The theory that the remains of ancient cities exist under those of the present is not a new one. Dr. Schleimann held it, and working upon the clues found in Homer unearthed the buried Troy. Some have held it in respect to London, asserting that St. Paul's stands over the ruins of an old Pagan temple, and Roman ruins have been excavated in different parts of England. In India there is a mass of traditions telling of many modern cities said to stand over ancient ones that lie buried intact many feet below the present level. Lucifer for September noticed the "find" of an Amorite fortress sixty feet below the surface, with walls twenty-eight feet thick. It is well known to those who enjoyed intimate conversations with H. P. Blavatsky that she frequently gave more detailed and precise statements about great cities being built on the exact spots where others had stood long ages ago, and also about those over which only villages stand now. And as the constant explorations of the present day — reaching almost to the North Pole — give promise that perhaps soon the prophecies about revelations from mother Earth made by her will be fulfilled, I am emboldened to give the old theory, very likely known to many other students, to account for this building and rebuilding of cities over each other after such intervals that there can be no suspicion of communication between present and past inhabitants.
As man's civilization has traveled around the globe many times, filling now one country and now another with populous places, creating an enormous metropolis here and another there, his influence has been left on nearly every spot upon the earth, and that as well upon lands now beneath the seas as on those above them. If we can imagine the first coming of a population to a place never before inhabited, the old theory asks us to believe that certain classes of elementals — called devas generically by the Hindus — are gathered over the place and present pictures of houses, of occupations of busy life on every hand, and, as it were, beckon to the men to stay and build. These "fairies", as the Irish call them, at last prevail, and habitations are erected until a city springs up. During its occupation the pictures in the astral light are increased and deepened until the day of desertion arrives, when the genii, demons, elementals, or fairies have the store of naturally impressed pictures in the ether to add to their own. These remain during the abandonment of the place, and when man comes that way again the process is repeated. The pictures of buildings and human activity act telepathically upon the new brains, and the first settlers think they have been independent thinkers in selecting a place to remain. So they build again and again. Nature's processes of distributing earth and accumulating it hide from view the traces of old habitations, giving the spot a virgin appearance to the new coming people. And thus are not only cities built in advantageous positions, but also in places less convenient.
Evidence is accessible and plentiful in every country to show that the winds, the trees, birds, and beasts can in time cover over completely, while leaving them intact, the remains of roads and buildings once used and occupied by men. In Central America there are vast masses of ruins among which trees of considerable girth are now growing. In other districts the remains of well-made roads are sometimes found creeping out from tangled underbrush and disappearing under a covering of earth. At Elephanta near Bombay, and in other places in India, the earth has been blown gradually under pillars and gateways, rendering entrance impossible. On the Pacific Coast, in one of the Mexican States, there is old and new San Bias, the one on the hill, deserted and almost covered with trees and debris of all sorts which is surely constructing a covering that will ere long be some feet in thickness. So without regard to volcanic eruptions or landslides, which of course suddenly and forcibly overlay a city, it is quite possible for Nature through her slower processes to add to thickness of earthy covering at any place abandoned by man, and the very best illustration of this is in the coral islands which rise out of the ocean to be soon covered with earth and trees.
But, our ancient theory says, no process of a mechanical or physical kind has any power over the pictures impressed in the retentive ether, nor over those classes of elementals which find their natural work in presenting pictures of cities and buildings to the receptive brain of man. If he is materialistic he will recognize these pictures only subconsciously. But the subconscious impressions will translate themselves into acts just as hypnotized subjects respond to a suggestion they have no memory of. When, however, these elementals encounter a race of men who are psychically developed enough to see not only the pictures but also those entities which present them, it will then result that a conscious choice will be made, leading to a deliberate selection of one place for building on and the rejection of another.
I present this interesting old theory without proof except such as can be obtained by those few persons who are themselves able to see the devas at work on their own plane.
The PathTHEOSOPHICAL UNIVERSITY PRESS ONLINE