Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Early Polar Maps and Exploration

The ancient world's mythologies regarding a magnetic mountain, four directional rivers, and other more fantastical features at the North Pole are shockingly consistent, but what did the earliest known explorers, historians and cartographers have to say about the subject?  Pytheas, the earliest recorded explorer of the North Pole in the 4th century BC, claimed to discover an island he called "Thule," the farthest northern land, and gave an account sounding straight out of ancient mythology.  In his lost book entitled "On the Ocean," Pytheas wrote, “the island was more than forty thousand stadia, and in this region there was no longer either land properly so-called, or sea, or air, but a kind of substance concreted from all these elements, resembling a sea-lungs - a thing which, the earth, the sea, and all the elements are held in suspension; and this is a sort of bond to hold all together, which you can neither walk nor sail upon.”  Pytheas claimed upon reaching the northern-most point accessible, that land, air, and water somehow became like one substance similar to a jelly-fish and was completely impassable.

 Little remains of Pytheas' original account, but second-hand sources like Strabo inform us regarding the inhabitants of the surrounding northern islands, “he says that, of the animals and domesticated fruits, there is an utter dearth of some and scarcity of others, and that the people live on millet and other herbs, and on fruits and roots; and where there are grain and honey, the people get their beverage also, from them.  As for the grain, he says - since they have no pure sunshine - they pound it out in large storehouses, after first gathering in the ears thither; for the threshing floors become useless because of this lack of sunshine and because of the rains.”

Pliny the Elder also wrote of Pytheas’ journey in his Naturalis Historia (IV.16) stating that, “on summer days the sun approached nearer to the top of the world; owing to a natural circuit of light the underlying parts of the earth have continuous days for six months at a time, and continuous nights when the sun has withdrawn in the opposite direction towards winter.  Pytheas of Mareilles writes that this occurs in the island of Thule, 6 days voyage north from Britain.   Pytheas states that north of Britain the tides rise 80 cubits.  The most remote of all is Thule, in which we have pointed out there are no nights at midsummer when the sun is passing through the sign of the Crab, and on the other hand no days at midwinter; indeed some writers think this is the case for periods of six months at a time without a break.  One day’s sail from Thule is the frozen ocean called by some the Cronian Sea.”

The earliest voyage to the north is that claimed for Pytheus, the distinguished Phenician astronomer and geographer of Marseilles, who flourished 320 B.C.  His works were extant in the fifth century, but are no longer found.  Pliny and Eratosthenes gave full credit to his narrations, though Strabo shows great hostility to Pytheus, whose accounts he refused to receive, saying that he made ‘use of his acquaintance with astronomy and mathematics to fabricate his false narrative.’  Pliny, however, with more reason, thought that he employed his knowledge in practical exploration.  The latest editor of Strabo does not share in his author’s doubt.  According to Pliny and others, Pytheus sailed through the Straits of Gibraltar, making his way north to the British isles, whither it was the custom of his countrymen to resort, and, after traveling over England on foot, proceeded northward to a place called ‘Thule,’ six days’ sail from the northern part of Britain.”  -Benjamin Franklin DeCosta, "Inventio Fortunata, Arctic Exploration With An Account of Nicholas of Lynn" (4)

Even before the 4th century BC, similar claims were made by ancient Greek and Roman poets and historians like Pindar, Herodotus, Hesoid, Homer, (then later Virgil and Cicero) regarding "Hyperborea" and the "Hyperboreans," meaning the place/people "beyond the north wind."  They said the people of Hyperborea were giants who lived for over a thousand years and enjoyed lives of perfect happiness.  In another lost book written in the 4th century BC, Hecataeus of Abdera collated all the known stories written about the Hyperboreans.  Diodorus Siculus references this lost work stating that, "In the regions beyond the land of the Celts there lies in the ocean an island no smaller than Sicily. This island, the account continues, is situated in the north and is inhabited by the Hyperboreans, who are called by that name because their home is beyond the point whence the north wind (Boreas) blows; and the island is both fertile and productive of every crop, and has a temperate climate."

The classical Greek poet Pindar wrote that, "Never the muse is absent from their ways: lyres clash and flutes cry and everywhere maiden choruses whirling.  Neither disease nor bitter old age is mixed in their sacred blood; far from labor and battle they live."  And reminiscent of Pytheas' strange account Pindar stated that, "neither by ship nor on foot would you find the marvellous road to the assembly of the Hyperboreans."

Similar to Thule and Hyperborea, the Celts also had their northern terrestrial paradise known as "Avalon."  St. Brandan, son of Finhlogho, a famous saint of the Irish church, who died in 576 AD, was allegedly the first to reach this land during a sea voyage to the North.  Similar to other ancient accounts, St. Brandan mentioned a fountain with four directional streams, and claimed there were "magnificent castles and castle halls lighted with self-luminous stones and adorned with all manner of precious jewels, surpassing decription."

In 1035 AD Archbishop Adalbert, the vicar of Scandinavia, sent a team of Frisian nobles to explore the northern polar region after which Adam of Bremen recorded their experiences in the book, "Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum."  Similar to accounts of the Hyperboreans, the Frisian explorers claimed to reach an island where they encountered giant human beings living in caves and underground hollows.  The giants' domiciles were adorned in gold and precious metals which some of the Frisians stupidly attempted to steal and were swiftly chased back to their boats, minus one of their comrades caught by a giant who "in a twinkling tore him to pieces before their eyes."  

They never reached the North Pole or a magnetic mountain, but did encounter an incredible feature long-alleged to surround them.  Ancient Norse legend states that a gigantic violent maelstrom (whirlpool) known as "Hvergelmir" or "the World's Well," surrounds the polar mountain and via four, six-hour daily cycles of pushing and pulling through subterranian channels, cause the rising and falling of tides on Earth.  Adam of Bremen recounts the Frisian explorer's deadly encounter with this "abysmal chasm," as such: "of a sudden they fell into that numbing ocean’s dark mist which could hardly be penetrated with the eyes.  And behold, the current of the fluctuating ocean whirled back to its mysterious fountainhead and with most furious impetuosity drew the unhappy sailors, who in their despair now thought only of death, on to chaos; this they say is the ‘abysmal chasm’ - that deep in which report has it that all the back flow of the sea, which appears to decrease, is absorbed and in turn revomited, as the mounting fluctuation is usually described.  As the partners were imploring the mercy of God to receive their souls, the backward thrust of the sea carried away some of their ships, but its forward ejection threw the rest far behind the others.  Freed thus by the timely help of God from the instant peril they had had before their eyes, they seconded the flood by rowing with all their might."

Besides the Norse legends of Hvergelmir, historical records of this "World Well" can be found as early as the 8th century AD when Paulus Diaconus or "Paul the Deacon," Benedictine monk, scribe and historian of the Lombards wrote in his Historia Langobardorum that, "not far from the shore, where the ocean extends without bounds, is that very deep abyss of waters which we commonly call the ocean's navel.  It is said twice a day to suck the waves into itself, and to spew them out again; as is proved to happen along all these coasts, where the waves rush in and go back again with fearful rapidity. By the whirlpool of which we have spoken it is asserted that ships are often drawn in with such rapidity that they seem to resemble the flight of arrows through the air; and sometimes they are lost in the gulf with a very frightful destruction. Often just as they are about to go under, they are brought back again by a sudden shock of the waves, and they are sent out again thence with the same rapidity with which they were drawn in."

Giraldus Cambrensis or "Gerald of Wales," archdeacon of Brecon, historian, and royal clerk to King Henry II, wrote in his 1188 work "Topographia Hibernica" that, "Not  far  from  the  islands,  towards  the  north,  there  is  an  astonishing  whirlpool  in  the  sea,  towards which  there  is  a  set  current  of  the  waves  from  all  quarters,  until,  pouring  themselves  into  nature’s  secret recesses, they are swallowed up, as it were, in the abyss. Should a vessel chance to pass in that direction, it is caught and drawn along by the force of the waves, and sucked by the vortex without chance of escape.  There  are  four  of  these  whirlpools  in  the  ocean,  described  by  philosophers  as  existing  in  the  four  different quarters of the world; whence it has been conjectured that the currents of the sea, as well as the winds, are regulated, by fixed principles."

The whirlpool was also mentioned in another late 12th century work "Historia Norwegiae," where the author, an anonymous Norwegian monk gives a particularly detailed description, stating: "The greatest of all whirlpools is to be found there, which engulfs the strongest ships, sucking them in at ebb tide and spewing out their fragments with a belch at flood tide ... There is a very deep abyss in the earth itself and alongside it are open-mouthed caverns containing winds which are said to be brought forth by the breathing of the water, and these are the breath of gales. Indeed, by their breathing these winds draw to them the waters of the sea through hidden passages in the earth; they shut them up in the vaults of the abyss, and then by the same force drive them out again, causing sea-surges, spates and the whirling of waterspouts. Earthquakes also occur and various discharges of vapour and conflagration, for when the winds’ breath, held in the cheeks of earth, presses to burst out, it shakes the foundation of the world with a dreadful roaring and forces it to tremble. So when the winds’ breath contends with fire in the earth’s interior, then even in mid-ocean the depths are fissured and smoky exhalations and sulphurous flames are seen to emerge."

By the 13th century A.D. the idea of a magnetic mountain at the North Pole was widely known enough that Italian poet Guido Guinizelli actually used it as a simile for the power of his woman's love.  The section from his poem "Madonna, The Fine Love I Give you," translated reads, "In that land beneath the North Wind / are the magnetic mountains / which transmit to the air their power / to attract the iron, but because it is far away / it needs help from a similar stone / to make the compass needle / turn towards the pole star."

In the 14th century two lost books "Inventio Fortunata" by Nicholas de Lynn and "The Itinerium" of Jacobus Cnoyen mention the magnetic mountain, four directional rivers, and encircling whirlpool said to change every 6 hours causing the tides, comparing them to the “breath of God” at the “naval of the Earth,” inhaling and exhaling the great seas.  Many citations from the two books are made by more modern sources, but surviving copies have unfortunately all been lost to antiquity.  

Nicholas de Lynn was an English Minorite friar of Oxford, a mathematician, astronomer and explorer who lived from 1330 to 1390.  He was fascinated by the astrolabe and actually produced several of them for patrons and his own personal use.  John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, even comissioned Nicholas to produce an astrolabe and a "Kalendarium" of complete astronomical tables covering 1387 to 1463 which were later used to create nautical almanacs.  For this Nicholas became famously known as "The Man with the Astrolabe," and was even complimented and lauded as an astronomical genius by Geoffrey Chaucer in his "Treatise on the Astrolabe."  His esteem as a knowledgable astronomer and navigator soon reached King Edward III who in the early 1360s sent Nicholas and a team of ships to explore the Arctic.

The work by which Nicholas of Lynn will longest be remembered is not now to be found.  Its disappearance under any circumstances is not a matter of surprise, since of many important works once well known no copy remains today, while of others there are only one or two examples.  Unfortunately, we know almost as little about the voyages made from Lynn by the fellow townsmen of Nicholas as about the book in question.  Many hardy mariners sailed from the port of Lynn, but of their enterprise at the north only the most scanty memorials remain.  It is nevertheless clear that their activity was appreciated by Edward III, while their neighbors of Blakeney were several times favored by that king on account of their superior merit.” -Benjamin Franklin DeCosta, "Inventio Fortunata, Arctic Exploration With An Account of Nicholas of Lynn" (19)

What we know about Nicholas de Lynn, his polar explorations, and his lost book now come from existing citations and quotations from his contemporaries and readers.  One such man was Jacobus Cnoyen, a Dutch explorer who composed a book of travel epics in Flemish, also lost to antiquity, but quoted and re-printed in later works still available.  Cnoyen is referenced as learning from "the Minorite" (Nicholas de Lynn) that "large parts of the polar indrawing sea did not freeze over in winter."  Speaking of Nicholas, Cnoyen wrote, "the priest who had the astrolabe related to the kind of Norway that in 1360 AD there had come to these Northern Islands an English Minorite from Oxford who was a good astronomer.  Leaving the rest of the party who had come to the Islands, he journeyed further through the whole of the North and put into writing all the wonders of those islands, and gave the King of England this book, which he called in Latin Inventio Fortunatae, which book began at latitude 54 degrees, continuing to the Pole."

Both Nicholas and Cnoyen's books contained a detailed map of the Arctic derived from Nicholas' journeys which included a magnetic mountain at the North Pole, 4 directional streams, encircling whirlpool, and surrounding islands.  Luckily for posterity, a version of this map still survives to this day because it was used for Johannes Ruysch's 1508 map of the world and later reproduced in detail and published in 1595 by the most well-known cartographer in history, responsible for the most popular maps ever created, Gerardus Mercator.  

On the legend of Ruysch's map Nicholas de Lynn's Inventio Fortunata is referenced as it's source, stating that, "It is written in the Book of the Fortunate Discovery that, under the Arctic Pole, there is a high magnetic rock 33 German miles in circumference.  A surging sea surrounds this rock, as if the water were discharged downward from a vase through an opening to four mouths below.  Around are islands, of which two are inhabited.  Mountains vast and wide surround these islands, 24 of which deny habitation to man."  Another inscription on Ruysch's map describes the incredible magnetic effect of the polar lodestone mountain, stating, "Here the ship's compass loses its property, and no vessel with iron on board is able to get away."

"A world map by Johannes Ruysch, the Universalior cogniti orbis tabula, published in an edition of Ptolemy's Geographia in Rome in 1508, shows four islands around the North Pole; two (the one north of Greenland and its opposite across the Pole) are labeled "Insula Deserta"; the one north of Europe is that of the Hyperboreans; and the one north of America is labeled "Aronphei." He labels the waters within the four islands as the "Mare Sugenum," and speaks of a violent whirlpool that sucks the incoming waters down into the earth; in addition, his map shows a ring of small, very mountainous islands around the four islands, which numerous islands Ruysch says are uninhabited."  -Chet Van Duzer, "The Mythic Geography of the Northern Polar Regions"

This would seem to indicate that the book written by Nicholas of Lynn was known to the mapmaker, while, also, it may have been known at Rome.  It is evident that the polar region was drawn more or less in accordance with some plan by Nicholas, which was combined with later material.  Around the magnetic rock, immediately under the pole, are four islands, ‘Aronphei,’ ‘Insvla deserta,’ ‘Hyperborei Evropa’ and ‘Insvle Deserta.’  Outside of these islands are smaller and mountainous islands, arranged in a semi-circle, while the peninsula of ‘Pilapelanti,’ with its base resting upon Europe, pushes out into this druidic arrangement of islands, bearing up what is intended to represent a church, with the legend ‘Sacte Odulfi.’  Eastward of this peninsula is the ‘Provicia obscura,’ and the ‘Marc Svgenvm.’  Westward of ‘Bergi extrema’ another peninsula enters the groups of islands, which is pierced by ‘planora de Berga’ at the extreme west.  The ‘Mare Svgenvm’ also fills the west.  South of ‘Grvenlant’ is ‘Terra Nova,’ or New Foundland.  From the ‘Mare Svgenvm’ the water flows northward through the four openings into the polar basin.  The arrangement is curious, yet not wholly without resemblance to what is found in nature; for what is called the polar basin is fed by several vast streams pouring into it from the warm regions at the south.  These streams also create counter currents, which flow southward, bearing enormous quantities of the heaviest ice."  -Benjamin Franklin DeCosta, "Inventio Fortunata, Arctic Exploration With An Account of Nicholas of Lynn" (22)

Swedish historian Olaus Magnus wrote of both the magnetic mountain and surrounding whirlpool in his 1555 work "Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus" (A Description of the Northern Peoples) stating it to be a well-known fact that ships in the north must be built with wooden pegs, as iron nails would be pulled out by the northern lodestone mountain, and that, "between Roest and Lofoten is so great an abyss, or rather Charybdis, that it suddenly swamps and swallows up in an instant those mariners who incautiously approach.  Pieces of wreckage are very seldom thrown up again, and if they come to light, the hard material shows such signs of wear and chafing through being dashed against the rocks, that it looks as if it were covered with rough wool."

Just two years later in 1557, English explorer Anthony Jenkinson also wrote of the whirlpool, saying, "Note that there is between the said Rost Islands and Lofoot, a whirle poole called Malestrand, which from halfe ebbe untill halfe flood, maketh such a terrible noise, that it shaketh the ringes in the doores of the inhabitants houses of the sayd islands tenne miles off.  Also if there commeth any whale within the current of the same, they make a pitifull crie.  Moreover, if great trees be carried into it by force of streams, and after with the ebbe be cast out againe, the ends and boughs of them have bene so beaten, that they are like the stalkes of hempe that is bruised."

A few decades later in 1591, Schönneböl, a man who was sheriff of Lofoten and Vesteralen for over twenty years, wrote a similar description claiming that, "Iron rings on house doors are shaken hither and thither by the rushing of the current.  Whales who cannot go forward on account of the strong stream, give a great cry and then are gone.  And great trees, spruce or fir, which disappear in this current, and when at last they come up again, then all the boughs, all the roots and all the bark is torn off, and it is shaped as though it had been cut with a sharp axe."

The most famous map-maker who ever lived and likely the only person in the history of cartography to become a household name, Gerardus Mercator, known for his meticulous accuracy and responsible for the popular "Mercator projection," lived from 1512 to 1594 and created hundreds of detailed maps.  The year after his death in 1595 his family compiled his life's work into an Atlas which included never before released reproductions of Nicholas de Lynn's maps of the polar regions, specifically the "Septentrionalium Terrarum Descriptio."  This incredible map shows the polar magnetic mountain "said to be the highest in the world," named "Rupes Nigra," encircling whirlpool, 4 directional rivers, and surrounding islands in fine detail along with several revealing inscriptions.  

"The map shows a North Pole that is very unfamiliar to modern eyes. At the center of the map, and right at the Pole, stands a huge black mountain; this mountain was made of lodestone, and was the source of the earth's magnetic field.  The central mountain is surrounded by open water, and then further out by four large islands that form a ring around the Pole. The largest of these islands perhaps 700 by 1100 miles, and they all have high mountains along their southern rims. These islands are separated by four large inward-flowing rivers, which are aligned as if to the four points of the compass - though of course there is no north, east, or west at the North Pole: every direction from this center is south. Mercator's notes inform us that the waters of the oceans are carried northward to the Pole through these rivers with great force, such that no wind could make a ship sail against the current. The waters then disappear into an enormous whirlpool beneath the mountain at the Pole, and are absorbed into the bowels of the earth. Mercator also tells us that four-foot tall Pygmies inhabit the island closest to Europe."  -Chet Van Duzer, "The Mythic Geography of the Northern Polar Regions"

In another inscription made on the map, Mercator informs the reader further regarding the great whirlpool, stating that, "a monstrous gulf in the sea towards which from all sides the billows of the sea coming from remote parts converge and run together as though brought there by conduit, pouring into these mysterious abysses of nature, they are as though devoured thereby and, should it happen that a vessel pass there, it is seized and drawn away with such powerful violence of the waves that this hungry force immediately swallows it up never to appear again."

Gerardus Mercator studied at the University of Louvain in 1549 where he met and befriended another very influential figure of his time, John Dee, astronomer / astrologer and advisor to Queen Elizabeth I.  Dee was convinced that a route to the Indies could be found through the Northwest Passage and while attempting to interest Queen Elizabeth to support an expedition, he contacted Mercator for more information.  In Mercator's 1577 letter back to Dee we learn he copied verbatim from Jacobus Cnoyen's Itinerium stating that, “In the midst of the four countries is a whirlpool, into which there empty these four indrawing Seas which divide the North. And the water rushes round and descends into the Earth just as if one were pouring it through a filter funnel. It is four degrees wide on every side of the Pole, that is to say eight degrees altogether. Except that right under the Pole there lies a bare Rock in the midst of the Sea. Its circumference is almost 33 French miles, and it is all of magnetic Stone.  And is as high as the clouds, so the Priest said, who had received the astrolabe from this Minorite in exchange for a Testament. And the Minorite himself had heard that one can see all round it from the Sea, and that it is black and glistening. And nothing grows thereon, for there is not so much as a handful of soil on it.  This is word for word everything that I copied out of this author years ago.”

As late as the mid-17th century, aspects of these polar phenomena continued appearing in cartography and cosmography.  The "euripi" or 4 indrawing streams, were included or alluded to in Linschoten's 1595 map, the Ortelius of 1599, Quod's Fascicvlvs Geographicvs of 1608, Hondius' 1619 map, Purchas' map of 1625, and in Heylin's 1659 Cosmographie he wrote about the Rupes Nigra and surrounding whirlpool and euripi, stating that, "Under the Arctick Pole is said to be a Black Rock of wonderous height, about 33 leagues in compass; the Land adjoining being torn by the sea into four great islands.  For the Ocean violently breaking through it, and disgorging itself by 19 channels, maketh four Euripi, or fierce Whirlpools, by which the waters are finally carried towards the North, and these swallowed into the Bowels of the Earth.  That Eurpius or Whirlpool which is made by the Scythic Ocean, hath five Inlets, and by reason of his strait passage, and violent course, is never frozen: the other on the back of Greenland being 37 leagues long, hath three inlets, and remaineth frozen three months yearly.  Between these two lieth an Island, on the North of Lappia and Biarmia, inhabited as they say by Pygmies, the tallest of them not above four foot high.  A certain Scholer of Oxford reporteth, that these four Euripi are carried with such furious violence towards some Gulf, in which they are finally swallowed up, that no ship is able with never so strong a Gale to stem the Current and yet there is never so strong a wind as to blow a windmill."

There is modern circumstantial evidence that lends strong credence to this idea as well.  The largest publicly-known maelstrom in the world is called Saltstraumen just North of the Arctic circle in Norway, where 400 million cubic meters of water pass through a 3km long, 150-meter wide strait reaching speeds of 10 meters per second.  Similar to legends of Hvergelmir, this Northern whirlpool actually arises exactly 4 times per day, every 6 hours, along with the shifting of the tides!  In fact, the majority of naturally occuring whirlpools in the world, including the famous Naruto whirlpools in Japan, form 4 times per day, every 6 hours, as the tides change.

If the entire ancient world's mythologies along with early explorers, historians and cartographers all shared similar accounts of a polar magnetic mountain, encircling whirlpool, four directional streams, and surrounding islands occupied by giants and/or pygmies, why is it that no modern accounts of the North Pole have a single mention of any such thing?  How is it possible for such consistency in polar geography to exist throughout the ancient world?  Why have all of these features suddenly disappeared from modern maps?  Were the ancients all completely mistaken with regards to the North Pole, or are we now in modern times the victims of a concerted cover-up, and being deceived about what is really at the Pole? 

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020


The term “telepathy” was coined in 1882 by Frederic Myers, founder of the Society for Psychical Research, during his investigation into what was formerly known as “thought transference.”  Reports and documented cases of thought transference abound in almost every culture dating back for millennia, but during the 20th century, the scientific method was applied and repeatable experiments were performed which proved, with combined odds against chance of trillions to one, that telepathy is indeed a genuine phenomenon.  

The most common method of testing perceptual-psi (ESP/telepathy) is to isolate a test subject from a hidden target object or person placed at a distance and see if the test subject can accurately describe the target or mentally influence the other person.  Hundreds of variations have been performed on experiments following this basic design: 

A classic experiment in telepathy was reported in 1923 by Dr. H. I. F. W. Brugmans and his colleagues in the Department of Psychology at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands.  In this experiment, a 23 year-old physics student named Van Dam was investigated for his claimed telepathic abilities.  He was placed inside a curtained booth, blindfolded, and asked to place his arm under the curtain to select one square on a 6 x 8 checkerboard placed on a table next to the curtain.  The target square Van Dam was attempting to select was determined randomly by the experimenter on each trial.  An assistant experimenter knew the target square and tried to mentally influence Van Dam’s arm movements to guide him to select the correct target square … The results of the experiment were extremely significant, with 60 successes out of 187 trials rather than the 4 expected by chance.  That’s associated with odds against chance of 121 trillion to 1.”  -Dean Radin, “Entangled Minds” (82-3)

A second classic experiment that has withstood the test of time is the ESP card test, as popularized by J. B. Rhine’s Parapsychology Laboratory at Duke University.  This test involved cards imprinted with one of five symbols: circle, square, wavy lines, star and triangle … In a typical experimental run, the deck was thoroughly shuffled and then one person would select each card in turn and try to mentally send the symbol on that card to a distant person.  This technique made it possible to collect hundreds of trials quickly, in a wide variety of environments, and under controlled conditions … Rhine’s 1940 book, Extrasensory Perception After Sixty Years combined his 60 years of ESP research, 188 different experiments with thousands of trials, in which even the most highly controlled studies had odds against chance of 375 trillion to 1.”  -Dean Radin, “Entangled Minds” (84-5)

In 1933, Hubert E. Pearce Jr., a student of J.B. Rhine’s at Duke University introduced himself saying that he had inherited his mother’s clairvoyant abilities and would be willing to scientifically test and verify his skills.  For the next seven months, Rhine worked with Pearce devising, performing, and documenting the now famous Pearce-Pratt distance telepathy tests at his Duke Parapsychology Lab.  The experiment consisted of 700 runs through 25-card ESP decks with Pearce acting as the telepathic receiver while another student, Gaither Pratt, was the sender.  Pratt simply laid down one card per minute and concentrated on it, while Pearce, from another building on campus, attempted to telepathically read and/or clairvoyantly see each card.  After 1,850 trials, Pearce guessed the correct card 558 times (32%), which is 188 times above chance expectation (20%).  Though this 12% difference may not sound like much, it is associated with odds against chance of 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 1.

Another popular and often replicated psi experiment is known as the “Ganzfield” telepathy test.  In a ganzfield test, Participant A sits in a comfortable, reclining chair, wears headphones playing pink noise (peaceful waterfall sound), has halved ping-pong balls placed over their eyes, and a soft red light shined on them.  This type of sensory deprivation results in a dreamy state of awareness in which the subject becomes more open to mental suggestions/impressions.  Once Participant 1 is fully immersed in this “ganzfield condition,” Participant 2 sits in another room watching a freeze-frame picture on a TV screen and attempts to telepathically send that image to Participant 1.  Later, Participant 1 comes out of the ganzfield state, discusses their impressions, is shown 4 images, and must choose which one they think Participant 2 was sending them.  

From 1974 through 2004 a total of 88 ganzfield experiments reporting 1,008 hits in 3,145 trials were conducted.  The combined hit rate was 32% as compared to the chance-expected 25%.  This 7% above-chance effect is associated with odds against chance of 29,000,000,000,000,000,000 (or 29 quintillion) to 1.”  -Dean Radin, “Entangled Minds” (120)

The modern ganzfield experiment is as close to the perfect psi experiment as anyone knows how to conduct.  Until recently, the ganzfield experiments were largely unknown outside of the discipline of parapsychology.  Then, in 1994, psychologists Daryl Bem from Cornell University and Charles Honorton from the University of Edinburgh published a meta-analysis of ganzfield studies in Psychological Bulletin, a well-regarded academic psychology journal.  That paper provided strong evidence for a genuine psi effect.  Bem and Honorton’s review of earlier ganzfield studies estimated an effect with overall odds against chance of 48 billion to 1.”  -Dean Radin, “Entangled Minds” (117-8)

In Upton Sinclair’s 1930 book Mental Radio he cataloged a series of picture-drawing telepathy experiments performed in collaboration with his ESP-gifted wife Mary Craig Sinclair.  During these tests Upton or friends/family would sketch a small object and then Mary, in another room, another house, or even miles away, would mentally perceive the image and reproduce the sketch herself.  Mental Radio contains scores of these sketches which show incredible similarities far beyond what anyone would expect by chance.  In conclusion to these experiments, Upton Sinclair wrote, “there isn’t a thing in the world that leads me to [write this book] except the conviction which has been forced upon me that telepathy is real, and that loyalty to the nature of the universe makes it necessary for me to say so … It is foolish to be convinced without evidence, but it is equally foolish to refuse to be convinced by real evidence.”

A second example of picture-drawing experiments is described in the book Mind to Mind, published in 1948, by French researcher Rene Warcollier … Warcollier was already convinced that telepathy existed through the work of Rhine and others, so his books primarily explored how it worked … He noted that images were not transmitted like photographs but were ‘scrambled, broken up into component elements which are often transmuted into a new pattern.’  What Warcollier demonstrated is compatible with what modern cognitive neuroscience has learned about how visual images are constructed by the brain.  It implies that telepathic perceptions bubble up into awareness from the unconscious and are probably processed in the brain in the same way that we generate images in dreams.  And thus telepathic ‘images’ are far less certain than sensory-driven images and subject to distortion.”  -Dean Radin, “Entangled Minds” (92-93)

A third picture-drawing experiment was conducted in 1941 at Cambridge University by psychologist Whatley Carington.  He recruited 250 students to attempt to replicate sketches in a series of 5 experiments, with 10 drawings each, for a total of 50 targets.  By the end of the study Carington had collected 2,200 student sketches which he then cross-matched with the original 50 possible targets.  Amazingly he found 1,209 drawings (55%) were similar to the targets!  And this is from 250 different students with no particular ESP gifts or previous experience.

Another telepathy test that has been scientifically investigated for nearly a century is the sense of being stared at.  In a typical study of this sort, Participant 1 stands with his back turned to Particpant 2, who stands a few meters behind him.  Next Partcipant 2 flips a coin to decide whether he will stare at the back of Participant 1’s head for 10 seconds, or look away for 10 seconds.  After the 10 seconds pass, Participant 1 records their impression, yes or no, and the coin is flipped again for the next trial. 

British biologist Rupert Sheldrake has popularized experiments based on this simple design … and under more controlled conditions, such as those involving use of blindfolds, no trial-by-trial feedback, and even more secure conditions such as having [participants] stare through a window from a distance.  I found 60 such experiments involving a total of 33,357 trials from publications cited by Sheldrake and others.  The overall success rate in these experiments was 54.5% where chance expectation is 50%.  The overall odds against chance are a staggering 202 octodecillion (that’s 20,200,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) to 1.”  -Dean Radin, “Entangled Minds” (127)

In over a dozen scientific experiments over the last 45 years, using EEG and MRI brain scanning technology, pairs of identical twins have been separated into different rooms, and one of them subjected to visual or emotional stimulus which is then found to register on both of their brains simultaneously.  This has also been shown to happen (with a lower correlation rate) between family, friends, and complete strangers as well.

The design used in these electroencephalograph or ‘EEG correlation’ experiments asks, in effect, whether poking one person will produce an ouch response in a distant partner.  It’s not recommended to poke people in the brain, so instead we use a stimulus like a flashing light to cause one of the brains to jump electrically in a predictable way, and then we look at the other, distant brain to see if it’s jumping at the same time.”  -Dean Radin, “Entangled Minds” (136)

Psychophysiologist Jacobo Grinberg-Zylberbaum and his colleagues from the National Autonomous University of Mexico reported a series of studies in which they claimed to detect simultaneous brain responses in the EEGs of separated pairs of people.  One of their studies was published in the journal Physics Essays, stimulating another round of replication attempts.  In 2003, a successful replication was reported in Neuroscience Letters by EEG specialist Jiri Wackermann and his colleagues … Wackermann’s team concluded that ‘We are facing a phenomenon which is neither easy to dismiss as a methodological failure or a technical artifact nor understood as to its nature.  No biophysical mechanism is presently known that could be responsible for the observed correlations between EEGs of two separated subjects.’ Another successful replication, this time reported by Leanna Standish of Bastyr University and her colleagues, was recently reported in the medical journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine.  They conducted an EEG correlation experiment with the receiving participant located in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner … They found a highly significant increase in brain activity (odds against chance of 14,000 to 1) in the receiving person’s visual cortex (in the back of the brain) while the distant partner was viewing a flickering light.  The same group later successfully replicated this finding.”  -Dean Radin, “Entangled Minds” (137-8)

The man who invented the EEG, Hans Berger, actually became interested in the brain and the powers of the human psyche after a telepathic experience he had in early adulthood.  It began when one day, as a soldier during a military training exercise, he was thrown off his horse and nearly trampled by a horse-drawn cannon:

Miraculously, the driver of the artillery battery managed to stop the horses just in time.  The accident left Hans thoroughly shaken but without serious injury.  At that very moment, many miles away in his family’s home, Hans’s older sister was suddenly overwhelmed with an ominous certainty that something bad had happened to Hans.  She anxiously insisted that their father contact him, and so he did via telegram.  That evening, when Hans received the telegram, he was initially concerned, as he had never before received a telegram from his father.  Then, upon reading his sister’s urgent concern about his well-being, he knew that his feelings of intense fear earlier in the day had somehow reached his sister.  Many years later, Hans wrote, ‘This is a case of spontaneous telepathy in which at a time of mortal danger, and as I contemplated certain death, I transmitted my thoughts, while my sister, who was particularly close to me, acted as the receiver.’”  -Dean Radin, “Entangled Minds” (22)

If telepathy is a real fact, it is very possible that it is operating at every moment and everywhere, but with too little intensity to be noticed, or else it is operating in the presence of obstacles which neutralize the effect at the same moment that it manifests itself.  We produce electricity at every moment, the atmosphere is continually electrified, we move among magnetic currents, yet millions of human beings lived for thousands of years without having suspected the existence of electricity.  It may be the same with telepathy.”  -French philosopher and Nobel laureate Henri Bergson in presidential address to the Society for Psychical Research in London, May 1913

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Ancient Polar Mythologies

Nowadays and for the past five centuries, since the introduction of the heliocentric globe deception, all world maps and explorers have depicted and described the North Pole and surrounding region as being nothing but an arbitrary point in a semi-frozen tundra. Previous to this however, depictions and descriptions of the North Pole and surrounding regions in world maps and ancient explorers' accounts were very different. Firstly, before the 16th century, the North Pole was never once shown or thought to be just some random, ambiguous point amidst a low salinity Arctic Ocean as it is now. Instead, the North Pole was universally described and depicted, from diverse cultures all across the Earth, as being a gigantic magnetic mountain situated directly below Polaris. The prevailing belief was that compass needles the world over were actually pointing to a huge "loadstone mountain" made of magnetite at the Pole; in contrast to today's prevailing belief that compass needles are pointing to some constantly moving magnetic field generated by hypothetical molten metal existing at the center of a fantastical globe-Earth. While neither claim can be confirmed or denied without independent exploration and experimentation, it should be noted that nowhere in nature can we find molten metal which retains any significant magnetic properties once heated past the "Curie Point," let alone create some convoluted constantly moving di-polar field as is claimed by proponents of the fantasy ball-Earth.

Ancient Buddhist, Vedic and Jain traditional cosmologies all state that at the North Pole magnetic center-point of Earth exists a circular mountain of magnetite called Mount Meru. Puranic and Sumerian traditions also referred to this place calling it "Mount Sumeru." In Ancient Iran they spoke of Mount Hara Berezaiti with a celestial spring on its highest peak in the realm of the stars. In early Chinese writings there is Mount Kunlun with a bronze Pillar of Heaven at the summit where the immortals dwell, often also called "The Pearl Mountain," a paradise home of four great rivers around which the heavens revolve. The Turkmen tribes of Southern Turkestan told of a copper pillar that marks the “Navel of the Earth.” The Mongols wrote of Mount Sumber with the Zambu tree on its summit. The Buryats of Siberia talked of Mount Sumur with the North Polestar fastened to its summit. The Siberian Dalmucks spoke of a mountain lake from which four rivers flow to the points of the compass. The Egyptians wrote of the “Mound of the First Time” which was the first land to appear from the waters and is the dwelling place of the High God, the source of light. The Muslims wrote of Qaf and Zoroastrians wrote of Girnagar, the world encircling mountains. The Navajos spoke of “encircled mountain” which was surrounded by four directional mountains. The Dogon tribe of Nigeria told of a cosmic pillar spanning 14 worlds which was the “roof-post of the house of the high god Amma.” The Warao Indians of the Orinoco Delta in Venezuela speak of a cosmic axis extending above the center of their earth disk. Ancient Greek mythology referred to "Mount Olympus, the Home of the gods." The ancient Germans told of “Irminsul” a universal column which sustains everything. The Norse Edda spoke of "Asgard," the burgh of the gods rising in the center of "Midgard," the circular earth. Ptolemy recounted a legend involving magnetic islands which exerted such strong attraction that ships with metal nails were held in place and unable to leave. In the Arabic legend, "One Thousand and One Nights," a magnetic mountain pulls all the nails right out of their ship causing it to fall apart and sink. The second tallest mountain in Tanzania is even named "Mount Meru" after its primordial partner at the Pole.

"In many traditions, the world mountain is identified symbolically with some local mountain. This is illustrated by Mount Olympus of the Greeks, Mount Alborz of the Iranians, and Mount Khun-Lun of the Chinese. In Near Eastern tradition, the world mountain is the small hill in Jerusalem known as Mount Zion. Thus the circular continent centered on Jerusalem in medieval maps also possessed a symbolic world mountain." -Richard L. Thompson, “The Cosmology of the Bhagavata Purana” (146)

“Jerusalem was Paul’s lodestone. The ancient mariners who set sail in their little cockleshell boats tended to hug the coastline, not daring to get too far from land. Aids to navigation were few, and their vessels were at the mercy of wind and wave. The slightest sign of a storm would send them scurrying for refuge. Moreover, the dreams of those old-time venturers were haunted by thoughts of the fabled, ‘lodestone mountain.’ They believed it had the power to draw their vessels to shipwreck on its shores against all the pull of tide and wind.” -John Phillips, “Exploring (the Book of) Acts” (402)

Isaiah wrote about a mountain, set above all other mountains, in the far recesses of the North where the gods meet called Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Genesis, Ezekiel and Enoch all mention a paradisiacal Eden, the mountain of God, and source of four main rivers. Genesis 2: 10-14 reads: “And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates."

Mohammed also spoke of four rivers and a divine tree. In the Srimad Bhagavatam four branches of the celestial Ganges flow out from Brahmapuri on top of Mount Sumeru. In ancient Canaan, Guri’ili, the mountain of El, was the dwelling of El, the creator, and a place of assembly for the demi-gods. In one Phoenician ivory carving from around 1000 B.C., a deity is shown dressed to represent a mountain with four streams coming out from the mountain-god-man at right angles. Similarly, in an ancient Akkadian hymn to the goddess Ishtar, she is addressed as "the Queen of the Mountain of the World and Queen of the land of the four rivers of Erech," and she says, "I am lord of the steep mountains, which tremble whilst their summits reach to the firmament."

In the Christian apocryphal book of Enoch, Enoch is taken by angels on a tour of the seven heavens and while in the third heaven shown magnificent trees producing wonderful fruits with adjacent springs pumping honey, milk, oil and wine to four directional rivers flowing down into paradisiacal Eden, an abode specially prepared only for the pious and selfless. Similarly, in the Hindu cosmology, four trees in Ilavrta-varsa stand on great mountains producing rivers of nectar and honey, like fountains of youth, providing health and vitality to all who drink of them, while the central tallest "Jambu" tree rises to incredible heights and "seems to cover all the heavens."

"In the Bhagavata Purana Mount Sumeru is surrounded by four great mountains surmounted by four gigantic trees. These include the Jambu tree after which Jambudvipa is named. Four huge lakes of milk, honey, sugarcane juice and pure water are located between the four mountains, and these lakes confer mystic powers on the celestial beings who bathe in them. There are also four celestial gardens near these lakes. From the foot of each of the four trees, there flows a river that either emerges from the tree itself or from the fruits of the tree. These rivers of honey and different kinds of juice flow throughout the region of Ilavrta-varsa surrounding Mount Sumeru, and they confer freedom from fatigue, disease, and old age on the inhabitants of that region." -Richard L. Thompson, “The Cosmology of the Bhagavata Purana” (132)

The Yakut people of northeastern Siberia have their own strikingly similar ancient myth where a world tree of immeasurable age exists "at the navel of the Earth," just like the Hindu Jambu tree is "born of the umbilical knot of Brahma." The Yakut world tree reaches into the high heavens with cones nine fathoms long and sap which imparts youthfulness on all who consume it. Near the Yakut tree also lies a lake of sweet milk, which is where the popular modern Japanese milk company "Yakult" doubtless gets its inspiration.

"In different traditions, the upper and lower worlds may be divided into several levels (often seven or nine). In the center of the earth-disk there is a world mountain or world pillar that links middle earth to the lower and upper worlds. The world mountain represents the polar axis, and the dwellings of great demigods are located on its summit. The world mountain may be surrounded by other mountains that define the cardinal directions, and these directions may be associated with certain colors. Four sacred rivers may also flow from the world mountain in the four cardinal directions. There is a world tree that is often situated on the world mountain (or four world trees may be located on the neighboring directional mountains). The world tree extends from the earth to the heavens, and it is nearly immortal. It is the source of rivers of nectar or pure water that give health and longevity to those who drink them. The tree stands in an earthly paradise where there are celestial gardens and rivers of various substances, such as milk, oil, and honey. The tree or world pillar is often associated with a great eagle-like bird that is the enemy of great serpents dwelling in the lower world." -Richard L. Thompson, “The Cosmology of the Bhagavata Purana” (135)

In ancient Iranian thought, a mountain called "Hara Berezaiti," or "Albordj" stands at the center of the Earth, a fixed point around which the Sun, Moon, and stars revolve. At its summit lies the dwelling place of "Ormuzd" the lord of light, complete with a giant miraculous tree, an Edenic "garden of Ahuramazda," and the celestial fountain "Arduisur," which is the mother of all Earthly water and flows down towards four cardinal points into four large streams. The bridge "Tschinevad" reaches from the peak of Albordj to the solid vault of heaven, or "Gorodman," the home of the pious and blessed, whilst underneath lies the great gulf of Duzahk, the abysmal abode of the lord of darkness, "Ahriman."

The earliest cosmogony recorded by the Japanese in their most ancient book, the Koji-ki, once again mirrors this recurring mythology. In the beginning, Izanagi and Izanani, the great god and goddess standing in heaven drove a celestial spear into the endless sea and twisted it around until an island rose from the water. They then descended from heaven to Earth and built a palace around the huge spear using it as the central pillar. This spear became the central axis of the world and their palace the birthplace of the human race. In the Koji-ki and Shinto religion, the Creator and the North Pole are so purposely and inseparably linked that one of the often used names of God translates to: The Lord of the Center of Heaven. The "Ainos," supposed first inhabitants of Japan, whose name means "offspring of the centered," are believed to have arrived onto the archipelago "from the North," and bury their dead facing North to where their ancestors came and to which their spirits would return.

In Buddhist funeral ceremonies bodies are cremated in special crematoriums actually called "Meru" which are essentially tall stone pillars with four doors at the peak aligned to the cardinal directions, with the belief that our reincarnated souls will pass Mount Meru before returning to earthly bodies. Literally every temple and the little spirit house shrines found in most Buddhist homes are also representations of Meru, the abode of the gods, aligned to the four cardinal directions, and opulently embellished with gold, jewelry and metaphysical artwork.

"Koeppen assures us that 'every orthodoxly constructed Buddhist temple either is, or contains, a symbolical representation of the divine regions of Meru, and of the heaven of the gods, saints, and Buddha’s, rising above it.' Lillie says, 'The thirteen pyramidal layers at the top of every temple in Nepal represent the thirteen unchangeable heavens of Amitabha.' Faber develops the evidence of this practice among the ancients with great fullness, and with respect to the Hindus and Buddhists says, 'each pagoda, each pyramid, each montiform high-place is invariably esteemed to be a copy of the holy hill Meru.'" -Dr. William Warren, “Paradise Found: The Cradle of the Human Race at the North Pole” (229-30)

Ancient South American traditions also believed the human race was birthed in the farthest North, upon the highest of mountains, surrounded by perpetual clouds, fountainhead of the world's waters, and home of god Tlaloc, residing on their sacred paradise mountain Tlapallan. The first man, Quetzalcoatl, was said to have drank the water of immortality from Tlaloc's mountain and ruled as king throughout a golden age in Mexico. The many Incan, Mayan, Aztec and other step-pyramids and temples aligned to cardinal directions and devoted to the gods are representative of this world mountain. Interestingly enough, many modern Mexican myths now represent the mountain as crooked or partly turned over.

Similarly, in the ancient Chinese Taoist tradition, a myth over 4000 years old refers to Shang-te, the highest of all gods who lives in "Tsze-wei," described as "a celestial space above the North Pole." Shang-te's abode is said to exist directly over the peak of Mount Kunlun, which again places the "highest god" at Polaris. As with the other cosmologies, Mount Kunlun is a primeval paradise, abode of the gods, with a world tree in the middle, and a fountain of immortality from which four rivers flow outwards to the four corners of the Earth.

"Sparkling fountains and purling streams contain the far-famed ambrosia. One may there rest on flowery carpeted swards, listening to the melodious warbling of birds, or feasting upon the delicious fruits, at once fragrant and luscious, which hang from the branches of the luxuriant groves. Whatever there is beautiful in landscape or grand in nature may also be found there in the highest state of perfection. All is charming, all enchanting, and whilst nature smiles the company of genii delights the ravished visitor. Where now, is this Paradise Mountain located? At the North Pole ... Immediately over the central peak of Kwen-lun appears the Polar star, which is Shang-te's heavenly abode. In the central place, the Polar star of Heaven, the one Bright One, the Great Monad always dwells. In accordance with this conception, the Emperor and his assistants when officiating before the Altar of Heaven, always face the North. The Pole-star itself is a prominent object of worship." -Dr. William Warren, “Paradise Found: The Cradle of the Human Race at the North Pole” (144, 216)

Both the ancient Orientals and Greeks turned to face north before commencing prayer. Homer states that when addressing the gods of "Mount Olympus" they would stretch their arms towards the Northern sky, and Plato also confirms that this "holy habitation of Zeus was placed in the center of the world." Heraclitus said that "it touches the ether and casts a shadow five thousand stadia in length." Herodotus stated the mountain to be "very tapering and round; so lofty, moreover, that the top cannot be seen, the clouds never quitting it either summer or winter. The natives call this mountain The Pillar of Heaven, and they themselves take their name from it, being called Atlantes. They are reported not to eat any living thing." Strabo claimed it was an earthly paradise with gigantic olive trees and grape clusters a cubit in length. Pliny described a river of milk descending from great heights and called the mountain a "fabulosissimum." Maximus Tyrius claimed the ocean waves stopped short before reaching the mountain, "standing up like a wall around its base, though unrestrained by any earthly barrier. Nothing but the air and the sacred thicket prevent the water from reaching the mountain." In the Phaedo, Socrates is quoted as saying, "all things that grow trees and flowers and fruit are fairer than any here; and there are hills and stones in them smoother and more transparent and fairer in color than our highly-valued emeralds and sardonyx and jaspers and other gems, which are but minute fragments of them: for there all the stones are like our precious stones, and fairer still. The temperament of their seasons is such that the inhabitants have no disease, and live much longer than we do, and have sight and hearing and smell and all the other senses in much greater perfection. And they have temples and sacred places in which the gods really dwell, and they hear their voices, and receive their answers, and are conscious of them, and hold converse with them, and they see the Sun, the Moon, and the stars as they really are."

"The evidence that in ancient Hellenic thought, also, the heaven of the gods was in the northern sky is incidental, but cumulative and satisfactory. For example, heaven is upheld by Atlas, but the terrestrial station of Atlas, as we have elsewhere shown, is at the North Pole. Again, Olympos was the abode of the gods; but if the now generally current etymology of this term is correct, Olympos was simply the Atlantean pillar, pictured as a lofty mountain, and supporting the sky at its northern Pole. In fact, many writers now affirm that the Olympos of Greek mythology was originally simply the north polar ‘World-mountain' of the Asiatic nations." -Dr. William Warren, “Paradise Found: The Cradle of the Human Race at the North Pole” (212)

The ancient Germanic and Finnish people also, when praying or sacrificing to the gods, always faced north, and in the Scandinavian Eddas, both Asgard and Idavollr are represented as the "navel" or center of the world. For them, atop the Yggdrasil tree at Earth's center was the heavenly "Asgard," home of the gods. Today we still pay respect to this primitive tradition at Christmas when we top our symbolic world trees with a bright yellow Pole star.

"We have already seen that the term 'navel' was anciently used in many languages for 'centre,' and that the Pole, or central point of the revolving constellations, was the 'Navel of Heaven.' But as to the celestial Pole there corresponds a terrestrial one, so it is only natural that to the term the 'Navel of Heaven' there should be the corresponding expression the 'Navel of the Earth.' Beginning with Christian traditions, let us make a pilgrimage to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem. There, in the portion belonging to the Greek Christians, we shall discover a round pillar, some two feet high, projecting from the marble pavement, but supporting nothing. If we inquire as to its purpose, we shall be informed that it is designed to mark the exact centre or 'Navel' of the Earth. Early pilgrims and chroniclers refer to this curious monument, but its antiquity no one knows." -Dr. William Warren, “Paradise Found: The Cradle of the Human Race at the North Pole” (227)

In the Indian Puranas, both the terms "Navel of the Earth," and "Navel of Heaven," are used repeatedly and always referring to a place not in or near India, but rather at the North Pole. Hymns from the Rig Veda speak of the "supporting column of heaven" otherwise known as the Atlas pillar of Vedic cosmology, and describe it as "standing upon the Navel of Earth." In the fifth verse of the one hundred and eighty-fifth hymn, Day and Night are represented as twin sisters in the bosom of their parents Heaven and Earth, where they lock arms and spin circles around a common center point, namely the navel. This is also echoed in a mysterious passage by Quintus Curtius which has baffled modern commentators stating how the object which represented the divine being resembled a "navel set in gems."

“If anything is needed to disprove the common notion that geographical ignorance and national self-esteem first governed the ancient peoples in locating in their own countries ‘navels’ of the earth, it is furnished by what is, in all probability, the oldest epic in the world, that of Izdhubar, fragments of which have survived in the oldest literature of Babylonia. These fragments show that the earliest inhabitants of the Tigro-Euphrates basin located ‘the Centre of the Earth,’ not in their own midst, but in a far-off land, of sacred associations, where ‘the holy house of the gods’ is situated - a land ‘into the heart whereof man hath not penetrated;’ a place underneath the ‘overshadowing world-tree’ and beside the ‘full waters.’ No description could more perfectly identify the spot with the Arctic Pole of ancient Asiatic mythology. Yet this testimony stands not alone; for in the fragment of another ancient text, translated by Sayce in ‘Records of the Past,’ we are told of a ‘dwelling’ which ‘the gods created for’ the first human beings, - a dwelling in which they ‘became great’ and ‘increased in numbers,’ and the location of which is described in words exactly corresponding to those of Iranian, Indian, Chinese, Eddaic, and Aztec literature; namely, in the Centre of the Earth.” -Dr. William Warren, “Paradise Found: The Cradle of the Human Race at the North Pole” (239-40)

"Among the ancient Inca-subjects of Peru was found the same idea of a Navel of the Earth, and even among the Chickasaws of Mississippi. Thus is all ancient thought full of this legendary idea of a mysterious, primeval, holy, Paradisiac Earth-centre, a spot connected as is no other with the 'Centre of Heaven,' the Paradise of God. Why it should be so no one has ever told us; but the hypothesis which places the Biblical Eden at the Pole, and makes all later earth navels commemorative of that primal one, affords a perfect explanation. In the light of it, there is no difficulty in understanding that Earth-centre in Jerusalem with which we began. The inconspicuous pillar in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre symbolizes and commemorates far more than the geographical ignorance of mediaeval ages. It stands for the Japanese pillar by which the first soul born upon earth mounted to the sky. It stands for the World-column of the East-Aryans and the Chinvat Bridge of Iran. It stands for the law-proclaiming pillar of orichalcum in Atlantis, placed in the centre of the most central land. It stands for that Talmudic pillar by means of which the tenants of the terrestrial Paradise mount to the celestial, and, having spent the Sab- bath, return to pass the week below. It symbolizes Cardo, Atlas, Meru, Hara-berezaiti, Kharsak-Kurra, every fabulous mountain on whose top the sky pivots itself, and around which all the heavenly bodies ceaselessly revolve. It perpetuates a religious symbolism which existed in its region before ever Jerusalem had been made the Hebrew capital, recalling to our modern world the tabbur ha-aretz of a period anterior to the days of Samuel. In tradition it is said to mark the precise spot 'whence the clay was taken, out of which the body of Adam was modeled.' It does so, but it does it in a language and method which were common to all the most ancient nations of the earth. It points not to the soil in which it stands, but to the holier soil of a far-away primitive Eden." -Dr. William Warren, “Paradise Found: The Cradle of the Human Race at the North Pole” (247-9)

In Freemasonic temples, on Freemasonic tracing boards, and upon Freemasonic aprons can be found similar symbolism pointing to these concepts. Namely, a flat Earth framed by pillars covered by an arch firmament, often with the tallest or most prominent pillar positioned centrally and a single eye representing Polaris situated above it. The Sun and Moon are also usually shown on either side representing their paths/positions over and around the flat Earth. This knowledge was clearly wide-spread among the ancient world but in modern times has become occulted by certain such secret societies and vested interests.

"Everywhere, therefore, in the most ancient ethnic thought, in the Egyptian, Akkadian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Indian, Persian, Chinese, and Greek, everywhere is encountered this conception of what, looked at with respect to its base and magnitude, is called the 'Mountain of the World,' but looked at with respect to its glorious summit and its celestial inhabitants is styled the 'Mountain of the Gods.' We need not pursue the investigation further. Enough has been said to warrant the assertion of Dr. Samuel Beal: 'It is plain that this idea of a lofty central primeval mountain belonged to the undivided human race.' Elsewhere the same learned Sinologue has said, 'I have no doubt that the idea of a central mountain, and of the rivers flowing from it, and the abode of the gods upon its summit, is a primitive myth derived from the earliest traditions of our race.'" -Dr. William Warren, “Paradise Found: The Cradle of the Human Race at the North Pole” (137)

"In concluding this sketch of ancient cosmology one further question naturally and inevitably thrusts itself upon us. It is this: How are the rise and the so wide diffusion of this singular world-view to be explained? In other words, how came it to pass that the ancestors of the oldest historic races and peoples agreed to regard the North Pole as the true summit of the earth and the circumpolar sky as the true heaven?" -Dr. William Warren, “Paradise Found: The Cradle of the Human Race at the North Pole” (139)

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