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- The Antediluvian World - 50/73 -
habitation of Sekrá, the supreme god, from which proceed the four sacred streams, running in as many contrary directions.
It is the Slávratta, 'the celestial earth,' of the Hindoo, the summit of his golden mountain Meru, the city of Brahma, in the centre of Jambadwípa, and from the four sides of which gush forth the four primeval rivers, reflecting in their passage the colorific glories of their source, and severally flowing northward, southward, eastward, and westward."
It is the Garden of Eden of the Hebrews:
"And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 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 it 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. And the Lord God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." (Gen. ii., 8-1-5.)
As the four rivers named in Genesis are not branches of any one stream, and head in very different regions, it is evident that there was an attempt, on the part of the writer of the Book, to adapt an ancient tradition concerning another country to the known features of the region in which be dwelt.
Josephus tells us (chap. i., p. 41), "Now the garden (of Eden) was watered by one river, which ran round about the whole earth, and was parted into four parts." Here in the four parts we see the origin of the Cross, while in the river running around the whole earth we have the wonderful canal of Atlantis, described by Plato, which was "carried around the whole of the plain," and received the streams which came down from the mountains. The streams named by Josephus would seem to represent the migrations of people from Atlantis to its colonies. "Phison," he tells us, "denotes a multitude; it ran into India; the Euphrates and Tigris go down into the Red Sea while the Geon runs through Egypt."
We are further told (chap. ii., p. 42) that when Cain, after the murder of. Abel, left the land of Adam, "he travelled over many countries" before be reached the land of Nod; and the land of Nod was to the eastward of Adam's home. In other words, the original seat of mankind was in the West, that is to say, in the direction of Atlantis. Wilson tells us that the Aryans of India believed that they originally came "from the West." Thus the nations on the west of the Atlantic look to the east for their place of origin; while on the east of the Atlantic they look to the west: thus all the lines of tradition converge upon Atlantis.
But here is the same testimony that in the Garden of Eden there were four rivers radiating from one parent stream. And these four rivers, as we have seen, we find in the Scandinavian traditions, and in the legends of the Chinese, the Tartars, the Singhalese, the Thibetians, the Buddhists, the Hebrews, and the Brahmans.
And not only do we find this tradition of the Garden of Eden in the Old World, but it meets us also among the civilized races of America. The elder Montezuma said to Cortez, "Our fathers dwelt in that happy and prosperous place which they called Aztlan, which means whiteness. . . . In this place there is a great mountain in the middle of the water which is called Culhuacan, because it has the point somewhat turned over toward the bottom; and for this cause it is called Culhuacan, which means 'crooked mountain.'" He then proceeds to describe the charms of this favored land, abounding in birds, game, fish, trees, "fountains enclosed with elders and junipers, and alder-trees both large and beautiful." The people planted "maize, red peppers, tomatoes, beans, and all kinds of plants, in furrows."
Here we have the same mountain in the midst of the water which Plato describes--the same mountain to which all the legends of the most ancient races of Europe refer.
The inhabitants of Aztlan were boatmen. (Bancroft's "Native Races," vol. v., p. 325.) E. G. Squier, in his "Notes on Central America," p. 349, says, "It is a significant fact that in the map of their migrations, presented by Gemelli, the place of the origin of the Aztecs is designated by the sign of water, Atl standing for Atzlan, a pyramidal temple with grades, and near these a palm-tree." This circumstance did not escape the attention of Humboldt, who says, "I am astonished at finding a palm-tree near this teocalli. This tree certainly does not indicate a northern origin. . . . The possibility that an unskilful artist should unintentionally represent a tree of which he had no knowledge is so great, that any argument dependent on it hangs upon a slender thread." ("North Americans of Antiquity," p. 266.)
The Miztecs, a tribe dwelling on the outskirts of Mexico, had a tradition that the gods, "in the day of obscurity and darkness," built "a sumptuous palace, a masterpiece of skill, in which they male their abode upon a mountain. The rock was called 'The Place of Heaven;' there the gods first abode on earth, living many years in great rest and content, as in a happy and delicious land, though the world still lay in obscurity and darkness. The children of these gods made to themselves a garden, in which they put many trees, and fruit-trees, and flowers, and roses, and odorous herbs. Subsequently there came a great deluge, in which many of the sons and daughters of the gods perished." (Bancroft's "Native Races," vol. iii., p. 71.) Here we have a distinct reference to Olympus, the Garden of Plato, and the destruction of Atlantis.
And in Plato's account of Atlantis we have another description of the Garden of Eden and the Golden Age of the world:
"Also, whatever fragrant things there are in the earth, whether roots, or herbage, or woods, or distilling drops of flowers and fruits, grew and thrived in that land; and again the cultivated fruits of the earth, both the edible fruits and other species of food which we call by the name of legumes, and the fruits having a hard rind, affording drinks and meats and ointments . . . all these that sacred island, lying beneath the sun, brought forth in abundance. . . . For many generations, as long as the divine nature lasted in them, they were obedient to the laws, and well affectioned toward the gods, who were their kinsmen; for they possessed true and in every way great spirits, practising gentleness and wisdom in the various chances of life, and in their intercourse with one another. They despised everything but virtue, not caring for their present state of life, and thinking lightly of the possession of gold and other property, which seemed only a burden to them; neither were they intoxicated by luxury; nor did wealth deprive them of their self-control; but they were sober, and saw clearly that all these goods were increased by virtuous friendship with one another, and that by excessive zeal for them, and honor of them, the good of them is lost, and friendship perishes with them."
All this cannot be a mere coincidence; it points to a common tradition of a veritable land, where four rivers flowed down in opposite directions from a central mountain-peak. And these four rivers, flowing to the north, south, east, and west, constitute the origin of that sign of the Cross which we have seen meeting us at every point among the races who were either descended from the people of Atlantis, or who, by commerce and colonization, received their opinions and civilization from them.
Let us look at the question of the identity of the Garden of Eden with Atlantis from another point of view:
If the alphabet of the Phnicians is kindred with the Maya alphabet, as I think is clear, then the Phnicians were of the same race, or of some race with which the Mayas were connected; in other words, they were from Atlantis.
Now we know that the Phnicians and Hebrews were of the same stock, used the same alphabet, and spoke almost precisely the same language.
The Phnicians preserved traditions, which have come down to us in the writings, of Sanchoniathon, of all the great essential inventions or discoveries which underlie civilization. The first two human beings, they tell us, were Protogonos and Aion (Adam and 'Havath), who produce Genos and Genea (Qên and Qênath), from whom again are descended three brothers, named Phos, Phur, and Phlox (Light, Fire, and Flame), because they "have discovered how to produce fire by the friction of two pieces of wood, and have taught the use of this element." In another fragment, at the origin of the human race we see in succession the fraternal couples of Autochthon and Technites (Adam and Quen--Cain?), inventors of the manufacture of bricks; Agros and Agrotes (Sade and Cêd), fathers of the agriculturists and hunters; then Amynos and Magos, "who taught to dwell in villages and rear flocks."
The connection between these Atlantean traditions and the Bible record is shown in many things. For instance, "the Greek text, in expressing the invention of Amynos, uses the words kw'mas kai` poi'mnas, which are precisely the same as the terms ôhel umiqneh, which the Bible uses in speaking of the dwellings of the descendants of Jabal (Gen., chap. iv., v. 20). In like manner Lamech, both in the signification of his name and also iv the savage character attributed to him by the legend attached to his memory, is a true synonyme of Agrotes."
"And the title of A?lh~tai, given to Agros and Agrotes in the Greek of the Phnician history, fits in wonderfully with the physiognomy of the race of the Cainites in the Bible narrative, whether we take a?lh~tai simply as a Hellenized transcription of the Semitic Elim, 'the strong, the mighty,' or whether we take it in its Greek acceptation, 'the wanderers;' for such is the destiny of Cain and his race according to the very terms of the condemnation which was inflicted upon him after his crime (Gen. iv., 14), and this is what is signified by the name of his grandson 'Yirad. Only, in Sanchoniathon the genealogy does not end with Amynos and Magos, as that of the Cainites in the Bible does with the three sons of Lamech. These two personages are succeeded by Misôr and Sydyk, 'the released and the just,' as Sanchoniathon translates them, but rather the 'upright and the just' (Mishôr and Çüdüq), 'who invent the use of salt.' To Misôr is born Taautos (Taût), to whom we owe letters; and to Sydyk the Cabiri or Corybantes, the institutors of navigation." (Lenormant, "Genealogies between Adam and the Deluge." Contemporary Review, April, 1880.)
We have, also, the fact that the Phnician name for their goddess Astynome (Ashtar No'emâ), whom the Greeks called Nemaun, was the same as the name of the sister of the three sons of Lamech, as given in Genesis--Na'emah, or Na'amah.
If, then, the original seat of the Hebrews and Phnicians was the Garden of Eden, to the west of Europe, and if the Phnicians are shown to be connected, through their alphabets, with the Central Americans, who looked to an island in the sea, to the eastward, as their starting-point, the conclusion becomes irresistible that Atlantis and the Garden of Eden were one and the same.
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