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The Cosmological Origins of Myth and Symbol: From the Dogon and Ancient Egypt to India, Tibet, and China [Kindle Edition]

Laird Scranton
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Reconstructs a theoretic parent cosmology that underlies ancient religion

• Shows how this parent cosmology provided the conceptual origins of written language

• Uses techniques of comparative cosmology to synchronize the creation traditions of the Dogon, ancient Egyptians, and ancient Buddhists

• Applies the signature elements of this parent cosmology to explore and interpret the creation tradition of a present-day Tibetan/Chinese tribe called the Na-Khi--the keepers of the world’s last surviving hieroglyphic language

Great thinkers and researchers such as Carl Jung have acknowledged the many broad similarities that exist between the myths and symbols of ancient cultures. One largely unexplored explanation for these similarities lies in the possibility that these systems of myth all descended from one common cosmological plan. Outlining the most significant aspects of cosmology found among the Dogon, ancient Egyptians, and ancient Buddhists, including the striking physical and cosmological parallels between the Dogon granary and the Buddhist stupa, Laird Scranton identifies the signature attributes of a theoretic ancient parent cosmology--a planned instructional system that may well have spawned these great ancient creation traditions.

Examining the esoteric nature of cosmology itself, Scranton shows how this parent cosmology encompassed both a plan for the civilized instruction of humanity as well as the conceptual origins of language. The recurring shapes in all ancient religions were key elements of this plan, designed to give physical manifestation to the sacred and provide the means to conceptualize and compare earthly dimensions with those of the heavens. As a practical application of the plan, Scranton explores the myths and language of an obscure Chinese priestly tribe known as the Na-Khi--the keepers of the world’s last surviving hieroglyphic language. Suggesting that cosmology may have engendered civilization and not the other way around, Scranton reveals how this plan of cosmology provides the missing link between our macroscopic universe and the microscopic world of atoms.


Editorial Reviews

Review

“Following up and synthesizing his last two books, The Science of the Dogon, and Sacred Symbols of the Dogon, Laird Scranton’s latest book makes a good case that what we call today the myths and symbols of ancient peoples have not only cosmology as their basis but they originated from one “parent” cosmology. . . most fascinating study. . . ” (New Dawn Magazine, May 2011)

“An inspiring journey through cosmology.” (Nexus Magazine, August 2011)

“Pursuing the powerful quest began in The Science of the Dogon, Laird Scranton provides . . . another compulsive read for those wishing to get to the heart of the ancient mysteries.” (Andrew Collins, author of Beneath the Pyramids: Egypt’s Greatest Secret Uncovered)

“Laird Scranton’s groundbreaking new research is a major piece of the puzzle that will forever change the way we view the knowledge of the ancients.” (Edward G. Nightingale, author of The Giza Template)

“Looking at many ancient cultures and looking for their influences, The Cosmological Origins of Myth and Symbol proposes many unique ideas and makes for a solidly recommended read.” (The Midwest Book Review, December 2010)

From the Back Cover

ANCIENT MYSTERIES / SCIENCE

“Pursuing the powerful quest began in The Science of the Dogon, Laird Scranton provides . . . another compulsive read for those wishing to get to the heart of the ancient mysteries.”
--Andrew Collins, author of Beneath the Pyramids: Egypt’s Greatest Secret Uncovered

“Laird Scranton’s groundbreaking new research is a major piece of the puzzle that will forever change the way we view the knowledge of the ancients.”
--Edward G. Nightingale, author of The Giza Template

Great thinkers and researchers such as Carl Jung have acknowledged the many broad similarities that exist between the myths and symbols of ancient cultures. One largely unexplored explanation for these similarities lies in the possibility that these systems of myth all descended from one common cosmological plan. Outlining the most significant aspects of cosmology found among the Dogon, ancient Egyptians, and ancient Buddhists, including the striking physical and cosmological parallels between the Dogon granary and the Buddhist stupa, Laird Scranton identifies the signature attributes of a theoretic ancient parent cosmology that may well have spawned these great ancient creation traditions.

Examining the esoteric nature of cosmology itself, Scranton shows how this parent cosmology encompassed both a plan for the civilized instruction of humanity as well as the conceptual origins of language. The recurring shapes in all ancient religions were key elements of this plan, designed to give physical manifestation to the sacred and provide the means to conceptualize and compare earthly dimensions with those of the heavens. As a practical application of the plan, Scranton explores the myths and language of an obscure Chinese priestly tribe known as the Na-Khi--the keepers of the world’s last surviving hieroglyphic language. Suggesting that cosmology may have engendered civilization and not the other way around, Scranton reveals how this plan of cosmology provides the missing link between our macroscopic universe and the microscopic world of atoms.

LAIRD SCRANTON is an independent software designer who has studied ancient myth, language, and cosmology for nearly 10 years. An authority on Dogon mythology and symbolism, he has given lectures at Colgate University and is the author of The Science of the Dogon and Sacred Symbols of the Dogon. He lives in Albany, New York.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1169 KB
  • Print Length: 212 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1594773769
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions (November 24, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004DNW652
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,106 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
(9)
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Following up and synthesizing his last two books, The Science of the Dogon, and Sacred Symbols of the Dogon, Laird Scranton's latest book makes a good case that what we call today the myths and symbols of ancient peoples have not only cosmology as their basis but that they originated from one, "parent" cosmology. Investigating and comparing the African Dogon tribe's cosmology, language, and symbols to those of the ancient Egyptians, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Na-khi-Dongba of China, and to contemporary physics and biology, we are shown strong similarities between them.

Scranton begins by reminding us of the alchemists' famous phrase, "As above, so below." He posits that "no single culture could be designated as having invented the classic symbols and myths" that show us relationships between what astronomers now see, how human civilizations function, and what modern science is finding to be the building blocks of matter.

For instance, he takes great patience to illustrate for us the strong correspondences between the traditional aligned Buddhist ritual shrine called a stupa with the structure of the Dogon granary, the Egyptian glyph for the sun, the DNA molecule as seen from on end, and the shape of an E8 figure-- a mathematical conception of the wrapped-up dimensions of string theory. He calls the similar shapes of all these the "egg-in-a-ball" symbol representing "the first conceptual stages in which existence emerges from non-existence." It is shown in two dimensions as a circle or in three dimensions as a sphere divided into 4 equal quadrants (recognized in some traditions as denoting water, fire, wind, and earth) with a small ball in the very center.
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2.0 out of 5 stars big disappointment October 26, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My first exposure to Laird Scranton was through a podcast interview on Where Did the Road Go (highly recommended podcast, by the way). It was so fascinating I listened to it twice. I then rushed to Amazon to order one of his books. So you can see that I really wanted to like this book. I came away thoroughly disappointed though. I have little expertise regarding the Dogon and ancient Egypt, which constitutes most of the material in the book. So while I can't criticize his data in this area, I found the writing poorly organized and highly repetitive. More importantly, the reasoning comes across as circular: he argues at the beginning that we need an interpretive framework when analyzing his data, and then claims that the data support the framework. My suspicions about his loose use of reason, his limited use of sources and the tenuous connections he draws in his arguments were confirmed when he turned his discussion to Buddhism and ancient India, an area where I do have some expertise. Here some of his assertions are simply factually incorrect. He tends to throw in lines like "and this applies to Buddhism to" without any further elucidation or citation. While I appreciate his obvious effort in trying to weave many strands together into a grand picture of ancient cosmology, and I remain open to many of his theories, the book itself is unconvincing at best and I found it a chore to get all the way to the end.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great detective work September 2, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great detective work. A must have reading for the scholarly. I proves that there's a lot more than the eye can see at priory and what we have been historically taught on the true meaning of certain symbols. This book you can buy and not feel that you lost your money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My new bible July 15, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Extremely well written
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars INTERESTING February 17, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very interesting book from a writer whose theories bear further examination. Unfortunately, at times the writing was less than clear (or else I'm just not that intelligent). Some sections kind of lost the narrative in the writer's forays into esoterica.
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More About the Author

Laird Scranton is an independent software designer from Albany, New York who writes about ancient mysteries, cosmology and language. His work includes articles published in the University of Chicago's Anthropology News academic journal, in Temple University's Encyclopedia of African Religion, and in the Vassar Quarterly Magazine. His book "The Science of the Dogon" was taught at Colgate University under the title "Hidden Meanings: A Study of the Founding Symbols of Civilization." He is featured in John Anthony West's "Magical Egypt" documentary series and in Carmen Boulter's "The Pyramid Code", a series broadcast by the Documentary Channel. He has been interviewed on a variety of radio programs around the world including Coast-to-Coast AM and Red Ice Radio in Sweden. He has presented at conferences on Ancient Mysteries including Walter Cruttenden's annual CPAK (Conference on Precession and Ancient Knowledge) Conference, the A.R.E. Mysteries Conference, and the Paradigm Symposium.

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