We have come to the ultimate questions
Attila Grandpierre on the essence of the Universe, the ancient Silk Road and the mission of the Hungarian nation.
We have come to the ultimate questions
Ancient Knowledge in a Modern World

We have come to the ultimate questions

Physicist and astronomer Attila Grandpierre (Photo: Orsolya Egressy)
Tamás Nánási-Kézdy 06/04/2023 07:00

We must all face the most significant question of existence: can humanity survive? According to Attila Grandpierre, physicist, astronomer, PhD, candidate of sciences, and member of the public body of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the answer is ecological civilisation founded on the ancient heritage of Eurasia, the life-centred approach. We also discussed the  role of the Hungarian nation in determining the future with this incredibly multifaceted Renaissance personality; author of influential works, writing about and researching our ancient history, as well as a singer-musician who has established himself as an icon on the Hungarian alternative rock scene as the front man of Vágtázó Halottkémek (Galloping Coroners) and Vágtázó Csodaszarvas (Galloping Wonder Stag).

– I would mention the titles of two songs from the repertoire of Vágtázó Halottkémek. The first one goes like this: Hello, Universe! The second one: Battle of the Huns. These two titles might be considered the beginning and the present of your remarkably prolific life path. How far do you agree with this statement?

– In a sense, the choice of these two titles is appropriate. I have been concerned with the Universe in its entirety since the age of five, and I already had aspirations of becoming an astronomer back then. However, for a long time, I never considered that I might one day research ancient history. Nevertheless, the connection between the two areas emerged naturally, and my path led directly from one to the other.

The three triads of the Tree of Life

– How did you get from studying the Universe to ancient history?

– The first significant turning point came when I learned what the essence of the Universe was. Ervin Bauer ignited the spark: my father handed me his book on theoretical biology when I was 17 years old. In this volume, far ahead of his time, the renowned scientist presents his discovery of the universal principle governing the energetic side of life. After having developed this proposition further, I came to the conclusion that the driving force of the Universe is founded on three principles: the principle of matter, the principle of reason, and, most significantly, the principle of life, which encompasses the other two and without which they would be meaningless. It is only through the unification of these three principles that the Universe can be comprehended; collectively - these three driving forces constitute the ‘engine’ and essence of the Universe. The three principles are essentially one: the principle of life unites them into a Trinity. My journey to this conclusion was uplifting, but then something even more extraordinary happened to me. As I was approaching the concept of the trinity of body, soul and spirit – the principle of life that creates unity from these three horizontally imagined parallels, and becomes prominent and unifying as it rises from the central position, becoming vertical – unexpectedly and to my enormous surprise, a double cross appeared in front of me. This was the sign that connected the symbol of the essence of the Universe to ancient history. With this, the key that unlocked the door into our ancient history dropped into my hands. As a natural scientist, I also realised that observable phenomena, the laws of nature that regulate phenomena, and the principles that govern the laws of nature themselves also form a Trinity. Based on these three principles, the essence of the Universe is composed of a triple trinity. The symbol of this is the triple mound. Despite the fact that I have followed a strictly scientific line of thought up until this point, this thread is closely connected to the symbols of our ancient knowledge. I felt the urge  to pass through this gate. A wonderful world unfolded in front of my eyes.
”We have a special mission: to bridge the gap between East and West with our metaphysical and philosophical system” (Photo: Orsolya Egressy)

– What sort of ancient knowledge does the double cross reveal?

– It led me, for instance, to Hungarian runic writing, in which the symbol for ‘one’ is a double cross. It seems inconceivable that the most appropriate sign for 1 would be 3 signs! There must be a weighty reason for this. To represent the cosmic ‘One’, our ancestors picked the symbol of the unity of the cosmic trinity. The symbolic system of the ‘One’ has been with us since ancient history through to the people of Árpád, to our current national coat of arms and flag. The trinity of the ‘One’ and the unity of the trinity: the knowledge of the essence of the living Universe is the spiritual foundation of the Hungarian people.

– What signs indicate this?

– There are many examples, but I would highlight the realisation of the Russian archaeologist Igor Manzura, which is in line with my own endeavours to understand ancient history. During his research, Manzura concluded that the unified symbol system found in ancient artifacts invariably reflects the world view that determined the civilisation and social life of the people of a given age. As the symbol system of the essence of the Universe is no longer known, the symbol system of the Trinity and the triple trinity, has, of course, escaped the attention of archaeologists.  The symbolism discovered on archaeological artifacts unearthed along the Silk Road is most prevalent among the Hungarians and Székelys, the Scythians, the Avars, and the Huns, as well as in Mesopotamia, which is no coincidence. There, for instance, three trinity symbols are depicted on the trunk of the cosmic Tree of Life. The unity of the triple trinity exists precisely where life force flows upwards. The symbols of the Tree of Life, the triple trinity and the double cross are found among the peoples of the Silk Road, the Scythian-Hun-Hungarians, as well as in Mesopotamia and in China. Unique among all nations, Eurasia possesses a shared ancient knowledge of the essence of the Universe.

– Where did this knowledge spread from? It is commonly acknowledged that the Far East served as the cradle from where goods, knowledge, and culture flowed to the West.

– In my recently published book Ancient Hungary - The Rise of the People of the Carpathian Basin and the Silk Road, the chapters of which were edited by eminent experts in their fields, I summarised the findings of eleven disciplines. In this volume, I came to the opposite conclusion, namely that ancient civilisation spread eastwards from the Carpathian Basin. The best starting point is the discovery of the bow in 35,000 BC, not in 8,000 BC as stated in Western literature. The bow was the most defining civilisational achievement of the age. The nation that invented it had a tremendous advantage, as they could feed a significantly larger population. Moreover, the invention of the bow required a great deal of expertise. Archaeologist, Vera Gáboriné Csánk, among others, reveals that all of this was already prevalent in the Carpathian Basin at that time, in her book Prehistoric Man in Hungary. In this book, she also describes  the 35-40,000-year-old arrowheads unearthed in Istállóskő  Cave. According to my research, these facts demonstrate that almost 40,000 years ago, a civilisation with a distinct cultural background was active in the Carpathian Basin. This civilisation was the first in the world to invent the bow and was responsible for a massive migration of people, primarily towards the East. They were representatives of the so-called Gravettian culture, and archaeologists can trace the arrowheads they left behind from France, through Poland and Siberia, to the Pacific coast. This bow-stretching culture also populated the territory of later Mesopotamia.

Ancient Hungary

„Eurasia possesses a shared ancient knowledge of the essence of the Universe” (Photo: Orsolya Egressy)

– So, the Carpathian Basin would be the cradle of Eurasia?

– Regarding the Eurasian Steppe system, yes. This is the area of a civilisation that I call Ancient Hungary. Since, following the presence of the Gravettian culture for nearly 30,000 years, the next outflow from the Carpathian Basin began about 7,500 years ago. It was around this time that the Ancient Europe civilisation was established. This culture introduced metalworking and was responsible also for domesticating large livestock, building cities, temples and stone circles, as well as for the invention of writing or its direct ancestor. This string of civilisational achievements sparked the subsequent demographic boom. Out of the Carpathian Basin of the time, a population of 1-2.5 million people, larger than the combined population of China and India, migrated from the Transdanubian region to the north, west and east, and a few hundred years later, another wave of population, also in the millions, shifted from Transylvania to the east. Archaeologists refer to these latter, highly educated people as sceptre-bearers or sceptre-burialists. They maintained power across the Eurasian Steppe. For five thousand years the world’s most influential people, they created a united civilisation, a community of collaborating states stretching from the Carpathian Basin to the Pacific Ocean, and as far south as North India: this was Ancient Hungary. Also noteworthy is the Scythian king, Nemrod, who ruled the Mesopotamian city of Uruk almost 5,000 years ago. On the basis of contemporary documents, I have concluded that Nemrod is identical to Nemrót, who was known in old chronicles as the ancestor of the Hungarians.

– How can culture and civilisation show the threads of a shared past spanning thousands of years?

– The common, all-encompassing, life-principle world view, the ancient science of nature, which was also a philosophy of nature and a religion of nature, had magical, mystical and shamanic characteristics too. The common symbols - the World Tree, the Tree of Life, the Wonder Stag, the double cross, the triple mound, the triple trinity, the crown with four cross-bands, pentatonic folk music, the cultural spheres of ancient and oriental folk music, Eurasian folk tales and the continuity of folk traditions can be traced all the way back to the 18th and 19th centuries. And if we scrutinize historical linguistics, we find that the Széchenyi Prize-winning linguist and historian of science, Lóránd Benkő, writes that the Hungarian language has never undergone any changes that would have disrupted its unity in its extremely long history, which dates back much further than the ancient history of the Indo-European or Finno-Ugric peoples. Thus, the transmitting party in the Finno-Ugric language relationship was Hungarian. Finno-Ugric is just another name for some northern peoples of the Scythian-Hun-Hungarian language family. But I can also touch upon some other breathtakingly fascinating correlations. I would like to highlight the research of Zoltán Juhász, who, under the inspiration of Zoltán Kodály, has been involved in the systematic comparative science of folk music since the seventies of the last century. He has devised cutting-edge mathematical methods for detecting connections in the folk song heritage that were previously unachievable using existing techniques. On the basis of his research, the renowned ethnomusicologist, who was also a folk musician, concluded that Hungarian folk music fundamentally and prominently shaped the development of Chinese folk music. In this case also, the transmitting party was the Hungarians: fifty percent of the Chinese folk music heritage is derived from our folk song heritage. It is also evident that the transferring party could only have been a neighbouring, more civilised nation than the Chinese. We know from other sources that these were the Huns; therefore, the Hun-Hungarian kinship can be considered proven on the basis of this evidence alone.

– You have mentioned that the continuity of ancient knowledge and natural religion, which characterised Eurasia as a whole and may be regarded as the foundation of civilisation, can be traced right up to the 18th and 19th centuries. What could have happened back then that caused this unity to cease to exist?

– The population shift intensified, and, more modern world religions, contrasting with the ancient ones, emerged and gained ground in the East as well. Generally speaking, the last four hundred years have witnessed the emergence, particularly in Western civilisation, of a kind of deeply embedded materialistic mentality that is incapable of recognising the cosmic significance of anything other than matter.

The obligation to put the world back on track

– Many have identified the root of the problems of our time in a materialistic, money-obsessed mindset and “GDP-based development”. What is your approach as the Research President of the Budapest Centre for Long-term Sustainability (BC4LS), one of the most important institutions in Hungary looking for a way out?

– Survival, that is to say sustainability, is the number one and most pressing issue of the 21st century and it demands immediate solution. Unsustainability has reached the point where it threatens the very existence of humanity. Nations that disregard a future based on sustainability are having the rug pulled out from underneath their feet by the devastation of nature. And the transition is impossible without a shift in world view. Ancient Eurasian and European civilisations were founded on a life-centred approach. This is also needed today to replace the prevailing materialism. The life-centred world view does not exclude but rather embraces the principle of matter and reason, just as the body and the spirit are essential alongside the soul, and these three together form a unified whole. If we collectively improve this trinity, pursuing the benefit of the intellect and life in addition to the material world, we do good service to both human society and nature.
Belső 3: Sustainability, is the number one and most pressing issue of the 21st century, Attila Grandpierre warns (Photo: Orsolya Egressy)

– You call this shift putting the world back on track. What do you mean by this?

– William Shakespeare himself wrote in Hamlet that “time is out of joint”. The world will be back on track when we finally return into the natural flow of life. The principle of life, which defines the Universe and all life, must become the most fundamental law of societies. A new civilisation, founded on the life-principle and comprehensively healthy, must emerge. A civilisation that nurtures physical and mental health and does not only pursue material goods. Happiness is impossible without this. Furthermore, it is not only at the level of the individual that we must generate well-being on the basis of the unity of body, soul, and spirit, since our existence is not confined to the world ‘inside our skin’, but is entwined with the essence of the Universe. The creative forces of the Universe reside within us, shaping the actual nature of humanity as a whole. It becomes uplifting when our understanding of the human being is reconnected to the cosmic order and the life principle that determines the essence of life. The principle of life is then directed to the fulfilment of the individual and collective existence. A healthy civilisation results from a society founded on the principle of life and comprehensive science.

A recipe for recovery

– Can the heritage of Eurasia provide a recipe for global recovery?

– The ancient knowledge of Eurasia has been best preserved in the scientific-metaphysical philosophy and national symbols and traditions of the Hungarian people. However, it is the Chinese who have retained this in the most comprehensive written form, and they continue to adhere to this life philosophy. The knowledge we have gained from the experiences of our ancestors and from three thousand years of Chinese philosophy, must be transformed into a system of decisions that reconciles individual well-being with the well-being of the family, society and the natural environment, and determines the main purpose of our actions and societies. To return to sustainability, to re-establish a good relationship with the reality that sustains our lives is what the convergence of ancient history and comprehensive science is telling us in a practical and proven way. The genuine identity of humanity lies in supporting all forms of life, not in enabling the accumulation of unnecessary material possessions that will destroy the homes of our peoples, alienate them, push them into conceit and hedonistic pleasures, and pit them against one another.

– When discussing Eurasia, we frequently simply talk about kilometres, infrastructure and trade. Is there any sign yet that the emerging supercontinent, which is ushering in a new era, is also taking steps towards a new civilisation?

– In 2007, the Chinese government decided that the country would proceed towards building a qualitatively new civilisation, known as an ecological civilisation. The Far Eastern giant is making great strides along the path of sustainability. More than ten thousand centres have been established throughout the country in an effort to raise awareness of the need to build an ecological civilisation. According to World Bank figures, China has lifted 850 million of its citizens out of extreme poverty. By 2020, Beijing had already met the United Nations’ 2030 target for eradicating poverty. A programme goal that many member states are not even expected to meet by 2030.

Sublimely simple, absolutely pure

– What role can Hungarians play in the development of a healthy and ecological civilisation?

– We have a special mission: to bridge the gap between East and West with our metaphysical and philosophical system, which is consubstantial with comprehensive science. What we practise is the life-centred way of thinking, which is like the perennial wisdom of the Huns described earlier: sublimely simple and absolutely pure.

– Could this be the foundation of the bridge?

– Wisdom differs from value-neutral knowledge in that it is beneficial to universal life. Our ancient, life-oriented way of thinking endures in the Hungarian language, in our folk traditions, and in the exceptional talents of our nation. Suffice to say, in the wake of György Marx's The Arrival of the Martians, that three of the greatest epoch-making discoveries of the 20th century were made by Hungarian scientists and inventors. As I have explained in detail in my book The Ancient History of the Silk Road, the talent of the Hungarian people is still outstanding on a global scale, which may be attributed to the fact that our role in ancient history continues to live on within us. This is what enables us to have a life-centred, comprehensive understanding that is higher than that of other nations and that we can pass on to help the world become sustainable.

– We began with the essence of the Universe and then moved on to the power of Hungarian ancient knowledge to establish a new civilisation. You mention in one place that your father, the renowned writer, thinker and Hungarian scholar, Endre Kolozsvári Grandpierre, always taught you to reach the deepest, most conclusive point in your train of thought. Do you believe you have already reached this point?

– The most crucial and ultimate conclusion, as well as the biggest question regards whether humanity can escape the grip of materialism? Who will keep alive what is important to us? Sustainability is a matter of life and death, the most critical social issue. The time has come for all of us to tackle the most fundamental questions of life. And then, in search of answers and solutions, we must come to map and fully understand overall reality, and the Universe as a whole. Which is sublimely simple, absolutely pure, and serves as the foundation for the emergence of the new world.

This article was originally published in our Hungarian-language magazine Eurázsia in 2022.

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