Atlantis, a magical name, a byword for something ancient yet advanced beyond our understanding – lost to us, yet beckoning to be found. The idea of it, given gravitas by no less than Plato himself, continues to endure, even in the face of the silliness of present day would-be explorers who talk of the physical reality of sunken continents long after the science of tectonic plates makes the very idea ludicrous.
They have not found Atlantis, they shall not find it. Like so many of the wonders passed down to us from the ancients, like the gods themselves, Atlantis is a metaphor.
There is a feeling, a sense of unease, that the ancients knew something about being a human being that we have lost. Anyone one who has read Homer with a thoughtful mind has experienced this. Even while we shudder at the violence, brutality and brevity so characteristic of life at the dawn of civilization, we sense that here was a time when people lived life with a whole heart and a whole soul.
Humanity has come far, our science and technology have given us comfort, leisure, and prosperity undreamed of by the ancients. We have achieved wonders of art and architecture. We have sailed to the moon and back and seen to the edge of the universe. We have invented the notion of human rights and have demonstrated the power of freedom and individual empowerment.
But we cannot escape the sense that something has gone wrong. Existential angst, malaise, and neurosis eat away at our joy. As individuals we live for some imagined future while the richness of experience and perception in the present slip away unnoticed.
Atlantis. To live in Atlantis is to experience life in all its emotional richness. To live, love and die with a whole heart. To bring peace, to rid the world of an evil, to create and destroy, to live life in the fullness of nature, to be with the gods in all things.
But, to live in Atlantis is also to practice the arts of civilization, to experience the most subtle refinements of the senses, to know the delight of deep intellectual understanding, to unlock every hidden key of nature, to master nature while still remaining part of it.
This is the metaphor of Atlantis. A civilization composed to individual men and woman living, like Odysseus, in the fullness of their nature – in harmony with their evolved “design,” yet at the same time tasting the fruits of advanced technical civilization.
Here you will find a blueprint for such a civilization. A New Atlantis, a metaphor no longer but a design. An architecture for a global human civilization, based on nature, but in the words of the great architect Frank Lloyd Wright, “more than nature.”