Thursday, July 9, 2020

Welcome to new visitors from Mike and Maurice's Mind Escape! (and to returning friends)

Big thank-you to Mike and Maurice of the Mind Escape podcast for having me over to discuss the world's ancient myths, their connections to the stars, and some of the implications and lessons of that connection.

Welcome to all new visitors who are encountering my research for the first time: I hope that learning more about the myths will be a blessing to you in your life. 

Our interview was recorded on the evening of July 08, 2020 and was streamed live: you can see the video of our conversation above, or by following this link.

You can also hear the audio-only version and download the file here at Soundcloud,

or here at Apple's iTunes,

or here at Spotify.

However, because I specifically prepared slides to go along with the discussion, some of which (especially towards the end) contain star-charts showing constellations connected with the myth pattern we were looking at during this conversation, I would recommend watching the video version (you can also use the "settings" icon at the bottom of that video to speed up the playback if you want).

I enjoyed getting to interact with Mike and Maurice, with whom I had not spoken previously.

Here is a link to a previous post discussing their interview with Arthur Koopman's of the Secrets of the Norse website.

At one point during our talk, I did mention that during my preparation to visit their show, I had listened to several of their episodes, all of which I had enjoyed except for their discussion of the notorious "Urantia book," which was likely produced by a very racist proponent of eugenics during the first half of the twentieth century and which puts forward a vision of space visitors coming to our planet (which they supposedly call "Urantia") who are the supposed literal beings responsible for the accounts of Adam and Eve, Michael the Archangel, Jesus, and other figures in the Bible (all of whose stories can be shown with abundant evidence to be based upon metaphor involving constellations, rather than upon actual terrestrial events involving literal persons).

I pointed out that the text of the Urantia book itself contains flat-out racist statements and concepts, particularly in books 4 and 5.

Mike and Maurice were quite dismayed to learn about that, having heard about the Urantia book from various sources which don't reveal its problematic aspects and (being guitarists and musicians themselves) having learned that various guitarists they admired including Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Steve Vai had all been known to own a copy of the Urantia book and carry it around with them on tour. They both stated very clearly that they stand against all racism, and also immediately deleted their episode about the Urantia book.

I personally believe that some of these deceptive narratives such as the Urantia book are part of deliberate operations to try and slip objectionable ideas into wider distribution under cover of sensational stories about literal aliens (who re-cast the old literalist interpretations of the Biblical scriptures into new literalist re-workings involving alien beings or intelligences in an "updated form of literalism") and that it is very easy for men and women to be taken in by some of these operations.

Below is a video I published back in July of last year entitled "Literalism and Alien Contact" in which I discuss some of the racist and literalist aspects of the Urantia book, along with the literalistic elements common in many other "UFO narratives" from the twentieth century (including the texts and belief system propagated by the "Heaven's Gate" cult, which famously committed an act of mass suicide during the approach of the gorgeous Comet Hale-Bopp, the most-recent comet to be visible to the naked eye prior to the arrival of Comet NEOWINS in the night sky just this week).

I hope you will enjoy this conversation with Mike and Maurice of the Mind Escape podcast, and that if this is your first time visiting you will enjoy looking through the material available in the different sections of the Star Myths of the World website, including archived podcasts, videos, sample book content, a "resources" page containing online texts (a link to the "resources" page being found at the bottom of every page on the site), and of course a fully-searchable blog.

I also hope you will visit again soon!

After our conversation, I got a few hours sleep and then rose early the next morning to get my first view of the mysterious and beautiful Comet NEOWISE, which made for a memorable day! You can see my description of that experience, along with diagrams and tips on successfully finding the comet during the next two days while it is visible prior to sunrise, here.

The mysterious and beautiful Comet NEOWISE

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

I've just returned from getting my first view of Comet NEOWISE, which is the first naked-eye visible comet I've seen since Comet Hale-Bopp in 1997. 

At present, it is nowhere near as easily visible to the naked eye as was Comet Hale-Bopp all those years ago, but it is certainly spectacular nonetheless and well worth the effort to go see it in person, if it is at all possible for you to do so. Additionally, we have been told that the comet may become even more visible in the days and weeks ahead.

You will definitely want to use binoculars. The comet is gorgeous through binoculars but not easily visible with the naked eye. After finding it with binoculars, I was able to see it with the naked eye (actually I wear either glasses or contact lenses, so not exactly the naked eye) but it was not at all obvious in the sky and would not be something you would likely notice while driving, for example. I did find it easier to see with the naked eye when looking at a point not directly at the comet, which is a trick that can be used to help observe fainter objects in the night sky (I also use this technique sometimes when looking for the Beehive Cluster, although the Beehive is not visible at this time of year -- wait a month or two).

The comet (dubbed C/2020 F3 NEOWISE, or simply Comet NEOWISE, after the name of the space-based telescope which first discovered the comet on March 27 of this year) is presently visible before dawn, leading the sun from our perspective on the turning earth. 

After July 11, the comet will transition from being visible in the pre-dawn sky (in the east) to being visible just after sunset (in the west): there will be a period during that transition in which the comet will not be visible but it is expected to reappear in the post-sunset western sky around July 14 or 15.

I have to drive to get to a good unobstructed view of a relatively flat eastern horizon, so I got up early this morning (July 09) and drove to a place looking over a wide open field with clear views of the eastern horizon, parked my car and turned off the lights to await the appearance of the comet.

The moon is waning now, having already passed full moon over the July 4 - July 5 weekend, but is still gibbous (larger than a "half-moon" shape, which is technically called a "quarter" rather than a "half-moon"). The planets Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and Venus are all very visible and range across the sky from west to east in that order like a long string of jewels which traces out the general path of the ecliptic. Below I've created a screen-shot from the free open-source planetarium app Stellarium to show the sky as you would see it from the perspective of a viewer in the northern hemisphere (I am at a latitude of about 35 degrees north). This screenshot is created for the morning of July 10, tomorrow morning:

In the screenshot above, the viewer is facing roughly towards the east, but the view is centered almost directly southeast. The comet is actually found in the northeast, to the left of the image as you face it. Ranging across the sky you can see the bright planet Jupiter on the far right of the image, sinking down towards the west following the constellation Sagittarius. Close behind Jupiter is the planet Saturn, not nearly as bright in the sky as Jupiter but clearly visible to the naked eye (you will need a telescope if you want to spot its rings, of course).

Continuing across the sky you will of course be able to easily see the moon, glowing brightly and enlarged in the screenshot above to approximately the size that it would appear when you go outside into the predawn sky. Not far behind the moon in its path along the ecliptic you will also be able to easily identify the red planet Mars, which was very bright when I went out this morning to observe the comet.

I have included the constellation outlines in the above screenshot, using the outlining system of H. A. Rey. I have drawn in the outline of the Great Square of Pegasus, which is very easy to find almost directly above Mars and which can serve as a landmark for you in the sky (you may need to block out the moon with your hand in order to see the Square).

Continuing towards the west you should have little difficulty identifying the dazzling star-cluster of the Pleiades, which are located not far below the "foot" of the constellation Perseus and almost directly above the bright planet Venus, which is rising in the east and is currently found very close to the reddish star Aldebaran in the constellation Taurus. I have labeled the Pleiades on the star-chart above and you should take some time to look at them with your binoculars.

I use a set of Barska 10x50 WA binoculars, shown below, which are excellent for star-gazing purposes. I do not get any incentive to endorse this product, in case anyone is wondering if that recommendation is biased in any way.

Once you have located Venus and Aldebaran in the eastern sky, you are ready to find the location of Comet NEOWISE. The comet is located well to the north of due east, about halfway between due east and due north. I used the compass feature on my smartphone to shoot a rough azimuth towards the comet once I had located it, and estimated it to be on an azimuth of about 323 degrees from my observation point on the planet, but a phone app compass is not a very precise tool for shooting an azimuth: I wish I had brought a good solid old-school lensatic compass like we used in the army, with has a handy sight-window for shooting a more precise azimuth.

The comet is located almost directly below the bright star Capella in the constellation of Auriga, the Charioteer. It is actually a bit to the north of Capella, but trailing Capella in the sky, as shown in the star-chart above. 

The way I usually find the constellation Capella is to follow the V-shaped Hyades, a "V" in the sky which contains the star Aldebaran -- but because bright Venus is situated right next to Aldebaran, the "V" of the Hyades is not so easy to see right now. The two tips of the "V" point to the two stars which make up the "horns" of Taurus the Bull (at least, the way I myself like to outline the constellation, which in this case differs from the outline suggested by H. A. Rey, one of only a very few constellations where I use a different approach than that suggested by Rey). Below is a close-up of the region of the sky with Auriga and Aldebaran and the comet to show how I usually find the outline of Auriga:

The "V" of the Hyades is usually very easy to identify, and it points almost straight towards the two stars which make up the "horn tips" of Taurus, which are labeled in the close-up screenshot above. Finding these horn tips helps you to distinguish between the stars of Auriga and the stars of Taurus. The constellation Auriga, as outlined by H. A. Rey and shown in the image above, looks like an enormous disembodied head, with the bright star Capella as the eye (and a kind of "broken-nose" just below the eye of Capella). I have added a single red line to indicate what I call the "jawline" of the constellation Auriga, which is easy enough to identify in the sky if you can find the two "horn tips" of the constellation Taurus as shown in the above image.

You won't actually need to find the horn tips in order to find the comet, however, or even the "jawline" of Auriga, and you don't need to see the V-shaped Hyades which is difficult to identify right now because of the location of Venus. All you really need to see is the bright star Capella, which is pretty easy to identify in relation to Venus, Aldebaran and the Pleiades as shown in the chart above. From Capella, you will actually be able to see the comet well before the second "horn tip" of Taurus even clears the eastern horizon as the stars are rising.

I did not see the comet when I first arrived at my observation spot shortly after 4am. However, about ten minutes later, as I was training my binoculars towards the horizon at roughly the location indicated by the large red arrow in the above diagram, I saw what looked like the upward-pointing glow of a distant spot-light pointing almost straight up from the horizon. I said to myself, "If that 'spot-light' glow is the comet rising over the horizon, then I am impressed."

It was.

The tail of Comet NEOWISE is very long and beautiful and easily visible with binoculars. As the earth continued to turn on its axis, the entire comet rose above the horizon at about 4:17 am. The time will vary based on your exact latitude and also based on the terrain of your eastern horizon where you are located.

As the minutes went on, the comet rose higher and higher above the horizon. It was spellbinding to gaze at it, the bright head of the comet clearly visible and the ghostly tail rising up above for a very long distance, much longer even than what you see in the top photograph from the Wikimedia commons collection, which was taken closer to sunrise by a photographer in Landers, California on the morning of July 07 using a 200mm lens.

I've tried to approximate the size of the comet's tail in the star-chart images above. The tail is pointing almost straight upwards but slightly leaning towards the north, from where I was observing it (in other words, the top of the tail is slightly north in relation to the head of the comet at the bottom, or "leaning towards the left" as we face towards the east). That orientation will change as the earth turns and the comet rises, however.

This is a very beautiful comet, but definitely one which at this time requires binoculars to really appreciate. I was able to see it with the naked eye but only as a kind of chalk-line of haze, and could not make out the head of the comet without the binoculars (but the entire comet is clearly visible as a classic comet-shape, with distinct bright head and mysterious hazy glowing tail, using the 10x50 binoculars mentioned earlier).

I hope that this description of the location of the comet will help you find Comet NEOWISE and see it in person, if you are able to do so over the next few days. 

Monday, July 6, 2020

Heracles and Apollo and the Tripod of the Delphic Oracle

Top image: Wikimedia commons (link).

The attempt by the hero Heracles to abscond with the tripod of the Temple of Delphi is a favorite subject of artists on ancient pottery.

According to surviving ancient sources, after Heracles completed his arduous Twelve Labors, which had been ordered by the Oracle at Delphi as expiation for the murder of his wife and children by the great hero in a fit of madness, he learned that the ruler of Oechalia -- the famous archer descended from Apollo himself, King Eurytus -- was offering the hand of his gorgeous daughter, Iole, to any many who could defeat Eurytus and his sons in a contest of archery.

The offering of a beautiful bride in an archery contest is a pattern found in numerous myths, including in both the ancient Sanskrit epics Mahabharata and Ramayana of ancient India, and echoes of this same pattern are also found in the great archery contest described near the climax of the Odyssey. Indeed, the great bow which Odysseus must string in that famous episode in Books 21 and 22 of the Odyssey once belonged to Eurytus, after whose death it passed to the son of Eurytus, Iphitus, who later gave it to Odysseus (this lineage of the bow is stated in Odyssey Book 21, lines 35 and following).

In the archery contest for the hand of Iole, although able warriors from all over Achaea came to vie for the chance to marry the beautiful maiden, Heracles easily defeated all challengers, as well as the sons of Eurytus and even King Eurytus himself, who had once instructed young Heracles in archery and introduced him to the art.

But upon his defeat by the powerful hero in the contest, King Eurytus changed his mind and declared that Iole would not marry Heracles after all. The fit of madness in which Heracles had killed his previous wife, Megara, and their children was by now well-known, and Eurytus did not wish his daughter to become the bride of such a terrifying hero as Heracles. The sons of the king agreed with their father, all except Iphitus (or Iphitos), who sided with Heracles and said that it was wrong for his father to break his word.

Furious, Heracles left -- but not long after that, twelve valuable mares were stolen from the king's stables. Some say they were stolen by Heracles himself, while others say they were taken by Autolycus (or Autolykos), the son of Hermes and an accomplished thief, and then given by Autolycus to Heracles. Either way, Eurytus immediately blamed Heracles.

Note that the theft of either horses or cattle when a father who has promised the hand of his daughter goes back on that promise is another recurring pattern in ancient myth, found in the stories surrounding the death of Castor in the legends of Castor and Polydeuces, for example (discussed in my most-recent book, Myth and Trauma).

Standing up for the hero against his father, Iphitus said that Heracles had been the party who had been wronged, and set out to find Heracles and search for the horses. According to most versions, he found the hero at Tiryns, and Heracles received Iphitus in a friendly fashion and with hospitality. However, upon ascending the walls of Tiryns to scan the countryside for clues in the theft of the mares, Heracles either became angry with Iphitus or was overcome once again with madness, and he hurled Iphitus headlong from the walls to his death.

Once again, Heracles had committed a grave crime, and this time he was smitten with a terrible disease as punishment. Filled with remorse, Heracles sought out the Oracle of Delphi, as he had done so many years before after the murder of his family. This time, however the priestess at the Temple was silent in response to his pleas for guidance from the Oracle.

In a rage, Heracles seized the tripod, upon which the priestess would sit when she entered the trance state and consulted with the deity. According to some accounts, he wanted to carry it off and establish a new Oracle of his own at some other location. 

But at this insult to the sacred site of Delphi, the god Apollo himself intervened, and seized the tripod as well. A sort of tug-of-war ensued, with Heracles and Apollo each pulling on the tripod, which is shown in between them in many pieces of ancient artwork. 

The scene of the struggle between Apollo and Heracles as Heracles tries to run off with the tripod of Delphi is depicted in numerous pieces of surviving artwork from the ancient times. Above is a close-up of one example, located today in the Louvre in Paris.

This episode can be shown to be based on the stars, as I mentioned in my recent conversation with Graham and Darren of the Grimerica Show podcast, and as I will explore a bit further below.

I have labeled the scene with the constellations that -- in my analysis -- this episode of ancient myth is based upon. It is quite clear that the hero Heracles corresponds to the constellation which even today bears his name, the constellation Hercules. Note the distinctive posture characteristic of artistic depictions of Heracles or Hercules: the extended rear leg with heel raised, the deep knee-bend of the forward leg (in some depictions this deep lunge posture is even more pronounced), the square head with full beard and lion-skin head-gear, the tufted tail of the lion-skin trailing behind the hero's hip. All of these characteristics match directly to the outline of the constellation Hercules in the heavens, which has a distinctive square-shaped head, a deep lunging posture (with rear heel raised), and many other characteristics which indicate beyond any doubt that the hero Heracles is associated with this constellation.

Indeed, the tuft of the tail of the lion-skin garment worn by Heracles matches roughly with the location of the bright star Vega, not far from the constellation Hercules in the night sky (this correspondence for figures associated with the constellation Hercules is even more pronounced in the artwork found on the incredible Pylos Combat Agate, discussed in this previous post with video).

The god Apollo can be confidently associated with the constellation Sagittarius, as discussed in my 2016 book Star Myths of the World, Volume Two: Myths of Ancient Greece. The constellation Sagittarius, of course, appears as a mighty archer -- and indeed the very name "Sagittarius" has to do with shooting arrows. Sagittarius can be seen to be pointing its bow at the constellation Scorpio, on the other side of the Milky Way's brightest and widest region: the constellation Scorpio no doubt plays the role of the great serpent, Python, slain by Apollo when he established his Oracle at Delphi. 

The famous tripod of Delphi was said to be above the body of the Python -- and indeed we can see that the constellation Ophiuchus, which according to my analysis corresponds to the tripod in the heavens, is situated directly above the constellation Scorpio (the Python in this ancient myth). 

This "tripod" of Ophiuchus, of course, can be seen in the above star-chart to be located in between Sagittarius (associated with the god Apollo) and Hercules (associated with the hero Heracles), and thus to be the centerpiece of a kind of "tug-of-war" between these two sons of Zeus. 

Note also that the ancient myths tell us that the vapors arising from the body of the Python, deep beneath the Oracle, were responsible in part for the trance-state into which the priestess of Delphi (who was known by the title of the Pythia for this reason) would enter when receiving the messages from the Infinite Realm. We can see that the smoky column of the Milky Way itself ascends through the "body" of the serpent (Scorpio, with which constellation the Python is associated) and upwards past the "tripod" of Ophiuchus.

This juncture, in fact, where the Milky Way crosses the path of the sun through the ecliptic (and the zodiac) and rises alongside Ophiuchus upwards past the constellation Hercules, is imbued with tremendous significance in the ancient world-wide system underlying the myths given to the different cultures of humanity in remote antiquity, as discussed in many of my books (including the most-recent book). It relates to our re-connection with our own essential self, and through that re-connection, with the realm of the gods.

Of the importance of the Oracle at Delphi, Peter Kingsley writes in his essential 1999 book, In the Dark Places of Wisdom
It's easy to assume that the Delphic myth of Apollo fighting the snake is a straightforward case of a battle between the opposites -- of Apollo as a celestial god overcoming the powers of earth and darkness. But something needs to be understood. 
Alongside the intimacy of Apollo's links with the underworld, there's another aspect of him that also has been pushed into the dark. That's his connection with snakes. In ritual and in art snakes were sacred to him. Even in the case of the myth about the snake he fought and killed at Delphi, he didn't destroy it just to get it out of the way. On the contrary, its body was buried at the centre of his shrine. He killed it so he could absorb, appropriate, the prophetic powers that the snake represents. 133 - 134.
The respected scholar of ancient myth and ancient cultic practice, Walter Burkert (1931 - 2015) notes in his 1972 study Homo Necans that the "rationalists" who want to explain the myths as the products of natural phenomena argued that perhaps "vapors rising from the depths of the earth in the adyton would have induced the Pythia's trance and her prophetic powers" (122). He goes on to say: "But this theory has not stood up to archaeological examination: there is simply no trace of a chasm, or any volcanic activity whatsoever beneath the temple at Delphi" (122).

I would argue that these kinds of "rationalist" attempts to explain ancient myth in terms of natural phenomena were exposed as misguided thousands of years ago in the gentle sarcasm of Plato, in the famous dialogue known as Phaedrus, in which he pokes fun at the same tendency to try to explain myth by certain "clever, industrious people who are not exactly to be envied," in a passage which also refers to the Oracle at Delphi (and its famous inscription, "Know Thyself").

I would argue that Plato probably understood that the myths are not describing a literal or terrestrial landscape, but rather one which is reached through an interior landscape, as can be inferred by the injunction, "Know Thyself."  The connection to the underworld described in the myths is not a physical connection, reached through a geographic location which is somehow physically connected to the chthonic realm.

And when we begin to understand that the myths are speaking to us through a language of celestial metaphor, as can be proven with so many examples (including this episode of the struggle between Heracles and Apollo), we can see beyond doubt that they are describing a landscape pertaining to the Infinite Realm -- using the signifiers in the heavens above, which themselves constitute a realm that is indeed infinite, employed by this incredible ancient system of myth to convey to us truths about our own condition.

The Oracle itself, then, can never be "closed down," no matter how hard literalists have tried in previous centuries. We can still see its heavenly original, wheeling across the infinite darkness over our heads, this very night. And we can still access the wisdom of the divine realm, described in the myths about the famous Oracle at Delphi -- not by going to any specific location on the terrestrial sphere, but rather by connecting with our own buried essence, through whom we find connection to a wider and indeed to an infinite world.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Welcome to new visitors from the Grimerica Show! (and to returning friends)

Special thank-you to Darren and Graham at the Grimerica Show podcast for having me back for a conversation, this time exploring some of the subjects from my most-recent book, Myth and Trauma.
You can see previous visits with the Grimerica community in the "podcasts" section of my main website, Star Myths of the World.

I very much hope that some of the ideas discussed in this latest show will be beneficial to you. Please share with those who might also find it helpful in a positive way.

Here are a few links to previous posts containing embedded videos of interviews with Dr. Gabor Maté discussing the negative effects of trauma and the importance of understanding this critical subject:
Below is the full image of one of the artist depictions of the "Judgement of Solomon" episode which was partially obscured during the video, so that you can see the distinctive "sword over the shoulder" posture of the swordsman in the scene:

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Friday, June 26, 2020

Arthur Koopmans explores the Star Myths of the Norse

Congratulations to Arthur Koopmans for his terrific discussion of his Norse myth research on Mike and Maurice's Mind Escape podcast, which was streamed live just a couple days ago, on Wedesday, June 24th (which, as Arthur points out, is Odin's Day or Wotan's Day, from which we get our English name for the day).

Above is the YouTube video recording of the interview, complete with Arthur's accompanying artwork which really helps bring the subject to life.

I am very happy to see that the Star Myth connections in the world's ancient myths resonated with Arthur, who had already been drawn to the Norse myths for inspiration in other areas of his life.

Building on what he found in some of my research including in Star Myths of the World, Volume Four: Norse Mythology, Arthur has done his own original analysis to advance some very insightful additional arguments regarding important episodes in the surviving Eddic texts, including the pivotal sacrifice of Odin hanging upon Yggdrasil for nine days and nine nights in order to obtain the secret of the runes.

You can see more of Arthur's work at his website, Secrets of the Norse.

I very much commend Arthur's work to everyone and am very happy to see it, and hope that many more men and women around the world will be inspired by the incredible treasure given to all cultures in the ancient myths, and the powerful messages they have for our lives, and the ways that they use the language of the heavens to convey their ancient meaning to us even in this very moment.

If you know someone who loves the myths and might be excited to learn about the ancient world-wide system of celestial metaphor which weaves through the sacred stories, please let them know about resources such as Arthur's website, as well as my Star Myths of the World site. Those in college now (or teaching at colleges) might especially find new inspiration for directions of fruitful study -- but I'm convinced that all men and women can benefit from exploration of the myths.

During the above interview, Arthur says (beginning at about the 44:00-minute mark in the video clip):
It's amazing how the myths are based upon the stars. I think this also enriches the way I experience these myths: I think it's a wonderful thing. That you can go out, you can look up at the night sky, you can see all these stories played out -- by looking at the night sky, you have the feeling that you are more connected to this larger cosmos that's out there, which we are a part of.
Well spoken.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Racial Jesus Arguments

Recently, a professional activist published statements declaring that depictions of "white Jesus and his European mother" are manifestations of "white supremacy" and "need to come down."

Above is a new video I've posted addressing some of these issues, entitled "Racial Jesus Arguments."

Inflammatory issues are easily used to "push buttons" and provoke unthinking reactions, and I very much suspect that this is exactly what is going on here -- as a means of trying to stir up division in order to distract attention from increased technological surveillance, militarization of society, and even possibly mandatory vaccinations which manipulate human DNA in ways that have never been used before.

Assertions that Jesus and his mother looked like this or looked like that  should be easily dismissed by now, with overwhelming evidence available to demonstrate that the stories of the New Testament (as well as in the rest of the Biblical scriptures, along with virtually all the other ancient myths and sacred stories around the globe) are based on celestial metaphor. 

Jesus and Mary can be definitively associated with specific constellations -- and constellations do not have "race" or "gender" or "ethnicity." 

As with virtually all of the world's ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories, the stories and characters found in the Bible are esoteric in nature and designed to teach us deep truths about concepts we cannot see or touch, including the reality and importance of our authentic self, from whom we become alienated due to trauma, and the importance of recovering who we are.

Literalism by its very nature often devolves towards focus on the external and physical, and questions of "who is descended from whom" -- the very opposite of the focus of the ancient myths.

Thus, literalism tends to divide us from one another, when in fact the evidence that the world's myths are all built on the same foundation should unite us.

We need to come together and have compassion for one another.

Racial exploitation and oppression are very real problems, which nobody can deny -- problems which continue to this day and which very much need to be addressed and not dismissed or minimized.

But deliberately inflaming division with inflammatory statements about "how Jesus really looked" and with calls to tear down statues and stained-glass windows are not only wrong (since they are based on misguided literalistic interpretations of the biblical scriptures) but also harmful.

And they are the opposite of the tactics modeled by Dr. King before he was murdered by those who don't want to see us working together.

Publishing videos on sensitive subjects, including racial division, definitely invites negative reaction from some viewers -- and can tend to create self-censorship and the desire to avoid controversial topics (in order to stay with safe subjects that do not invite negative comments and "dislike" or "thumbs-down" ratings). However, I believe it is important to try to address divisive issues when division is being deliberately sown -- and when these divisive arguments are based upon flawed understanding of the world's ancient scriptures (and appear to be used to distract and divide the people in order to allow the roll-out of instruments of greater control and of economic austerity and exploitation). I try to point towards the ancient wisdom contained in the myths, which were given for our benefit and blessing, even in the very present moment and even in the midst of deliberately provocative tactics utilizing the most emotional topics available.

I hope that these videos can be helpful to some viewers, and can point us towards the wisdom given to every culture in the sacred traditions imparted in remote antiquity to all people.

Monday, June 22, 2020

End-of-the-World Anxiety

Worried about end-of-the-world prophecies?

We're already going through quite a bit of engineered stress in our lives lately (in which very real problems appear to be deliberately mis-handled in order to divide and manipulate and demoralize the populace), but on top of that some tabloid media and assorted commentators recently started propagating another "end-of-the-world" forecast, this one based on the assertion that the Maya long-count was "off by eight years" and everything from 2012 should be applied to 2020.

Above is a new video I made yesterday, on 21 June (when the supposed Armageddon was predicted in some tabloids), entitled

"End-of-the-World Anxiety: Maya Long-Count and Literalist Armageddon Angst."

Myth-systems around the world employ celestial metaphor and often depict shifts in the heavenly ages (caused by the mechanics of precession) in the guise of a tremendous world-ending catastrophe, or a cataclysmic battle (or both, and then some). This includes the apocalyptic texts in the bible, as well as descriptions of Ragnarok in Norse myth, and also the Maya long-count to the end of the age of the Fourth Sun.

Although the world's ancient myths are intended to help heal trauma and its consequences -- separation from our authentic self, anxiety, depression, and even physical illness -- literalism has sought to stamp out the world's ancient wisdom and even to inflict trauma instead of seeking to repair it and prevent it.

The recent sensationalism surrounding the Maya long-count by a culture built on literalist patterns (including centuries of teaching that the bible is talking about a literal Armageddon) is just another grievous example.

For those interested in exploring further, here are some previous videos regarding celestial foundations of some aspects of the Revelation (or Apocalypse) of John: