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Atlantis of Rudolf Steiner

Bottom Teachings

Rudolf Steiner repeatedly talks against believing him grossly, and further says that his Spiritual Science of Anthroposophy is aligned to natural science. So what about "Atlantis and the people there"? Below you will find the good reasons why I for one do not believe in everything from the mouth and pen of the clairvoyant.

Steiner says there once lay a continent where the Atlantic Ocean is now, and that it was the bottom of that ocean that once was Atlantis, somewhere between 1 000 000 - 9600 BCE. The publishers of some of his talks on Atlantis, published as the easily readable book Atlantis, also supplies a map (on its p. 12) that shows the rims of where Steiner believed the vast continent was. (p. 11-13)

Map of the Steiner-claimed Atlantis is gross outline: Steiner told that Atlantis (coloured pink) once lay as on the map. Illustration based on Steiner's bok Atlantis (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2001:12-13. Cf. its note 28.)

"O Atlantis, why weren't you there when and where Steiner said you had been?"

NO SCIENTIFIC SUPPORT. However, there is no scientific support whatever that there was a continent where Steiner and others said it lie. That is to say, a required rug of support is pulled away from under the feet of the tale and makes it very hard to believe that the last remnants of wonderful Atlantis disappeared into the ocean only about 10,000 years ago - but that is what Steiner says.

PLATE TECTONICS. Modern plate tectonics shows that the Atlantic Ocean was slowly formed long before a claimed Atlantis, and offers no room for it. The current understanding is that a supercontinent, Pangea, split as the assembled plates beneath it slowly drifted apart on the earth's mantle, to the end that the Americas currently drift about 2 cm wider apart from Europe and Africa each year. Further, the bottom of the deep Atlantic Ocean between has not been submerged. The drift of the continents is caused by a very long rift, slightly S-shaped rift at the bottom of the ocean, the Mid-Atlantic rift. Magma comes up through the rift and has built a "Mid-Atlantic mountain range". Here and there islands appear along that ridge, and Iceland contains such volcanic isles. But most of the ridge is submerged, deep in the ocean. [Wikipedia, s.v. "Atlantic Ocean"; "Plate tectonics"]

The rift that is caused by the drifting tectonic plates, makes present continents move away from one another, but it does not make any of the drifting plates slide downwards. That is the gist. The ocean bottoms of each side of the rift just glide apart. These findings from the last forty-fifty years yield no necessary space for a recently submerged continent in the Atlantic Ocean.

Could an asteroid have fallen down from the sky and submerged the whole continent, or great parts of it? Hardly. There was an impact in the Caribbean Ocean - around Yucatán - but that was about 65 million years ago, and long before the Atlantis of the seers - [Wikipedia, s.v. "Chicxulub crater" and Yucatán Peninsula"]

In short: There was no such Atlantis as Steiner speaks of.

"Why are there found no migrants from Atlantis anywhere so far?"

ATLANIS MIGRATIONS NOT TRACKED BY GENETIC STUDIES. Steiner also talks of migrations from Atlantis, but recent genetic studies draw quite another picture, and conclude so far that today's mankind come from humans that migrated from southern Africa - There is nothing about Atlantis-migrations in such a picture. [Wikipedia, s.v. "Genographic Project" og "Early human migrations", and "Root race"]

Atlantis: The Said History and Its People

ATLANTIS HISTORY. The story of Atlantis first comes down to us through two dialogues by Plato, Timaeus and Critias. Both are online. Platon tells that the story of Atlantis as told among Greeks comes from Athen's lawgiver Solon. Solon in turn had been told about it on a visit to Egypt. That is where the earliest talk of Atlantis may be traced, actually. And recent findings of writings on stone walls in ancient Egypt mention a sea-faring people from "the west" (of Egypt). In brief, there are characteristics of the Minoan civilization of Crete and surrounding islands that match some of Platon's descriptions, and others that do not. The Minoan civilization floundered around 1480 BCE. Another candidate to the name of Atlantis may be Tartessos in Andalucia. There is interesting archeological evidence deeply buried on a muddy plain there, although what hs been found so far, is not convincing -just promising.

The Atlantis of Rudolf Steiner is much bigger than Crete and surrounding islands. He says the people there descended from a "root race" that once lived where southern Asia is now - the Lemurians. The Atlanteans of Steiner are a so-called root race, one of seven, each with sub-races - and Steiner places the races as he calls them, in a scenario of spiritual development.

CHARACTERISTICS OF ATLANTIC PEOPLE. According to Steiner, our Atlantic forebears had no skeletons, no logical reason power, but could recall very well. They had levitating vessels (made by "softies without reason") . . . and water was thinner back then, some ten thousand years ago. (Was it?) And so on. Steiner puts the Atlanteans into a wider scheme, that of mankind's spiritual evolution through ages and races on fancy continents.

STEINER'S ATLANTIS AND THE ATLANTIS OF OTHERS. For about ten years Rudolf Steiner headed the German Section of the international Theosophy movement. He was also initiated into Rosecrucianism, and ran his own Masonic lodge. Theosophy teaches about root races and Atlantis, as does Steiner. Enough said.


SUMMARY. The Atlantis of many claimed clairvoyants is not mainstream. Scientific support of vital claims about Atlantis has not been forthcoming that I am aware of. The bottom of the Atlantic Ocean did not sink recently at all. There were no people in that largely missing continent either, and no people from there to migrate here and there. It is a fancied continent, really, indicating how susceptible to suggestions they are, some clairvoyants and their followers who keep some theories and words all too close to their hearts under some circumstances.

Further, suppositions about Atlantis and various root races of mankind can mislead people into meaning that some of today's human races are inferior to others. However, "The number of pages with statements that can be experienced as discriminatory today is less than .05% of the 89,000 pages of Rudolf Steiner's collected works," finds a commision in the Netherlands. [◦Link]

I like some of Steiner's main contributions, but not ideas on loose foundations. Performance in a culture - including performance on intelligence tests -, is a result of many influences, constrictive and otherwise interacted with inherited factors, genes and others.

There is much variation in intelligence among individuals of any race, for one thing. Also, genetic diversity within any racial group dominates the diversity between racial groups and very much so, says Siddhartha Mukherjee, in The Gene: An Intimate History (2016). (Cited in Robert Todd Carroll's the Skeptic's Dictionary, online version).


Rudolf Steiner Atlantis, Literature  

Steiner, Rudolf. Atlantis. Forest Row, East Sussex: Rudolf Steiner Press, 2001.

Steiner, Rudolf. Cosmic Memory: Prehistory of Earth and Man. New York: Rudolf Steiner Publications, 1959. - Specifically, chap 3, "Our Atlantean Ancestors". - Online at Rudolf Steiner Archive.

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