Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Space and Struggle to Become Responsible

Vice President Pence Unveils U.S. Space Force Plans (C-SPAN) (9 August 2018). Video Source: Youtube.

The news is full of space headlines. On 9 August, the American Vice President Mike Pence announced that the United States will build a sixth branch of its armed forces, a "space force" to "prepare for the next battlefield." The full statement is here.

Humans to Mars

Mars is unusually bright in the southern sky. At the end of July, the Red Planet came the closest it had been to earth in fifteen years. In 2003, the two planets were the closest they had been in nearly 60,000 years, at a distance of 34.6 million miles.

There is a water lake under the Martian south pole. Image Source: Alamy/Science History Images via National Geographic.

On 25 July 2018, the journal Science confirmed that the orbiter Mars Express had discovered a 20-kilometre-wide water lake, 1.5 kilometres beneath the planet's southern polar ice cap (reference: Orosei, R. et al., Science https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aar7268 (2018)). This discovery will almost certainly guarantee an attempt to send humans to Mars.

Elon Musk, head of SpaceX, is in hot water with shareholders for a non-space matter. In order to boost the share price, he falsely tweeted that he would take Tesla private.

Elon Musk's Interplanetary Transport System. Image Source: Space News.

Maybe Musk needs the money for his other company, because SpaceX is building a giant colonial spaceship, Heart of Gold, named for the craft in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Heart of Gold will take people to Mars in 2024. The monster rocket is part of an Interplanetary Transport System (ITS). Musk wants to send the ITS to other planetary bodies, like Enceladus and Europa.

Leo-Aquarius Eclipses

The blood moon eclipse over Qolsarif Mosque, Kazan, Russia on 27 July 2018. Image Source: CNN.

On the 11th of August, there was a New Moon and a solar eclipse, visible in the Arctic, northern Europe and northeastern Asia. The eclipse occurred in the sign of Leo and is considered to have momentous general astrological aspectswith the signs Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius most affected.

In astrological lore, solar eclipses plant seeds; they add something to your life or open up possibilities. They are like very strong New Moons. Lunar eclipses are like powerful Full Moons. They remove something from your life or indicate a completion. Lunar and solar eclipses alternate and occur in groups over roughly two-year periods called Saroses. A Saros series is supposed to achieve a balance in your life by adding and removing necessary energies, possibilities, people, and aspects, whether you like it or not.

The sun appears to move on a plane with respect to fixed stars, as seen from the orbiting earth. This is the ecliptic plane. Image Source: Wiki.

Eclipses occur when the sun, moon, and earth align with the moon's nodes. The nodes occur when the moon crosses the ecliptic plane. The lunar nodes always fall in pairs of opposing astrological signs and a whole Saros will be dominated by those two signs. Thus, if astrologers interpret eclipses like an on-off switch, with the sun and moon respectively giving and taking away, they further believe that that a zodiac pair flavours that process over a two-year period.

"The lunar nodes are the two points where the Moon's orbital path crosses the ecliptic, the Sun's apparent yearly path on the celestial sphere." Image Source: Wiki.

Yet another lunar eclipse follows in Leo on 21 January 2019, which in astrological terms will end a two-year Saros series in which the Leo-Aquarius lunar nodal axis was activated. The Leo-Aquarius cycle began on 11 February 2017, when a lunar eclipse took place in Leo, while the north lunar node was in Leo and the south node was in Aquarius.

Loosely speaking, the moon's south node is a comfort zone and past assumptions and limitations which we need to outgrow. The north node represents highest dreams and aspirations which can be difficult to realize. The south node is often seen in negative terms, as something we have to dump or escape. The better aim is to balance the two nodal energies. You can't achieve dreams without a dose of reality and vice versa: too much dull care smothers your dreams.

Later eclipses in 2019 and 2020, initiated by the solar eclipse of 12-13 July 2018 in Cancer, will fall on the Cancer-Capricorn axis, indicating a need to balance home and work.

As for the eclipse of 11 August, astrologer David Palmer says: "It's OK to feel weird right now. ... This is bringing up crazy karmic situations that need to be confronted." There are six planets and Chiron in retrograde, forcing people to rehash old problems, reconsider their finances, and question ego-driven ideas about the way they think their lives ought to be. People are challenged to live in the way their souls really want to exist, even if that defies social expectations.

Add to this "monumental tasks" which must be done, and will demand utmost courage in the face of challenges, no help, and "extreme delays." Set goals this weekend, astrologers say, as they will shape your path for the next thirty years. The good news is that you will see clear signs regarding where you should and should not go.

The 11 August eclipse is interpreted alongside the total lunar eclipse of 27-28 July in Aquarius, which affected Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. Astrologers claim that the Leo-Aquarius eclipses are changing how we see and shape ourselves as individuals in relation to innovation, and to revolutionary changes in communities and politics. The last time these signs were activated in this way was 1997-1999. A balance between Leo and Aquarius will spark more mature and non-conformist engagements with global technology. Read more herehere and here.

Falling Stars

Image Source: EarthSky.
On the nights of 11-13 August, the Perseids will offer 2018's most brilliant falling stars in the northern hemisphere. It will be the best meteor shower in years. You can watch the meteor shower online below, or here. Advice on how to view the Perseids in North America is here and for the world in general, here and here. Look northeast around midnight, under the 'W' constellation, Cassiopeia. As it gets later, the direction (azimuth) in which you  will need to look to find the Perseids' radiant will shift towards the east.

Slooh: The Perseids Meteor Shower (Live 12 August 2018). Video Source: Youtube.

Touch the Sun

On 11 August, NASA scrubbed the launch of its Parker Solar Probe which is meant to "touch the sun" and fly closer to the sun than any spacecraft ever has. The American space agency launched the probe at 3:31 a.m. Eastern time on 12 August 2018.

Whether you wish on a star this week, or imagine what a spacecraft will see when it touches the sun, these celestial events and grand projects speak to a profound human impulse to breach the boundaries of the known and the possible. This is not just a question of ramping up mathematics, physics, technology, and engineering.

The projects which Musk proposes will rattle humanity. If SpaceX lands colonists on Mars, it will be a larger historical moment than Columbus. It will be bigger than World War I. Depending on what happens, a Martian colony might be as influential as the invention of the wheel, or the discovery of fire. We will not be the same species before and after the colonization of Mars. Are we ready for a jump of that magnitude?

Given these possibilities, we are a species on the verge of becoming more mature.

Part of species-wide maturation involves developing new ways of being and co-existing. Scientists dismiss astrology and deny any spiritual meaning to the movement of the stars and planets. Yet there are serious reasons for the persistence of this tradition.

On this blog, I have maintained that scientific and technological advances have already created a kind of mental plasticity. A semi-conscious descent into compulsion, addiction, and frenetic, online mass intuition cushion the psychological shock of rapid change.

Suddenly, because we are communicating globally in ways never seen before, outlandish ideas gain circulation and become more credible. The floodgates have opened, not just in technical, practical terms, but in terms of thoughts and feelings. You can't extend human operational capabilities rapidly without also expanding what we believe to be emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically possible.

Reappraisals of our mental and soulful capabilities will cement the foundations of a changed society. Humans initially build these foundations by reevaluating a broad spectrum of narratives, myths, stories, and histories; they hash and rehash them until communities find a baseline consensus on what is real, true, and acceptable under the new circumstances.

That is why I argue that forms of religion and mythology mirror current levels of technology. These narrative forms, along with oral histories, are ways of culturally 'digesting' and normalizing extremes and potentials which would otherwise be overwhelming.

Fake news and conspiracy theories have revived old Catholic superstitions with space-oriented trappings. As crazy as these superstitions sound, the central story is not crazy. The rumours confirm that good is battling evil. The light will not be defeated. This is the most resilient story in human history and it comes straight out of the night sky.

However, the real challenge in becoming a more mature species is to move a step beyond mere consensus around a stable common narrative, such as 'good triumphs over evil.'

In the struggle to become responsible, we are asked to step back from polarized thinking. We must cast off victimhood and divisive blame-casting and look at the larger trend. Currently, there is an enormous hostility among the 'helpless,' 'victimized' mob toward evil, controlling elites and powerful one-percenters, be they bankers, politicians, corporate moghuls, or space aliens! These narratives abrogate responsibility. Someone else is responsible for the chaos. A politician. A cabal. A different tribe.

This occurs partly because the ego (marshal of old norms) and the structural left brain (a controlling analyst, logician, and labeler) are ill-equipped to deal with the unexpected mayhem of progress. To rationalize that mayhem, rumours fill the cultural vacuum. The crazier the story is the better, because it will help the chaos make sense in terms which validate the emotions of disoriented souls.

The impulse to rationalize and control chaos is similarly evident as corporations and governments collect data on billions of people and try to harness that information in the name of commerce, safety, and social order.

The swing between chaos and control explains why politics is getting so hostile and strange. Why do Flat Earthers believe Musk faked his rocket launches? Why do factions on the Internet believe there are slave children on Mars? Why do conspiracy theorists insist that we already had the ability to explore space in the 1940s?

From the mainstream point of view, institutions and corporations must stamp out these unhinged, opposing voices. In the mainstream, it is considered morally and politically justified to slander, demonetize, and abuse red pills. Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin are bogeymen who are to blame for everything that is wrong. They are villains who are derailing civilization! To mainstream blue pills, red pills engage in insanity, racism, and Thought Crime, and they deserve to be suppressed and censored. That's an odd position to take for free-thinking liberals!

Stand back from these camps of chaos and control, and it becomes clear that red pills and blue pills (and everyone in between) all blame someone else for the upheavals they see all around them.

But the real cause of upheaval is a much larger developmental trend. That is why blaming someone else for the way the world is now is politically and morally irresponsible and socially immature.

The Venusian Eve

Originally published in Horizon journal (May 1959) Eve of Perelandra by James Lewicki. Image Source: A Pilgrim in Narnia.

With these questions in mind, I came across a relevant passage in the science fiction novel, Perelandra (1943); it is the second part of C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy.

Lewis, with his focus on Christian ideas, supplied a good analogy for the way we think about space and space exploration, whether we are religious or spiritual, or not. He was evidently concerned that his readers take responsibility for the way they view reality.

Perelandra is about two men who visit the planet Venus. The protagonist Elwin Ransom is a philologist. Ransom's enemy, the Satanically-possessed Edward Weston, is the greatest scientist on earth. Star Wars fans may already know that Weston becomes a kind of proto-Sith lord, who speaks of embodying the "Force."

Lewis created a mythos in which each planet in our solar system is ruled by an angelic entity. Earth's angelic ruler (Satan) has become twisted, evil, and known as the Black Archon. Having dominated earth, Satan now turns his attention toward Venus.

Lewis depicted Venus as a young world in its Eden stage, complete with a green-skinned Adam and Eve, created in God's image.

When Ransom first travels to Venus, he encounters the Venusian Eve. He tries to describe the fallen, distorted spiritual state of earth. On hearing that the earth has no visible barriers between the land and the firmament, while the Venusian sky is always shrouded in clouds, the Green Lady's understanding of heaven changes. Ransom removes her belief in a celestial security blanket. The Lady becomes aware for the first time that she is choosing to see things in a certain way, and that her choice affects her happiness and her fate.

Even though Ransom has introduced unsettling information to her, the Lady does not blame him for being the source of her changed reality. She understands that she has agency in choosing how she sees things, and (true to quantum physics) it is her perception that is actually changing everything. She says:
"I have been so young till this moment that all my life now seems to have been a kind of sleep. I have thought that I was being carried, and behold, I was walking. ... [T]his ... is the glory and wonder you have made me see; that it is I, myself, who turn from the good expected to the given good."
Here, the Lady displays the consciousness of free will. There are no larger authorities, be they God and his angels, or the powers and principalities of darkness, which control us. 

We are not being manipulated by others. Rather, in a desperate effort to build and master new tools, we are simultaneously orchestrating and trying to control chaos. We are all collectively participating in the greatest effort in history to transform ourselves by means of our technology.

To become responsible as a species, we must stop blaming others for the symptoms of change and recognize our own agency. At the same time, maturity includes the unsettling fact that no matter what choices or plans we make, the future will bring the unexpected. We may become unrecognizable to ourselves and others. There will be no future as we anticipated, and the people we thought we would become will never arrive. But there is solace in that outcome, because our future selves demanded that sacrifice of us now.

A Walk on Venus (CGI from BBC TV series "Space Odyssey") (8 April 2012) © BBC. Reproduced under Fair Use. Video Source: Youtube.

Should We Colonize Venus Instead of Mars? | Space Time | PBS Digital Studios (4 March 2015). Video Source: Youtube.

mars rover to mars holst the planets (30 April 2007). Reproduced under Fair Use. Video Source: Youtube.

Sorry, Elon Musk, But Scientists Say Terraforming Mars Is Impossible | Mach | NBC News (22 August 2018). Video Source: Youtube.

Read all my posts about Venus.
See all my posts about Mars.

No comments:

Post a Comment