Monday, July 21, 2014

Some reflections on my recent Project Camelot interview, and the errors of Zechariah Sitchin

Having now re-listened to my recent interview on Project Camelot, the thing that struck me the most about my interview is the fact that it seems to have devolved into a tug-of-war between my attempts to explain an esoteric theory, and the interviewer's desire to turn the conversation back to what I would classify as the literalistic.

The entire thrust of my theory centers around the following points: 
  • That the ancient scriptures from cultures around the world are esoteric, and that in fact they all follow a unified esoteric system of celestial allegory (some clear and examples of this system can be found in this previous blog post and in the posts linked therein, as well as in the first three chapters of my book, which are available online here).
  • That this ancient system of "star myths" can be shown to contain evidence of a view of the universe that includes the amazing concept that the material world which we inhabit is actually a sort of projection of information existing in a "hidden realm" (or "seed realm") -- a concept that the recent Lego Movie actually dramatizes in a very amusing way, and a concept which theoretical physicists in the twentieth century began to articulate as the "holographic universe" model in response to some of the evidence from what we now label "quantum physics."
  • That the ancient sacred traditions make it clear that it is not only possible for the human consciousness to cross over the boundary between these two realms (what we would today call the shamanic journey) but that it is in some ways essential (see for instance the quotation from Mircea Eliade in the previously-linked post discussing the Lego Movie, as well as posts such as this one and this one). This ability can be described in terms of breaking through the artificial boundaries of an "illusory reality" and of creating "new realities," as described most powerfully by Jon Rappoport in much of his work.
  • That this ancient wisdom appears to have been a legacy of some extremely advanced "predecessor civilization" about which we know very little and about which at this time we can know very little, as they left no written records but only incredibly intriguing monuments located at significant points all around our planet -- monuments which clearly suggest that they knew the size and shape of our spherical earth. While it is certainly possible that these monuments indicate contact with beings from other planets or star systems, it is by no means necessary to conclude that, nor have I to this day seen evidence which definitively points towards such a conclusion. 
  • This ancient shamanic wisdom appears to have been in full operation right up until the time of the creation of literalist Christianity, which rejected the esoteric nature of the scriptural texts and replaced them with a literalistic hermeneutic (including the most central doctrine of literalist Christianity, the incarnation of a literal Christ figure, as opposed to the esoteric understanding of a "Christ in you," the teaching of the divine spark incarnated in each man and woman which all the esoteric ancient myths can be shown to teach, discussed in previous posts such as this one and this one and this one). 
  • There is strong evidence that the imposition of literalist Christianity was accomplished by a specific set of historical circumstances involving the arrival among the highest circles of power in the Roman Empire of a group of people who understood about the shamanic "creation of reality" described above, and their subsequent takeover of that Roman Empire (through the twin vehicles of Mithraism and literalist Christianity). They then created the institutions of religious power and political power that would control western Europe right up to the present day . . . and would spread overseas to impact the rest of the world, with catastrophic results for many previously-shamanic cultures.  
Thus, the concept of the esoteric (and shamanic) nature of the ancient myths is absolutely central to my thesis. Unfortunately, the conversation was never allowed to delve into the esoteric, because although I tried to head towards the esoteric from my very first comments in the interview (referencing the "esoteric" nature of Montessori, which I believe to be a good example of the purpose of the esoteric technique), none of the esoteric subjects that I tried to raise, including examples which demonstrate that the Bible is composed of star-myth from first to last, which is not just a nice theory but can be shown to be absolutely incontestable or the fact that the undeniable connection between numerous ancient goddesses (including Ishtar) and lions strongly suggests that these myths are talking about the zodiac (where the constellation of Virgo follows the constellation of Leo) were explored with any follow-up questions or conversation.

Instead, the conversation was steered more than once towards whether or not I subscribed to the theories of Zechariah Sitchin, and (related to that) whether my esoteric approach has room for literal interpretations at the same time.

As I tried to explain during the interview and will explain a bit further below, I do not subscribe to the theories of Zechariah Sitchin, and the primary reason that I do not is that Zechariah Sitchin's hermeneutic is a literalistic hermeneutic, and I believe it is mistaken. He interprets the ancient scriptures (in this case, the myths of ancient Sumer and Babylon, but also the Old Testament scriptures which contain parallels to the myths of Sumer and Babylon) as describing literal history. Although the literal history that he believes the ancient myths (including those of the Bible) describe is a different history from that which most adherents to historic literalistic Christianity in its various permutations have taught down through the centuries since the takeover described above (a takeover which was essentially completed during the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine), his books nevertheless take the ancient myths to primarily describe actual ancient history.

He does not interpret the events described in those myths esoterically.

For example, on page 171 of his first book The Twelfth Planet (published in 1976), Sitchin writes  the following in his discussion of a famous passage in Genesis chapter 6 (I will put all of the passages from Sitchin's book in blue, so that the reader can clearly distinguish between his writing and my comments upon his writing):
the sons of the gods
saw the daughters of man, that they were good;
and they took them for wives,
of all which they chose.
The implications of these verses, and the parallels to the Sumerian tales of gods and their sons and grandsons, and of semidivine offspring resulting from cohabitation between gods and mortals, mount further as we continue to read the biblical verses:
The Nefilim were upon the Earth
in those days and thereafter too,
when the sons of the gods
cohabited with the daughters of the Adam,
and they bore children unto them.
They were the mighty ones of Eternity -- 
The People of the shem.
The above is not a traditional translation. For a long time, the expression "The Nefilim were upon the Earth" has been translated as "There were giants upon the earth"; but recent translators, recognizing the error, have simply resorted to leaving the Hebrew term Nefilim intact in the translation. The verse "The people of the shem," as one could expect, has been taken to mean "the people who have a name," and, thus, "the people of renown." But as we have already established, the term shem must be taken in its original meaning -- a rocket, a rocket ship.
What, then, does the term Nefilim mean? Stemming from the Semitic root NFL ("to be cast down"), it means exactly what it says: It means those who were cast down upon Earth!
Clearly, Sitchin in the above discussion is taking the passage to be a literal account of some beings who physically came from another planet to this planet. That this is Sitchin's interpretation is completely clear from the rest of that book, and the fourteen others he wrote. Later in the same book there is a chapter entitled "Landing on Earth," and details such as the following descriptions:
Based on complex technical data, as well as hints in Mesopotamian texts, it appears that the Nefilim adopted for their Earth missions the same approach NASA adopted for the Moon missions: When the principal spaceship neared the target planet (Earth), it went into orbit around that planet without actually landing. Instead, a smaller craft was released from the mother ship and performed the actual landing.
As difficult as accurate landings were, the departures from Earth must have been even trickier. The landing craft had to rejoin its mother ship, which then had to fire up its engines and accelerate to extremely high speeds, for it had to catch up with the Twelfth Planet, which by then was passing its perigee between Mars and Jupiter at its top orbital speed. 281-282.
Clearly, a credible demonstration that the myths of ancient Sumer and Babylon (as well as the accounts in Genesis) were primarily descriptions of the motions of the sun, moon and planets among the background of the zodiac stars (the sun, moon, and planets always move through the zodiac band, along a pathway known as the ecliptic) could be seen as very damaging to the literalistic interpretation of the myths that Sitchin is offering in the above quotations and throughout the rest of his other books. 

I believe that such a demonstration is possible: in fact, I have offered such a demonstration in my own two books. 

In my first book, the Mathisen Corollary, I have an entire chapter on the Gilgamesh series of texts, demonstrating that the events and adventures described in the Gilgamesh epic primarily concern the motions of the planets among the zodiac band, as well as the motions of the great central axis of the sky which pierces the north celestial pole and which can be seen to have become "unhinged" due to the motion of precession

A few examples of evidence supporting such an assertion include the fact that Gilgamesh chops down the "tallest cedar in the forest" (the one whose top pierces the sky) and then uses it to fashion a special door, one "through which only gods can pass" (a clear reference to the gate of the equinox, where the ecliptic path crosses the celestial equator, encoded as a gate in numerous ancient myths from  cultures around the world -- and the Ishtar Gate of Babylon is almost certainly such a symbol as well, since Ishtar is almost certainly Virgo, and since the sign of Virgo occupies the point of the fall equinox), as well as the fact that Gilgamesh slays the Bull of Heaven and then throws the haunch of the bull in Ishtar's (or Inanna's) face (an event with clear celestial implications, as Taurus the Bull is a prominent zodiac constellation, and the haunch or "hindquarters" of the Bull was an ancient myth-code for the Big Dipper in both ancient Egypt and in the symbology of Mithraism). 

In my more recent book, The Undying Stars, I spent quite a bit of time demonstrating that the stories in both the Old and New Testament are also star-myths. Included is an extended discussion of the Genesis story of Adam and Eve and the Serpent, with clear connections to specific constellations and their motions across the sky. This story was not intended to describe a literal event, but is an esoteric allegory, as were other events discussed by Sitchin as if they were literal history (a literal Noah, taught agriculture for the first time after the flood by the alien visitors figures prominently in Sitchin's imagined history [see for instance his Twelfth Planet, page 413], but I demonstrate that Noah is a counterpart of other flood-surviving figures in other mythologies who are clearly connected to a specific figure in the zodiac, and that their agricultural endeavors can be clearly linked to the symbols associated with that zodiac figure).

The very "descent" of the Nephilim, "cast down" to dwell upon earth, can be demonstrated to have a very clear esoteric and allegorical meaning: these passages describe our human condition in our incarnate state! 

As discussed at length in my book, and in numerous previous posts (many of which have been linked above), the ancient scriptures of the human race were so insistent on allegorizing the motions of the stars in part because they saw the plunge of the stars from the ether of heaven into the earthy or watery horizon (the western horizon) as the perfect metaphor for our incarnate condition: we are each carriers of a divine spark (our individual spirit) which has been plunged into a material body made up of "earth and water" (the "clay" out of which Adam was fashioned in Genesis). We are the Nephilim! We are the ones who came down from the world of spirit, enticed or seduced by the receptive (that is to say, allegorically speaking, female) world of matter. The very word "matter" (as many have pointed out) contains a feminine connotation, related as it is to the word mater or "mother" (as in, "Mother Earth").

This esoteric interpretation of the passage from Genesis 6 would seem to rather undermine the entire thesis of Zechariah Sitchin. 

As I said in the interview, I believe it is commendable to note that our ancient history on this planet is almost certainly very different from what we are taught by the conventional historical paradigm.  To the degree that Sitchin realized this, and sought an answer that was different from that forced down our throats by the proponents of conventional history (in spite of the criticism that was leveled at him for doing so), I believe his efforts can be seen as commendable (as long as they were honest efforts, and not intentionally deceptive, in that they read as literal texts which clearly are not intended to be taken literally).

However, I believe his literalistic approach was wrong, and that the myths he used to fashion his theories can be clearly demonstrated to be metaphorical and esoteric.

I also believe that, to the extent one follows the literalistic theories of Zechariah Sitchin, one will miss the real shamanic-holographic message that the ancient myths are intended to teach -- as surely as one will miss it through the literalistic hermeneutic imposed by conventional forms of Christianity since the second century AD (and especially since the fourth century and the reign of Constantine). 

I can only hope that, in my most recent interview, the constant steering of the conversation away from the esoteric had nothing to do with a desire to avoid getting into the shamanic and holographic truths of the ancient myths. Whatever the reason behind it, the unfortunate thing is that we never did get to discuss that subject to any significant degree at all.

At the top of this post is an image from an ancient Babylonian cylinder-seal. I have never analyzed this seal before, but to one who is familiar with the system of celestial allegory present in the world's mythologies, certain interpretations suggest themselves, and I would hazard to point them out as yet another example of the fact that the ancient Sumerian and Babylonian art and myth was primarily describing zodiac figures (as part of a profound spiritual allegory, and not as a description of the flight paths of ancient alien visitors):

In the above version of the same seal (the resolution is higher in the image at the top of the post, and you can find the original image here), I have added my own labels. This interpretation may not be correct (I just looked at this particular seal for the first time today), but I would be willing to defend this interpretation and can offer more back-up evidence for the above labels (from other myth systems around the world) than I have time or space to offer here.  

Very briefly, it is quite evident that we are probably looking at a zodiacal metaphor from the fact that the figure under the foot of the man on the far right of the seal is bull-like (despite its anthropomorphic face). It has bull-horns on its head, and a reclining bovine body. It is probably Taurus, as will be supported in the further analysis below.

The figure with its foot upon the back of this bull-like being is probably the Sun itself. This figure is holding out a cutting implement with his right hand. As Alvin Boyd Kuhn demonstrates, and as I discuss in The Undying Stars, the sun was allegorized in ancient myth as an axe or cleaver, because it cuts a path across the sky. This symbol of the solar axe is prevalent in ancient Minoan art, for example, but also in other cultures as well.

The first figure in the procession of figures coming in from the left of the image is holding in his hands some kind of smaller animal, as if offering it to the figure on the far right whom I have identified as the personification of the Sun. This animal appears to resemble a sheep and probably signifies the sign of Aries. 

The fact that the cleaver or cutting-tool of the Sun is positioned between the bull-animal (which is being trod down) and the lamb-animal (which is being offered) probably indicates the "crossing point" of the spring equinox, and the advent of the precessional Age of Aries. The Age of Aries followed the Age of Taurus, which is why the bull in the seal is being stepped on (debased or put down -- his precessional Age is over). This imagery was likewise featured in the Mithraic temples (in Mithraic iconography, the Bull was being slain).

If the order of the imagery as we go from right to left is correctly identified as going from Taurus to Aries, then the next sign as we proceed would be Pisces. Here we see a woman-figure, rather than the two fish we would expect for Pisces. This seems to be a problem for this interpretation! But look at the way the woman is holding her hands, up and parallel to one another -- very representative of the constellation Pisces. And, in fact, Alvin Boyd Kuhn has convincingly demonstrated that ancient mythological allegory depicted the annual zodiac year as having not one but two mothers: one at Virgo and one at Pisces (the two signs just before the equinoxes). See his discussion in Lost Light on pages 14 and 15, for instance. Thus, the woman with her two hands in a gesture suggestive of the two fish of the constellation Pisces may well be identified with that zodiac sign, especially since she is in the correct location if the two animals are indeed Taurus and then Aries (going from right to left).

Behind her, we see another figure, striding along and holding a sort of baton in such a way that it seems to be pointing into his side. I have labeled this Aquarius, which is correct if we are right about Taurus and Aries: Pisces would come next (the woman with her hands raised parallel) and then Aquarius behind Pisces. There are good and cogent reasons to believe that this man behind the Pisces figure is indeed Aquarius -- not least that mysterious baton going into his side.

Whether you agree with the above interpretation or not, I believe it is very likely the correct interpretation of the Babylonian seal. In any case, it is a far more likely and a far more supportable interpretation than that the figures represent space aliens. I would argue that other seals from ancient Babylon and Sumer, which Sitchin uses in his analysis to support his case, are more likely allegorical and zodiacal (or planetary, in some cases) than literal.

I believe that the bigger lesson here is that one cannot use the events described in scriptures to try to support literal histories: the events described in the ancient myths are esoteric and allegorical, and not literal. It is not surprising that many look towards a literal interpretation of some sort, almost as a first instinct: that is the way they have been interpreted in western culture since the Roman Empire and the dawn of literalistic Christianity, an approach which has powerfully shaped western civilization since the second, third, and fourth centuries AD.

But, I believe it is an approach which has distracted and diverted us from the real message of the ancients, and the real treasure hidden in the ancient wisdom of the world's mythologies: the shamanic message, and a message of breaking out of the limitations of a false reality and creating new and positive realities to change things for the better. 

It is too bad that this literalistic tendency was able to divert and distract the course of my recent interview, to the point that we never really discussed that shamanic message, that reality-creating message. To that degree, the interview was reflective of much of western history for the past seventeen centuries.