Thursday, May 30, 2019

Dr. Gabor Mate and the reconnection with your authentic self

I had never actually heard Dr. Gabor Mate speak or had any familiarity with his work until after my most recent book was published just a few weeks ago -- but as I was exploring some different podcasts following that publication, I happened across an interview with him . . . and since then I have listened to several other interviews with Dr. Mate, whose work and research I immediately found to be profound and moving and which I believe to be extremely important and paradigm-shifting, both on an individual level and at a societal level.

Above is an interview with Dr. Mate on the Aubrey Marcus Podcast, which is the interview that I listened to most recently and which I believe to be one of the best -- and an excellent interview with which to begin. In order to download the audio file of that podcast to your phone or other mobile device, you can visit this page and look in the "Get the podcast" section for links to the Aubrey Marcus Podcast on iTunes, Android, Spotify and Stitcher (then you will have to scroll down to episode #115 from October 2017 in order to find the actual interview file).

Other excellent interviews with Dr. Mate which I have listened to over the past couple of weeks, and which I would highly recommend, include this one from the Little Sprigs podcast, this one from the Rewild Yourself podcast, and this one from the Recovery 2.0 Power Hour (which you can find by scrolling down to podcast #2 on the stack of podcasts listed on that particular page), among many other possible choices (of an even larger group of interviews with Dr. Mate that I have selected over the past couple weeks, I think these interviews stood out as particularly memorable and helpful, along with the one linked above with Aubrey Marcus, which is the one that I would recommend starting with).

I would also recommend listening to this presentation by Dr. Mate given at the 2017 Psychedelic Science Conference in Oakland, California. It is extremely worthwhile.

As you will hear if you listen to any of the above discussions, Dr. Mate has found abundant and overwhelming evidence which points to the conclusion that all addiction and addictive behavior, as well as a host of other ways in which we sabotage ourselves, and even many chronic diseases, have their roots in trauma, particularly childhood trauma, which he explains is not (as is normally assumed) the actual negative things which happened to us which should not have happened, or the positive things which did not happen to us which should have happened (such as the love and acceptance that every child needs and deserves), but rather the separation from ourselves which takes place as a result of trauma.

This insight is world-changing in importance, because (as Dr. Mate also explains), western medicine generally ignores this evidence and treats addiction as either a moral failure arising from blameworthy choices on the part of the individual, or else as an inherited genetic disorder or predisposition which can only be treated chemically -- leading to treatments or attempted fixes which ignore the actual root cause of the issue.

And, the definition of trauma provided by Dr. Mate, which identifies the trauma as the alienation from one's essential self (as opposed to identifying the trauma with something which happened years in the past) is also critically important, because (as Dr. Mate explains), we cannot go back in time and change the past, but we actually have the ability to reconnect with our essential self at all times -- because our essential self never really left, and is always available to us no matter where we find ourselves at any time.

For example, in the Aubrey Marcus interview linked and embedded above, beginning at about the 15:50 minute mark in the interview, Dr. Mate says:
Well, recall what I said that the essence of trauma is disconnection from the self. That's the good news. Because if the trauma was that your parents split, they were unhappy before you were two years old, and that your father was demanding and judgmental and perhaps harsh with you when you didn't perform well: if that was the trauma, then you're stuck! Because that can never be undone. That happened. It'll never un-happen.  
But if the trauma was what happened in you internally, that disconnection from yourself: that connection can be regained at any time.  
The western medicine, unfortunately, as you alluded to earlier, sees everything in terms of disease categories. And these are there to be endured, or to be mitigated, or to be cured. But there's no sense in western medicine that I was trained in -- in the western medical tradition -- of internal healing processes that can be invigorated or evoked or supported. And yet the healing is in that reconnection with the self. 
So there are means to do that. But that is the goal, and it is also the promise. Because it means that: "It's ok -- this stuff happened. Or good stuff that should have happened didn't happen. But the connection with your authentic self is available to you at any time."
One of the reasons that this information and Gabor Mate's work is so vitally important is that, as he explains in his talk given to the Psychedelic Science Conference in 2017 which is linked above, western society appears to be practically designed to induce trauma. Indeed, based on the rates of addiction, chronic illness, and ongoing medication which can be observed and documented, Dr. Mate observes that: "We live in a toxic culture. We actually live in a culture that makes people sick. And we have to look at the reasons why" (this quotation can be found at approximately 19:50 into the audio file of the lecture linked previously).

Anyone familiar with this blog might guess that, in addition to the tremendous light that Dr. Mate's teaching sheds on my own personal life and behaviors, his work is extremely exciting and intriguing to me because I have for some years been finding abundant and overwhelming evidence which points to the conclusion that the world's ancient myths are metaphorical in nature (a fact which can be demonstrated conclusively because virtually all the characters and episodes in the myths can be shown to connect to specific constellations, specific regions of the night sky, and specific heavenly cycles including the annual cycle and the precessional cycle), and that these metaphorical Star Myths have as one of their central messages the reconnection with the essential self, the authentic self, the higher self -- exemplified, among many other stories, in the episode of the reconciliation between Jesus and Doubting Thomas, as well as in the stories of Eros and Psyche, Pollux and Castor, Krishna and Arjuna, or Gilgamesh and Enkidu.

Indeed, the world's ancient myths can be seen to be a guide for reconciliation with the authentic self, but when they are literalized, that message is generally lost or at least heavily obscured, because literalizing the stories necessarily externalizes them, obscuring the profound truth that all of the pairs named in the previous paragraph are actually one person, not a literal pair -- and that this person is in fact you.

In fact, I would argue that the deliberate literalizing of the ancient myths, and the subsequent bloody,  centuries-long, ongoing campaign to impose these literalized myths on the rest of the world (and, in doing so, to deliberately stamp out the Indigenous myths and sacred traditions of virtually every other culture on the planet, beginning with those given to the various cultures of Europe and the Mediterranean, and then continuing on around the world during the subsequent process of imperialism and colonialism) is directly responsible for the toxic culture we now describe as "western," with its high rates of trauma, alienation, depression, addiction, disease, and self-destructive behavior.

What is particularly intriguing, however, is that the very fact that the world's ancient myths appear to be designed as guides for recovering our connection with our authentic self, our higher self, implies that this alienation is not a uniquely modern problem. Indeed, as mentioned above in the list of "twin" examples, and as discussed in this previous video, (and as I explore in some depth in my latest book, The Ancient World-Wide System), among the very oldest myths of which we have original textual evidence, those involving the story of Gilgamesh and Enkidu dating back to the mysterious culture of Sumer, deal with this very subject of alienation and of the loss of connection with the essential self (and how this alienation can be repaired and transcended).

As Dr. Mate discusses in the lecture given in Oakland in 2017 and linked above, the least traumatic environment for the human child appears to be the small hunter-gatherer group in which the child is surrounded by numerous adults, and in which the economic requirements do not result in prolonged separation of the child from the attention of the mother and father.

Is it possible that the ancient myths were given to humanity as a means of helping us to cope with the alienation which is inevitable in the transition from hunter-gatherer societies? This possibility is not one that I have considered previously, but it does seem to have a certain very strong resonance with some of the theories advanced by Graham Hancock in his most recent and very important book, America Before. In that book, Graham proposes that hunter-gatherer societies would be the societies most likely to have survived an ancient civilization-destroying catastrophe (such as a comet impact), and that members of a now-forgotten predecessor culture might have deliberately reached out to hunter-gatherer societies either before or after such a cataclysm in order to try to preserve knowledge that would otherwise have been lost.

(Note that I am not here suggesting that Dr. Gabor Mate is proposing this connection or that he knows of or endorses Graham Hancock's latest book and theories -- the discussion in these later paragraphs are my own musings on this intriguing subject and the evidence that I have been discovering in the world's ancient myths).

Such a scenario is certainly one to consider -- but in any case, it is undeniable that the world's ancient myths are built upon a world-wide system of celestial metaphor, and that their message can therefore be shown to be about something other than describing literal and historical figures and events. And one of their central messages appears to be recovering our relationship with and connection to a Higher Self, and overcoming self-sabotage and the entangling limitations of the "egoic self" -- see for example previous posts such as:

Finally, note that Dr. Mate concludes his lecture at the Oakland Pyschedelic Science Conference with a quotation from a book called A Story Waiting to Pierce You, a book by the wonderful Peter Kingsley, who also wrote In the Dark Places of Wisdom, in which the author explains the western problem of constantly trying to chase after solutions outside of ourselves for a void we have deep inside, and how the ancients pointed us in a different direction -- only to have their wisdom subverted.

I am convinced that the truths that Dr. Gabor Mate has been sharing with the world are of critical importance to each and every one of us, and that the ancient myths are likewise pointing us towards these same truths, and showing us how to regain our connection with our authentic self, our higher self -- and that this message is absolutely critical for finding a way to repair, reform, and revivify the toxic culture in which we find ourselves at the present moment, which if not addressed and corrected may threaten the survival of humanity even more than has any catastrophe we have faced in previous millennia.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Introducing the Ancient World-Wide System: Star Myths of the World, Volume One (Second Edition)

I am especially excited to announce the publication of my newest book, The Ancient World-Wide System: Star Myths of the World, Volume One (Second Edition).

This latest volume constitutes a greatly expanded and completely revised version of Star Myths of the World, Volume One, which was published in 2015. Weighing in at 912 pages, it is nearly twice as long as the original version of Volume One, and brings to bear completely new perspectives and insights that I have gained since writing the first edition (perspectives and insights gained during the process of writing Volumes Two, Three and Four, as well as Astrotheology for Life and Ancient Myths, Ancient Wisdom, not to mention more than 300 additional blog posts and dozens of additional videos).

It is safe to say that this is the most comprehensive examination of the ancient system of celestial metaphor underlying the world's myths that I have written thus far. You can check out the Table of Contents, selections from various chapters, and the Index (approximately 80 pages all together) in the "Books" section of my primary website, here.

Among other aspects of ancient myth, this volume explores:
  • Celestial foundations for myths from ancient Egypt, ancient Mesopotamia, ancient India, ancient China and Japan, and the cultures of Australia, Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific.
  • Celestial foundations for the stories surrounding the life of the Buddha.
  • Celestial aspects of the Tao Te Ching and the accounts of Laozi.
  • Connections between myth-patterns found in numerous cultures, including stories of the "baby cast adrift" or the "unsuccessful retrieval from the land of the dead."
  • Celestial foundations for the patterns of the special "handbag" or "bucket" seen in artwork from ancient Mesopotamia as well as from the Olmec civilization of Central America (as well as on Pillar 43 of Enclosure D at Gobekli Tepe).
  • Celestial foundations for the avatars of Vishnu found in the ancient Sanskrit texts of India.
  • Evidence that the "termite mounds" mentioned in the myths of ancient India and the sacred stories of Aboriginal Australian cultures have their celestial original in the same important constellation in our night sky.
  • Undeniable artistic connections between depictions of deities in Mayan codexes and depictions of deities from cultures such as ancient Greece and ancient India, and evidence that these deities are all connected to the same constellation in each case.
  • Discussion of the possible esoteric meaning that these ancient myths intend to convey to our understanding, and the reason this message is still so vitally important to us in this very moment of our lives today.
In the conclusion of this volume, I write that:
I could of course have divided this present volume into a number of shorter books, each examining for example the myths of a different continent, but in doing so I felt something might have been lost: the ability to present a very broad sweep of myths from literally around the globe, and to see again and again certain patterns and oicotypes emerging which argue very strongly that the world's ancient traditions all belong to a single amazing system . . . 
827 - 828.
I hope you will agree that this comprehensive tour of ancient myths from around the world provides the best possible introduction to the ancient system of celestial metaphor that informs the ancient sacred stories given to our ancestors in remote antiquity around the globe, and the most comprehensive introduction to the other volumes which follow this one in the series examining the Star Myths of the World.

Below is a new video I made to introduce The Ancient World-Wide System. Please feel free to share with anyone you know who is interested in these subjects, or who might benefit from this information:

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Good Vibes to new visitors from the Grimerica Show, and to returning friends!

Big thank-you to Darren and Graham of the Grimerica Show for having me over for another thought-provoking visit to Grimerica and conversation about myths, stars, books, and everything.

Welcome! to any new visitors who are exploring the Star Myths for the first time after hearing the interview or seeing the video -- as well as to returning friends. 

The interview was recorded and live-streamed on YouTube Live on May 08, 2019. As you can hear from the interview, I prepared a number of images including artwork and star-charts to help illustrate some of the areas of discussion during the talk. 

Unfortunately the live video of the interview itself was somehow lost to history, so I made a shortened version and added-in the images retroactively, and the end result is almost as good as the original! 

The version above, with the images added, is shorter than the original interview, because it is centered on the part of the discussion that addressed the artwork and star-charts. If you want to listen to the entire interview (without the visual aids), you can go to the Grimerica YouTube channel and find the May 08 interview here. You can also go to the Grimerica podcast archive and download the audio file here.

We explored a wide range of subjects during our conversation. Below are a few links to previous posts with more discussion of some of the subjects we touched upon during the show, for those who are interested in exploring further:
I urge everyone to listen to and support non-corporate-controled media as much as possible, including the Good Vibes Land of Grimerica.

Thanks for listening -- please share with others and hope you will visit often! 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The Present Moment and the Higher Self

Above is a brand-new video I've just published entitled "The Present Moment and the Higher Self."

It explores some of the amazing aspects of the myths and characters contained within the Gilgamesh cycle from ancient Sumer and Babylon and the cultures of ancient Mesopotamia.

The Gilgamesh series was re-discovered during the nineteenth century after thousands of years, inscribed upon ancient clay tablets in fragmentary condition. These tablets and their texts constitute some of the oldest, if not the oldest, extended human writing to be found anywhere in the world thus far, and us contain some of the oldest, if not the oldest, myths to have been written down and to have survived -- and yet their message is as relevant and important to our lives today as this present moment in which you and I are living right now.

Some of these tablets were inscribed close to the year we call 2000 BC, and the Gilgamesh cycle itself is thought to date to some time prior to 2000 BC. The fragmentary tablets were first deciphered, in part, by George Smith (1840 - 1876), whom scholar and translator of the definitive translation of the Gilgamesh cycle Professor Andrew George refers to as the "first professional Assyriologist" in this lecture regarding the ancient material, and whose life and achievements were discussed in this previous blog post written on George Smith's birthday, which is well worth re-visiting on this occasion.

I hope you will enjoy this new video about the vitally important subjects of the present moment and the Higher Self, and the ways in which the ancient myths and sacred stories entrusted to humanity in remote antiquity were designed to impart understanding of these concepts to our "intelligence-of-the-heart" (as Schwaller de Lubicz called it) through esoteric metaphor.

Please feel free to share with your friends and family who might also benefit from this information, and thank you for watching!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Cinco de Mayo against Imperialism

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

The observance of Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Battle of Puebla on the 5th of May, 1862, during which a hastily-assembled and numerically-inferior force of Mexican patriots, led by Ignacio Zaragoza, defeated a numerically-superior, better-equipped, professional force of French soldiers who were supporting the imperialist policy of Napoleon III of France. The French army at that time was extremely formidable and had a reputation of invincibility.

Imperialism can be defined as the practice of taking the land and resources that have been given by the gods (or, if you prefer, by nature) to the men and women of one land and, through forms of coercion, appropriating them for the benefit by of another group, rather than for the benefit of the men and women to whom those resources were given.

In his essential 2017 book J is for Junk Economics: A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception, Professor Michael P. Hudson has an entry on imperialism which reads in part:
The first and most brutal form of imperialism was military conquest. The object was to seize land and natural resources. The next step was [for the conqueror] to tax the population and extract land rent, turning the conquered territory into a colony, raising money to pay [the taxes imposed on them] by producing exports desired at home -- especially raw materials. Britain's colonial system is the classic example. It aimed to achieve imperial self-sufficiency in raw materials and money, while making colonies and other countries dependent on the resources it provided. 123
In his 1972 book Super Imperialism: the Origins and Fundamentals of U.S. World Dominance, Professor Hudson explains how the united states, once a group of colonies who had chafed at the imperial system imposed by Britain, became the world's dominant practitioner of imperialism following World War II:
Europe's industrial nations would open their doors and permit U.S. investors to buy in to the extractive industries of their former colonies, especially into Near Eastern oil. These less developed regions would provide the United States with raw materials rather than working them up into their own manufactures to compete with U.S. industry. They would purchase a rising stream of American foodstuffs and manufactures, especially those produced by the industries whose productive capacities had expanded greatly during the war. The resulting U.S. trade surplus would provide the foreign exchange to enable American investors to buy up the most productive resources of the world's industry, mining and agriculture. 10 - 11 (quoted from the Second Edition, published in 2003).
Note a pdf version of extended selections from Super Imperialism is available at Professor Hudson's website: the above quotation can be found on page 22 of that pdf version.

Super Imperialism goes on to explain that the united states policy has been to deliberately undermine agricultural self-sufficiency and food independence in countries rich in coveted natural resources, in order to coerce those countries into purchasing agricultural exports from the united states and pay for them by selling off the rights to the natural resources given to the targeted country by nature (or, as I would say, given to those men and women by the gods).

Professor Hudson explains that if countries rich in natural resources are allowed to be self-sufficient, they might decide to conserve those assets rather than exporting them:
Mineral assets represent diminishing assets. It is in the interest of developing peoples to conserve such assets for their own ultimate use in manufacturing industries, as these develop within the borders of nations rich in raw materials but backward in general development. In the short run such domestic use of mineral resources is not possible because of inadequate industrial capital and consumer markets. 213
He then points out that such inadequate capital could be overcome, if for example "World Bank loans and technical assistance" were used "to foster agricultural self-sufficiency among these peoples." Such self-sufficiency would enable the men and women of those nations, to whom nature (or the gods) had given those natural resources in the first place, to decide whether or not to sell those resources to foreign governments and foreign corporations, or to use them for their own domestic purposes, or some combination of the two of their own choosing:
Thereafter, exportation of fuels and minerals would become a matter of choice by these peoples, not a necessity. Such export might continue at current levels; it might increase, or it might diminish. The decision to conserve or to dissipate exhaustible resources would be autonomous, a matter of choice by these peoples and their governments, not something imposed on them from outside. The decision about desirable levels of population also would be a local matter, not something demanded among the terms on which capital resources are obtained from foreign suppliers. The peoples now dependent would escape that trap. This is not intended or desired by the World Bank or by the U.S. Government and its client regimes. 213 - 214
Note very closely what Professor Hudson avers in this passage: those pursuing a policy of imperialism (or hyper-imperialism) are not at all interested in the ability of the men and women of a targeted nation to have their own autonomy in deciding what to do with the resources given to them by nature. 

In other words, imperialists are not at all interested in promoting self-sufficiency, nor in promoting "democracy," if democracy means enabling the men and women of a nation to make their own decisions about the use of their country's own natural resources. This fact can be seen quite plainly in the ongoing (and recently-intensifying) attempts to overthrow the democratically-elected government of Venezuela in order to seize their country's abundant natural resources by instituting "regime change."

Returning to the definition of "imperialism" offered in Michael Hudson's J is for Junk Economics, the passage goes on to explain that:
Modern imperialism is largely financial. Armies are no longer needed to appropriate foreign real estate, natural resources or public infrastructure. Financial dependency makes debtor countries subject to IMF and World Bank "conditionalities" imposing austerity that forces them to pay creditors by selling off their public domain. This transfers assets to the United States and other creditor powers, while avoiding overt colonialism's expensive military overhead. 
U.S. diplomats seek to consolidate American financial power by sharing gains with local client oligarchies that remain in the dollarized financial system and adopt neoliberal Washington Consensus policies. Pinochet-style "regime change" is mounted against countries that try to protect their political and financial independence by creating or joining rival currency blocs and banking systems (e.g., Libya and Syria). 123 - 124
In other words, when financial coercion does not cause targeted countries to submit to imperialist arrangements, then those countries will be targeted for "regime change." The term "local client oligarchies" refers to those who collaborate with the imperialists to sell out the natural resources of their nation -- given to the entire country by the gods (or, if you prefer, by nature) -- in exchange for a piece of the action, taking for a few the benefits of the resources given to all the men and women permitted by heaven to be born in that country. 

It is primarily the members of these "local client oligarchies" who are collaborating now with the attempts to enact "regime change" in Venezuela, although the majority of the population clearly stands in opposition to the naked attempts to remove the elected government.

Below is a map of known world crude oil reserves which demonstrates the riches in natural resources coveted by those seeking regime change in Venezuela, which was included in this article on the situation written by former British diplomat turned activist and whistleblower Craig Murray and which was originally published here.

Returning to the subject of Cinco de Mayo and the resistance to naked imperialism by Mexico in the 1800s, note that Mexico also has large reserves of crude oil, and that Mexico's agricultural self-sufficiency was also deliberately demolished during the second half of the twentieth century under the same formula of hyper-imperialism described by Professor Hudson in the quotations above. 

Targeted nations are flooded with inexpensive agricultural produce from the united states until their own domestic farmers are destroyed (many of whom have then been forced to find work elsewhere, including in the united states as immigrant workers), and a dependent relationship is established which forces the privatization of the natural resources and utilities of the targeted country.

The observance of Cinco de Mayo, then, which may be an even bigger celebration in the united states than in Mexico (beginning apparently in California in 1863, the year after the victory at Puebla over the French army), should be understood in the context of resistance to the ongoing scourge of imperialism and the seizure of that which was given by nature (or the gods) to the people -- and as a commemoration of an unlikely victory against the forces of imperialism by a brave force of Mexican patriots in the face of one of the most powerful military imperial powers on earth at that time.

If the men and women of the united states, vast numbers of whom of all backgrounds and walks of life celebrate Cinco de Mayo each year, could understand how imperialist policies inevitably lead to the immiseration of huge numbers of people around the world, as well as to financial dependence upon a "global cosmopolitan class" (as Professor Hudson demonstrates in his books Super Imperialism and J is for Junk Economics) they could end this incredibly destructive and unethical system. 

Feliz Cinco de Mayo! 

Below is a song by one of the most-beloved singers of Mexican ranchera (or nortena) music, Jose Alfredo Jimenez (1926 - 1973): "El Rey" -- the lyrics of which can, in light of the above discussion against imperialism, be seen as proclaiming that the people are the king.

The singer declares that although he appears down and out and has none of the traditional trappings of wealth or power, he is nevertheless El Rey: ". . . y mi palabra es la ley!" — which, translated, means and my word is the law, which is true in a democracy and should be seen as a rallying cry against imperialism everywhere, and the against kind of regime change currently being attempted in Venezuela.