At one time it was thought that the world was created in 4004 BC. This was following a literal reading of the early books of the Old Testament by a 17th century Irish archbishop called James Ussher though he was not alone in giving such a recent date. Johannes Kepler and Isaac Newton apparently also thought in similar terms. This seems absurd to us nowadays as scientific investigation has shown the world to be much earlier in its origin but I have to say that in my mind 6,000 years is nothing and I can't imagine how anyone ever thought like that. They didn't in India where the age of the Earth has long been envisaged in millions of years with Days and Nights of Brahma (periods of cosmic manifestation and dissolution) alternating ceaselessly. This is a much more realistic scenario.
Modern science estimates the world to be about 4.5 billion years old with life in the form of microscopic organisms first appearing about 3.7 billion years ago. Early types of humans entered the scene around 2 million years ago with homo sapiens originating about 300,000 years ago. This is the current official timeline but is always subject to change as new discoveries are made and old ones reassessed. The first civilisations are thought to have emerged a mere 5,500 years ago in Mesopotamia following the development of agriculture.
I believe that last date will one day seem as ridiculous as we now think of Archbishop Ussher's date for the creation of the world. Granted, a slow development may reach a tipping point at which it suddenly accelerates, but still the length of one timeframe, that for the development of man, compared to the rapidity of the other, development of culture, should at the very least raise questions. Is modern civilisation really the first there has been on the Earth, given the vast periods involved? Or are there other possibilities concerning the life of human beings on this planet?
The author Graham Hancock has a recent series on Netflix in which he explores the idea that a great civilisation was destroyed at the end of the last Ice Age when fragments of a comet from the Taurid meteor shower hit the Earth causing massive floods that swept away all traces of that culture. It is thought to have been a seafaring, therefore coastal, civilisation, and as sea levels are supposed to have risen nearly 200 feet since the time of the presumed impact 12,800 years ago, this fact would explain the absence of any remains that could bear witness to its presence. Nevertheless, myths and tradition from all over the world speak of a global devastation by flood and the destruction of an advanced civilisation. Plato's story of Atlantis is known by everyone and, curiously enough, the date he gives coincides with the date of the presumed comet strike and the rising of sea levels. Hancock is actually only one of many people who have speculated on this subject but he has done his research and presents a good case for the open-minded which, unfortunately, is not the scientific community.
Occult tradition knows all about ancient civilisations and it speaks of not just one but several. Because these originate at different times in the Earth's evolution when consciousness is not the same as it is today, and even the material environment is different, they are not all the same type as ours. Atlantis, or the civilisation that we call Atlantis today, had technology but it was a very different sort to ours, some of it being indistinguishable to what we would think of as magic. In some ways their capabilities would be greater than ours, in others less. What seems to be the pattern though with all these civilisations is that they rise and fall, progressing to an advanced level of sophistication and then succumbing to hubris though it may be that even their genetic quality deteriorates too as ours is said to be doing since the Industrial Revolution which was a two-edged sword in that it allowed for the survival of individuals with maladaptive mutations who then go on to have children themselves. This is an emotional subject but if one looks at it logically and without judgement the facts and the consequences of those facts are clear. Abundance, a comfortable, safe and secure life, will allow for the survival and prospering of individuals who would have previously died because they were not sufficiently fit for the environment. The basic human stock will slowly deteriorate. No one can do anything about this unless one resorts to unacceptable, rightly unacceptable, actions but it helps explain why advanced societies tend to self-destruct. In a way their achievements work against them. But there is also the fact that as human beings carve out a comfortable world for themselves with wealth and power and a surfeit of pleasure to be had they lose connections to the gods, the spiritual realm, and this leads to their downfall. All the traditions speak of the flood having come about because of human arrogance and wickedness. The inevitable comparisons with the world today and the state of our civilisation, materially and technologically advanced but spiritually impoverished, must be made. Indeed, it may be that we are rediscovering this idea of destroyed ancient civilisations now as a warning.
Hancock draws attention to the stories of many societies from all around the world relating how their cultures were started off by mysterious visitors, usually from beyond the seas, who gave primitive peoples the foundation stones of civilisation, agriculture, arts and crafts, architectural skills, astronomy and so on. These were often regarded as gods but it may be that they were survivors from the destroyed civilisations trying to sow seeds for a rebirth. At that time it is probable that primitive hunter gatherers coexisted with the advanced civilisation for there is no reason other than ideological prejudice to assume that all human groups progressed at an equal pace or were equally developed. The civilised society may have been more vulnerable to environmental catastrophe as, apart from existing in areas now submerged, they would have been less familiar with a hand to mouth existence than the hunter gatherers who could have adapted much more readily to the new circumstances.
Given the long time homo sapiens has been around, even by current estimation (it may, of course, be even longer than presently recognised), it seems very reasonable to think there have been previous civilisations that have vanished, witness to their presence being obscured by earth changes. And, in fact, that is just what myth and legend tell us. The present cycle is just that, a cycle in the ongoing evolution of the Earth, and each cycle starts afresh though with some input from the past as the survivors of the putative Atlantis are said to have kickstarted civilisations in Egypt, South and Central America and even (I would maintain) Great Britain. We have forgotten so much about our past and who we are. We have forgotten our earthly history and we have also forgotten our spiritual history. The fact that many different sources are currently trying to remind us of both of these indicates to me that there is a concerted effort to get us to wake up. Obscuring the past may once have had a purpose as it enabled us to get on with building a new present but that time is over and it is now time for humanity to rediscover its earthly and spiritual heritage. This is all the more urgent as there are several signs that what happened before with Atlantis may happen again to us. We are a civilisation that has forgotten the gods and lost its sense of reality. It is widely accepted (though publicly ignored) that we are facing economic and cultural collapse but it may be that other factors may also play their part in determining the future as they did at the end of the last Ice Age.