Portsmouth A Love Story

Friday, February 15, 2013

'Seeing and Knowing' Atlantis

In my last post, I said that there is one place in the world that neatly fits into Plato’s geographical description of Atlantis. I’ve gotten a great deal of my information from the writings of the late Dr. Arysio Santos, a Physicist, well versed in linguistics, geology, and many other sciences. He spent thirty years studying all aspects of the Atlantean legend, and in particular the writings of Plato, the first person to write about Atlantis in a modern language (Timaeus, and Critias, ca. 360 BC).

Atlantis was supposedly a thriving civilization living on a continent (the word nesos in Greek refers to an island or continent) the size of Libya, (North Africa) and Asia (Minor) combined. Plato gives a date for its’ destruction of ca. 9600 BC...the exact date of the abrupt end of the last Ice Age, according to the latest scientific evidence. The melting of the glaciers would have created a 130-150 meter rise in sea level. If we lower the sea level today by that amount in the area of Indonesia, we get a continent that extends from the Sumatra-Java area downward toward Australia. That has been supported by detailed space satellite maps of the ocean floor in that region. 

The Greeks had a term for the two super-volcanoes that form the Strait near what is presently Java-Sumatra. Krakatoa and its sister volcano Dempo were called The Pillars of Atlas. Krakatoa at its worst, is capable of the kind of destruction that would have contributed a great deal to the abrupt ending of the Ice Age. 

Comparing the volcano on Thera, near Greece, to Krakatoa, is like comparing a match to an out-of-control raging forest fire.

Prior to the end of the Ice Age, the average temperature on the Earth was 15 degrees cooler, so that area (Indonesia) would have been a temperate zone...perfect for the rise a great civilization. There would have been great mineral wealth, as there is today, and a great variety of plants and animals, and that is what Plato describes in detail. 

The word ‘Atlantis’ is derived from Attala-anti, taken from the oldest language of southern India...seen in Dravida or Sanscrit as meaning ‘the place where the feet are opposite’, an Antipode on the Earth. 

On some of the old Greek maps, the known world begins on the left at the ‘Pillars of Hercules’ (Strait of Gibraltar)...and ends on the lower right, in the area of Indonesia, literally the opposite side of the world as the Greeks knew it, ‘the place where the feet stand opposite’. All of it is surrounded by the one great ocean. 

The terms ‘Atlantic’ and ‘Pacific’ Oceans are OUR terms...not used by the Greeks! Now you may be thinking, what does this have to do with the writing of a historical fantasy fiction novel?

During the writing of my new book, Theoclea (The Delphic Oracle) in Eleusis and Atlantis, a combined version of my first two books, I’ve had a chance to reflect on the characters in a new way. The main character of my ‘Theoclea’ books is a ‘seer’...the Delphic Oracle of ca. 500 BC, one of a long line of women who were Oracles at the Temple of Delphi, in Greece, from roughly 1500 BC to 400 AD. There is only a brief mention of someone named Theoclea...in the histories that I have read...and one of her teachers was the great Pythagoras. That seems to be all that was known of her, so I’ve used my imagination to make her the greatest of all of the Oracles...the ultimate ‘seer’. 

I write historical fantasy/fiction, for the most part. As the ultimate ‘seer’ she has visions...but there are limitations here. She doesn’t always know what it is that she is seeing. She ‘sees’ an event...a cataclysm...a volcano...destruction...the sea rising...Earth, Air, Fire and Water, and she sees more. Can we assume that she ‘knows’ where and when the event will occur, or perhaps it has already occurred! There’s a limitation here, and although her powers of seeing the future (and the past) expand through the course of the book, the ‘knowing’ is often vague, and she has to interpret what has been seen. Sometimes she has a feeling for the when and where, and sometimes she doesn’t. She feels that one must gather the ‘facts’ together to see a clearer picture. That’s why she has advisors...and she listens to them.

That’s where Pythagoras comes in. He is the ultimate person who ‘knows’. He’s open to all kinds of new knowledge, he’s a scientist and a mathematician, but he has been trained for 11 years in Egypt, so he’s aware of magic, history, language...and more. During the course of the book, ‘facts’ are presented to Theoclea, but it is not until the end that a clear picture emerges, and ultimately, it falls upon Pythagoras to reveal the knowledge that allows Theoclea to finally see. When that picture emerges, there is something that is revealed that is greater than what either of them ‘see’ or ‘know’. Just seeing and just knowing are not enough. For Pythagoras, the knowing is incomplete if one cannot see the picture. These concepts are relevant in many ways to our lives today.

There are many theories about the location and fate of Atlantis...but ultimately what Plato has presented to us...the first writings about Atlantis...the first ‘knowing’ of Atlantis that is available to us in a ‘modern’ language...written in ca. 360 BC must be treated as truth, and examined very carefully. He presented it as non-fiction, and we should honor him by ‘seeing’ and ‘knowing’ it in that light, using all of the latest knowledge, and technology at our disposal. Otherwise, we are not honoring him, and it just may be that honoring our ancestors, and their Mysteries in a non-fictional or fictional way is what the whole thing is about. For me, using Plato’s Atlantis as an inspiration for a fantasy/fiction is a way to realize a greater goal, the exploration of a higher truth that perhaps can only be realized through fiction.

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PanOrpheus is the author of the ‘Theoclea (The Delphic Oracle)’ books, and the new series of Phoebe books- ‘Phoebe (The Delphic Oracle) takes Nikola Tesla to Peru...and other stories by PanOrpheus’- and the full length Phoebe novel ‘Phoebe (The Delphic Oracle) and the Medallion of Gaia’. He is a member of the Tesla Science Foundation...and will be a presenter at The Tesla Conference Jan. 5-7 at the New Yorker Hotel. He has spoken at other conferences on the many themes of ‘The Mysteries’. The new Phoebe-Tesla book is now available on Amazon. Just search Phoebe, or Theoclea- and ‘Delphic Oracle’ at Amazon- the paperback and kindle versions of the ‘Delphic Oracle’ books will appear for sale.

Other Blog Posts by PanOrpheus: The Mystery of AtlantisTheoclea, the Myth of Persephone, and EleusisVisions of the Mysteries of Eleusis and AtlantisMysteries of the Sphinx and PyramidsLooking Backward and Forward about TeslaThe Gunfight at the OK Corral...Tombstone, ArizonaPhoebe The Delphic Oracle takes Nikola Tesla to Peru...and Other Stories by PanorpheusDelving into the Oracles of Delphi
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