Archaic maps: Bardo Thodol.
(This is part of a series of informal notes, taken during ongoing collaborative conversations on the subject of the problem of consciousness.)
The Bardo Thodol is a Tibetan language text, traditionally held to have been brought from northern India to Tibet and translated there in the 8th century.
The centuries leading up to the 8th century in northern India were marked by the invasions of steppe nomads such as the Hephthalites and the establishment of kingdoms by them. The core concepts of a multi-layered world in the Thodol may have its origins in the steppe shamanism of these nomads.
At the core of the Thodol, underneath its Buddhist veneer, are displayed three layered or nested landscapes: Sidpa, Chonyid and Chikai.