Monday, November 13, 2006

Brain Maps

"The human race has been marching upward from the first ages of history. Under what law has that mighty procession of the ages taken place? Science and history both answer that man has advanced, step by step, from the ignorant and selfish rule of his lower brain organs uptoward the beneficent dominion of his higher faculties.

The laws which have controlled that vast upward movement are still in force. They are fixed in the very constitution of man. And they are of supreme importance at the present time, for they determine what new institutions and what social changes are now required to meet that higher growth of man."

Plan of the Brain

Brain and Body

Pictorial Head

Unistate Model of Society

The Tree of Life

Wheel of the Law

The Book of Life

The Cross Section

Polar Contrasts

Solar Man

The Transition

Measure of the Head

Brain in Action

Mental Curves

Phases of History

[mouseover for titles; click to enlarge]

The story goes that a certain Dr Alesha Sivartha (?1834-?1915) {possibly a pename for Arthur E Merton from Chicago and Kansas} of Indian and Hindu heritage, developed an enigmatic theosophical belief system. From 1859 onwards he began writing down his thoughts and drawings which were to be incorporated into three books published around the turn of the century. Mark Twain was said to be a regular visitor to Sivartha's Kansas home.

All the drawings from 'The Book of Life: The Spiritual and Physical Constitution of Man' [1912] are available from Sivartha's great-great grandson's homage website.

Great-great grandson Don Ross:
"Alesha Sivartha was a medical doctor, artist, lecturer and a deeply spiritual man. His writings and drawings speak clearly of his conviction in the oneness of Body and Mind, in the oneness of our Physical and Spiritual Constitutions.

The twelve chapters in The Book of Life correspond with Sivartha's twelve aspects of a well rounded human being. Almost all of his theories and mind maps boil down to the number Twelve (12). If his mind maps make your brain spin, refer back to this Table of Contents for clarification on his twelve fundamental themes. It was Dr. Sivartha's hope that all people of all ages would integrate one hour of our daily activities with the learning and practice of each of these twelve subjects.

The Book of Life is at once Scientific and Biblical: Evolutionist, Creationist, Messianic, and Spiritualist. All woven together to create a fascinating mixture of ancient and modern points of view. His father was a Hindu, his mother a Unitarian, and Sivartha believed that Science could finally answer the Deepest Mysteries to prove Religion. The Book of Life is Dr. Alesha Sivartha's record of such Discoveries from 1859 to 1878. Some might call it Biblical Humanism with a Judaic twist; others call it Theosophy.

Whispers With Sivartha is the dream child of one of Sivartha's rare non-Christian descendents, his great-great-grandson, a California Buddhist with Spiritualist tendencies. Even so, I hope to distill practical ways for people of all faiths to live The Book of Life in this modern day. -- Don Ross, June 2005."
  • A scanned copy of Sivartha's 'The Historic Growth of Man' is available online. Be warned: it is painful to page-by-page advance through the book, but viewing a couple of pages gives an idea of his writing style.
  • George Glazer gallery have a 'Chart of The Earth and the Heavens' that Sivartha completed in 1886.
  • For MissB. - who caused me to find this insane eccentric book at the beginning of the year when we were discussing physiognomy.


Bighappyfunhouse said...


M said...

These are beautiful! Thanks

The Maximilian said...

Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

a neuroscientist friend remarked that the brain was not evolutionarily made for thinking. The world is made of those that make their own food and those that must move to get nourishment. Plants make, do not have to move, therefore, no brains. The rest of us must move, and the nervous system of which the brain is simply the largest lump, is necessary to coordinate the whole affair. What a relief! thinking is overrated!

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