Sunday, July 31, 2011

A brief examination of the importance of chakras and singing praises

In the 1950s, Frank Waters (1902 - 1995) and Oswald White Bear Fredericks (1905 - 1990s) spent three years tape recording the sacred traditions of the Hopi people as told to them by twenty-seven Hopi elders, who had consented to preserving their wisdom in a form other than oral tradition for the very first time.

From the recordings, Mr. Waters and Mr. Fredericks created a manuscript, which the elders reviewed and approved (an important point, as there are some who allege that Mr. Waters treated the Hopi tradition in a freewheeling fashion and changed what he was told into what he wanted it to be, which is a baseless allegation). This text became the Book of the Hopi, published in 1963.

One of the most striking features of the Hopi creation story, as related to Mr. Waters, is the belief that we are currently living in the Fourth World, the previous three having been destroyed by fire, ice, and water, respectively. As is now widely known, the Maya also believed that we are living in the fourth age of the world, which they called the Fourth Sun, the previous Suns having been destroyed, as this one will inevitably be as well. It is quite fascinating to examine the reason given by the Hopi elders for the destruction of the previous three worlds.

In the Book of the Hopi, we learn that the Creator gave the people two clear commands at the beginning of each new age: "First, respect me and one another. And second, sing in harmony from the tops of the hills. When I do not hear you singing praises to your Creator I will know you have gone back to evil again" (16).

Clearly, singing to the Hopi was a matter of very great importance. Further, the elders revealed their understanding that when men and women were first created, they began to multiply and spread throughout the earth, but that "This did not matter, for they were so close together in spirit they could see and talk to each other from the center on top of the head. Because this door was still open, they felt close to Sóktunang and they sang joyful praises to the Creator, Taiowa" (15).

This "center" or "door" on top of the head is very significant. As related by the Hopi elders, it was the uppermost of the vibratory centers inside every human, which corresponded to the vibratory centers in the earth itself:
The living body of man and the living body of the earth were constructed in the same way. Through each ran an axis, man's axis being the backbone, the vertebral column, which controlled the equilibrium of his movements and his functions. Along this axis were several vibratory centers which echoed the primordial sound of life throughout the universe or sounded a warning if anything went wrong.

The first of these in man lay at the top of the head. Here, when he was born, was the soft spot, kópavi, the "open door" through which he received his life and communicated with his Creator. For with every breath the soft spot moved up and down with a gentle vibration that was communicated to the Creator. 9 - 10.
Other vibratory centers included those at the brain, the throat, the heart, and the navel. The Hopi tradition makes clear that the successive destruction of the first three worlds took place after the majority of men began to cease their singing of praise to the Creator and stopped communicating with him through their first center.

What is most remarkable is that these vibratory centers described by the Hopi elders correspond quite closely to the chakras described in ancient Hindu texts and persisting in Tibetan, Hindu and Buddhist beliefs to this day, a similarity which Frank Waters points out in a footnote to his manuscript (pages 10 and 11). While most eastern traditions hold that the chakras are seven in number (and ten in number in some Tibetan traditions), the corresponding location of the crown of the head, the forehead (or brain), the throat, the heart, and the navel in both the eastern and the Hopi traditions is quite fascinating.

It is also fascinating that the Hopi described these important "doors" as vibratory, in light of the subjects touched upon in this previous discussion of the importance of wavelengths and energy as they relate to human beings through music and (as John Anthony West has described in his books on ancient Egypt) the proportions of architecture and art. We discussed the importance of this concept further in another more recent blog post here.

Finally, it is quite interesting that the Christian faith also places great importance on singing (as well as chanting, in some traditions, and singing without accompanying instruments in some traditions as well).

Even more intriguing is the command found in 1 Corinthians 11:4 which says:
"Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head."

The reasons for this strict admonition are worthwhile to contemplate.

UFOs at Flagler Beach, Florida?

Here is a video from a "local news" station in Flagler County, Florida, reporting on an unidentified ball of flame which several Flagler Beach residents saw earlier this week at about 11 pm, descending towards the Atlantic Ocean.

According to the news reporters, the FAA was notified after several citizens called local law enforcement, and the FAA has confirmed that no aircraft were in the vicinity, and thus the possibility that the citizens saw a plane in distress has been ruled out. Furthermore, the Coast Guard apparently conducted a search of the waters off of Flagler Beach beginning at about 11:45 pm and called off the search at about 8am the next morning, having found nothing.

This has led some to speculate that the ball of fire could have been some kind of UFO. Others are dismissing it as nothing more than a floating Chinese lantern, as described in the news story below:

This particular story is of personal interest to me, as I have fond memories of a day of skydiving from the Flagler County Airport while in the area for a parachute meet during my years on the West Point Parachute Team. The photograph below shows my teammates and I with the beach and the ocean in the background, taken in December 1989 (your faithful author is the individual on the far left of the formation as you face it, wearing a black sweatshirt).

The area covered in this photograph can be seen in the Google Map, below (the arrows indicate the approximate line of sight and edges of the photographer's field of vision). You can see the line of Interstate 95 cutting across a diagonal near the lower left corner of the photo, and the line of Highway 100 / Moody Boulevard running towards the ocean in the right side of the photo and taking a bend to the left as it nears the coastal town of Flagler Beach. The pier in the videos above is located almost precisely along the line of Highway 100 / Moody Boulevard, to the right of the rightmost skydiver in this photo.

The presence of a skydiving community near Flagler Beach gives rise to another possible explanation for the activity discussed in the videos above. Rather than a rogue Chinese lantern, perhaps the mysterious light was the result of the following scenario: a prank-loving skydiver took a Cessna up to about 11,000 feet and jumped out, activating pyrotechnic flares or powerful lights attached to his boot or lower leg either while in freefall or after deploying his parachute. He could then have spiraled down for a beach landing, collected up his gear, and been out of there without leaving a trace for the Coast Guard to find when they began their search an hour later.

In any case, I did not notice any alien activity on any of the skydives I made while in Flagler County in 1989. I did notice a pretty nice-looking wave in the first video above, at exactly the 1:00 mark. None of the surfers in the video are actually near that wave, which does lead me to believe that something strange was going on in the area around Flagler Beach when the video was taken.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Disassembly and reassembly of the body in ancient Egyptian texts and ongoing shamanic ritual

We have previously quoted a passage from Hamlet's Mill, by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend, in which -- drawing on the study of shamanic culture by Laszlo Vajda -- they explain that:
The real shamanistic initiation of the soul happens in the world of spirits -- while his body lies unconscious in his tent for days -- who dismember the candidate in the most thorough and drastic manner and sew him together afterwards with iron wire, or reforge him, so that he becomes a new being capable of feats which go beyond the human. 122.
Interestingly enough, John Anthony West sees a possible parallel between this graphic spiritual dismemberment and reconstruction of the (living) shaman and the spiritual dismemberment and reconstruction of the dead pharaoh described in the ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts (some of the oldest surviving texts from any culture on earth).

On page 146 of his indispensable book Serpent in the Sky, John Anthony West juxtaposes these most ancient descriptions in the Pyramid Texts with accounts of the beliefs of modern-day shamans of the Yakout tribe, living in eastern Siberia. First, citing Robert Lafont in Encylopedies des Mystiques, we learn:
A Yakout shaman, Sofron Zatayev, affirms that customarily the future shaman dies and spends three days without food and drink. Formerly one was subjected to a thrice-performed ceremony during which he was cut in pieces. Another shaman, Pyorty Ivanov, told us about this ceremony in detail: the members of the candidate were detached and spearated with an iron hook, the bones were cleaned, the flesh scraped, the body liquids thrown away and the eyes torn out of their sockets. After this operation the bones were reassembled and joined with iron. According to another shaman, the dismembering ceremony lasted three to seven days: during this time the candidate remained in suspended animation, like a corpse, in a solitary place. West 146.
Next to this description, Mr. West places a passage from the Pyramid Texts, from R.O. Faulkner's 1969 translation, in which the similarities are so remarkable that there must have been some cultural connection somewhere in the distant past:
I split open your eyes for you . . . I open your mouth for you with the adze of iron which split open the mouths of the gods . . . the iron which issued from Seth, with the adze of iron. . . This King washes himself when Ra appears . . . Isis nurses him . . . Horus accepts him beside him . . . he cleanses this king's double, he wipes over the flesh . . . Raise yourself, O King; receive your head, collect your bones, gather your limbs together, throw off the earth from your flesh . . . The Great Protectress . . . will give you your head, she will re-assemble your bones for you. . . join together your members. . . bring your heart into your body. . . O King, receive your water, gather together your bones. 146.
The similarities to the two experiences are obvious. Note in particular the prominence of the use of iron, as well as the details of the re-assembly of the body in both the shamanic and the ancient Egyptian passages. Note also that the shamanic initiate is in some sense "dead" when he undergoes this ordeal, just as was the ancient pharaoh.

From these passages, it appears that shamanic cultures have somehow preserved some of the beliefs of the ancient Egyptians (unless you wish to maintain that such details crop up all by themselves by some process of geographical necessity in widely removed cultures with no contact between them whatsoever, a belief that was particularly common in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries but which is clearly based on erroneous and somewhat ridiculous theories). Certainly, Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend believed that shamanic cultures were the heirs of very ancient knowledge, as seen from a quotation cited in this previous post.

What other cultures inherited wisdom from ancient Egypt, or from some now-forgotten predecessor to ancient Egypt? Perhaps there are other cultures which display remarkable patterns of thought common to ancient Egypt but which conventional theory maintains had no possibility of cultural contact or influence. Could the importance ascribed to precessional numbers in many very old Chinese traditions, precessional numbers encoded into the pyramids and other ancient Egyptian monuments and mythologies, indicate some cultural inheritance bequeathed to China from the Egyptians as well?

These are all questions which John Anthony West raises by his insightful discovery of the parallels between shamanic tradition and the descriptions of the afterlife in the most ancient Egyptian texts.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Earth's first Trojan asteroid confirmed: powerful evidence in favor of the hydroplate theory

Just yesterday, we examined the many aspects of asteroids which cause serious problems for conventional theorists but which are readily explained by the hydroplate theory of Dr. Walt Brown.

One of the pieces of evidence discussed in that post was the existence of asteroids which share earth's orbit but which do not orbit the earth themselves -- they orbit the sun along the earth's path (and perform complicated dances while they orbit, due to the physics of the three bodies involved -- the companion asteroid, the earth, and the sun).

In the last of the "bullet points" on that blog post, in fact, an asteroid companion of earth, named 3753 Cruithne, was mentioned in the context of the likelihood that such asteroids were most likely ejected from earth itself in the not-too-distant past (probably not more than a million years ago).

Cruithne was discovered in 1983 by astronomer Duncan Waldron (originally of Scotland, now residing in New South Wales, Australia), but its complicated and unusual "horseshoe" orbit was not deciphered until 1997, by astronomers Paul A. Weigert, Kimmo A. Innanen, and Seppo Mikkola, and described in the scholarly journal Nature in an article entitled "An asteroidal companion to the Earth."

Now, unknown to me when I was discussing asteroids yesterday but published in today's edition of Nature (July 28, 2011), Professor Weigert along with Martin Connors and Christian Viellet reveal that their examination of the data of an otherwise-unnamed asteroid known as 2010 TK7 prove it to be the first-known "Trojan" asteroid orbiting the sun along earth's path in the gravitational Lagrange point located 60o ahead of earth when measured from the sun.

Perhaps the best explanation of what Trojan asteroids and Lagrange points are can be found on the web page created for 2010 TK7 by Professor Weigert et al. Other recent articles which do a good job discussing this new discovery include this one from Tom's Astronomy Blog and this one from astronomer Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy Blog (which contains an excellent diagram and discussion of all five Lagrange points around a large orbiting body).

Amazingly, Dr. Brown discusses Lagrange points and the asteroids that inhabit them in his discussion of why asteroids provide powerful confirmation of his hydroplate theory, and he did so well before this new Trojan was discovered on earth's orbit. Dr. Brown notes that:
Without the hydroplate theory, one has difficulty imagining situations in which an asteroid would (a) settle into any of Jupiter’s Lagrange points (let alone one of Jupiter’s symmetric Lagrange points), (b) capture a moon, especially a moon with about the same mass as the asteroid, or (c) have a circular orbit, along with its moon, about their common center of mass. If all three happened to an asteroid, astronomers would be shocked; no astronomer would have predicted that it could happen to a comet.
And yet, Jupiter's L4 Lagrange point (60o ahead of Jupiter along its orbit) has 1,061 asteroids in it, and Jupiter's L5 Lagrange point (60o behind) has 681. The hydroplate theory explains how so many asteroids could have made the required "soft landing" into these points.

As discussed in the previous post, the hydroplate theory argues that asteroids are composed of earth material ejected into space in the violent rupture that initiated the flood and left the scar in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean that is visible in the image on this web page. The rocks and water ejected into space were moving at about the same speed and with the same angular velocity, and some of them ended up grouping together to form larger asteroids composed of rocks packed fairly loosely (hence the surprisingly low density of many asteroids) and held together by frozen ice. Dr. Brown explains what happened next:
According to the hydroplate theory, asteroids formed near Earth’s orbit. Then, the radiometer effect spiraled them outward, toward the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Some spiraled through Jupiter’s circular orbit and passed near both L4 and L5. Jupiter’s huge gravity would have slowed those asteroids that were moving away from Jupiter but toward L4. That braking action would have helped some asteroids settle into the L4 bowl. Conversely, asteroids that entered L5 were accelerated toward Jupiter, so they would quickly be pulled out of L5 by Jupiter’s gravity. The surprising excess of asteroids near Jupiter’s L4 is what we would expect based on the hydroplate theory.
This same process would explain the existence of asteroids co-orbiting the sun along earth's orbital path (including Cruithne and 2010 TK7), which are difficult to explain otherwise. Dr. Brown says, "But how could a slowly moving object ever reach, or get near, either point? Most likely, it barely escaped from Earth. " In other words, conventional theories have a difficult time explaining how an asteroid traveling through space could approach at such a slow velocity that it would land at one of earth's own Lagrange points delicately enough to stay there and begin to orbit along with earth. However, the problem goes away if asteroids originated from earth in the first place, and those which ended up at the Lagrange points were those with insufficient velocity to escape beyond those points.

Many of the articles announcing the amazing confirmation of 2010 TK7's identity as the first "earth Trojan" excitedly predict that they might become valuable destinations for future space missions, since they are so close to earth and yet may contain rare minerals and non-earth elements (see, for example, this article in These predictions are based upon the conventional theory that asteroids come from outer space -- either from other planets or from the hypothetical "pre-solar nebula" that "evolved" into the current solar system.

However, if the hydroplate theory is correct, then asteroids are originally from earth and will not be likely to harbor valuable non-earth elements. Dr. Brown makes the prediction that rocks in asteroids will be found to be typical of those in earth's own crust, and that "expensive efforts to mine asteroids to recover strategic or precious metals will be a waste of money."

One of the most powerful confirmations of a correct theory is its predictive ability: if it indeed represents a better explanation for the world around us, it should be able to make predictions which are later found to be true. Dr. Brown makes many predictions throughout his book, and now that NASA's Dawn spacecraft is orbiting the asteroid Vesta enroute to a rendezvous with Ceres, some of his predictions on asteroids may be confirmed in the next few years.

I take the recent announcement of the discovery of earth's first "Trojan" asteroid to be another compelling confirmation of the hydroplate theory as well.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What about Vesta and the asteroid belt?

You may know that NASA's Dawn spacecraft successfully entered orbit around the asteroid Vesta earlier this month, on July 16th. It began taking photographs and other data -- a recent photo of the asteroid is shown above. Dawn, which launched in September, 2007, is scheduled to remain in orbit around Vesta for a year, departing in July of 2012, after which it will head to the asteroid Ceres, with a scheduled arrival in February, 2015.

Vesta is formally designated as "4 Vesta," since it was the fourth object in the asteroid belt to be successfully identified, on March 29, 1807. The previous three bodies identified were Ceres (or "1 Ceres"), Pallas ("2 Pallas"), and Juno ("3 Juno"). In spite of being number four, Vesta is the second most-massive object known in the asteroid belt, behind Ceres. It is actually slightly smaller in size than Pallas, but about 20% more massive. The somewhat unusual mass characteristics of asteroids is an important clue to their origin, as we will see.

Current literature often designates Vesta a "protoplanet," believing that it is a more "evolved" object than a simple asteroid -- perhaps a remnant of an early forming planet that was interrupted in its development by the intrusive formation of massive Jupiter. In fact, the NASA webpage for the Dawn spacecraft (so-called, evidently, because it was intended to study the "dawn" of the planets when it visited the protoplanets of Ceres and Vesta) states that:
During the earliest epochs of our solar system, the materials in the solar nebula varied with their distance from the sun. As this distance increased, the temperature dropped, with terrestrial bodies forming closer to the sun, and icy bodies forming farther away.

The asteroid Vesta and the recently categorized dwarf planet Ceres have been selected because, while both speak to conditions and processes early in the formation of the solar system, they developed into two different kinds of bodies. Vesta is a dry, differentiated object with a surface that shows signs of resurfacing. It resembles the rocky bodies of the inner solar system, including Earth. Ceres, by contrast, has a primitive surface containing water-bearing minerals, and may possess a weak atmosphere. It appears to have many similarities to the large icy moons of the outer solar system.

By studying both these two distinct bodies with the same complement of instruments on the same spacecraft, the Dawn mission hopes to compare the different evolutionary path each took as well as create a picture of the early solar system overall. Data returned from the Dawn spacecraft could provide opportunities for significant breakthroughs in our knowledge of how the solar system formed.
However, the idea that Ceres and Vesta formed before the rest of the planets, and that they represent primitive "protoplanets" that were arrested in their development before they could become planets, has some problems. In fact, the conventional explanation for the entire asteroid belt is fraught with difficulties from the perspective of physics. Just like the theories for the origin of comets and for numerous other phenomena in the solar system and on earth, the conventional theories have numerous flaws, while the hydroplate theory of Dr. Walt Brown provides very satisfactory explanations which are in line with the principles of physics.

Dr. Brown devotes an entire section of his book to the origin of asteroids, giving solid arguments that refute the conventional explanations, and which demonstrate that asteroids and comets are extremely similar both in their composition and origins.

In that section, he points out that there are big problems with both the idea that asteroids are the remnants of an exploded planet and the theory that they are prototype planets (or "failed planets"). Some of the powerful evidence against these two explanations includes:
  • The fact that orbiting rocks do not come together to form composite bodies without special circumstances, which argues against the failed planet hypothesis. These unique conditions would have been present if the rocks were initially ejected from earth, in the presence of water, which would have led to the coagulation of some composite bodies made up of smaller rocks held together both by gravity but also by ice, which is what we find in the larger asteroids. The low density of many asteroids is supporting evidence for this explanation.
  • The discovery by spacecraft since Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 that microparticles thought to have come from asteroids and collisions with asteroids were much more prevalent close to earth than close to the asteroid belt, indicating that asteroids were probably not the source of these microparticles but rather earth itself at some point in the past.
  • The fact that some larger asteroids, including Ceres, have actually captured and retained smaller asteroids as "moons." Some even have two such moons. Because of their small size and the principles of physics, Dr. Brown explains that the only way this could happen would be if the asteroids and their moons were ejected with similar velocities and similar trajectories -- it would not be expected to take place in either the "failed planet (protoplanet)" or the "exploded planet" scenarios. In fact, when observations of such moons paired with asteroids were first described, many astronomers scoffed because they knew that their models did not admit such a possibility (the fact of such moons is now impossible to deny).
  • The "peanut shape" of several asteroids indicates that they are composed of smaller bodies joined together. However, for such a shape to be formed in outer space, the smaller bodies had to come together at a relatively slow velocity, probably buffered by the presence of gaseous water. Such conditions would be extremely difficult to explain under the conventional "failed planet" scenario or the "exploded planet" scenario, but would fit the model of the hydroplate theory perfectly.
  • The minerals of the asteroids, including the prevalence of iron and nickel in most asteroids (including Vesta) is difficult to explain using conventional theories, but accords perfectly with the hydroplate theory, as Dr. Brown explains. The main problem is that the geology of asteroids including Vesta indicates that they were heated successively to very high temperatures many times, which is difficult to explain in the cold reaches of space where the asteroids are found today and where the conventional theories (especially the "protoplanet" explanation) argue that they have been since before the formation of the earth. However, Dr. Brown's theory argues that the asteroids were on earth, deep beneath the surface, and subject to conditions that would create the kind of intense heating and mineral composition that we find in the asteroids before they were ejected into space, which lines up with known rules of physics and geology just as the conventional explanations do not.
  • Meteorites, which conventional theories say must have come from asteroids (including Vesta -- see the discussion in this Wikipedia article) often contain remanence or remanent magnetism. Dr. Brown explains that this remanent magnetism is consistent with an origin on a large, magnetized body such as earth, but not consistent with origin on asteroids, even origins on Vesta. Because the hydroplate theory argues that asteroids (including Vesta) are composite bodies, they do not have a single strong magnetic field, but are instead the compound jumble of magnetic fields from their component rocks, which generally cancel one another out and leave an overall lack of remanent magnetic readings.
  • The spin of most asteroids is consistent with rocks ejected from the earth, and in fact consistent with the spin direction of earth itself.
  • Because larger asteroids are held together with a "weak glue" of ice (which originated in the water blasted into space along with the rocks during the violent explosion that initiated the global flood event), impacts from other space rocks sometimes cause this water to melt and to begin to vent into the vacuum of space. When this happens, asteroids resemble comets: in fact, comets and asteroids are pretty much the same animal, except that asteroids have spent most of their existence in closer orbits to the sun and most of them have lost all of their ice -- with some of the larger ones retaining icy mantles below the surface which are still subject to being released later on by imacts. Most comets, on the other hand, have wider orbits and still retain ice, which is still venting.
  • The hydroplate theory argues for a fairly recent origin for both asteroids and comets. Just as there are sound principles of physics to argue that comets could not have survived in their present numbers for billions of years, there are also sound reasons to argue that asteroids probably have life spans below a million years (particularly those asteroids which have been found orbiting near the orbit of earth, such as 3753 Cruithne). Some of these are outlined in Dr. Brown's discussion of the origin of asteroids.
In spite of the fact that NASA webpages and the popular press present 4 Vesta as an object whose origin is well known and well understood, the fact is that it is very difficult to argue that it is either a protoplanet that never quite "evolved" into a planet, or a remnant of an exploded planet. The reasons above are elaborated upon more fully on the website of Dr. Brown.

On the other hand, there is every reason to believe that asteroids, including Vesta, provide more powerful evidence for the hydroplate theory and a catastrophic flood on earth within the past 10,000 or so years. Such an event, if it took place, would also shed light on the mysterious capabilities of the civilzations that bequeathed their knowledge to the most ancient builders of the Giza Pyramids, Stonehenge, and to the authors of myths which were recorded in extreme antiquity. This connection is the subject of the Mathisen Corollary book, and this blog.

Birthdate of E.A. Wallis Budge

Ernest Alfred Thompson Wallis Budge was born on July 27, 1858. He began learning Assyrian at the age of 15, and the ancient Egyptian language at 25 (the year he began working for the British Museum).

He became a prolific author on subjects of ancient Egyptian texts, history and religion, publishing translations of and commentaries on the Papyrus of Ani (a seventy-eight foot long papyrus, a section of which -- the weighing of the heart scene -- is shown above) as well as many lesser-known works. Many of these are now available online, including some of his books on Egyptian hieroglyphics. While scholarship has progressed in some ways beyond his observations (which are now over a century old), it must be remembered that at the time Wallis Budge was working to advance the understanding of ancient Egypt, the unlocking of the key to Egyptian hieroglyphics by Champollion had only been accomplished four or five decades previously.

(The fact that Champollion's initial breakthrough did not take place until 1822, and that it took some time after that to piece together the entire system, even then imperfectly, is an important argument against the conventional theory that the Micmac writing system recorded by missionaries in the 1600s and 1700s was somehow invented by those Catholic priests based upon Egyptian hieroglyphics).

In his 1911 work, Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection, Wallis Budge argued that the Egyptian mythology was native to Africa and not a product of influence from Asia. The book is valuable as an insight into the kind of thinking that was common in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, which held that belief systems basically reflected the racial and environmental characteristics of the people of various areas, and that such beliefs would simply evolve among members of one area in different centuries, even without any cultural contact. For example, in his preface to that book, he argues against the possibility that ancient Egyptian beliefs could have survived in altered form in African peoples to this day, saying that "The power of the Egyptians reached no farther than the northern end of the 'Island' of Meroe, and it was not truly effective beyond Napata, the modern Merawi, near the foot of the Fourth Cataract" (xvii).

Instead of admitting to the possibility of any sort of cultural influence, Wallis Budge instead argues that "Modern Sudani beliefs are identical with those of ancient Egypt, because the Egyptians were Africans and the modern peoples of the Sudan are Africans. And making allowances for differences in natural circumstances and geographic location, ancient and modern Nilotic peoples give outward expression to their beliefs in the same way" (xvii).

This argument is typical of the kind of racial and/or geographical determinism that dominated much scholarly analysis in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In the sentences quoted above, Wallis Budge is actually arguing that African peoples who live in the Nile region will always evolve the same general religious beliefs, even if separated by centuries and with no contact or knowledge of one another. The connection between this kind of thinking and the Darwinism which had such an impact in the decades of the 1850s through the 1930s should be fairly clear: it is very much analogous to asserting that fish or birds in a certain type of environment will always evolve bills or fins which are shaped a certain way.

We have previously discussed the ways in which the beliefs that are prevalent at various periods of time can influence the analysis and the conclusions of scholars in that period, and that they can be almost transparent to those scholars at the time, and more obvious when we look back with the perspective of a century of history. The tenets of Darwinism clearly distorted analysis a hundred years ago, and in many ways continue to do so in conventional academia today (although in different ways than in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries).

In spite of the ways in which we might often disagree with his conclusions, the work of Wallis Budge remains very valuable. He was a gifted writer who covered a tremendous amount of material, and therefore becomes a sort of familiar guide to the reader after a short period of time. It would be a shame to spurn his friendly companionship through the mysteries of ancient Egypt simply because he reached different conclusions.

Further, Wallis Budge often had perceptive insights, insights that might be more difficult for analysts of today to make due to the particular blind spots or biases of our own time. Just as in literature the weaknesses of a protagonist are often directly related to his strengths (think of most characters in Shakespeare, for example), the very fact that Wallis Budge came from a very different time than the one we inhabit today allowed him some perspective to see things that we today might overlook, even as it may have also led him to some conclusions which we today perceive to be naive.

One valuable insight, and one which he discusses in many of his works (including the book on Osiris and Egyptian beliefs in resurrection referenced above) is Wallis Budge's discussion of the tension between monotheistic and polytheistic expressions, which seem to peacefully coexist almost simultaneously in many Egyptian texts. We discussed this noteworthy topic in a previous post entitled "God and the gods." Wallis Budge has a similarly-titled chapter in his book discussing the Papyrus of Ani beginning at page 99 (which can be read online here).

E.A. Wallis Budge was a complicated figure, as well as an extremely intelligent and learned man, who rose to the pinnacle of scholarship in England in his time, from extremely humble beginnings. He should not be pigeonholed or dismissed as someone whose contributions have been eclipsed by the passage of time or the progress of modern academia (which in many ways can be criticized as being far more close-minded today and more susceptible to groupthink than scholarship of previous centuries).

On this his birthday, it is appropriate to consider the sizable contributions of this pioneering scholar and thinker, and to be grateful for his life spent in pursuit of the mysteries of antiquity.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Comet origins and the mysteries of mankind's ancient past

Astronomer Tom Van Flandern (1940 - 2009) had a PhD in astronomy specializing in celestial mechanics. He was the former Chief of Celestial Mechanics at the US Naval Observatory. However, he left mainstream science when he began to believe that the conventional explanations for many of the phenomena of the solar system and the universe were incorrect. In particular, Dr. Van Flandern challenged the Big Bang Theory of origins, and the conventional explanation for the origin of comets and asteroids.

In his book Dark Matter, Missing Planets, and New Comets: Paradoxes Resolved, Origins Illuminated (1993), Dr. Van Flandern lays out the problems with the conventional explanations for the topics mentioned above, and puts forward his controversial alternative theories. While I personally believe that the hydroplate theory of Dr. Walt Brown provides a better explanation for the origin of comets and asteroids, and one that is backed up by extensive corroborating geological evidence here on earth (see list and links in this post), it is important to note that Dr. Van Flandern was alert to the massive problems in the conventional theories and was bravely putting forward alternative views, even though it made him unpopular among his fellow astronomers.

In a similar way, I believe that the sheer volume of alternative theories for mankind's ancient past is the result of the massive problems with the conventional timeline, which stimulates thinking people to explore other possible explanations. Even though we might not agree with all or any of them in their entirety, we should view these theories as evidence of the problem with the accepted view, and commend those who are willing to risk ridicule in order to put forward a better suggestion.

Dr. Van Flandern noticed the harmonic relationship of the orbits of the existing planets and the well-known fact that there is a gap in the pattern between Mars and Jupiter, and became the leading modern proponent of the Exploded Planet theory, which proposes that there was once a watery "Planet V" between Mars and Jupiter, which exploded, leaving the asteroid belt in its wake. He further controversially suggested that the inhabitants of this exploded planet, realizing in advance the need to leave, came to earth and that we are their descendents.

Whatever one thinks of these speculations of extraterrestrial life, Dr. Van Flandern's arguments about the problems with the conventional explanation for the origin of comets are sound, and his proposition that comets originated with a violent explosive ejection from the inner solar system appears to provide a much better answer than the existence of a hypothetical Oort Cloud.

In the previous post about Comet Hale-Bopp, we examined some of the problems with the conventional explanations for the origin of comets. In his book, which can be read online here, Dr. Van Flandern explains the conventional theory and its problems. First, he explains the size of the proposed Oort Cloud, which is important to understand in order to perceive the problems with the theory. If the entire solar system as we know it, out to the orbit of Pluto, were the size of a US dime (just over one centimeter), then the Oort Cloud would be a shell of comets in a generally stationary posture, hovering far from the sun, an average of six meters away (over nineteen and a half feet out). This analogy reduces the actual distances by a factor of 1015 and can help us understand how hard it would be for a comet, hovering in stasis, to be dislodged in such a way that it would actually enter the dime-sized solar system and be visible to us on earth at all.

Dr. Van Flandern explains:
These comets [in the hypothetical Oort Cloud] are essentially stationary with respect to the Sun, having mean velocities in the scale model of just 3 millimeters per 1000 years. Passing stars, on the other hand, move relatively rapidly, with typical speeds of a meter or so per 1000 years, and stir up the comets they come very close to. It is deduced that in this way an occasional comet will by chance have its motion redirected towards the Sun in such a way that it will manage to pass within the 1mm-diameter sphere centered on the Sun, within which we on Earth can discover and observe it. [. . .] The number of comets within the cloud is believed to be immense in order to provide the few comets we observe, because the chances are so small of any one comet being perturbed into the observable range. And the absence of certain planetary perturbations in their motion proves that a large number of new comets arriving from the cloud could never have passed so close to the Sun before, even though they complete a revolution around their orbits every few million years. How could these curious objects evolve into such a seemingly improbable situation? 181.
Dr. Van Flandern then goes on to illustrate evidence which argues against the Oort Cloud theory. For one thing, it is difficult to explain a mechanism that would allow comets to coagulate at all in the near-perfect vacuum that exists so far from the sun. Further, the Oort Cloud theory must account for the complete regeneration of the cloud whenever it is wiped out by galactic tides, molecular clouds, and passing stars.

A major problem he and other astronomers have also pointed out is the complete absence of hyperbolic comets -- comets whose orbits are so fast that they will come into the solar system only once, slingshot around the sun, and then disappear into deep space forever, never to return. If comets are launched from an Oort Cloud by the perturbation of passing stars, some should travel so fast that they would have hyperbolic orbits. However, none with such velocity have ever been observed. On the other hand, if comets originated from an explosion in the inner solar system, then any matter that was not initially traveling fast enough to completely escape the sun's pull would eventually reach a point where it came back: such objects would then orbit far out again and return. In other words, if comets came from the inner solar system originally, we would not expect to see hyperbolic comets, only comets making their first return or later returns after such an event.

As explained in the previous post, over millions of years, some of these non-hyperbolic comets might be accelerated by a close encounter with Jupiter to the point that they would be ejected from the solar system, and this is the reason that explanations for comet origins must be fairly recent, because if comets originated billions of years ago, Jupiter would have captured or ejected more of them than exist today. This is why there is an Oort Cloud theory in the first place, but if comets originated in a relatively recent violent explosion from within the inner solar system, it would also explain the number of comets still in existence. However, the lack of hyperbolic comets shows that the Oort Cloud explanation is not a good one, and that an explanation which provides for comet origins from the inner solar system would be far more satisfactory.

Incidentally, Dr. Van Flandern points out that his criticism of the Oort Cloud theory does not imply criticism of the cloud's namesake in any way. In a footnote on page 191, Dr. Van Flandern says "Astronomer Oort always maintained that an origin of comets from within the solar system, perhaps in connection with the event which gave rise to the asteroid belt, was the most probable."

While Dr. Van Flandern proposed an exploding fifth planet for their origin (a planet which must have been watery, since comets are mostly ice), the hydroplate theory of Dr. Walt Brown would also provide the same satisfactory explanation as the theory of Dr. Van Flandern. The only difference is that the violent explosion that launched the comets and asteroids came from earth rather than a hypothetical planet between Mars and Jupiter, and that there is extensive evidence for such an explosion -- which initiated a global flood -- in the geological record on earth's surface including on the bottom of the oceans.

It is also worth pointing out that the Exploding Planet theory of Dr. Van Flandern has been used as a launching point for the idea that our solar system was the scene of an ancient extraterrestrial war, a war in which the destruction of the missing planet was the ultimate blow. This theory, which has been put forward by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell in his books including the Cosmic War, also falls into the category of theories written by those who perceive the enormous problems with the conventional academic models and which try to explain the ancient history of mankind on earth in a way that is more consistent with the evidence. Whether or not we actually agree with the hypotheses that alternative theorists put forward, I believe they should be commended for bravely offering alternatives to the accepted wisdom.

Tom Van Flandern's book provides an excellent explanation of the problems with the currently-held theory of comet origins. It is clear from his own theories and of others who have followed his work that the question of comet origins actually intersects the question of ancient human history on earth as well. I personally believe that the hydroplate theory offers a new and very helpful perspective on these questions, not only the question of the origin of comets but also of the mysteries of mankind's ancient past. The Mathisen Corollary book explores these connections.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Comet Hale-Bopp

Comet Hale-Bopp was discovered on July 23, 1995 by two independent amateur astronomers, Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp, both from the US (New Mexico and Arizona, respectively). It was still a great distance from the sun when it was discovered, and apparently holds the current record for furthest comet from the sun discovered by amateur astronomers, according to the Wikipedia entry on the comet.

Comet Hale-Bopp became quite spectacular in the night sky during the early months of 1997. At that time, I was deployed to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California (one of many times). I distinctly remember walking out late one night to catch a couple hours of sleep on the hood of my HMMWV (I was a battalion supply officer at the time, and thus was not sleeping out on the ground with a line company the way you do when you are a platoon leader, company commander, or company executive officer) and seeing the gorgeous comet hanging high in the night sky over the desert. I said out loud, "That has to be a comet!" (I was alone in a remote logistics point; there was no one else around to hear me).

Amazing as it may seem, I had not heard of the impending arrival of the comet, having been consumed in the prior months with uploading a battalion's worth of Bradley Fighting Vehicles and other large equipment for the deployment, which was a fairly unusual deployment in that we were taking special "Force XXI" vehicles to the desert for full-speed maneuver testing. Also, the internet at that time was nothing like the internet and web of today, and was not something I was regularly visiting, especially during the full-time activity of being a Battalion S4 in the Force XXI Brigade preparing for an NTC rotation.

After various "battles" and training exercises, members of the leadership of the task force and Brigade Combat Team would regularly report to portable trailers that would be moved about in the desert and hooked up to generators, where we could review the successes and failures and discuss them in a formal "after-action review" (AAR), and at the beginning of these, the observer-controllers from NTC would often put together a short video clip of the news that was taking place in the outside world. Shortly after the night on which I noticed the comet for the first time, we were horrified to learn in one of these AAR clips about the mass suicide of the Heaven's Gate cult members, who believed they were leaving the earth to join a spacecraft which they thought was trailing the Hale-Bopp comet.

The origins of comets are a great mystery, and the conventional theories for their origin are fraught with problems, as hydroplate theory author and West Point graduate Walt Brown explains in this section of his website. For one thing, comets tend to be "swept" out of solar orbit by the massive planets of Saturn and especially Jupiter over the centuries (either sucked into those planets or ejected right out of the solar system by the slingshot effect of Jupiter's tremendous gravity), and if comets we see today have really been in action for billions of years, many of them would likely have been swept up long ago. Based on some calculations, comets are either being resupplied by some unknown activity, or their current numbers suggest that they originated less than 12,000 years ago.

Another problem Dr. Brown discusses is the fact that most near-parabolic comets falling toward the sun appear to be doing so for the first time ever. Dr. Brown discusses the evidence for this observation, which involves the speeds of comets and the number of comets that fall into categories of different speeds (see discussion and diagram labeled Figure 155 on this page).

In order to try to explain these problematic features of the comets we find in our solar system, astronomers invented a speculative solution known as the Oort Cloud, a hypothetical cloud of dust at some distance outside the solar system from which comets must be ejected by the perturbations caused by other stars in the galaxy. This solution has several problems, including the fact that it has difficulty explaining short-period comets, whose orbits do not go past Jupiter at their furthest point (aphelion).

As with so many other difficulties of geology, the hydroplate theory explains the origins of comets quite satisfactorily. In fact, Dr. Brown demonstrates that almost all of the characteristics of comets are consistent with the theory that they originated from the violent ejection of massive amounts of water on earth at the initiation of the cataclysmic flood event, within 12,000 years ago.

Comets are just another data point which seem to indicate the accuracy of the hydroplate theory versus its competitors. The Mathisen Corollary book examines the ways in which this innovative geological theory may also explain many mysteries of mankind's ancient past as well.

The image above shows Comet Hale-Bopp in April of 1997, above the desert of California's Death Valley, very close to the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin, California, where I was when I first noticed it.

Ask yourself: would you drink whiskey from a pilsner glass? Or red wine from a highball?

Different alcoholic beverages are traditionally enjoyed from differently-shaped glasses. For example, a smooth glass of fine bourbon whiskey would traditionally be served in the old-fashioned glass shown above and to the left, while cocktails such as a screwdriver or a gin and tonic are traditionally served in a highball glass resembling the one above right (purists might argue that the glass on the right above is a collins glass, for serving a Tom Collins and other such drinks, but both types of glass usually feature high, straight sides and a narrower mouth than an old-fashioned).

Similarly, various types of beer have their own types of glasses, such as the pilsner shown below left, which has something of an hourglass shape to accommodate a head of foam. Wine connoisseurs will have their own opinions about the best-shaped wineglasses to enjoy a full-bodied red or a crisp white. Typically, reds are served in wider, fuller glasses resembling the one below center, while whites are usually served in glasses with slightly taller sides and narrower mouths than glasses for reds, such as the one below right.

When we consider these deeply-ingrained cultural preferences for the kinds of glass considered appropriate for the kinds of drink, we might naturally ask ourselves whether these preferences are merely arbitrary traditions that grew up over time, or whether there is an actual functional reason behind the connection of one drink to one glass.

As it happens, there are good reasons that different forms of alcohol are served in differently-shaped glasses. Different glasses deliver the alcohol to different parts of the mouth of the taster, resulting in a different experience. The size and shape of the mouth of the "delivery vehicle" matters as well -- the exact same beer will taste different if it is consumed directly from the bottle than if it is poured into a nice wide-mouthed bar glass. For wines, the size and shape of the bowl of the wineglass will influence the way the air interacts with the wine when it is swirled around in the glass and as it is delivered to the tongue, resulting in different levels of oxidation and different flavor and perception. True aficionados of certain drinks (or of many different drinks) can probably add even more reasons to this list.

The fact that the shape of the glass that holds the drink matters (and matters a great deal) might be a good metaphor for the theory that John Anthony West puts forward in Serpent in the Sky: The High Wisdom of Ancient Egypt. While the book itself deals with many very deep subjects, one of them is certainly the likelihood that the enormous time and energy and resources which the ancient Egyptians devoted to building tombs and temples and other structures was not simply the result of "unqualified superstition" that went along with an obsessive and bizarre preoccupation with death, but rather that all of the various forms of art and architecture were organized according to "specific harmonic laws" designed to actually channel the natural energy according to laws and sciences which we have now forgotten (quotations are from West pages 93 and 92, respectively).

In other words, the actual physical layout and proportions and distances that were built and arranged, often in massive stone, were designed according to a lost knowledge of resonances and harmonics -- that their shape and structure "made a difference," if you will, just as the shape of a wine glass "makes a difference." They were designed, not to deliver wine, but to channel and connect with other forms of energy (we have already discussed the fact that food itself is a form of energy, energy which has been incorporated from the sun and the rain and the soil, and so wine of course is as well).

We might also point the reader back to this post, in which we examine arguments from a completely different researcher who found evidence that ancient cultures and their descendents around the world may have tried to harvest the earth's natural telluric energy and other forms of electromagnetism in order to stimulate the growth of their seed crops -- and perhaps they were able to do so successfully.

As Mr. West writes: "On a practical level, this means that the sages of Egypt were deliberately and knowledgeably organising the ambiance or atmosphere of an entire civilisation in harmony with cosmic requirements" (116).

We have all probably experienced in our own lives the different "vibes" we get from different locations, or from being in buildings of different architectural shapes and layouts, or from working in a cluttered office versus an organized one. This is perhaps another way of getting at the argument that Mr. West, following R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz, is putting forward about the purpose of much of what we find in ancient Egypt.

Another parallel to this discussion would be an examination of the beliefs of Chinese feng shui, which teaches that the orientation and internal arrangements of buildings and rooms have real impacts. Perhaps some of this is mere superstition which has been built up in more recent centuries, but perhaps it also incorporates remnants of the very same ancient knowledge possessed by a very ancient civilization, whether that of ancient Egypt or of some even more remote predecessor of the two. We have already seen evidence that some of the precessional knowledge and numbers that were known and used by the ancient Egyptians turn up in traditional Chinese culture as well.

Those who may scoff at such possibilities should consider other examples from the real world in which energy and vibrations can and do have an actual impact, such as those discussed in this previous post.

If we are careful to use the correct glass when enjoying a Bordeaux or a bourbon, because we realize that the shape of the container has a real impact on the experience, then wouldn't we also want to consider the other ways in which we might be impacted by the shapes and proportions of the world around us?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Caution: certain vegetable oils may be harmful when heated

One of the assertions made in the Mathisen Corollary book and throughout this blog is that it appears not only possible but very likely that the widely held beliefs about the geology of the earth (including the tectonic theory) and the history of ancient mankind are completely incorrect.

Many readers may ask themselves, "Is it really possible that so many people, including so many well-trained academicians and researchers, could be wrong?" In light of the implications for Darwinism, some readers have also asked, "Hasn't Darwinism been proven?" -- in other words, isn't the evidence that has led to the conventional theories so strong and so abundant that the theories can be considered fact for all practical purposes?

Some of these arguments are addressed in the dialogue found in the new introduction to the book. Additionally, we have made the analogy to the conventional wisdom which argues that fat and cholesterol are bad for us, a theory that is so widely accepted and which is supported by so many academicians, scientists, and government officials and bureaus that it seems beyond question (see this and this previous post). Those who examine the research that launched the conventional view that fat and cholesterol are harmful might reasonably expect to be asked quite often, "Hasn't the connection between lipids and heart disease and other deadly problems been proven?"

The answer to this question, just as to the question of whether theories about tectonics, Darwinism, or the timeline of mankind's ancient past have been proven beyond the point of reasonable doubt or criticism, is: "Not hardly."

Before revisiting the apparently tangential topic of whether the food advice we have been getting from our government and our schools for fifty years may be not only wrong but harmful, let us first examine a quotation from John Anthony West's magnificent exposition of the theory of R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz, Serpent in the Sky, a work whose importance was briefly discussed in this recent post.

As part of his larger discussion about the fact that we live in a universe composed of energy and wavelengths, which interact with the human body and which have resonances and harmonies at various wavelengths, resonances and harmonies which the ancient Egyptians appear to have perceived and understood to a very advanced degree, Mr. West writes:
Since Einstein's relativity theory it has been known and accepted that matter is a form of energy, a coagulation or condensation of energy. One consequence of this is that, for scientists at any rate, materialism has been a provisionally impossible philosophy, a fact which has done nothing to prevent most scientists from professing it. 120.
While it does not address the lipid hypothesis which alleges a harmful correlation between consumption of fat and cholesterol and circulatory health, Mr. West's book does explore the evidence that the ancient Egyptians possessed a very advanced medical knowledge, as well as the belief expressed by ancient writers that the Egyptians were the healthiest people in the ancient world (137 - 138). It should be clear, however, from the quotation above that the food we eat contains the energy that is transferred to us, energy that is stored in the grapes or the tomatoes or the grains or the animals that we eventually eat, and that paying attention to this connection between matter and energy may be important in all areas of human endeavor, including health and diet.

It is very interesting, then, to note the arguments found in the excellent 1999 book Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, by Sally Fallon. There, the author notes that the theory, called the lipid hypothesis, of "a direct relationship between the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet and the incidence of coronary heart disease" may rest on very questionable interpretation of the data, beginning with the foundational work of Ancel Keys in the 1950s and continuing through the present day (4).

She notes numerous reasons to doubt this hypothesis, including the fact that coronary heart disease was very rare in America before 1920 and the replacement of the consumption of traditional animal fat with the consumption of dietary vegetable oils in the form of margarine and refined oils, as well as sugar, or the fact that studies of Yemenite Jews who moved to Israel and replaced diets that once consisted of fats solely from animal origin with diets containing margarine and vegetable oil (and lots of sugar) showed little evidence of heart disease and diabetes among those on the old diet but high levels of both diseases among those on the new regime (5-6).

She says, "Politically correct dietary gurus tell us that polyunsaturated oils are good for us and that saturated fats cause cancer and heart disease. Such misinformation about the relative virtues of saturated fats versus polyunsaturated oils has caused profound changes in western eating habits" (10). Polyunsaturated fatty acids remain liquid even when refrigerated, and are found in many vegetable oils from northern climates, such as those derived from canola, safflower, corn, or soy. She then argues that:
One reason the polyunsaturates cause so many health problems is that they tend to become oxidized or rancid when subjected to heat, oxygen and moisture as in cooking and processing. Rancid oils are characterized by free radicals -- that is, single atoms or clusters with an unpaired electron in an outer orbit. These compounds are extremely reactive chemically. [. . .] Is it any wonder that tests and studies have repeatedly shown a high correlation between cancer and heart disease with the consumption of polyunsaturates? New evidence links exposure to free radicals with premature aging, with autoimmune diseases such as arthritis and with Parkinson's disease, Lou Gherig's disease, Alzheimer's and cataracts. 10.
In other words, it appears that adding certain levels of energy (through heating) to some types of foods, especially those containing polyunsaturated fatty acids (which our body needs and which are beneficial in some forms), can change their energy into harmful energy, a change which takes place at the molecular level and involves the pairing or lack of pairing of electrons. The observation of John West about the importance of the connection between matter and energy appears to be extremely relevant to what we eat.

With all of the evidence available that appears to contradict the lipid hypothesis, it is somewhat amazing that more people do not begin to question what they are taught about diet, and that so many people believe that the dietary advice dispensed by schools, governments, and doctors rests on theories that have "been proven" and are therefore beyond question.

Perhaps more people should adopt the attitude that it is important to examine the evidence for themselves, at least when it comes to matters as important as healthy eating, Darwinism, tectonics, and the history of mankind's ancient past.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bruce Lee, 1940 - 1973

On this day in 1973, martial artist and film superstar Bruce Lee died of mysterious and still-disputed causes, at the age of only 32. During his life, he probably did more to bring the martial arts into the public consciousness than anyone else has ever done, before or since.

Above, Bruce Lee is pictured with a Wing Chun muk jong (or "wooden dummy"). It is taught that the wooden dummy form consists of 108 movements. This well-known fact is not a secret and can be confirmed through a very simple search on the internet for the words "wooden dummy 108."

Less well-known, however, is the fact that 108 is an ancient number of great significance, which appears in some of the earliest mythologies that exist today, from thousands of years BC. The ancient Vedic ritual of the Agnicayana, called "the world's oldest surviving ritual," involves the construction of a ritual fireplace containing 10,800 bricks, which is another manifestation of the same important number.

The number 108 is a precessional number, encoding a sophisticated understanding of the astronomical phenomenon of precession. Those who defend traditional timelines of human history do not admit that mankind understood or knew of precession at all until less than 200 years BC, and they will certainly not admit that ancient mankind understood it to the degree that they could measure its rate with the precision required to obtain the precessional numbers 72, 108, 432 and the rest.

Thus, to the extent in which he participated in martial arts (and at a very high level, to the point that this participation became part of every fiber of his being), Bruce Lee participated in an activity which even today carries hidden aspects of very ancient human wisdom, transmitting them through the ages, from generation to generation.

May he rest in peace.

Happy birthday, Gregor Mendel!

Gregor Mendel was born on July 20, 1822. His pioneering work on genetics using pea plants are commonly taught to students as somehow supporting the theories of Darwinian evolution, although they actually refute Darwinian evolution. Today, his theories on genetics, which are correct, are used as a crutch to support Darwinian assertions, which are incorrect.

Mendel's theories were originally viewed as being contradictory to Darwinian evolution by prominent evolutionary thinkers, such as Alfred Russell Wallace (1823 - 1913), who was really the co-progenitor of the theory of evolution called Darwinian evolution today (and who in fact sketched out the theory before Darwin did), and who recognized that the results of Mendel's work indicated the fact that successive generations (in Mendel's case, successive generations of pea plants) only manifested traits which were already present in the genes of the parents. In other words, when a specific trait (such as light or dark color in a pepper moth, or the color of a pea's flower, the color of its pod, the shape of its pod, or the shape of its seeds) manifests itself, Mendel's laws explain that that trait was passed on from the alleles (gene variants) already present in the parents.

Wallace was so clear on the power of Mendel's experiments to counter the proposed mechanism of Darwinian evolution (which relies upon mutations producing new traits which are then passed on through natural selection) that he declared:
on the general relation of Mendelism to Evolution, I have come to a very definite conclusion. This is, that it has no relation whatever to the evolution of species or higher groups, but is really antagonistic to such evolution! The essential basis of evolution, involving as it does the most minute and all-pervading adaptation to the whole environment, is extreme and ever-present plasticity, as a condition of survival and adaptation. But the essence of Mendelian characters is their rigidity. They are transmitted without variation, and therefore, except by the rarest of accidents, can never become adapted to ever varying conditions. Letters and Reminiscences (1916), 340.
Hydroplate theory founder and author Dr. Walt Brown points out this quotation in a footnote on page 50 of the 8th edition his book on the hydroplate theory, and the interested reader can find the entire Wallace quotation for himself in the original 1916 publication of Alfred Russell Wallace's letters, which is available as an online book here.

Mendel's laws were later co-opted by the intellectual descendents of Darwin, who argued that over time, "genetic drift" will introduce changes to the number of alleles in a population, which -- along with mutation -- enable the origin of new traits over time. However, as all breeders know who set about to deliberately select certain traits in domesticated animals (cows, horses, or dogs, for example), the variations available are bounded by certain limits. It is possible to breed taller or shorter horses or dogs (because alleles for those traits are already present, and can be selected in order to produce descendents which exhibit such traits), but it is not possible to breed a dog or a horse with wings or with gills (in fact, breeders realize that the hybrids which are possible hit a boundary long before anything as outlandish as that).

This fact is important when considering one of the principle conflicts between the hydroplate theory and the Darwinian theory. The Darwinian theory relies upon a mechanism of mutations plus natural selection, plus extremely vast amounts of time. Setting aside the fact that mutations are almost always detrimental (and produce offspring that cannot or do not reproduce), the hydroplate theory undermines the crucial ingredient of vast amounts of time.

Uniformitarian theories argue that processes going on today could, given enough time, create all or most of the features we find on the earth today, even features such as the Grand Canyon. The hydroplate theory, which argues that the evidence appears to demonstrate that the features on the earth were formed by the events surrounding a catastrophic flood event in a short period of time, undermines the vast amounts of time supplied by uniformitarian theories. If the Grand Canyon could have been carved in days, weeks or months (rather than tens or hundreds of millions of years), then it could have been formed within the past ten or twenty thousand years, which completely undercuts the long ages Darwinian theory requires for its proposed mechanism of mutation plus natural selection.

On the other hand, Mendel's theories would explain how survivors of a relatively recent flood, from many species including mankind, can now exhibit very different traits and characteristics. Some branches of the human family have a much higher percentage of individuals with red hair, for instance, while other people groups are characterized by being taller, shorter, having more or less facial hair among males, and so forth. These characteristics are not the result of mutations, but of the selection of genetic traits which were already present as possibilities within the human genomes of the parents. This fact of Mendelian genetics is the point which Alfred Russell Wallace recognized as being extremely damaging to his and Darwin's theory.

Wallace also recognized the absolute co-dependence of the Darwinian theory of evolution and the uniformitarian geological theories of their friend and colleague Charles Lyell (1797 - 1875). In this collection of Wallace's letters, he declares on page 78 that:
The evidence for the production of the organic world [in other words, biological species] by the simple laws of inheritance is exactly of the same nature as that for the production of the present surface of the earth -- hills and valleys, plains, rocks, strata, volcanoes, and all their fossil remains -- by the slow and natural action of natural causes now in operation [i.e. non-catastrophic causes]. The mind that will ultimately reject Darwin must (to be consistent) reject Lyell also.
This is a profound insight and one with which we can still agree. It explains the vehement opposition of academia and the scientific community to the overwhelming evidence that the earth's geology was shaped by catastrophic forces and not by uniformitarian processes ("natural causes now in operation," plus enormous amounts of time). Darwinists cannot consider this evidence, because they know that the mind that will reject Lyell is ripe for rejecting Darwin as well. For a catalog of some of this overwhelming geological evidence, see the links in this post, as well as some of the posts published since then, including this one and this one.

In short, it is quite clear that Mendel's work, celebrated by Darwinists as supportive of their theories, in fact undermines Darwinism quite powerfully, as Alfred Russell Wallace himself perceived. On the other hand, Mendel's findings are perfectly compatible with the positions put forward by the hydroplate theory of Walt Brown, and in fact explain the numerous variations that we find within the human family and within other species, which have taken place since the flood. Dr. Brown discusses Mendel's work further on his website, here and here.

Google has chosen to honor Mendel's birthdate all day with a special "Doodle" featuring pea pods (see below). Based on the fact that the company also created a special world-wide Doodle for Darwin's birthday which it ran on February 12, 2009, it may be that the company believes the conventional wisdom that Mendel's work supports the quasi-religious doctrines of Darwinism. However, as the insights of pioneering Darwinist Alfred Russell Wallace make clear, Mendel's work actually refutes Darwinism, as do theories such as the hydroplate theory which expose the fallacy of Lyell's principles of uniformitarian geology.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Why do we listen to beautiful music about heartbreak and misery?

Why do we human beings write beautiful songs about heartbreak and misery? Above is a video of Dwight Yoakam singing his classic heartbreak song, "It won't hurt," demonstrating his ability to take the genre to a very high level indeed. In fact, a catalog of Mr. Yoakam's songs would reveal that a very high percentage of his work deals with heartbreak and misery (even more than most country music, which as a whole has a higher percentage of such work than other categories of music). The studio version of this particular song can be purchased on this album.

Country music, of course, is not the only style which writes beautiful, harmonic music about heartbreak. Here is a link to a classic Peter Tosh song, "Why must I cry," which shows that reggae, perhaps one of the most upbeat and "happiest-sounding" styles of music ever made, can be just as evocative and deal with the subject of heartache and misery just as eloquently as can Dwight Yoakam. The song above can be purchased as part of Peter Tosh's outstanding first solo album.

So, what motivates the age-old human urge to write such beautiful melodies about such a miserable experience? Those who have experienced heartbreak in love probably know the answer instinctively -- because such music is actually therapeutic. Music can heal -- the ancient Greek god Apollo was both the god of music and the god of medicine.

We have discussed in previous posts the fact that the mere sound of a drum or other rhythm evokes a physical response in us, almost unconsciously. It is clear that music and sound (which is composed of wavelengths) has an actual impact on the human body, which is itself designed to resonate. We have also seen that, at least in shamanic cultures, there is a perceived link between time, rhythm, and the planets.

It is well-known that some people believe that talking to plants in a positive way will be beneficial for their actual growth. While this has never been clinically proven thus far, there are plenty of anecdotal stories suggesting that there may be some truth underneath this widespread belief. There is also the incident recorded in Matthew 21 and Mark 11 in which Christ curses a fig-tree, which then withers. He tells his disciples:
Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. Matthew 21:21.
This is clearly a very heavy subject, but it relates directly to the thesis outlined in Serpent in the Sky: The High Wisdom of Ancient Egypt, by John Anthony West (first published in 1979). In that book, which examines and elaborates upon the insights of R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz (1887 - 1961), Mr. West demonstrates that the ancient Egyptians were well aware of the power and importance of proportions, harmonies, and the Golden Ratio, and that concern for the impact of these harmonies was foundational to everything they did for nearly four thousand years.

The Golden Ratio is related to music and harmony, because sound is made up of waves, and changing the wavelength changes the tone that is produced (just as it changes the color of light). This principle is the reason that guitarists place their finger on various strings to change their vibration and the wavelength of the tone they produce.

The Golden Ratio is found in countless monuments of antiquity, not just the pyramids of Giza but also Stonehenge (which is closely related to the pyramids, as discussed here), the Parthenon, and numerous others in the New World and the islands of the Pacific as well. It is also found in numerous proportions in the natural world, in plants, trees, flowers, insects, amphibians, reptiles, and even the human body.

The importance of the Golden Ratio and its prevalence in ancient monuments is discussed in one chapter of The Mathisen Corollary book. However, the work of John Anthony West really takes the examination of this subject to the deepest level and proposes a completely revolutionary thesis regarding what the ancient Egyptians were all about.

Those who are skeptical of the power of proportions and harmonies should consider the power of music, which they have probably experienced themselves. There is much more that can be said on this subject.