Word to the Wise

Geoffrey Ashe. The Ancient Wisdom. Macmillan 1977.
In the first part of this book, Ashe develops the idea that the mystic significance of the number seven derives, through diffusion, from shamanistic beliefs about the constellation Ursa Major, and its relation to the mythology of the world 's axis. In Ashe 's view these beliefs constituted a first ' coherent cosmology ', a true ancient wisdom .

So far so good. It is when he suggests that the Mongolian paradise Shamballa, the 'Northern land of the Blessed', was a real geographical location and the continuing source of ancient wisdom, that doubts enter. This seems improbable. The name of Shamballa and its host of legends pouts to a land of the dead, a terrestrial paradise like Tir na n'Og, the Celtic land of youth. As European powers began to shatter traditional Mongolian society, Shamballa became the focus of a millenarian cult, centred round a 'hidden king' who would establish a universal paradise.

What makes this book worthy of review here is Ashe's reference to the Siberian meteorite and Nicholas Roerich's 1927 UFO experience which is regarded as a prototype UFO sighting. Ashe seems to agree with Scott Rogo that UFOs are projected thought forms, quoting Tibetan ideas about tulpas; the only evidence for which seems to be the travellers tales of Mme. Alexandra David-Neel. The whole tulpa story reads like a parable on the ambiguity of human creativity. Even if I could not agree with all Ashe says, his treatment of the subject is much preferable to that of Andrew Tomas. – Peter Rogerson. MUFOB New Series 10, Spring 1978.

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