Day 4--The Koreshan Settlement--Estero, Florida


I continue to write despite the fact that I cannot publish because when I finally can publish you all will be thrilled and astounded with the wonders here in South Florida (okay, stop the guffaws and fake sneezing.)

On day three the thrill du jour was the Koreshan Settlement, a utopian community founded in South Florida after Cyrus (hence Koresh--the Hebrew for Cyrus) Reed Teed, a Chicago electro-physician in the course of a series of experiments delivered too large a jolt to himself, passed out, and received a revelation from an Angel. He was the new messiah and he was to build the New Jerusalem.

He immediately set about the task by moving to Estero, south of Fort Myers, and beginning the Koreshan Unity. The Koreshans had central to their doctrine what is called Cellular Cosmology--you really need to google this and read about it--a magnificent inspiration. They even did an experiment on Naples beach which "proved" that the land curved up to reach the horizon line, thus confirming the central tenet of the Koreshan Unity--the Earth is a hollow sphere with the continents impressed on the inside and a large ball of gasses seven-thousand miles in diameter that contained the sun, the moon, and the stars.

The Koreshan Unity was a utopian community that believed in celibate living. Koresh thought of himself of the sun and because he believed in the equality of male and female, his female counterpart Victoria Pretia (I'll need to look that name up) was the moon. In addition, the seven women who lived in the Planetary Court represented the seven planets.

There's a lot of similarity with the Shakers in their use and embrace of all things modern and in their desire to cultivate arts, music, dancing, and theater.

The settlement has a number of extant buildings, one of the most interesting of which is the "Arts Hall," in which is displayed the model of cellular cosmology and the "rectilineator." The latter is the device with which they proved that Earth was actually a concave surface. Most interesting.

This is one of the wonders of looking at almost any area closely. You will find a wealth of wild and wonderful things. Wherever there are people there are oddities and wonders to behold. And this small community, which we thought a toss-off trip turned out to be three or four hours worth of study.

Other highlights of this trip--in the course of this trip we saw a tortoise--a large tortoise in his burrow and crawling through the grass. I suppose it is possible that these were two different animals, but it was an incredibly neat thing to see under any circumstances, one animal, two animals, or otherwise.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on July 6, 2005 9:12 AM.

Report from Days 1, 2, 3 was the previous entry in this blog.

Day 5--A Quiet Day is the next entry in this blog.

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