To see a world in a Grain of Sand,
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
William Blake was an English painter, engraver, and poet whose abilities were so defined that he created stunning visual and poetic master pieces such as The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Immersed in his own mythological archetypes he claimed that his work was based on his inner visions that were inspired directly from the divine that defied any religiosity of his time.
Walter F. Laredo is a postmodern equivalent to William Blake. His book, Atlantis: Inspiration for Greatness is an epic lexicon created from his redefined interpretations of world mythology. Atlantis contains a myriad of illustrations, ink plates, charts, notes, and diagrams drawn, written, and painted by Laredo that are reminiscent of Blake’s work. His charts and technical diagrams resemble the engineering feats of Leonardo da Vinci.
According to Atlantis, Laredo’s first exposure to Atlantis occurred when he was fourteen years old and accompanied his father on a surveying trip into some unexplored areas of Peru. There he encountered his destiny by inadvertently sitting on a bunch of rocks in the shape of a chair that he discovers later is called the Rock of Wisdom or the Stone of Dreams. Laredo writes, “The stone I chose was perfectly contoured for my body. I settled into the smooth cavity and put my head into a recessed area that resembled a helmet…I began to feel very drowsy…suddenly everything around me turned dark, but it didn’t feel like I was asleep.” The Stone of Dreams acts as a virtual reality time machine. Through its machinations Laredo’s essence travels back in time to just before the great city of Atlantis is destroyed by the shards of an exploded comet. The Stone of Dreams infuses Laredo’s essence with a young boy named Kappa. He lives an entire lifetime in Atlantis while only a few moments pass in Laredo’s own time. He learns that Atlantis had reached a point in its development where aliens called Entarians were in contact and influenced the Atlantean culture and technology. Kappa/Laredo is told that that one of his many jobs is to bring Atlantean knowledge back to our time so he can save our civilization from the same fate as Atlantis and from malevolent and carnivore aliens that eat humans.
Laredo designed Atlantis: Inspiration for Greatness like the large coffee table books that were popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s that contained vibrant colorful images and in-depth information about fairy tale creatures. For example, the book Gnomes, written by Rien Poortvliet and illustrated by Wil Huygen, shows aspects of Gnome culture. While the reader knows that Gnomes is a work of fantasy, Laredo makes no such distinction for Atlantis. He follows a disturbing trend where many authors try to find a unifying theory that combines all cultures and their myths, including the politically correct, historically inaccurate, and sugar coated pop-versions.
Laredo will astonish readers as they delve into this accomplished and curious book.