"As we have already shown, the symbol of the zero is likewise derived from the holy-sign of the circle, which symbolizes the unrevealed God, and also the other numerical symbols--falsely called "Arabic--were developed from the circle combined with the sign of multiplication, the gibor-rune: X which resulted in this matrix...... The series of these holy number-runes which appear in the following manner in a 13th century manuscript in the Royal Imperial Library in Vienna, the so-called Imperial Chronicle...... whence the old linear formations can still rather closely be made out. That these numerical signs have been referred to as "Arabic-Indian numerals" in more recent times, proves that belief in Aryanism is finally beginning to break through. Certainly the same thing is true for Sanskrit, but it should not be thought that Sanskrit is the root, but rather it is but one of the older branches of the Aryan World-tree, which was derived from the proto-Aryan, like our Germanic languages. Therefore, it shares a common origin and is of the same age as our Germanic languages in which Old Aryan still lives." --Guido von List, 'The Religion of the Aryo-Germanic Folk'
The world tree is a motif present in several religions and mythologies, particularly Indo-European religions, Siberian religions, and Native American religions. The world tree is represented as a colossal tree which supports the heavens, thereby connecting the heavens, the world, and, through its roots, the underworld. It may also be strongly connected to the motif of the tree of life.
Specific world trees include világfa in Hungarian mythology, Ağaç Ana in Turkic mythology, Modun in Mongolian mythology, Yggdrasil (or Irminsul) in Germanic (including Norse) mythology, the Oak in Slavic and Finnish mythology, and in Hindu mythology the Ashvattha (a Sacred Fig).
In Norse mythology, Yggdrasil is the world tree. Yggdrasil is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In both sources, Yggdrasil is an immense ash tree that is central and considered very holy. The Æsir go to Yggdrasil daily to hold their courts. The branches of Yggdrasil extend far into the heavens, and the tree is supported by three roots that extend far away into other locations; one to the well Urðarbrunnr in the heavens, one to the spring Hvergelmir, and another to the well Mímisbrunnr. Creatures live within Yggdrasil, including the harts Dáinn, Dvalinn, Duneyrr and Duraþrór, an unnamed eagle, the squirrel Ratatoskr and the wyrm Níðhöggr. Scholarly theories have been proposed about the etymology of the name Yggdrasil, the potential relation to the trees Mímameiðr and Læraðr, and the sacred tree at Uppsala.
Remnants are also evident in the Kalpavriksha or "wish-fulfilling tree" of the South Asian religions.
In Brahma Kumaris religion, the World Tree is portrayed as the "Kalpa Vriksha Tree", or "Tree of Humanity", in which the founder Brahma Baba (Dada Lekhraj) and his Brahma Kumaris followers are shown as the roots of the humanity who enjoy 2,500 years of paradise as living deities before trunk of humanity splits and the founders of other religions incarnate. Each creates their own branch and brings with them their own followers, until they too decline and splits. Twig like schisms, cults and sects appear at the end of the Iron Age.
A reoccurring daydream
For as long as I can remember, I have had a daydream--maybe a night dream as well--of being at low elevation and traveling in a straight line towards a very high point far in the distance. As I travel along, I keep climbing towards higher and higher elevation. From grassy lowlands, I travel through rocky highland forests, with the sun still beating down from a clear sky. Soon it becomes cloudier as I start to see sparse pockets of snow, and I can no longer see where I started from. I picture myself in an automobile, because that makes it easier to imagine. Eventually it's overcast and windy, with less tree cover as I climb up steep mountains in a slow ascent. Finally, usually after a blizzardy phase, it's somewhat clear again, and I just keep climbing upward towards a peak that I never reach. I don't want to look back. I know that this road leads to the "roof of the world." THE top of the earth.
Perhaps it's the result from the genetic memory of possibly thousands of years of living in the pre-Alps, and always seeing the endless ascent to the sky. Maybe it could be from some ancient memory from Teutonic ancestors who lived in a strange, harsh, very far off unrecognizable place, with strange animals abound, many thousands of years ago. Perhaps it was within view of an ominous, mile high sheet of ice. Some of my ancestors were known as the "Winnili," which is similar to the word "Wihinei"--a word which List used for esoteric religion. Sometimes I imagine the location of my reoccurring daydream; Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, the Sierra Nevadas, the Rocky Mountains, the Alps... but maybe somewhere very deep in my genetic memory... maybe it could be the Himalayas, "the roof of the world." I feel the same as I do during winter hikes when I reach a peak or high point, and feel invigorated by the cold wind.
The republication of 'The Arctic Home in the Vedas' (2011)
'The Arctic Home in the Vedas' was written by Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and first published in India in 1903. Ironically, his biography sounds similar to Guido von List. The only difference was that Tilak was knee-deep in revolutionary resistance, while List merely knew nationalists as he was not directly "political."
The idea of a lost ancient civilization located at the North Pole at a time when its climate was friendlier to human habitation is suggested in many of the world's oldest myths and sacred scriptures. Drawing upon his vast knowledge of the Hindu Vedas and the Zoroastrian Avesta, Tilak makes a painstakingly detailed analysis of the texts and compares them with the geological, astronomical and archaeological evidence to show the plausibility of the Arctic having been the primordial cradle of the Aryan race before changing conditions forced the Aryans southward into present-day Europe, Iran and India. Although this theory has never gained widespread acceptance among mainstream scholars since it was first published in 1903, Tilak has made a compelling case which is not easily refuted.
Bal Gangadhar Tilak (1856-1920), who was given the honorary title Lokmanya ("chosen leader of the people"), was one of the fathers of India's independence movement in opposition to British colonial rule. He was imprisoned several times for his vocal advocacy of violent revolt against the colonial authorities on the basis of Vedic scripture. His time in prison gave him time to work on his more scholarly projects, such as the present book. Although he did not live to see the ultimate victory of the movement he had helped to establish, he is widely acknowledged as having been one of the main driving forces behind it due to his influence on Gandhi and the other leaders who saw his mission through to its end in 1947.
Bal Gangadhar Tilak
Lokmanya Tilak, born as Keshav Gangadhar Tilak (23 July 1856 – 1 August 1920), was an Indian nationalist, journalist, teacher, social reformer, lawyer and independence activist who was the first popular leader of the Indian Independence Movement. The British colonial authorities derogatorily called him "Father of the Indian unrest". He was also conferred with the honorary title of "Lokmanya", which literally means "Accepted by the people(as their leader)".
Tilak was one of the first and strongest advocates of "Swaraj" (self-rule) and a strong radical in Indian consciousness. His famous quote, "Swaraj is my birthright, and I shall have it!" is well-remembered in India even today.
One more look at climate, timeline, demographics, and geography
Actually, the 45 degree latitude for the northern ice sheet was accurate in some places, such as North America. However, in Europe, the ice sheet covered the British Isles, Belgium, the Netherlands, northern Germany, before taking a slight southernly direction at Poland and through eastern Europe; then a sharp northeastern direction in Asia. The Alps were covered in ice, and there seemed to be a harsh region north of it, likely preventing northern passage for a long period. What this all boils down to is that the region of ancient Iran was probably more like modern British Columbia in terms of climate, while India was perhaps something similar to Oregon and California.
Also, the last ice age seemed to end about 12,000 to 13,000 years ago, which fits perfectly into this "Ice Age Iran/proto-Norse" theory. I would guess that there were proto-Norse tribes living north of the mountains of Iran, probably all around the Caspian Sea at this time. Remember, this was long before Semitic, Turkic, and Mongol expansion. These more northern tribes were more than likely the ones who migrated across northern Europe, and they would explain the mummies of the Tarim Basin in what is today far western China. They were the ones who remained. Archeologists just assumed that they migrated from northern Europe. In other words, psychologically, they can't seem to geographically divorce "Nordics" from northern Europe.
I would theorize that at the end of the last Ice Age twelve thousand years ago, Europe was about 60% of its current habitable land, and was populated by Alpine peoples of which the Basques are a modern survival. Smaller early bands of proto-Norse, probably over thousands of years, migrated across northern Europe and most of Spain and intermingled with the native Alpine peoples. This cultural fusion formed the various Celtic cultures over a large area. When the bulk of the proto-Norse finally did arrive later on, they swarmed over Scandinavia and northern Germany, but were checked at Gaul and southern Germany. Only much later did they finally overrun south Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, driving many Celtic tribes into Italy.
The original Mediterranean peoples stayed in the Middle East and founded the earliest civilizations. They also migrated across southern Europe and north Africa, up into France, and into the British Isles, and fused with the various Alpine and Celtic peoples. I'm oversimplifying it. The earlier westward proto-Norse migrations into Europe probably overlapped the westward Mediterranean migrations. I'm only considering the time frame from approximately 13,000 to 5,000 years ago.
The ancestors of the people who we today call "Arabs" were true Semites who lived at the southern part of the Saudi peninsula and perhaps the horn of Africa. At this time, they would have looked very different than the ancient Middle Easterners. This was the Ice Age. Everything in the world would have been pushed south! The contact we're looking at is between these Mediterranean/proto-Norse "Aryans," and the dark skinned Dravidian race in India. I don't see any other explanation for this "Aryan and Indo-European language" quagmire that so many people have pondered and deliberated about for so long.
Before the Aryan culture, could the "Arctic Home in the Vedas" have been the Ice Age proto-Norse who lived around the Caspian Sea; a region which would have been "Arctic" prior to 13,000 years ago? Some could have migrated over the mountains to the south and settled in a warmer climate and merged with the very ancient Persian Mediterraneans, whose homogenized descendants were the Aryans! You need to force your mind to see the world at it existed then... not now. It's possible that the early proto-Norse occupied a larger region north of the Himalayas.
According to Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the last post-glacial period occurred between eight and ten thousand years ago, which easily fits the above hypothesis. In part six, you can see that Tilak was presenting a theory which was largely different than this one. However, it's not entirely impossible that the two ideas could tie-in closely. In other words, these proto-Norse may have migrated southward into the region around the Caspian Sea from far northern stretches at an earlier time; and then some eventually moving southward over the mountains of northern Iran, and settling in the high interior plateau, which may be more-or-less be the same basic theory. It should be added that the bulk of the proto-Norse migrated across most of northern Europe, which again would be fairly consistent with Tilak's book.
It would seem that the ancient Mediterraneans--in a world with only a tiny fraction of todays population--would have remained in the lowlands of the Near East, which would have been green and comfortable then. It's not likely they would have been especially interested in living in the harsher mountainous conditions of ancient Iran until well after the weather cooled down. When they eventually did, it probably then resembled modern Colorado.
12-14-12 ADDITION: All individual storehouses of knowledge and solutions to problems (not mere dead memorized data!) are thus evaluated. Such storehouses are not lost upon death, but rather they are preserved in death and once more brought back to the world of men upon the next reincarnation. People call these spiritual storehouses that the reborn individuals bring to the earth "natural abilities," "talent" or "innate genius," which has already been established and discussed above. But just as the unrevealed God is only able to reveal himself in matter and become the world-spirit (First Logos), and just as the revealed God has to activate himself in creation generatively (Second Logos), in order to come to a vision and knowledge of himself, and finally just as the human spirit (Third Logos) had to attain this through an apparent descent from divinity for the sake of awareness of divinity itself, i.e. his own selfhood, so too the human being can only rediscover the divinity within himself (the divine inwardness) after he has lost it, after he has searched for God unseccessfully outside himself "up there in heaven," in temples and churches, finally only to rediscover his God within his own heart on the painful detour through atheism--and this time he does so in a way that God will never again be lost. And here we recognize in the world-ash, Yggdrasil--the imagematic tree of knowledge--the holy tree Zampuh of Tibetan myth, the Assyrian tree of life, and the other similar tree in Indian, Persian and other mythologies. Thus we find our way back to Yggdrasil again. --Guido von List, 'The Religion of the Aryo-Germanic Folk', from pages 45 and 46 of the Runa-Raven Press translation.
List was explaining what he called the "Garma" of the soul, and it's ascent over many incarnations. He mentions here "The Tree of Life," and it's existence in Germanic, Tibetan, Assyrian, Indian, and Persian spiritual traditions. Although so much of the technology from the "cradle of civilization" came from ancient true-Mediterraneans, the spirituality seemed to come from the proto-Norse people migrating south from their trans-Himalayan homeland... and ultimately from their very ancient Arctic homeland. It sounds like just a fanciful notion until you really look at the evidence. Aside from ancient Persia and later the Indus Valley, some of these proto-Germanic people may have migrated to other locations--like ancient Assyria--where they spread those spiritual traditions... such as "The Tree of Life."
In Greater Tibet, I would guess that the migrating proto-Norse were small in number, and their characteristics disappeared with later expansion from the Far East. Only their spirituality remained, and could be symbolized by the triskelion motif, a symbol they left behind, which is still popular in the region today. The triskelion probably went all the way back to the Arctic homeland. It was brought by very early migrating proto-Norse into Europe, where it manifested into the Celtic cultures. Today, the same symbol is present on the flags of the Isle of Man, Sicily, and places that I couldn't pronounce in the Caucasus, and far east into the Russian administrative territories; as well as in symbolism and arms from Greece, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, etc.
It probably should be pointed out again--despite the genuine and fascinating lore of the early proto-Norse migrations--they were not "the Aryans." The Aryan civilization was the result of east-migrating true-Mediterraneans and south-migrating proto-Norse, culturally and genetically merging together in ancient Persia. Technology from true-Mediterraneans merged with deep spiritual traditions of the proto-Norse, which developed into one of the great civilizations of the ancient world. This spirituality was not exactly the same as what later became known as Odinism or Asatru. These spiritual traditions were constantly evolving, mainly due to contact with other peoples. For example, Odinism may have been influenced by earlier Alpine peoples.