Ancient Mysteries Mythology DRAGONS AND UNICORNS - FACT... OR... FICTION?

DRAGONS AND UNICORNS - FACT... OR... FICTION?

DRAGONS AND UNICORNS - FACT... OR... FICTION?
Catalog # SKU1794
Publisher InnerLight/Global
Weight 1.50 lbs
Author Name Ernest Ingersoll & Odell Shepard
 
$24.95
Quantity

Description

DRAGONS AND UNICORNS
FACT... OR... FICTION?


2 Books in 1 Volume!

DRAGONS AND DRAGON LORE
&
THE LORE OF THE UNICORN

by
ERNEST INGERSOLL
&
ODELL SHEPARD

From the world of mystery, Tim Beckley brings back the lost studies of the dragon and the unicorn. The dragon and the unicorn prevails in ancient writings, and their existence as pure fiction must be put to the test of true research. After all, the Ancient City of Troy was once just 'fiction' in the minds of the established scientific community.

From the Publisher:

I will never forget my trip to the British Isles to speak before members of the House of Lords.

It's been two decades and my friend who invited me, Brinsley Le Poer Trench, is now deceased. Brinsley was the author of such books as The Sky People, about the visitation of extraterrestrials to our planet in ancient times.

His well written thesis was widely distributed before Eric Von Daniken's popular Chariots of the Gods? Brinsley-aka the Earl of Clancarty-was an actual member of the House of Lords who had championed the reality of the UFO phenomenon for years and had attempted to get the Crown and the Ministry of Defense to release its massive files on the subject.

From time to time, members of the House of Lords would actually hold heated debates on the legitimacy of the topic, taking the sides of both the believer and the skeptic. Brinsley had invited various researchers from all over the world to help him get his point across that UFOs were a subject of "high concern." He requested that I travel "across the pond" to reveal what I knew about the importance of a subject that has fascinated many for decades.

Though our "appeal" was not made in front of the full Lord's body, I did get a chance to pitch my findings before about 50 members of both the House of Lords and Parliament. I must say I was prepared to take my lumps from those who thought Brinsley and I were promoting the "silly season" too early in the year.

Among those with whom I had the opportunity to speak was the famous Lord Hill Norton, head admiral of the British Fleet, who turned out to have had a UFO experience or two of his own, as well as having a definite interest in electrical genius and inventor Nikola Tesla. He also believed that other energy sources were available to us but not being utilized.

Before delivering my presentation, Brinsley had me join with members of the House of Lords. As we all marched together into the main hall, the Lords began taking their seats on the floor below while I was ushered to a seat in the main gallery. It was, to say the least, an exciting day in my career as an author and journalist. Looking around, I couldn't help but be impressed. The ornamentation was tremendous on the banisters, the stairwells and the chambers. I realized that there was untold centuries of history before me.

One of the things I immediately noticed was the number of wooden carvings of unicorns and dragons to be found above the entranceway and along the many railings. It seems odd, I thought at the time, that such "mythical" creatures would have found a home among such stately gentlemen, many of whom did not even have a taste for UFOs, much less creatures who supposedly only live in our fantasies and our dreams.

Boy, did I find out I was entirely wrong!

In fact, as I traveled throughout England, I discovered figures of unicorns and dragons carved on the sides of churches and old architectural structures....as if they had actually existed at one time or another.

Actually, fourteen hundred years ago, Saint Columba supposedly saw a fearsome dragon in Loch Ness. Plus, there were similar stories throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that seem to be more than "fairy tales."

Excerpt:

TODAY a solar eclipse is slowly darkening my study window, and when I step out of doors to watch it I hear a man say: The Dragon is eating the Sun.

No dragon exists--none ever did exist. Nevertheless a belief in its actuality has prevailed since remote antiquity, and has become a fact of historic, social, and artistic interest. Millions of persons to-day have as firm a faith in its reality as in any fact, or supposed fact, of their intuition or experience. As an element in the ancient Oriental creation-myths it is perhaps the most antique product of human imagination; and it stalks, picturesque and portentous, through mediaeval legend.

The dragon was born in the youth of the East, a creature engendered between inward fear and outward peril, was nurtured among prehistoric wanderers, and has survived in the hinterlands of ignorance and superstition because it embodied the underlying principle of all morality--the eternal contrast and contest between Good and Evil, typified by the incessant struggle of man with the forces of nature and with his twofold self. In the East the dragon, like the primitive gods, was by turns deity and demon; carried westward, it fell almost wholly into the latter estate, or was transformed into a purely allegorical figure; and it has its counterpart, if not its descendants, in the religious faith and rites of every known land and all sorts of peoples.

The dragon is as old as the sensitiveness and imagination of mankind, and doubtless had assumed a definite shape in some crude, material expression as long ago as when men first began to paint, or to carve in wood and on stone, marks and images that were at least symbols of the supposed realities visible to their mental eyes. It is needless to repeat that the phenomena of nature must have appeared to primitive man as an immense, contradictory, insolvable mystery, a mixture of light and darkness, sunshine and storm, things helpful to him contending, as if animated, with things harmful, life alternating with death and decay. This is an old story, but it is plain that, in common with the more intelligent animals, man's predominant sensation was fear--fear of his brutish fellows, dread of the jungle and its beasts and ogres, of the desert and its burning drouth, of the wind and the thunderous lightning; most of all terror of the dark, peopled with spirits good and bad.

Against the unknown and therefore frightful shapes and noises of the night, the shrieks of the gale, awe of the ocean, the flickering lights and sickening miasma of the bog--all to his half-awakened mind evidence of animate beings above his reach or understanding--man knew of but one defense, which was humble propitiation and neverceasing payment of ransom.

Ghosts blackmailed him throughout his terror-stricken life. The only friendly things in nature were sunshine and water--most of all gentle, nourishing rain: what wonder then that the most beneficent spirits and primary deities in all the primitive cults of Europe and Asia, at least, have been those connected with fresh waters. When one attempts to trace to its birth the creature or concept of which we are in search, one is led backward and backward to the very beginning of human philosophy. That origin seems to rest in the earliest discoverable traces of human thought on this earth, when paleolithic man cowered over woodland campfires or watched by night beside Asiatic rivers, now dry, now mysteriously overflowing, or made magic in some consecrated cave; and when wonder was rising slowly--oh, so slowly--in his brain into the dignity of reasoning.

These are really very interesting facts, and they appear to have been true during thousands of bygone years. The strange, half-human figures painted on the wall of a cave in southern France by a Magdalenien artist in the Old Stone Age, and labelled 'Sorcerer' by archaeologists, may easily be construed as an attempt to portray an ancestral dragon. Let us try to find the origin of this thing, and to discover not only its meaning, but how or why the Dragon came to be of its present form. It is doubtless a long and complicated story, but there is no call to apologize for either its length or its absurdities.

We have seen that the notion embodied in the word 'dragon' goes back to the beginning of recorded human thoughts about the mysteries of the thinker and his world. It is connected with the powers and doings of the earliest gods, and like them is vague, changeable and contradictory in its attributes, maintaining from first to last only one definable characteristic--association with and control of water. This points unmistakably to its birth in a land where water is the most important thing in nature to human existence--the essential requisite, indeed, for life and happiness. Such are the conditions in the valleys of the Nile and the Euphrates, precisely the regions in which, first of all, mankind began to establish a settled existence and to lay the foundations of civilization in agriculture.

The success of agriculture was made possible by the invention of irrigation, through which man obtained command of the water-supply for his fields, and outwitted, so to say, the eccentricities of the rainfall. In timely showers to the right amount, in living streams and their vernal overflows that leave new soil, the rainfall is a blessing; but in the lightning-darting storm, in excessive floods, it may, and sometimes does, become a curse. Primitive men, unlearned in the natural laws by which we now account for the weather, imagined its varying moods to be the result of supernatural powers struggling somewhere in space, on one side for good conditions, on the other towards destruction and chaos; and they invented wondrous and complex stories to explain it. Every change in the weather was attributed to the gods. When rains were favourable, good gods got the credit; when prolonged drouth or devastating storms assailed the locality, men told one another that malignant spirits were at work.

Supreme among the earliest known divinities of Egypt was Re (or Ra). Associated with him was a feminine deity, Hathor, the 'great Mother,' or source of all earthly life. At enmity with Re was a formless being, Set. As Re grew aged mankind (created by Hathor) showed signs of rebellion, instigated by Set, and a council of the gods advised that Hathor be sent down to earth to subdue her insurgent progeny. She complied, received the additional epithet 'Sekhet,' acquired the ferocious lioness as her symbol, and went about cutting throats until the land was flooded with blood.

Alarmed at the destruction of his subjects, which threatened to be total, Re begged Hathor-Sekhet to desist. She refused, whereupon Re caused to be brewed a red liquor, a draft of which subdued Hathor's maniacal rage, and so a remnant of mankind was saved. From that bloody time Hathor's reputation fell to that of a malignant spirit, for she, who theretofore had been a beneficent 'giver of life' had shown herself, in the avatar of Sekhet, a demon of destruction. In this skeleton of a legend we have the kernel of Egyptian mythology and religion.

Re fades out and Osiris appears, an earthly king deified as a sort of water-god, who becomes more definitely a personification of the Nile in its beneficent aspect. Hathor becomes his consort Isis, and they produce a son Horus whose symbol is a falcon, sometimes accompanied by serpents, and who carries on Re's feud with Set (subsequently murderer of Osiris) under various warrior-methods, such as driving to battle in a chariot drawn by griffins (perpetuated in the Greek gryphon)--perhaps the most primitive incarnations of the dragon. Set is a water-devil whose followers take the form of crocodiles and other dangerous creatures of the great river; and later we read of a gigantic snakelike reptile Apop, which apparently was that long-lived old monster Set, and which later was known among the gods of Greek Olympus as Typhon, a snake-headed giant. Apop had a corps of typhonic monsters at his call. A host of fabulous monsters seem to have been derived, with more or less claim to true ancestry, from these prehistoric creatures of the Egyptian imagination.

While this epic or drama of the development of the human intelligence was in progress in Egypt, exhibiting the Celestial triad at the basis of all cosmic mythology, a similar development of legendary history was proceeding in Mesopotamia. "The Egyptian legends cannot be fully appreciated," we are told, "unless they are studied in conjunction with those of Babylonia and Assyria, the mythology of Greece, Persia, India, China Indonesia and America."

We do not find in the opening chapters of the history of either Egypt or Mesopotamia the characteristic dragons we shall encounter later; but we do discover there the germ and its raison d'etre of what later became the conventional forms and properties of the Chinese 'lung,' the hydras and giants of Greek myth, and the hero-stories of mediaeval St. George. "Egyptian literature," Professor G. Elliot Smith assures us, "affords a clearer insight into the development of the Great Mother, the Water God and the Warrior Sun God, than we can obtain from any other writings of the origin of this fundamental stratum of deities. And in the three legends: The Destruction of Mankind, The Story of the Winged Disk [symbol of Horus], and The Conflict between Horus and Set, it has preserved the germs of the great Dragon Saga. Babylonian literature has shown us how this raw material was worked up into the definite and familiar story, as well as how the features of a variety of animals were blended to form the composite monster. India and Greece, as well as more distant parts of Africa, Europe and Asia, and even America, have preserved many details that have been lost in the real home of the monster."

Physical conditions were much the same in Mesopotamia as in Egypt. Like the Nile, the Euphrates was a permanent river, flowing from the Armenian mountains through a vast expanse of arid, yet fertile, land to the great marshes (now much reduced) at the head of the Persian Gulf. It rose to full banks, or over them, in early summer, fed by melting snow, and the annual inundations along its course were of the highest benefit and importance to the agriculturists settled at least six or seven thousand years ago in its lower basin. As population and tillage increased, irrigation--popularly believed to have been introduced by the gods--became more and more a necessity, and this need of abundant and well-regulated water influenced the local religion, the features of which we have learned from the engraved seals, inscribed tablets, and other evidences exhumed from the ruins of temples and royal houses.

The primitive theory of world-creation and the theogony of these pre-Babylonians are similar to those of Egypt; and the Sumerians, the earliest known permanent residents in the Euphrates Valley, were perhaps allied racially with the men of the Nile country--certainly there was communication between them long before the date of any records yet obtained. There is evidence, moreover, that the peoples whom we know by the earliest 'civilized' remains thus far discovered were preceded in the valleys of both the Euphrates and the Nile by a population far more primitive, which was displaced--in the case of Sumer, presumably by immigrants from southern Persia; for probably the culture represented by Susa is older than that of the cities of Sumer. Both peoples conceived the earth to be an island floating on an infinite expanse and depth of water which welled up around it as an ocean, often imaged forth as an encircling serpent, on whose horizon rested the dome of the sky.

At first "darkness was upon the face of the deep," yet the great primeval gods were even then alive,--indistinct, fickle, anthropomorphic originators and representatives of natural phenomena.



CONTENTS

REALITY OF THE MYSTICAL BEASTS
Introduction To Expanded Edition

CONTENTS

DRAGONS AND DRAGON LORE
INTRODUCTION
CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE BIRTH OF THE DRAGON
CHAPTER TWO WANDERINGS OF THE YOUNG DRAGON
CHAPTER THREE INDIAN NAGAS AND DRACONIC PROTOTYPES
CHAPTER FOUR THE DIVINE SPIRIT OF THE WATERS
CHAPTER FIVE DRACONIC GRANDPARENTS
CHAPTER SIX THE DRAGON AS A RAIN-GOD
CHAPTER SEVEN KOREAN WATER AND MOUNTAIN SPIRITS
CHAPTER EIGHT "THE MEN OF THE DRAGON BONES"
CHAPTER NINE THE DRAGON IN JAPANESE ART
CHAPTER TEN THE DRAGON'S PRECIOUS PEARL
CHAPTER ELEVEN THE DRAGON INVADES THE WEST
CHAPTER TWELVE THE 'OLD SERPENT' AND HIS PROGENY
CHAPTER THIRTEEN WELSH ROMANCES AND ENGLISH LEGENDS
CHAPTER FOURTEEN THE DRAGON AND THE HOLY CROSS
CHAPTER FIFTEEN TO THE GLORY OF SAINT GEORGE


THE LORE OF THE UNICORN
CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER I THE GORGEOUS EAST
CHAPTER II THE HOLY HUNT
CHAPTER III SHAPING FANTASIES
CHAPTER IV EAST AND WEST
CHAPTER V THE TREASURE OF HIS BROW
CHAPTER VI THE BATTLE OF BOOKS
CHAPTER VII RUMOURS
CHAPTER VIII CONJECTURES
CHAPTER IX CERTAINTIES
CHAPTER X REFLECTIONS


Softcover, 8" x 10¾", 275+ pages
Perfect-Bound - Large Print 13 point font - Illustrated

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