Sunday, April 21, 2013

Book Talk:  The Lost Civilization of Lemuria

            In the past fifty years or so the general public has experienced greater interest in myths and legends, especially those stories about ancient places, such as Atlantis.  Multiple theories about Atlantis even appear regularly on cable television.  Little, however, has reached the general discussion table about the other legendary place traditionally located in the area of the Pacific basin—Lemuria, usually referred to as Mu.

            I have always been curious about Mu, especially when I heard that it was quite the opposite of materialistic, technologically focused Atlantis.  Mu’s legends present it as nature oriented and spiritually focused.  I’ve always wanted to know more about Mu, beginning with the paperbacks I read fifty years ago by James Churchward.  [The Lost Continent of Mu (1924); The Children of Mu (1928) and others].  I was delighted to discover The Lost Civilization of Lemuria:  The Rise and Fall of the World’s Oldest Culture by Frank Joseph (Bear and Company, 2006).  Joseph’s book goes far beyond the Churchward volumes in that it contains a plethora of the most current explorations, discoveries, and research of Pacific basin cultures, geology, names, philosophies, and especially myths and stories, all of which lead to only one conclusion:  the existence of an ancient civilization that once flourished across the Pacific Ocean. 

            The data included in this 330-page book is so extensive that it forms a challenge to attempt any summarization.  Nevertheless we begin with a summary the author provides near the end of his work.  He calls it “Two Hundred Thousand Years in 1,000 Words.”  He begins by noting that “Colonel James Churchward learned from monastery records in India that humanity first appeared on islands in the Pacific Ocean about 200,000 years ago. . . . Humankind’s first civilization gradually arose in the Pacific around 50,000 (y.b.p.)  [The author uses “Y.B.P”—years before present—throughout the book to indicate ancient time.]  50,000 years ago is known as the time of lowered sea levels.  “For the next 38,000 years of relative peace . . . Pacific islanders developed the scientific and spiritual arts to a high degree of sophistication, . . . ruled by a god-king, not unlike today’s Dalai Lama.”

            The abundance of evidence provided in this book indicates that Mu was not a continent, and “less a specific geographical territory than a people and culture spread out over many lands from what is now western coastal America, throughout Oceania, to Japan.”  Their “god” was “the sun personified [as] the Compassionate Intelligence that ordered the universe and attached the eternity of the human soul to recurring patterns evidenced in the cycles of nature.”  Lemurians were clearly a sea-going culture that spread this spirituality and developed civilization around the globe.

            What happened to this unique and special civilization?  A series of extreme cataclysms occurred over several thousand years.  These great catastrophes are cataloged all over the world in geologic remnants, tree rings, and especially, major myths in every culture.  Approximately 12,000 years ago the last ice age ended, resulting in extreme increases in sea levels.  This scientific fact is reflected in world-wide myths about a Great Flood.  Mu was located mostly in low-lying tropical areas; hence its lands were “most severely affected, some slipping beneath the sea.”  It was at this time that large migrations took place as the inhabitants of Mu moved in all directions to safer areas in North and South America, Japan, and southern Asia.

            The next major cause of world-wide disaster was in 3100 B.C. when “the Comet Eneke passed near the Earth.”  Apparently this cometary approach was also the cause of the disasters associated with the legendary Atlantis.  This book also provides evidence that Atlantis is likely to have been a Lemurian settlement.  What is most fascinating are the suggestions of how and why the Lemurians and Atlanteans became so opposite in character:  the Lemurians in harmony with spirituality and nature, and the Atlanteans focused on materialistic forces.

            The same Comet Eneke “returned less than 1,000 years later to unloose a bombardment of meteoric material.”  Stories reflecting this exist all over the world, as well.  The author provides a myriad of examples throughout this book.  He also notes that records in Tibet indicate that in 1917 B.C., “the missionary Miwoche brought Lemurian spiritual teachings to the Himalayas, where they became the fundamental principles of Tibetan Buddhism.”  A few hundred years later in 1628 B.C., “major volcanism and violent seismicity. . . . afflicted the south-central Pacific.  Most of the lands of Mu dropped beneath the sea or were depopulated by 100-foot tsunamis.”  Again, stores of these calamities fill the traditional rites and traditions of all peoples around the Pacific rim.

            Given all of this, one wonders at first why we haven’t heard more of this before now.  Explanations are fairly simple.  Nothing much had been written, or known, about Mu until 1926 when Colonel James Churchward published the first of his books on Mu, “based on a translation of ancient tablets in India purporting to describe the drowned civilization.”  It was only many years later, in post World War II when academic researchers in the Pacific Basin began to make one after another significant discoveries of underwater remnants of “sunken structures” off the shores of Japan, Taiwan, Pohnpei, Fiji, Peru, and North America.”  It is these new discoveries, along with new research by anthropologists, meteorologists, seimologists, geologists, and philologists, that Frank Joseph discusses in The Lost Civilization of Lemuria.  As such, these explorations and discoveries
clearly corroborate the stories of Lemuria  and its ultimate demise.  Given that this 300+ page book provides such a broad spectrum of evidence leading to reasonable deductions, it is impossible to do more than touch upon a few in this book discussion. 

            Author Frank Joseph introduces a few fascinating assertions and facts in his introduction.  The first surprise is that the Lemurian people were blond and red-haired.  Various chapters provide extensive support for this fact in that hundreds of legends throughout the Pacific region refer to the ancient ones as blond or red-haired.  Scientific corroboration comes from finds all around the Pacific rim of mummified bodies identified as ancient with red or blond hair.  Next he notes pervading evidence that skills and knowledge traditionally brought to ancient groups in the Americas largely came from west to east, and in Asia from east to west.  This, of course, strongly imply the source as the Pacific basin.  The author refers to the controversial author Immanuel Velikovsky who in his works [see Worlds in Collision, and Earth in Upheaval] referred to many of the folk tales of the world as well as evidences of major catastrophes in past millennia.  In his introduction and main text Joseph refers as well to huge numbers of linguistic links to Mu that still exist around the world.

            The author also notes in his introduction his “primary conclusions,” ones that emphasize the significance of Mu in relation to current evidence.  Briefly, these conclusions are:
  • that Mu did exist in the ancient past.
  • that it was the first major civilization—“the Garden of Eden”
  • that Lemurians had an extremely high level technology
  • that the Mu people suffered a series of extreme catastrophes
  • that their mystical principles influenced some of the world’s major religions.

Clearly, author Frank Joseph achieves the intention of his investigation of Lemuria:  that is, “to assemble [the] best and latest proof on behalf of Lemuria as a real place in time, inhabited by a great people whose spiritual achievement is humankind’s most priceless legacy.”  His first main chapter is a perfect example of how recent academic research, studies of remote structures, some underwater, in the Pacific reveal an almost science fiction-like technology in the distant past.  His detailed discussion of Nan Madol, a series of “rectangular islands and colossal towers” built on a coral reef only five feet above sea level, is astounding.  Nan Madol is located “in a remote corner of the western Pacific Ocean, nearly 1,000 miles north of New Guinea and 2,300 miles south of Japan.

            An astonishing inference can be drawn from the myriad of measurements, placements, materials, and intricate details of Nan Madol.  Central to the site are millions of tons of magnetized basalt, “one of the heaviest, hardest rocks on Earth.”  Moreover, Japanese researchers discovered a collection of “eight-foot-long ‘coffins’ made of platinum,” a rare mineral existing naturally only some 2,200 miles distant.  Combinations of magnetized basalt and platinum can “amplilfy a piezioelectic discharge.”

            All this information suggests a superior ancient technology, but for what purpose?  Meterologists have determined that Pacific typhoons originate within 300 miles of Nan Madol and “its identical companion Insaru.”  Here’s the insight:  meterologists now know that “dangerous weather phenomena can be mitigated or even prevented in early stages of development by somehow diffusing the electromagnetic core of a hurricane before it gains strength.”  We then learn that this technique is related to discoveries by the late genius inventor, Nikola Tesla.  Is it possible, the author asks, that the ancient Lemurians knew a technique to stop, or modify,  hurricanes?  That seems to be one reasonable conclusion.

            Similar discussions continue in the book ranging from new information about Easter Island to the Indus Valley to cultural stories throughout the Pacific..  One chapter deals just with “Ancient Oceanic Technology.”  Another touches on Hawaii’s history and legends.  Alaska, British Columbia, and the Southwest United States reveal more relevant stories and remnants of culture that connect to Mu.  The author even provides a highly reasonable explanation of the famous Nazca lines and figures.  Much of Asia has apparent connections to Lemuria as well, in rituals, legends, and language (words and names), structures and customs.  Philological evidence is especially important to determine influences of cultures from the distant past.  Names around the world contain the root “mu” or other root words associated with Lemuria.

            One may ask, why is all this new information about a long-gone civilization important?  Can this knowledge benefit us today?  The answer is a huge “yes”!  Today we live in a world driven by political, economic, and military agendas,” magnified by a disconnect to any spiritual meaning and compassion for fellow human beings, especially if they are not “like us.”  Modern civilizations largely see the Earth as an outdoor WalMart, just there to supply our every need and open for all exploitation.  Greed is a keyword.  And yet we long for a better world and world peace.

            Lemuria was the philosophical opposite to the later Atlantis and to our world today.  Their God was seen as a “Compassionate Intelligence . . . found in the sum total of existence; everything and everyone was considered a part of God.  That accepted, their duty and fulfillment lay in cooperating with nature and their fellow humans.”  The author notes that the struggle in Atlantis, characterized by the famed Edgar Cayce as “conflict between the materialistic Sons of Belial and the monotheistic Followers of the Law of One . . . is now replayed in America between the likes of Enron Capitalists and evangelical fundamentalists.”  He emphasizes that “Atlanteans were [originally] Lemurians.”  He notes that “resemblances between our time and theirs are numerous enough to invite comparisons.”

            Clearly we today can learn much from the story and principles of Mu.  How do we want our world to be?  Full of conflict and lacking compassion to our fellow humans?  Or would we choose a world of peace and brotherhood, one centered in love and respect for the entirety of Creation?  The Lemurians knew only one commandment, from which all their metaphysical musings flowed:  ‘Be kind!’  And only one sin that spawned all others:  cruelty.”  Author Frank Joseph concludes:  “The time has come for us to return to [the philosophical principles of] Lemuria,” and readers like me would agree.  Indeed, this book is enlightening in endless ways!