Thursday, January 18, 2018

"Transforming everyone and everything into commodities": arguments that museums should sell off their art expose the self-devouring rot at the heart of neoliberalism







































image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Here are two stories articulating different sides of a very important issue -- one with wide-ranging implications which go far beyond the world of art and museums and reach in fact into almost every aspect of society.

The first article is entitled "Art museums should sell works in storage to avoid raising admission fees," written by Michael O'Hare and published in the San Francisco Chronicle on January 10, 2018.

The second takes the opposite side of the debate from the arguments advanced by Mr. O'Hare. It is entitled "Museum's plan to sell off art crosses ethical boundaries," and it was written by Charles Desmarais and published in SFGate, which is the name of a web-based digital version of the Chronicle which was created when the internet started to become more popular with those looking for news. 

Mr. O'Hare's piece is actually a rebuttal to Mr. Desmarais' piece -- Mr. Desmarais argues that privatizing artwork (by selling pieces off to private buyers) is unethical, and Mr. O'Hare (a professor at UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy) argues that Mr. Desmarais is mistaken and that selling art to collectors could enable museums to provide free admission, and that in the end, "money is what museums use to allow art to create its artistic value, which is people engaging with it."

The specific details of the debate have to do with the question of whether or not museums should sell artwork that is not on display -- but the principle involved has to do with the question of public domain and private domain, which is one of the central issues in economics and public policy and which has fired contentious debate and disagreement for hundreds of years.

Mr. O'Hare (the professor who argues for sale of artwork to private collectors) makes an interesting point by saying that "admission to art museums should be free for many good reasons," and then argues that if museums could sell "stuff in the basement that has no prospect of ever being displayed," they could endow free admission forever.

This point gets us towards the heart of the issue. Mr. O'Hare is absolutely right that admission to art museums should be free -- and he is also right that in order to make that happen, something else will have to replace the source of funds that is currently coming from admission fees. However, it is a logical fallacy to argue that because admission should be free for many good and cogent reasons we should therefore sell pieces of artwork to collectors, thereby privatizing that art. 

It would actually be much more logically coherent to argue that admission should be free to art museums because artwork because artwork in museums is a public asset -- and that therefore admission to art museums should be publicly funded! Mr. O'Hare apparently fails to perceive that the very reason admission to art museums should be free is that such artwork belongs to everybody, and not just to a few. Therefore, privatizing it is absolutely contradictory to the "many good reasons" that the public should be given the greatest access to the art that is in the public domain. 

Mr. O'Hare's statement that "admission to art museums should be free for many good reasons" shows that he instinctively understands that artwork should be categorized as being part of "the commons" -- belonging to everybody, and not just to a few. Therefore, selling it off to private collectors takes it out of the commons and represents the privatization of the public domain. 

The privatization of the public domain is one of the constant jiu-jitsu moves executed by proponents of of neoliberalism no matter the situation. 

Neoliberalism is a modern term that has been given to the latest incarnation of a world-devouring economic philosophy that argues that the resources given by nature (or the gods) should not belong to the public but are best privatized -- a path that threatens (in the words of Professor Claudia von Werlhof in her essay "Globalization and Neoliberal Policies: Are there Alternatives to Plundering the Earth, Making War, and Destroying the Planet?") to "turn everything on earth into commodities [ . . . ] to transform everyone and everything into commodities, including life itself."

In his essential book J is for Junk Economics: A guide to reality in an age of deception, Professor Michael Hudson defines "The Commons" (an economic term) as, 
Public assets (land, water, mineral rights, airwaves and other public infrastructure). As natural monopolies, they are best administered in society's long-term interest via government or a community, not monopolized by rentiers as the ultimate takeover objective of finance capital. 60.
I would argue that art museums fall into this category of public infrastructure which should be administered in society's long-term interest via government. The spurious counterargument that will inevitably be forwarded by those who never saw a public asset they didn't want to privatize will be that "if museums aren't making enough money to stay open, then nobody will get to see any of their art (and therefore they should sell some of it, in order to at least be able to display the remainder)." 

This is in fact the explicit argument that Mr. O'Haire makes in his article, in almost those exact words. He writes: "Money is how museums have staff, galleries, programs and lighting."

But it is wrong to assume that anything that is a public good must "make enough money" on its own to provide that good. The common defense of the nation is a public good, but we don't insist that the army and the navy and the air force fund themselves with bake sales (or by selling off tanks or airplanes that they are not currently using to private citizens who can put them to better use). Do we insist that in order for defense to benefit the public, it must turn enough of a profit to pay for itself? The very question is ludicrous. But this is the very same argument that proponents of neoliberalism constantly deploy in order to lobby for the privatization of the infrastructure, from education to the healthcare.

If anyone thinks about it carefully for a few minutes, it should be clear that the exact same issue at the heart of the seemingly "academic" debate over the sale (or "deaccession") of certain pieces of art in museums is also at the heart of the entire "net neutrality" debate in the united states, in which the proponents of greater privatization are arguing that "the internet is not a utility" and that in order for the internet infrastructure in the united states to stay up with the rest of the world, it must not be viewed as a "utility" (like other utilities such as the electrical grid or the water supply) but should instead be privatized without restraint.

As Professor Michael Hudson argues in many different places, the classical economists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were fairly well united in their opinion that providing the elements of the public infrastructure for subsidized (and therefore artificially low) prices -- or, ideally, even for "free" -- will benefit the society as a whole by making it less expensive for everyone to do business, hire employees, move goods to market, and otherwise transact commerce. If roads, bridges, electricity, water, and even "less obvious" components of the infrastructure such as education and healthcare, could be made available to everyone by the government, then the cost of business will be lower and men and women will be able to create businesses that they otherwise would not be able to create. 

The modern neoliberal counterargument will often concede that lower infrastructure costs are indeed beneficial, but that privatization and "competition" will provide it at a lower cost than "government." But this is another fallacy, because (as the definition of "The Commons" given by Professor Hudson  cited above states) the very things that fall into the category of "commons" are natural monopolies (such as the power grid or the water works or the road network). These are not improved by competition, but tend to become tollbooths when privatized, making them more expensive and making business more costly and less competitive. 

Obviously, not everything is a natural monopoly. Some things are improved with competition. It's good to have many restaurants competing to make burritos. Burritos are not a natural monopoly, and if there are many restaurants making burritos and competing to provide the best burrito at the lowest cost, that usually works out well for the consumer of burritos. But you cannot apply that same principle to public assets and natural monopolies, such as the road freeway system (although some extremists, including many libertarians, would like to try).

I would argue that the world's ancient wisdom contained in the myths, scriptures and sacred stories given to the human race can provide valuable insight into this pressing question of modern policy. Those things described in Professor Hudson's discussion of "The Commons" (above) can be understood as public assets because they can be seen to fit into the category of the gifts from the gods (or, for those who prefer, "gifts of nature"). The argument that the gifts of nature should not be privatized was made explicit by the first economics professor at the Wharton School (the first business school in the united states), Simon Patten, to whom Professor Hudson often makes reference. In an essay entitled "Another view of the ethics of land tenure," published in 1891, Professor Patten argued that certain things are bounties of nature, and that it is ethically wrong for some privileged few to try to privatize those gifts of nature at the expense of everyone else.

Note that in Mr. Desmarais' argument against the sale of artwork, he explicitly makes the exact same argument -- that such privatization of public assets is an ethical failure.

That artistic talent is a gift of the gods is quite clear from the numerous ancient myths in which a human artist pits his work or her work against a god or goddess -- usually the god or goddess responsible for giving out that particular type of talent to mortal men and women -- a contest which always ends in disaster for the presumptuous human who arrogantly fails to acknowledge that his or her talent is derived from the gods in the first place. We see this pattern, for example, in the famous contest of weaving, when the presumptuous Arachne declares that her own talent is superior to that of the goddess Athena, thus forgetting the very source of her own talent, which comes from the goddess herself. And there are many other ancient myths from around the world which reinforce this same message. 

From these ancient myths we can see that artistic talent is a gift from the gods, and that it is an actual ethical or moral failure to deny that fact and thus invert the proper order of things.

And yet this same inversion is exactly what neoliberalism enshrines as its central tenet. Neoliberalism declares that those things that are the gifts of the gods do not in fact properly belong to everyone but can and should be privatized for the benefit of just a few (at the expense of everyone else).

I believe that this argument over museums and artwork provides an extremely illuminating example of the ethical folly of neoliberalism. The arguments used to defend the (erroneous) position that privatizing public assets is actually best for everyone can often fool people -- but when it comes to art in public museums, those arguments fall flat. Just about everyone perceives that there is something inherently wrong with the idea of selling museum artwork in order to keep the lights on in museums, in what is supposedly the wealthiest nation in the history of the planet. Even the author who argues that it should be done tries to defend the idea by appealing to the (intuitively obvious) notion that admission to art museums should be free. 

Selling off such artwork is a very pure example of a problem that is actually going on all around us, albeit in less-recognizable form. It is the privatization for the benefit of the few of what are actually the gifts of the gods to all men and women. 



For previous posts which discuss this same subject, see also:


Sunday, January 14, 2018

The urgent and ongoing importance of the message and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


























image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929.

One of the central messages that Dr. King emphasized was the necessity of waking up and staying awake.

In an address to the graduating students of Oberlin College in 1965, entitled "Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution," he declared, "There is nothing more tragic than to sleep through a revolution." 

In this context, he brings up the story of Rip Van Winkle, who slept for twenty years and woke up to find the picture of the king of England outside the local pub replaced by a likeness of George Washington. Then he proclaims that the revolution that was taking place today is "a social revolution, sweeping away an old order and bringing in a new," sweeping away an old order of colonialism, slavery, and racial segregation and replacing it with a new vision of freedom and human dignity.

Then he tells the young men and women of the class of 1965 that, "The great challenge facing every individual graduating today is to remain awake through this social revolution."

Those words are given all the more poignancy because, as everyone knows, Martin Luther King was brutally and treacherously murdered less than three years after the date of that speech.

For decades, the world was told that a lone gunman, probably motivated by racism, was responsible for the killing of Martin Luther King in April of 1968. However, due to the tireless efforts of researchers including human rights lawyer William Pepper in conjunction with the King family, it has now been shown beyond reasonable doubt that the official story foisted upon the public regarding the murder of Dr. King was a deliberate fabrication and that he was actually assassinated as part of a carefully-coordinated plot overseen by powerful elements of the national security apparatus controlled by forces opposed to that new vision of freedom and human dignity that was sweeping the world.

The fact that this nefarious plot continues to be downplayed by the major news media (especially during news coverage discussing the importance of Dr. King's life and work on the observation of his birthday every year) and that the wider public is largely unaware of the criminal conspiracy behind the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968 is all the evidence we need to determine that the problems that he spoke against in the 1950s and 1960s are still very much with us today and that the subject of the life and death of Martin Luther King is not an issue of a bygone era but a very real and dramatic issue of critical importance to everyone alive today.

A civil trial held in the state of Tennessee concluded in December of 1999 that the government of the united states was guilty of carrying out a conspiracy resulting in the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. 

You can read the full details, along with extensive transcripts, in the 772-page book entitled The Plot to Kill King, by attorney William Pepper. 

You can also hear William Pepper discuss this case, and the significance of the life and cause of Martin Luther King, in numerous interviews such as this one and this one (with journalists outside of the "mainstream" outlets). You can also read this article, first published in January of 2016, by Dr. Asad Ismi entitled "Who Killed Martin Luther King? The Cover-up of the Century."

The fact that the absolutely explosive result of that 1999 civil trial which found the government guilty of the wrongful death of Dr. King remains largely unknown to this day is all the evidence that anyone needs in order to conclude without doubt that the "news" media in its current state does not exist to inform the public of the truth. 

On the contrary, it exists to keep the public asleep.

It exists to keep the public asleep to the existence of powerful elements who are opposed to the vision of freedom and human dignity that Martin Luther King proclaimed and that his life stood for. Elements which are opposed to the end of the old order of colonialism, slavery, and racial segregation and which are dedicated to preserving that old order. 

Elements that are very real and very powerful, as evidenced by their ability not only to orchestrate the complex criminal conspiracy to murder Dr. Martin Luther King, but also to cover up that murder at the time of its execution and to keep it covered up for the following fifty years -- including the eighteen years which have elapsed since the civil trial in which overwhelming evidence emerged which conclusively demonstrates the existence of such a conspiracy.

When Dr. King began his efforts, he and the brave individuals who worked and marched with him were protesting for civil rights and against legally-enforced segregation and disenfranchisement in the united states. However, as his speeches make clear, he saw this initial battle as being inseparable from the cause of human rights world-wide, and he explicitly stated that the end of legally-enforced segregation was not the ultimate goal but rather true equality of opportunity for all people, regardless of skin color or ethnicity, and the abolition of the causes of poverty for all people. 

You can read his statements on this subject in a speech delivered in May of 1964 entitled "The World's March Towards Human Rights," in which he calls for a unified effort of people regardless of skin color to make a "massive assault upon slums, inferior education, inadequate medical care: the entire culture of poverty." 

And in a 1962 address to the Negro Leadership Conference on Africa he declared the connection between the forces of segregation in this country and the forces of colonialism and exploitation in other countries, saying that, "Colonialism and segregation are nearly synonymous; they are legitimate first cousins because their common end is economic exploitation, political domination, and the debasing of human personality."

Today, these aspects of Dr. King's message are largely glossed over or even completely obscured by the same elements that work to keep the general population of men and women unaware of the criminal conspiracy that plotted to kill him and who then not only did so but kept that conspiracy suppressed using various forms of propaganda and "public relations" for fifty years. Economic exploitation, political domination, and the debasing of human personality have not abated in the fifty years since Dr. King's death -- in fact, they have in many ways accelerated dramatically.

As Martin Luther King told that graduating class of Oberlin College in 1965, "the great challenge facing every individual today is to remain awake."








Thursday, January 11, 2018

Dual-horizon myths, "End Times" prophecy, and the Abomination of Desolation



Above is a new video I've just published, entitled "Dual-horizon myths, 'End Times' Prophecy, and the Abomination of Desolation."

It discusses a special category of celestial myths in which the events in the story or scriptural passage incorporates and juxtaposes the rising of one constellation with the setting of another constellation.

To illustrate this concept, the video examines the stories of
  • The goddess Durga and the destructive demon MahishAsura, from ancient India
  • Perseus and the Gorgons, from ancient Greece
  • The sacrifice of Iphigenia, from ancient Greece, and
  • The casting out of Adam and Eve and the Serpent, from the book of Genesis
All of the above episodes, according to my analysis, can be shown to employ "dual-horizon action" in which the rising of one constellation (or set of constellations) is linked to the setting of another constellation (or set of constellations).

The video then proceeds to examine the evidence that the prophetic passages found in the scriptural texts of Daniel chapters 11 and 12, Matthew chapters 24 and 25, and Mark chapter 13 may be employing the same sort of "dual-horizon" metaphors.

The evidence from the texts themselves appears to be compelling in pointing to the conclusion that these prophecies are describing the heavenly cycles of rising and setting, as well as the seasonal cycles of shortening and lengthening days, all of which are used by the world's ancient wisdom found in the myths and sacred stories to convey profound truths about the interplay of the material realm and the Other Realm (or realms) beyond the material.

This evidence adds to the already-overwhelming (and, I would argue, conclusive) pile of evidence which argues that the ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories of humanity -- from virtually every culture and every inhabited continent and island -- are speaking a celestial language, and an esoteric language, founded upon the heavenly cycles of the earth, the sun, the moon, the visible planets, and the stars and constellations.

It also points to the conclusion that these prophecies are not intended to be understood literally, and that they do not describe literal future events in terrestrial history, any more than other narratives found in the Biblical scriptures (or any other ancient myths from other cultures) are describing literal events in supposed past terrestrial history.

If you are interested in the evidence that connects the world's myths with the stars, I hope that you will have an opportunity to watch this video, and to share it with others who might find it helpful. While somewhat lengthy, at 54 minutes and 15 seconds, it covers a significant amount of evidence and "Star Myth theory." 

In fact, there are plenty of other celestial metaphors in the Daniel 11-12, Matthew 24-25, and Mark 13 texts that are applicable to this discussion that I had to leave out of the video for purposes of brevity! But I believe that the evidence presented should be more than enough to establish the connection to the heavenly cycles.

Once again, I would like to make clear that all of this discussion should by no means be interpreted aan argument that the ancient myths, including those contained in the Biblical scriptures as well as those from other cultures around the world, are somehow "not true." I am convinced that they contain profound truths, and that those truths are not dependent upon their being "literal and historical" in nature.

In fact, during the video, I mention the quotations from Alvin Boyd Kuhn which I have quoted many times in other previous posts, that these sacred stories are "a thousand times more precious as myths than as alleged history" (Lost Light, page 24) and that:

Bible stories [ . . . ] are a record, under pictorial forms, of that which is ever occurring as a reality of the present in all lives. They mean nothing as outward events; but they mean everything as picturizations of that which is our living experience at all times. The actors are not old kings, priests and warriors; the one actor, in every portrayal, in every scene, is the human soul. The Bible is the drama of our history here and now; and it is not apprehended in its full force and applicability until every reader discerns himself [or herself] to be the central figure in it! The Bible is about the mystery of human life. Instead of relating to the incidents of a remote epoch in temporal history, it deals with the reality of the living present in the life of every soul on earth (The Stable and the Manger, page 4).

Thursday, January 4, 2018

A conversation with Matt Belair


above: Part 1 of the video interview

Big thank you to author, athlete and coach Matt Belair of Zen Athlete and the Master Mind, Body & Spirit podcast for having me over to a wide-ranging conversation that is now up on YouTube in two  video segments.

Those two video segments can be seen by following the links below:

Part 1 (run-time is 2 hours) 

Part 2 (run-time is 8 minutes and 55 seconds)

Those videos are also embedded on this page, with Part 1 at the top of the page and Part 2 at the bottom of the page.

Because it was a video interview, I took the opportunity to show some visual charts and diagrams to help illustrate the concepts.

While some of the myths and explanations may be familiar to those who have seen or heard other interviews, there is also some material which you might not have heard me discuss before -- and, most importantly, every interviewer has different interests and different places that he or she wants to go during the conversation, so I'm sure you'll agree that this conversation with Matt Belair will bring out some different angles that have not been discussed in other videos or podcasts.

Also, special welcome to anyone visiting this site for the first time after learning about it from this interview with Matt! I hope you will take the time to explore the world of the ancient mythology that forms a precious inheritance for each culture on our planet and which preserves profound wisdom for our benefit and blessing. I am convinced that we can hear their message more readily when we listen to them in the language that they are actually speaking -- and I am equally convinced that the language they are speaking is an esoteric language and a metaphorical language, and that it is a celestial language, one that is built upon the heavenly cycles and motions of the sun, the moon, the visible planets, and the stars.

My primary website at starmythworld.com contains links to dozens of videos, myth discussions, previous podcasts, and other material -- and the blog itself is fully searchable and now numbers over 1,000 entries.

Below are a few helpful links to previous posts containing further discussion on some of the subjects that came up during this interview with Matt, including:

I hope that you will enjoy this conversation with Matt Belair, and if this is your first time visiting this site, I hope that you will stop by often!

You can subscribe to Matt's YouTube channel here, and you can subscribe to my YouTube channel here, if you would like to be notified when a new video is posted in either of those places.

This video interview was recorded on December 21st, 2017.

below: Part 2 of the video interview

Saturday, December 30, 2017

A connection between the book of Ezekiel and the Iliad, via the planet Mars



Special thanks to a new friend who saw the video about the Vision of Ezekiel published on August 31, 2017, and wrote to ask about some other passages in Ezekiel.

One of the episodes he asked about is described in Ezekiel 4, in which the prophet is instructed to lay a siege against a tile representing the city of Jerusalem, and to lie on his left side for three hundred ninety days. This period of time, my friend noted, is half of the average synodic period of the planet Mars.

That observation appeared to me to be very significant, because it recalls a blog post I published back in  February of 2013, discussing the planetary positions which were then prevailing in the predawn sky, in which Mercury and Mars were visible above the horizon prior to sunrise, with Mercury actually a little bit higher than Mars. 

In that post, I noted that if the arguments presented in Hamlet's Mill (1969) were correct, then we should be able to find a myth related to such a situation -- perhaps a myth in which Mercury (or Hermes) takes on a superior role in some way to Mars (Ares). As it turns out, just such a story is related in the text of the Iliad, when Ares is imprisoned in a brazen jar by two giant brothers named Otus and Ephialtes, and Hermes must come rescue Ares before he wastes away altogether.

As it turns out, the backdrop of stars at the very time of the writing of that blog, through which the planets Mars and Mercury were passing from the perspective of an observer on Earth, was the constellation Aquarius -- and in that 2013 blog post as well as in an early video about the same myth which I made about a year and a half later, I argue that the story of Ares being imprisoned in the jar probably has to do with the passage of the planet Mars through the zodiac constellation of Aquarius.

In addition, I noted that the text of the Iliad explains that Ares was imprisoned in the brazen jar for thirteen months -- half of the synodic period of the planet Mars -- which is why the question about Ezekiel 4, and the fact that the prophet is instructed to lie on one side for three hundred ninety days, reminded me of that passage from the Iliad and the story of Ares and the giants.

Three hundred ninety days, of course, corresponds to thirteen months -- if you take thirty days as a month, and multiply thirty times thirteen, you will get three hundred ninety.

This connection between the Iliad and the events in chapter 4 of the book of Ezekiel, and the mutual connection to the cycle of the orbit of Mars and its position relative to Earth, appears to me to be very significant. 

Because the mechanics of synodic cycles, and the explanation of the myth of Ares and the giants as it relates to the motions of the planets through the constellation Aquarius, can be somewhat complicated, I made this new video entitled "Mars connection between Ezekiel and the Iliad" in order to show the celestial mechanics and correspondences a little more visually.

Before you argue that months on earth are not always exactly thirty days long, and that therefore any argument about a connection between the Ares story in the Iliad and the siege of Ezekiel in Ezekiel chapter 4 is tenuous at best, please have a look at all the evidence discussed in the video. As the video explains, the actual synodic period of Mars and Earth varies somewhat due to the mechanics of their orbits, but the average is 25.6 months -- so 26 months is actually a "rounded" number to begin with. However, there are plenty of other instances in the myths in which numbers are rounded in order to encode them in myth more readily -- the most notable of these being the precessional constant itself, which is 71.6 years but which is encoded in ancient myth using the precessional number 72 and various multiples thereof.

These connections between ancient myths and scriptures from cultures spread literally across the entire globe has serious ramifications for our understanding of humanity's ancient history. It appears quite likely that the world-wide system of celestial metaphor which informs the ancient myths may have come from a culture of great antiquity, even predating the earliest civilizations known to conventional historians -- earlier than the cultures of ancient Egypt, ancient Mesopotamia, ancient China, or the ancient Indus-Saraswati civilization.

Further, this ancient system demonstrates an understanding of concepts which are not well understood even by modern physics -- including the impact which the relative positions of the planets can have on measurable phenomena here on our planet. See, for example, the discussion in this previous post entitled "The gods are real," which is mentioned in this new video as well.

I hope you enjoy this new video about the connection between the Iliad and the book of Ezekiel, and the evidence that both of them were demonstrate an awareness of the importance of the motions of other planets relative to our own. And thank you to everyone who interacts with the things I've written or posted in videos -- all of your comments and insights are helpful to me and to the process of trying to understand the ancient language of celestial metaphor which the world's precious myths and sacred traditions are speaking, so that we can hear their message today and apply it to our lives.






































image: Wikimedia commons (link).

The image above is from the early 10th century AD, circa AD 920.
The name "Ezekiel" is clearly indicated in the artwork itself.

The video above discusses the clear celestial references contained in this illustration to the constellations Virgo, Bootes, and Coma Berenices. Those familiar with the constellations of the night sky may also find other celestial connections in the artwork, including a possible reference to the constellation Crater, which is located close to Virgo in the sky.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Introducing Ancient Myths, Ancient Wisdom






































In October of this year (2017), I announced that this blog had reached its first thousandth post.

I had already conceived the idea of celebrating those first one thousand posts with a book containing a selection of posts from the blog thus far, arranged thematically into the eight categories described in that one thousandth post.

It took a little longer for that book to make it to print, but it is finally here -- just in time to be published in 2017!

And I'm happy to announce that I am very pleased with the outcome.

Entitled Ancient Myths, Ancient Wisdom: Recovering humanity's forgotten inheritance through Celestial Mythology, the book is 866 pages in length adorned with 216 illustrations, photographs, diagrams, maps, and star charts. 

You can see the table of contents and some sample content by clicking on the title in the preceding paragraph, or by clicking on the cover illustration above. Of course, you can also visit the "Books" section of my primary website at starmythworld.com, where you can click on the cover images of any of my books to see sample content and tables of contents.

The selected blog posts are grouped into the following eight sections:
  • Esotericism and the Ancient System
  • Celestial Mechanics and the Heavenly Cycles
  • The Invisible Realm and the Shamanic
  • Star Myths and Astrotheology
  • Self and Higher Self
  • The Inner Connection to the Infinite
  • Humanity's Forgotten History
  • Two Visions
Of course, you can actually read all the content found in this new book for free on this blog, simply by searching for keywords related to the above categories. Some people might wonder, therefore, why collect certain blog posts and publish them in a physical volume, especially when anyone can simply go onto the web and read them for free. 

There are several reasons that I decided to release such a book. Some of those reasons include:

a) There are now over a thousand blog posts -- and "flipping through" them on the internet in order to find good things to read from blog posts published over the course of several years is nowhere near as easy as is flipping through the actual pages of a book.

b) I feel that some of my best writing is done on the pages of this blog. A blog by its nature lends itself to an easy and informal tone, and it also invites a format of writing that used to be known as essays (Nathaniel Hawthorne, whose writing I enjoy very much, was an accomplished essayist, in addition to being an accomplished writer of fiction in the form of short stories and novels). I felt that it would be worthwhile to collect some of the best essays from the first one thousand blog posts into a book for those who enjoy reading them in that form rather than merely online.

c) A book can go places where there is no internet connection or electricity or cell signal, although in the modern world such places are becoming harder and harder to find. You can take a book to the beach without worrying about it being ruined by the sand. You can take a book to a remote cabin in the woods which is lit only by a lantern and a fireplace (or a pot-bellied stove). You can take a book on a trip to another country where your phone may not have easy access to internet coverage. And you can read a book by candlelight or climber's headlamp if there is an extended power outage. 

d) This book groups the selected essays into helpful thematic categories, which makes it easier to follow the development of various themes (unlike the blog, where those themes develop over long periods of time and where the subject from one post to another typically jumps around between various themes, weaving in and out of several different subjects before returning to a previous one). The essays in the book are arranged chronologically within each theme, such that they go from oldest to newest in the first theme (essays about esotericism and the ancient system of celestial metaphor) and then starting again going from oldest to newest in the next theme (essays about celestial mechanics and the heavenly cycles), and so forth.

e) Although one of the strengths of the online format is the ability to link to previous posts or to other subject matter, throughout this book I have included "links" whenever possible in the form of page numbers to other posts that are mentioned. These page numbers are included in "superscript" (like the number which would normally refer to a footnote in other books), but instead of referring to a footnote or an endnote, these numbers point you to pages where you can find the post being referenced. Of course, many posts were not able to fit into this book: it contains precisely ninety-six essays from the first one thousand posts, which takes up 866 pages of print (including pictures). When a post is mentioned that is not included in the book, I have tried to include the date of that post so that the interested reader can find it online if necessary.  

f) While it is true that books made of paper cost money and that there is no charge for reading posts on this blog online, it is generally not true that getting access to the blog is "free." Most men and women have to pay for access to the internet itself, through a business entity known as an internet service provider (usually a cable company or a phone service "carrier"). The monthly cost of this access is usually more than the one-time cost of this book, every single month for as long as you want to access the internet. If you miss one or at most two or three such monthly payments, you will soon find that you have no more access to the free content on the blog. 

g) No internet service provider can slow down the page-loading of any of the pages in this book, once it is in your possession.

This book has a very satisfying size and heft, and I believe you will like it very much. At least, I hope that you will.

Like all of my other books, it is available through most booksellers, because it is distributed by Ingram, one of the largest distributors in the business. You can ask your local bookseller -- or local library -- to order it for you, although they may tell you that it will take a few weeks.

You can also order it for rapid delivery from the giant booksellers, such as Barnes & Noble, which have the book in stock and can get it to you in a couple of days. Mega-giant online retailer Amazon also carries the book, with a "look inside" feature where you can see even more pages than you can see in the online sample linked above. 

I hope that you will choose to add Ancient Myths, Ancient Wisdom to your home library (or to the library of your favorite college, high school, small town, large municipality, university, sailboat, or remote cabin). You don't actually have to read it by candlelight or Coleman lantern, although you may find it enjoyable to do so, and while you do, you can also think about how nice it is to be off the internet for a little while. 

Monday, December 25, 2017

Welcome to new visitors from the Other Side of Midnight (and returning friends)!





























Thank you to Richard Hoagland and team for inviting me over to the Other Side of Midnight show for a special Christmas Eve discussion of the connection between the world's ancient wisdom and the heavenly cycles of the stars and planets. Thanks also to one of the regular listeners and contributors to that show who recommended me as a guest for a Christmas Eve special.

Welcome to new visitors to this site who learned about it through last night's (this morning's) interview!

You can listen to a replay of our conversation the show by going to this webpage and clicking on the triangular "play" button.

You can also use the embedded audio player below:



Additionally, you can download the file to a portable device, laptop, desktop, or other mp3 player by using your "right-click" or "control-click" on this link and then selecting "download linked file as" in order to select a place to download the file onto your device.

Wherever you decide to listen to the interview, you'll want to refer to the eight slides which are posted in the "Radio in Pictures" section of the Other Side of Midnight website containing visual references for the discussion of the Visit of the Magi (Star of Bethlehem) episode found in the second chapter of the canonical Gospel According to Matthew. 

Regular visitors to this blog will be familiar with my explication of that particular gospel episode, which is based upon the analysis presented by the Reverend Robert Taylor (1784 - 1844) in a series of lectures given in November of 1830 and transcribed in the collection published under the title The Devil's Pulpit in 1857 (links to an online edition of that text and the other collection of his lectures which is entitled Astronomico-Theological Lectures can both be found on the "Resources" page of my main website at starmythworld.com).

In particular, there is a video containing discussion of the Visit of the Magi passages from Matthew 2 in the recent Skies Over Grimerica segment for December 2017 which can be viewed here.

However, even if you are familiar with previous discussions of the Matthew 2 episode, you may want to give a listen to last night's (this morning's) interview for some of the other subjects we discussed in our wide-ranging conversation.

Below are a few helpful links to previous posts which go deeper into some of the concepts touched on during the interview:
Obviously, there are points regarding the narrative of humanity's ancient history upon which Richard Hoagland and I would disagree, but everyone must agree that Richard was an extremely gracious host and that the entire interview was very positive, as was the Q&A discussion at the end of the interview portion, and I felt very welcomed by Richard and his entire team. I'm grateful for the opportunity to present my research to those who may not have heard about it before and who might find it helpful to their own lives and their own interaction with the world's ancient wisdom, preserved in the precious inheritance of humanity's myths, scriptures and sacred stories. 

I am convinced that the ancient myths contain wisdom that is intended for the benefit of all men and women, wisdom that is sorely needed in the perilous times in which we presently live, when deception is deliberately employed as a tool to prevent the majority of the people from seeing what is really going on in the world.