brown race? How does her concept of race relate to the traditional concept?"He writes, among other quotes: "Blavatsky describes how a minority of Atlanteans evolved into Aryans and produced "the Northern stocks", while the "yellow and red, brown and black" are merely "the remnants of the Atlanteans", produced when the "undeveloped tribes and families of the Atlantean stock fell gradually into a still more abject and savage condition." "Here is the passage form Blavatsky in the original ( THE SECRET DOCTRINE, Vol. 2, Page 743f - PS has an edition with different page numbers!):>"You do not know which was the best and most handsome generation of men which has ever lived on this earth," said the priests of Sais to Solon, according to Plato. "Only a weak seed of it, of which you (Greeks) are the descendants, is all that remains." "Their books," they added, "preserved the records of a great nation, which emerging from the Atlantic sea had invaded Europe and Asia (Timaeus). The Greeks were but the dwarfed and weak remnant of that once glorious nation. . . ." What was this nation? The secret doctrine teaches that it was the latest, seventh sub-race of the Atlanteans, already swallowed up in one of the early sub-races of the Aryan stock, one that had been gradually spreading over the continent and islands of Europe, as soon as they had begun to emerge from the seas. Descending from the high plateaux of Asia, where the two Races had sought refuge in the days of the agony of Atlantis, it had been slowly settling and colonizing the freshly emerged lands. The emigrant sub-race had rapidly increased and multiplied on that virgin soil; had divided into many families, which in their turn divided into nations. Egypt and Greece, the Phoenicians, and the Northern stocks, had thus proceeded from that one sub-race. Thousands of years later, other races -- the remnants of the Atlanteans -- "yellow and red, brown and black," began to invade the new continent. There were wars in which the new comers were defeated; and they fled, some to Africa, others to remote countries. Some of these lands became in course of time -- owing to new geological convulsions -- islands. Being thus forcibly separated from the continents, the result was that the undeveloped tribes and families of the Atlantean stock fell gradually into a still more abject and savage condition. Did not the Spaniards in the Cibola expeditions meet with WHITE savage chiefs; and has not the presence of African negro types in Europe in the pre-historic ages been now ascertained? <"Egypt and Greece, the Phoenicians, and the Northern stocks" proceed from "the latest, seventh sub-race of the Atlanteans, already swallowed up in one of the early sub-races of the Aryan stock". "Thousands of years later, other races -- the remnants of the Atlanteans -- "yellow and red, brown and black," began to invade the new continent." These fled to remote countries which became islands. "Being thus forcibly separated from the continents, the result was that the undeveloped tribes and families of the Atlantean stock fell gradually into a still more abject and savage condition." The latter seem to also include "WHITE savage chiefs", if I read Blavatsky correctly.It is all a bit convoluted. But it does show show that Blavatsky's root races do have a biological component. I suppose this is why she called them "races" to begin with. And she calls them "root races" because they are the roots to other offspring races.This does, of course, not negate the fact that her 7 principal root races were each assigned to consecutive time periods. The Theosophist Sinett takes this up and intellectually systematises the idea into a mechanical clockwork. With Blavatsky, it is still somewhat chaotic.I think we are probably in agreement thus far.I had written some more paragraphs, going on to Steiner. I will wait, however, before I post them, because I still would like to get clear about one thing with Blavatsky. That is the following:We have seen that Blavatsky writes of the "yellow and red, brown and black" races. (An aside: does anyone know why she puts these in quotation marks?) We have also seen that she speaks of root races. She speaks of the latter as "remnants of the Atlanteans", which is the fourth root race according to Blavatsky. We seem to all agree that, for Blavatsky, "main race" and "root race" mean the same. The question remaining is: were the "yellow and red, brown and black" races ever "main races" for Blavatsky?I will proceed with my train of thought when this question is answered.Best regards, Detlef Hardorp