BLTC Press Titles


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Esoteric Buddhism

A. P. Sinnett


Paradoxes of the Highest Science

Eliphas Levi


The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde


Leaves of Grass

Walt Whitman


Atlantis

by Ignatius Donnelly

Excerpt:

"The most renowned of the Peruvian temples, the pride of the capital and the wonder of the empire, was at Cuzco, where, tmder the munificence of successive sovereigns, it had become so enriched that it received the name of Coricancha, or ' the Place of Gold.' . . . The interior of the temple was literally a mine of gold. On the western wall was emblazoned a representation of the Deity, consisting of a human countenance looking forth from amid innumerable rays of light, which emanated from it in every direction, in the same manner as the sun is often personified with us. The figure was engraved on a massive plate of gold, of enormous dimensions, thickly powdered with emeralds and precious stones. . . . The walls and ceilings were everywhere incrusted with golden ornaments; every part of the interior of the temple glowed with burnished plates and studs of the precious metal; the cornices were of the same material."

There are in Plato's narrative no marvels; no myths; no [tales of gods, gorgons, hobgoblins, or giants. It is a plain and reasonable history of a people who built temples, ships, and canals; who lived by agriculture and commerce; who, in pursuit of trade, reached out to all the countries around them. The early history of most nations begins with gods and demons, while here we have nothing of the kind; we see an immigrant enter the country, marry one of the native women, and settle down; in time a great nation grows up around him. It reminds one of the information given by the Egyptian priests to Herodotus. "During the space of eleven thousand three hundred and forty years they assert," says Herodotus, "that no divinity has appeared in human shape,. . . they absolutely denied the possibility of a human being's descent from a god." If Plato had sought to draw from his imagination a wonderful and pleasing story, we should not have had so plain and reasonable a narrative. He would have given us a history like the legends of Greek mythology, full of the adventures of gods and goddesses, nymphs, fauns, and satyrs.

Neither is there any evidence on the face of this history that Plato sought to convey in it a moral or political lesson, n the guise of a fable, as did Bacon in the " New Atlantis," and More in the " Kingdom of Nowhere." There is no ideal republic delineated here. It is a straightforward, reasonable history of a people ruled over by their kings, living and progressing as other nations have lived and progressed since their day.

Plato says that in Atlantis there was "a great and wonderful empire," which "aggressed wantonly against the whole of Eu rope and Asia," thus testifying to the extent of its dominion. It not only subjugated Africa as far as Egypt, and Europe as far as Italy, but it ruled " as well over parts of the continent," to wit, "the opposite continent" of America, " which surrounded the true ocean." Those parts of America over which it ruled were, as we will show hereafter, Central America, Pern, and the Valley of the Mississippi, occupied by the " Mound Builders."

Moreover, he tells us that "this vast power was gathered into one;"' that is to say, from Ejrypt to Peru it was one consolidated empire. We will see hereafter that the legends of the Hindoos as to Deva Nabnsha distinctly refer to this vast empire, which covered the whole of the known world.

Another corroboration of the truth of Plato's narrative is found in the fact that upon the Azores black lava rocks, and rocks red and white in color, are now found. He says they built with white, red, and black stone. Sir C. Wyville Thomson describes a narrow neck of land between Fayal and Monte da Guia, called "Monte Queimada" (the burnt mountain), as follows: "It is formed partly of stratified tufa of a dark chocolate color, and partly of lumps of black lava, porous, and each with a large cavity in the centre, which must have been ejected as voleanic bombs in a glorious display of fireworks at some period beyond the records of Acorcan history, but late in the geological annals of the island" ("Voyage of the Challenger," vol. ii., p. 24). He also describes immense walls of black volcanic rock in the island.

The plain of Atlantis, Plato tells us, " had been cultivated during many ages by many generations of kings." If, as we believe, agriculture, the domestication of the horse, ox, sheep, goat, and bog, and the discovery or development of wheat, oats, rye, and bailey originated in this region, then this language of Plato in reference to "the many ages, and the successive generations of kings," accords with the great periods of time which were necessary to bring man from a savage to a civilized condition.


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