Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ancient Civilizations: Lost Discoveries and Theoriums

Twenty-four centuries before Isaac Newton, the Hindu Rig-Veda asserted that gravitation held the Universe together, though the Hindu hypothesis was far less rigorous than Newton's. The Sanskrit-speaking Aryans subscribed to the idea of a spherical Earth in an era when the Greeks believed in a flat one.

Creation stories fall fairly into categories: the primal earth or water mother who spontaneously creates the Universe from her body; the sole male progenitor, like the Judeo-Christian God, who creates the Universe from thought or word; the "world parents," whose procreative union gives birth to the cosmos; the world egg and world tree; the cosmic serpent. All these refer to cosmological theories of creation out of chaos (plasma cosmology), a universe without beginning or end (steady state), or cycles of cosmic birth and destruction (altering universes).

Let's examine cosmologies of four pre-Western cultures: Mesopotamia, Mayan mesoamerica, Oceania, and India. Mesopotamia has long since become dust; Mayan civilization has severely diminished, but remnants of it exist (more than 2 million Yucatecans call themselves Mayan, speaking twenty-nine dialects); there are also remnants of the original Oceanic cultures; and Indian Hindu culture still thrives in modern form.

Mesoamerican, Mesopotamian and Indian societies represent complex, literate civilizations, while the oral traditions of Oceania are dismissed by some with the negative buzzword primitive. Yet all four cosmologies have similarities: an initial separation of primal elements, cosmos made of successive levels, and a divine lineage that inevitably leads back to human geneology. Most cosmologies, including our own, contain inconsistencies and contradictions.

Next the sun, moon, and stars are sown. The ancient Mayans conceived of this as "sowing" and also "dawning," because they connected the planting of seeds, which push up from underground to grow, with the dawning of the celestial bodies, which they believed traveled through the underworld before rising in the east.

In translating the Popol Vuh, Andres Xiloj Peruch, a modern Mayan spiritual leader, interpreted the ancient text according to still-existent Mayan beliefs. Present-day Mayan fireplaces include three heartstones set in a triangle, a prepresentation of a modern Quiche' Mayan heartstone constellation formed by three stars in Orion - Alnitak, Saiph, and Rigel. During the destruction of the third creation, the Popol Vuh states, "The.. heartstones were shooting out, coming right out of the fire, going for (the men's) heads." this, according to Xiloj Peruch, is an image of a volcano and an oblique reference to the cosmic hearth.

Further evidence comes from ancient Mayan scribes at Palenque and Quirigu, who wrote that at the end of the previous age, three heartstones ushered in a new age. There was a disagreement with two spiritual advisors over whether the August 3114 date and the ascension of the stars in Orion represent the end of the old age or the beginning of the new age, but it's clear that the heartstones represent a major turning point.

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