Saturday, December 31, 2016

Thank you and Happy New Year 2017

image: CPAK 2016, Rancho Mirage, California.

A big thank-you to everyone who joined me in any way in 2016, whether by reading this blog or by listening to an interview on a podcast or even by attending the Conference on Precession and Ancient Knowledge in southern California from September 30th through October 2nd. Thank you for choosing to take some of your time to engage with some of the areas that I've been exploring -- I'm grateful for your "voyaging along" with me on this journey we are all taking as we cross the stormy sea of this life!

Thank you also to everyone who has bought books, or requested that their local library or school library put one or more of them on the shelves -- I hope that they have been worth while and made a positive contribution in some way to your thinking or your life. This year saw the publication of Star Myths  of the World and how to interpret them, Volumes Two (Greek Myths) and Three (Star Myths of the Bible).

And of course a special thank-you must go out to everyone who has sent along encouragement, support, comments and suggestions, whether in person (at the conference, at the beach, or wherever) or through the electromagnetic spectrum, through various web forums and platforms. I very much appreciate your feedback and look forward to continuing to engage in conversations about the important subjects of ancient wisdom, and our modern situation! 

Big appreciation as well to Graham Hancock and team for inviting me back to the "Author of the Month" forum for the month of March, 2016, and to Walter Cruttenden and the organizers of the Conference on Precession and Ancient Knowledge for having me attend as a speaker at this year's CPAK, which was a truly unique and mind-expanding weekend in the desert and a real highlight of the year (here's a brief write-up that I published afterwards). I made some wonderful new friends each time.

Welcome to the New Year and to everyone visiting for the first time in 2017, as well as to returning friends! I'm grateful to be on this journey with you and look forward to exploring more of the mysteries of the stars and the ancient wisdom left to humanity this year with you, and am happy that we're "crossing paths" on the way!

On a small planet, orbiting a special star, in one of the arms of this majestic galaxy, the inhabitants are observing the completion of another circle. Image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Happy New Year!

Below are some links to podcasts from 2016:

  • Alchemy -- recorded November 22, 2016.

Stay tuned for more conversations in 2017!  World Peace _/\_

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Souls do not die

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

One of the most important insights which runs through the analysis of Alvin Boyd Kuhn is his understanding, based upon his reading of the Egyptian Book of the Dead and of ancient philosophers such as Plato, Euripides, and Plotinus (among others), that the condition described in the ancient texts and myths as death actually refers to the soul's condition when plunged into the realm of matter during this incarnate life -- a point missed by almost all modern scholars and researchers of ancient myth, who have perhaps been misled by nearly two centuries of literalistic interpretation of ancient wisdom: literalistic interpretation which has missed the metaphor entirely.

In Lost Light (1940), Alvin Boyd Kuhn writes:
We have the whole idea most tersely expressed in the Gorgias of Plato:
"But indeed, as you say also, life is a grievous thing. For I should not wonder if Euripides spoke the truth when he says: 'Who knows whether to live is not to die, and to die is not to live?' And we perhaps are in reality dead. For I have heard from one of the wise that we are now dead; and that the body is our sepulcher, but that the part of the soul in which the desires are contained is of such a nature that it can be persuaded and hurled upward and downwards."
[. . .]
The great Plotinus (Enneads I, lviii) gives us a clear presentment of the Greek conception:
"When the soul had descended into generation (from this first divine condition) she partakes of evil and is carried a great way into a state the opposite of her first purity and integrity, to be entirely merged in it . . . and death to her is, while baptized or immersed in the present body, to descend into matter and be wholly subjected to it . . . This is what is meant by the falling asleep in Hades, of those who have come there." (Lost Light, 160 - 161).
The entire symbology of the great wheel of the heavenly cycles, such as the annual cycle of the year, whose renewing we celebrate at this time following the December solstice, allegorizes the endless interplay between light and darkness. We might initially think that the plunge down into the "lower half" of the year, when hours of darkness dominate over hours of daylight, would represent "death and the underworld" -- and they do! But in the ancient system, as explained by Alvin Boyd Kuhn, the concepts of "death" and the "underworld" are representative of this very life in the lower realm of matter and incarnation:

As Kuhn explains elsewhere: "Here is philosophical testimony that negates the existence of any hell or underworld below life in the body. Any observer of human life knows that it is possible for the soul to fall to the most abject baseness while in the body. We are in the lowest of the hells -- Amenta" (204).

Based upon this interpretation, Kuhn believes that the descriptions of "judgment" which ancient scriptures such as the sacred texts of ancient Egypt and of the Bible depict as taking place after death are actual describing a process which takes place during this incarnate life -- during which we are supposed to be working on our "spiritual body" or our "robe of light and glory" (576 - 577). This is a process which, according to the ancient wisdom imparted in the myths, is not accomplished in a single lifetime, but rather in a long cycle of incarnations (see 199 - 200).

According to Kuhn's analysis of the ancient myths, "Incarnation was regarded as a continuing experience, the periodical rhythm of release from the body no more breaking the sequence of lives than does our nightly sleep break the continuity of the experience of the days" (161). 

The indestructibility of the soul through the cycles of incarnation is attested to by many ancient texts. As Alvin Boyd Kuhn describes the imperishable soul in one memorable paragraph in Lost Light
It was on earth to trace its line of progress through the ranges of the elements and the kingdoms, harvesting its varied experiences at the end of each cycle. It was described by greek philosophy as "more ancient than the body," because it had run the cycle of incarnations in many bodies, donning and doffing them as garments of contact with lower worlds, so that it might treasure up the powers of all life garnered in experience in every form of it. The mutual relation of soul to body in each of its incarnate periods is the nub of the ancient philosophy, and the core of all Biblical meaning. As the Egyptian Book of the Dead most majestically phrases it, the soul, projecting itself into one physical embodiment after another, "steppeth onward through eternity." No more solid foundation for salutary philosophy can be laid than this rock of knowledge, and civilization will flounder in perilous misadventure until this datum of intellectual certitude is restored to common thought. 41.
Alvin Boyd Kuhn believes that the symbology of the ship of Ra in ancient Egypt corresponded to the eventual transcendence of this cycle of incarnation -- and that it is constructed in the "inner sanctuary" of each man or woman during those cycles.  Kuhn writes:
It is evident that the tabernacle which the Eternal ordered Moses to build, in which he might dwell with his children, the Israelites, and eventually be raised up, is but another form of typism for the inner shrine of the sanctuary, the holy of holies in the ark of the covenant. And this in turn is depicted under the water emblemism as the ship of the sun, or the boat of Ra. The exchange of passengers from the boat of Horus to the ship of Ra betokened the successful completion of the incarnation cycles. It was the index of their new birth, which was not now that of water. [. . .] The material of the ship of Ra is imperishable stuff, formed out of the indestructible essence of solar light. Imprisoned for many incarnations in the tabernacle of the flesh, we finally are released from it, to pass over into another temple of shining glory, our true spirit body. One of the great purposes of our coming into the world is to build this fabric. When it is finished we exchange our house of darkness for this vessel of light. This is most plainly indicated in a sentence on a Chaldean tablet: "O man of Surippak, son of Ubarratutu, destroy the house and build a ship." A house is stationary, bound to a given locale. A ship is mobile. In the glorious vesture of the sun-body the soul of man can traverse all realms and worlds with electric alacrity. When the Osiris obtains command over the upper sea he exclaims: "Collector of souls is the name of my bark. The picture of it is the representation of my glorious journey upon the canal." 411.
Through these incredible symbolic allegories, the ancient myths given to humanity (at some point in extreme antiquity, predating the earliest texts of Egypt and Mesopotamia) endeavor to convey to our understanding the nature of our sojourn here in this incarnate life -- and to assure us that the soul does not die: its "periodic release from the body no more breaking the sequence of lives than does our nightly sleep break the continuity of the experience of the days," as the soul "steppeth onward through eternity."

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Three-Day Pause

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

The earth has now passed the point of December solstice, which is the winter solstice for the northern hemisphere, and the hours of daylight will begin to grow longer each day as the sun's path across the sky begins to arc higher and higher above the southern horizon (for viewers in the northern hemisphere).

However, as discussed in the preceding post, there is a kind of "hang time" at each of the solstices, as the sun is "reversing its course" from proceeding "downwards" (lower in the sky, and further and further south in its rising and setting points) to proceeding "upwards" (higher in the sky, and further and further north in its rising and setting points).

It is a kind of "pregnant pause" -- full of anticipation -- when the sun's azimuthal rising direction barely changes at all (as opposed to the equinoxes, when the direction to the sun's rising point on the horizon is changing by a full degree every couple of days; see the discussion in this previous post).

As discussed in my 2014 book The Undying Stars on page 75, the significant pause before the sun's rising point can be seen to start moving back towards the north is almost certainly the reason for the celebration of the Nativity at the point of midnight three days after the date of the winter solstice -- midnight on the 24th of December, at the very beginning of the 25th of December (following the arguments of Robert Taylor in his lectures on the Star of Bethlehem, published in The Devil's Pulpit in 1857). 

The point of midnight for an observer standing on the side of the globe turned away from the sun (the night-side of the globe) marks the sun's "lowest point" on its journey each day, and thus the point of its "rebirth" when it turns back towards its highest point (which it will reach at noon each day). Thus, midnight at the very lowest part of the year (winter solstice) would mark the very nadir of the annual cycle -- the point where the sun will finally begin to move back the other direction, and thus the point of renewal and new birth, once each year. 

Hence, the point of midnight on the 24th marks the end of that three-day waiting period after winter solstice. 

But right now, we are in that "three-day pause," when all the world is metaphorically still -- in breathless anticipation.

Alvin Boyd Kuhn, some of whose insightful discussion of the esoteric significance of winter solstice was cited in the preceding post, has much to say about this "period of waiting" in which we presently find ourselves. If, as we argued in that preceding post, the great stations of the heavenly cycles were seen as having deep spiritual significance, representing the interplay of matter and spirit which is present at all times and in all points in the simultaneously spiritual-and-physical universe around us, and within us as well, then this point of waiting represents a kind of "place of equilibrium" between the opposite tensions of matter and spirit. 

Alvin Boyd Kuhn explains:
But the December solstice yields a harvest as bountiful as that of the equinox and the horizon. It shows soul at the nadir of its dip into matter, and all its implications bear immediately and weightily upon the human situation. [. . .] At equinoxes light and dark are equal in quantity and sovereignty. But at the solstice the two powers are stabilized for the period, albeit in unequal relation. [. . .] Heraclitus adds a most pertinent observation: "The harmonious structure of the world depends upon opposite tension, like that of the bow and the lyre." Stability is gained only by the mutual annulment of two opposite forces. The planets swing in fixed orbits because of the exact counterbalance of centrifugal and centripetal energies. 
The significance of the solstice (the word meaning "sun standing still") lies in the fact that for the time both light and darkness stand still in relation to each other. The basic feature is motionlessness. Neither is losing or gaining. They are stabilized. [. . .] So the Christ was born in a stable. 475 - 477.
In a sense, as Alvin Boyd Kuhn implies throughout this discussion, this significant three-day pause is representative of our condition during our entire incarnate life. We stand, he says, at the point where "soul has made its deepest descent into matter, having taken actual residence in a body of animal flesh" (476). That solstice, Kuhn declares, "covers the period of human evolution" (476; it is my understanding that Kuhn usually employs this term to mean "spiritual evolution" through the cycles of reincarnation).

Later, he catalogues a host of other passages in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, as well as in the Egyptian Book of the Dead (often called "The Ritual" by authors from earlier centuries) which incorporate a similar reference to a three-day pause:
Many of the myths contain a hiding or seeking of refuge for three days or three months. In Joshua Rahab the harlot, who sheltered the two Israelite spies, hurried them off with instructions to get away to the hills and "hide themselves there for three days till the pursuers return." A clear intimation of the resurrection on the third day is seen in an Egyptian text which runs: "I will arrange for you to go to the river when you die, and to come to life again on the third day." Here again water types the incarnation and it is also figured as a death [in other words, the text is not talking about physical death of the body but rather about incarnation in a body, which is metaphorically "figured" as a kind of "death"]. In speaking of the re-arising of the dead Pepi, the Ritual says: "Pepi is brought forth there where the gods are born. The star cometh on the morrow and on the third day. Mary searches for Jesus for three days as Isis sought the hidden Horus. In Matthew 15: 29 -32, Jesus takes compassion on the multitude that followed him into the desert "because they continue with me three days and have nothing to eat, and I would not send them away fasting." The three days' fast is emblematic of the three "days" in the bleak underworld without the sustenance of the solar light, the divine bread of life. In the story of the dismembered concubine in Judges 19, previously noted, the girl's father detained the husband three days. With the reference to Herod, Jesus enjoined his followers to "Go tell that fox, Behold I cast out devils and I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected." Then there is his memorable declaration: "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up. But he spake of the temple of his body" (John 2: 9) -- and obviously of his spiritual body. The thunder and lightning that emanated from the summit of Mount Sinai at the Eternal's appearing to Moses came "on the third day in the morning." The manifestation of the Lord's glory on the mountain was anticipated by Moses, who had been instructed to go to the people and tell them to "consecrate themselves to-day and to-morrow; let them wash their clothes and be ready for the third day, for on the third day the Eternal will descend upon the Mountain of Sinai in the sight of all the people." Joshua told the people to prepare food, for within three days they would cross the Jordan and enter the Promised Land. And they remained three days on the banks before crossing the river. 404 - 405.
Thus, this darkest time of the year, when we wait as if in a state of suspended animation for the motion that had been plunging inexorably downward to reverse its course (and we can almost hear the deep rumble of mighty gears grinding at this great pivot), in fact becomes a metaphor for our entire life here in the body -- when we feel ourselves plunged down into matter, and yet we are aware of the equal tension pulling us toward our Higher nature at the same time.

As Alvin Boyd Kuhn says elsewhere: "The candle flame, drawing up and transmuting into its own glorious essence of fire the lowly elements of the animal body of the candle (animal tallow), is the grand symbol of this transfiguration of essence which soul works upon lower body" (Who is this King of Glory? page 466).

These are beautiful images, provided in the various stories from around the world which contain the ancient wisdom given to all humanity in extreme antiquity -- images which we can take time to meditate on during this symbolic and deeply significant point in the year, when all the universe seems to pause at this lowest point of the great cycle.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Winter Solstice, 2016

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

We are rapidly approaching the exact point in earth's orbit around the sun when the north pole is pointed most directly away from the sun of any point on the circuit.

This point, one of the two solstices in which the earth's axis of rotation is pointed either most directly towards or most directly away from the sun, marks a great "turning point" in which the progress of the sun's rising and setting along the eastern and western horizons ceases to march further and further southward or northward and begins to move back in the other direction. 

For those in the northern hemisphere, where angle of the obliquity of earth's axial tilt has been causing the sun to rise further and further south along the horizon, and to arc lower and lower across the sky above the southern horizon (and to stay above that horizon for a shorter and shorter duration as the arc gets lower and lower), the December solstice marks the point where the sun's progress will turn back around and begin rising further and further towards the north, and arc through the sky along a higher and higher path again (making days begin to grow longer as the arc-line rises higher and higher above the southern horizon, keeping the sun above the horizon for a progressively longer amount of time on the way back to summer solstice).

The process of halting and turning around seems slower than the amount of change in position along the horizon that is detectable at the time of the equinoxes. The sun's progress at its rising and setting points along the eastern and western horizon seems to linger or pause at the solstices, before turning back around -- hence the etymology of the word solstice itself, which indicates "sun" and "station," a place where the sun pauses and its progress along the horizon seems to be "stationary."

The reason that the sun's rising point moves very slowly at the solstices (when it is turning around) and in fact seems to pause during the turnaround itself -- as opposed to the equinox points, when the sun's motion is basically whizzing along the horizon and moving a full degree every couple of days -- is easily understood by envisioning the earth as an old-time sailing ship, with the bowsprit representing the north pole and the lantern at the stern representing the south pole, as discussed in this previous post from back in 2011 (the diagrams are pretty "low-tech" but should help to illustrate the concept).

The importance of the solstice points -- and the point of December solstice in particular -- is evidenced by the numerous ancient sites around the globe which contain solstice alignments in their construction, and which continue to this day to mark out the endless cycle of the sun's movement "down" towards the point of winter solstice and its pause and turnaround at the point of lowest descent at the bottom of the year itself.

The importance of the solstice turnaround is also preserved in the world's myth, which incorporate clear celestial allegory to such an extent that they can accurately be described as being completely built upon the cycles of the sun, moon, and stars -- which is why I refer to them collectively as "Star Myths."

However, while the importance of the points of solstice and equinox is well known and widely acknowledged (and is indeed undeniable, given the numerous sites with celestial alignments, going back to some of the most ancient sites we know of today), the reason why the solstices and equinoxes were considered so important is not necessarily well understood.

The most common explanation you will hear or read will be some variation on the idea that "less-technologically advanced early humans" were overawed by the mighty forces of the physical universe and sought to appease them through various rituals, and that later as agricultural technologies developed, people needed to be able to track the seasons for the purpose of planting and harvesting, and continued to imbue the motions of the sun and the other heavenly cycles with deep reverence and religious feeling, because they knew that the crops and thus all life are completely and utterly dependent on the sun for sustenance. If the sun didn't "turn around" at the winter solstice, but instead kept moving lower and lower towards the horizon, daylight would eventually be swallowed up by night-time and all life as we know it would cease to exist.

While all of the above assertions about the awe-inspiring majesty of the natural world and the celestial realms are in fact true, and while the importance of the sun to all life on earth, and the absolute dependence of all life on the sun's cycles (and the importance of that "turnaround") are equally true, I am convinced that it would be wrong to assume that the prominence of the solstices and equinoxes in the world's ancient sacred sites, and the world's ancient sacred myth, can be completely or even correctly understood using the conventional explanations, most of which are variations of the description in the previous paragraph.

I agree with Alvin Boyd Kuhn (1880 - 1963), one of the most perceptive and insightful observers of the allegorical system employed in the world's ancient wisdom as conveyed in myth, that these great cycles were employed esoterically in order to represent spiritual realities -- realities having to do with things unseen, but vital to our understanding of our own simultaneously material-and-spiritual nature, and to our understanding of the simultaneously material-and-spiritual cosmos in which we find ourselves.

In an essay entitled Easter: The Birthday of the Gods, discussed in this previous post, Kuhn presents arguments and supporting evidence that the ancient esoteric system allegorized the interplay of light and dark displayed in the cycles of the earth's daily rotation and in its annual orbit around the sun (as well as in the circuits of the moon and other heavenly bodies) as representative of the interaction of matter and spirit, and interplay between the visible and invisible realms at every level in the universe and within each man and woman as well.

Of the descent towards the winter solstice, and the great turning-point at which the plunge finally reverses after pausing at the point of lowest descent, he writes:
Using solar symbolism and analogues in depicting the divine soul's peregrinations round the cycles of existence, the little sun of radiant spirit in man being the perfect parallel of the sun in the heavens, and exactly copying its movements, the ancient Sages marked the four cardinal "turns" of its progress round the zodiacal year as epochal stages in soul evolution. As all life starts with conception in mind, later to be extruded into physical manifestation, so the soul that is to be the god of a human being is conceived in the divine mind at the station in the zodiac marking the date of June 21. This is at the "top" of the celestial arc, where mind is most completely detached from matter, meditating in all its "purity." 
Then the swing of the movement begins to draw it "downward" to give it the satisfaction of its inherent yearning for the Maya of experience which alone can bring its latent capabilities for the evolution of consciousness to manifestation. Descending from June it reaches September 21, the point where its direction becomes straight downward and it here crosses the line of separation between spirit and matter, the great Egyptian symbolic line of the "horizon," and becomes incarnated in material body. Conceived in the aura of Infinite Mind in June, it enters the realm of mortal flesh in September. [. . .]
Then on past September, like any seed sown in the soil, the soul entity sinks its roots deeper and deeper into matter, for at its later stages of growth it must be able to utilize the energy of matter's atomic force to effectuate its ends for its own spiritual aggrandizement. It is itself to be lifted up to heights of cosmic consciousness, but no more than an oak can exalt its majestic form to highest reaches without the dynamic energization received from the earth at its feet can soul rise up above body without drawing forth the strength of the body's dynamo of power. Down, down it descends then through the October, November, and December path of the sun, until it stands at the nadir of its descent on December 21.
Here it has reached the turning-point, at which the energies that were stored potentially in its seed form will feel the first touch of quickening power and will begin to stir into activity. At the winter solstice of the cycle the process of involution of spirit into matter comes to a stand-still -- just what the solstice means in relation to the sun -- and while apparently stationary in its deep lodgment in matter, like moving water locked up in winter's ice, it is slowly making the turn as on a pivot from outward and downward to movement at first tangential, then more directly upward to its high point in spirit home. So the winter solstice signalizes the end of "death" and the rebirth of life in a new generation. 4- 5.
Elsewhere, Kuhn explains that the above allegory also relates to the concept of "second birth" -- the spiritual birth, which follows at some turning-point which is necessarily reached many years after the physical birth into our material body. This explains, according to Kuhn's insight, why so many myths seem to involve the concept of two mothers -- one associated with our birth into the physical body, and the other associated with the "rebirth of life" at the point of our "turning upwards," which begins at the point which is esoterically connected with winter solstice.

For an example of the two-mother motif, see the famous Judgment of Solomon from the ancient Old Testament book of First Kings, discussed in this previous post and in a video which I posted on the web here. This episode, and its clear celestial correlations and spiritual import, is discussed at greater length in my most-recent book, Star Myths of the World, Volume Three (Star Myths of the Bible).

Another example of the two mothers can be found in the account of the birth of Samuel, related at the beginning of the Old Testament book of First Samuel, where we meet the two wives of Elkanah, whose names are Peninnah and Hannah. At first, Peninnah is able to bear children, but Hannah is not (I Samuel 1: 2). It is only much later, and by the granting of her petition by the Almighty, that Hannah conceives a child, as described in I Samuel 1: 17 - 20.

In fact, verse 20 of that ancient text actually says "Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD" (and the margin note explains that the derivation of the name Samuel is "Asked of God").

Mentioning this episode briefly in his essential 1940 text Lost Light, Alvin Boyd Kuhn argues that the second clause in the above verse (translated here in the 1611 King James Version as "when the time was come about") can be understood as meaning "At the turn of the year she bore a son" (Lost Light, 479). And, indeed, a margin note in the King James translation admits that the Hebrew text at this point actually translates more literally as saying "in revolution of days."

Alvin Boyd Kuhn's assertion that this revolution point (literally "turning-again" point) refers to the great turning-point of the year is reinforced by the very name of the second mother herself, in this story. Alvin Boyd Kuhn points out that the name Hannah is cognate with Anna -- and that this name itself makes reference to the great circle of the year, and has come down to us in modern languages in all the words relating to a year, such as annual.

Kuhn writes:
And another clear intimation of solstice purport hides in the story of Hannah and the relief of her barren condition through the birth of God's prophet Samuel: "At the turn of the year she bore a son." 479.
Note that this story clearly works as an illustration of the concept of a spiritual birth which only takes place some time well after the physical birth. In the story, Peninnah is described as bearing children long before Hannah does, and Hannah only conceives when God grants her the petition she has asked (I Samuel 1: 17), and after the text specifically states: "and the LORD remembered her" (I Samuel 1: 19). Peninnah is clearly associated with the physical or natural birth and Hannah with the spiritual and miraculous birth, which is only possible through the divine power from the divine realm.

From this example we can see quite clearly that the great turning-point of the year was associated with a deep spiritual analogy, having to do with spiritual matters and not merely with the turning-around of the sun to bring back life and crops on earth in a physical sense.

Nor is it correct to argue, as conventional scholars often do, that the more basic and fundamental conceptions came first (arguing that early humans may have started off with "more primitive" rituals to help the sun turn back around, for example) and then  developed in later centuries into more and more subtle and spiritual understandings (about the awakening of our own spiritual nature, for instance). As  the incredibly perceptive Alvin Boyd Kuhn argues in yet a different place, the understanding of the higher world must have been understood in great depth and thoroughness before such an incredible system of esoteric metaphor could have been designed in order to convey it!

He says:
Reflection of the realities of a higher world in the phenomena of a lower world could not be detected when only the one world, the lower, was known. You cannot see that nature reflects spiritual truth unless you know the form of spiritual truth. And such knowledge would be an a priori requirement to making the comparison at all! Lost Light, 72.
To argue the other way around, as conventional advocates of the "primitive humans becoming more sophisticated over millennia" try to do, would be akin to arguing that the amazing Montessori teaching devices known as the binomial cube and the trinomial cube were conceived and designed by someone who knew nothing of the function of binomials and trinomials, and then it was later discovered that the wooden cubes that they had built just happened to function perfectly as allegorical representations of higher algebraic concepts!

Thus, as we approach this winter solstice (which takes place at 5:44am Eastern time in North America on the morning of the 21st), you may wish to take the time to consider the profound spiritual message which we grasp in relation to this great revolution-point or turning-again point of the year, symbolic of the awakening of our awareness of our spiritual nature and our connection to the Infinite and Invisible World, which is actually all around us at all times and deep inside of us as well.

And, as we seek to integrate this reality into our lives, there are practices which we can consider incorporating into our own daily motions, if at all possible, including disciplines such as Yoga, meditation, Chi Gung, or many others which have been preserved since ancient times in cultures where the connection to this original knowledge was not lost or stamped out.

As Hannah shows us in the events of I Samuel 1, this second birth comes through earnestly desiring and seeking, and by gracious blessing from the divine realm.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Two metaphors for the Material and Non-material Realms

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Those who have read my 2014 book The Undying Stars know that there are many names and descriptions by which the "Other Realm" has been known in many different cultures and eras.

Some of these include the Invisible Realm, the Infinite Realm,  the Spirit World, the realm of the gods, the Dreamtime, and "the seed world."

In each case, the descriptions imply that in the Other Realm, there is infinite potentiality -- infinite possibility -- but those possibilities have not necessarily manifested or taken form (because when they do so, they no longer remain infinite but take on finitude or "finity").

This is why the Infinite Realm is also called the Invisible Realm -- because in the Infinite Realm, the possibilities have not yet taken on finitude or manifestation and thus cannot be seen with ordinary sight.

It is also why this Other Realm is described in some cultures as the "seed realm" -- because it is the realm in which potentiality exists in a kind of "seed form," ready to manifest but not yet manifested, and thus still infinite in terms of potentiality. 

When you pick up an acorn, how many branches does the oak tree which might grow from that acorn have? The answer is, "infinite possible variations," because the oak tree at that point is "still in the seed world." Once it turns into a tree, then it will manifest some finite number of branches -- but when it is still in the seed realm, the oak tree is still "pure potential."

This understanding also helps us to perceive the truth in the description of the Other World given by the Lakota holy man Black Elk, when he called that realm: "the real world that is behind this one, and everything we see here is something like a shadow from that world." This visible world somehow proceeds from, or flows from, or unfolds out of that other realm -- that realm of pure potentiality.

If you listen to podcasts (and I would very much urge you to do so as often as it is practical, such as when driving long distances or riding on the bus or on the train), and if you listen to the excellent podcast hosted by Greg Carlwood called The Higherside Chats (and again I would strongly urge subscribing to it and listening to the full episodes if at all possible), then you may have heard the excellent interview with guest Laird Scranton from the month of October 2016, in which Laird Scranton provided an excellent and memorable metaphor for helping us to think about the difference between this ordinary visible realm and that other realm of pure potentiality.

I would advise listening to the entire interview, because Mr. Scranton is an insightful researcher and an articulate explainer of the many deep concepts that he explores in his work. 

I myself have some reservations about some of the theories of Immanuel Velikovsky that form some of the focus of that particular interview, although I  certainly agree that there is tremendous evidence on earth and in the solar system to support the idea of a cataclysm or cataclysms in our ancient past. That said, I believe it is always worthwhile to listen to the possible explanations put forth by different analysts and to consider their merits in light of the evidence. 

Additionally, much more was covered in that interview, including the important sacred traditions of the Dogon (which have been mentioned in some previous posts on this blog several years back, such as here and here), and of course there is Laird Scranton's extremely helpful discussion of the realm of potentiality, which goes (in part) like this:
Now, as we talk about the concept of there being two universes -- universes forming in pairs -- the Dogon actually say that they know of seven pairs of universes. There are actually fourteen universes. And that there's a sort of "sibling relationship" between a non-material and a material universe in every case. 
Now, from the perspective of the archaic philosophies that describe this stuff, the non-material universe has perfect knowledge -- but an inability to act. The material universe has imperfect knowledge, but full ability to act.
Now, one way of understanding why that might be true, is -- we have to go back to Einstein. Einstein says that, if you had a team of astronauts who were traveling much closer to the speed of light than we're traveling, that their timeframe would change. Their timeframe would get slower. And the time that it took them to, say, lift a cup of coffee and take a sip might be the same amount of time that it takes us to go through an entire day or an entire week. That, there's a difference in timeframe -- time slows down as acceleration increases, or as mass increases. 
So, when you're talking about a non-material universe -- a non-material universe -- that Einstein's outlook implies that a non-material universe exists in a timeframe that's much, much more quick than ours is -- much, much quicker than ours is. So quick that -- things essentially happen instantaneously. Things that we think of as taking time happen instantaneously.  
Imagine, standing at the top of the Empire State Building with a camera, and filming traffic going by -- and then you bring your video back to your computer, and you speed it up: video. It'll reach a point where things that begin as individual vehicles traveling on a street look like waves. And the reason they look like waves isn't because they're waves, it's because they seem to be moving so quickly that they look like waves to someone who's not moving that quickly.
Well, that's sort of what's happening here -- and if you imagine that the non-material side exists in an infinitely quick timeframe, there's no opportunity to do something: there's no moment to do something. You don't have an interval of time long enough to actually accomplish something. 
Now, one of the symbols of the non-material side, because of that wave effect, is a serpent. A serpent moves in waves -- in the form of waves. So the serpent becomes symbolic on one level of the energy of the non-material universe. [48:00 through 51:00 in the "Plus" version of the recorded interview].
This seems to me to be a very helpful mental picture for understanding the difference between the realm of pure potential and the manifest realm of the visible, material realm through which we are traveling during this incarnate life.

It also helps to shed some light on some of the assertions of made by Alvin Boyd Kuhn in some of his insightful discussion of the world's ancient myths and scriptures. 

For one thing, Alvin Boyd Kuhn argues that (contrary to the perspective of most literalist Christians, and also contrary to most conventional teaching about the mythology and focus of ancient civilizations such as that of ancient Egypt) the real focus of most sacred myth and sacred tradition is not upon our existence "after death" or "in between incarnations" but rather upon our existence during the incredibly important period in which we ourselves have taken on flesh and manifested in this Visible Realm.

In Lost Light, for example, Kuhn writes:
The collapse of true religion is ever marked by its turning for its real experience from earth to mystical heavens.
Scholars have not sufficiently nor capably reflected on the significant fact that ancient sacred books or Bibles have been largely Books of the Dead. The obvious glaring peculiarity of this fact has never seemed to occur to students. It should from the first have provoked wonder and curiosity that the sages of antiquity would have indited their great tomes of wisdom is such form as to serve as manuals in the life to come, and not as guides for the life lived in the sphere in which the books were available! Only the heavy tradition that religion was a preparation for a life to come, instead of a way of life here, could have stifled this natural reaction to a situation that is odd enough in all conscience. [. . .] It had been ponderously assumed by scholarship that the ancient sages were more concerned with the hereafter and the next world than with life down here. How the march of history would have swung into different highways had the world known that we living men were those "dead" for whom the sagas were inscribed by the masters of knowledge! And what must be the sobering realization for present reflection of the fact that the primeval revelation given to early races for the guidance and instruction of all humanity has missed entirely the world for which it was intended!
The scene of critical spiritual transactions is not "over there" in spirit land, but here in the inner arena of man's consciousness. 196, italics in the original.
Elsewhere in the same volume, Alvin Boyd Kuhn reflects upon the reason we come down to this material realm and provides an extremely helpful metaphor of his own, when he says:
Any man yearning to rise from sedentary occupation and brain work to experience the "feel" of muscular activity outdoors, is a sufficient analogue. The opposition, tension and zest for the game are provided by the playing forces of the two teams of matter and spirit. The game or battle will yield him adequate thrills, since in it he will find coming to function still unevolved latencies of his own measureless being. Each act will enhance his sense of power and glory. That he may live again and enjoy a new joust with matter he must plunge his nucleated units of consciousness into a state of "death" and burial in material inertia [i.e., material incarnation]. 340.
As I have said before, I am certain Kuhn does not intend to exclude women when he uses the term "men" or the masculine singular pronoun "he" -- Kuhn was writing in 1940, and conventions were different then. Elsewhere in the book, he makes very clear that he is describing both men and women, such as in one passage in which he describes the mythical phoenix as emblematic of our multiple cyclings down into incarnate form (see for instance the last paragraph of page 551). 

But note here the parallels with the picture that Laird Scranton's analysis paints of the non-material realm: there in the non-material state, Laird Scranton argues, there is perfect knowledge, but inability to act. It is like seeing all the cars in a video or time-lapse photograph, stretched into long lines or waves: you can see the entire timeline of the journey all at once, but you cannot interact with the car at any specific point, because the moments have all been sped-up into a single wave. Thus, in the immaterial condition, there is only contemplation.

In his own metaphor, Alvin Boyd Kuhn says that this is like "sedentary occupation and brain work" -- there is perfect knowledge, and there can be pure contemplation. But we are compelled to come down to the material realm because it is only in this realm that we can act and interact, and in doing so we can develop and unfold characteristics which, until manifested, exist only as potentialities (or as "unevolved latencies," as Kuhn calls them). They exist only in "seed form" until then.

Kuhn describes our need to plunge down into the incarnate realm in the analogy of the desire to "rise from sedentary occupation and brain work" and experience muscular activity outdoors.

However, we should not misinterpret these helpful metaphors as saying that the Invisible Realm is not important -- far from it. As we have already seen, the sacred traditions explain that this Visible Realm depends upon and proceeds from that Other Realm. This is why awareness of -- and even contact with  -- the Other Realm, even while we are traveling through this incarnate life in the material realm, can be so important. 

For one thing, there is knowledge that can only be obtained through contact with the Other Realm, and no other way. Laird Scranton's metaphor explains that, at least in one sense, in the non-material realm there is perfect knowledge, because it has a very different relationship to the domain of time within which we are operating when we come down into incarnate life. Elsewhere in the same interview, Laird Scranton makes the intriguing point that premonitions and synchronicities may be ways in which the Invisible Realm tries to get messages to us here in this Visible Realm.

Also, as Laird Scranton explains at the beginning of the quoted passage above, the ancient traditions of cultures that have preserved their historic ways (such as the traditions of the Dogon culture) emphasize that the material universe and the non-material universe are paired, like siblings. What happens in one can and does impact the other. This means that there may be situations in the material realm that can only be repaired or remedied through some sort of travel to, or contact with, the Infinite Realm. 

All of the above discussion appears to be part of the worldview that permeates all of the ancient  myths, scriptures and sacred traditions of humanity -- a worldview which can be generally labeled a "shamanic worldview" (with the caveat that, of course, that term can be used in a more specific as well as in more general sense, and that the term "shamanic" can also be misused). It is a worldview which includes an understanding of the existence of the Invisible Realm, and an understanding of its importance in our lives at all times.

And, as the above metaphors also help us to see, it is also a worldview which places tremendous importance upon our experience and our actions here in this incarnate life, where we are plunged into the interplay of matter and spirit, the great Battle of Kurukshetra described in the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita (with parallels in many other myths around the globe).

Because here, we have imperfect knowledge, but the ability to act. 

We should be grateful to Laird Scranton for that metaphor (and to Greg Carlwood for the excellent interview which brought out that part of the discussion). I hope that these metaphors will be helpful to you in some way.

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Still time to order inscribed copies of Star Myths of the World!

There's still time to order and receive signed copies of any of my books prior to your favorite winter-solstice-related celebrations or observances, for most locations in North America. 

To order signed copies, please visit this page

Payment options include PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and most bank cards. You will see PayPal as the top payment option when you begin the ordering process, but down below the "buy now with PayPal" button will be another button for other payment options.

There will also be an opportunity to specify names and spelling for a personalized inscription.

Signed copies purchased through that site do require shipping and tax. The site is set up for shipping rates within the united states -- there is a contact page linked at that location for those wishing to order shipments to other locations, or those who wish to purchase multiple copies or place other unusual orders.

Of course, you can also order the books through your local bookstore and avoid paying shipping (as well as avoiding sales tax, if you happen to live in a state that does not charge sales tax), although it may take some time for them to get them in stock, so you want to do that right away if you need it prior to the winter solstice period. They won't be able to order inscribed copies, however.

You can also order the books through online retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, and others -- some of them offer free shipping. Of course, they won't be able to obtain signed copies either.

All of my books are also typically available through Amazon as well. Strangely, Star Myths of the World, Volume Three (Star Myths of the Bible) has been "temporarily out of stock" on Amazon for over a month on their united states website. Repeated attempts to get them to figure out the problem have so far not met with success. They do have the book available in sites for some other countries. 

Amazon's inability (or refusal) to figure out their inventory stocking issues on their united states site during the entire month of December and almost all of November appears to be their own internal issue, since the book has been available on other sites such as Barnes & Noble for the entire time (here is the link to the book on Barnes & Noble, who can get it to you in two days and usually offer free shipping).

I'm also sure that Amazon will eventually figure out their inventory issues for that title, as they have all of my others available in stock. Unless they really just don't like Star Myths of the Bible over there (or winter solstice holiday sales) and wish to discourage purchases by listing it as "temporarily" out of stock.

If you do order any of my books at this time of year, from whatever sales channel, I hope that they will be a blessing to you, or to whoever reads them!

Table of contents and some sample internal content for each title is available for web viewing here.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Evidence of an ancient conspiracy in the works of Josephus

In my 2014 book, The Undying Stars, I spend a fair amount of time examining the theory of Joseph Atwill outlined in Caesar's Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus.

Joseph Atwill has discovered undeniable parallels between the events described in the gospel accounts of the New Testament and the events described in the history of the first-century-AD Roman military campaign in Judea which culminated in the destruction of the Temple at Jerusalem. 

As his research and analysis clearly shows, there are even parallels between the sequence of events as described in the history of that Roman war and the sequence of events as presented in the so-called "synoptic" gospel accounts.

In Caesar's Messiah, Joseph Atwill interprets these remarkable and undeniable parallels as pointing to the conclusion that the gospel accounts must therefore be "a skillful satire" of the Roman conquest of Judea -- a massive Roman inside joke (Caesar's Messiah, 10). 

The purpose for this elaborate inside joke, he argues, would have been primarily twofold. First, it would have been an attempt to defuse the potential for ongoing rebellions of a Messianic nature among the Jewish diaspora within the empire, by skillfully arguing that the Messianic prophecies pointed to a Roman Messiah, in the person of the conquering Flavian generals (Vespasian and his son, Titus). Second, it would have functioned to feed what Mr. Atwill describes as "the overwrought vanity of the Roman Caesars, desiring the populace to worship them as gods" (10).

However, without denying the clear parallels which Joseph Atwill has discovered between the account of the campaign in Judea and the accounts in the New Testament gospels, I would argue that the conclusion he reaches -- that the gospel accounts must be an elaborate inside joke and satire built upon the events of that campaign -- is by no means the only possible interpretation of the evidence at hand.

Simply put, as Mr. Atwill himself freely acknowledges, the only source for the details of the Flavian campaign in Judea which form the basis for his comparison are those provided in the history written by Josephus. 

While the Roman conquest certainly took place, and while it certainly resulted in the destruction of the rebellion and the sacking of the Temple (as we can see from the relief images included in the Arch of Titus, constructed as part of the joint triumph awarded by Rome to Vespasian and his son Titus), the only source for the narrative of certain specific events which parallel the events described in the gospels is Josephus himself.

And Josephus is by no means a reliable narrator.

In fact, he is a deeply compromised narrator, as Mr. Atwill once again freely acknowledges. 

Josephus, by his own account, was one of the military leaders of the Jewish rebellion against the Romans, as well as a very high-ranking priest from a highly-regarded family. In his account of the Roman conquest, Josephus describes how he went over to Vespasian in order to save his own life, more than two years before the eventual sacking of the Temple and conclusion of the war -- and how he was afterwards rewarded by the Flavian family with a new life in Rome, including an apartment in Vespasian's own villa (where Vespasian himself had lived, before he built a new palatial villa for himself after becoming emperor), an annual pension for the rest of his life, a new wife (he said he was tired of his old one) selected from among the prisoners, a large quantity of land in Judea which furthermore would be free from taxation, punishment of those who dared to accuse Josephus, and finally ongoing "kindnesses" and "respect" from all of the Flavian emperors and their own families.    

In other words, Josephus was a collaborator with the conquering Romans -- and judging by the incredible rewards he was accorded by the Flavians, the services he provided in his collaboration were extremely valuable to them. The emperor basically adopted Josephus into his family: in fact, Josephus took the emperor's family name, Flavius, which is why you will often see his name given as "Flavius Josephus."

Far from requiring us to conclude that the gospel accounts are a "skillful satire" and vanity-piece for the Flavian emperors, mirroring the supposed "history" given to us by Josephus in his account of the conquest, we should also consider the possibility that the history written by Josephus and perhaps even the events themselves as he describes them are part of a skillful manipulation by Josephus himself.

In fact, there is overwhelming evidence that this is the case: that Josephus fashioned the events of his supposed history after patterns that can be found in the world's ancient mythology, patterns which are also incorporated into the gospel accounts. These patterns are mythological in nature. For whatever reason, Josephus was creating a narrative which was based upon clearly-recognizable mythological patterns. 

And note that, as a high-ranking priest who was intimately familiar with the ancient Hebrew Scriptures which form the basis for what has historically come to be called the "Old Testament" of the Bible, Josephus would have been very familiar with these mythological patterns -- because (as I show with extensive examples in my most recent book, Star Myths of the Bible) the stories of the Hebrew Scriptures are based upon these very same mythological patterns.

In short, the parallels that Joseph Atwill have discovered are very real, and they expose a very real and very important deception -- but it is a deception on the part of Josephus. The patterns in the gospel accounts, which are also found in the "history" of Josephus, are part of a very ancient mythological pattern which can be shown to predate Josephus by thousands of years.

Please note that all of this is not to say that Josephus and his fellow-collaborators might not have had a hand in the final format in which these myths are arranged in the canonical gospel accounts. In fact, it is very likely (as I argue in The Undying Stars) that the story of literalist Christianity as it came to exist in the centuries following the conquest of Judea was part of a deliberate campaign to subvert the ancient wisdom given to humanity in the world's sacred myths, and to replace it with a belief that these sacred stories are actually supposed to be interpreted as literal and historical accounts.

Let's briefly examine a couple of important scenes from the account of Josephus, for which Joseph Atwill finds parallels in the gospel accounts, and show that these scenes are patterned upon more-ancient myths that can be found elsewhere (and which, I would argue, probably never took place, either in the campaign of the Romans or in the events related in the gospel accounts, which are actually part of the same mythological tradition).

One of the very first events that Joseph Atwill examines is the account in Wars of the Jews by Josephus, in which at the sea of Galilee: "Titus begins his campaign with a battle in which Jews fall into the water and are fished out" (Caesar's Messiah, 399). In his account, which is found in Book 3 and chapter 10 (and subsection 9 within that chapter), Josephus describes the destruction of fleeing Jewish vessels upon the lake by the Romans, and the subsequent slaughter of those who leaped into the water -- with Romans "running them through with their long poles" (spearing them like fish).

Joseph Atwill argues that this scene from Josephus' history parallels the accounts of the beginning of Jesus' ministry, where he too is described at the sea of Galilee, and calls his disciples with the promise to make them "fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19 and Mark 1:17).

However, before we conclude that this parallel means that the gospel accounts are a skillful satire, an inside joke, and an imperial vanity piece, we should note that battle scenes in which unfortunate combatants are "speared like fish" are actually found in myths which long predate the first-century-AD Roman campaign in Judea.

For example, in an episode which I discuss in Volume Two of my Star Myths of the World series, the unfortunate companions of Odysseus are speared like fish by the gigantic and cannibalistic Laestrygonians, in Book 10 of the Odyssey.

Here is the account, as presented in the superlative translation of Professor Robert Fagles:
Straightway she summoned royal Antiphates from assembly,
her husband, who prepared my crew a barbarous welcome.
Snatching one of my men, he tore him up for dinner --
the other two sprang free and reached the ships.
But the king let loose a howling through the town
that brought tremendous Laestrygonians swarming up
from every side -- hundreds, not like men, like Giants!
Down from the cliffs they flung great rocks a man could hardly hoist
and a ghastly shattering din rose up from all the ships --
men in their death-cries, hulls smashed to splinters --
They speared the crews like fish
and whisked them home to make their grisly meal. Book 10, lines 125 - 136.
As I show in Volume Two, this scene and virtually every other episode in the Odyssey can be shown to be based upon the same system of celestial metaphor which underlies the ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories of the world.

The fact that Josephus works into his account a scene in which his own unfortunate countrymen are speared like fish is probably evidence that Josephus was well acquainted with the ancient myths of humanity (in fact, I would argue that he was probably well versed in their deeper esoteric meaning, and with their celestial foundation as well -- some evidence of this knowledge on the part of Josephus is discussed in The Undying Stars). In fact, in the narrative presented in the "history" of Josephus, he also works into his account of this particular massacre the throwing of rocks!

Another of the parallels which Joseph Atwill has discovered involves the building by Titus of "a siege wall around Jerusalem" in AD 70, described in Book 5, chapter 12 of the history presented by Josephus (see for example Caesar's Messiah page 400 and elsewhere). He finds parallels to this and other aspects of the siege of Titus to the "predictions" of a siege of Jerusalem made by Jesus in the gospel accounts (Jesus describes the compassing of Jerusalem by armies of Gentiles in Luke chapter 21 and in Matthew chapters 24 and 25).

Unless you take the accounts as literal history and believe that they describe accurate predictions made decades prior to the Roman campaign which culminated in the sacking of the Temple by Titus, then these details do indeed appear to indicate that the New Testament gospel accounts as we have them today were indeed composed after the sacking of the Temple (we can be fairly certain that the Temple was indeed sacked by Titus and his forces, because scenes of the Temple artifacts being led away in triumph are included in the Arch of Titus, and the people alive at that time probably saw the triumphal procession itself, which according to the account of Josephus included those artifacts as a central feature). 

However, once again the feature of a wall as described by Josephus in this instance is a very common feature of ancient myth, and one that can be tied to a celestial pattern -- I detail several instances of cities or citadels surrounded by just such a wall in the Odyssey, in Volume Two of Star Myths of the World. And, in Volume Three of the series (Star Myths of the Bible), I show that the prediction or prophecy included in the gospel accounts that the Temple will be cast down to the ground such that not a single stone remains upon another is almost certainly celestial as well (involving a celestial Temple).

Indeed, if it involved the physical Temple in Jerusalem, then even literalist Christians would have to admit that the prophecy did not take place as described in the gospels, since the Western Wall is still standing to this day -- which shows that the description that "there shall not be left one stone upon another," found in Luke 21:6 and Matthew 24:2 did not take place in the literal and historical events. Indeed, the fact that the prediction about not one stone being left upon another but that all of them would be thrown down can be seen not to have taken place (and could have been seen not to have taken place during the period of ancient Rome) should cause us to question the conclusion that the gospels were intended as a way of making the populace worship the Flavians as gods. 

The prophecy is celestial in nature, and involves a constellation of stars setting in the west (down to the level of the ground), as I discuss in Star Myths of the Bible.

In fact, we can see in Old Testament accounts that Jerusalem is also compassed by a wall, such as in the passage at the beginning of 1 Kings chapter 3, in which we are told that Solomon "made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt" until he had finished building "his own house, and the house of the LORD, and the wall of Jerusalem round about" (italics added for emphasis). I believe that these details are given as celestial clues (and again, there are many episodes in the Odyssey of ancient Greece in which similar celestial clues are given, pointing to the same region of the night sky).

Joseph Atwill also asserts that the references to the coming of the Son of man, which are a frequent feature in certain discourses of Jesus found in the gospel accounts, are intended to refer to the coming of the Flavian generals and specifically Titus (the son of Vespasian), as part of the "skillful satire" and the desire to make the population "worship them as gods."

However, I would argue that the context of the passages again points to a celestial identity for the figure described as the Son of man. As I explain in The Undying Stars, during the Olivet Discourse (sometimes called the "Little Apocalypse") found in Matthew chapters 24 and 25, Jesus describes the coming of the sign of the Son of man in the heavens, moving from east to west, and separating the sheep from the goats (see especially Matthew 24: 27 through Matthew 25: 33).

As the star-chart diagram below shows, and as I explain in greater detail in The Undying Stars, the sign of the Son of man almost certainly corresponds to the zodiac constellation of Aquarius. Aquarius does indeed move from the east to the west (as do all the stars, due to the rotation of the earth upon its axis, towards the east), and Aquarius does indeed separate the sheep from the goats as well (he separates Aries the Ram from Capricorn the Goat):

An astute reader will notice that as we face towards the south (which is the direction that those in the northern hemisphere above the line of the tropics must face in order to see the zodiac), the "sheep" of Aries appear to be on the left, while the "goats" of Capricorn appear to be on the right -- and in the Matthew 25 passage, it is clearly stated that the sheep will be "on his right hand, but the goats on the left" (Matthew 25: 33). 

That's because, as they say in the army when an instructor is facing a group and referring to directions such as left and right, from the perspective of the constellation Aquarius (if his front is facing towards us), the sheep are on "my right, your left" and the goats are on "my left, your right." The Biblical passage clearly says that the sheep on on his right hand, not ours as we face the sky.

In short, the Biblical narrative can be shown to be based from first to last upon celestial patterns that inform all of the ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories of humanity. They are not simply a clever Roman fiction, a skillful satire, an inside joke, or a Flavian vanity-piece. They actually contain profound ancient wisdom, which (like the wisdom contained in all the other ancient sacred stories of the world) is vital to our lives and can be profoundly beneficial, if interpreted in the language that it is actually speaking to us, which is a celestial and esoteric language.

I am convinced that overwhelming evidence exists to argue that this ancient wisdom was deliberately subverted by those who wanted to create a sophisticated campaign to cause men and women to take these stories literally, and to ignore their esoteric meaning. I am also convinced that Josephus and his associates were central to that campaign -- perhaps in part because people like the author we know as "Paul" were busily teaching the Gnostic and esoteric understanding of the ancient doctrine of the "Christ within," and those who did not want that secret to be given to the masses wanted to contain it and "put the cat back into the bag" by promoting a falsely literal and historical version of that message instead.

Joseph Atwill has provided extremely valuable evidence regarding this ancient deception, with his perceptive analysis comparing the gospel accounts and the histories of Josephus. While I disagree with the main conclusions that he has reached, I believe that his are understandable conclusions to suggest as one possible explanation for the evidence at hand, particularly if the celestial metaphors are not understood, and the connections of those same patterns to other myths (including but not limited to those which we find in the Odyssey of ancient Greece, as well as strong parallels to the mythology of ancient Egypt not discussed in the above examination). 

One thing should be fairly certain from all of the above discussion, and that is that the events in the gospel accounts are not literal and historical in nature, but rather metaphorical. I happen to believe that they are actually metaphors intended to convey profound truths about our human condition and about the nature of the simultaneously physical-and-spiritual universe in which we presently find ourselves, and that they should not be dismissed as a clever Roman satire.

Now, thanks to the insights of Joseph Atwill, we can see that the works of Josephus are almost certainly not completely literal and historical in nature either -- and that Josephus is almost certainly part of an ancient conspiracy involving the transition to literalist Christianity, a conspiracy which has resulted in the suppression of that beneficial message for centuries (and which later resulted in the destruction or suppression of the ancient wisdom preserved in the traditions of other cultures around the world).

Friday, December 9, 2016

One solid foundation

This is one of my favorite songs, "One Foundation" by the Wailers, sung by Peter Tosh.

I have previously written out what I believe to be the lyrics, in a previous post here.

When we realize that all the world's ancient myths, scriptures, and sacred traditions share a common celestial foundation, it should truly unite us and cause us to see that we all share a very ancient common heritage. The clear connection between the constellations and the world's sacred stories provide more than enough evidence which can be easily examined to demonstrate this common foundation.

And one of the primary and central messages of that ancient wisdom tells us that the most important part of each and every man and woman is invisible -- the divine spark inside each one of us -- not our external, physical body of clay.