Rosicrucian Writings Online

Is Lemuria Legend or Fact?

By Ralph M. Lewis, F. R. C.
[From The Rosicrucian Digest August 1934]
THE human mind is incapable of conceiving something which does not have its counterpart to some extent in the world of reality. Thus, no matter how distorted or grotesque, fantastic or improbable a legend may appear to be, it is, we may be certain, founded upon some fact or facts which only appear delusive because of exaggeration and distortion by being passed about by word of mouth from people to people.

For years AMORC was aware of the legend of Lemuria, the Lost Continent of the Pacific. Demands from students, the more serious-minded, that substantiation of the legend be made or a complete refutation of it, encouraged AMORC, the Rosicrucian Order, to make an investigation of its own. Archaeological, scientific and philosophical data was compiled from the archives of the Order and from outside sources, and it resulted in the publication of the book entitled, "Lemuria, the Lost Continent of the Pacific." It was the first book published by that name and devoted entirely to the subject of Lemuria and the Lemurians to ever appear in North America. It seemed to be the spark that was necessary to kindle a very popular interest. Newspapers and magazines sprang into print quoting from the book and discussing its opinions, hypotheses and facts. Since that time there has been published a number of similar titles or entirely different titles, treating upon the same subject. Even though, as said, the book written by Wishar S. Cerve possessed much archaelogical and scientific data, numerous individuals wrote severely criticizing the author and the AMORC for publishing it. They claimed that the lost continent of Lemuria was merely a myth, a farce, and that the publication of the book was the perpetration of a hoax upon the reading public.
It is interesting to note, however, that since the publication of the book and very recently many scientific expeditions have been sent out to definitely determine whether or not such a continent actually existed, and it is indeed a pleasure to quote you in brief some of their interesting findings supporting to a great extent, scientifically, the content of the book.
In Calcutta, India, on November last, an article appeared in the press to the effect: "An expedition will be headed by Colonel Seymour Sewell, director of the Geological Survey of India, for the purpose of determining whether or not the submerged continent of Lemuria exists between the Indian and African coasts of the Arabian Sea. The expedition will attempt to discover traces of continental areas supposed to be stretched westward from India many thousands of years ago. The continent is known to scientists as "Lemuria" the existence of which is based on similar fauna present on the Indian and African coast of the Arabian Sea."
An Associated Press article appearing in a California newspaper dated December 28, 1933, says in part, "Stretched beneath the surface of the north Pacific lies a complete continent, hitherto unknown, with huge plateaus, broader than any above-surface continents, with twice the width of America, with mountains higher than Mt. Everest, the highest peaks of which are known to us as the Hawaiian Islands, and with great depths separating it from Asia which drops more than six miles to their bottoms. This unknown territory was discovered recently from echos from the sonic depth finder abroad the U.S.S. Ramapo on a survey of the ocean bottom from America to Asia and from ten to fifteen degrees north latitude, when she was commanded by Captain Claud B. Mayo, U.S.N."
Again, in a publication entitled, "The Mercury" in Tasmania, an article appeared dated December 12th, last year, to the effect that "Traces of Lemuria, the lost continent in the Indian Ocean stretching from India to the African and Arabian coasts, have been discovered by Sir John Murray's oceanographic expedition which has completed three months' survey of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aiden, Arabian Sea, and Gulf of Ohmen. The investigations have been carried out in the Egyptian government survey ship "Mabahiss" which has steamed 8,747 miles, and surveyed large areas of the ocean bed. The discoveries included ten submerged ranges running northeast to southwest across the Gulf of Aiden and between India and Arabia, two submerged mountain chains, a raised plateau and a deep valley which is not recorded on the present charts. The supposed continent was named "Lemuria" based on the distribution of the Lemur, genus of mammals between Insectivora and Monkey which are forest dwellers common in Madagascar."
In the "John O'London Weekly" in 1932 there appeared an article by Trever Ally to the effect: "Many theories have been advanced to account for the eruption of the great primitive culture on Easter Island in the South Pacific. One theory is that the island is the sole remaining peak of a vast continent now lost under the sea. Another, that it is the only surviving island of an archipelago. But one is still faced by this problem: The collapse of a culture whose beginnings were so brave, whose day was so brief, and whose end was so sudden. It is a little like the enigma of Angkor . . . . . It wasn't the departure of the Khmers from Angkor that wiped them from the face of the earth . . . . . It was a departure of something from the Khmers themselves."
Then we have the following from Lewis Spence, eminent English anthropologist, who was quoted by the "Kansas City Times" on October 19, 1933, as follows: "Continental land masses which have since disappeared, existed in the Pacific and were peopled by a white race whose culture spread to America. Scattered through the Pacific region are archaelogical evidences that its land supported an earlier civilization than that of its present inhabitants or their ancestors. There are stone terraces and hewn stone statues on Easter Island, stone pyramids and idols in Hawaii, foundations of temples on Pitcain Island, remnants of pyramids in Tahiti and Fiji--the work apparently of people who lived on the islands before the Polynesians settled there. In the traditions and myths of the Pacific islanders there is much support for the Lemurian hypothesis.
"Two kinds of legends of catastrophe are common among the natives: One tells of the destruction of the world by flood; the other of destruction by volcanic violence or earthquake, and the belief is frequently encountered in Oceania that beneath the sea is the country of the dead where dwell a light-haired people. One of the flood myths of the Fijians relates that an offended god caused the earth to be deluged and all the people were drowned except eight who had gathered on a lofty height and finally took refuge in a boat." 
The above are but a few quotations from various articles which have been accumulated in the last few years since the publication of the book, "Lemuria, the Lost Continent of the Pacific," by Wishar S. Cerve, and distributed by AMORC. We have information to the effect that there are several new oceanographic and geological expeditions being formed and financed by different universities and scientific institutions to make further investigations of this so-called "myth." It is perhaps one of the world's most intriguing subjects, this possibility that at one time a culture the equivalent of ours, a civilization the equal of ours, was submerged. It would appear that man's advancement, if this all be true, is cyclical. When he is about to degenerate because of perversion of his ideals then nature adjusts conditions by a cataclysm, and man is obliged to begin again. It is the rigorous opposition of nature and environment which cultivates the character of man, which compels him to use his powers. When man has attained a certain point of supremacy and dominance over all forces of nature and all things about him, there is no challenge to his better nature, and his attributes, mental and physical, begin to atrophy. The heartier people, physically, are those who find it extremely difficult to survive and are challenged on every hand by forces of nature and their environment and the same applies to man's mental powers. Civilization degenerates and retrogrades when all opposition has been removed, and it is perhaps a very fortunate thing for the human race that these periodic catastrophies occur. It, of course, meant suffering individually--pain, grief--but nature does not take into consideration the individual but the whole, which in this instance is the race of mankind.
If this subject intrigues you, we advise you to procure a copy of the book, "Lemuria, the Lost Continent of the Pacific," from the Rosicrucian Supply Bureau. You will find it listed in the Rosicrucian Library on the back cover of this publication.

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