Strange and beautiful monuments and ruins rise in deserts and jungles, on plains and mountaintops—the great pyramids of the Egyptians and the Mayans, the enigmatic stone giants of Easter Island, the towering megaliths of Stonehenge. These and thousands more serve as reminders of civilizations that rose and fell thousands of years before the adventurous spirits of our modern society designed our own comparatively flimsy monuments of concrete and steel.
While many of us occasionally long for a time when life was simpler, slower, and perhaps easier (or so we think), most of us appreciate the myriad ways that technology makes us comfortable. Indoor plumbing, air conditioning, supermarkets brimming with fresh produce all year long—our modern creature comforts are so pervasive that it’s easy to overlook their ubiquity.
But in the long run, is it good for us? The same car that allows us the freedom to go anywhere at any time also spews toxic fumes into the air. The plastic containers that hold everything from our food to our garbage are made from materials that will be around for generations. Toxic chemicals spilled in our oceans and our rivers are affecting the entire food chain, including humans. And if you believe the majority of scientists, global warming is a real phenomenon, with impending dire consequences. Add it all up, and we face an uncomfortable dilemma: is our so-called progress coming at the cost of our health, and the health of our planet?
According to mystics, psychics, and others who claim to remember the lost civilization of Atlantis, this is not the first time that humanity has found itself in the midst of such a conundrum. The Greek philosopher Plato wrote a detailed account of the lost continent of Atlantis over two thousand years ago, and people have been looking for it ever since. According to Plato, Atlantis was an island located in the Atlantic Ocean due west of the Pillars of Heracles (now known as the Straights of Gibraltar). Some people, pointing to the many strange similarities between ancient cultures on both sides of the Atlantic, claim that survivors from the sinking Atlantis escaped in boats and eventually spread their knowledge and culture to places as far away as Egypt and South America.
Strange as this all may seem, there is mounting scientific evidence that continents such as Atlantis and Lemuria could have existed and then vanished, sinking under the vast ocean waves. If Atlantis was located in the middle of the Atlantic, between Europe and the United States, it would have fallen along what is now known as the Atlantic Ridge. Samples taken from this unstable region of the ocean floor show proof of nearly constant underwater volcanic activity—and, surprisingly, they have also revealed residue of freshwater plants dated to about ten thousand years ago. This scientific evidence indicates that long ago, the land now at the bottom of the ocean was actually above the surface.
And it’s not unheard of for volcanic islands to suddenly appear—or disappear. In 1883, the cataclysmic eruption of Krakatau, an uninhabited volcanic island near the island of Sumatra, literally split the earth apart. More than two-thirds of the island fell into the ocean as hot flows of volcanic ash and towering tsunamis killed more than thirty thousand people. The explosive sound of the eruption could be heard for hundreds of miles, and scientists recorded small oscillations in sea levels as far away as the English Channel. The amount of volcanic ash in the air caused vivid sunsets around the world, and global temperatures remained lower than normal for five years after the eruption.
Less than thirty years after the devastating eruption, land began to emerge from the sea where Krakatau had once been. Anak Krakatau, or Child of Krakatau, has been steadily erupting and growing ever since—a new volcano literally rising from the ashes of the old. This region remains unstable to this day, as we were all reminded on December 26, 2004, when another massive earthquake triggered the tsunami that killed more than five hundred thousand people.
Closer to home, the hurricanes of 2005 devastated much of the Gulf Cost of the United States, including the entire city of New Orleans, one of our most vibrant cultural centers. In this case, people began to question what we are doing to our environment. As the population of the Earth continues to explode, more and more people are living near the coasts. And at the same time, we are destroying much of the land and polluting much of the atmosphere that is responsible for protecting us from these very disasters. Are we paying attention to what’s going on, and is it too late to prevent it from getting worse?
Shirley Andrews believes that we can learn valuable lessons from the destruction of Atlantis and Lemuria. She has spent decades researching the enigmas of these two lost continents and believes that, in both cases, their eventual destruction was brought about by a tragic clash between humanity’s greed and manipulation of natural resources and inevitable earth changes. Her books, Atlantis: Insights From a Lost Civilization and Lemuria and Atlantis: Studying the Past to Survive the Future, outline the historical, scientific and metaphysical case for the existence and eventual destruction of these great civilizations. She hopes that this knowledge can help us change course before our modern civilization repeats the same mistakes.
In this excerpt from Lemuria and Atlantis, Andrews explains how we might learn from the mistakes of those vanished cultures:
What was Mu? Where was Lemuria? When was it there? What were the people like? Was Atlantis in the Caribbean? Were there other civilizations at the time of Lemuria and Atlantis? What really happened to Lemuria and Atlantis? Is there any way to prevent our civilization from going the way of advanced civilizations in the past? Is anyone finding evidence of Lemuria and Atlantis now?
Lemuria and Atlantis are deeply imprinted in the consciousness of many who are here today, and the ancient cultures are quietly influencing our lives. Numerous people contacted me who are sure that in the past—in Lemuria and Atlantis—they acquired the skills that enable them to lead satisfying lives today, and told me they wish to share this knowledge. No one really understands the origin of these images and concepts that surge to light from the deep unconscious, or perhaps descend from a higher awareness, but they should not be completely ignored. Readers who consider them implausible should overlook them, but I hope the ideas they offer will enable others to reach into themselves and recall their own past experiences, which may further their knowledge of themselves.
There’s an old saying that “what goes around, comes around.” Humanity advances in cycles, not on a straight linear path. In material and technological development we have arrived at a place in the cycle that is very similar to the final days of Lemuria and Atlantis. Our world is facing challenges comparable to the problems that confronted those renowned civilizations in the past, and we are on the brink of either annihilating ourselves or entering a new way of living and thinking. Studying the past will help us to survive in the future.
Edgar Cayce, perhaps the twentieth century’s most famous psychic, gave us many clues to the riddle of Atlantis, as well as tales of Lemuria, another continent that supposedly sank beneath the waves of the Pacific. Known as “the sleeping prophet,” Cayce was famous for his trance readings covering everything from curing debilitating health problems that stumped conventional doctors to providing detailed accounts of past lives. Over the course of thousands of “life readings,” as Cayce called them, it emerged that many of his clients had once lived on Atlantis and Lemuria.
There are those alive today who claim to remember their past lives on these lost continents. Shirley Andrews herself reports that her lifelong fascination with Atlantis began as a child, related to strange dreams and distant memories. Through her research, she has connected with hundreds of people who retain memories of Atlantean lives, with clues to its eventual downfall.
Cayce, as well as many of those who remember these past lives, claim that much of the tension on Atlantis resulted from an ongoing conflict between the Sons of Belial and the Children of the Law of One. The Sons of Belial were consumed with desire for immediate physical gratification and the acquisition of material things, with little or no concern for others. They disregarded warnings of what would eventually happen to Atlantis. The Children of the Law of One believed in a teaching very similar to the core precepts of many of today’s world religions: we are all one. They practiced meditation and tried to be kind to one another, concerned for the well-being of every member of society.
Edgar Cayce claimed that a key component of the destruction of Atlantis was the use of a powerful weapon. Atlanteans derived their power from the Great Crystal, he said, and from splitting the atom. At the time of his reading in 1933, no one quite understood what he meant by these descriptions, although he predicted that a weapon similar to the one that played a role in the destruction of Atlantis would be discovered in twenty-five years. In 1945, just three years after his death, the world saw just what kind of horrible power and devastation could be wrought by dropping an atomic bomb. And, twenty-five years after that, scientists created the modern world’s first laser.
The search for Lemuria and Atlantis has fascinated us for thousands of years. Tantalizing clues, archaeological anomalies, scientific discoveries, and even psychic readings and prophetic dreams all may hold pieces of the puzzle. Even if we can never definitely prove the existence of these legendary civilizations, maybe we can still learn valuable lessons from the stories of their eventual destruction—perhaps in time to avoid the same fate.