Lemuria and Mu

<Bahasa Indonesia>

A research by Dhani Irwanto, 5 March 2017

Lemuria and Mu are sometimes distinct and sometimes interchangeable names for a legendary lost continent, which, according to its proponents, existed in the Atlantic, Indian or Pacific Oceans and had many of the attributes associated with Atlantis. The mysterious lost lands of Lemuria and Mu were conceived of during the 19th century, when the theory of evolution was introduced and was among the advances in the sciences that challenged conventional ways of understanding life. Archaeological discoveries among the ruins of the Egyptians, Maya and other societies were forcing new interpretations of history, and radical forms of mysticism, such as theosophy, were becoming popular.

Lemuria is the name of a hypothetical “lost land” variously located in the Indian or Pacific Oceans. A German naturalist Ernst Heinrich Haeckel (1834 – 1919), proposed that a land bridge spanning the Indian Ocean separating Madagascar from India could explain the widespread distribution of lemurs, small, primitive tree-dwelling mammals found in Africa, Madagascar, India and the Southeast Asian archipelago. Haeckel also suggested that lemurs were the ancestors of the human race and that this land bridge was the “probable cradle of the human race”. The name Lemuria originated with zoologist Phillip Lutley Sclater (1829 – 1913) in 1864 to gave the hypothetical continent in an article The Mammals of Madagascar in The Quarterly Journal of Science.

Lemuria then entered the lexicon of the occult through the works of Russian occultist Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831 – 1891). In her massive tome The Secret Doctrine (1888), Blavatsky describes a history originating millions of years ago with the ‘Lords of Flame’ and goes on to discusses five ‘Root Races’ which have existed on earth, each one dying out in an earth-shattering cataclysm. The third of these Root Races she called the ‘Lemurian’, which lived a million years ago, and who were bizarre telepathic giants who kept dinosaurs as pets. The Lemurians eventually drowned when their continent was submerged beneath the Pacific Ocean. The progeny of the Lemurians was the fourth Root Race, the human Atlanteans, who were brought down by their use of black magic, their continent of Atlantis sinking beneath the waves 850,000 years ago. Present humanity represents the Fifth Root Race. Blavatsky also describes survivors of the catastrophic destruction of Lemuria escaping to become the ancestors of some of the Aboriginal tribes of Australia. She maintained that she took all of her information regarding Lemuria from the Book of Dzyan, supposed to have been written in Atlantis and shown to her by the Indian adepts known as the ‘Mahatmas’.

According to L Sprague de Camp, Blavatsky’s concept of Lemuria was influenced by other contemporaneous writers on the theme of lost continents, notably American congressman Ignatius L Donnelly, American cult leader Thomas Lake Harris and the French writer Louis Jacolliot. What Blavatsky and other occultists since have suggested concerning Lemuria could be partly interpreted as an ideal spiritual condition of the soul, a kind of spiritual-historical vision. Nevertheless, there are some psychics and prophets who even today regard the existence of ancient Lemuria as a physical reality.

Mu is the name of a suggested lost continent whose concept and name were proposed by 19th-century travelers and writers Augustus Le Plongeon and Alice Dixon, who claimed that several ancient civilizations, such as those of Egypt and Mesoamerica, were created by refugees from Mu – which he located in the Atlantic Ocean. Le Plongeon and Dixon constructed an imaginative “history”, with the Maya sites in Yucatán being the cradle of civilization, with civilization then traveling east first to Atlantis and later to Ancient Egypt.

In his books Sacred Mysteries Among the Mayans and Quiches (1886) and Queen Moo and the Egyptian Sphinx (1896), Le Plongeon interpreted part of the text of what was then called the Troano Codex (also known as the Madrid Codex), as revealing that the Maya of Yucatán were the ancestors of the Egyptians and many other civilizations. He also believed that an ancient continent, which he called Mu, had been destroyed by a volcanic eruption, the survivors of this cataclysm founding the Maya civilization. Le Plongeon actually got the name “Mu” from Charles Étienne Brasseur de Bourbourg, who in 1864 mistranslated the Troano Codex using the de Landa alphabet. Researchers who have tried to use the de Landa alphabet have reported that it is completely erroneous. Le Plongeon’s credibility was badly damaged by this attempted translation of the Troana Codex. Recent research into the Mayan “alphabet” has shown it to not consist of hieroglyphics but logograms. Recent translations of the Troano Codex have shown it to be a treatise on astrology. Actually, the existence of Mu was already being disputed in the Le Plongeon’s time.

This concept of lost civilization of Mu was popularized and expanded by American Colonel James Churchward, who asserted that Mu was once located in the Pacific, with his publication of The Lost Continent of Mu in 1931. He claimed that the lost continent of Mu had once extended from an area north of Hawaii southwards as far as Fiji and Easter Island. According to Churchward, Mu was the original Garden of Eden and a technologically advanced civilization which boasted 64 million inhabitants. Around 12,000 years ago Mu was wiped out by an earthquake and submerged beneath the Pacific. Apparently Atlantis, a colony of Mu, was destroyed in the same way a thousand years later. All the world’s major ancient civilizations, from the Babylonians and the Persians, to the Maya and the Egyptians, were the remains of the colonies of Mu.

Churchward claimed he received this sensational information when, as a young officer in India during a famine in the 1880s, he became friendly with an Indian priest. This priest told Churchward that he and his two cousins were the only survivors of a 70,000 year old esoteric order which originated on Mu itself. This order was known as the “Naacal Brotherhood”. The priest showed Churchward a number of ancient tablets written by the Naacal Order in a forgotten ancient language, supposed to be the original language of mankind, which he taught the officer to read. Churchward later asserted that certain stone artefacts recovered in Mexico contained parts of the Sacred Inspired Writings of Mu, perhaps taking ideas from Augustus Le Plongeon and his use of the Troana Codex to provide evidence for the existence of Mu. Unfortunately, Churchward never produced any evidence to back up his exotic claims, he never published translations of the enigmatic Naacal tablets, and his books, though they still have many followers today, are perhaps better read as entertainment than factual studies of Mu.

The Lemuria and Mu theories disappeared completely from conventional scientific consideration after the theories of plate tectonics and continental drift were accepted by the larger scientific community. The theory affirms that moving plates of the Earth’s crust supported on less rigid mantle rocks causes continental drift, volcanic and seismic activity, and the formation of mountain chains. Geologists regard the theory of a sunken entire continent beneath the Pacific and Indian Oceans as an impossibility. If the massive foundations of a continent to be blown apart by volcanic action, its enormous base rocks would be seen today on the ocean floor. Madagascar and India were indeed once part of the same landmass, but plate movement caused India to break away and move to its present location would take millions of years. They also point out that theories of lost lands in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans mostly originate in the 19th century, when knowledge of the area was limited and well before the ocean floor had been mapped.

Lemuria and Mu existence is now considered to have no factual basis. The very facts that the theory was conceived to explain are now seen to be false. They are today considered to be fictional places, and books on the subject are generally found in the religion and spirituality sections of book stores. The vast land submergence and the population dispersal, occurred during and after the sea level rise of the Last Glacial period, are indeed now widely accepted by the larger scientific community, but the 19th century approach of Lemuria and Mu to prove the existence is outdated and has no factual basis.

LGM Ocean Map

World ocean map in the height of the Last Glacial Maximum period. Sundaland is the only inhabitable landmass which now partly disappear.



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