Sunday, August 1, 2010
Did Atlantis exist or is it a simply a Metaphysical Hoax?
There has been heated discussion for a very long time on whether or not the last civilization of Atlantis existed or not. Academics say there is no evidence to support the theory of a lost continent in the relatively recent geological past. The one who set the story in motion was the Greek Philosopher “Plato” who talked about a lost island lying west of the “Pillars of Hercules”, which was the contemporary name for Gibraltar. This mention appears in two of Plato’s “Discourses”, “Timaeus and the unfinished “Critias”.
“For it is related in our records how once upon a time your State stayed the course of a mighty host, which, starting from a distant point in the Atlantic ocean, was insolently advancing to attack the whole of Europe, and Asia to boot. For the ocean there was at that time navigable; for in front of the mouth which you Greeks call, as you say, 'the pillars of Heracles,' there lay an island which was larger than Libya and Asia together; and it was possible for the travelers of that time to cross from it to the other islands, and from the islands to the whole of the continent over against them which encompasses that veritable ocean. For all that we have here, lying within the mouth of which we speak, is evidently a haven having a narrow entrance; but that yonder is a real ocean, and the land surrounding it may most rightly be called, in the fullest and truest sense, a continent. Now in this island of Atlantis there existed a confederation of kings, of great and marvelous power, which held sway over all the island, and over many other islands also and parts of the continent.” These are the words Plato ascribes to Critias, one of the four characters in the discourse “Timaeus”.
It is interesting to note that Plato is able to speak of the Atlantic Ocean in 360 BC and that a continent lay to the other side of this sea, and what’s more travelers could cross that Ocean to the other side. Of course it is naïve to suppose that Columbus was the discoverer of the New World. Others had gone before him. The Norseman Leif Ericson is said to have crossed the Atlantic five hundred years before Columbus, whose fist exploratory voyage took place in 1492. OK but Plato is writing in 360BC, and that is some 1200 years before the Vikings took to their long boats and traversed the stormy Atlantic .The reference tells that the Greeks and before them the Egyptians had an inkling of the existence of the Atlantic and a Continent lying at the other side of this huge ocean. What’s more he says the Kings of this land “were of great and marvelous power”. He points out that they were warlike and their armies crossed over and occupied North Africa and Europe but were stopped by the might of the Athenians in the East. Was all of this a figment of Plato’s imagination or was it based on fact? Plato maintains the information came to light some two hundred years earlier when the Athenian architect and law giver Solon journeyed to the “Temple of Naith” in Seis. Seis located on the upper Nile was at the time in its heyday, was a centre of enlightenment and learning in ancient Egypt. The town has completely disappeared today, but is said to be the site of the grave of Osiris. In the Dialogue “Critias” TELLS OF HOW THE Greek Gods were all allotted lands to rule over. This curbed rivalry and kept feuds to a minimum. Poseidon, the God of the sea was given the island of Atlas or Atlantis. It was we are told, larger than Libya and Asia Minor and made the Atlantic navigable.
The Dialogue also recounts how this Continent was overcome by “earthquakes and floods of extraordinary violence, and in a single dreadful day and night all your (Athenian) fighting men were swallowed up by the earth and the island of Atlantis was similarly swallowed by the sea and vanished.”
Atlantis was comparatively ignored until quite recently, the sleeping prophet Edgar Cayce first mentions it in one of his readings in 1923, but the whole idea poses some interesting questions. There are outcrops of what might once have been mountains in the Atlantic Ocean. Look at Madeira, the Canaries and the Azores to the East and the Bermuda and the Bahamas to the west. The Egyptians had an advanced civilization but so did the Mayans in Mexico. The Mayans and the Egyptians had a lot in common. For a beginning they both worshipped the sun. The Egyptian Sun God Ra had a huge influence on the peoples on the Nile. The Mayans developed a great respect for the sun, too. They realized that if the sun stopped shining, their life would cease. Both societies were adept at building large pyramid structures which would be feats of engineering today, never mind several thousand years ago. If there had been a very convenient quasi land bridge between Africa and the North America continent it would have been relatively easy for this interchange of ideas and people to take place. Did this Atlantean confederation of Kings of “Great and marvelous power” also have great and marvelous knowledge which could have been the catalyst for the rise of Egypt and the Mayan civilizations?
They were hugely advanced in thinking and skill forms because they certainly had learning far ahead of their time. The Mayan preoccupation with the Sun led to a sophisticated awareness of its power. Their years and centuries were closely interwoven with solar activity like sunspots and the approximate eleven year cycles between the highs and lows of these. The Mayans contrary to conventional thinking were skilled mathematicians and saw that the planet went through 4000 year cycles. It appears we are in the fifth of these cycles at the moment. They also made a prophecy for the solstice of 2012, where time as they knew it would come to an end. The Mayans themselves are fairly precise in what they expect to happen in 2012. This prediction is shown at the end of the rather poor movie “2012”. But who is to know what the truth is? Maybe the whole thing is a fiction dreamed up by Plato to elucidate the perfect society in one of his dialogues which takes the form of a debate. However, we do know the Mayans existed, as their buildings are there for all to see in wonderful cities like Chichen Itza in the Yucatan. Can they trace their antecedants back to Atlantis? The big question however, is, what do you think is going to happen in 2012?