we return to the Hindu-Tibetan mandalas discussed further above. These
mandalas are usually done by painting (on cloth) or, more often, by
sandpaintings identical in technique with those of the Navajos and
the Pueblos. This type of Hindu mandala such as the ones shown in
Fig. 3 above is called
Shveta-Dvipa (or "Pure Land") Mandala
Kalachakra ("Wheel-of-Time") Mandala.7
These represent, as do the
Amerindian ones just discussed, Mt. Meru as the Central Mountain of Paradise.
Most often, Mt. Meru is shown as a four-sided pyramid with the same four
colors as those of the Navajo mandalas. In some instances, Mt. Meru is
represented as a cone or a four-sided pyramid flanked by its four subsidiary
peaks, just as in the Amerindian mandalas.
These four subsidiary peaks
represent the Four Pillars of the Earth. These are placed at its four corners,
around the Central Pillar, Mt. Atlas, the Pillar of Heaven. In real terms,
the Four Pillars are the Pillars of Hercules, placed two in the Far Occident
(Gibraltar) and two at the Far Orient (the Strait of Sunda, in Indonesia).
In Egyptian mythology, these Four Pillars are quaintly represented as the
four members of Nut (the Sky Goddess) planted on the ground, and two in
the Orient, two in the Occident, just as in the present case.
What else but diffusion can
account for this perfect identity in design, in symbolic meaning and even
in rendition technique (sandpainting) between the mandalas of the two distant
continents? Can anyone really believe that this remarkable coincidence
may be attributed to chance or, worse still, to an inborn feature of the
human brain, imprinted on the human unconscious, as some will? If so, why
do other nations far closer in time and distance than the ones we are discussing
never hit on the same ideas and concepts?
Moreover, if these archetypes
were imprinted somehow, except miraculously, this imprint could only be
the result of a direct observation of actual facts, shocking enough to
get imprinted so deeply in our minds. But then, Atlantis, far more than
sheer myth, is pure reality. If so, it is certainly a most memorable one.
Hence, one way or the other, in our opinion, the tradition of Atlantis
and, hence, of Paradise, can only correspond to actual fact. How else can
we accept for its central presence in the traditions of essentially all
nations of the world, from the Amazonian jungles to the deserts of North
Africa, and from the Indies to the distant European continent?
An Ancient Technique of Projective
A final point we wish to
moot out is, again, one of technique. Sophisticated techniques such as
sandpainting or Projective Geometry are hardly ever the result of different,
independent inventions. Their presence usually means transference, through
direct contact. A close comparison of the mandalas shown in our figures
reveals a peculiar fact. All are done by means of a technique of Projective
Geometry called "side-projection" or "side-elevation". The four lateral
features area hinged to the sides, and are shown in front view, rather
than from above, as is the case of the central feature.
It is rather unlikely that
such a technically sophisticate and highly conventional rendition could
be passed down the generations as a simple innate memory, dating from the
primordial eras of mankind. Besides, this technique, as shown above, exclusively
applies to the depiction of Paradise as the Primordial Center and, as far
as we know, to no other situation.
Even the Celestial Jerusalem
another such Center or Paradise is represented according to this peculiar
mode of projection. So are certain Hindu Paradises such as Vaikuntha (Indra s
Paradise), which is clearly the archetype of the Celestial Jerusalem.
Hence, once more, we are
led to reject any explanation of the remarkable coincidences shown above
based on "innate archetypes" or "supernatural revelation".