Hidden Meanings Hidden Books


Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation (1 May 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1401088767
ISBN-13: 978-1401088767
Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 14.3 x 1.6 cm

I have often asked myself how the thinking of ancient civilizations might have compared with modern man. Carrying academic qualifications in hard science, and being long self-educated in the esoteric schools, with no particular zealous defense of either, I find myself with a foot in each camp on this question. Perhaps the ancients were superstitious and ignorant, with no more grasp on the nature of reality than a goldfish. Or, perhaps we should understand that there is more than one way to interpret the true nature of reality anyway, and theirs may have been just as valid and useful as more modern scientific proofs.

In this book Laird Scranton, a self-educated student of anthropology and ancient cultures, discusses the comparisons between “them and us.”

Scranton argues thus: Symbol and meaning were originally closely linked. The symbol had a lot to do with the meaning, as the original ancients saw it. Of course, this stands to reason….why would you create a pictogram for something unless one was able to associate the picture easily with the idea being portrayed?

Further, gods were personifications of ideas. Gods of war, gods of the forces of nature, gods of the heavenly bodies etc etc. The actions of the gods in stories representing specific events seen in nature all around the ancients.

Again, writes Scranton, it has been observed that in ancient times buildings or groups of buildings symbolically represented astronomical data. Groups of buildings would be arranged to represent a pattern of stars in the heavens, thereby bringing a little piece of heaven down to earth. Ritual structures were frequently aligned to the cardinal points, and their windows and entryways were frequently aligned to the solstices and equinoxes of the year.

It has been observed that many ancient cultures expressed the same ideas, knowledge, and data through different symbols.

Do these symbols come from a common source? What do they mean? How do they relate to each other? This book explores these questions.

“Hidden meanings” raises an interesting question from the study of ancient dead languages with regard to interpretation. Egyptian hieroglyphs are frequently found to have more than one meaning. The choice of meaning that is chosen by a modern scholar may only reflect their own favorite paradigm for how the ancients thought. Any other possible interpretation may later be rejecting in future disputes as nothing more than “pun”.

The author very rightly asks the question of whether we have yet hit the right series of interpretations to correctly re-manifest the meaning the ancients were attempting to express.

This book explores this question through comparison of the symbol set of ancient Egypt with the still extant though undoubtedly ancient symbol set of the Dogon tribe of Mali. The Dogons share a good number of symbols with ancient Egypt, and their culture has many similarities. By this means a living culture can give voice to what might have been the earliest meaning of all those pictograms. The symbols of other cultures are mentioned where particularly applicable.

A number of topics are covered in depth in the book by means of this comparison.

1) Creation stories.

There are many common elements in creation stories….

The unformed universe as an egg.
Emergence from the waters of chaos.
The casting of opposites such as day and night, man and woman, land and air, yin and yang.
The spiral or coiling nature of existence, the coiled serpent.
Creation of beings from clay.

The author compares the detailed creation myths of the Egyptians and the Dogon to the big bang theory of modern physics. Creation myths are interpreted in a light that asks us to consider if the ancients had an intuitive understanding of the propagation of waves as understood today by modern physics. Likewise we are shown the data which compare our modern understanding of the force-carrying particles of the universe to ancient myths and symbols that may express the same understanding. Electron orbits and quantum states, string theory, all are compared, modern and ancient.

2) Genetics and reproduction

In this section the principles used for comparison as we have outlined them above are now applied to the correlations between ancient myths dealing with creation, and the modern science of genetics. The author points out symbolic correlations that may be interpreted to describe a knowledge of DNA, cellular mitosis, and nucleic acids as the underlying language of cellular biology. Examples of this are as common in Judaic mythology and symbolism as they are with the Dogon it seems, and the author quotes much data on this subject from Judaic literature.

3) A Global serpent religion

Archeology has revealed that organized civilizations sprang up around the world in the same period of time….Egypt, Mesopotamia, China…in each case the earliest archeological strong evidence for permanent cities is around this time. There is also a good deal of evidence that each of these civilizations was using the same root mythos, upon which they each based their religions. Again using the example of the Dogon tribe, Laird Scranton shows us the symbols associated with this “serpent religion” and makes suggestions about what may have happened to it.

This book is truly loaded with data. So knowledgeable did I find the author to be on his subject matter that I had to re-read the book three times before I was satisfied that I had got everything from this book that the author had to give.

I am completely open minded with regard to reinterpretation of ancient symbols, and the way the ancients may have thought. I find no one theory to have more veracity than any other, when that veracity is based only on paradigm common in my own era.

I see immediately that some persons may find the argument that the ancients understood cellular biology to be ridiculous. I can only respond that ruling out possibilities you have no actual means to disprove is equally ridiculous.

Laird Scranton has written a thoughtful, well-researched and challenging book. He is very intelligent, a good writer, and offers helpful illustrations throughout as well as an excellent index. Very very interesting reading!


~ by toolwielder on July 1, 2013.

2 Responses to “Hidden Meanings Hidden Books”

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