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It could be true! That's the enthusiasm that author and scholar-mystic Graham Hancock counts on--in himself and in his readers--as he lays down his theories of an ancient (Atlantean, perhaps?) civilization that disseminated a sophisticated religion of ground-sky dualism and a "science" of immortality. Hancock's previous work, including the popular and controversial Fingerprints of the Gods, has drawn criticism for its leaps of faith and allegedly pseudoscientific conclusions, but Heaven's Mirror proves at least a little more substantial. His chief thesis is that numerous ancient sites and monuments--the pyramids of Mexico and Egypt, the ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the monuments of Yonaguni in the Pacific, and the megaliths of Peru and Bolivia--are situated in such a way, geodetically, that they point towards some separate and uniform influence, some lost civilization or "invisible college" of astronomer-priests. And that civilization, as evidenced in the mathematics and architecture of the sites, points towards some gnosis, or body of knowledge, that would allow humanity to transcend the trap of mortality, a worldview in which the knowledge-giving serpent of Eden is not a villain but a hero.
Whatever you think of Hancock's ideas and theoretical musings in archaeo-astronomy, Heaven's Mirror is a gorgeous book, thanks to the photography of Santha Faiia. Lush, evocative photos of the monoliths on Easter Island and temples deep in the Cambodian jungle are enough to set the mind to introspective wandering--maybe, just maybe, Hancock's got it right after all. --Paul Hughes [via]