This is a subject I've put a LOT of research into, especially recently.
Firstly, let me say that this won't be your typical post on Atlantis. I have my own personal belief about *where* Atlantis was, but for the purposes
of this post, its original location doesn't matter.
From many different sources
, etc.) it's pretty clear that a major disaster occurred around 11,600 years ago, precipitating massive extinctions and
numerous human migrations. From Plato, we learn at least a little bit about what Atlantis was like (and let's assume, for sake of argument, that he
was describing a real place rather than a utopian ideal for his dialogue), and from the various megalithic constructions that suddenly appeared we can
make a decent attempt at tracing the cultural legacy of Atlantis.
From megalithic sites like Gobekli Tepe, Tiahuanaco, or
southern Siberia, we see a focus on highly advanced engineering, coupled with advanced astronomical knowledge. Pictographs found at Gobekli Tepe,
according to Hancock in "Magicians of the Gods," are indicative of religious iconography that pops up again in such disparate places and cultures as
that of ancient Egypt, Sumer, and Mesoamerica. It indicates a civilizing influence that spread out to different parts of the world, bringing with it
this advanced knowledge along with specific cultural changes.
Here are some examples of these cultural developments:
* The concept of reflecting the perfection of heaven on earth
* The identification of specific constellations with geographical locations on earth (e.g., Orion as Egypt,
the Pleiades as Sumer/Babylon
* The dualistic concept of matter vs. spirit
* The concept of heaven representing the afterlife (e.g. the Milky Way = the duat through which the soul travels after death)
* Mind-altering drugs (e.g. Peyote, coc aine) as a means for accessing spirit
* Ritual temple prostitution
* The practice of burying wife and servants alive, together with a deceased leader (pharaoh, etc.)
, child or human sacrifice
A lot of these cultural developments are inferred, and may not all have been present in Atlantis. However, they do seem to be generally present in
several of the cultures that have been influenced by Atlantis, either by the survivors of Atlantis or the colonies of Atlantis that were settled even
prior to its destruction.
What I'm getting at, here, is that the cultural legacy of Atlantis appears to be a mixture of good and evil
It's commonly believed by many fundamentalist Christians that Genesis 1-3 represents a literal account of creation. However, ancient creation
literature was never intended to be understood literally. Doing a comparative literary analysis of ancient creation literature, we find the
* It often had literal elements, even though the text as a whole wasn't intended to be understood literally. For instance, the Epic of
recorded the fictional exploits of a real person.
* When referring to
where creation occurred
," it always referred to a real place, someplace that was culturally and geographically relevant to whoever wrote it.
For instance, creation was understood to have occurred in Eridu in Sumer, or in Heliopolis in Egypt.
* It was intended to explain something culturally relevant to the people who wrote it. For instance, the Babylonian creation story had mankind being
created as an afterthought, to serve the whims of the gods. Population centers in Sumer were organized in such a way that outlying areas, where
farming took place, were required to pay a percentage of their harvest to the temple of the patron god of their city.
What if we interpret the biblical creation story the same way?
Before we do that, though, I want to point out something unusual about the textual structure of Genesis 1-3. There are many biblical scholars who
will point out that Gen 1:1-2:4a and 2:4ff-3:24 were written by different authors. That's true. However, the common interpretation of this was that
these two sections were later edited together
by a third party. That's
incorrect. Instead, these two sections were intended to be understood as a single unit.
A common textual structure in the bible is a "chiasmus" (pl. chiasm). A good example of this structure is found in Gen. 6:22:
A - Thus did Noah
B - According to all that God commanded him
A' = So he did.
As you can see, the central topic is in the middle (B) with A and A' being variations of the same idea or thought. This is an inverted chiasmus.
Other chiastic structures you'll see in the biblical text are A - B - B' - A', A - B - A' - B', etc.
Genesis 1-3 is simply a highly complex inverted chiasmus, with dwelling with God on the Sabbath day (Gen. 2:3-4) being the central focus. See
for more details.
What can we learn from this? Mainly that the infamous serpent of Gen. 3 actually has a chiastic parallel. The "tannin" or "great sea creatures"
of Gen. 1:21.
In the bible, animals are often used to represent people or nations. For example, Pharaoh of Egypt is described in Ezekiel 32:2 thusly: "You are
like a young lion of the nations; you are like a dragon [Heb. "tannin"!] of the waters."
So what's going on here, in the Genesis account? Could these animals actually represent other people or nations?
I submit that that's exactly what this means. Also compare Gen. 2:18-20 where different animals are brought to Adam because God wanted to find a
suitable mate for him. These aren't animals, they're simply people of other nations!
The infamous serpent is Sumer. The "tannin" or "great whales" or "great sea creatures" is Egypt. (Tannin should be more properly translated as
"crocodiles.") The Garden of Eden was actually a real place and Adam and Eve were real people. It was simply a rest stop on a major trade route
between Sumer and Egypt. That's why God is described as bringing all manner of animals to Adam -- because it was a trade route.
Now, what does any of this have to do with Atlantis?
(continued in part 2)