The Lost Continent of Mu
by James Churchward
(Adventures Unlimited Press)
Putting together the prehistoric story of ancient humankind is a daunting task and in The Lost Continent of Mu, James Churchward may very well have a number of pieces of this garbled puzzle. Although this 1926 book is perhaps not quite flawless, the story of James Churchward and how he came to believe he possessed the lost narrative of humankind is a fascinating tale in and of itself. Mr. Churchward was a world traveler, explorer and researcher. While stationed in India, he claims to have been taught to read humankind’s first and original language — symbol-based texts from prehistoric tablets that today are either lost or remain hidden.
After reading The Lost Continent of Mu, it seems that the spirit of Mr. Churchward’s investigation is certainly true and the overarching scope of humankind’s ancient tale weaved by Mr. Churchward does make perfect sense in today’s burgeoning paradigm. Mr. Churchward gives additional good reason to seriously consider that an ancient continent once existed in the Pacific Ocean (the remnants of which are the dotted islands currently scattered across the waters) and that humankind — or at least one branch of humankind — can trace its origins to this fabled land.
Author and prehistory expert David Hatcher Childress penned the introduction to The Lost Continent of Mu, and his telling of the Churchward story is equally as intriguing as the contents of the book itself. Mr. Churchward’s life path was quite a journey.
In 1868, at the age of 18, Mr. Churchward was sent to India as part of the British military where he eventually rose to the rank of Colonel — and during which time he befriended a Hindu rishi. Over the course of a 12-year friendship, this Hindu priest…
“…gave Churchward access to some very rare and mystical ancient tablets which had purportedly been hidden in the temple vaults for thousands of years. The tablets were carved with arcane symbols, and the rishi began teaching Churchward how to interpret some of the simpler signs. Churchward proved an avid student, and the lessons continued until eventually Churchward had mastered the language — supposed to be the original language of Mankind!” (p. ii)
This language was the language of the continent of Mu, the fabled motherland of humanity. It was a language of symbols that, as Mr. Churchward contends, went on to influence the hieroglyphic scripts of the Pacific Island cultures, the Maya, the ancient Egyptians as well as the cultures of Central Asia and India, among others. After retiring from the military in 1880, Churchward spent the next 8 years, traveling around the Pacific, Asia and Australia interpreting ancient documents in light of his knowledge of the lost language of Mu and looking for evidence of ancient cataclysms that would lend credence to his belief that a continent once existed in the Pacific.
In 1888, Mr. Churchward settled in New York and, armed with his documents, photographs and personal paintings collected during his world travels, he eventually put to paper what he had learned. The result, in 1926, was The Lost Continent of Mu, a classic work that has never been out of print.
The Old Master
The linchpin to Mr. Churchward’s work is the initial relationship he forged with the Indian rishi, a man who Mr. Churchward refers to as “Master.” During a lecture given before the American Society for Psychical Research on April 20, 1931, Mr. Churchward referred to the Indian rishi thusly:
“This priest was a great Master, the most proficient Master that has lived since the time of Jesus…
“…Many do not know the actual meaning of Master. In olden times this title was bestowed on those who had Mastered the Cosmic Sciences and Learnt how to control the Cosmic Forces, and had brought his material body under the absolute control of his inner self.
“This old Master and his two cousins…were the sole survivors of the Naacal Brotherhood which had existed for 70,000 years. This Brotherhood had been formed in the Motherland, when experts of religion and the Cosmic Sciences were being sent from Mu to her various colonies.” (p. xi-xii)
If Mr. Churchward indeed had direct interaction with a Master, as described above, during his eight years stationed in India, then that alone is an amazing story — one that I hope to find written about in more detail elsewhere.
Nevertheless, it is no doubt that when Mr. Churchward left India in 1880, he did so with a mission — to find real world evidence to substantiate what he learned from the Indian Master.
According to Mr. Churchward, Mu was the biblical Garden of Eden. It was the advent of humanity on planet Earth, the continent where humanity was born and the root from which humanity spread across the globe. Mr. Churchward interprets ancient documents in light of this perspective — documents like the Mayan Troano Codex, the Tibetan Lhasa Codex, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, as well as the Naacal Tablets (the secret tablets shown to him by the rishi during his time in India).
According to Mr. Churchward, ancient documents and inscriptions of Central and South America talk about a “Land to the West” that was swallowed by the waters. He finds consistency in the ancient symbology of lands on both sides of the Pacific, suggesting a pre-historic link that connected Southeast Asia, Australia, the Pacific Islands and the Americas. This consistency among symbols found in ancient sites and texts from around the globe suggests a singular source, and Mr. Churchward provides abundant evidence in support.
So is Mr. Churchward correct?
I am certainly not qualified enough in the study of ancient symbology to make a judgment on Mr. Churchward’s conclusions. Nevertheless, his approach to the subject is irreproachable. Symbology is the road to take. If indeed there is a singular seed to humanity’s tree, then it probably begins at the point where all of the ancient symbols meet.