Monday, June 24, 2019

Arjuna's Choice

The Bhagavad Gita is one of the most beloved, well-known and widely studied of the world's ancient scriptures. 

It conveys the wisdom imparted by the Lord Krishna to the semi-divine warrior Arjuna prior to the cataclysmic battle of Kurukshetra, and given to Arjuna at his point of maximum doubt and despair.

The Bhagavad Gita itself is contained within the ancient Sanskrit epic of the Mahabharata, and in that epic there is an episode which explains how Krishna came to act as the noncombatant charioteer for Arjuna as the great battle approaches.

Above is a new video I've just published entitled "Arjuna's choice . . . and yours?" which explores some of the evidence that this episode (along with so many others in the Mahabharata, in common with virtually all the world's other ancient myths, scriptures, and sacred stories) is based on celestial metaphor -- and is intended to convey profound and very practical truths for our own lives in this present moment.

The episode in question is related in Section 7 of Book 5 of the great epic of ancient India, and you can read a translation of the original text (as well as the entire epic, as translated by Kisari Mohan Ganguli in the final decades of the 1800s, which is linked and indexed at that website) by following this link.

In the video, we hear part of that episode involving Arjuna's choice, retold by Sudipta Bhawmik, who creates and narrates the wonderful Stories of Mahabharata podcast, which I highly recommend for anyone wishing to hear a dramatized audio version of the ancient epic. You can find all the available episodes, along with related links, embedded on the NY / NJ Bengali website here.

You can also subscribe on iTunes and give the podcast a positive review (which it absolutely deserves) here.

Arjuna's choice of Krishna over an army of ferocious warriors, and the message which Krishna later delivers to Arjuna in the Gita, hold valuable lessons for us to incorporate into our own lives. They show us how remaining in the present, and quieting the scurrying of the superficial mind into imagined future and remembered past, enable us to receive the inspiration from the invisible realm -- the realm of the gods -- and to recover our connection with our authentic self.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Faith, HOPE, and Charity -- Summer Solstice, 2019

image: Wikimedia commons (link). Background stars: Wikimedia commons (link).

The earth on its orbit is approaching the point of summer solstice for the northern hemisphere, which we will reach at 11:54 am Eastern on 21 June 2019, which is 8:54 am Pacific (and 3:54 pm on 21 June in Greenwich, England).

This point marks the pinnacle of the sun's arc across the sky for the northern hemisphere -- the farthest north that the sun's path reaches, before it begins to move back towards the south again.

The world's ancient myths allegorically portray the heavenly cycles, including the great annual cycle of the sun's path through the background constellations of the zodiac, and the corresponding points on that great cycle in which the sun reaches its highest point at summer solstice (when hours of daylight are longest and hours of darkness are shortest), then begins to move downwards towards the great autumnal "crossing point" of fall equinox (at which point the sun "crosses down" into the lower half of the year, as the sun's path crosses the celestial equator, and hours of darkness and daylight are equal), and onward down towards the winter solstice (at which point hours of daylight, having continued to become shorter and shorter, reach their shortest day and the sun makes its lowest arc across the sky), at which point the days begin to lengthen again as the year proceeds towards the other great "crossing point" of spring equinox (at which point the sun "crosses up" into the upper half of the year, and the sun's path again crosses the celestial equator and goes above it until the next fall equinox, and hours of daylight and darkness are again equal, after which hours of daylight will continue to grow longer and longer and days will again be longer than nights).

You can see these four great crossing points on the zodiac diagram below, with the summer solstice at the very top of the circle, and the winter solstice at the bottom. The two "crossing points" of the equinox are marked by red "X's." The spring equinox is on the left side of this diagram (at what would be the 9 o'clock position on a clock face) and the fall equinox is on the right (at what would be the 3 o'clock position):

On the above diagram, the highest point (summer solstice) has been indicated with a red vertical line and the letters "ss" for "summer solstice," while the lowest point (winter solstice) has also been indicated with a red vertical line and the letters "ws" for "winter solstice."

Many myths from around the world use this annual cycle and the interplay between the darkness and light to convey deep meaning of tremendous practical value for our lives. 

In the Iliad of ancient Greece, for example, the struggle between the Achaeans and the Trojans embodies and mythologizes this great annual cycle, with the Trojans pushing the Achaeans all the way back to their ships (as Achilles withdraws from the battlefield) -- representing the triumph of darkness over light as we move towards the winter solstice -- before Achilles finally returns to battle and the tide begins to turn.

In a series of lectures preserved in the book Devil's Pulpit, published in 1857, the Reverend Robert Taylor (1784 - 1844) explains much of the symbology of the New Testament gospels and epistles using the same great cycle of the year. 

In one such lecture, delivered on April 19 of the year 1831, Taylor argues that the words found in the famous passage of 1 Corinthians 13:13, in which the text declares "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity," we should understand a reference to the points of the spring equinox, the summer solstice, and the autumn or fall equinox, respectively.

Describing the upper half of the zodiac wheel as a great arch, Taylor explains:
Its pillars are Faith and Charity. Its keystone is Hope. 
The husbandman must sow in Faith, live in Hope, and reap in Charity.
And why are those who cultivate the earth always called Husbandmen?
Because in allegorical language they are married to the Virgin of August, to whom they look continually, that she shall bring forth their children.
Faith is Spring, Hope is Summer, Charity is Autumn. (271)
The reasoning behind his argument is that planting the seeds in the ground (which takes place during the spring) is an act of Faith. During the summer, as we reach the summer solstice, the sun reaches its highest point, and looks down in Hope upon the fields which will (it is hoped) yield the harvest to come. And in autumn, as we reach the time of the harvest, nature yields her bounty in a tremendous act of Charity (a word which signifies giving to those who are in need, and which is also translated as love in some later translations of the text).

After this point of autumn, when nature in Charity yields forth her bounty in an act of giving, the sun plunges below the celestial equator and begins to "go into hiding" (figuratively speaking), which Taylor sees as the origin of all the myths involving a "hidden god" (including the myth of Osiris, who is sent down to the underworld, or the myth of Adonis, or the myth of Persephone [to whom Taylor refers by her Latin name Proserpine] and many others around the world). 

The myths almost universally portray this hidden god (or goddess) as one over whose loss we are to weep and for whose return we are to relentlessly seek (think about the story of Demeter [known as Ceres to the Latins] searching for Persephone, or the story of the entire world weeping over the death of Baldr in the Norse myths, for example).

Robert Taylor's celestial explication of the world's myths is extremely insightful and worthy of careful and repeated study. However, he tends to conclude (as he does in the series of lectures cited above) that the connection between the myths and the heavenly cycles (particularly the annual cycle) indicates that the myths are nothing more than allegories for the agricultural cycle of planting and harvest, with the recurrent motif of the "dying god" and the "return from the dead" being metaphors for the planting of the seeds in the ground (as if dead, but later to burst forth again into life).

In doing so, however, Taylor's analysis seems to overlook the tremendous power and practical applicability of the myths for our life in this present moment, even (and in fact, especially) in this modern day.

The wisdom contained in the world's ancient myths points us towards repairing our alienation from our authentic self, a schism which is discussed in numerous previous posts including this one and this one, and which is portrayed (I would argue) in the world's myths by the nearly ubiquitous pattern of mythical twins, who do not actually represent two different people but rather one person (each and every one of us).

This is the loss of contact with the divine force and the Higher Self, a loss over which we should indeed grieve, and reconnection with whom we should earnestly and relentlessly seek, even as Demeter searches unfailingly for her divine daughter, Persephone.

The myths most certainly do employ the great cycles such as the annual path of the sun through the zodiac signs in their metaphorical system, and these cycles do indeed relate to the rhythms of the natural world, including the planting of the seeds (in Faith) in the spring, and the growing of the increase of the earth (in Hope) in the summer, as well as the yielding forth of the fruit and the grain (in Charity) in the bountiful autumn time. But the myths of the world do not employ their incredible system of celestial metaphor only to tell us about the mysteries of the cycles of springtime and harvest. These great turnings of the cycle show us the way to find the hidden god who has been lost, and from whom we have been separated -- and in doing so they show us how to find ourselves again.

In a very real sense, the myths are about overcoming the trauma of the loss of our own self, and recovering that vital connection so that we can be made whole and harmonious again. And beyond that, this reconnection involves a reconnection with the wider natural world and even with the invisible world -- the realm of the gods -- from which we are meant to draw assistance and guidance as we go through this incarnate life (a truth which is abundantly demonstrated in nearly every single myth and fairy tale around the globe).

And that is a very Hopeful message indeed.

Thus, as we arrive at the very pinnacle of the year (and the keystone of the arch), we can profit from Robert Taylor's explication of the meaning of the admonition that even now abideth Faith, Hope, and Charity -- and we can spend some time considering the position of Hope within that cycle, which is where we are now as we reach the summer solstice of 2019.

For previous posts published on the summer solstice day of years past, see also:

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Welcome to new visitors from the Conspiracy Farm podcast! (and to returning friends)

Big thank-you to Jeffery Wilson and Pat Miletich of the Conspiracy Farm podcast, who were gracious enough to invite me over to the Farm for a fast-paced conversation about Star Myths, ancient history, and the deep flaws in the conventional paradigm of humanity's ancient history.

Welcome to new visitors who may be checking out the website and blog for the first time!

This blog is fully searchable, so if you want to see if any of the previous 1,100+ posts have mentioned a subject or key-word in which you are particularly interested, you should be able to find it.

Also, since this was an "audio-only" conversation, you may want to check out the visual evidence presented in recordings from a couple other recent interviews, such as:
Here are some links to a couple videos and blog posts which explore some of the Star Myth connections in the Samson story, which was mentioned in my conversation with Pat and Jeffery:
Here is a link to a video with extended analysis of the famous Vision of Ezekiel, and why it is not about an attempt to describe a UFO encounter!
And here are some links to a couple videos and blog posts which discuss myths involving the constellation Perseus and the constellation Andromeda (as well as surrounding constellations), because during this conversation Pat and Jeffery asked about the story of Jacob wrestling with the Angel at the ford of Jabbok (which Jacob later named Peniel), which is found in Genesis chapter 32:
Here also is a link to a discussion and video about the parallels between the story of the birth of the Buddha and the stories of the birth of the Christ (supposedly five hundred years after the life of the Buddha) -- as well as a link to an examination of just a few of the many parallels between patterns in the epic poem of the Odyssey from ancient Greece and the patterns in the stories of the life of Jesus found in the gospels (also supposedly from at least seven hundred years after the Odyssey was written down, and the stories in the Odyssey probably existed long before it was ever written down):
Additionally, here are some discussions of the Star Myth connections in the Doubting Thomas episode found in John chapter 20, and related subjects:
And as a bonus, here are some older posts about the metaphor of the original Karate Kid movie (1984) for understanding the esoteric, and a couple posts about ancient history including the importance of the emperors Marcus Aurelius and his son Commodus (portrayed in the movie Gladiator, from the year 2000):
Above is an embedded player containing my conversation with Pat and Jeffery, and you can also listen or download at this webpage.

This conversation on the Conspiracy Farm was recorded on June 18, 2019.

If you are new to the tremendous ancient wisdom which has been given to all men and women as a precious inheritance in the ancient myths, and the way the myths can help you to find what you may have been looking for all your life, then I hope this information will be a blessing to you in your journey! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Star Myth conversation on the "Healers and Hellraisers" podcast, from June 04, 2019

Special thank-you to Garrett Lee and Randy Warner of the Healers and Hellraisers podcast for having me on to discuss Star Myths, ancient wisdom, and their benefit for our lives in this present moment. 

I've embedded the podcast player above, or you can visit this webpage with the interview in order to listen to the conversation or download it to a smartphone or other mobile device. This interview was recorded on June 04, 2019.

I hope you will enjoy the conversation and perhaps hear some facets of the ancient myths and their applicability to your life that you haven't heard or seen before!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Zeus, Krishna, Thor, Maui, Apollo, Heracles, Michael the Archangel, and more! A Star Myth conversation with Derek Veenhof of the DEEKAST podcast

Special thank-you to Derek "DJ Deek" Veenhof for having me back on his podcast, the Deekast, which his YouTube channel describes as: "A millennial counterculture movement discussing anything & everything: gaming, music, pop culture, history, politics, science, religion & philosophy and the nexuses where these worlds collide." 

Derek originally invited me over to the Deekast for an interview back in October of 2016 -- you can listen to that earlier interview by following this link and using the player on the screen, or by going to a podcast site such as Apple Podcasts, scrolling down to episode #12 from October 30, 2016 and then downloading the audio file.

Derek's new podcast format includes a video component, so I created some visuals containing examples of ancient artwork as well as corresponding star-charts in order to provide some evidence of the argument that the world's ancient myths, from every inhabited continent and island of our planet, can all be shown to be built upon a common foundation of very specific celestial metaphor. 

I've embedded a condensed, 1-hour video of our conversation above, and the full 2-hour video of our conversation at the bottom of this post. You can also check out the full interview at Derek's YouTube channel and for the audio file visit his podcast website here, or go to various podcast players such as iTunes. Please feel free to share with friends or family members who might find this information to be interesting and valuable.

This conversation presents some topics and evidence that I have not discussed in previous blog posts or podcasts, as well as touching on subjects which have been the focus of previous posts or videos. Some of the subjects we discussed in our conversation include:
  • Parallels between myths from around the world in which a deity, angel, or hero battles a great serpent or dragon (for deeper discussion of this subject, see several of my books, including my most-recent book The Ancient World-Wide System, as well as Star Myths of the World, Volume Four: Norse Mythology, among others); examples include Zeus, Heracles, Krishna, Thor, Maui, Michael the Archangel, and the God of the Bible.
  • The "Earth-ship metaphor" for understanding the celestial mechanics which cause the solstices and the equinoxes on our planet, as well as several other blog posts discussing the relationship between the earth's axial tilt (also known as the "obliquity of the ecliptic") and the solstices and equinoxes such as this one -- and for some discussion of the significance of summer solstice, check out the blog post from last year's summer solstice.
  • The importance of the work of Dr. Gabor Mate and why I believe that his definition of trauma as a fundamental alienation from our own authentic self resonates with the central message of the ancient myths, scriptures and sacred traditions of humanity, a connection which I explore in this previous post.
  • Some of the evidence which suggests that the ancient Mesopotamian myth-cycle involving Gilgamesh and Enkidu describes this very same alienation, and points us towards the solution (this aspect of the Gilgamesh cycle, and its undeniable celestial foundations, are explored further in The Ancient World-Wide System).
  • The importance of the emperor Marcus Aurelius and why his reign and the transition of power to his son Commodus (dramatized in the well-known movie Gladiator from the year 2000) may have marked a crucial turning-point in world history.
  • Celestial aspects of the story of Zeus versus Typhon (one of many myths from cultures around the world in which a god or hero battles a dragon or great serpent), and the connection of the story to Mount Aetna in Sicily (and to the important constellation Ophiuchus in the heavens).
I hope you will find that the visual examples presented during this interview demonstrate the overwhelming amount of evidence which supports the conclusion that virtually all of the world's myths are built upon a common system of celestial metaphor. The main drawback of preparing a slideshow, however, is that it detracts from some of the give-and-take of the conversation. Nevertheless, I thought that Derek asked some very insightful questions and made some very perspicacious observations during our discussion.

I will look forward to talking again in the future, perhaps to get into some of the other matters we didn't have time to discuss fully this time!


Full interview:

Monday, June 10, 2019

Welcome to new visitors from Lost Origins! (and to returning friends)

Big thank-you to Andrew Tuzson and Christopher Kingsley of the Lost Origins podcast for having me on for a new conversation about my latest book, the relationship between the stars and the world's ancient myths, and the way that the myths point us towards reconnection with the world around us, the wider universe, the invisible realm of the gods, and ultimately with our own essential self.

Our conversation took place on Monday, June 03, 2019.

We touched on some areas that I haven't visited in any previous podcast: I hope you will enjoy the discussion, and find something there which will be of value to you in your own journey and search.

Welcome to any new visitors who are learning about my research for the first time! You may be interested in some of the previous blog posts linked below, which explore further some of the subjects which came up during this conversation with Andrew and CK.
Before we began recording the conversation, Andrew and CK asked if there were any specific topics that I wanted to be sure to visit. 

I replied that I would rather just let the conversation go where it may: every conversation is different, and every man or woman you meet brings a unique set of experiences and thoughts (and, every time you meet them again, both they and you will have had different experiences and thoughts than the previous times).

I hope you will enjoy the direction this conversation took, and the areas that Andrew and CK brought out, through their own unique backgrounds and perspectives. I know that I certainly did.

Listen to "S02E04 - David Mathisen // Star Myths and the Authentic Self" on Spreaker.