In 1905 Albert Einstein turned the world of physics upside down for the first time the world saw the now famous equation, E=MC². Einstein fundamentally altered our understanding of the physical universe.
The previously held, 19th century view of the physical world was primarily mechanical; all matter was considered solid and fundamentally immutable. Although matter was considered to be made up of infinitesimally small objects, they were solid objects nonetheless, and were believed to obey the same basic laws as the sun and the planets. Time, too, was thought to be an unyielding constant throughout the universe, unaffected by changing conditions. The universe in the 19th Century was seen as a very large machine, a clock-work of infinite size, functioning precisely and inexorably in its slow grandeur.
Today we hold a very different view of the physical world. All matter is understood to be energy in a condensed form. Not only do we consider matter mutable, we know it is capable of being transmuted into vast amounts of energy from very little material. Both the incredibly destructive force of nuclear weapons, and the prodigious energy of nuclear power, are testaments to the profound implications of the deceptively simple equation E=MC².
Our view of the larger universe has also undergone a revolution. We now know that objects in space do not move in straight lines because there are no straight lines. Space itself is curved and the universe is finite. No physical object can go faster than the speed of light. The speed of light is, in fact, the only constant in the universe all else is measurable only in relation to that constant. Even time is understood to be relative to light.
The atom, previously conceived of as a constellation of tiny objects, like a miniature solar system with the nucleus taking the place of the sun (you probably made a model of one in 6th grade), has given way to a concept that cannot even be visualized. Physicists now conceive of the atom as a tiny area of space in which objects wink into and out of the quantum, sub-atomic world; a world where the very act of trying to observe the atom actually changes what is observed. Neils Bohr, the eminent and Nobel Prize winning physicist of the first half of the 20th century, called the quantum world Potentia. Others have referred to it as quantum flux or quantum foam, an energetic maelstrom just below the threshold of measurable perception. String theory, the latest theory of everything goes even farther. String theory posits that there are no actual physical structures at all, that even the unimaginably small sub-atomic structures that physicists try to study, such as quarks, are, in reality, made up of even smaller vibrating strings and rings of energy.
Just a little more than 100 years ago we understood our world to be made up of matter; interacted with by energy. Now we understand our world to made up of energy; assuming the form of matter.
Today we are on the brink of another major conceptual change this time, not in the field of physics, but in the field of history and the development of civilization. Just as Einstein over turned conventional thinking due to the anomalous, but the nonetheless undeniable fact that the speed of light is constant, history and archeology are similarly confronted with undeniable anomalies which are beginning to over turn conventional thinking about the course of mans development.
The current theory of the development of mankind is linear, much as was the 19th centurys view of the universe. According to current theory, prior to roughly 8000 B.C., mankind existed in wandering tribes of hunter gatherers on the edge of survival. Sometime between 8000 B.C. and 3000 B.C., mankind learned to cultivate crops and domesticate livestock. This is believed to have allowed groups of people to settle in one place permanently, and with adequate food supplies, significantly increased their chances of survival. Once populations were permanently settled, large structures were built for the first time, trading and commerce began, language developed, government became necessary, tools and implements became more complex and useful and this development continued in a more or less straight line culminating in todays modern civilization.
However there are many facts, already known today, which simply do not fit into the theory of mankinds development as described above. Some of the anomalous facts that dont fit into conventional theories have come to light recently as the result of applying modern scientific disciplines, such as DNA mapping and radiometric dating, to artifacts from the past. Other anomalous facts have been around so long that their very familiarity blurs their significance but they are nonetheless staring us right in the face!
The most famous structures in the world are the Pyramids of Giza, sited together with the enigmatic Sphinx. To this day, after thousands of years of conjecture, we still dont know two of the most basic things about the pyramids: how they were built and why they were built.
Mainstream historians and archeologists maintain that the pyramids were built by thousands of workers, over two or three decades, using simple tools. Even if we grant that a primitive culture could figure out how to transport the vast amounts of stone to the building site, we are still left with the mystery of how they cut, dressed and placed 2.5 million blocks, (some weighing as much as 70 tons and taken to a height nearly half that of the Empire State Building), at an average rate of one block every four minutes for twenty years. Further, if conventional thinking is to be accepted, all this was accomplished using only wood, stone or copper tools, and plaited ropes.
Even if all of the construction issues cited above can be made plausible for a primitive culture no one has been able to explain the degree of accuracy and skill achieved in the construction. Nor has anyone been able to explain how a primitive culture could have designed such complex structures (which needed to be designed in detail before they were begun), or how they maintained the organizational commitment, for two or three decades, that was required to build the pyramids.
The accuracy and skill demonstrated by the construction of the pyramids is remarkable even by todays standards. The base of the great pyramid, the largest of the three central pyramids, covers an area of thirteen acres, yet the level of its base does not vary more than ½ an inch. The joints between the stone blocks facing the pyramid are not mortared, and are so accurately cut that one cannot put something even as thin as a credit card between the stones.
Of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World the Great Pyramid of Giza is the only one still standing and it may be still be standing long after the skyscrapers of today fall down. It was built with amazing foresight, including the choice of a site that has been able to withstand the weight of the heaviest structure on earth for thousands of years, without it shifting or tipping.
Mainstream archeologists and historians date the construction of the Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza to approximately 2500 to 2900 B.C., but there is intriguing evidence that the Great Sphinx may be far older than the Pyramids. The age of ancient structures is often determined by carbon dating any wood or organic material found in the structure, but the Sphinx is made entirely of stone, offering nothing to carbon date. However the long term weathering effects of wind and water on stone does give us a rough estimate. Geologist Dr. Robert Schoch, a well respected scientist and a tenured member of Boston Universitys faculty, makes a very convincing argument that the results of water erosion found on the Sphinx indicate that it was carved at least 7,000 years ago, far, far earlier than accepted by conventional theory.
We might be excused for ignoring the significance of the Sphinx and the Pyramids, if they were the only anomalies that didnt fit into a linear view of history and mans development of civilization. But there are many more anomalies.
Mainstream thinking has it that man learned to cultivate crops and domesticate animals in a period of a few thousand years (8000 B.C. to 3000 B.C.), more or less haphazardly, in isolated areas, such as the Fertile Crescent, the Indus River valley in Pakistan, or the Yellow River valley in China. New scientific methods applied to artifacts unearthed in recently excavated archeological sites around the world indicate domesticated animals and cultivated grains existed far earlier than 8000 B.C. Evidence of domesticated horses has been found in Afghanistan dating back to 13,000 B.C. and recent research indicates that cultivated spelt grains found in Israel date to 21,000 B.C.
Mainstream thinking has it that mankind learned to build structures gradually, by trial and error, learning from mistakes and often literally building on top of the older, cruder structures. We see this pattern of development holds true back to about 500 B.C. For example, archeologists working under modern Rome find that the more recent, upper layers of their excavations employ more sophisticated building techniques, and they find that the older, lower layers employ more primitive building techniques.
However, there are even older archeological finds that reveal the pattern of development in reverse. In the ancient ruins of Mohenjo-daro, near the Indus River in Pakistan, the oldest layers (from approximately 3000 B.C.) revealed the most sophisticated buildings. City streets were laid out in straight lines and cross streets formed a grid similar to modern cities. Houses had running water, radiant heat and systems for sanitation. There were public baths and plazas. And perhaps most intriguing, there were standard sized bricks and standard weights used consistently in the construction of buildings in an area of 100,000 square miles. By contrast, later development in the same area became increasingly less sophisticated over the succeeding centuries, until by 1500 B.C. the building standards were significantly poorer.
Mainstream historical and archeological thinking has it that language developed in isolated areas around the world, and through time, languages mixed and borrowed from one another until we have what we know today. Yet there is solid linguistic evidence that all western languages from Finish to English, from Hebrew to French can trace their origins back to Sanskrit, the most ancient language of India. Furthermore, Sanskrit, one of the most complex and sophisticated written languages in the world, can be traced back to at least 7000 B.C., and, even then, it possessed a greater degree of structural and grammatical sophistication than it has today. It would be more true to say that the western languages of today devolved from Sanskrit rather than that they evolved from Sanskrit.
These and other anomalous facts and discoveries simply do not fit with the current linear theory of the development of civilization. Not only do we need to push back the dates of mans development farther and farther into the past, but we have to find a way to understand how mankind knew many things in the distant past that are now considered modern knowledge. How is it possible that the Sphinx was carved perhaps as long as 7,000 years ago? How was it possible for the pyramids, some of the most well constructed structures in the world, ancient or modern, to be built with such accuracy and skill at the supposed dawn of civilization? How was it possible for ancient man to already be using cultivated grains 23,000 years ago? How can the first construction of an ancient city, such as Mohenjo-daro, be the best? How could Sanskrit have started out as one of the most complete and well structured languages in the world over 9000 years ago?
The picture that emerges from these and myriad other mysteries is that mankind had more sophisticated knowledge in the past, and much earlier, than is commonly thought and that mankind lost much of that knowledge for several thousand years between then and now.
What could explain this?
In 1894, near Calcutta, a small work was written The Holy Science, by Swami Sri Yukteswar. In the introduction to this slim volume, Sri Yukteswar not only explained the ancient knowledge and sophistication of the past, but he also predicted the explosion of knowledge in the 20th century. He further predicted that the keynote discovery for the 20th century would be that all matter was made up of fine matters and electricities. Sri Yukteswar predicted this over 20 years before, and a world away from the publication of E=MC² in 1905. Sri Yukteswar did not write as a scientist, but as a seer and sage, and as a modern exponent of wisdom long held in Indias ancient tradition of teachers and texts.
In The Holy Science, Sri Yukteswar describes a recurring cycle of human development, called the cycle of the yugas, or ages. The complete cycle is made up of an ascending half, or arc, and a descending half, or arc, each taking twelve thousand years. In the ascending arc of twelve thousand years mankind evolves through four distinct ages, or yugas, reaches the peak of development, and then devolves through the four ages, in reverse order, in another twelve thousand years of the descending arc. Thus, in the course of twenty-four thousand years, mankind as a whole rises in knowledge and awareness, and again falls, in a cycle that occurs again and again.
Sri Yukteswar tells us we are currently in the ascending half of the cycle, in the second age or Dwapara Yuga. Sri Yukteswar goes on to describe higher ages beyond our own when mankind will communicate telepathically; will understand the subtle laws of thought that underlie energy; will overcome the limitations of time; and will perceive the subtlest law of all that Divine consciousness underlies all reality.
Sri Yukteswar explains that the cycle of the yugas is caused by influences from outside our solar system that affect the consciousness of all mankind. As mankinds consciousness changes, as a result of this influence, so also does mankinds perception, awareness and intellect. In the higher ages that Sri Yukteswar describes, mankind not only knows more but is able to perceive more than we do today; mankind as a whole not only has more advanced capabilities but becomes motivated profoundly differently as the ages unfold. In the higher ages described by Sri Yukteswar, perceptions and abilities considered highly unusual today, will be as normal to everyone alive at that time, as cars, planes and telephones are to us today.
Where, you might be asking, is the evidence for the yugas? Much of it is right under our noses.
For centuries, during what Sri Yukteswar describes as mankinds lowest age, or Kali Yuga, most Europeans believed the world was flat. Intelligent, educated men and women held it to be self evident that the world was flat. Today a child knows the world is round and can tell you how one can deduce it for oneself. Watch a ship come into view far out to sea. You will see that the top of the ship appears first, and gradually the rest of the ship comes into view from top to bottom.
Today we hold it just as self evident that the world is round, and we chuckle over the thought that people did not always understand it to be true. In 1900 A.D., scientists knew the earth and universe to be an enormous machine, running with clock-like precision from the beginning of time. We perhaps chuckle over how wrong they were as well. Yet that was barely more than 100 years ago, and now we take the Einsteinian view of the universe for granted.
Much of what is today considered self evident support for a linear theory of mankinds development may soon make us chuckle again. There are childrens puzzles that ask the child to try and find other objects cleverly hidden in a picture perhaps the shape of a swan in a cloud, a trumpet in tree branches, or a wagon in a porch railing. These objects, initially hard to find, seem to jump out at us once weve identified them. So too, as we take a fresh look at our past with a cyclic view of human development in mind, evidence jumps out at us that has been hiding in plain sight all along.
Museums are full of thousands of artifacts that are not on display, stored in basements and vaults. These artifacts are usually considered to be of less interest or, as is often the case, there has not been the time, expert resources, or money to allow for them to be thoroughly examined. Some of these artifacts may well be unappreciated evidence of higher knowledge in the past.
For example, the Antikythera Device, considered to be at least 2000 years old, was found underwater off the Greek island of Antikythera in 1901. It was only recently examined thoroughly enough, using modern imaging techniques, to discover that it contained over 120, highly precise, clock-work gears evidence of technology which shouldnt have existed so long ago. Who knows how many other objects, some in dusty storerooms, some on public display, will suddenly jump out at researchers and scientists as their new implications become obvious in the light of new understanding.
Whats more, there are literally thousands of ancient structures, such as the pyramids in Central America, that have not even been excavated, or, like the Pyramids of Giza, remain unexplained. As another example, the Nazca plains in Peru have stylized depictions of animals, such as a humming bird and a monkey, drawn on the ground on such a large scale, that they are recognizable as a humming bird or a monkey only when one is hundreds of feet in the air such as you would be in an airplane or helicopter. It remains unexplained why a society would invest years of toil into creating something they couldnt see unless they did have a way to see them!
Puzzling over both the old and new finds is a new generation of scientists, archeologists, paleontologists, paleo-geneticists, paleo-astronomers, under water archeologists, linguists, and practitioners of myriad other disciplines, which is taking a closer look at current assumptions, dogmas and unsolved mysteries of history and pre-history. Many of these scientists are applying never before used techniques and state-of-the-art technology to re-examine ancient artifacts and sites. While often relegated to crackpot status by the mainstream of historians and archeologists, their findings are becoming increasingly hard to ignore and their findings are often at variance with mainstream thinking.
In this book we highlight some of the most interesting discoveries of the new generation of archeologists and other scientists which shine a fresh light on our distant, often hidden, past. It is now known, for example, that science, astronomy and mathematics were far more advanced in the India of the 5th and 6th millennium B.C., than in Europe during the 1st millennium A.D. They knew that the earth and other planets orbited the sun. They used the concept of the zero within a sophisticated system of mathematics and they had a concept of the atom not so different from ours of today.
We also explore the implications of Sri Yukteswars yuga cycle for our emerging present. Sri Yukteswar explains that we fully emerged from the lowest age, or Kali Yuga, into our present energy age, or Dwapara Yuga, in 1900 A.D. The subsequent discoveries and knowledge of the 20th Century have changed not only our understanding of the physical sciences, but have also profoundly changed our culture and society. Business, government, popular culture, religion everything is currently undergoing rapid change, and, according to Sri Yukteswar, will do so for some time to come.
We also explore the future. According to Sri Yukteswar, mankind as a whole will become telepathic, and, in the highest age or Satya Yuga will be aware of the Divine consciousness underlying all reality. According to Sri Yukteswar, mankind is just emerging from the darkest of ages and the future holds the promise of much greater things to come not just in the realm of technology and invention but in expansion of knowledge, awareness and perception, ushering in an enlightened future.
We hope you will find this book both intriguing and inspiring. Many people lament the pace, and results, of the kaleidoscopic changes taking place in the world. Though our times are rapidly changing, the cycle of the yugas show us, reassuringly, that it is not a result of random change, but rather the unfolding of mans innate potentials. And though there are still lessons to be learned in mankinds future, perhaps hard ones, we are moving forward into expanding awareness and undreamed of potential.