from the Introduction
A definite shift in consciousness is presently under way. The dogmas of the past, which still hold sway, are no longer on the firm footing they depended on for so long, as more and more researchers, some with outstanding scientific background, publicly voice their serious doubts concerning obsolete theories preached as holy writ from Academia's Ivory Tower. Awareness of Atlantis is next on the list of issues still too radical for consideration. But it is the single most explosive taboo of them all, because its discovery could blow sky high the old Ivory Tower of official doctrine. Perhaps that is why its defenders are so unyielding in their opposition to the subject. They have too much to lose after so many decades of denial.
The chief purpose of this book is to make the lost civilization come alive in the reader's imagination. It is not enough to argue facts, no matter how convincingly. To make Atlantis live in the mind something credible is required. It includes a re-creation of what it might have been like to actually walk the streets of Atlantis, visit its temples or palaces, and witness its last day as seen through the eyes of the Atlanteans themselves. It is hoped that such a re-creation will revivify a subject too long savaged by professional debunkers, half-baked historians, and self-styled psychics.
The factual Atlantis is fantastic enough. As such, this investigation makes no claims, ventures upon no speculation not supported by an up-to-date understanding of the past. If the Atlantis legend cannot be credibly transposed into at least an accessible, rational theory, resting largely on documented criteria, then it is, after all, only a legend not worthy of our curiosity. But once the paranormal speculations have been set aside, let us at least allow ourselves enough honesty to follow the facts wherever they may lead us.
This is not to suggest that Atlantis lacks a genuinely mystical dimension. In truth, it was steeped in mysticism. The whole orientation of the Atlanteans' culture was aimed at obtaining spiritual empowerment through the mystical arts. It was not for nothing that their foremost mythic figure, Atlas, was revered as the founder of astrology. To be sure, even a reasoned examination, as this one attempts to be, cannot elude the Otherworldly aspects of the Atlantis story. To divest our investigation of them would be to miss its reason for being--and the reason for its annihilation. But the mysticism found in these pages was not "channeled" (at least consciously!), nor conjured via some favorite crystal. Nonetheless, the inherent mystical quality of Atlantis cannot be suppressed without losing something of the original. Rather than deliberately seek it out, however, I allowed whatever magic there might be here to arise of its own accord. Its real sensation of wonderment derives not through paranormal uncertainties but from realizing the historical certainty that Atlantis did indeed exist.
Why should that be interesting or important? Aside from its place as the real cradle of civilization and the belief among some people that learning about the lost city is to access memories of past lives there, Atlantis represents a warning we need to grasp to our hearts. Not since the Atlanteans elevated their society to its zenith of achievement has the world attained a similarly international civilization. But they were said to have so abused the fundamental principles of their greatness and very existence through arrogance and greed, that their whole society crashed into horrific oblivion. The demise of a civilization (and hundreds have fallen before our own) is never painless.
Americans have no right to assume that theirs will continue indefinitely, especially when they allow forces inimical to the basic survival of their society to proliferate. We need only consider our own behavior, not only as a nation but as a species, to appreciate how vital an Atlantean comparison might be for today's so-called movers and shakers, before they and the rest of us are moved and shaken by the consequences of our own environmental misdeeds. Atlantis is the supreme object lesson. We ignore it at our own peril. Establishing at least the likelihood of its physical existence would hold up the mirror to our self-destructive civilization: "It happened before, it can happen to us!"
In the Shadow of Atlantis
Atlantis can be restored to life through the collection and comparison of trace evidence. Since the capital's destruction was of so cataclysmic a nature, it is to a large extent through the literary, historical, and mythological evidence of those peoples touched by the Atlanteans that we are able to follow their story. If, by comparison, Rome had suddenly vanished at the zenith of her imperial greatness, leaving no material evidence for the city's existence, we would still know very much about her from the surviving testimonies of societies she directly influenced during her days of empire. The surviving testimony of peoples touched by Atlantis during the height of her empire is no less revealing. Until Atlantis herself is discovered, her temporary physical absence does not necessarily invalidate the possibility of her story.
Atlantis is far more than some archaeological problem. It is, in fact, more than we can entirely express in words, because it is the collective trauma of our species: the birthplace of earthly civilization detonated in a magnitude of terror and guilt that seared the memory of humankind from that time to this. Its supreme moment of horrific mass extinction echoes down all the generations since in the persistent nightmares of our collective unconscious, as universally expressed through the myths of every human society. It is time we awoke from the millennial nightmare. Let us heal that missing memory of our origins by recalling the great glory we achieved, but carelessly lost, before we repeat the process of self-destruction by making the same dreadful errors.