TIMES, TIME, AND HALF A TIME. A HISTORY OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM.

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.



Showing posts with label Atlantis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Atlantis. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

In Millennial Eyes 6: The Antarctic Fourth Reich and the Great Game


Frank Hurley's photograph, taken between 1914 and 1916, of Antarctic explorer Dr. Leonard Hussey with Samson - one of the Canadian sled-dogs on Sir Ernest Shackleton's ill-fated Endurance expedition. Image Source: Pinterest via Royal Geographical Society.

Today's post continues my coverage of the Millennial Antarctic Fourth Reich conspiracy theory and its meaning in terms of Internet psycho-politics. In this case, I will describe how this conspiracy theory relates to the revival of the 19th century contest between Britain and Russia for Asian lands and wealth: the Great Game.

I argue that Antarctica now replaces Central Asia, to serve as a cipher in a new virtual Great Game. The Antarctic Fourth Reich conspiracy theory appears to be an alarming Russian-sourced or pro-Russian form of propaganda, which endorses and then moves past the pro-Trump agenda, to encourage Americans to destroy their own country from within. The Fourth Reich theory also channels a folkloric and racist renewal of Anglospheric nationalism, in which Vladimir Putin is viewed as a strategic ally.

The Fourth Reich conspiracy theory depends heavily on the Nazis' merger of the occult, politics, and technology. Secrets of the Third Reich: The Rediscovery of Vimanas (uploaded 11 February 2013). Video Source: Youtube.

The conspiracy theory also seeks to isolate the Anglosphere from the Europeans. It hinges on the supposed historic continuation of German Nazism (with a conspicuous, ahistorical failure to mention Italian fascism, Japan, or affiliated Axis powers from World War II) and returns Anglospheric opinion of the Russians to the sympathetic year of 1944.

Despite the apparent Russian dominance of this online extravaganza, the Anglospheric aspect of the Fourth Reich narrative has an elusive introspective quality which may excise the Russian factor and even nationalist racism. That is, something about this conspiracy theory involves America, the UK, and affiliated Commonwealth countries chewing over internal identity in light of contemporary politics and evolving global techno-economies and societies. The outcome of that muddled cultural reevaluation may be completely independent and unexpected, regardless of whether or not the Russians try to interfere with, or benefit from, this process.

Friday, June 16, 2017

In Millennial Eyes 5: Aryan Mystics of Antarctica and the Fourth Reich


Image Source: Nachtwächter.

The Millennial mind confronts many fears. Fear of poverty, fear of misrule, fear of violence and chaos. In a world dominated by science and technology, the ultimate fear is that rational systems could create mass irrationality. How could a pervasive anti-rationalism come to dominate a landscape framed by reason? Worse, anti-rationalism can manifest its own power. These concerns give rise to the fear that magic has been combined with politics, or that magic has been combined with technology.

Rationalists break things down, analyze them, and solve limited problems within defined boundaries. Wholeness is suspect in a world dominated by specialized knowledge and compartmentalized action. Universal knowledge is a path to faith, mysteries, and madness; however, it is enjoying a vogue in high circles and low. Conspiracy theorists - who lead the fearful - share a comprehensive vision with the supposed New World Order leaders they claim to oppose. Conspiracy theorists are now the world's greatest holistic myth-makers. If physicists seek the Grand Unified Theory and philosophers consider the Theory of Everything, conspiracy theorists offer their own brand of all-encompassing pseudo-knowledge.

The theorists have developed a Grand Unifying Conspiracy Theory, which centres on Antarctica, and uses the seventh continent to explain the role of Germany and America in 20th and early 21st century history. Beyond that, this theory claims to explain our entire world as it currently exists, and as it has ever existed.

Before I continue, I want to state clearly that I personally do not believe this conspiracy theory, nor do I subscribe to its racist or outlandish elements. However, I think it is an important phenomenon, which reflects the evolution of online behaviour and technoculture. This is the conspiracy theory to end all conspiracy theories. It revises the whole history of humankind. This alt-vision would be impossible without the Internet.

Post-Truth and Tomorrow's Politics

Salon screen capture, from a 4 March 2017 article, in which author Andrew O'Hehir lamented over "fake news and endless lies." Image Source.

The craziness of the phenomenon described here shows what happens when politics becomes a battleground of perceptions and opinions. Information is detached from reality and weaponized, and narratives are too. The Salon article above cited a New York Times article from 2 March 2017 on how Donald Trump has destroyed the tone of public debate and is jeopardizing democracy. We must find ways to determine between fake and real information. We must also consider what may or may not be discussed in the public square - and which voices are authoritative, and how, and why. But all these worries ignore a critical point.


If one allows that fake-versus-real is one discussion, one must still consider a second discussion, in which post-truth is a given. When post-truth is a given, one must learn how post-truth functions, in the same way a linguistic anthropologist studies urban legends, digital folklore, and their real contexts. If we agree with Samuel Greene at KCL that "voters' perceptions have become untethered from reality," we still need to understand how untethered perceptions work.

Post-truth is not fake news. It is neither true nor false. It is a principle for people who would like to keep all their options open and stay flexible when it comes to understanding reality. That grey area has tremendous utilitarian value, especially if it draws from deeply embedded cultural memory. In terms of that utility, it doesn't matter whether information is true, false, or blended. If established authorities decry threatening information as fake, so much the better. They stake their current power on a weakening principle, that is, old, limited forms of knowledge. Those who grasp post-truth's dynamics and mechanics have the advantage. That post-truth practical advantage drives the Antarctic conspiracy theory.

Still from Heimat (Season 1 Episode 1, Fernweh - 1919-28 (The Call of Faraway Places); first aired 16 September 1984). Image Source: Cartoon Simkl.

It may appear that conspiracy theories are idiotic nonsense, online entertainment for lunatics and basement dwellers. However, I am reminded of the Heimat German television series. That series dramatically covered the history of Germany from 1919 to 2000.

When I watched Heimat's first episodes on PBS in the mid-1980s, I was struck by how Nazis were depicted when they first appeared in rural Germany in the 1920s. They were shown as ridiculous, marginal figures, brown-shirted spotty teenagers, goose-stepping in the background of town squares. They were ignored by decent folk, who were talking in civilized tones in the foreground. In other words, no one who was 'normal' took these adolescent Nazis seriously.

That dramatic interpretation can be questioned; the history of youth movements in the 1920s confirms that Nazism was much more popular than that and its ideas grew from old precedents in Europe. But certainly, within ten years, Nazism, with all its outdoorsy nature worship and ludicrous magical politics became very serious business indeed. That is why the Antarctic conspiracy theory may seem a silly waste of time - arrested development fodder for adolescent Internet gnomes - but it would be wise to pay attention to it.

Technologically-induced social transformations are opening up power vacuums. Nimble opportunists on all sides recognize that everything is shifting, and potential power bases of the future - not yet extant - are up for grabs. Conspiratorial narratives are one way to surf the post-truth waves to future prominence and control. Today's Internet gnome is tomorrow's politician.

Memories of the racist past in the USA, especially the South, may feed American fears of neo-Nazis and of Trump as a new Hitler. That is, Nazis-in-America may not be as real as the American cultural memory of racism in the United States, a separate historical phenomenon from National Socialism in Germany.

In this post and a subsequent post, I describe how one thread of post-truth, which I call the Antarctic Fourth Reich, covers everything. It works on its own mythical terms, and defies fakeness or realness. In later posts on this topic, I will consider the Fourth Reich's cultural meaning and actual utilitarian effect in terms of real history and real politics.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Countdown to Hallowe'en 2016: New Atlantis at Denver International Airport


An enormous blue horse sculpture with glowing red eyes greets Denver International Airport entrants. During construction in 2006, part of the sculpture fell on the artist, Luis Jiménez and killed him. Officially dubbed Blue Mustang (2008), locals nicknamed the 9,000 pound stallion 'Blucifer,' and decided it looks like the pale demon horse carrying Death, one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. Others say it relates to the Blue Star Kachina in a Hopi prophecy of the destruction of the world. Image Source: flickr.

One of the pinpoints on the globe which conspiracy theorists associate with apocalypse and New World Order is Denver International Airport. The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry scoffs at this, but acknowledges that the airport has become a hub for conspiracy theories about how the world is changing.

Locals think the airport may be a secret shelter for the government, or a military base in the event of global conflict. Do this city and its airport have more strategic importance than we know? Some think the airport has underground tunnel connections to an official bunker further west. Truthers and New Age occultists suspect the airport is the Illuminati's site of 'New Atlantis' after World War III.

Image Source: flickr.

Millennial paranoids got this idea from a novel, New Atlantis, by Sir Francis Bacon, published in 1627, which you can read here. In the book, Bacon explained the driving motivation of secular rationalists:
"The end of our foundation is the knowledge of causes, and secret motions of things; and the enlarging of the bounds of human empire, to the effecting of all things possible."
Their foundational centre, the triumphant capital of enlightened intellectuals, would be named New Atlantis. Bacon situated this endgame metropolis in America:
"For the several employments and offices of our fellows; we have twelve that sail into foreign countries, under the names of other nations, (for our own we conceal); who bring us the books, and abstracts, and patterns of experiments of all other parts. These we call Merchants of Light. 

"We have three that collect the experiments which are in all books. These we call Depredators. 

"We have three that collect the experiments of all mechanical arts; and also of liberal sciences; and also of practices which are not brought into arts. These we call Mystery-men. 

"We have three that try new experiments, such as themselves think good. These we call Pioneers or Miners.

"We have three that draw the experiments of the former four into titles and tables, to give the better light for the drawing of observations and axioms out of them. These we call Compilers. 

"We have three that bend themselves, looking into the experiments of their fellows, and cast about how to draw out of them things of use and practise for man's life, and knowledge, as well for works as for plain demonstration of causes, means of natural divinations, and the easy and clear discovery of the virtues and parts of bodies. These we call Dowry-men or Benefactors. 

"Then after divers meetings and consults of our whole number, to consider of the former labours and collections, we have three that take care, out of them, to direct new experiments, of a higher light, more penetrating into nature than the former. These we call Lamps. 

"We have three others that do execute the experiments so directed, and report them. These we call Inoculators. 

"Lastly, we have three that raise the former discoveries by experiments into greater observations, axioms, and aphorisms. These we call Interpreters of Nature. 

"We have also, as you must think, novices and apprentices, that the succession of the former employed men do not fail; besides, a great number of servants and attendants, men and women. And this we do also: we have consultations, which of the inventions and experiences which we have discovered shall be published, and which not: and take all an oath of secrecy, for the concealing of those which we think fit to keep secret: though some of those we do reveal sometimes to the state and some not.
Critics argue that Bacon's vision closely describes modern international globalization's rampant science, technology, and materialist consumerism. Conspiracy theorists believe that Bacon's work inspired the Illuminati when they planned their future capital of the New World Order. When the theorists began to guess where that projected site might be, they focused on Denver, Colorado, USA.

In 2009, the Telegraph posted a curious slideshow of World War III comics, without attributed author or artist, entitled, "Operation Blackjack - the story of a series of terrorist nuclear attacks on major western cities and the aftermath." This series caught the attention of conspiracy theorists and became notorious on the Internet. In the slideshow, Denver becomes the capital of the future state of the Union of North America. In reality, 'Operation Blackjack' is a series of weekend wargames staged in locations in the USA; an affiliated UK site is here. Image Source: The Telegraph via Youtube.

The full Telegraph slideshow. Video Source: Youtube.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Countdown to Hallowe'en 2016: Americans, Aliens and Area 51


A lamp post in Roswell, New Mexico, USA. Image Source: Houstonia.

The American election campaign has reached the 'aliens are real' stage. Given WikiLeaks' latest (and possibly Russian-sourced) UFO leaks (herehere, here and here) relating to Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, today we head to Area 51 for all things X-Files, Roswell, aliens, and flying saucers. According to WikiLeaks, US government staffers relayed the following information to John Podesta in an e-mail from December 2008:
"Add this to John Podesta's pile: A 'million fax on Washington' directed by the head of the Extraterrestrial Phenomena Political Action Committee (X-PPAC) to demand that Obama 'demand a full briefing from your military services and intelligence agencies regarding what they know and what they are doing about extraterrestrial related phenomena' and 'formally acknowledge the extraterrestrial presence and finally end the truth embargo after 61 years.'

X-PPAC's executive director, Stephen Bassett, writes in his own open letter that he believes that the transition chief is a secret ally in this:

If you are in need of counsel to assist you in these matters, you have but to turn to your transition co-chair, John Podesta. His efforts to end the truth embargo and release all relevant government documents date back to at least 1993 and the Rockefeller Initiative. PRG believes he is fully aware of the extraterrestrial presence and is committed to creating more open, transparent governance. In this he is in sync with the chief financial backer of his Center for American Progress think tank, George Soros.

This is not a new theory. The response to Clinton Library Freedom of Information Law requests was delayed because the UFO people got there first, FOIAing, among other things, 'All files on UFOs, Roswell New Mexico, flying saucers, Area 51 or the TV show X-Files in the files of John Podesta'

X-PPAC reportedly is further heartened, this time around, by the likely presence of Bill Richardson in the new administration; during one debate, he called on the federal government to 'come clean' on Roswell, though he later said he hadn't meant to suggest he's a believer."
Russia Today claims the leaks prove that the American government knows that aliens exist, and the aliens want to help us with "zero point energy," or "free energy," which would change the whole history and development of the world. The fact that 'energy' is the aliens' main concern should be a telltale sign in all this Russian mischief. According to the leaks, the aliens are unwilling to share their technology unless 'we' overcome our violent, war-mongering tendencies. The leaks also 'prove' the Vatican's awareness of extraterrestrials. You can see these bizarre revelations summarized here. See more reports here, here, here, here, here and here. Critics argue that these leaks and Russian propagandistic interference in American affairs herald a new era of "false stories" and "weaponized information."

This image was attached to a 26 October 2015 e-mail purportedly from Tom DeLonge to Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, John Podesta; it was leaked by WikiLeaks on 10 October 2016. It and other attached images relate to a Hollywood-sourced novels, films and 'non-fiction' works to be released about the existence of aliens. Image Source: WikiLeaks via CBS.



Image Source: PBS.

From the Prelinger Archives: "Color footage of atomic bomb tests with active duty military personnel at Camp Desert Rock, Nevada Test Site, Nevada. Shows soldiers in foxholes as nuclear detonation occurs nearby; light and shockwaves; blowing dust; soldiers climbing out of foxholes and running towards mushroom cloud." Video Source: Youtube. This film is in the public domain.

The Russians are cleverly exploiting a famous corner of American mythology to demoralize and confuse the Americans, turn them against their own system, and disrupt the USA's democratic process. Russian tactics are working because the adolescent republic reflexively reverts to revolutionary mode when considering any undue government influence - and because ancient superstitions married high technology in Nevada's now-toxic desert. Talk of flying saucers and aliens has long circled Area 51, a restricted facility, where the US Air Force tests experimental aircraft and weapons. According to Wiki, rumoured events in Area 51 include:
  • "The storage, examination, and reverse engineering of crashed alien spacecraft (including material supposedly recovered at Roswell), the study of their occupants (living and dead), and the manufacture of aircraft based on alien technology."
  • "Meetings or joint undertakings with extraterrestrials."
  • "The development of exotic energy weapons for the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) or other weapons programs."
  • "The development of means of weather control."
  • "The development of time travel and teleportation technology."
  • "The development of unusual and exotic propulsion systems related to the Aurora Program."
  • "Activities related to a supposed shadowy one world government or the Majestic 12 organization."
My 2012 post, Mutants, After the Apocalypse, contended that atomic bomb tests, nuclear accidents, and radioactive leaks on domestic soil constituted the fallout equivalent of a North American nuclear war. In other words, the nuclear apocalypse had already occurred but was not openly acknowledged. The subliminal fear of cancer and mutations became internalized through cultural metaphors, many of which were spiritual, religious or magical. Abduction narratives and alien conspiracy theories involve the internalization, impregnation, or hybridization of humans by insidious, non-human elements. A subplot in these stories includes world domination or military worries. These ideas symbolize the fear that deadly poisons have been absorbed inside physical human systems, with health and land compromised in the name of science, technology, defense and progress.

While aliens are mathematically likely to exist, the Fermi Paradox asks why they have not unquestionably arrived on earth. Believers say they have, but their logic bears all the remnant trademarks of the medieval religious and occult imagination. Where once Catholic Europe, threatened by bubonic plague, feared demonic possession, and the ghosts and vampires arising from a pandemic period of mass death - now technological Millennial America, unnerved by the radioactive source of her own superpower, fears alien invasion.

On 10 October 2016, the European Space Agency sent 3,775 messages toward the Pole Star Polaris, in a numerologically-laden 11-11-11 statement. Irish-born artist Paul Quast entitled the project, A Simple Response to an Elemental Message, in which the interstellar conversation with aliens was supposed to start around the question: "How will our present environmental interactions shape the future?" The messages will take 400 years to arrive. Image Source: Daily Galaxy.

When one considers unacknowledged fallout in the already-nuked homeland, American citizens become the real victims, alien to themselves, shambling around a ruined and polluted environment. Nor are they alone. By 2012, over 2,000 nuclear tests had been conducted around the world. For a map of where those tests occurred (assume far-reaching, global fallout), go here. Among the five top nations to conduct tests, only the British and French did not use their homeland territories. The British tested their bombs in Nevada, Australia, on islands in the Pacific, and in the atmosphere. The French conducted their tests in Algeria, the Pacific, and in the atmosphere.

Paul Hellyer statement on a covert alien invasion, supposedly kept secret by top governments as part of the New World Order conspiracy (May 2013). Video Source: Youtube.

Before the October 2016 WikiLeaks revelations, the most high profile official to claim that aliens and related military conspiracies are real was the Canadian ex-Minister of Defence, Paul Hellyer. Hellyer remains hazy about whether he actually read secret governmental reports about UFOs while in office. His cited information comes from UFO writers, enthusiasts, and convention attendees. He implies that the Canadian government received reports of UFOs. But Canadian governmental neglect of those reports does not constitute a cover-up or proof of UFOs. Due to his former cabinet rank, Hellyer looks like a government UFO whistle-blower, even if he is not one.

Of course, as WikiLeaks shows, whistle-blowing carries a lot of momentum and perceived ethical weight in Millennial social media. Telling a suppressed secret in the name of a higher truth to protect the beleaguered public is a now-classic Millennial meme, which transforms the whistle-blower into a nearly-irreproachable, self-sacrificing holy man. It must be tempting to play the role of gnostic truth-teller, to become a prophet unveiling real reality in the nascent Age of Information. Only recently have netizens and hacktivists begun to ask about their sources' motivations.

Hellyer gains social media traction by mashing up two Millennial memes: aliens and whistle-blowing. Playing the whistle-blower gives Hellyer a carte blanche to say nearly anything and to occupy a projected space of moral rectitude in the UFO subculture. As a result, Hellyer is now a darling of these circles. He is spending his retirement touring alien conferences and conspiracy theorist conventions. He wants governments to give a "full disclosure" on UFOs to their citizens. He apparently believes the entire Millennial alien mythology: aliens in the ancient world, Atlantis, the Illuminati, the Bilderbergers, the shadow government, the anti-banking movement, the New World Order plot, and human genetic manipulation orchestrated by alien interlopers.

Yet Hellyer's most poignant desire in resolving these perceived threats reveals a man struggling with a deeper problem. He says: "In a word, we have to become spiritual beings." As with the Russian-inspired aliens who are focused on energy, this is the giveaway. Although Hellyer would deny it in his quest for the truth, perhaps the problem he faces is one of alienation, not aliens, in society. The spiritual path typically begins by smashing the truth one takes for granted.

For Hellyer, that truth is obviously the integrity of western governments. His deeper spiritual concern chimes with a story of Area 51 which asks how love, community, and soul-based morality contend with fear of a contaminated landscape, rapid technological change, and death-dealing power. Hellyer's Nevada odyssey hints that in the era of mass communications, social media, and big data, the central challenge to the individual is how one decides to know information, and how one connects that 'way of knowing' to moral and political value systems. His interests also echo the New Age end of the aliens-are-here spectrum, where belief in aliens is associated with spiritual enlightenment and higher awakening.

Below, see an urbex video from urban explorer Dan Bell for a real, recent view of the region; and from across the Web, see some of the best alien Hallowe'en costumes. These days, most Millennial UFO reports hail from Central and South America rather than Nevada, although this US state still guards many mysteries: the most recent known nuclear test in Nevada was a 2012 underground plutonium bomb, Pollux.

From the 1950s to the present, 928 atomic bomb tests were conducted in the Yucca flats and surrounding areas at the Nevada Test Site, 65 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Mushroom clouds could be seen from Las Vegas's downtown hotels and became tourist attractions. This is the 1 November 1951 'Dog' test from Operation Buster-Jangle, the first to include live troops manoeuvring on Frenchman Flat while the bomb went off. Image Source: Wiki.

Dan Bell's urbex video of an abandoned complex, 30 minutes from the alien gas station and celebrity-connected Heidi-Fleiss-owned brothel at Amargosa, Nevada, adjacent to the infamous Area 51 and equally infamous Yucca Mountain (17 August 2016). Bell mentions gold and silver mining, but regions to the north, south and southwest also featured uranium mines. Video Source: Youtube.

Brothel adjacent Area 51 at Amargosa, Nevada (Yucca Mountain Travel Center): "This is a legal brothel, or 'Cathouse' (whorehouse?) at the intersection of the Veterans Memorial Highway (US 95) and State Highway 393 in Amargosa, Nevada. Dennis Hof (owner of a successful brothel in Carson City) and Heidi Fleiss (the former Hollywood Madame who was arrested in the '90s for running a high-price prostitution ring) own and operate the place, respectively." (31 July 2012) Video Source: Youtube.

Image Source: Wiki.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Awaken the Amnesiacs 1: The Gnostic-Hermetic Synthesis of 2015


Image Source: Spiritual Unite.

Western culture is undergoing a shift. New Age circles have been buzzing about it for the past few years, especially since the recession and 2012. Their chatter is now reaching a dull roar. For skeptics who want the TL;DR version, here is the

Executive Summary.
Several online movements are currently combining hermeticism and gnosticism to realign western values.

What this means.
Hermeticism combines monotheistic arcane traditions to inspire blind leaps in how we understand the world. Its early triad of alchemy, astrology and theurgy were termed as the 'three parts of the wisdom of the whole universe.' These translate in our terms into three aspects: first, science and rationalism of the mind; second, politics and emotions in the physical, the choices made to change the "life of matter and material existence"; and third, spirituality, our grasp of the relationship between the soul and what we define as divine. Sometimes associated with old Arab mysticism and the Kabbalah, sometimes with the occult, the Tarot and astrology, sometimes with Freemasonry, hermeticism is prevalent in popular culture today. This syncretic practice is being applied to gnostic philosophical unions of masculine and feminine principles to enable a shift in western perspectives. Much of this combination is due to the aftermath and reappraisal of 1960s' social revolutions, playing out during the Technological and Communications revolutions of the 2000s and 2010s. The philosophical synthesis also shows the next level of western engagement with virtual reality. Surging in the latter half of 2015, the trend may constitute a Fifth Great Awakening in America, but it is also evident in other western countries.

From September 2015. Image Source: Power of Consciousness.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Hallowe'en Countdown 2015: Cauldrons and Grails


Efnisien sacrifices himself to destroy the cauldron of rebirth. The Destruction of the Cauldron of Rebirth (1905) by Thomas Prytherch (1864-1926). Image Source: Wiki.

As a child, I read Lloyd Alexander's The Black Cauldron, the second book in the Chronicles of Prydain. The hero, Taran, makes his way through a vast swamp to find a black cauldron, which must be secured before an evil king seizes it. This artifact has the power to bring dead men back to life and can create an army of undead warriors. Similar to Sauron's ring in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, the cauldron is depicted as a weapon like today's atomic bomb. It looks like a tool for certain victory in war. But it offers death and despair to those who try to wield its incredible power. The only thing an army can do with this mega-weapon, according to Celtic folklore, is destroy it, because its power lies beyond the accepted boundaries of human existence. Taran learns from the cauldron's witch guardians that the cauldron can only be destroyed by the sacrifice of a live man who willingly climbs into it and dies.

Lloyd Alexander's work adapted the Welsh pre-Christian myth cycle, The Mabinogion. This Celtic legend is part of Britain's earliest prose literature, a romance written down in the 11th century, based on earlier oral sources. In the second part of these tales, Branwen Daughter of Llŷr, "A tragically genocidal war develops fomented by Efnisien, in which a Cauldron which resurrects ... dead figures." The sadistic, psychopathic anti-hero Efnisien is responsible for the destruction of Ireland and the Island of the Mighty, also known as AlbionPrydain or Britain. To make up for his transgressions, Efnisien climbs into the cauldron and destroys it. Thus, bound up with the cauldron's original story of resurrection is a tale of Celtic warriors who have turned on each other and fought amongst themselves. One of their own betrays the other lords, and initiates mass-killing and mass death; he sacrifices himself as a means of redemption and acceptance back into the fold.

Arthurian myth turns right at the point where the Celtic pagan became Christian, and the cauldron became the Grail. Arthur's knight, Percival, with the Grail Cup. Arthur Hacker (1858-1919), The Temptation of Sir Percival (1894). Image Source: BBC. The painting is in the Leeds Art Gallery (LEEAG.PA.1895.0013).

The Celtic cauldron was a predecessor to the Holy Grail in northern Europe. By the 12th century, medieval Christian doctrine transformed the cauldron's abominable symbol, from a grisly instrument of evil resurrection to a tool of sacred regeneration through resurrection, known as the Holy Grail. That means that as ancient societies stabilized, their view of death changed. The symbol at the heart of their stories essentially stayed the same, but the spiritual message around resurrection became a tale of heaven rather than hell. The cauldron became conflated with the Chalice that Jesus supposedly used at the Last Supper. In the 20th century, the Nazis launched an actual search for the Grail, to lay claim to their share of Celtic heritage and Romantic reworkings of Christian legend, while conflating both traditions with the Aryan Cup of Jamshid, a mythical artifact that enabled the ancient rulers of Greater Persia to see the future.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sheeple in the Year of the Sheep: Illusion and Illumination


Mainly in Asian countries and communities, 2015-2016 is the year of the Sheep, according to the Lunar calendar. Image Source: CNN.

How do we see Sheeple in the Year of the Sheep? Does the Lunar New Year's conciliatory message resolve the trend toward Millennial alienation, conflict and aggression? Can the values of Asia's Year of the Sheep or Goat, such as pacifism, collective action and creativity, ease the tensions caused by western gnosticism? In yesterday's post, I outlined how gnostic beliefs provide the background "social pathology of the political religions." Gnosticism built the central myth of our time: the four-fold Enlightenment illusion of rationalism, of higher knowledge through conflict, of control of the nature, and of human power over the earth. In today's post, I consider the Lunar New Year's symbols as a solution to this problematic myth, despite the fact that 'sheeple' are ridiculed by today's gnostically-minded.

Image Source: Pyramids and Sheeple.


Image Source: Seeking Alpha.

Image Source: Democratic Underground.

Image Source: Red Pill.

Image Source: XKCD.

"Making XKCD slightly worse." Image Source: Simon Software.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Modernity, Myth and the Scapegoat: Martin Heidegger, J. R. R. Tolkien and ISIL


Heidegger, at the centre of the photo, in the era of Nazi academia. Image Source: Le phiblogZophe.

Two paths diverged in the wood. I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. In 2014, the private notebooks of German philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) - muse of Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Derrida and Hannah Arendt - saw print. The publication of the so-called Black Notebooks confirmed that Heidegger's philosophy grew out of support for the Nazis and an essential anti-Semitism. Oceans of ink have been spilt over what Heidegger meant by Dasein, or Being-in-the-World (his union of subjective, objective and conscious perspectives with the world at large), but this elaborate existential debate completely misses the historical context which informed Heidegger's thought. Heidegger associated his cherished idea of Authentic Existence with the values of agrarian Europe. For the German philosopher, rootless Jews were part of a new, supranational world of corporate industry, banking and trade. Jewish precursors of globalization contributed to an inauthenticity of being, a life whereby everyday people, distanced from the soil, became phantom slaves in a technology-driven world that destroyed traditional culture.

The Scapegoat by William Holman Hunt (1854-1856). Image Source: Wiki.

It is too simplistic to dismiss Heidegger's thoughts on being and time as aspects of the Nazi narrative. But it is also wrong to say that his ideas can be read separately from their Nazi context. Heidegger was in the same ballpark, and that demands a serious reappraisal of his ideas.

In building their Aryan mythology against the Jews, the Nazis ironically appropriated the Hebraic concept of scapegoating. The scapegoat was originally an early Archaic, pre-Classical improvement (dating from around the seventh century BCE) on the sacrificial rites of other ancient societies. Scapegoating, a mental gambit which is alive and well today, occurs when one projects one's sins onto a goat and sends it off into the desert to die; this leaves one free from blame and responsibility, and able to get on with life without feeling guilty for one's wrongdoings.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wonders of the Millennial World 5: Sehnsucht and Written Dreams


Recently, John Hornor tweeted: "When I was in my 20s, every guy I met played guitar and was in a band. Now I'm 40, and everyone I meet is a novelist." Yesterday's post on saudade as a nostalgia for a lost, pre-tech world continues with a similar kind of longing today, Sehnsucht. This is the longing to be, or be part of, something larger than ourselves.

Wiki quotes psychologists' definitions of Sehnsucht:
Psychologists have worked to capture the essence of Sehnsucht by identifying its six core characteristics: “(a) utopian conceptions of ideal development; (b) sense of incompleteness and imperfection of life; (c) conjoint time focus on the past, present, and future; (d) ambivalent (bittersweet) emotions; (e) reflection and evaluation of one's life; and (f) symbolic richness." ... Some researchers posit that Sehnsucht has a developmental function that involves life management. By imagining overarching and possibly unachievable goals, individuals may be able to create direction in their life by developing more tangible goals, or “stepping stones” that will aide them on their path toward their ideal self." [Sehnsucht has] important developmental functions, including giving directionality for life planning and helping to cope with loss and important, yet unattainable wishes by pursuing them in one's imagination." It can also operate as a self-regulatory mechanism.
Sehnsucht was an important type of idealism for English writer C. S. Lewis:
Lewis described Sehnsucht as the "inconsolable longing" in the human heart for "we know not what." In the afterword to the third edition of The Pilgrim's Regress he provided examples of what sparked this desire in him particularly: That unnameable something, desire for which pierces us like a rapier at the smell of bonfire, the sound of wild ducks flying overhead, the title of The Well at the World's End, the opening lines of "Kubla Khan", the morning cobwebs in late summer, or the noise of falling waves.
In Lewis's terms, Sehnsucht resembles a yearning similar to that evoked in this post about the world created by Lewis's friend, J. R. R. Tolkien. It is the ineffable call of 'home,' expressed through emotion and metaphor. Tolkien was interested in creating a fantasy world which brought to life our original hopes and dreams, as well as our consciousness of a lost, great land which existed in mythical terms before memory and before history.

In the western imagination, that lost land lies further in the west, and is often embodied in rumours of Atlantis. In the eastern imagination, a similar lost land lies further in the east and is described in myths of Fusang. In India, the lost continent of myth is Lemuria, which lies to the imaginary south. Most major civilizations have this common thread of displaced yearning and memory, often expressed in symbolic terms as a lost land.

Our lost lands now are virtual. The Web is effectively the terra incognita, and there is a desperate push to find its limits, its outward borders. Once thus encapsulated by our understanding, perhaps the Web will become the new Promised Land. To get back to John Hornor's comment about novelists, the explosion of written output on the Internet might be a response to the Sehnsucht that has arisen in the hearts of countless small authors. If the Millennium is characterized by the destruction and reworking of old values, a confusion about the old order and loss of norms, there is a push in equal measure to find sources of inspiration. In other words, civilization is not teetering on the brink of implosion. It is not a black hole about to swallow itself. The vacuum is being filled, at an incredible rate.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Prehistory's Mysteries: Middle Earth Meditation

White Ships from Valinor, by Ted Nasmith. Image Source: Nasmith via The One Ring.

What will they think of next? How about a fantasy ticket to time travel into the antediluvian prehistoric consciousness? This latest New Age cross-pollination in the media sees Youtube hosting meditations with a pop culture theme taken from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle Earth.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Secrets of the Flood Myth

Noah's Ark. Image Source: City of Kik.

High tech and Millennial biosciences, especially genetics, are unlocking more secrets of the deep past, of Antediluvian cultures. Almost all societies have as one of their central epics the 'before' and 'after' of what may have been late Ice Age worldwide floods around 9,000 years ago. New studies confirm that some plant species survived happily in ice-free pockets during the Ice Age. And The New Scientist reports on research from George Ferentinos of the University of Patras in Greece that Neanderthals were ancient mariners, who crossed the oceans perhaps 100,000 years ago (and maybe even earlier, since they appeared around 600,000 years ago)  (Hat tip: Lee Hamilton). Neanderthal Atlantis has become quite a popular idea lately; see here and here; other popular speculations whirl around Cro-Magnon Atlantis: here and here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sir Isaac Newton's Occult Studies Online

Newton's dog accidentally set fire to 20 years' of the great man's work. Image Source: Wiki.

Caption for the above image:  Artist's engraving [by Morel from 1874] of apocryphal story of Newton's pet dog knocking over a candle and setting fire to his papers. Sir Isaac Newton had on his table a pile of papers upon which were written calculations that had taken him twenty years to make. One evening, he left the room for a few minutes, and when he came back he found that his little dog "Diamond" had overturned a candle and set fire to the precious papers, of which nothing was left but a heap of ashes. It was then that he cried, "Oh, Diamond! Diamond! thou little knowest what mischief thou hast done!" Story published in The Life of Sir Isaac Newton By David Brewster (1833) and later in St. Nicholas magazine, Vol. 5, No. 4, (February 1878).

Considering they provide the namesake of this blog, it took me awhile to search online for Newton's occult writings about the Philosopher's Stone (the mythical element that would turn lead to gold and provide a means to immortality), the Tarot, astrology, alchemy, magic, and the end of the world. Newton also wrote of Atlantis in his Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms. He concealed these works to avoid criticism. When he died, these papers were considered 'unfit to publish.' When they finally surfaced in 1936 after being kept for centuries in the Earl of Portsmouth's attic, they were auctioned. One of the people who eagerly bought and read Newton's secret writings was John Maynard Keynes - that is food for thought as the world's economic crisis deepens. After reading them, Keynes reportedly said, "Newton was not the first of the age of reason, he was the last of the magicians."

Monday, November 21, 2011

Prehistory's Mysteries: The Search for the Atlantean Consciousness

Image Source: Luxury Holidays to Dubai.

Yesterday, I commented on the Boomers' initial attack on external labels that they felt damaged the subjective consciousness, followed by their subsequent ironic attack on that same subjective consciousness they once sought to protect.  They claimed that we could no longer trust the psyche, because we had internalized the external lables and authoritarian thought processes encased in language.  Boomers' iconoclasm served some purpose in attacking harmful social structures and values. But at the same time, it left us with no real alternatives. If you can't trust the outside world and you can't trust your inner self, where can you turn when both material and spiritual values collapse?

Image Source: Dubai Hotels.

Some feel that we need to go back to the very beginning to rediscover the origins of human soulfulness. In one short month, the Winter Solstice will be upon us. It will mark one year before the anticipated Ancient Mayan date for the material and spiritual crisis that some consider may be the ‘end of the world.’ Graham Hancock, controversial best-selling journalist on Prehistoric cultures, discussed this fabled date in 1995 in his book, Fingerprints of the Gods. That book echoes an 1882 work by Ignatius Donnelly, author of Atlantis: The Antediluvian World (you can read the latter piece here), which speculated that Atlantis actually existed. The theory runs that Atlantis harboured a global Antediluvian maritime civilization of astronomers and priests - for thousands of years before the time when formal history and archaeology declare civilization actually started around 5,000 years ago. The idea is that pre-Flood coastal civilizations flourished during the Ice Age and were eradicated by a sudden worldwide rise in sea levels when the ice sheets melted. Hancock is convinced that great secrets of human civilization were lost in this catastrophe. He has devoted a lot of diving time to scouring possible Ice Age town ruins in coastal seabeds all over the world, searching for proof of these lost cultures, their hidden truths, and their deep history.

In January 2010, author and self-styled neo-Shaman Daniel Pinchbeck discussed 2012 with Graham Hancock in a lecture entitled, "Retelling the Past, Reimagining the Future." Both writers agreed that 2012 is a metaphor for a collective journey where we must look within to endure a universal spiritual transformation. In this conversation, Hancock attacked secular materialism: we looked in the Modern and Postmodern eras to external authorities to define ourselves [while cynically criticizing those same authorities] and diminished our faith in our subjective senses. According to him, the consequences were disastrous. He insisted we must renew our faith in the internal perspective.  He felt and feels that we must look within for our ultimate sources of self-identification, consciousness, and conscience.

A few caveats: Hancock and Pinchbeck advocate expanding consciousness through the use of mind-altering drugs, without consideration that these substances are a short cut to thinking, or that they short circuit the hard-won trials of the spiritual and moral experiences not bolstered by chemical aids. The authors would likely argue that participating in drug-driven shamanic experiences is a way of stepping back in time, of repeating many-thousand-year-old rituals and recovering secrets of ancient, lost civilizations. At the same time, however, they dismiss today's conventional religions as having failed in their spiritual mandates. Yet those faiths may contain surviving threads of the very Prehistoric cultures they seek.

These writers were and are truly Millennial in their conviction that the deep past must harbour important knowledge that could be the 'key to everything.' They have searched for a benevolent, Eden-like human paradigm. This view contrasts with another famous afficionado of the deep past, H. P. Lovecraft, who felt that lost eras were full of knowledge, which, when awoken, promised nothing good. Lovecraft imagined our subjugated knowledge of terrifying Ur-aliens. His Ur-monsters knew how to psychically penetrate our dreams and drive us to madness. Lovecraft felt that Antediluvian knowledge was incredibly dangerous, and pre-Flood societies had died and been wiped from our memories for a reason.

Antediluvian mythologies certainly contain the seeds of their own destruction. Elsewhere, Hancock has talked of a repeating symbol that he feels was reproduced by post-Flood societies as an emblem, 'flag,' or symbol to remember the pre-Flood world - that of a winged snake. Curiously, the Biblical depiction of Satan is that of an angel transformed into a serpent. The Flood myths of many countries are one repeating story about mass moral and spiritual failure prior to worldwide disaster. Hancock and Pinchbeck drew from this theme to point to a neo-Gnostic idea about a battle between good and evil. This idea has an unsettling subtext, whether intended or not, which echoes ongoing conspiracy theories about grand powers pulling strings behind the scenes; yet in this regard, Hancock confined his remarks to the notion that we currently face spiritual dominance from aggressive, malevolent forces. Pinchbeck has a more pronounced weakness for these theories.


In this discussion, Hancock did not acknowledge or explore the Internet as a potential new forum of expanded spiritual consciousness. He presented a compelling argument that the external arbiters of spirit and the mind – material values driven by currencies of financial exchange and a glorification of a practical, problem solving mentality – are failing us. They are no longer able to provide the answers necessary for psychological survival in a rapidly evolving world. The Tech Boom’s desperate acceleration has further sparked the ensuing spiritual crisis. And it is that very crisis which may be our ultimate unconscious aim in creating the Boom in the first place. Thus, through the very dull and pedestrian bean counting that Hancock abhorred, it seems we are subliminally driven to generate a moral and psychological vacuum, which will either destroy us or remake us. But in a final twist, any spiritual hunger we may have will be projected upon Virtual Realities and experienced through them.

Image Source: Shéa MacLeod.

Pinchbeck confirmed the importance of Virtual Realities elsewhere: "It is my thesis that the rapid development of technology and the destruction of the biosphere are material by-products of a psycho-spiritual process taking place on a planetary scale. We have created this crisis to force our own accelerated transformation - on an unconscious level, we have willed it into being." Caveats aside, the Millennial spiritual vacuum these authors identified easily explains why the Internet has exploded exponentially in the past 15 years and why it is so curiously and universally addictive. Below the jump, see the whole discussion and a transcribed excerpt on the need to look within for a renewed spiritual and moral consciousness.