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.
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.
Foreword by William Henry Acknowledgments Introduction One Concepts of Comparative Cosmology Two Signature Signs of the Parent Cosmology Three The Dogon Mythological Structure of Matter Four Symbolism Five Guiding Metaphors of the Cosmology Six The Egg-in-a-Ball Seven The Aligned Ritual Shrine Eight The Elemental Deities Nine The Concept of the Primordial Egg Ten The Concept of the Divine Word Eleven The Concept of the Fish Twelve Deities Thirteen Civilizing Skills Fourteen Written Language Fifteen Synchronizing Cosmologies: The Na-khi-Dongba of China Sixteen As Above, So Below: The Chariot of Orion Seventeen Recapping the Plan of the Cosmology Notes Bibliography Index