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by Jeff Matthews

Historians of ideas use the term “countries of the mind” to describe what the rest of us might call “mythical places”, perhaps not even sure what we really mean by that term. We don't mean obvious make-believe places—not Neverland or Shangri-La or Oz, places where we go to indulge our fantasies or sense of fun, but which we know to be fiction (simply because we know who invented these delightful getaways—James Barrie, James Hilton and Frank Baum, respectively). “Countries of the mind”, rather, are such places as the lost continent of Atlantis, or, in the case at hand, Agartha (also Agarthi and similar variants), a mythical city at the earth's core. The myths of Atlantis and Agartha have driven the wish-dreams of generations of occultists and their conviction that we must be doing something wrong, that there must something beyond materialism, some way to access the “secrets of the ancients”, to find the Akashic record (said to be the enduring trace of all events that have ever occurred, every thought, idea and emotion—an eternal psychic record of our species. If we could just find it and return to our lost age of innocence!) These places do exist in a sense that "make believe" places do not.

Agartha is a subset of the Hollow Earth theory beloved by occultists in the early 1900s, itself part of the general rise of irrationalism of those years: the surface of our planet is mere covering for the “real” earth below with its great central sun and civilization of advanced beings, perhaps interstellar travellers and, above all, guardians of vast knowledge, the knowledge we no longer possess. Agartha was/is accessible from...


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