THE JOHN MICHELL
John Michell was a
best-selling author and world authority on the mysteries of existence.
March 2001 and August 2002, John wrote a series of articles on a
esoteric subjects for Jonathan's website and the Daily Mirror newspaper
in the UK.
It was a
thrill to have John writing for us about unexplained phenomena. I have
admirer of his work since I was a teenager. I hope you enjoy his
lost world of Atlantis
There was once a
huge island-continent called Atlantis. Its
capital, Atlantis city, was a centre of world trade. It lay in the Atlantic, outside the Straits of
from the Mediterranean crossed it on their way to America.
Suddenly there was
a great natural disaster. Atlantis was broken
up by storms and earthquakes, and the whole island sank beneath the
This story was
written down by Plato in about 350 BC. It was an
old story even in his time. It came, he said, from the temple records
Atlantis was a
rich and mighty power. It invaded the countries
around it, and its armies advanced as far as Greece.
There they were defeated by
the brave Athenians. The Atlantean empire fell - and then came the
It may have been a
falling comet that destroyed Atlantis and
devastated a great part of the world. But Plato gave no details. He
that Zeus, the chief god, was behind it. And he made the story into a
tale, saying that the fall of Atlantis was because its citizens had
wealthy and decadent.
It was not till
modern times that people began looking for
Atlantis. One of the first was our prime minister, William Gladstone.
he read a book called Atlantis, The Antediluvian World. Its author was
radical American politician, Ignatius Donnelly. No one since Plato had
seriously about Atlantis, and the book caused a sensation.
ordered the Royal Navy to explore the Atlantic.
The islands of Azores
looked to him like peaks
of the drowned continent. Unfortunately, the Treasury refused to allow
funds for the expedition.
discoveries of Atlantis have been claimed all over the
world. Thousands of books have been written in dozens of languages.
of ancient ruins have been identified as Plato's lost city.
Many of the books
on Atlantis are fantastical. Some say that the
Atlanteans were the original people. They were giants before they grew
decadent. They developed a technology, fuelled by the earth's living
But they went too far into black magic, and the system destroyed them.
I have no doubt
that Plato's story was old and genuine. But he was
a teacher, and he adapted it to his own purpose. He made it into a good
- that pride goes before a fall. His Atlanteans were smitten, with a
perhaps, because the gods thought they were asking for it.
There are lost
lands all round the British coastline. Most famous
is Lyonesse off Cornwall.
It stretched 50 miles from Lizard
Point to the
Scilly Isles. Fossilised trees and other relics have been dredged up
sea bed. St Michael's Mount, now an island, was its trading centre in
governments of the underworld
When we think
about life beyond the surface of the earth, we think
about space. But, as far as we yet know, there is no life out there.
not mean we are the only creatures in the universe. What about inside
There are many
accounts, both ancient and modem, of contacts with
beings from the under-world. At first sight they seem improbable.
live more than a few miles below the earth's surface because the
becomes too great. But it is a curious fact that, throughout the world,
tunnel systems have been discovered, and no-one knows who constructed
why. In parts of Europe
they were a local
secret. When armies invaded, towns and districts were deserted and the
moved underground. In Africa,
camels travelled unseen through large tunnels. One of these was
recorded in Tanzania
explorer Captain Grant. It was so long that it took from sunrise to
noon for a
caravan to pass through it.
In the wild parts
of Asia - the Himalayas and the Gobi
desert - are secret entrances to underground cities.
This is an ancient tradition, and it is still widely believed. One of
cities, Shambala, is said to be the real capital of the world. It is
of the hidden Ruler. He and his court are wise and benevolent. But not
underworld beings are like that. Some are spiteful and evil, and they
cause of all troubles in this world.
Many people have
searched for these buried cities. Some were
looking for treasures, others for ancient wisdom. No-one in modern
to have found the world capital. But there are stories of 'hidden
deep in the mountains, who have passed on the secret doctrines of
the 1930s, while searching for these masters in Tibet,
Theodore Illion, found his
way to an underground seat of government. He soon realised it was a
centre, staffed by zombies, and managed to escape.
There are many
such stories, and I do not suppose they are all
true. I do not like to believe in an underground world-government. But
there is some truth in the Shambala story. Which is, that we really are
divine rule, and the earth is full of all kinds of beings or spirits,
ground and below.
The hollow earth
and the myth of Nazi UFOs
countless books on mysterious tunnels, the hollow earth,
monsters from the underworld, secret conspiracies, the hidden wisdom
and so on.
Some are good and honest, others are stupid or nasty. The best I know
by Joscelyn Godwin (Thames & Hudson, 1992). It sums up the
from the dream of a lost paradise to the modern myth of Nazi survival
from hidden bases in the underworld.
and the secrets of harmony on earth
Jonathan has asked
me to write about numbers, and I am pleased to
do so. The reason is that number is at the root of everything. The
is made up of proportions and harmonies, which are numerical.
describe it in the same way, through numbers and formulas. The great
in the 6th century BC said about the universe, "It is all number".
That is all very
well, but what does it mean to you and me? The
answer is that we too are creatures of number - both in body and soul.
limbs and features are geometrically proportioned, and our minds are
constructed on the basis of number. That is why good music, composed of
harmonies, soothes and pleases the mind, while ugly noise distresses it.
This subject is
called traditional or esoteric science. Esoteric
means hidden or secret. But the science of number is not secret; it is
everyone. And it is only hidden because you have to find your own way
It is not a
secret, but a well-recorded fact, that the twelve gods
or zodiacal rulers in ancient times each had their own number or set
numbers. And these numbers together provided the basic formula of the
Upon this formula or pattern great, long-lasting civilizations were
science was inherited by the early Christians.
Scholars among them created the holy names of the new religion to
certain numbers. Jesus was 888, the Holy Spirit 1080, and so on. The
behind this was to regain the ancient world-order, with the twelve
mankind united under the spell of music and universal number. The
disapproved of this 'pagan' science and suppressed it.
Numbers are not
just quantities. Each has its natural character
and plays its own essential part in things. Twelve is the number that
represents the order of the universe. That is because number itself is
basically duodecimal. And that is why we recognise twelve gods and
signs" along with twelve tribes, astrological types and months of the
On the opposite
pole to Twelve is the number Seven. Its character
is spiritual, inspirational and 'lunar". In contrast to Twelve which
the 'solar' values of rational order," Seven symbolises Mystery and the
world-soul. Its images include the reclusive virgin" the oracle and the
in her chamber.
Seven is the
number of the planets or wandering stars, and of
notes in the simple musical scale. Seven colours are seen in the
days make a week, and there are 4 x 7 or 28 days in the lunar cycle.
eternal goddess, source of nature, is known esoterically by the number
this subject, I can hardly leave it here. So there
will be another instalment next Thursday.
beginning of number
here last week was about numbers, their hidden
meaning and symbolism. This is a new start, introducing the first three
numbers, beginning, as you would expect, with the number One.
But that is the
most difficult way of starting. Great thinkers
down the ages have been driven mad by puzzling over the One. What is it
does it relate to the Many?
Some say that One
represents the Creator. But that cannot be
right, because the philosopher's God is beyond all description or
More accurately, One is the unique symbol of the universe, regarded as
organic creature, independent and with nothing outside it. Each
an imitation of One, but can never be One itself. That is because we
real individuals but parts of nature and of each other. You may think
One (or even, if you are mad, The One). But you are just one of the
In the Genesis
story of creation, number Two arose when God
divided everything into two parts. That is why there are two sexes and
sides to every argument. For its parts to be reconciled Two naturally
rise to the number Three.
Three is the first
truly odd number. Its shape, the triangle, is a
symbol of fire and fertility. Odd numbers are considered to be male and
A party with an odd number of people isd more inter-active than an even
when the guests pair off.
Last week we
explored the natural symbolism of numbers 1, 2 and 3.
Today we look closely at the remaining 'base' numbers...
Four is the first
square number (2 x 2) and it is also 2 + 2. It
completes the figure called the Tetractys, which stands for the basic
(the numbers 1 - 10) because I + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10.
Four is a
sensible, practical number. Four-square means solid and
well-based. We divide the year into four seasons and the compass into
points. There are four directions, left, right, back and front.
Five is a symbol
of life and growth. There are five petals on the
rose, five fingers to the hand, five extremities of the body and five
(sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch). Relating to Five is the
as the golden section (1: 1.618). This appears in many of nature's
Six relates to the
material creation - to rocks and crystals. Snowflakes
are typically six-sided. Natural structures, like the cells of
built up of hexagons.
Seven is called
Mystery and the Virgin. The 'virgin' name arose
because the number is not the product of any two numbers in the Decad,
be pinned down, can't be laid! It is the number of the world-soul that
before the physical creation. It stands for hidden wisdom and the seven
of initiation into the secret knowledge of the ancients. In
the seven wandering planets are held within the 12-part framework of
represented by the numbers 1 to 7 comprise the
'sublunary world' - the sphere of earth under the influence of the
numbers, multiplied together, make 5040. With this number the study of
riddle of the Great Pyramid
What is the most
famous building in the world? There is only one
answer - the Great Pyramid of Egypt. It is also the most mysterious. In
dimensions are encoded the secrets of ancient science and wisdom. That
learned people in many ages have devoted lifetimes to studying it. That
there are more books and writings about it than about any other
It was built
almost 5,000 years ago, in the reign of a pharaoh
named Cheops or Khufu. So they say. but nothing about the Great Pyramid
certain. It is so perfectly constructed that experts call it uncanny.
that it could not be a work of human hands. Despite our wealth and
it certainly could not be built today.
It is a building
of immense size Britain's
tallest steeple, on
Salisbury Cathedral, is 404 feet high. The Cheops pyramid is about 80
taller. And it is all of solid masonry, made up of 2.3 million huge
blocks, each one trimmed to fit its particular position.
Pyramid was made smooth and gleaming by a finish of
white polished slabs. They were carved and fitted together with the
of a jeweller. It is said that you can not insert a cigarette paper
This degree of
perfection occurs in every aspect of the pyramid.
So what was the purpose of it? One purpose was to get us thinking, and
what we shall do here next Thursday.
lesson of the Pyramid
As promised last
week, the discussion here is about the meaning of
the Great Pyramid of Cheops. No other building has been so carefully
by scientists and scholars. All kinds of specialists have studied it -
archaeologists, astronomers, astrologers, engineers. geographers,
mathematicians and mystics. And they all say the same thing. That the
Pyramid is, as nearly as possible, a perfect structure.
For many years I
have studied the Pyramid. mainly through its
geometry and measures. Like others. who investigate its different
glimpse a beautiful mind behind this work the mind of a divinely
architect. it was someone who understood the number code behind the
and expressed it in one great building.
The moment you
begin studying the Pyramid you make contact with
that mind. It is worth doing so, because it can lead to deeper
to initiation even. That is one reason why they built the Pyramid.
The other reason
is highly controversial. It was to do with
ancient knowledge about life and death and the career of the soul. The
was an instrument of priestly technology. It preserved the spirit of a
and kept his influence alive within the state. This led to a very
form of government.
The advantage of
that system was that it maintained the high
civilisation of ancient Egypt
over a long period. The drawback was that it abolished personal
that reason the system fell apart. That is another riddle of the
we be civilised without falling under tyranny?
are you staring at?
that it is rude to stare at people. It is not just
a question of manners. It can be dangerous. The person you stare at
your gaze and returns it, angrily. It happens even when that person has
back to you.
A good place to
test this out is on the bus. Suppose you are
sitting at the back, and someone in front takes your attention
are attractive or weird or whatever. Stare at them a while, and it is
enough they will turn round.
It has happened to
me while trying to peep at another man's
newspaper on the train. The man could not see my eyes, but he felt what
doing. He rustled the paper and frowned at me.
believed that eyes have power, and that you can
affect people just by looking at them. They also believed in the 'evil
Certain people were said to have it. By gazing at someone they could
ill or unlucky. That must be the origin of the rule against staring.
Sheldrake has tested this claim by experiments.
He proved that certain people are highly aware of being stared at.
it at times, but not always. The conclusion he came to was the old one that
there is power in the eye, and it can influence other people. We call
telepathy, or animal magnetism. It used to be seen as a branch of
Everyone has a
centre. That is the point from which you think and
see. It is an important subject, because until you are properly centred
divine mystery rather than your self) you have a miserable life.
have centres. Last week I promised to identify the centres of England, Ireland
and the British Isles.
The British Isles centre is in
the Isle of Man. The exact spot is half way along our main axis, the
line between Land's End
and John 0' Groats.
Around it was the inner sanctum of British Druidry. A circle of 50
radius, drawn from there, touches England,
To find the centre
of England - or mainland Britain - you drawn
the axis from its central southernmost point, St Catherine's Point on
of the Isle of Wight, up to John 0' Groats. Upon this line is the village
in Warwickshire, 'The Heart of
England'. The stone cross on Meriden
village green has stood for over 500 years and is recognised as the
There used to be
an an annual festival at Meriden on May
24. It has not been held for a
couple of years, but I am happy to report that it wil take place again
year. I am planning to go.
of all, especially today, is the centre of Ireland.
ancient divisions and its mystical, royal centre is the key to peace
happiness throughout the whole land. But there is no room for it now,
must wait till next week.
sacred centre of old Ireland
The object of
mystical thinking is to approach the ideal. The
alchemists, while seeking to make gold, were also trying to restore the
Age. That was when the greatest possible amount of happiness was shared
A relic of that
age survives in the ancient divisions of Ireland.
times before history, Ireland
has been divided into four provinces, north, south, east and west. Each
own traditional character. Ulster
in the north is warlike and industrious. Leinster
in the east is rich and prosperous. In the south is Munster,
famous for music, and Connacht in the west produces the great scholars
Each of these four
provinces was divided into three sections,
ruled by a provincial king and two below him. This made up the circle
sections, corresponding to the twelve gods or signs of the zodiac.
was a fifth, central province. This was the realm
of the high king. Within it lay the national centre. Its location was
worked out by the Druid surveyors, and it is perfectly accurate. You
it to the east of Athlone, near the village of Ballymore.
The problems in Ireland
today are not so much political as spiritual. That is why the centre is
important. In happy times, when the high king was ritually married to
goddess of the country, the four provinces were independent but united
same magic. That is how it will be again one day.
One of tragedies
is to lose something, or someone, and only then
realise how much you valued them. It happens all the time in love. And
happening now, as we part company with our most ancient and precious
possession our units of measure, the foot, mile, acre and so on.
It is now known
that our present British units were the standards
behind all other measure in the ancient world. For example, 24 British
equal 25 of the classical Greek miles. This gives you the exact value
Greek mile and of its 5000th part, the Greek foot by which the
traditional units - Roman, Egyptian, Sumerian and others
- are related to each other by simple ratios. It was all one system,
universally. Even across the Atlantic, the Mexican pyramids were
the same units of measure as those of Egypt.
The ancient units
were fractions of the earth's dimensions. One
standard was its mean circumference, equal to a tenth part of 12 x 12 x
12 x 12
x 12 English miles. When the French tried to measure the earth in order
establish their metre, they got it wrong and their system is based on
There is nothing
political about this. It plays no seriously part
in the debate over Europe
and the Euro. It is
just that our units are sacred in origin. They measure the universe and
human body by the same standard, whereas the metre has no natural
is why we traditionalists say, Stand up for the foot!
campaign to preserve our measures is run by The British
Weights & Measures Association. visit www.bwmaonline.com for
The most famous
school in ancient Greece
was Plato's Academy at Athens.
It was open to all, but Plato really wanted the children of kings and
There will never be a just society , he believed, until there is a
just ruler. He taught the art of government, beginning with how to
govern yourself. Only if you know that are you worthy of ruling other
Over the door of
his school Plato wrote, "Do not enter unless you
know geometry." His reason was that geometry comes nearer to truth than
other art - apart from music which ranks equally with it. They are
different ways, expressions of number ratios, and number is the same in
ages and in every part of the universe. We did not invent it, we
By studies of
geometry, music and, above all, number itself, Plato
prepared his students for initiation into the reality of our existence.
not preach or give opinions, but led them by a series of proofs towards
perception. He showed the way to a happy and useful life. And he showed
the world is God-made and our souls are immortal.
Next week we shall
have a look at geometry from Plato's point of
view - as a true source of knowledge about ourselves and the universe.
not teach that aspect of geometry in schools today, and you cannot
to. It is an esoteric subject.
Geometry of Creation
At the beginning
of the Bible, the first chapter of Genesis
describes the stages by which the Creator fashioned the universe. First
brought it to order, then he divided it between the upper part and the
part, and separated the land from the sea.
reflects a simple figure of geometry. Last week I
promised more on geometry as an esoteric art - an art with hidden
Genesis is a good place to start. And another ancient book that tells
story, but with more geometric details, is Plato's Timaeus.
The story, as
geometers tell it, is that the Creator drew his plan
of the universe with a ruler and fixed compass. He placed his compass
the centre, and drew a circle to define the limits of the universe.
what everyone does with their first geometry set.
He also drew the diameter of the circle through
dot. Placing his compass point at one end of the diameter, he swung two
cut the circle on either side of it. And he did the same at the other
this way he divided the circle into six equal parts, and went on to
daisy patterns that everyone likes.
When you do that, you are imitating the
symbolized by the number 6. Hexagonal geometry is beautiful but
Next week we will continue through other shapes and stages in creation.
Last week we drew a circle and divided it into
From that you can make an endless pattern of hexagons, like cells of a
honeycomb. That represents the material creation, before life came in.
further, we should look qgain at the circle, the
first figure of esoteric geometry . The circle has two parts, the
and the enclosing circumference. The distance between them is the
The circle is a
natural symbol of the whole, divine universe. It
represents justice, because each point on its rim is the same distance
centre. It is economical, because the circle encloses the largest space
the shortest perimeter. And it contains all the other regular figures
geometry . Like the universe, the circle can never quite be described
rationally, because pi (the ratio between its diameter and
The central dot,
made by the point of the compass, stands for the
pole on which the circle revolves. That makes it a symbol of the
laws that govern the universe. Around it spins the world we experience,
The circle in
three dimensions is the sphere. Contained by it are
the five other regular forms of geometry. They represent the four
earth, air, fire and water, together with a mystical fifth, whose
symbol is the
The lessons you learn from geometry are not
official beliefs of today. But they are always the same, and next week
look further .
April 4, 2002
practical and mystical
There are many practical uses of geometry - for
beauty and function in architecture, for example, or for planning
fortifications in wartime. But its greatest benefit is developing a
proportion in those who practise it. Like music, geometry can refine
perceptions and make you happier and more successful.
Architects at the
Renaissance understood the link between music
and geometry. They planned rooms and buildings as 'concrete music',
ratios such as 1:2, 2:3 and 3:4, which are the musical octave, fifth
fourth. You do not have to know their secret to feel pleasantly at ease
those buildings. Modern architects naturally relate to modern music,
is why their products are often so chaotic.
In previous weeks
we have followed the traditional creation myth
to the point where the Great Architect constructs the material world.
he used the hexagonal geometry of the number Six. For the creation of
used the number Five.
The pentagon is
quite different from the hexagon. For one thing,
it does not 'tile'. You can put hexagons together endlessly, but the
does not allow that. It is an individual. Like us, it has five
its proportions are reflected in the human figure. In the ratio between
side and diagonal it displays the 'golden section' that governs plant
Five is the number of fingers on a hand, petals on a rose and much else
nature. We shall meet it again next week.
geometry of paradise on earth
Over the last four
weeks we have looked at the basic shapes of
geometry the divine circle, the rational, earthly square, the
hexagon and the pentagon, symbol of life and humanity.
The next shape is
the seven-sided heptagon. It is the most
intriguing figure, the symbol of mystery. One reason is that no one can
construct a perfect heptagon with just ruler and compass. Prizes have
offered for it, but they have never been won.
relates to the soul and the eternal goddess. Ancient
cities were laid out rationally in divisions of twelve, but at their
the number 7, represented by the state oracle. Its priestess gave
advice to the
rulers intuitively, as the spirit moved her.
Each of the simple
shapes in geometry has its function in magic
and enchantments. When set together in one diagram, each in its right
they form the complete, ideal pattern of the universe. A magical saying
"Like attracts like". That is why the old builders of towns and
temples planned them in certain numbers and shapes. By imitating the
they brought paradise closer to earth.
A geometric symbol
of paradise is the dodecahedron. It is the
solid, 12-sided figure, each of whose sides is a pentagon. The pentagon
represents humanity, so in this figure are the twelve races or
types, set together in perfect order and harmony. It tells you what
really all about the realisation (or an occasional glimpse) of